News for the Week of April 14, 2014
Click on the links below to read this week's stories.
1. Superintendent's Weekly Newsletter
May Election - Operational Levy and Trustee Election
April 16, 2014
The May school election will be a mail-in ballot only and ballots will be mailed to all registered voters in the Helena School District on April 21st. The ballots must be received by 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6th. There will be two issues on the ballot - the election of two trustees and an elementary operational levy.
The operational levy is for the elementary district only and the voters are being asked to vote on an increase of $70,000 for the daily operations of the elementary district. If approved, this levy will cost $.99 /year for a home with a market taxable value of $100,000.
The additional funds will assist in the ever increasing day-to-day operations of our elementary schools. Put simply, these are the daily expenses to open the school doors, including staffing, supplies, utilities, curriculum, etc. This year’s request of $70,000 will specifically be directed toward our curriculum budget. As the educational providers for our community, we are continually researching best practices to ensure that more children learn more. The expectations are set high as we know our students must graduate career and college ready. But, in order to be successful, we must provide our staff with the necessary resources, i.e., the curriculum budget.
In years past, the curriculum budget meant textbooks; today however, it is much more. In today’s teaching world, resources are necessary to support professional development, software, and strategies for instructional delivery, intervention, and activities that challenge our students. Helena Schools has worked hard to recruit the best staff; now we need to get them the tools to meet the needs of our youth. In short, the request of $70,000 will go directly toward purchasing these resources.
The second issue on the ballot will be the election of two Trustees. There are three candidates vying for two positions - Aidan Myhre, Cherche Prezeau and Jon Rush. The two positions represent both the high school and elementary district.
So watch your mailbox for the school election ballot that will be mailed on April 21st. This very important election will determine the amount of resources available for our students and will also determine those who will lead our district. Both have a direct effect on the education of our children.
Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Kent Kultgen, Ed.D.
Four Georgians Focuses on the Positive to Benefit Local Charities
Posted: April 8, 2014
Fifth-grader, Lauren Baerlocher, doesn’t miss buying knick-knacks at the school store with rewards she earned for good behavior.
“We don’t need all those dilly dallies and it’s better to help someone than get that stuff,” she said.
A couple years ago Four Georgians Elementary changed how they handle their school store. In the past, students who earned gold nuggets would be able to turn them into the store for prizes. Instead, now each earned gold nugget is an opportunity for the student to donate to a charity.
“It is better that the school is spending money on originations who need it rather than us,” Fifth grader Gavin Nelson said.
The money doesn’t technically come from the general fund budget allotted to the school, but rather the funds are contributed from the parent/teacher organization.
The program at Four Georgians is called Every Person Makes a Difference and Principal Melinda Thompson said earning nuggets has become really meaningful to students and provides an opportunity for the school community to reach the Helena community.
Each quarter three local non-profits are selected by the student body and then donations are made during an assembly to representatives from the organizations by the Husky Rappers, a group of student leaders who serve as role models to others. Donations have been made to a number of area non-profits; some include the Holter Museum, St. Peter’s Foundation, and God’s Love.
Joe Wojton, co-manager of God’s Love, attended the assembly to receive the check and said donations from students have a unique and wonderful twist.
“It was fantastic,” he said. “Anything that comes from the elementary schools has a special meaning because it is kids. They are getting knowledge about social justice issues first-hand. That age of students have such a wonderful outlook on the world with an unfiltered approached to helping people. All they really want to do is help people. It’s so wonderful to see the smiles on their faces when they are presenting the check.”
Elizabeth Marshall is the school counselor and said one of the most touching donations made during an assembly was to the Lewis and Clark Humane Society. Maybe it’s because most children have a heart for animals, but that donation was one of the largest so far at $140 ($70 is about average).
“It’s an awesome way to tangibly connect things they do to the community,” Marshall said.
Thompson said the students haven’t missed the store.
“They feel good about turning their nuggets into helping others,” she said. “Its positive things at school paid forward to do good things in the community.”