Back to School – Are You Ready?
August 18, 2014
It may seem impossible to think that summer is wrapping up and school starts next week, but signs are popping up that summer is coming to an end with the slightly cooler evenings and the local stores advertising discounts on summer items and promoting back to school supplies. These signs remind us that it’s time to get ready.
The back to school season can be met with mixed emotions. It’s a busy time while we try to get in that last boat ride, hike, or vacation day. Many older students are scrambling to finish summer assignments. But for most kids it’s full of excitement to shop for a new outfit and get the backpack ready with new notebooks, pencils, crayons, and yes, even technology; if you have any questions about supply lists or transportation, please contact your child’s school. The teachers are equally excited to get classrooms ready, and attend professional development workshops to enhance their skills and use strategies to ensure academic success.
School officially begins on Wednesday, August 27, 2014. However, the Helena School District has long practiced the staggered start for those entering a new school, therefore in the elementary (K-5), students 1st – 5th start on Wednesday and kindergarteners start the day after Labor Day (Tuesday, September 2nd). In the middle schools and high schools, the 6th graders and 9th graders have the day to themselves as they start on Wednesday while the 7th and 8th graders and 10th – 12th graders begin on Thursday. On Thursday, August 28th all students in grades 1-12 will be in school. This staggered start is a great way for students transitioning to middle or high school to kick off the year. Kindergarteners start late to provide time for home visits for each child.
Thanks to Stuff the Bus, the first day of school won’t be a burden to families with limited means who are concerned about their children having the required school supplies. Stuff the Bus is a collaboration between The Angel Fund, First Student Bus Company, Helena churches, businesses, service clubs and other agencies that collects school supplies throughout the summer for students in need. Students and parents can find out more information by contacting their school or go to the Angel Fund web site at http://www.angelfundhelena.org/StuffTheBus.
Elementary Bond -- Central School Update
Just a quick note to give you an update on what is happening with the Elementary Bond, which has been delayed. As you know, the Board of Trustees on June 25, 2014 voted to delay, or technically recall, an elementary bond election this fall because the Helena City Commission must decide on the whether the Helena School District can demolish Central and build a new school. The district’s pre-application meeting with the City is this Tuesday, August 19th at 6:30 p.m. The City will advise the school district what is required in the application. The school district will then complete and submit the final application to the City Commission. The city will have 60 days to respond from the time the application is submitted. If you would like to comment on what happens with Central School, the city will be providing public hearings in the weeks ahead. The Board intends to move forward on the elementary bond to address the critical elementary facility needs in the future.
This is truly an exciting time of year as both staff and students come back together to energize one another for another year of learning. Schools are an institution for us and besides preparing us for life, the memories last a lifetime. No matter how long it has been since your first day of school, I bet you can remember the smell of a freshly waxed hallway, newness of a classroom or the shiny gym floor. All bring back memories and all are there for our students to experience next week. Enjoy the last few days of summer and know that we too are anxiously anticipating the first day of school.
Thank you so much for entrusting us with your child’s education.
Kent Kultgen, Ed.D.