Friday Letter from Superintendent Weltz | February 3, 2023

February 3, 2023


Dear Helena Public Schools Families and Staff,

It’s great to see beautiful weather in store this weekend – a nice break for our students and families participating in activities out of town. I want to wish our Bengal and Bruin wrestlers the best of luck as they compete in the AA High School Wrestling Seeding Tournament in Butte.

And bravo to our Capital and Helena high drama students, who are in Missoula showcasing student-written and-directed works at the Montana Thespian Festival. The Capital High thespians will premiere “Opportunity: No Strings Attached,” written by Lou Sechrist and Meils Sigafoos and directed by Ashley Heinrich. The plot begins with “an innocent group of students trying to put on a puppet show … until the puppets have other ideas.”

Helena High will present “The Price of Plush,” a one-act play written by Gibson Grigg and directed by Vesper Bacon. The play chronicles the rise of Ty Warner, originator of the Beanie Babies, proving that “the truth is much stranger than fiction.”

Speaking of truths, if there’s one universal truth of parenthood, it’s that our children grow up way too fast. What seems like a long journey ahead when our child begins kindergarten or heads off to high school goes by in the blink of an eye.

One regret I hear from parents is that they wish they had been more involved at their child’s school. With the second half of the school year already flying by fast, here are some of the many opportunities to participate in your child’s school and classroom.

Do lunch:  Parents are welcome to have school breakfast or lunch with their child for free once a month. This is a great way to get a glimpse into your student’s social life and the culture at your school. When the weather warms up, you can even bring your child’s favorite fast food and enjoy a picnic lunch on the lawn outside.

Visit evening events: From high school to kindergarten, our schools host family events in the evenings throughout the year. Whether it’s an elementary “Cocoa and Books” night or a high school college and career planning event, you’ll have an opportunity to visit with teachers and school leaders.

Help from home: If your schedule is tight, check in with your child’s principal or teacher – or your school’s Parent Teacher Organization – to see how you can get involved from home. You can assemble craft kits, build booths for a school carnival, whip up desserts for the bake sale, or create posters for an event, to name just a few ways to contribute. You’ll get to work with your child’s teacher and other parents.

Chaperone a field trip: Schools of all grade levels need chaperones for field trips and sports events. Contact your child’s teacher or school secretary to learn when they need help. You’ll be part of a fun school memory for your child and will have lots to talk about after the trip.

Volunteer in the classroom: Read a book, help run a science experiment, or assist with a lesson. Your child’s teacher can use your help!

Talk about your career:  If you’re a doctor, coordinate with your child’s teacher to give a presentation on what it’s like to work in medicine. If you serve in the military, talk about why you love what you do. Sharing your talents is a great opportunity to get involved in your child’s school at all ages.

Volunteer for a festival or carnival: This one is guaranteed fun. Man the balloon toss, command the cake walk or take tickets for the dunk tank. Your child will love to see you there.   

Attend a PTO (Parent Teacher Organization) meeting: This is an excellent way to stay in the know and have the opportunity to interact with your school’s principal and teachers.

And last, but not least, check your school newsletter for upcoming events. Family engagement nights, like Central School’s STARBASE night featured in the Independent Record this week, give kids and grownups alike a chance to learn, visit classrooms and interact with teachers.

However you choose to get involved, please know that you are welcome and wanted as part of your child’s school’s community. We hope to see you soon!


Signature: Rex. M. Weltz
Rex Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools