September 2, 2022
Dear Helena Public Schools Families and Staff,
We’re back! It’s been great to feel the buzz in each of our buildings over the past three days. Back-to-school week is always exciting, but what I’m hearing from students and staff this year is optimism and gratitude to be starting a normal school year.
A highlight of this week was seeing the dozens of middle and high school students who ended their summer break a day early to volunteer as leaders for sixth- and ninth-grade orientation programs. Our community can be proud of the resilient, compassionate, and altruistic generation we’re raising. I think you’ll enjoy hearing from some of these young leaders in these stories:
Independent Record: WEB program introduces Helena’s 6th graders to middle school
KTVH: Helena Freshmen welcomed for first day of high school
Helena Public Schools: Welcome back: Reflection and words of advice from upperclassmen
Students also have told me how excited they are to pick up where they left off last spring with clubs, sports, music, theater, and other school activities. If you haven’t already, now is a good time to sign up your child for that after-school class or urge your older students to get involved in a club or sport. This also is a great time to get involved in your school’s parent-teacher organization (PTO) or booster club. Please contact your school’s front office for details on how to get involved.
A few weeks ago, I welcomed our new student representatives to the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees, Loreley Drees, of Helena High, and Keiran Boyle, of Capital High. Loreley and Keiran recently spoke with the Independent Record about what motivated them to become student reps. I hope you enjoy getting to know these outstanding young leaders.
I also would like to share a few updates and reminders:
Testing: Fall Benchmark Assessment testing will begin Tuesday and continue over the next two weeks. Make sure your student gets plenty of sleep and a good breakfast to help them perform their best. Watch for information from your school principal on your child’s testing schedule.
School breakfast and lunch: Charges for school lunch began this week. Please visit mymealtime.com to add funds to your student’s account. This will help you avoid a negative balance. If you’re concerned about covering meal costs, please apply for the Free & Reduced Lunch program. You’ll find everything you need to get started at helenaschools.org/departments/food-services/
Bus Rotation Schedule: Please be sure to visit our Helena Public Schools Transportation site to check your child’s bus rotation schedule. You will also find information on how to seek reimbursement for school transportation costs.
Finally, I would like to thank our parents, teachers, para-educators, and support staff for your efforts to get the 2022-23 school year off and running this week. When we return on Tuesday, we’ll celebrate another special occasion – the first day of kindergarten for the Class of 2036!
Until then, enjoy the long weekend.
Rex Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools