August 26, 2022
Dear Helena Public Schools Families,
I hope you’ve squeezed every bit of fun and family time you could out of this beautiful summer.
As we head into our final weekend of summer break, I’d like to share a quick list of dates, events, and resources to help get your school year off to a smooth start.
We’ll begin welcoming students and families back into our buildings on Wednesday, Aug. 31, which is the first day of school for grades 1-5, sixth graders, ninth graders, and Project for Alternative Learning (PAL) students.
Grades 7-8 and 10-12 will start the following day, Thursday, Sept. 1.
Kindergartners will return after Labor Day Weekend on Tuesday, Sept. 6.
School schedules, including start and stop times (bell schedules), remain the same as last year and can be found on your school’s website (visit helenaschools.org and scroll down to find your school). Remember that we have early dismissal on Mondays! If you need to make a final back-to-school shopping run, you’ll also find school supply lists.
I also would like to share the link to our 2022-23 District Calendar, which includes key dates for the year ahead as well as stories about what make our Helena Public Schools special. You’ll be able to pick up a handy print version at your child’s school. Please take one calendar per family.
A quick reminder that there are changes to our bus schedules and school meals this fall. If you haven’t already, please visit helenaschools.org to see details and find resources to help navigate these changes. We want to help match your family with the resources you need for a happy, healthy, and successful school year.
Here are a few more back-to-school events to watch for:
September 11: Helena Education Foundation Carnival Classic, 11 am – 3 pm at Memorial Park. Don’t miss this great opportunity for kid-friendly fun!
September 12: Helena High School Homecoming week
September 26: Capital High School Homecoming Week
Back-to-School Open Houses will begin the week of Aug. 29. Please check the 2022-23 District Calendar for your school’s date and time and watch for announcements from your school.
Other important fall dates for your school include picture day, walk-to-school day, and parent-teacher conferences (PTCs).
If you have a first grader this year, watch for your school’s Fabulous Firsts event, when families are invited to read books with students. The Helena Education Foundation will provide a brand new, hardcover book to each first-grader to take home.
This is also a great time to get involved in your school’s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). There are endless ways to make a difference, whether you’d like to volunteer at a school event, manage your PTO’s social media outreach or take on a leadership role. Check the calendar or your school’s website for meeting dates and information on how to get involved.
Finally, please join me in welcoming our new Helena Public Schools staff as you return to your family’s school or schools next week. Find the names of new staff at your school at this link and take a moment to say hello.
Today was orientation day for our new Helena Public Schools teachers, which included breakfast and a ride on the Last Chance Tour Train to visit our community partners. The new teachers also enjoyed lunch with their professional mentors. We’re deeply grateful to our event sponsors, the Helena Education Foundation and Valley Bank, for giving our new educators this opportunity to connect with their schools and colleagues.
As I shared with these impressive new educators, teaching is not just a job for us at Helena Public Schools; It’s a way of life. That passion shines through in this inspiring welcome back message to our teachers from Four Georgians Librarian Chelsey Davis, who is the Helena Education Association (HEA) Teacher of the Year. Congratulations to Chelsey, and HEA Para Professional of the Year, Ben Racicot, of Jim Darcy Elementary!
I wish you a wonderful weekend and, if you’re in town, come help us cheer on our Helena High Bengals tonight at 7 pm at Vigilante Stadium as they take on Great Falls High at our first home game of the year.
See you next week!
Superintendent, Helena Public Schools