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One-room Divide School in national spotlight

Though only three students attend the one-room Divide School, they’re soon to get some national attention.

Barry Peterson, CBS Sunday Morning Show correspondent, a producer, a cameraman and a sound man spent a full day there earlier this month for a story.

“They wanted to do a segment on one-room schools,” said teacher Judy Boyle. “Montana has the highest concentration of one-room schools in the nation.”

The crew filmed students taking math and reading tests, doing math lessons, running at track practice, eating lunch, saying the Pledge of Allegiance and playing at recess. Peterson interviewed the entire student body, parents and alumni. A Michigan school will also be part of the segment.

The filming had its lighter moments.

Seventh-grader David Hayden played the piano on film with Peterson, and the crew demonstrated how its equipment worked.

Boyle said the crew was duly impressed.

“The school, the kids, the view — all of it,” said Boyle. “Their appreciation for the school was pretty dynamic.”

While enrollment fluctuates,

town life revolves around the school, Boyle said.

“The town of Divide is pretty proud of its school and they want to keep it running. We have a Post Office, the Grange and the school — and if you

close the school, you basically close the town.”

She spoke with the crew about the heritage of rural schools, the generational commitment families have to Divide and how some of the smallest schools in Montana produce some of the highest achievers in the state.

Boyle said school trustees Steve Salusso, Kay Keil and Heidi Kessler played an instrumental role in arranging for the show to visit the school, said Boyle.

A true CBS Sunday Morning fan, Boyle said everyone is anxious to see the segment, tentatively set to air on June 15.

“(The show’s) logo is the sun and they show pictures of the sun, so our students drew some for them. CBS took one of the pictures back with them, so we hope they air them,’’ Boyle said.

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Education Reporter who also covers features at The Montana Standard, I am a Cascade-Ulm-Great Falls native. Originally a sports writer, I wrote for the Missoulian and the Great Falls Tribune. I freelanced for The Seattle Times and other NW publications.

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