Friday Message from Superintendent Weltz | June 7, 2024

Good Afternoon Families,

As we close out the school year, I have a bittersweet message to share.

I’ll start with the bitter.

On Tuesday, our Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a series of budget reduction recommendations that will have real and lasting impacts on our students and staff.

While our Board has the best interests of our students at heart – and is trying to preserve as many opportunities for them as possible – Trustees are legally required to create a balanced budget.

The Board must cut more than $2 million from our budget for the 2024-25 school year. In other words, things will look different for our Helena Public Schools next year.

I will provide a detailed overview of the Board’s decisions and how they will affect students and staff as soon as possible after Tuesday’s meeting. As always, the meeting will be open to the public and will be streamed online.

I want to once again thank the Budget Recommendation Consensus Committee for their work over the past year to develop the list of reductions under consideration by the Board. The volunteer Committee was formed to ensure that these difficult budget decisions would be careful, thoughtful and inclusive. I also want to thank the parents, staff and community members who have provided input over the past year at public meetings and via email.

Our district is not alone at this budgetary crossroads, as AA districts across Montana face multi-million-dollar shortfalls due to an outdated state school funding formula that is falling further and further behind the actual cost of providing education.

Throughout the summer, I will continue my work with a coalition led by the Montana School Boards Association to seek school funding solutions for the 2025 Legislative Session and beyond.

And as we move forward with funding solutions, we will need your help. I firmly believe that we can pull together as a community and a state to support our schools for this and future generations of students.

This brings us to the sweet part of today’s message, as we celebrate the growth we saw in our students this year.

Our students continued to excel in 2023-24, outperforming state averages in reading, math and science across the elementary, middle school and high school grade bands. Outside the classroom, families watched students achieve new milestones through school activities – be it overcoming a shy streak to sing out in an elementary school performance, or learning to ski on a middle school field trip.

Meanwhile, our high school students collected thousands of pounds of food, held blood drives, mentored younger students and gave back to our community in many other ways. Always competitive at the state and national level, they brought home top award in academics, athletics, photography, speech & debate, science, drama, business development and many more.

Our staff also earned state and national recognitions, reflecting the excellence and high level of training and expertise that defines our Helena Public Schools educators.

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to our students, staff, volunteers and families for making the 2023-24 school year a success.

As you start your summer, I hope you will take time to relish the successes and growth that we have achieved together this school year. Everything you do to support your child factors into their success at school and we are grateful.


Signature: Rex M. Weltz, Superintendent






Rex M. Weltz, Superintendent
Helena Public Schools

Final screening dates available for KinderSprouts public preschool program

Final screening dates, ending June 28, are now available for the district’s new “KinderSprouts” public preschool program.

Created under House Bill 352 passed by the 2023 Legislature, KinderSprouts is an early literacy intervention program for four-year-olds. The Legislature funded this public pre-school program with the aim of ensuring that all Montana students have the opportunity to become proficient readers by the third grade.

Caring relationships, hands-on activities and interactive play will help students develop the learning skills they need for a solid start to kindergarten and beyond! Students must be four years of age by September 10 to participate and, as required by House Bill 352, must be admitted via a screening process to determine whether they would benefit from early literacy intervention.

As required by law, all screenings must be completed by the end of June.  Sign up now for a free screening to determine if your child is eligible.






Pre-registration is now open for Helena Public Charter Schools

The “Mount Ascension Learning Academy” charter school will offer students in grades 6-12 a choice of virtual learning courses or a blend of virtual and in-person classes. Interested families will be provided guidance to help identify the best learning options for their student’s needs. All courses will be taught by certified in-person and virtual instructors. Pre-register at

The Montessori Charter School is offering Montessori kindergarten. Families who are interested in Montessori kindergarten for the 2024-25 school year are asked to complete the pre-registration form to be entered into a lottery for a slot.

For more information, contact Valice Stevens at 324-2047.






All children ages 1-18 are eligible for free-of-charge summer meals

Registration is now open for delicious, nutritious meals free of charge this summer.

Meals will be served out of the “Munchtana Food Truck” June 10 through August 16 (no meals July 4-5) at convenient park and school locations throughout the community. All children ages 1 to 18 are eligible, regardless of income. Registration is simple and is required only once before receiving the first meal.

This federally funded program, offered through the district’s food vendor, Sodexo, provides breakfast and lunch as well as multi-day food packs. Please click here to register and see new times and locations!