Student enrollment for the 2017-2018 school year is 550 students. That number includes students from the Montezuma area as well as students who have open enrolled into the district.
The school has a voluntary preschool program designed for four-year-olds. There are two ½ day sessions with each session limited to 20 children. “The preschool program has been nothing but positive for the district,” said Darin Jones, elementary principal. “Kids will be more prepared for kindergarten, and it’s beneficial for the school and the community.”
The elementary school has a wide variety of programs for elementary students. The entire elementary uses “The Daily Five” for literacy development. Montezuma elementary is proud of the fact that student test scores have continually ranked above average. Students who need additional classroom support attend the reading and math lab, Title I program, or special education programs. Students attend general music classes two or three times during the week, and concerts are held twice a year for the public to attend. Groups also perform for the local nursing homes. Band lessons are started in fifth-grade. Library skills, art, and physical education classes are also scheduled for students during the week. The Talented & Gifted program begins in 4th grade. In 2015, Montezuma Elementary was recognized as a model professional learning community. The school was one of only 200 schools in the US and Canada to receive this designation.
Secondary students have a comprehensive range of classes to choose from. The strength of the high school is in the core subjects of math, science, language arts and social studies. Montezuma also has a number of staff members who are certified to teach college-credit courses to students through the school’s Career Academy. “It’s a great benefit, students can leave high school with college credits,” says Brian Moretz, secondary principal.
Montezuma High School has been awarded a Bronze rating by US News for academic performance. Montezuma was 1 of 104 schools in Iowa to receive the recognition, and only 1 of 2 schools in the immediate region. Students achieved a 96% success rating in math testing, and 88% success rating in reading scores.
The district offers more technology than ever and continues to keep up in the ever-changing world of technology at the same time. The building has a 200 MBPS Internet connection and is has uninterrupted wireless connectivity. There are four iMac labs in the school, containing 20 or more computers as well as 60 iPads located in various classrooms. In addition, the school has ten mobile computer labs that house 25 MacBookPro Laptops and four mobile computer labs that house 25 Dell Laptops that students can take to class, giving them more access to technology. Students in 9th-12th grade are provided their own Chromebook to use throughout the day. All classrooms are equipped with a projection device, document camera and mimeo.
The Montezuma Braves and Bravettes enjoy the support of the entire community, competing in the South Iowa Cedar League and representing the school at state-level competition. Competitive athletic programs include football, boys’ and girls’ basketball, track and field, cross country, wrestling, volleyball, baseball, softball, golf and shooting sports. The district's coaching staff utilize athletics to instill the values of discipline, commitment and teamwork in the athletes. The Braves and Bravettes have enjoyed much success over the past five years and look to continue that trend:
- The Braves football team has won 38 games in the past five years, finishing the 2016 season as district champions and state quarter-finalists.
- The Bravette volleyball team was 27-9 in 2016 and won the conference championship for the first time in school history.
- Braves Cross Country qualified two runners for the 2016 State Cross Country meet.
- Both the girls and boys basketball teams are perennial powerhouses, competing for conference championships each year and winning 17 and 18 games in the 2016-17 seasons, respectively. Both basketball teams will have new head coaches for the 2017-18 seasons. The girls will be lead by celebrated alumni Janel Grimm Burgess, who lead the 1993 and 1994 Bravettes to the state tournament and continued her career at Iowa State.
- In the last five years, the Montezuma track teams have brought home 20 medals and 7 state championships from the State Track Meet at Drake Stadium. 2017 was an especially exceptional year with Braves notching five top ten finishes including a state runner up 4x200 meter relay. The Bravettes also had a runner-up finish in the 400 to go along with three other top ten finishers.
- The Bravette softball team won nineteen games in 2017 and were regional champions, reaching the State Softball Tournament in Fort Dodge for the first time in school history.
Clubs and organizations
Montezuma Community School is home to strong drama, speech, vocal music, instrumental music and athletic program. One of the top FFA programs in the nation is right here in Montezuma. The local chapter consistently wins awards and honors on the state and national level. According to advisor Rick Swenson, the FFA program was one of the first programs to win four titles at nationals in back-to-back contests. Students may choose to play an instrument in band, sing in the choir, participate in color guard or cheer Montezuma athletic teams on to victory. There are also numerous school clubs such as the Speech Club, Blue & White Athletic Boosters, Band Boosters, Mat Club. Organizations include, FFA, Blue & White student newspaper and the “Dreamcatcher,” the school yearbook. Updates on many school clubs and organizations can be found on GoZuma.