Q: When will the school district announce what phase we will open in come August 26/27?
A: An exact date for determining the precise format of our return has not yet been determined. Given changes locally across the past fourteen days, we are not comfortable making this decision with a span of five weeks between now and our scheduled start to the school year. Additionally, we have been advised by health professional that making any decision this early would be a gamble that may cause more confusion in the end. Rather, we will continue to work closely with our heath partners as we collectively seek to slow the spread in our county and state. Please note this important set of local public health indicators monitored and provided by Lewis & Clark Public Health on a weekly basis (website). As we move towards August, we will be carefully monitoring these Helena-specific indicators as well as positive cases per day/week and our overall percentage rate of active infections.
Q: Will face masks be required for students in school?
A: Yes, masks will be required for all students and adults on campus (in phases 1 and 2) unless a documented medical or behavioral reason restricts the use of a mask. While schools were not automatically included in Governor Bullock’s recent directive, we have made the decision to align in this state-wide effort as masks are one of several needed precautionary practices that slow the spread of COVID-19 and promote better community health. Cloth masks are preferred and should a student or adult need a mask, schools will be able to provide this protective resource. However, students and employees are welcome to bring/use their own mask. Please view the CDC guidance pertaining to face masks for more information. Please also note than bandanas and other loose-fitting facial coverings will not be accepted as sufficient protection.
Q: Will an entirely remote (online) option be available?
A: Yes, as noted in last week’s update, a digital only option will be available for any student and family interested in attending school via a remote learning environment (regardless of phase). We are targeting an early August sign-up date for families interested in this option. As a general overview, students and families that choose to remain involved via a digital option will retain their enrollment in their current grade and school (they will not lose their “spot” in their home school). Students will receive instruction from designated teachers including grade-level consistent content and resources. Additionally, students attending via a remote environment will have full access to our Helena Public Schools curriculum, materials and technology. Upon return from this remote option, students will retain their enrollment in their current school and will be able to rejoin their classes and grade level peers. Additional information including sign-up options are forthcoming but in the interim, please know that this option is being actively planned for the coming school year.
Linked is the most recent version of our 2020/2021 Opening of Schools Plan. This document remains a work-in-progress as we seek to improve and refine plans and details. Please continue to send suggestions to Planning2020@helenaschools.org.
Read the latest update on planning for the 20/21 school year along with some FAQs on getting back to school.
As of last Thursday, our Helena Public Schools have been on Summer Break for one month. In that time, our planning efforts have intensified to include nearly one-hundred volunteers, across eight teams, that are involved on a daily basis as we prepare for the forthcoming 2020/2021 school year.
This week's update provides information on bus transportation for the 20/21 school year, state and national guidance, and an additional family survey to be sent.
With the end of the 2019/2020 school year, our attentions have turned full-time to planning for the forthcoming 2020/2021 school year.
On behalf of all of my colleagues here in the Helena Public Schools, I want to say thank you.
Click to view a number of helpful resources when talking through these matters as a family.
Information for each School Board of Trustees candidate published originally in the Helena Independent Record.
The two voted levies are on the spring ballot specifically designed to support the Helena Public Schools. Both of these levies align with the district’s general fund, one for our elementary district and the other for our high school district. The general fund supports a majority of the district’s needs associated with our schools. For example, the general fund accounts for a majority of our employee salaries including our outstanding educators, administrators, paraeducators, and support staff who work directly with our children every day.
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.
The last few weeks has brought the ingenuity and creativity of our educators into the spotlight.
The Helena Public School District recently was awarded with a spot on the Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll District by College Board.
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.
The Helena Public Schools continues to work with local and state health officials in monitoring COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in the Pacific Northwest, Montana, and locally in the Helena area. To date, Montana’s only patient under investigation tested negative for COVID-19.
You can register your soon-to-be driver until January 16.
Calling all future Helena public school students and the class of 2033! Registration is now open for next year’s Kindergarten class.
Nineteen students represented Capital High School at the recent Region IV Business Professionals of America competitions.
The latest in a long line of achievements, Helena High Computer Science Educator, Buffy Smith, recently received Congressman Greg Gianforte’s Spirit of Montana award during Computer Science Education Week.