December 21, 2022
Dear Helena Public Schools Families and Staff,
Based on the extreme low temperatures forecast for tomorrow morning, I have made the decision to cancel school and all extracurricular activities districtwide tomorrow, December 22.
I appreciate your flexibility as we’ve monitored weather conditions in concert with our state, county and city partners over the past 24 hours and responded accordingly as conditions warrant.
Please do not send your student/s to school tomorrow morning, as all school buildings will be closed.
As a safeguard, each of our schools will have at least one staff member present tomorrow morning in the event that a student is dropped off or arrives unattended.
We’re currently assessing whether the district will need to make up lost classroom time and will provide further information when we return in January.
As we finish out the last school week of 2022 a day early, I also want to thank our students, staff and families for all you’ve done to make this a strong and positive school year.
You are raising young people who embody our district mission to graduate competent, productive, responsible and caring citizens, as evidenced by their outpouring of generosity for those in who need support this holiday season.
Last week I recognized the generosity of students who supported the Capital High Food Drive sponsored by the CHS National Honor Society and Student Council. Today I’m pleased to report on Helena High’s Holiday Basket project, which has been a school tradition for more than 20 years.
The Helena High Student Council and their supporters put together the “baskets” for 47 students and their families. But to call them “baskets” is a bit of an understatement. These are actually large storage bins filled with all the fixings of a holiday dinner – stuffing, gravy, potatoes and more – plus a gift card to Van’s Thriftway. In addition, the bins are filled with tuna fish, peanut butter, cereal, pasta, soups and other food to carry families through the Winter Break. Families picked up their bins at Helena High yesterday and today.
Meanwhile, at Capital High, the Niceness is Priceless student club together with the Peer Mentoring Class adopted families in need at every school in the district. Christina Sieminski and Erin Cleveland, both teachers at CHS, helped organize the wide-reaching Adopt-a-Family project. Students created trees with gift tags for the families and placed them in businesses around Helena: Hub Coffee, 1889 Coffee House, Scenic Brew and Birds & Beasley’s. Whatever was not purchased by our generous community, was then purchased outside school hours by Sieminski, Cleveland, students and their families, as well as many giving community members.
The Adopt-a Family project served a total of 26 families throughout the district, with CHS students helping purchase, wrap and deliver the gifts to each school.
Thank you to all of our generous students, staff, families and supporters – from kindergarten to high school to grandparents – for supporting your community.
I look forward to a great start to our 2023 school year when we return on Tuesday, January. 3. In the meantime, may the spirit of giving and gratitude carry you through a happy, safe and joyful Winter Break.
Rex Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools