• SUPERINTENDENT UPDATE CENTER

     

    Dan Rispens  Dan Rispens, District Superintendent

                                               (Photo by Thom Bridge, Independent Record)


     

  • 1.27.23

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!!!  Here’s your update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    Parent Teacher Conferences for EG/PPE and EVMS next week

    Winter P-T Conferences are upon us as we get rolling next week with EG/PPE and EVMS Conferences.  Parent teacher conferences are your best spot to get connected with your child’s teacher and school.  Principals, counselors, and specialty staff will be on hand on conference nights to assist with questions you may have about your child’s education.  In East Helena, our goal has always been 100% participation in P-T conferences, and we are encouraging families to plan now to attend.  If you have a question about your conference day or time, please reach out to your child’s teacher or school for assistance.  Below are the dates for all P-T conferences:



    Winter Parent-Teacher Conferences Dates (Some have changed from the school calendar)

    EG/PPE

    January 31st and February 2nd

     

    Radley

    February 7 and 9

     

    EVMS

    January 30 and February 1 

     

    EHHS

    February 27 and March 1 4-7 pm both days

     

    Families in Need

    2023 has not started out so well for some of our East Helena families. One of our 1st graders at PPE, Harper, has recently been diagnosed with auto-immune and chronic liver ailments.  Harper’s mom is a counselor at Warren School and her aunt teaches here at Radley School.  The staff and students of PPE have organized a “Hats for Harper '' Day next Wednesday, Feb 1.  On Hat days, students can donate a dollar and wear a hat all day at school.  All money received will be donated to Harper's family to help with travel expenses and medical costs. Eastgate, PPE, Radley, and EVMS are all doing Hats for Harper on Wednesday.  EHHS will also be doing a fundraiser for Harper next week with details to be announced at school.

     

    Health issues have also affected the Walsh family.  Mrs. Walsh is a 7th grade math teacher at EVMS and has taught math to  hundreds of EHPS kids over the years.  Recently her husband was diagnosed with a brain tumor that is proving difficult to treat.  The family has significant expenses related to medical costs and travel.  Fellow staff members at EVMS have arranged a “Go Fund Me” for Mrs. Walsh and her family.  Anyone who would like to participate can find the details at this link. 

     

    Parent College

    Your EHPS crew is bringing back “Parent College” this year.  Parent college is a fun night for parents to come into the schools and learn about a variety of topics.  School staff and area experts will present informational sessions related to healthy living and parenting, how to plan for college, how to spot signs of suicide and depression, and signs of drug abuse to name a few.  Mark your calendars for Mar 9, 2023 from 5:30  - 8:00 PM.  More details will be shared as plans firm up. 

     

    (Repeated Item) LaCrosse Opportunity For Area Youth

    Helena Youth LaCrosse is taking registrations for the 2023 season.  Visit helenalacrosse.com for more information or to register.

     

    (Repeated Item) New Year - New Pay Rates at the EHPS

    At their regular school board meeting Monday night, the EHPS School Board approved new pay rates for several positions with the schools.  This action adjusted the starting rates of pay for several positions.  We are currently advertising for classroom paraprofessionals and bus drivers and have several positions open.  You can find the application at this link.  

     

    There are many benefits of working for the school district such as: helping kids succeed, having  a schedule similar to your kids (Holidays and weekends off), paid leave, a retirement plan,  and health benefits.  Here are the new hourly pay rates which took effect this week:

    • Kitchen Aide - $13.65

    • Paraprofessionals - $14.90

    • School Secretary - $16.65

    • Bus Drivers - $17.90 (We will train you!)

    • Custodians - $15.90

    • Tutors - $20.90

     

    (Repeated item) Soccer Camp Opportunity

    The EHHS Vigilante Soccer Program will be hosting indoor youth soccer camps in late February and early March.  The camps are open for students in grades 1-8 and the cost is $25/athlete.  For more info about the dates, times and how to sign up, go to: Vigilantesoccer.com or click here for the website.

     

    (Repeated item)  Valley Drive Bridge Work

    We have been informed by the county that the Valley Drive preliminary widening work will begin this spring break at the canal bridge on Valley Drive.  Valley Drive will be closed to through traffic the entire week of Spring Break, March 25 - April 2.  Please plan accordingly.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens




     

    1.20.23

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!!!  Here’s your update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    Content is light in this week’s supt update, but I am including a lot of items from last week in case you missed it.  Have a great weekend everyone!

     

    LaCrosse Opportunity For Area Youth

    Helena Youth LaCrosse is taking registrations for the 2023 season.  Visit helenalacrosse.com for more information or to register.

     

    (Repeated Item) New Year - New Pay Rates at the EHPS

    At their regular school board meeting Monday night, the EHPS School Board approved new pay rates for several positions with the schools.  This action adjusted the starting rates of pay for several positions.  We are currently advertising for classroom paraprofessionals and bus drivers and have several positions open.  You can find the application at this link.  

     

    There are many benefits of working for the school district such as: helping kids succeed, having  a schedule similar to your kids (Holidays and weekends off), paid leave, a retirement plan,  and health benefits.  Here are the new hourly pay rates which took effect this week:

    • Kitchen Aide - $13.65

    • Paraprofessionals - $14.90

    • School Secretary - $16.65

    • Bus Drivers - $17.90 (We will train you!)

    • Custodians - $15.90

    • Tutors - $20.90

     

    (Repeated Item) Winter Parent-Teacher Conferences Dates (Some have changed from the school calendar)

    EG/PPE

    January 31st and February 2nd

     

    Radley

    February 7 and 9

     

    EVMS

    January 30 and February 1 

     

    EHHS

    February 27 and March 1 4-7 pm both days

     

    (Repeated item) Soccer Camp Opportunity

    The EHHS Vigilante Soccer Program will be hosting indoor youth soccer camps in late February and early March.  The camps are open for students in grades 1-8 and the cost is $25/athlete.  For more info about the dates, times and how to sign up, go to: Vigilantesoccer.com or click here for the website.

     

    (Repeated item)  Valley Drive Bridge Work

    We have been informed by the county that the Valley Drive preliminary widening work will begin this spring break at the canal bridge on Valley Drive.  Valley Drive will be closed to through traffic the entire week of Spring Break, March 25 - April 2.  Please plan accordingly.

     

    (Repeated item) EHHS GRADUATION!

    Graduation Day: Friday, June 2 - 6:30 p.m.

    Eligible to Walk: All those who have completed the EHPS graduation requirements (22 credits). This includes senior students who are remote learning for the year. 

     

    (Repeated item) Proposed 2023-24 School Calendar

    The EHPS calendar committee is nearing the end of their work on the 2023-24 academic attendance calendar for the East Helena Schools.  In most ways the proposed calendar is similar to past years with typical holiday and spring breaks.  One key difference in next year’s proposed calendar is an earlier start in August than usual and an earlier dismissal in the spring than usual.  The proposed calendar starts school on August 23, 2023 and completes the year on May 31, 2024.

     

    You can view the proposed calendar at this link.

     

    We are interested in your comments and parent input.  If you have thoughts or comments about the 23-24 calendar, please email Dan Rispens or Brian Kessler.   

     

    The 23-24 calendar is set to be considered by the EHPS school board at the February meeting.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    1.13.23

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday the 13th!!!  Here’s your update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    3 Day Weekend

    There is no school Monday, January 16.  Enjoy the 3 day weekend!!!

     

    2023 State Tax Donations to schools

    Did you know you have the option to direct your anticipated 2023 state income taxes directly to the school district as a donation for innovative programs rather than paying the money into the state?  The 2021 legislature established HB 279 to accomplish just that.  HB 279 allows you to make a donation of an amount up to your total 2023 tax bill directly to the school district and receive a dollar for dollar tax credit for the same amount from your tax bill a year from now.  The district is obligated to use the funds to benefit students through creative and innovative programs.  Here are some important details:

    • Individuals or corporations can donate up to $200,000/year 

    • The aggregate total per year for the entire state is set at a $2,000,000 cap this year.  Last year the $1,000,000 cap was met in less than 5 minutes from the time the donation portal opened, so it is important to contact the district  about your donation prior to the portal opening date of 10:00 AM on January 18.

    • Your donation will be earmarked for “innovative Educational Programs.”

    • You are required to provide:

      • Your name

      • Last 4 of your social security number or Federal Employer Identification Number

      • Mailing address, physical address, and email address

     

    Once we have the info ready we can try and enter the donation into the Dept of Revenue portal when it opens at 10 AM on Wednesday, Jan 18.  If we get it submitted prior to the statewide threshold being met and exceeded, you will receive a confirmation # and receipt for the 2023 tax filing.  If the threshold is met prior to us getting the donation entered, you will receive your donation back.

     

    Questions?  Call Dan or Kim at Central Office, 227-7700.

     

    New Year - New Pay Rates at the EHPS

    At their regular school board meeting Monday night, the EHPS School Board approved new pay rates for several positions with the schools.  This action adjusted the starting rates of pay for several positions.  We are currently advertising for classroom paraprofessionals and bus drivers and have several positions open.  You can find the application at this link.  

     

    There are many benefits of working for the school district such as: helping kids succeed, having  a schedule similar to your kids (Holidays and weekends off), paid leave, a retirement plan,  and health benefits.  Here are the new hourly pay rates which took effect this week:

    • Kitchen Aide - $13.65

    • Paraprofessionals - $14.90

    • School Secretary - $16.65

    • Bus Drivers - $17.90 (We will train you!)

    • Custodians - $15.90

    • Tutors - $20.90

     

    Amber Alert Test

    When a child is abducted under life threatening circumstances, seconds count. An AMBER Alert can be issued to alert the public to assist law enforcement in searching for and saving the child.  This year, Montana is recognizing its 20th anniversary of Montana’s AMBER Alert program.  Since 2003, Montana has launched 54 AMBER Alerts and fortunately all 76 children have been located. 

     

    We want to make sure Montana’s AMBER Alert system works well when we need it, so on Friday, January 13th, 2023 at approximately 10:00 am, a live test of Montana’s AMBER Alert system will be conducted.  During the test, a message will be broadcast on cell phones, Montana Broadcasting TV & radio stations, the National Weather Service Emergency Alert System and NOAA Weather radio, the MT Lottery, and the MT Department of Transportation road signs and 511 information line.  Action by the public during the test is not required. However, if you did NOT receive the test message on your phone, you can notify us at the following website:  https://dojmt.gov/ambertest/ [dojmt.gov]




    Winter Parent-Teacher Conferences Dates (Some have changed from the school calendar)

    EG/PPE

    January 31st and February 2nd

     

    Radley

    February 7 and 9

     

    EVMS

    January 30 and February 1 

     

    EHHS

    February 27 and March 1 4-7 pm both days

     

    Soccer Camp Opportunity

    The EHHS Vigilante Soccer Program will be hosting indoor youth soccer camps in late February and early March.  The camps are open for students in grades 1-8 and the cost is $25/athlete.  For more info about the dates, times and how to sign up, go to: Vigilantesoccer.com or click here for the website.

     

    Valley Drive Bridge Work

    We have been informed by the county that the Valley Drive preliminary widening work will begin this spring break at the canal bridge on Valley Drive.  Valley Drive will be closed to through traffic the entire week of Spring Break, March 25 - April 2.  Please plan accordingly.

     

    EHHS GRADUATION!

    Graduation Day: Friday, June 2 - 6:30 p.m.

    Eligible to Walk: All those who have completed the EHPS graduation requirements (22 credits). This includes senior students who are remote learning for the year. 

     

    Proposed 2023-24 School Calendar

    The EHPS calendar committee is nearing the end of their work on the 2023-24 academic attendance calendar for the East Helena Schools.  In most ways the proposed calendar is similar to past years with typical holiday and spring breaks.  One key difference in next year’s proposed calendar is an earlier start in August than usual and an earlier dismissal in the spring than usual.  The proposed calendar starts school on August 23, 2023 and completes the year on May 31, 2024.

     

    You can view the proposed calendar at this link.

     

    We are interested in your comments and parent input.  If you have thoughts or comments about the 23-24 calendar, please email Dan Rispens or Brian Kessler.   

     

    The 23-24 calendar is set to be considered by the EHPS school board at the February meeting.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens



     

    1.6.23

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here’s your update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    Water Quality Update

    I wanted to offer a quick update regarding the ongoing water issue with the City of East Helena domestic water supply.  The City has assured us they are continuing to work through the process of installing an anti corrosion system at the Wylie Well pump site.  Their plans have been submitted to the State DEQ and are awaiting final approval to proceed.  

     

    In the meantime, the East Helena Education Association tested several random bottle fill stations in the district to check for copper and lead.  One station at the high school tested high for copper.  Further investigation discovered that the bottle stations at EHHS were ordered and installed during construction without the filtration option.  

     

    Here’s what we are doing:

    • We are ordering bottled water for EHHS for all students and staff who want or request it,

    • We are ordering filtration systems to add on to all bottle fill stations at EHHS so all district bottle fill stations will be filtered,

    • We are working with a  water quality specialist who will devise a random monitoring testing plan to continue keeping tabs on school water until the city system is installed and functioning properly,

    • We have ordered a filtration system to be installed in the Radley kitchen where all school lunches are prepared.

     

    I will continue to provide updates to parents as things unfold.

     

    Lego League Volunteer Opportunity

    Montana FIRST Lego League is seeking volunteers on January 21, 2023 to serve as judges, referees, scorekeepers, and other roles for our 2023 qualifying tournaments in Helena. FIRST volunteers share their time, talent, and enthusiasm, making a difference in the lives of students across Montana. Volunteering is easy--the links below contain a pdf with a description of roles.   NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!

     

     

    Helena College

    1115 North Roberts Street

    Helena, MT 59601

    QT Hosts: Matt Beckstrom, Jamie Dushin, Katherine Senecal, Kinsey Varuska

     

    Sign Up Here:  VOLUNTEER

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens




     

     

    1.1.23

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here’s your update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    Parking Lot Safety

    School starts back up tomorrow!  I am hoping that all students, parents and staff had a restful holiday break.  Schools will be open tomorrow, and staff will be ready to welcome students back to campus.  If your family is extending the holiday break, please remember to notify school offices of student absences.

     

    I am happy to report that our facilities weathered the Christmas storm and frigid temps pretty well.  The one area of concern remains ice in parking lots and on streets around the schools.  The up and down temperature swings of the past week or so have made it pretty difficult on our facilities and maintenance crews.  In spite of our best effort to get ahead of it last week, the ice build up kept melting slightly, absorbing sand, and refreezing to a nice smooth sheen for the following day.  If you’ve been out and about in the Helena area for the past few days, you’re keenly aware of the situation all around.  So I am writing to ask for your patience and caution tomorrow as school restarts.  Bus lanes, Parking lots, and some sidewalks may have icy patches that require extra attention. 

     

    Planning ahead, allowing additional time, and using common sense and patience can go a long way towards ensuring a smooth restart to school and to 2023!

     

    Happy New Year!!!

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

     

    12.21.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here’s your update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    Kindergarten and Kindercubs Registration

    Starting Jan 2,. 2023 parents of new kindergartners can register for school at  Eastgate.  Please help us get the word out.  Students must be 5 years old by Sept 10, 2023 to qualify.  Go to this link to find a detailed information letter from Mr. Crusat and the link to the online registration site.

     

    Parents of students who will be 4 years old by Sept 10 can apply for consideration for the Eastgate Kindercubs program, an opportunity for early start kindergarten for 4 year olds.  Go to this link for more information and the online application. 

     

    2023-24 Student Tuition Requests

    East Helena Public Schools continues to be a family friendly environment for our students, parents and staff.  As a testament to the quality of our school district, I can report to you that there are more than 200 non-resident children taking advantage of non-resident tuition attendance agreements. This desirable educational setting has created high numbers of requests to enter EHPS and forced the School District to limit the number of students that can be enrolled under a tuition agreement.  It is possible that the board may change our tuition policy later this spring and the Montana Legislature is also looking at changing the laws that govern non resident enrollment and tuition policies.  But for now,  The school district will begin accepting Tuition Agreement Applications starting on Monday, January 2, 2023 for the coming 2023 - 2024 school year.  

    Please understand that filling out an application does not guarantee admittance, and that  board policy or state law may change prior to the 23-24 school year.

     

    METG Annual Meeting

    The Montana Environmental Trust Group held their annual public meeting Dec 13.   The information provided gives us a glimpse into the future of East Helena and next steps in the reclamation project at the old Smelter site.    Below is an update from the meeting with links to information content for interested residents:

     

    East Helena residents and other stakeholders,

     

    Thanks to all who attended our public meeting last week at the METG office or joined virtually on Zoom. We appreciated the opportunity to hear from the community and provide updates about our work at the East Helena Smelter Site, including the slag reprocessing project and redevelopment activities around the Site. 

     

    The meeting presentation can be found on our website https://www.mtenvironmentaltrust.org/  at this link. For more information on Site-related projects, see the 2022 update fact sheet here

     

    We welcome you to forward this email to anyone who couldn’t join the meeting but may be interested in the materials.

     

    If you have questions or comments, please contact Cindy Brooks, METG managing principal, at cb@g-etg.com or 617-448-9762. To be added to the Site contact list, send your email address to Anna Novikova at an@g-etg.com



    Holiday Break

    I sincerely hope that all of our EHPS Families enjoy some much needed R and R over the holiday break.  School is dismissed at 1:30 PM today.  We will be open and ready to welcome students back Monday, January 2, 2023.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of our EHPS teachers, staff, students and parents/guardians. See you next year!

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    12.18.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Hello EHPS parents!! Here’s a special update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    EVMS Bomb Threat

    I want to let parents know that we received a bomb threat yesterday regarding EVMS.  

     

    The threat was delivered to a student via an anonymous social media post.  

    • The student shared it with a  substitute teacher who sent it to Mrs. Morris.  

    • Mrs. Morris shared it with me and SRO Criner.  

    • Mr Criner notified dispatch and officers were almost immediately on scene at the vacant school.  

    • Sheriff’s deputies met with the student and his mother and attempted to trace the threat.  

    • The MT Highway Patrol dispatched a special K9 unit, bomb sniffing dog to EVMS.

    • The dog and his handler searched the entire school and cleared the scene as safe.

     

    The reason I am sharing this is that I am aware that many kids are probably aware of the threat via social media etc and I want  parents to know the true timeline and the lengths that school officials and law enforcement go to to ensure our schools are safe.  There may be students in our community who are concerned about going to school tomorrow, but I want parents to know that the school has been checked and cleared by law enforcement.  

     

    The Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office will continue to investigate the threat, and if we are able to identify the perpetrator, school consequences and legal proceedings will take place.  It’s important for kids to know that what may seem like a harmless prank or threat has to be taken seriously by authorities and these false alarms waste valuable resources and time.

     

    Cold Weather is here 

    Looking at the forecast, we are in for some subzero temps this week.  If you’ve been outside today, you know that the arctic air is already arriving, but a review of the forecast shows that there is certainly more to come this week and parts of our school district are likely to see -40 temps later on.  Here are some important tips to consider:

    • Our transportation crew will work hard to keep buses rolling, but extreme cold takes its toll on equipment.  If there are bus cancellations or delays, we will send messages out via our messaging system. 

    • Students should not be left alone in the cold at bus stops.

    • Inside recesses are sure to happen this week at all schools.

    • It is possible but not likely that student activity trips will be canceled due to cold weather.

    It’s key to bundle up and enjoy our Montana winter (Which actually STARTS Wednesday!)  Safety first and common sense are very important when cold weather strikes.  Also, don’t forget to check in on elderly or infirmed neighbors during these difficult times.

     

     

    Holiday Happenings

    Here’s  partial rundown of the remaining concerts and programs:

    • Mon Dec 19 - Eastgate Christmas Program at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM at EG

    • Tues Dec 20 - EVMS 8 Choir and TIGER Choir at 6:00 PM;  Band concert at 7:00 PM at EVMS

    • Weds Dec 21 - Early Release - Holiday Dismissal

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    12.16.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!! Here’s your weekly update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    Happy Holidays

    On behalf of the EHPS Staff, I want to wish all of our EHPS families a joyous and happy holiday season.  It is my sincere hope that you’re able to enjoy some quality family time during the school break and that kids and staff can return to school in 2023 ready to teach and learn together.  School will dismiss Wednesday at the early release time (1:30 PM). 

     

    EHPS School grants 

    In our regular school board meeting Monday evening at PPE, the school board received information from the central office about a few of the grants we receive and the positions funded by them.  The district receives a significant amount of grant money each year to supplement our programs and offset local taxes.    

     

    The table below shows some of the information shared:

     

    Grant Name

    Approx Annual Amt

    Positions Funded

    Expires in

    MCLSDP

    $450,000

    2 teachers

    Sept 2024

       

    1 Instructional Coach

     
       

    3 Instructional Tutors

     
       

    1 Paraprofessional

     

    Title 1

    $397,315

    3 Teachers

    Ongoing

       

    2 Instructional Tutors

    Depends on

       

    2 Paraprofessionals

    F/R Lunch Count

    Title II

    $87,260

    3 Instructional Coaches

    Ongoing

       

    50% Salary

    Depends on

         

    F/R Lunch Count

    21st Century

    $110,000

    all TIGER Program staff

    This Year -

    After School

       

    Applying to renew

    Summer School

       

    Depends on F/R Lunch count

    Title VII

    $33,599

    Portion of Indian Impact

    Annual

    Indian Ed

     

    teacher salary

    Depends on native

         

    student count

    ELC Re-opening

    $140,000 Total

    .6 Nurse

    One time only

    DPHHS

       

    COVID money

    JROTC

    $47,295

    JROTC Instructor

    Program dependent

     

    One concern we have moving forward is that many of these grants expire within the next 2 years.  Additionally, programs like Title 1 and 21st century are dependent on free and reduced lunch percentages being above certain thresholds to continue to qualify.  Our one-time ARP/ESSER (COVID Relief) funding also expires or must be spent by fall of 2024.   All of this creates a perfect storm of potential financial trouble, and you may hear school districts talking about a “fiscal cliff” that we are falling off of in 2024.

     

    Your local school board is working hard to prepare and plan for these upcoming hardships and may be asking for your support.  From the school office, we’ll be trying to do our part to share information in an understandable and transparent way so the community has the full picture.  

     

    Student successes

    Speaking of this week's board meeting, it was great seeing members of the East Helena High School FFA Chapter come and report to the board about FFA activities and events. Watching our young people grow and develop their skills in new and exciting ways has been a real treat during my career here in East Helena.  Additionally this week, I was able to see the 3rd grade Holiday Program at Radley School which was super, and today we had the EHHS Choir come caroling at Central Office.

     

    Seeing our students perform in athletics, music, robotics, leadership activities, or other events is always an exciting reminder that, although we are always focused on academics and core skills, it’s the arts and activities that create a well rounded education program.  It’s encouraging to see kids getting involved and participating in these enriching activities. 

     

    Holiday Happenings

    Here’s  partial rundown of the remaining concerts and programs:

    • Mon Dec 19 - Eastgate Christmas Program at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM at EG

    • Tues Dec 20 - EVMS 8 Choir and TIGER Choir at 6:00 PM;  Band concert at 7:00 PM at EVMS

    • Weds Dec 21 - Early Release - Holiday Dismissal

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    12.09.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!! Here’s your weekly update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    What is SWATTING?

    SWATTING is essentially a prank call to authorities reporting something bad like a mass shooting in progress at a school, place of business, or residence.  The idea is to harass and upset people by getting a bunch of law enforcement etc to descend upon a particular site.  This week in Montana, there have been multiple SWATTING reports affecting schools.  Locally there was a call about Capital High School today.  Our law enforcement officials expend a significant amount of resources evaluating and navigating these types of reports to determine their validity.  These are resources that could be used doing other things like preventing other crimes or keeping people safe.  For some reason, it appears that many of the Montana SWATTING calls have originated from outside the USA, but there is a growing concern that our own kids could get the idea that this is a fun thing to do to upset the school schedule.  Parents can help by being aware of kids’ conversations on the subject and discussing the serious nature of these types of infractions with our kids.  Thanks!  

     

    SB 99 - EHPS policy #2335 - Annual Notice 

    Much has been made in statewide media recently about SB 99 and its impact on schools.  The law, which was passed in the last legislature and is now being enforced in schools across the state, requires an annual notice to parents regarding the instruction on the topic of human sexuality.  It also requires a 48 hour notice prior to any event or introduction of materials for human sexuality instruction.  Last month, your EHPS School board adopted policy 2335 on second reading which takes the law and puts it into our local policy book.  The week’s supt update is our annual notice for the 22-23 school year regarding policy 2335.  

     

    Before getting too deep into the details, I want you to know that, although many districts are complaining about the onerous requirements and vague details in SB 99, our local district has always put a high value on teacher-parent communication.  Especially regarding something as sensitive as this topic.  We always want to work with families to ensure that  we are working together to meet our curricular obligations while honoring your family’s viewpoints and providing the best education possible for your kids.  So in addition to this notice, I want to encourage all parents to be open and communicative with their child’s teacher(s) and/or principal if you have special requests regarding human sexuality instruction and your child.  

     

    In the East Helena Public Schools, these are the classes in which age appropriate instruction is scheduled to occur on the topic of human sexuality:

    • Grades 5-8 Health and PE

    • Grade 7 science (biology)

    • Grade 10 Health and Biology classes

    • Grade 11-12 Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology 

     

    Additionally, it is possible that class discussions on the topic of human sexuality may occur in some middle school and high school literature and history classes as well as our high school psychology classes.

     

    If you have questions about the nature of human sexuality instruction in your child’s classes, the best plan is to reach out to the teacher and principal and request more information.  Parents are welcome to review materials prior to instruction and, if desired, your child can be given an alternate assignment and be excused from the instruction on a given day.  

     

     

    Holiday Happenings

    Here’s  partial rundown of upcoming concerts and programs:

    • Mon Dec 12 - EHHS Choir Concert at 6:00 PM at EHHS

    • Tues Dec 13 - EHHS Band Concert and Art Show  -  Art Show at 5:30 and concert at 7:00 PM at EHHS

    • Thurs Dec 15 - 3rd Grade Christmas Concert at 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM at Radley

    • Mon Dec 19 - Eastgate Christmas Program at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM at EG

    • Tues Dec 20 - EVMS 8 Choir and TIGER Choir at 6:00 PM;  Band concert at 7:00 PM at EVMS

    • Weds Dec 21 - Early Release - Holiday Dismissal

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    12.02.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!! Here’s your weekly update from Superintendent Rispens.  

     

    Early Release

    Our next Early Release is coming Monday, December 5.  Schools will dismiss students at 1:30 Monday (1:20 PM dismissal at EHHS) to allow teachers time to collaborate and work on ensuring our curricular alignment K-12 is in order and meeting expectations.    

     

    Holiday Happenings

    With the EH Christmas Stroll kicking off the season Thursday night, it’s safe to say “It’s the Holiday Season!”  Over the course of the next 2 ½ weeks we’ll see a flurry of events and activities in the schools.  Here’s a partial rundown of upcoming concerts and programs:

    • Tues Dec 6 - 5th grade band at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM in the Radley Gym

    • Thurs Dec 8 - 2nd Grade Christmas Program at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM at PPE

    • Mon Dec 12 - EHHS Choir Concert at 6:00 PM at EHHS

    • Tues Dec 13 - EHHS Band Concert and Art Show  -  Art Show at 5:30 and concert at 7:00 PM at EHHS

    • Thurs Dec 15 - 3rd Grade Christmas Concert at 2:00 PM and 6:00 PM at Radley

    • Mon Dec 19 - Eastgate Christmas Program at 5:00 PM and 6:30 PM at EG

    • Tues Dec 20 - EVMS 8 Choir and TIGER Choir at 6:00 PM;  Band concert at 7:00 PM at EVMS

    • Weds Dec 21 - Early Release - Holiday Dismissal

     

    Bus 8 Rumors

    This past week, rumors have swirled around the fate of route 8.  We continue to struggle with staffing like many organizations, and bus driver shortages are being felt throughout the state. Our driver on route 8 has decided to leave her position.  For the time being, our bus supervisor and his staff have devised a way to keep route 8 staffed and running.  An alternate plan would be to re-assign the students from route 8 to other routes temporarily, but for the time being we are able to avoid that.  Our transportation crew will provide updates and if you know of anyone wanting a job as a school bus driver, please send them our way.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens




     

    11.18.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!! Here’s your weekly update from Superintendent Rispens.  Due to the short week, there will be no weekly update next week.

     

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Things I am thankful for:

    • Turkey!

    • Growing up and living in Montana!

    • Snow

    • Changing Seasons

    • Mountains

    • The University of Montana Grizzlies

    • Family

    • Health

    • Great job in a great community

     

    East Helena Christmas Stroll

    Next week is a short week as we take a few days off for the Thanksgiving Holiday.  Hopefully this is a time for you and your family to enjoy some time together and reflect on the blessings in life you’re all thankful for.  Following Thanksgiving we’ll be gearing up for the East Helena Christmas Stroll.  Mark your calendars now for Dec 1, from 5:30 - 8:30 PM.  Most events are on Main Street East Helena or City Hall, with the entertainment occurring at the Radley Gym.  We hope to see you there!

     

    Vaccine Clinic Opportunity

    There will be one final vaccine clinic opportunity this coming Saturday (NOV 19) at Central School in Helena.  This free clinic will offer FLU Shots and the bivalent COVID (Pfizer) vaccine booster for kids 5+.    The clinic is from 10 AM - 2 PM.  You’ll need an appointment but there are slots available.  You can book your appointment here.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    11.11.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!! Here’s your weekly update from Superintendent Rispens. 

     

    Happy Veteran’s Day

    On Friday, November 11, the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 AM we celebrate our Veterans and their amazing contribution to our nation.  Our East Helena VFW holds an annual parade and observance of this annual event at the Memorial at Main Street Park.  Each year we try to get as many school kids to the observance as possible to participate, witness, and honor our vets.  If you or anyone in your family is a Veteran, Thank You for your Service!  Please take a moment today to thank the Veterans in your life for their sacrifice and service to our nation.  

     

    Winter Weather Considerations

    This past week has been an in-your-face reminder of the fact that old man winter is on the way.  Snow and ice on roadways are a fact of life in Montana, and the changing conditions require a few considerations regarding school operations and our students:

    • Plan to allow extra time for the morning and afternoon commute to and from school,

    • Be on the lookout for school kids walking and allow for extra caution around schools and crosswalks,

    • Dress kiddos appropriately for conditions.  School operational plans call for students to be outside for recess when the wind chill temp is above 0,

    • If your family is in need of assistance in securing weather appropriate clothing for kids, please contact your principal or school counselor,

    • don’t leave kids unattended at bus stops on frigid days - buses may run late on icy roads,

    • changes to school opening times or bus routes will be communicated ASAP via the SWIFT k12 text and email system, 

     

    This first bout of winter often even takes us lifelong Montanas by surprise but pretty soon this will be old hat and business as usual.  We appreciate your patience as we adjust to winter conditions.

     

     

    Robotics Qualifier Tournament

    This Saturday offers a unique opportunity for local folks to check out the Montana FIRST Robotics Qualifier Tournament at EHHS.  The tourney will be held in our High School Gymnasium Saturday from 10 AM - 4 PM.  It is free and open to the public.  If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about robotics competition or just need an excuse to get out of the house this weekend, Come on down to EHHS to check out the tournament.

     

    Student Loan Forgiveness Application Link

    I have been asked by the US Dept of Education to remind our community about the student loan forgiveness options out there.

     

    A general overview of the Debt Relief Plan can be found here.

     

    The application for direct debt relief of $10,000-$20,000 can be found here.  It takes less than 5 minutes to apply, and those with federal student loan debt are encouraged to apply even though the program is temporarily suspended by a court order.  Nov 15 is the deadline for applications to get relief applied by the Jan 1 payment re-start. 

     

    For any students going to school next fall (our current seniors) the Free Application for Federal Student Aid can be found here.  The FAFSA is the first step in discovering what types of financial assistance students may qualify for.  The FAFSA is for any student pursuing post secondary education, not just 4 year degrees.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    11.04.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!! Here’s your weekly update from Superintendent Rispens. 

     

    Western A Divisional Volleyball

    We are excited to be hosting the Western Class A Volleyball Divisional Tournament at EHHS this week (Thursday - Saturday).  Teams and fans from around western Montana will be in East Helena checking out our great town and our amazing high school.   The public is invited and welcome to attend and watch some great volleyball teams in action.  If you come, please keep in mind that postseason events are operated by MHSA and our activity passes and admittance charges do not apply.  They have their own fees.  Entrance fees are as follows:

     

    All session pass: $20- adults; $15 -student/senior

    Thursday or Friday day pass:  $9 - adult; $7 - student/senior

    Saturday only pass: $7 - adult; $5 - student/senior

     

    MBAC Community Survey

    The Montana Business Assistance Connection is a local group seeking to promote business growth and development in our area.  MBAC is seeking input from area residents regarding the things that make living here great as well as the challenges we all face.  If you have a few minutes, please consider offering your insights on the MBAC Survey.  it does not take long and the more voices heard the better.  here is the link to the survey:

     

    https://www.mbac.biz/initiatives/

     

    Daylight Savings Time - Fall Back

    Love it or hate it, Daylight Savings Time is once again coming to an end on November 6, 2022.  You’ll want to plan now to set clocks back an hour and enjoy a little bit of extra sleep.  

     

    (Repeated item) Vaccination Opportunities

    Our annual Flu shot clinic at EVMS is being hosted by the BCBS CareVAN this year in partnership with Albertsons pharmacy.  In addition to the flu shot, the clinic will be offering COVID Vaccines and boosters.  This is a walk-in clinic and no appointment is necessary.  It is the last local East Helena Clinic that I know of this season.    There is additional info in the bullet points below:

    • November 5 - COVID Booster (Pfizer) clinic for 5-11 year olds at Central School in Helena.  11:00 AM - 2:00 PM  This is a free (no charge), walk-in clinic.  no appt necessary.

    • November 8 - Flu Shot (age 3 and up) and COVID shot/Booster (age 12 and up) clinic at EVMS hosted by BCBS CAREvan and Alberstson’s Pharmacy.  4:00 PM - 7:00 PM.  This is a walk-in clinic.  No Appt necessary.  There is no out of pocket charge.  Please bring insurance information if you have insurance.

     

    Student Loan Forgiveness Application Link

    I have been asked by the US Dept of Education to remind our community about the student loan forgiveness options out there.

     

    A general overview of the Debt Relief Plan can be found here.

     

    October 31 is the deadline for folks to take advantage of expanded options under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  If you think you might qualify for this expanded program, click here for additional information.

     

    The application for direct debt relief of $10,000-$20,000 can be found here.  It takes less than 5 minutes to apply, and those with federal student loan debt are encouraged to apply even though the program is temporarily suspended by a court order. 

     

    For any students going to school next fall (our current seniors) the Free Application for Federal Student Aid can be found here.  The FAFSA is the first step in discovering what types of financial assistance students may qualify for.  The FAFSA is for any student pursuing post secondary education, not just 4 year degrees.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens



     

     

    10.28.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Happy Friday!! Here’s your weekly update from Superintendent Rispens. 

     

    Red Ribbon Parade

    Once again, we had a beautiful afternoon Wednesday to support our kiddos in the Red Ribbon Parade.  The meaning of the parade is to show our kids that we support their commitment to be drug and alcohol free.  

     

    EHPS Parent, and owner of iFlyBigSky, Kevin Danz shot some awesome drone footage of the parade and you can view that here (Youtube) or on the iFlyBigSky Facebook page.  We want to thank Sheriff Dutton, EHPS Police Chief Sanders, The City of East Helena Public Works Dept, and all area first responders for supporting our kids and our parade!!!

     

    Parent Teacher Conferences

    It’s that time of year!  We are nearing or marking the end of the 1st quarter of school and our first round of parent teacher conferences are just around the corner.  As a veteran school principal, I can attest to all the hype around parents and teachers having a strong connection to provide support and understanding of our students.  As parents, you are your child's first teachers.  You know your kids better than anyone else.  Our EHPS teachers work with your kids everyday helping them grow and learn in our efforts to unlock their potential.  When parents and teachers share knowledge and communicate meaningfully, the benefits to kids are incredible.  

     

    Please make a commitment now to attend and participate in your children's conferences.  We recognize the time commitment and the fact that our families have very busy schedules. But our teachers are preparing information to share and looking forward to discussing successes and challenges to learning.  Conferences can be a bit intimidating as a parent.  Sometimes the news is not all wonderful.  But in the end, when we work together to support kids, the kids win.      





    Fright Night - Halloween Safety

    Monday is Halloween!  We want our entire community to have a fun and SAFE Halloween.  With that in mind, please be on the lookout for little ghouls and goblins this weekend and Monday evening for sure!

     

    We support the efforts of East Helena businesses and J4 Automotive in providing safe, family friendly activities on Halloween.  Fright Night is BACK for the 17th season this year with the following events:

    • Trick or Treating at Main Street Businesses and City hall from 5:00 -7:00 PM

    • Eagles Haunted House

    • At Dusk there will be a showing of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein in Main Street Park.

     

    I hope to see you out there!

     

    Band Chocolate Pickup Instructions

    Band chocolate (The World’s Finest Chocolate!) is IN!  This annual band fundraiser is essential to our highly successful music programs.  See below for pick up information:

     

    Our East Helena Music Fundraiser Chocolate has finally arrived!  We apologize for the inconvenience but there were issues with delivery, beyond our control.  

    Our pick-up night will be:

    Tuesday-November 1, 2022

    4:00-6:00 p.m.

    East Helena High School Commons

     

    Remember if you are unable to pick up your chocolate at this time, please contact your child’s music teacher.  Also, a guardian must be present for picking up orders for 5th-8th grade students!  

    We could use some help with packaging orders!  If you or your middle/high school child are available, please contact a music teacher in the district!  

    Thank you for your patience and continued support!

    -The East Helena Music Staff

     

    Student Loan Forgiveness Application Link

    I have been asked by the US Dept of Education to remind our community about the student loan forgiveness options out there.

     

    A general overview of the Debt Relief Plan can be found here.

     

    October 31 is the deadline for folks to take advantage of expanded options under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.  If you think you might qualify for this expanded program, click here for additional information.

     

    The application for direct debt relief of $10,000-$20,000 can be found here.  It takes less than 5 minutes to apply, and those with federal student loan debt are encouraged to apply even though the program is temporarily suspended by a court order. 

     

    For any students going to school next fall (our current seniors) the Free Application for Federal Student Aid can be found here.  The FAFSA is the first step in discovering what types of financial assistance students may qualify for.  The FAFSA is for any student pursuing post secondary education, not just 4 year degrees.

     

    DEA Prescription Drug take back at the VA

    As we wrap up Red Ribbon Week, we recognize that unused prescription drugs can be an issue in many households.  Unused prescriptions run the risk of being misused or abused and can sometimes be an entryway to various forms of ongoing drug abuse.  The information below is about an opportunity tomorrow to drop off unused prescriptions for safe disposal.  If you have unused medication around the house, please consider participating in this drug take back day.

     

    Montana VA is offering two single-day, drop off locations for Veterans and non-Veterans to drop off unneeded or expired medications from their homes as a measure of preventing medication misuse and opioid addiction from ever starting.  

     

    This National Prescription Take Back Day program allows us the opportunity to support the safety and well-being of Veterans and non-Veterans in our communities. Both Billings and Fort Harrison VA locations will have safe and secure drop-off boxes in their pharmacy areas. The event is open to Veterans, the public, and staff. Expired prescriptions, including controlled substances, can be disposed of at either location from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

     

    The two Montana VA drop off locations are at: 

    ·        Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow VA Clinic (1775 Spring Creek Lane, Billings) on Oct. 28 (from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.), and 

    ·        Fort Harrison VA Medical Center (3687 Veterans Drive, Fort Harrison) on Oct. 29 (from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.). 

     

    What other options exist to dispose of unneeded medication? 

    ·        If you are not located in Billings or Fort Harrison, there are other ways to take advantage of this DEA day of action. The DEA also has other prescription drop off sites across Montana. More locations can be found using the DEA Location Search Tool, : Controlled Substance Public Disposal Locations - Search Utility (usdoj.gov)

    ·        Veterans, wherever they live, can have their Montana VA providers enter orders for the Veteran to be mailed prescription drug disposal bags. Postage is included, and once prescriptions are mailed out in these bags, they are safely destroyed.  

    ·        Enrolled Veterans in Helena and Billings can also bring expired and unused medications to either site for disposal at any time by contacting the local VA Police Service or pharmacy. 

     

    (Repeated item) Vaccination Opportunities

    • November 8 - Flu Shot and COVID Booster clinic at EVMS hosted by BCBS CAREvan and Alberstson’s Pharmacy.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    10.19.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Weekly update - Short edition ( I know I promised to take this week off from the update but…):

     

    Lunch Accounts

    As the pandemic wanes and things get back to “normal”, one area that needs to be managed is school lunch charges.  The USDA waiver that provided free school lunches for all students for the past 2+ years has expired.  Families have to once again pay for meals at school.  This becomes an issue when account balances run low and students start charging meals.  The district does not have a credit option and relies on meal fees to pay our vendors, staff, and expenses.  This past week, letters were sent out to families regarding over limit charges.  While the content of the letter could (and will) be improved, the basic situation is that, just like any other restaurant or diner, the bill must be paid for the business to operate.  The district has a charge limit of $10 on student accounts. 

     

    The National School Lunch Program has guidelines for federal reimbursement for school lunches for families that cannot afford to pay.  This is commonly known as the “Free and Reduced Lunch Program.”  The allowances have increased since several years ago before the pandemic.  We encourage any family having difficulties paying for school lunches to fill out the application found here. 

     

    Winter Sports Parent meeting - EHHS

    Believe it or not, fall sports are about over for high school students and the winter season is just around the corner.  There will be a Parent/Student Winter Sports meeting on 11/15 at 6:00 PM in the EHHS gym.  Mark calendars now. 

     

    Opportunity to support EHHS Speech and Debate

    East Helena Community Members, 

    We will be hosting a Speech, Debate, and Drama Tournament at EHHS and Prickly Pear on Saturday, November 19th.  We are in need of judges and would welcome your support of this event.   We rely entirely on volunteers to make this event happen as we have nearly 250 judge slots to fill. Judging events is fairly easy and if there is enough interest we can offer in person training before the tournament. Please view the following information for further details. 

     

    There is an online form you can use to sign up to judge    Please select the event(s) and time(s) you would like to judge. We would greatly appreciate it if you could get back to us by Friday, November 4th, 2022. 

    Sign-up form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfc-ksbrvWIEUGYAPmx--XcMbbsB9kKAXs-5IRtD-UD5GqVbw/viewform?usp=sf_link

     

    Please feel free to forward this onto anyone who you believe would be interested. You can also email Coach Katie Jeno at kjeno@ehps.k12.mt.us should you have any further questions.  

    Thank you for supporting our school!  

     

    Red Ribbon Week - October 24-28

    Next week we will celebrate Red Ribbon Week in the East Helena Schools.  Red Ribbon week encourages youngsters to “Say NO to Drugs” and live a healthy and happy lifestyle.  Click here to learn more about the background and history of Red Ribbon week .  In East Helena, the highlight of Red Ribbon Week is the Red Ribbon Parade at 2:00 PM Wednesday, October 26. The Parade route goes from Radley School to EVMS and travels along Main Street.  Additionally all students and staff are encouraged to get involved with the Red Ribbon Dress up themes:

     

    Red Ribbon Week Themed dress-up days

    Monday- “No Bullying, No Sweat” 

                Wear Sweats

    Tuesday- “Sock it to Drugs”  

                                 Crazy Sock Day!!!!

    Wednesday-“I'm a JEAN-ious, I'm Drug Free"

    Wear Jeans and wear Red

    Thursday- “Team up against drugs and bullying”

             Wear a team jersey

    Friday-“Our school chooses to be drug free”

    Wear your school shirt or school colors

     

    (Repeated item) Vaccination Opportunities

    There will be three opportunities in the coming weeks to get a flu shot or COVID Booster here in East Helena.  The first one is for staff only, but the other two are open to the public:

    • October 22 - County Health Dept vaccine clinic offering Flu shots, and COVID boosters.  Open to all ages.  Appointment required.  

    • November 8 - Flu Shot and COVID Booster clinic at EVMS hosted by BCBS CAREvan and Alberstson’s Pharmacy.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    10.14.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here's your weekly update from your EHPS Superintendent:

     

    No School Next Thursday/Friday

    Next week is the famous ”short week in October” in Montana Schools.  There will be no “Superintendent Update.”  The purpose of the 3 day week is to allow for teachers and other school staff to attend professional training and conferences.  Many teachers who have already satisfied their training requirements (last summer) will be able to take the days off.  But many teachers will still be in attendance at the MFPE state teacher conference at Helena High School.  Your elected school board members and school administrators will have the opportunity to attend the MCEL Conference (MT Conference for Educational Leadership) in Missoula.  

     

    The 3 day week and 4 day weekend serve an important purpose in helping our staff and board members maintain their professional learning and knowledge of current issues facing Montana Education.  It also creates some unique opportunities for families to enjoy some time together during one of Montana's most beautiful seasons.  

     

    Recently, Montana FIsh Wildlife and Parks, decided to take advantage of these October days off by creating the Youth Deer hunt season which allows youngsters age 10-15 to get a jumpstart on the season.  Details about the youth hunt can be found here.

     

    Whatever your plans, we hope you are able to enjoy some family time next week!!

     

    Red Ribbon Week

    When we return to school following the 4 day weekend, we will celebrate Red Ribbon Week in the East Helena Schools.  Red Ribbon week encourages youngsters to “Say NO to Drugs” and live a healthy and happy lifestyle.  Click here to learn more about the background and history of Red Ribbon week .  In East Helena, the highlight of Red Ribbon Week is the Red Ribbon Parade at 2:00 PM Wednesday, October 26. The Parade route goes from Radley School to EVMS and travels along Main Street.  Additionally all students and staff are encouraged to get involved with the Red Ribbon Dress up themes:

     

    Red Ribbon Week Themed dress-up days

    Monday- “No Bullying, No Sweat” 

                Wear Sweats

    Tuesday- “Sock it to Drugs”  

                                 Crazy Sock Day!!!!

    Wednesday-“I'm a JEAN-ious, I'm Drug Free"

    Wear Jeans and wear Red

    Thursday- “Team up against drugs and bullying”

             Wear a team jersey

    Friday-“Our school chooses to be drug free”

    Wear your school shirt or school colors



    A Note of THANKS

    Many of you noted in last week’s update that my dear mother passed away recently and her funeral was Monday.  I want to say “THANKS” for the notes of support and care.  My mom was 83 years old and had lived in 3 countries and been an immigrant in 2 during her life.  She became a US Citizen in 1970.  She lived through WW II and the German occupation of Holland as a young girl.  She was quite a character!

     

    In the past 18 months my family has lost both our dad and mom.  It has been a rollercoaster ride to say the least, and now my own children do not have living grandparents, and at 53 years old, I am an orphan!

     

    As tough as the loss has been, I would have to say that I am eternally grateful to have grown up in a family of love and care…as well as rules and expectations!   As a veteran educator, I am keenly aware that not all children have this advantage, and I have never taken it for granted.

     

    Thanks again for all your support and for being great parents to your own children.  It really makes all the difference in the world.





    Middle School Athletics

    7th and 8th grade boys basketball tryouts will take place next Monday Oct. 17th at EVMS. Tryouts will be from 3:30 to 5:00 and will most likely last two days. Season information including a schedule, coaches information, rules and expectations, and concussion protocol will be distributed during tryouts. Please contact Athletic Director Kevin Van Nice with any questions . 406-227-7745.

     

    (Repeated item) Vaccination Opportunities

    There will be three opportunities in the coming weeks to get a flu shot or COVID Booster here in East Helena.  The first one is for staff only, but the other two are open to the public:

    • October 17 - Staff only flu shot clinic at EVMS hosted by St. Peter’s Health

    • October 22 - County Health Dept vaccine clinic offering Flu shots, COVID shots, and COVID boosters.  Open to all ages.  Appointment required.  The appointment portal is not open yet.

    • November 8 - FLu Shot and COVID Booster clinic at EVMS hosted by BCBS CAREvan and Alberstson’s Pharmacy.

     

    I’ll share more details as they become available.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    10.07.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here's your weekly update from your EHPS Superintendent:

     

    Student Enrollment Update

    For the October, 2022 board meeting we are officially reporting 1960 students enrolled in the East Helena Public Schools.  Last year at this time we reported 1740 students.  Since we added a senior class this year, we expected an enrollment increase of about 135 students (typical grade level in EHPS).  Our actual increase is 220, 85 students more than anticipated.  This does not come as a surprise given the growth in our awesome little community.  Enrollment at EHHS is currently 585 students. 

     

    These numbers illustrate the issues we are working to manage within the schools.  We added two K-5 elementary teachers three days before the start of school due to increased enrollment and have added additional positions throughout the district to support the higher student load.  Your Long Term Infrastructure Committee is working to understand the scope of these growth challenges and make recommendations to the board that are both forward thinking and fiscally responsible.   Our next meeting is October 24 in the EHHS library.

     

    Staffing Concerns and Possible Impacts

    Like other organizations and employers, your local school district is struggling to attract and retain folks in a variety of positions. Over the past 2-3 years, staffing shortages have become “the norm”  rather than an occasional distraction.  Staff turnover and shortages affect almost every aspect of our operations.  We are always recruiting bus drivers, paraprofessionals, and subs for all positions to help our students stay safe and succeed in school.  If you or someone you know is booking for a job that will help you have a positive impact in the lives of children, stop by central office or complete an application online.

     

    Vaccination Opportunities

    There will be three opportunities in the coming weeks to get a flu shot or COVID Booster here in East Helena.  The first one is for staff only, but the other two are open to the public:

    • October 17 - Staff only flu shot clinic at EVMS hosted by St. Peter’s Health

    • October 22 - County Health Dept vaccine clinic offering Flu shots, COVID shots, and COVID boosters.  Open to all ages.  Appointment required.  The appointment portal is not open yet.

    • November 8 - FLu Shot and COVID Booster clinic at EVMS hosted by BCBS CAREvan and Alberstson’s Pharmacy.

     

    I’ll share more details as they become available.

     

    On a personal note

    My Mom passed away last week and the funeral is Monday, Oct 10.  I will be taking some time off to be with my family but will always be available to help manage district affairs and issues that may arise.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

     

     

    9.30.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here's your weekly update from your EHPS Superintendent:

     

    National Principals Month

    October is National Principals Month, a time set aside to appreciate our school leaders and the important work they do every day on behalf of our students.  Here in East Helena, we are fortunate to have a crew of school principals and vice principals who are committed to student success.  Our crew works tirelessly to ensure that all aspects of their schools run smoothly and provide the best possible atmosphere for kids to grow and learn.  Having been in the job for 20 years, I can speak first hand to the rewards and challenges of being a school principal.  And I can also tell you that East Helena has some of the BEST principals around!  

     

    I hope you will join me in taking a moment to send a note of appreciation to the principal (and vice principal) of your child’s school sometime this month.  You can email them directly from the links below:

     

    Eastgate/Prickly Pear - Mr. Crusat

    Radley - Mr. Somerfeld

    EVMS - Mrs. Morris and Mr. Kemper

    EHHS - Mr. Kessler and Mr. Schlabach

     

    Walk To School Day

    October 5 is Walk to School Day, and we are inviting parents of all K-5 students to get involved and participate.  Walk to School Day is intended to promote healthy lifestyles and ensure kids know about safe walkable spaces within their communities and around their schools.  This year we are reinstating our breakfast program in which parents who walk to school with their child can also enjoy breakfast on us in the school cafeteria.  Eastgate, Prickly Pear, and Radley will send out specific walk to school information regarding the routes and plans for their walk to school day.  Bus students can even participate by getting off at EVMS and joining a “walking school bus.”

     

    Student News

    Congratulations to EHHS Vigilantes, Gianna Gutowsky and Tayler Hadley who both qualified for State in Golf.

     

    Congratulations to EHHS Junior Lily Orr for being the Reigning Miss Last Chance Community Pow Wow Princess.  Lily Will pass the torch to the next Last Chance Princess Saturday evening at the Pow Wow at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.  You can read about Lily’s recognition in the HelenaIR at this link.  (paywall - if you’re not a subscriber).

     

    (Repeated Item) Child Development Screening Opportunity

    Prickly Pear Cooperative will be holding a Child Development Screening on October 4, 2022 at SS Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church in East Helena, MT from 9:00 until 2:00. 

     

    • Do you have a preschooler 0-5 years of age who lives within the boundaries of East Helena, Canyon Creek, Wolf Creek, Clancy and Montana City who may have special needs or delays in development? 

    • Do you have a preschooler that you might have concerns about as to whether their development is where it should be for their age?

     

    We will help answer questions and concerns you have regarding possible delays in speech and language, learning skills, vision, hearing and motor skills. 

    Call Prickly Pear Cooperative at 227-7322 for an appointment,

     

    EHHS Sports and Activities

    • 9/30 - Homecoming Parade 2pm! Football vs Hamilton 6 pm, (Note change from original schedule) Homecoming Dance 8:30-11:00 p.m.

    • 10/1 - Soccer vs Hamilton; Boys at 12:00 PM and Girls at 2:00 PM

    • 10/1 - Volleyball @ Hamilton

    • 10/3 - JV Football @ Hamilton

    • 10/6 - Soccer @ Stevensville;  Boys at 3:00 PM and Girls at 5:00 PM.

    • 10/4 - Volleyball vs Corvallis.

    • You can find printable athletic schedules at this link.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

     

     

    9.23.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here's your weekly update from your EHPS Superintendent:

     

    Early Release Monday- 1:30 PM Dismissal

    Throughout the year, East Helena Schools take a few Early Release days to allow teachers time for collaboration and planning.  On early Release days, students are dismissed at 1:30 PM.

     

    Our first early Release Day is coming up Monday, September 26.  Teachers will spend the planning time that afternoon sharing info about our reading and literacy program (K-5) or working on safety and behavior plans for the middle and high school.  

     

    We realize that early release days can be inconvenient for parents and appreciate your support and consideration so staff can have this important planning time.  Our remaining early release days are scheduled as follows:

    • November 7

    • December 5

    • December 21

    • January 23

    • March 13

    • April 24

    • June 7

     

    Native American Heritage Day in Montana

    Did you know that 142 of our 1964 students are registered as Native American and make up 7% of our total student population?  Native students are by far our largest minority group and we are proud to celebrate the culture and heritage of native students at various times throughout the year.  The first such event is next Friday, September 30.  

     

    In 1997, The Montana Legislature determined that the last Friday in September should be observed as a day of observance to “commemorate American Indians and their valued heritage and culture.”  In the EHPS we will be recognizing this important day and celebrating by teaching lessons and activities that recognize and celebrate native culture.  Additionally a group of EHPS students will attend portions of the Last Chance Community Pow Wow at the Lewis and Clark County Fairgrounds.   For information about lessons and observances in the schools, please contact your child’s teacher, school principal, or our Indian Impact Teacher, Kim Metzger who works in all the schools to support native kids and help them succeed in school.  

     

    If you’re interested in additional information about the Last Chance Community Pow Wow, you can find that here

     

    Homecoming Parade, Game, and Dance

    The EHHS Vigilantes will be celebrating Homecoming next week.  Our high school athletic teams will have home competitions with the exception of Golf who will be competing at State.  The school has specific info about school activities and the game schedule is below.  

     

    • Please note the homecoming parade will be on Main Street in East Helena from the VFW to City Hall, Friday, September 30 at 2:00 PM.

    • The Homecoming football game time has been changed to 6:00 PM Friday night.

     

    Child Development Screening Opportunity

    Prickly Pear Cooperative will be holding a Child Development Screening on October 4, 2022 at SS Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church in East Helena, MT from 9:00 until 2:00. 

     

    • Do you have a preschooler 0-5 years of age who lives within the boundaries of East Helena, Canyon Creek, Wolf Creek, Clancy and Montana City who may have special needs or delays in development? 

    • Do you have a preschooler that you might have concerns about as to whether their development is where it should be for their age?

     

    We will help answer questions and concerns you have regarding possible delays in speech and language, learning skills, vision, hearing and motor skills. 

    Call Prickly Pear Cooperative at 227-7322 for an appointment,

     

    EHHS Sports and Activities

    • 9/27 - Soccer vs Loyola - Boys @ 5 pm, Girls @ 7 pm

    • 9/29 - Volleyball vs Frenchtown - 4:15/5:45/7:15 pm

    • 9/30 - Homecoming Parade 2pm!, Football vs Hamilton 6 pm, (Note change from original schedule) Homecoming Dance 8:30-11:00 p.m.

    • 10/1 - Soccer vs Hamilton - Boys @ 2 pm, Girls @ 4 pm.

    • You can find printable athletic schedules at this link.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    9.16.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here's your weekly update from your EHPS Superintendent:

     

    What’s in your Email SPAM Folder?

    Our messenger system is embedded in Powerschool and uses current contact info from student demographic pages.  Each fall we update that info as we hear from parents about any changes.  We usually send messages to CELL #’s as well as  email addresses on file.  Occasionally, longer messages (Too long for texting) are sent ONLY to email.  If you are getting these text messages, but not seeing emails in your inbox, there’s a good chance they are going to your SPAM folder.  If you go in there, find them, and mark them as ”not SPAM” you should start finding them in your email inbox.  Doing this will help ensure you’re not missing important info from school and keep you “in the know.”  

     

    Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

    September is Suicide Prevention Awareness month.  Our little community has been hit hard by suicide and particularly youth suicide in recent years.  East Helena has become a leader in the state in taking steps to support youth mental health and suicide prevention.  Recently, the schools have sought to provide additional support through additional school counselor staffing and expanding our CSCT Programs in the schools.  Additionally we are seeking to hire an additional school counselor and possibly add a School Based Community therapist to the range of our mental health support offerings. 

     

    Early on, we took a lead role in screening middle and high schools students for mental health concerns much the same way we screen students for reading and math skills to see who might need some extra help.  We partner with the Rural Behavioral Health Institute based out of Livingston, Montana in this effort.  RBHI Offers an online screening tool that asks students some basic questions to determine their level of need for additional support.  On-site counselors and therapists work directly with identified students and their families to find help and solutions.   Any data gathered is encrypted and stays at the school site with school counselors being the only ones who have access to the results.  

     

    At their September meeting, your EHPS School Board showed their support for student mental health in supporting the agreement with RBHI.  Schools are now implementing the screening tool on a weekly schedule this fall.  Parents always have the option to opt their child OUT of the screening if they wish.  These opt out letters are sent electronically the week before screening.  If you have questions about the screening process or its appropriateness for your son or daughter, I encourage you to reach out to school administrators or counselors at EVMS and EHHS about the process. 

     

    Click the link below to access an article about the 9 Warning Signs of Teen suicide for Parents:

     

    https://www.youthdynamics.org/9-warning-signs-of-teen-suicide-parents-need-to-know/?fbclid=IwAR0s3WAjhgM2Oh7x_SMzfIpYcametRlwXFauR_2M8Q2YXny6GxjlyHIgrVs

     

    Pureview Health -  A local resource for your family’s health needs right here in East Helena

    The East Helena Public Schools/PureView Health Center East Helena Clinic is in the parking lot of the Prickly Pear Elementary School. Anyone can receive primary medical, dental and mental healthcare services at the clinic from a PureView primary care doctor, dentist, psychiatrist and mental health counselor all year long during the week. In addition, PureView’s pharmacy has deeply discounted prescriptions and they deliver within 20 miles of PureView’s pharmacies in Helena, and to the E. Helena Clinic. Call today to schedule an appointment. 500-2121

     

    Student Awards and Achievement

    We are very excited to announce our first National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist! Congratulations to Jack Nelson on earning this honor and good luck moving forward!

     

    We are honored to have students like Montana Pierson at our school! Montana was recently announced as one of three Youth Ambassadors for Region VI for Toys for Tots! Montana will represent Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, Alaska, Hawaii, California, Oregon and Washington! Great Job Montana!

     

    PTO Fundraiser Winners:

    Mini Fridge Winners #1

    Eastgate: Elliott Hines –K- Hanson

    PPE: Edan Rodriquez – 2nd -Krause

    Radley:  Brooklyn/Forsman – 5th Fox

    EVMS: Paayton Fleurisma – 8th – Senecal

     

    Mini Fridge Winners #2

    Eastgate:  Kathleen Anderson – Hanson

    PPE:  Katherine Harris – 1st – Pollington

    Radley:  Pierce Schubert – 4th – Rieff

    EVMS:  Wyatt Ireland – 6th – Brown

    Mini Fridge Winners #3

    Eastgate:  Roman Gomez – K – Kjorstad

    PPE:  Cooper Ozburn – 2nd – Hager

    Radley: Kennedy Little – 3rd – Teders

    EVMS:  Phillip Lamere – 7th – Horne

     

    Mini Fridge Winners #3

    Eastgate:  Roman Gomez – K – Kjorstad

    PPE:  Cooper Ozburn – 2nd – Hager

    Radley: Kennedy Little – 3rd – Teders

    EVMS:  Phillip Lamere – 7th – Horne

     

    Mini Fridge Winners #4

    Eastgate:   Genevieve Dunsberry – K Haas

    PPE:  Lily Olson – 1st – Sandau

    Radley: Nathaniel White – 5th – Camy Dusenberry

    EVMS: Abby Damm – 8th - Arntson

     

    ipad and Amazon Winners

    Eastgate – iPad winner:   Jaxon Jones – K – Warner

    PPE – iPad winner:   Lillian Bakke 2 – Odegard

    Radley – iPad winner:   Isaac Jackson – 3rd – Norling

    EVMS - $250 Amazon Gift Card winner:  Bayor Anderson – 6th  Lloyd

     

    EHHS Sports and Activities

    • Soccer has been changed from Away to Home this weekend.  Girls play at 2 PM Saturday and Boys at 4 PM Saturday. Both games at EHHS.

    • Cross Country is in Missoula Saturday for the Mountain West Classic 

    • Golf is in Hamilton Saturday.

    • Football (Varsity) is in Browning Tonight (Friday night)

    • JV Football is at home vs Stevensville Monday night at EHHS at 4:30 PM.

    • You can find printable athletic schedules at this link.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

     

    9.9.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here's your weekly update from your EHPS Superintendent:

     

    I’ll keep it short and sweet this week.  As school ramps up, so does everyone’s schedule!  It’s an exciting time for our kids and our community as school events take over the calendar. 

     

    We want families to know we are committed to helping all students find success in our schools.  As a parent, sometimes questions or issues arise and you may not know where to turn for assistance.  We use a homeroom model for all grades K-12, and every student in the district has a homeroom teacher who is responsible for helping their homeroom students navigate school.  In the K-5 the homeroom teacher is pretty obvious as it is your child's classroom teacher.  In grade 6-12, homeroom teachers are also sometimes called “Advisor” teachers.  This person should be listed on your child’s schedule and is your first point of contact in the school with questions you may have or help you may need.  The homeroom/advisor teacher may not have all the answers you seek, but will know where to turn for next steps in finding solutions.  

     

    By now, most parents have probably already heard from and connected with their kids’ homeroom/advisor teachers,  if not, feel free to take a  minute to reach out and introduce yourself to get connected.  This relationship between parent and the school will help you get the information you and need and provide a great amount of support for your student.  

     

    We want to thank all parents for a great start to the school year.  We had a few bumps in the road, but overall, things have been pretty smooth.  It’s great to see the kids back in the classrooms with their teachers having fun and learning.  

     

    Have a great weekend everyone!

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

     

    9.2.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here's your weekly update from your EHPS Superintendent:

     

    School is back in session!!  It’s so great to see the kids back on campus and in classrooms!  In August, your EHPS staff worked hard to prepare for students.  Staff attended a variety of trainings in addition to the everyday prep involved in getting 5 school buildings ready for students!  We are excited to have the opportunity to serve our community and we are all excited to get this 2022-23 school year underway..  

     

    Your East Helena Schools offer a wide variety of school activities for middle and high school kids (See below).  For the younger set we are working on getting the TIGER after school program up and running later this month as well as our robotics program and our enrichment after school classes that were suspended during COVID.  More details will follow soon.

     

    High School activities

    Fall athletics are in full swing at EHHS. As the school year gets underway, school clubs and activities will be getting rolling.  EHHS supports all MHSA sanctioned athletic activities and has a full slate of clubs and groups for students to get involved with.  

     

    Below is some basic game day info about our sports events:

    1.  The school district website calendar has all game schedules updated.

    2. Vigilante Sports are Broadcast on REWIND FM 94.9 and you can live stream the broadcast from KCAP.com.

    3. Single game admission cost for Adults 18-61 years of age is $7.00;  $5.00 for 6 grade through 12th grade.  5th grade and under are free when accompanied by an adult.  Age 62 and older are also free.  Please bring cash or check or purchase tickets online at the link below.

    4. Student activity passes cost $30.00, Adult activity passes cost $50.00.  These can be purchased online at the link below, at the school office or at the first home football game Friday night.

    5. Go Fan is our online ticketing app and can be found at this link.  Fans can buy their activity passes and game tickets on that site (Convenience fee applies) 

     

    Middle School Activities

    Fall Sports at EVMS is ready to kick off, and it all begins Tuesday September 6th!  We will be offering 7th and 8th grade volleyball for girls and boys.  Our awesome coaches are Makala McDonough and Shelby Holmes.  The season will run from Sept 6th till October 12th. Practices will be at EVMS from 3:30 to 5:00 Monday thru Thursday, with no Friday practices.  All paperwork including sign up information, schedules, and season information will be given out that night.

     

    Cross Country is offered to 6th through 8th grade boys and girls and begins Tuesday Sept 6th.  Our coach at EVMS is Brett Charlton who is also assisting with the high school cross country runners.  The season "runs" from September 6th to October 10th.  Practice is Monday thru Thursday from 3:30 to 5:00 with no practice Friday.  Monday and Tuesday practices will be at EVMS and Wednesday and Thursday practices will be run jointly with the high school. All paperwork, schedules, season information will be handed out the night of September 6th.

     

    We will also be offering intramural soccer which is scheduled to start Sept. 13th at Radley from 3:30 to 5:00.  This is offered to 5th and 6th graders only.  We are still looking for a coach and will hopefully have one by then.  

     

    If you have any questions about EVMS sports please contact Kevin Van Nice

    kvannice@ehps.k12.mt.us

    406-227-7740

     

    (Repeated item)**UPDATED** shuttle bus info

     

     Mornings - To get from:

    • Radley/PPE to Eastgate - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9

    • Eastgate to Radley/PPE - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 5, 8

    • EVMS to Radley/PPE - K-5 student should ride bus #

      • 5, 2

    • EVMS to Eastgate - K-5 students should ride bus #

      • 4, 8

     

    Afternoons - To get from:

    • Radley/PPE to Eastgate - Students should ride bus #

      • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9

    • Eastgate to Radley/PPE - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 5

    • Radley/PPE to EVMS - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 3, 4, 6, 8

    • Eastgate to EVMS - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 3, 4, 5

     

    High school students only - To get from Eastgate to EHHS, students should plan to ride bus #7.  At this time there is not a PM Shuttle set up for high schoolers but we are looking at options for this if there is a need for it.

     

    Parents, please contact your child’s school or teacher for additional assistance in getting your child on the correct shuttle bus.

     

    LINKS

     

                

    • 2. Click the RED Get started Button

    • 3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed

     

     

     

    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

     

    8.26.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here's your weekly update from your EHPS Superintendent:

     

    **UPDATED** Bus schedules and shuttle busing

    Our transportation supervisor and bus drivers have been busy adjusting and updating route lists.  Due to staff shortages, we adjusted from the proposed 10 routes to 9 so the published routes in the school calendar are no longer accurate.  Please use the current routes on the district web site at this link.

