Ravalli County is located on the 93 Highway corridor running north and south on the western border of Montana. Ravalli County was the seventh most populous county in 2006 and had a 43% population increase between 1990 and 1999. In 2012 the population was 40,617 representing a slight increase of 300 from 2010 (“Montana Department of Labor” and “Annie E. Casey Foundation”). Ravalli County public schools provide services to just under 6000 PreK-12 students residing in Darby, Hamilton, Corvallis, Victor, Stevensville, Florence-Carlton and Lone Rock public school districts. There are an additional estimated 1000 youth being served through private, K-12th organizations and ...view middle of the document...
Casey Foundation, opi.mt.gov/GEM).
Within the county there are several educational organizations providing a wide range of services to the community that supplement public offerings. The University of Montana, that provides college courses to 15,000 students, is located 50 miles from Tapestry and 21 miles from the main facility, is the Bitterrroot Community College that provides additional college courses to approximately 200 students each year. Each school district offers after school programming and 4-H, Kiwanis, Rotary, FFA, Head Start, Kids Care Coalition, PTA, and faith-based organizations provide event driven educational services as well.
The education community served by Tapestry has undergone significant change in the past ten years. Three school districts have had four superintendents during this time. The county juvenile detention was closed and students are now bused 50 miles away for incarceration in Missoula. One school district went to a four-day week and two districts have dropped life skills offerings such as foods/culinary art. Additionally, two districts have secured funding for theater facilities attached to the schools but have had to hire a new director to manage the facility seven of the ten years and neither have drama teachers. Teacher turn over in all of the districts is high and with the introduction of Common Core Standards there is a climate of being run down and tired as reported by administrators, teachers, and students alike.
Tapestry is a nonprofit 501(3) c organization serving families residing in Darby, Hamilton, Corvallis, Victor, Stevensville, Lolo and Florence townships, in Ravalli County, Montana. The main facility is located in Victor; however, K-12 education services are provided at locations throughout Ravalli County. Tapestry provides educational services assisting parents in the community regardless of residency and school affiliation. Traditionally, Tapestry has served the ‘underserved’ school population, providing individualized education instruction through a format of assessment, group and individual education therapy, tutoring, service learning, and classroom instruction in core subject content areas. As with all of Montana public schools, credit for courses and program offerings through Tapestry are negotiated with each district individually and sometimes on a case-by-case basis as with youth who are expelled and on probation through the Juvenile Court System. For the past two years Tapestry has been developing and piloting programming targeting for Opportunity Youth (Belfield, et al., 2012, Bridgeland and Milano, 2012)...