Friday Message from Superintendent Weltz | October 7, 2022

October 7, 2022


Dear Helena Public Schools Families and Staff,

I’m happy to wrap up this beautiful autumn week by sharing some great news. Effective Monday, the district will end rotating bus route suspensions. I would like to thank Helena Public Schools Transportation Department Director Tom Cohn and his team, as well as our transportation contractor, First Student, for their driver recruitment and training efforts. All routes are now staffed, and we’ll continue to focus on recruitment of safe and responsible bus drivers.

I’m especially grateful for our families who stepped up to help us navigate the ongoing driver shortage. I know the route suspensions have been difficult to juggle with busy schedules and your efforts are much appreciated. Please know that you helped other families by allowing us to avoid canceling some routes. Thank you.

A resounding sentiment I’ve heard as I’ve visited our schools this fall is how happy students and staff are to return to normal in so many ways. Meanwhile, as we put the worst of the pandemic in the rearview mirror, we continue our intense focus on closing pandemic-caused learning gaps. These efforts are possible because of the remarkable work of our staff coupled with the federal COVID-19 relief funding the district received through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, or ESSER.

ESSER has been in the headlines recently, as many schools nationwide have been slow to spend billions of dollars of this relief funding. I want our families and community to know that your public school district is spending these tax dollars – with most already disbursed – and is spending them to support our community’s kids. To that end, I shared details in a guest editorial in the Independent Record this week and encourage you to learn how Helena Public Schools has put ESSER dollars to good use.

In other great news, we’re proud to formally congratulate our Capital High School Boy’s AA Golf State Champions! Way to go Brus! If you see a City of Helena firefighter, please help us thank them for taking the team on a firetruck victory loop through town yesterday. And congratulations to the Capital High Boys and the Helena High girls who prevailed at the cross-town soccer matches this week.

We’ll have more opportunities to cheer on our home teams at the Cross-Town Cross-Country meet at 4 p.m., Wednesday, at the Bill Roberts Golf Course; and at the Cross-Town Volleyball matches on Thursday, at 7 p.m., at Helena High.

I’d also like congratulate Helena High School vocalists Lyla Ackerman, CJ Flugge and Aaron French who were selected for the 2022 All-State Honor Choir! We’re grateful for the work of HHS Choir Director Molly Steele, who helped these talented musicians achieve this elite honor.

Our high school students have also been busy this fall with volunteer activities. Our Bengals volleyball and football teams arrived at elementary schools early Wednesday morning to help with Walk & Roll to School Day. And thanks to all who walked, skipped, scootered, biked, trotted on a leash, or otherwise participated in this fun family event. We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful morning for families to gather on our playgrounds.

Meanwhile, the Bengal’s Jobs for Montana Grads (JMG) group is hard at work on the 10th Annual Helena High School Trick or Treat event on Halloween night. Little ghouls and goblins can enter through the Gym Door, Entrance #21, starting at 5 p.m., for a warm, safe and not-so-scary trick-or-treating experience. Donations of canned and boxed food will be accepted for Helena Food Share. The event ends at 7 p.m.

Looking ahead, the Exchange Club of Helena will hold its 25th Annual Coats for Kids Benefit Event at the Great Northern Hotel on Saturday, Nov. 5. Mark your calendar and call the babysitter now so you can enjoy this fun event to help kids stay warm this winter.

Wishing you yet another beautiful fall weekend!


Signature: Rex M. Weltz


Rex Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools