Flathead Special Education Cooperative 

PO Box 84 

305 3​rd​ AV E 

Kalispell, MT 59903 



Cheryl Russell, Director  


Phone: (406) 257-1852 

Charmaine Stappler, Business Manager 


Phone: (406) 257-1857  


FAX: (406) 257-4137 



May 1, 2020 

Flathead Special Education Cooperative Staff and Families, 


I hope this letter finds you all safe and healthy. I understand this is an unprecedented time in our 

history and things may feel uncertain as we face our new reality. This too will pass and we will be able 

to have some of our normalcy of routines back in our lives soon! As you know Flathead Special 

Education Cooperative (FSEC) is an extension of our valley-wide rural member schools. We partner 

with 16 rural school districts, which includes 17 schools and our own FSEC school. The final school 

board meetings took place on April 30, 2020 and each school-board within our member school 

districts and surrounding schools in the Flathead Valley voted to continue with remote distance 

learning. I also believe it is in our students’ best interest to remain closed for the completion of the 

2019 / 2020 school year. It saddens me but, the Flathead Special Education Cooperative will not open 

this spring.  


While, we miss our students and families dearly, our number one priority as a school is to always 

protect and serve our students first. Given the Governor’s directive and the stringent guidelines set 

forth by the Flathead City-County Health Department it is extremely impractical to think we can follow 

those guidelines with any kind of fidelity. We would be imposing a risk to our students, staff and 

families if we were to open and that is a risk that can’t be taken.  


Our Special Education Teachers, Related Service Professionals and support staff will continue to 

communicate with our families and students to meet individual needs through remote and distance 

learning opportunities via safe online platforms, packets, phone calls, etc. Our goal is to communicate 

and collaborate with our families and students without the addition of undue burdens. We strive to be 

sensitive to your needs while reaching out to meet our educational mission for our students as best as 

possible. Please feel free to call our office at 257-1857 if you have any concerns or questions.  


We know and understand the hardships distance learning has created for our families, and we are 

grateful for your continued support during such an unprecedented and challenging time.  We 

appreciate your participation and communication with us. Most of all we hope that this is a time 

when you can share laughter, love, joy and make memories as a family that will last a life-time!  


Warm Regards, 

Cheryl Russell

​F​ostering ​S​uccess for ​E​very ​C​hild 

Bissell - Cayuse Prairie - Creston - Deer Park - Fair-Mont-Egan - Fortine - Kila - Marion 

Pleasant Valley - Smith Valley - Somers - Swan River - Swan Lake-Salmon - Trego – West Glacier –  

West Valley