Friday Update from Superintendent Weltz | November 10, 2023

Dear Families,

Chances are, you will honor and thank a member of your own family tomorrow as we celebrate Veterans Day. I will call my eldest son, Mark, who served in the U.S. Air Force.

Today, I want to thank the many veterans amongst our Helena Public Schools families and staff. Some served earlier in their lives and careers, while others are active military, balancing the demands of family, work and military service to protect and defend our great nation. In their honor, I would like to share highlights of a ceremony by students at Jim Darcy Elementary this week, complete with a flag ceremony, a poetry reading and a performance from the fourth and fifth grade class.

To our veterans on behalf of our Helena Public Schools community, thank you for your service.

This week also brought deeply sad news to our district, as we lost a teacher, colleague and friend with the unexpected death of Helena High School Science Teacher Dave McKim. I would like to extend our sincere condolences to Mr. McKim’s family and his many close colleagues and friends throughout our community.

Our district is focused on supporting students and staff as they grieve this loss.

I’m proud of how our Helena High staff mobilized to selflessly support students in the wake of this difficult news, and I’m heartened to see students and staff from across the district come together to help one another. Counselors will continue to be available at Helena High as needed, as will staff from across the district who are working at HHS temporarily through our crisis response protocols. Thank you to Shodair Children’s Hospital, PureView Health Center and the Helena Indian Alliance for sending counselors to Helena High to work alongside our district counselors.

You may be wondering how you can help. The most important thing we can do as parents and educators right now is check in with our students, keeping in mind that a loss like this can affect even those who didn’t know Mr. McKim.

If you or someone you know needs help, please seek it right away. If you’re aware of a student who needs help, please reach out immediately to your school counselor or health provider.

Finally, please remember and remind those around you that help is always available.

Have a restful weekend with your loved ones,


Signature: Rex M. Weltz

Rex M. Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools

Support Resources

Dial 988 for the Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

Montana DPHHS Suicide Prevention Information & Resources

Tips for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics