District News Archive

Posted on May 19, 2020

Virtual Field Day!


Join us all week as we celebrate (Virtual) Field Day 2020. We’ll post activities throughout the week, and we invite you to post the results on our Facebook event or tag #virtualfieldday2020. Share with your friends so they don’t miss an activity!


Three Legged Race
– At least 2 people
– Something to tie your leg to your partner’s leg (rope, shoelace, bandana, etc.)
– Timer if you are going for time instead of racing against someone else.
– Objects to mark the start and finish line

1. Tie your leg to the leg of your partner (use legs that are touching if you are standing hip to hip)
2. Establish a start and a finish line
3. On go, race with your partner to the finish line. If competing against another group, the first one across the line wins
(while still as a partner group). If you are going for time, use a timer to see how fast you can go!

Around the World
– Object able to be thrown (like basketballs, playground balls, rolled up socks, stuffed animals, etc.)
– Basket
– 5 Objects to mark shooting spots

1. Set up 5 spots that you will be shooting from (diagram on the side)
2. Starting at spot 1, shoot until you make it into the basket
3. Once you are successful, move to spot 2. You get two tries to make it at spot 2. If you make it, move to spot 3, if not, move back to spot 1 and start again.
4. Keep track of how many shots it takes to get all the way to spot 5. The person who makes it around the world in the fewest shots, wins!

Balance Ball
-Ball large enough to sit on (Basketball/Soccer ball/exercise ball or any other that is large enough to sit on)

1. Get a family member to time you.
2. Sit on the ball without your feet or hands touching the ground.
4. Time how long you can sit on the ball without touching the ground.
5. Try to break your high score or beat a family member’s time.

Bouncy Pencils
-At least 2 pens
-8 cups
-Table/Hard surface to set cups on

1. Two people are needed to play the game
2. Set up four cups side-by-side on your side of the table
3. Fill all four cups roughly 1/4 full of water
4. On go, try and bounce your pen into each of the four cups on your side.
5. First person to make your pen into each cup, wins!
-If pens are not working, you can also try ping pong balls, quarters, or other objects that you can bounce off of a table.

Cookie Face
– Someone to play against
– Cookies (Oreos work great)

1.Get a cookie and someone to play against. Or, you can time each person who is play-ing.
2.Each person takes one cookie and puts it on their forehead.
3.Try to get the cookie into your mouth without using your hands.
4.The person who can get their cookie into their mouth the fastest without using his/her hands is the winner!

Egg Spoon Race
– Table
– Spoons
– Eggs

1. Figure out distance you want for your starting line (about 10 steps works great)
2. Each Player puts an egg on their spoon
3. Someone says “GO”
4. Players race to the table with their eggs on their spoon
5. Player who gets their egg on the table first without dropping or cracking the egg wins!

 Egg Toss QR codeEgg Toss
-Eggs or something similar that is small and that you can throw

1. Get your partner and your egg
2. Stand three feet or one big step apart to start
3. Toss the egg to your partner.
4. If your partner catches the egg, each person takes one big step back.
5. Keep tossing the egg until it drops, breaks or you run out of room.

You can play against other teams. The team that keeps the egg from breaking the longest is the winner.

Fastest Kid at School
-Markers for a starting line and a finish line. This can be anything you have at home.

1. Put any object at one point where you would start at.
2. Then take 25 big steps in a STRAIGHT line and put the other object there.
4. Go back to the beginning and have somebody time how fast you can run from the first object THROUGH the second object.

Fence Ball
-Tennis Racquet
-Tennis Ball (or something similar)
-Garage door/side of house (or something similar)

1. Get a tennis racquet and a ball, or something you can strike with the tennis racquet
2. Find a partner
3. Find an open wall or side of your house
4. Create a temporary boundary on the ground as big as you want

1. Choose someone to serve the ball first
2. The winner of each point serves the ball
3. The ball must bounce before hitting the wall when serving
4. A point is scored when a player cannot return a shot that bounces off the wall and bounces inside the boundaries
5. Only one bounce is allowed before returning the ball
6. First player to 21 points wins (can vary amount of points you are playing to)

Rocking the Bucket
-Hose or squirt gun
-4 buckets or similar objects
-20 rocks or similar objects

1. Set up the buckets roughly 10 yards apart with two at the starting line, filled with 10 objects each, and two at the other end.
2. On go, put a rock on your spoon and race to get it to the other bucket without dropping it or getting sprayed with water.
3. If you drop the object, you must go back to the start and attempt to make it across the yard again.
4. If you get squirted with the squirt gun, you must freeze for 10 seconds and then try to make it across again.
5. First one to have all 10 rocks/objects into the other bucket wins.
6. If you have a 10 second penalty for being squirted, the squirt gun person can not target you for 10 seconds after you are able to run again.

Super Soaker Race
-Hose or squirt gun
-Objects to mark a start and finish line
-People to participate with you!
-Probably dry clothes afterward 🙂

1. Establish your start and finish lines so everyone knows where they are
2. Fill up your squirt guns or have the hose on and ready to go
3. On go, try and race across the yard without getting wet! Use your dodging skills and spatial awareness to see where the water is going.
4. If you get sprayed, you must wait 10 seconds before you can run again.
5. People with the water have to stay stationary on the side of the yard.
Try it as a relay as well!

Posted on May 4, 2020

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week

It may no longer be the 2020 Teacher Appreciation Week, but we’ve compiled a list of posts from our Facebook page with the help of our educators, administrators, and families.

Warren principal, Tia Wilkins, writes, “Happy Teacher Appreciation week! Since we don’t get the opportunity to celebrate in person the Warren students wanted to do something extra special for you this year. Thank you for being the dedicated educators you are!”  Click HERE to check out the video!

Via our Facebook Page from parent, Stasha Frederickson, “We LOVE and appreciate our educators so very much! I have a kindergarten student and fourth grader at Kessler Elementary School, a 6th grader at C R Anderson Middle School and a 9th grader at Capital High School. We are so grateful of all the work those teachers put in all year, but especially right now during this chaotic and uncertain time. THANK YOU!!!”

How about a standing ovation for all our music teachers?! This is Four Georgians School music teacher, Carson Yahvah, helping students retain their love of music and stay active. Four Georgians parents and teachers are so lucky to have Mr. Yahvah! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTbi6al_rHg&feature=youtu.be

Here’s a shout out to Smith Elementary Kindergarten Teacher, Amy Hasselbach: “I want to give a shout out to Ms. Hasselbach – Kindergarten teacher at Smith Elementary. She has gone above and beyond to be there for her kiddos in these difficult times. She is always available for extra time in the week. My daughter was so upset last week because she didn’t understand something. Within minutes. we had Ms. Hasselbach on FaceTime helping her and being there with her. My daughter has an iep and needs extra help at times and I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher to help us during remote learning. My daughter seems to be staying caught up and aside from my assistance, we wouldn’t be where we are without her along with Ms. Compton (special education) and Ms. Sidensticker (speech therapy). This teacher is a rockstar and deserves a shout out. Thank you so much.” Christy DeSpain

Helena High School Principal, Steve Thennis, shared some encouraging words for his team. “In honor of Teacher Appreciation week, I just want to say thank you. I am so honored to work with all of you. This is a hard job and we have been through enough tough times, but you always kept kids at the center of what you do. Thank you for inspiring your kids each and every day and thank you for inspiring the professionals around you as well.” Thanks for all you do, Steve!

With remote learning in full effect, our teaching community has expanded to parents and grandparents. Here’s a special message from Jefferson Elementary School HSD1 Helena MT 59601 Principal, Lona Carter. “This week is National Teacher’s Week, and at Jefferson it is a week that we always celebrate our teachers and para-educators who work tirelessly every day to serve your children. Today, we would like to celebrate all of you parents and grandparents who have partnered with us to educate your children during this extraordinary time of COVID-19. We SO appreciate your efforts and support!”

According to CHS parent Kim Ranger(and us!), Capital High Special Education Teacher, Derik Reed needs a shout out. Here’s the note: “I would like to acknowledge Derik Reed from Capital High School. He has been fantastic with his students in Biology Class. He holds virtual class twice a week, allows students time to ask questions and complete their assignments while in session. He has encouraged students to ask for help by email, cell, or other means. He shares weekly what is happening with the parents. He offered extra credit for students with a virtual session on Yellowstone National Park that tied in with the chapter they were studying.

He communicates and asks students to reflect on what the current situation means/is doing to them and their families. He asks how they are doing and shares his thoughts and concerns as well.

It is appreciated with a child that needs extra support and isn’t getting it in the same manner as if he were in class, but is getting it through other means with Mr. Reed.”

What a great message about the compassion of Teachers from CHS Science Teacher, DeLacy Humbert! “As a teacher myself. I couldn’t survive without my fellow teachers. Working at Capital High in the science department has me brought numerous friends and some of the most dedicated, enthusiastic, wonderful people into my life. I recently had some health issues and the people of my school stepped up and helped me out! They provided me money, time and the confidence to know that my students would be ok. Thank you to all my fellow teachers!”

The Helena Middle School Student Council put together a wonderful video for their teachers! Click HERE to watch!

The Currier Family told us a fantastic story, and we can’t wait to share it with you! “We think that Central School Upper Montessori teacher Tony Napoletano deserves a shout out. In addition to leading his students in Remote Montessori learning, he’s logged countless miles on his bicycle delivering literature circle books to each of his students not once but TWICE during this time. It so great that they can keep reading and improving their literacy skills by studying a novel together-apart. Thank you, Tony! You set a great example with your love of reading and your love of cycling!”

Parent (and CRA educator) Kelly Sheridan shared a great story with us. “I wanted to share about Jay Partridge who is an AP American History teacher at CHS. He has been absolutely phenomenal. Every single day, he gives a live and interactive lecture. He has really not missed a beat.

This morning, he was reviewing for the AP exam. He spend around 75 minutes reviewing with the students and answering each question thoroughly and specifically. As a fellow teacher, it really warmed my heart to see an educator really making this work!”

A HUGE shout out for Jim Darcy Teacher, Ashlee Mihelish, came from an anonymous parent who nominated her for a LifeChanger of the Year Award from National Life Group. A portion of the nomination reads, “Ashlee was meant to be a kindergarten teacher! She exemplifies everything I was hoping for in a teacher for our child when they started elementary school. She has an extremely warm, welcoming face first thing in the morning, and she constantly communicates about how our child is doing. She always keeps us updated on our child’s progress. We felt not only comfortable, but very lucky to have her.” You can view the full nomination and leave Ms. Mihelish a note HERE.

The Helena School District Librarians have prepared a special message for our teachers! Get your pencils ready to write down all of these recommendations!

Bryant Elementary Principal, Trish Klock, put together some wonderful works for her team. “There are not enough words to describe how truly proud I am of the amazing staff at Bryant. They not only are exceptional educators but outstanding people. They value relationships and connections just as much as they value the academic material they are teaching. It is a true honor to call them colleagues and to watch the work they do each day! You ROCK Bryant Panthers!” We couldn’t agree more! We Bryant!

Here’s another shout out to one of our fantastic educators! This message came from parent, Amber Dushin, about Four Georgians School teacher, Madisen Hamper. “I just wanted to send a note to let you know what a fabulous job Madisen Hamper is doing during this time of on-line learning. I know this is such a difficult time for everyone but she is so organized and has personalized the daily lessons so well. Even though they aren’t able to be together as a class, Madisen has taken the time to record her lessons so it is as close to being in class as possible. Her daily lesson plans are so easy to follow which helps immensely. She has also taken the time to have TEAMS meetings in small groups and I know Ellis has really enjoyed that, seeing her teacher and classmates. I just wanted to send a note to let you know how impressed I am with Ms. Hamper during this new learning journey.” Way to go, Ms. Hamper!

The Jefferson Parent Council put together a wonderful message for teachers. Grab a box of tissues, and enjoy on YouTube.


Posted on April 24, 2020

Helena school district records 8th year on AP Honor Roll

The Helena Public School District recently was awarded with a spot on the Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll District by College Board.  In short, we are one of the top 250 districts across the nation in terms of the increase in students taking on AP classes and how our students are performing in those classes based on a national bar for rigor.  These factors are assessed over a three-year period to determine whether a district qualifies for the award.

This is the eighth year in the last ten the Helena School District has received this recognition – an impressive feat.  To put it into perspective, the next closest districts in Montana have received a spot on the Honor Roll only twice.

According to District Superintendent, Dr. Tyler Ream, “This is a significant accomplishment as there are only a few opportunities to benchmark across the nation.  To be one of the top 250 performers in this regard should be a significant point of pride for everyone in Helena.  The credit certainly goes to our students for taking on these challenging courses, to our educators for their efforts in leading the way, and to our parents and families for the support they provide.”

The value of AP classes has been researched and proven for students entering further education and the workforce post-graduation.  According to College Board, “AP students learn essential time management and study skills needed for college and career success.  They dig deeper into subjects that interest them and learn to tap their creativity and their problem-solving skills to address course challenges.”

The Helena School District currently offers 18 AP classes at our high schools.

Posted on April 17, 2020

Winter Sports Teams earn Academic All Team honors

MHSA has announced today that three winter sports teams from Helena have been named MHSA/Montana Army Nation Guard Academic All Teams for the winter sports season.

This award recognizes the team in each sport, at each level of MHSA play, whose varsity team student athletes obtain the highest average GPA in the state.  Congratulations, teams!

  1. Girls Basketball – Helena Capital GPA 3.88
  2. Boys Basketball – Helena Capital GPA 3.56
  3. Wrestling – Helena Capital 3.216
Posted on April 10, 2020

Be an Artist with your Snacks

The Helena School District Wellness Committee invites you to be an artist with your healthy snacks this month.  Here are a few ideas for inspiration!

Artist healthy snacks