5.00 (16 reviews)
Monarch School believes that personal expression finds many forms, and we offer a comprehensive Fine Arts curriculum through which students learn to explore their creative nature. Students have the opportunity to take drawing, painting, sewing, creative writing, piano, guitar and vocal lessons; each student chooses two creative arts classes per block.
Monarch School challenges our students with a rigorous college preparatory curriculum. We believe all students can fulfill their true academic potential when provided with the right environment and support. Students work with teachers trained to meet each student at his or her level of ability and to challenge that student to excel.
A key component of a Monarch education, the hands-on experience of vocational learning serves to develop a positive work ethic, practice problem solving and planning skills, and raise self-esteem.
“The staff, students, setting, and philosophy of Monarch School form an incredibly unique and nurturing environment that encourages personal exploration and growth. Monarch School students help support and guide one another and the single greatest gift our son received was learning what constitutes a meaningful relationship and developing life-long friendships as a result.” from a Monarch School Parent
- Monarch School was founded to create a College Preparatory School with an educational atmosphere for teenagers that promote Academic excellence, Positive self image, Strong character and Sound reasoning.
- All students must face personal challenges to build a foundation to support these goals and obtain their dreams.
- Through these challenges students learn to persevere, problem solve, assist others to assist themselves and develop strong leadership qualities.
- With the proper mentoring and healthy guidance our students become role models for others and look forward to education for life.
- Monarch School is a College Preparatory School dedicated to bringing the highest quality of education to our students and families.
- To truly reach ones potential and a higher level of academic achievement you need strong character, self confidence and a realistic view of your life.
- Our families and faculty will walk side by side the students during this journey assisting them in the right direction, always there when they fall and to acknowledge their successes and achievements.
- Our curriculum provides many opportunities and learning styles to fit our student`s needs.
- We recognize that many of our students have struggles in traditional settings and have not received the personal attention or guidance to establish proper coping skills or study habits.
- We create an environment supported by exceptional faculty in small class sizes to assist our students to prepare for college.
- Students learn how to self motivate and ask for help.
|School Type||Alternative School|
|School Membership(s)School Assoc.||National Independent Private Schools Association|
Southern Association Of Colleges And Schools (SACS)
Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
Northwest Association of Accredited Schools
|Grades Offered||Grades 9-12|
|Learning Difference Programs||Yes|
|Learning Programs Supported||Mild learning differences, ADD, ADHD, executive functioning issues|
|Total Students||45 students|
|Student Body Type||n/a|
|% Students of Color|
State avg.: 19%
|Students by Grade|
Academics and Faculty
|Total Classroom Teachers||12 teachers|
|Student : Teacher Ratio||4:1|
National avg.: 13:1
|% Faculty w/Advanced Degree|
|Average Class Size||8 students|
|Number of AP Courses||12 courses|
|Classroom Dress Code||Formal|
(Khaki pants, collared shirt)
Finances and Admission
|Admission Deadline||None / Rolling|
National avg.: 85%
|Admissions Director||Michelle McKenna|
- Patrick McKenna founded Monarch School in Heron, Montana, as an all-inclusive college preparatory school. In addition to the college prep curriculum, he and his staff conduct an extensive vocational program to promote consistency and responsibility. Monarch School offers students many extracurricular opportunities, as well, such as an array of day trips, fine arts classes, and personal development courses. Committed to providing a quality education to students, Patrick McKenna and his wife, Michelle, have extended more than $750,000 in scholarships since establishing the school more than a decade ago. To ensure that Monarch School upholds the highest academic standards, McKenna maintains membership with the National Council for Private School Accreditation, the Northwest Accreditation Commission, and the National Independent Private Schools Association.
- Prior to establishing Monarch School, he spent several years in the real estate and construction business. He began working in construction to finance his education at Sacramento State University. While in school, he started his own construction company and quickly built a large business focused on residential and multifamily homes throughout California. After meeting his wife, Patrick McKenna relocated to Princeton, New Jersey, where he initiated a new business, McKenna Homes. He launched a second company focused on foreclosures and real estate development in the early 1990s and later expanded the business to include securities.
- Several years later, the McKennas moved to Sandpoint, Idaho, where they decided to open Monarch School as a way to give back to society. Patrick McKenna had attended a similar school as a child, which had a profound impact on his life and inspired him to create the same experience for others.
Nearby Private Schools
- School Location Miles Grades Students
- Clark Fork Grades: 8-12 | 14 students
3067 Mosquito Creek Rd
Clark Fork, ID 00000
(406)847-4400 0.1 8-12
- Sagle Grades: KG-9 | 12 students
Po Box 953
Sagle, ID 83860
(208)265-5554 24.2 KG-9
- Sandpoint Grades: PK-K | 16 students
1007 Lake St
Sandpoint, ID 83864
(208)255-4121 26.7 PK-K
- Ponderay Grades: NS-8 | 110 students
477954 Highway 95
Ponderay, ID 83852
(208)265-8624 27 NS-8
- Sandpoint Grades: K | 36 students
1900 W Pine St
Sandpoint, ID 83864
(208)255-1514 27.3 K
Thank you for the wonderful pictures, it was great to see you the other day. We had such a nice time with our son enjoying the holiday festivities. He has grown so much it's great to see. Thank you for always offering to be available to us. The warmth of Monarch continues to be a blessing to us. Wishing you and your family happy new year and happy and healthy 17.
- Posted by Parent - Sophia
Just wanted to thank you so much for the opportunity to come and visit the school. It was such an inspirational and incredible trip. In some ways it opened my eyes in ways they couldn`t have been before. It really validated how influential the school has been and is in my life. I hope to come and visit again in April, and I will stay in contact often. I am always sending my love and best wishes up there. You guys have such a huge part of my heart.
- Posted by Student/Alumni - Corey
Thank you so very much for your warm welcome, having the girls join us, the 'tour' and your empathetic heart) There was definitely sweet sorrow in the air; thank you also for allowing us the space to move through that; and to my relief, the support in attending to all those little details in lessening the awkwardness and uncomfortableness of 'the first day. It was an absolutely beautiful drive back along the Clark Fork, I was happy to pull in my drive at the close of the day. Miles to process and contemplate....I came away confident that this absolutely was the right next step. I never knew one could have so many wrestling matches with oneself considering the weight of the decision. I am ever so grateful for Monarch!
- Posted by Parent - Alyza
Three years ago this week our family transitioned from the woods of Georgia to the mountains of Montana so afraid and hopeful. The journey was amazing. We think of Monarch often ~ we learned so much. We wanted to share an update on our son.We enjoy a strong, honest, deeply loving relationship with him as he grows into an independent young adult. He is now a sophomore in College and has been carrying 6 classes/18 credit hours each semester!We just received a letter from his College, informing us that he earned a place on the Dean`s list with a 3.8 GPA! Immediately, we thought of the wonderful team at Monarch and wanted to share this accomplishment.So, thank you. With pride and gratitude.
- Posted by Parent - Sam Elliott
I feel so blessed to have our son in Monarch`s care, that I felt compelled to write this review. What a special place they have created for the lives of young people and their family.We too saw worrisome reviews on websites that made us question all the other great reviews and information we saw and heard about the quality of Monarch`s program. Thank God we trusted our educational consultant and chose Monarch - because we couldn`t be happier.This school is the REAL deal, and from what I`ve learned now that our family has been with Monarch for 4 months, Monarch is actually world class, meaning it`s one of the best boarding schools in the WORLD! That`s certainly how we feel. The level of love, care and expertise can`t possibly be higher and more genuine than it is at Monarch. And every person they have hand-selected for their team embodies this world-class care every day. You don`t just see it; you can FEEL it as I have consistently when I`m there in person or on the phone.But the proof is in the pudding - because in a word, we have our son back. Under Monarch`s caring, highly-trained guidance, our son is a miracle in how completely he has transformed his life. I simply cannot recommend Monarch School enough. There aren`t enough stars to give it - a 5-star review doesn`t do Monarch justice. It deserves all the stars in the universe because Monarch has certainly changed our family`s world!Thank you
- Posted by Parent - Michelle
Now that our son has been home from Monarch School for almost two weeks I have been doing much reflection about his time there - trying to make sense of the experience and what it all meant. Monarch School gave our son and our family many gifts. That is clear to me in numerous ways. But perhaps the most significant gift the school gave to him was the space to be himself. Monarch School gave to our son the room he needed to figure out who he wanted to be (at least at this point in his life). Unfortunately for our son there was no room for that in our community or in our family at the time he left for your school. But at Monarch School, our son could achieve satisfaction from his strengths without being held captive by his weaknesses. And he could have time to grow and develop without the pressure of expectations which existed for him in abundance at home. As for our family, Monarch School gave us the time and the courage to realize that who our son wanted to be was much more important than who we wanted him to be. For that we are thankful.During our son`s tenure at Monarch School he experienced a range of relationships - there were students and staff he liked who became the cornerstones of his tenure there. There were students and staff he liked who moved on to other chapters in their lives while our son was still at school. And there were students and staff he was never particularly fond of. Through it all, the overall positive experience of Monarch School never faltered. It remained a tireless force of growth in our son`s life. Without hesitation I attribute that to the two of you. Early on it was clear to me that Monarch School is bigger than the sum of its parts. It is an environment that stands for something - the pursuit of bringing out the best of the children who go to school there. Both of you are the heartbeat of Monarch School, and your emotional investment and love are the guiding forces that drive the positive and productive atmosphere. For that I am grateful to each of you.I hope you take much pride in having created something that is bigger than yourselves. In every student who leaves Monarch School there is a piece of your work. It is quite a legacy and one of which you both have much reason to be proud.To that end, it would be my pleasure to give back to the Monarch School community as it has given so much to my son and to our family. If I can be of any help to the school it would be my pleasure to do so. I am happy to speak to perspective parents, serve as a parent mentor or provide any other form of assistance to a family who is in the middle of a difficult journey. I would gladly spread the word to those who will listen that there is nothing to fear about their child going to Monarch School, and that most likely they will see the experience the way that I do as the gift we never knew we wanted!I wish you all the best in the future.With gratefulness and appreciation,(Mom of a Monarch School graduate)
- Posted by Parent - andre
Monarch School provided a first class education while taking care of our daughter. She was fighting depression and had low self esteem. Now she is in college and navigating wonderfully. Thank you for bringing our daughter back and giving her the foundation to move on.
- Posted by Parent - mattt
Our daughter graduated last summer and now is now at college and succeeding. We are so proud of the work she has done this year and thankful for everyone at Monarch School for helping us get our daughter back and prepare her for her future. There aren't words to truly say how appreciative we are for all you have done. Thank's to all the faculty and friends we made at Monarch School
- Posted by Parent - patri
Our daughter graduated this year from Monarch School. We were first introduced to schools on the east coast because we asked our educational consultant to find something close to our home in New York. She insisted that we have to at least look in Heron, Montana at a school that is different than anything else we will look at. We were hesitant but made the trip. After meeting the faculty and seeing what an amazing place that existed for families and our children there we enrolled. We only wish that the community and education that the students and family's experience at Monarch School was available to everyone.
- Posted by Parent - patri
Monarch School has been such a blessing in my family's life. Before arriving at the school, my very bright son was failing his classes in a conventional public high school, and was heading in a very scary direction. His friend choice was questionable, and when he decided to attend class, he was often inattentive and disruptive. After spending 10 weeks in a wilderness program, my educational consultant recommended Monarch School, hands down, over all the other schools on her list. The class sizes are very small, about 8 kids per class. In this environment, it is practically impossible for the kids to fail. My son has gone from mainly D's and E's to A's, B's and some C's. They also have vocational crews which each student must partake, such as equestrian, culinary, farming, wood chopping, gardening, etc. I have witnessed so many students transform from troubled teenagers to self-confident young adults who learn to communicate better than a lot of adults I know. They learn study skills, as well as relationship skills. I am grateful beyond measure for the Monarch School, and would highly recommend it for any child with the need.
- Posted by Parent - patri
Our family had nothing but positive experiences while our son was attending Monarch. Not only did our son thrive, our family learned how we could support him better going forward. He graduated the program, got his high school diploma and is now attending college. We are hopeful and so appreciative for everything we all gained from his attendance at Monarch. I highly recommend Monarch to other families!
- Posted by Parent - pttru
"Monarch aided my growth as a student, a son, and a human being. Before I came to Monarch, I held back my potential wherever I could. While there, I came to a greater understanding of why I did these things and what I really wanted to do with my life. Although the program at Monarch certainly helped me to examine myself and realize who I am, it was the people there who really affected me deeply. Teachers, staff and friends really made the experience at Monarch what it was."
- Posted by Student/Alumni - patri
Monarch School provided such a safe, nuturing and supportive enviroment for our son. The facility is amazing and the faculty were truly our heros. This school should be for everyone for the education it provides.
- Posted by Parent - julie
Monarch School preprared my daughter beyound my highest expectations for college and living independently. Though I was a nervous mom when I began this journey, I''m so proud of my daughter and myself for having the courage to trust what Monarch School had to offer.
- Posted by Parent - patri
We are so thankful to have our daughter go to Monarch School. Not only did it bring our family back together it connected our daughter back to her dreams and allowed her to be successful in college so far. I agree with the previous post about ignoring the negative posts or sites that exist about Monarch. They siply aren't true and obviously are from ex-students that never resolved their own issues.
- Posted by Parent - patri
This was the best experirience for our family and daughter. Ignore the negative postings on the internet since they simply are not true.
- Posted by Parent - patri
July 16, 2018
As you’ve been doing your boarding school research, you’ve likely seen ISEE/SSAT score submission requirements for your target schools, and understand how important scores are to the admissions process. Unfortunately, tremendous candidates can get bypassed because they were not able to demonstrate what they knew on test day.
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