Broadwater Mission Statement:

Broadwater provides a safe, positive, and engaging learning environment so that ALL students can become responsible and productive members of their community. 


Our Vision:

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.


We have four Universals that guide our actions on our journey:

  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible
  • Be Safe
  • Be a Learner

Student Handbook:

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.

Elementary Handbook 2022-2023



Snowy Playground

Broadwater Temperature Guidelines

  • Above 10 degrees–no restrictions
  • 10 degrees to zero–duration of recess may be limited and announced
  • Zero or below zero–indoor recess
  • Wind chill factor is considered in determining outdoor recess.

Broadwater uses a weather station located at the school as the source of information used to determine temperature decisions at Broadwater School.

Petri Dishes

Keeping Kids Healthy

There are a number of things families can do to help keep their children healthy and in school:

  • Remind your children to frequently wash their hands; before they eat, after they have recess and after they use the bathroom. Proper hand washing is the single most important behavior in preventing the transmission of many infectious diseases
  • Avoid close contact with children and adults who are showing signs of illness
  • Check with your health care practitioner about immunizations for those diseases that can be prevented with vaccination ie: Influenza, Chicken Pox, Pertussis, etc.
  • Remind your student to cough into her/his elbow or shoulder

In addition, to help keep our school community healthy please keep your student home if:

  • S/He has a fever of 100 degrees or over
  • S/He appears ill and you suspect it may interfere with his ability to be an active learner ie: s/he is coughing repeatedly
  • S/He has nausea and vomiting, cramping or diarrhea (wait 24 hours before sending back to school)

If you have questions or concerns about school health, please feel free to contact our school nurse.

History of Broadwater Elementary School

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!

Broadwater Natatorium

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.

–Jodi Delaney

  • [i] “Chapter One: Charles A. Broadwater: Entrepreneur and Helena Visionary.” Helena, Montana: the Queen City of the Rockies and the Broadwater Hotel, by Patricia C. Spencer, Arcadia Pub., 2002, p. 9.
  • [ii] “Broadwater School.” The Helena Independent, 30 June 1893, p. 5. Accessed through Chronicling America, Library of Congress
  • [iii] “The Broadwater School.” The Helena Independent, 28 Oct. 1893.  Accessed through Chronicling America, Library of Congress
  • [iv] “The Broadwater School.” The Helena Independent, 28 Oct. 1893.  Accessed through Chronicling America, Library of Congress
  • [v] Montana Historical Society. “Broadwater School Was Solidly Built.” The Independent Record, 27 Apr. 1986, p. 2C.
  • [vi] Montana Historical Society. “Broadwater School Was Solidly Built.” The Independent Record, 27 Apr. 1986, p. 2C.

Photo Sources:

  • Charles A. Broadwater (Shelten photo) and Broadwater Natatorium:  Paladin, Vivian, and Jean Baucus. Helena: An Illustrated History. Montana Historical Society Press, Printed by Walsworth Publishing Comapny, Marceline, Missouri, 1983.
  • Broadwater School:  Schroeder, John W., and James R. Graff. Historic Helena: An Early-Day Photographic History of Montana’s Scenic Captial City. Thurber Printing Company, 1964.  Copyright by Home Building and Loan Association, Helena, Mont.