Friday Message from Superintendent Weltz | October 14, 2022

Dear Helena Public Schools Families and Staff,

Next week, we’ll celebrate one of the district’s most essential support services for Helena families as the SACC program marks its 30th anniversary.

After the last bell rings each day, hundreds of elementary students head to SACC – School Age Child Care – without having to leave their school. Parents finish their workday knowing that their kids are safe, nourished and engaged in positive activities. Kids enjoy crafts, games, music, play and time to finish schoolwork or read. Low-cost tuition and the availability of scholarships through our community partner, Child Care Connections, help level the playing field for working parents.

SACC families are invited to celebrate the program’s three decades of service at their schools on Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 4 to 6 p.m. We look forward to this opportunity to thank the unsung heroes of our remarkable SACC staff.

The celebration coincides with National Lights on Afterschool Week highlighting the importance of quality afterschool programs for kids, families and communities. Governor Greg Gianforte has issued a special proclamation recognizing Oct. 17-21 as Lights on Afterschool Week in Montana:

“Afterschool programs provide young Montanans with innovative, hands-on opportunities to engage in their learning and connect with caring adults and peers in a safe and supportive environment … Nationally nearly 25 million families report that they would enroll their child in an afterschool program if one were available,” the proclamation reads.

SACC, which is supported through its own tuition fees, is among the oldest school-age childcare programs in Montana. The program currently serves more than 350 students at each of our 11 elementary schools. Our district’s ability to expand the program is limited, however, by our ability to recruit caring and qualified staff. And we’re not alone. Staff recruitment and retention were cited as the top two concerns of afterschool care providers nationally in a recent survey commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance.

The workforce crisis also affects our ability to recruit paraprofessionals, substitute teachers, bus drivers, custodians and other essential school support staff. If you’re interested in serving our children in any of these roles, please contact our Human Resources Department at 406-324-2010 or visit the HPS Human Resources website.

Student & Staff Recognitions

Turning to student and staff recognitions, congratulations to our Capital High girls and Helena High boys for their crosstown cross country victories and to our Helena High Volleyball Team on their 3-0 win at yesterday’s crosstown match.

And best of luck to our Bengal Girls and Bruin Girls and Boys soccer teams as they enter the state playoffs, which begin next week.

I also would like to recognize more of our Bengal and Bruin musicians who will head to Bozeman next week to perform at the All-State Band, Chorus and Orchestra Festival. The music students auditioned for the festival last spring. In addition to practicing and performing with Montana’s top high school talent, they’ll have the opportunity to work under collegiate-level guest conductors. See the full list of musicians on our Student & Educator Recognitions page.

Arts and Entertainment

In other arts and performance news, tickets are now available for the return of the Crosstown Musical which runs the weeks of November 10-12 and November 17-19 at the Capital High Auditorium. All performances start at 6:30 p.m.

The HHS and CHS drama departments are bringing back the beloved Broadway Musical “Annie.” Buy tickets at the door or order online through revtrack.

But first, Shakespeare is coming to town. On October 25, actors with Shakespeare in the Schools, part of the Montana Shakespeare in the Parks program, will treat Capital High students to a performance of “Macbeth.” Students who are interested will also have the opportunity to participate in theater workshops. The troupe will give a repeat performance at Helena High on October 26.

Shakespeare in the Parks will return to Helena on Friday, November 4, with a performance of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Revised),” described as a “high-octane performance” that spans 37 plays in 90 minutes. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Helena Middle School Auditorium. Admission is free.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend and remember that there’s no school this Thursday and Friday, Oct. 20 and 21, as our teachers participate in educator conferences!


Signature: Rex M. Weltz

Rex Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools