Broadwater provides a safe, positive, and engaging learning environment so that ALL students can become responsible and productive members of their community.
We are passionate, inquisitive, and creative; learning to be best we can be.
We value perseverance, integrity, compassion, balance and fun.
We will inspire joyful, rigorous learning and foster physical, emotional, and academic wellness as a collaborative community.
Please read the student handbook as there is information about our school, district, and policies that are pertinent to your child and their environment as well as their behavior.
Broadwater uses a weather station located at the school as the source of information used to determine temperature decisions at Broadwater School.
There are a number of things families can do to help keep their children healthy and in school:
In addition, to help keep our school community healthy please keep your student home if:
If you have questions or concerns about school health, please feel free to contact our school nurse.
Broadwater Elementary School acknowledges and honors the original peoples of the Prickly Pear Valley and surrounding area, the Sélish, Ktunaxa (Kootenai), Qlispe (Pend d’Oreille), and Niitsitapi/Pikuni (Blackfeet). Many Tribal Nations came to this shared hunting ground including Apsaalooke (Crow), Tsetsêhesêstâhase/So’taahe (Northern Cheyenne), Ojibway (Chippewa), Ne-i-yah-wahk (Plains Cree), Nimiipuu (Nez Perce), Lakota, Nakoda, Dakota, Anishinaabe and Métis (Little Shell Chippewa), A’aninin (Gros Ventre), Shoshoni (Shoshone) and the many Indigenous people who call Helena home today. It is an honor to serve the children of our community as we treasure knowledge and traditions from the past, explore the present together, and build the future collectively.
Broadwater Elementary School was first opened in 1893. It was originally built to provide more space since nearby Hawthorne Elementary was unable to house the increasing number of students in the area. Land for the school was purchased from the estate of Colonel Charles A. Broadwater, a local businessman who had recently passed away. He had spent three decades working to improve the city of Helena, and in his honor, the school continues to bear his name.
Charles A. Broadwater
Arriving in 1866, Colonel Broadwater was a major figure in early Helena History. “Col. Charles A. Broadwater epitomized the self-made man…a member of Montana’s pioneer generation, and his career reflected the American success story—the ascent to riches.”[i] He was involved in many businesses, including cattle, wagon freighting, banking, and railroads. He was one of the ‘Big 4’ along with Marcus Daly, William Clark, and Samuel Hauser, who worked for Montana’s statehood, finally accomplishing the goal on November 9th, 1889. Col. Broadwater was perhaps best known in Helena for creating the luxury spa destination, The Hotel Broadwater and Natatorium. Although the original structures no longer stand, you can still enjoy a soak in the same natural hot springs in that location today. Students still enjoy swimming in the Broadwater pools!
The original Broadwater Natatorium with Mount Helena in the background
In 1893, The Board of Education Trustees paid $3,300 for the purchase of the land, and construction was begun shortly after.[ii] The building cost a total of $10,980 to construct, which was $1,020 under budget and completed that same year. The newspaper proudly reported that, “there has not been a dollar of extras.”[iii] Containing six rooms, it was ‘built of pressed brick and stone, and is one of the handsomest and most substantial appearing structures on the west side’.[iv] In fact, the structure was so ‘substantial’ that it survived the 1935 earthquakes with less damage than many of the other buildings in Helena.[v]
According to neighbors, when there were discussions to close the school after the earthquakes and send students to other locations, they banded together to insist that the building be rebuilt/expanded and continue to serve this community. The original building was replaced in 1942, with additions added in the subsequent years to meet the needs of increasing population during the Baby Boom years. The original building was demolished in 1943, and materials sold to be used in other building projects.[vi] Rumor has it that people still own bricks from the original Broadwater Elementary School. Although construction projects have changed the look of the school building over time, the 900 block between Hollins and Peosta Avenues has served this community since 1893, and will continue to serve Helena students for many years to come.