     

    For 22-23 we are working on bringing back the shuttle bus option for students wishing to ride across town to their school.  Initially, shuttle riding will only be available to K-5 students and EHHS students needing to hitch a ride from Eastgate to EHHS in the mornings.  Once we determine student rider loads and available seating, we may be able to open up seats for middle school students as well.  Shuttle Busing provides time and fuel saving convenience for parents and reduces traffic loads in our pick up and drop off areas.  To make it work effectively, we need to make sure we have capacity on the buses to accommodate the kids who want to ride and and ensure drivers know which students are supposed to be riding the shuttle.  To accomplish this, we are asking that students who wish to shuttle ride the same bus each time they shuttle to increase driver familiarity and consistency with available seating.  Below is the initial info for kids to be aware of when looking to ride a shuttle bus - to find the departure times from the schools for each route, refer to the bus routes page:

     

     Mornings - To get from:

    • Radley/PPE to Eastgate - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9

    • Eastgate to Radley/PPE - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 5, 8

    • EVMS to Radley/PPE - K-5 student should ride bus #

      • 5, 2

    • EVMS to Eastgate - K-5 students should ride bus #

      • 4, 8

     

    Afternoons - To get from:

    • Radley/PPE to Eastgate - Students should ride bus #

      • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9

    • Eastgate to Radley/PPE - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 5

    • Radley/PPE to EVMS - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 3, 4, 6, 8

    • Eastgate to EVMS - Students should ride bus #

      • 1, 3, 4, 5

     

    High school students only - To get from Eastgate to EHHS, students should plan to ride bus #7.  At this time there is not a PM Shuttle set up for high schoolers but we are looking at options for this if there is a need for it.

     

    Parents, please contact your child’s school or teacher for additional assistance in getting your child on the correct shuttle bus.

     

    Traffic revisions PPE and Radley

    Parents, please be aware of the traffic revisions at Radley and PPE.  Radley added a pick and drop off zone on the west end.  Also new is the stop sign at the crosswalk on Thurman and King street.  PPE has changed the (north) entry roadway to one way traffic with two lanes at the stop sign at Academic Way.  The right lane is a right turn only and the left lane can proceed to the east side pickup and drop off area near the playground.   I want to extend a huge “thank you” to our maintenance staff and the City of East Helena for assisting us with these changes. 

     

    Open Houses and Orientations

    School starts next week on Wednesday, Aug 31.

     

    Here’s a summary of the Open Houses and Orientations being held next week:

    • Eastgate Meet and greet - Aug 31, 2022

    • Prickly Pear - Open House Aug 29 4:30 - 6:00 PM

    • Radley - Open House - Aug 29 4:30 - 6:00 PM

    • EVMS - Open House - Aug 30 5:00 PM  - 6:30 PM

    • EHHS - Freshman Orientation - Aug 29 4:30 PM (kids line up outside North Student Entry at 4:25 PM)

    • EHHS Freshman Parent Night - Aug 29 6:00 PM (BBQ to follow around 6:45 or 7 PM)



    (Repeated item) School Meals and lunch forms

    As the pandemic winds down so does government support for various programs.  School lunch is a great example.  This USDA Program operated since March of 2020 under a fee waiver that allowed schools to provide free meals (Breakfast and lunch) to any student who wanted one.  Prior to that, families had to qualify for free or reduced price meals through a district application process.  That program is returning this year.  Student accounts will be reactivated and students will be charged for meals starting on the first day of school.  Meal prices are below:

     

    Lunches: Reduced-price meals  $.40  Breakfast: Reduced-price meals $.30

    Student Full-priced meal $3.00 Student Full-priced meal 1.50

     Single Carton of Milk .40

                            

    The income guidelines under the federal program are higher than you might expect to qualify, and we encourage any and all families who think they may qualify to apply.  Income limits are higher for households with multiple school age children.  The free and reduced lunch percentage not only helps families, but it helps our district qualify for other federal aid depending on our school percentages.  

     

    To submit an online application do the following:

    1. Click on the link:  Free & Reduced Lunch Online Application

                 

    2. Click the RED Get started Button

    3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed



    THANKS!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    8.17.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    I am excited to welcome you and your children to the 2022-23 school year.  Our maintenance staff has worked hard over the summer break to have the schools in tip top shape for the students.  Principals and teachers are getting the schools and classrooms ready.  As you prepare your family for the imminent first day of school, I just wanted to share some details from the central office.  We’ll start with a listing of Admin staff including some new faces:

     

    New Leadership and Introductions

    EVMS - Lynsi Morris comes to us from Missoula County Public Schools where she most recently worked as an elementary school principal at Franklin Elementary.  Lynsi has a strong background in education and has worked in several different positions including middle school teacher, instructional coach and curriculum coordinator.  She has a broad background in teaching and learning that will benefit EVMS.  Michael Kemper is moving about 5 blocks from his old stomping grounds at Radley Elementary to the VP Role at EVMS.  He knows the East Helena community and school district well and is excited to be joining many of his former Radley Students over at EVMS.

     

    EHHS - Brian Kessler is back in the saddle for year 2 of his principalship at EHHS.  This has been quite a ride as we roll out and develop our new high school.  This year, we will be preparing in earnest for our first ever East Helena High School graduation ceremony to be held in June of 2023!  In the vice principal role at EHHS  is a new face in East Helena, Duane Schlabauch.  Duane most recently worked at the Office of Public Instruction and brings a background of education excellence to EHHS.

     

    Eastgate and Prickly Pear Elementary - Brandon Crusat will begin his third year in East Helena at the helm of Eastgate and Prickly Pear Elementary schools.  Brandon had 5 years of experience as a school principal near Boise, Idaho before taking over here in East Helena.  We are excited to have him on board!

     

    Radley School - Please welcome Gus Somerfeld to his second year as the Principal at Radley.  Gus taught and coached in East Helena prior to becoming a school principal.  

     

    Shaun Murgel.  He is the “old hand” around here with 3 years experience as a school administrator.  Shaun is an EH original having been born and raised here.  He has extensive experience in education and athletics having coached at the collegiate level and worked in schools in Montana, Nevada, and Oregon before making his way back home to help us out at EHHS.  He will be shifting his focus to full time activities director this year with additional responsibilities to the maintenance and transportation programs.

     

    Then there’s me,  Dan Rispens.  I grew up in Helena and taught English for 7 years at Helena High before joining the admin team in East Helena back in 2001.  I have 20 years experience in school administration, and 1 whole year as a superintendent.  I am excited about, and thankful for,  the opportunity to lead the schools in this great community.  

     

    School Meals and lunch forms

    As the pandemic winds down so does government support for various programs.  School lunch is a great example.  This USDA Program operated since March of 2020 under a fee waiver that allowed schools to provide free meals (Breakfast and lunch) to any student who wanted one.  Prior to that, families had to qualify for free or reduced price meals through a district application process.  That program is returning this year.  Student accounts will be reactivated and students will be charged for meals starting on the first day of school.  Meal prices are below:

     

    Lunches: Reduced-price meals  $.40  Student Full-priced meal $3.00  

    Breakfast: Reduced-price meals $.30   Student Full-priced meal 1.50  

     

     Single Carton of Milk .40

                            

    The income guidelines under the federal program are higher than you might expect to qualify, and we encourage any and all families who think they may qualify to apply.  Income limits are higher for households with multiple school age children.  The free and reduced lunch percentage not only helps families, but it helps our district qualify for other federal aid depending on our school percentages.  

     

    To submit an online application do the following:

    1. Click on the link:  Free & Reduced Lunch Online Application

                 

    2. Click the RED Get started Button

    3. Follow the prompts  - you will receive and emailed response after your application has been reviewed




    Mental Health Supports 

    It’s no secret that the pandemic impacts of isolation, financial hardship, and general anxiety have hit some of our young people quite hard.  Youth mental health is a national issue, and your East Helena Public School system is committed to doing what we can to support students and advance their education while assisting with mental health issues as best we can.  

     

    Two years ago we added an additional school counseling position at Eastgate school through a federal grant we received.  

     

    Last year our awesome counseling staff re-implemented mental health screening for all middle and high school students through our partnership with The Rural Behavioral Health Institute.  We plan to continue that support this coming year.  The screening tool aids early identification of potential concerns which assists us in providing support and recommending additional services in our work with families.  

     

    This year, we are making changes to our CSCT (Community School Comprehensive Treatment) programs to better support high school students and develop a full caseload at EHHS.  CSCT Provides onsite therapeutic services for K-12 students in the school setting. Also new for 22-23, we hired an additional school counselor for EHHS and are currently advertising for an additional school counselor to serve Radley and EVMS.  We continue to seek out training and best practice in connecting and supporting all students with their educational as well as mental health needs.  

     

    As a parent, you know your child better than anyone else.  If you have concerns about your child’s well being, safety, or overall mental health, please reach out to your school’s counselor and request assistance. The current school counselor names with links to email are listed below:

     

    Eastgate - Derik Chaney

    Prickly Pear Elementary - Jannice Odermann

    Radley - Michael Cloeren

    EVMS - Kevin VanNice

    EHHS - Kelly Kerpa  and Ethan Hoffman

      

     

    School Safety 

    Recent events have school safety at the forefront of most people’s minds, especially parents of school age children and school staff.  During the summer, your EHPS School staff have been working hard to make our schools as safe as possible.  Here are some adjustments you may notice this coming fall:

    • Additional School Resource Officer - Through our partnership with the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office we have secured funding and support for an additional full time School Resource Officer.  This position will be  based out of East Valley Middle School.  The Sheriff's Office has selected Officer Cody Criner for this role.  Please welcome officer Criner to East Helena when you see him this fall.  This addition will also add the D.A.R.E.  Program to 8th grade, so now our students will receive Drug Abuse Resistance Education at both 5th and 8th grade.  Officer Stoltz will be returning this fall to East Helena High School so now we will have two full time SRO’s plus our Radley DARE instructor serving the district.  Our schools also benefit from regular patrols from  the newly staffed East Helena Police Department.  It is important to note that although our DARE Officers are assigned to EHHS and EVMS, they serve all EHPS students and regularly visit the various schools so students and staff are familiar with them.

     

    • We are working to implement some minor traffic revisions at Prickly Pear and Radley Schools.  At PPE we are making the entry road a one way allowing for better access and a right turn only lane at the stop sign.  This improvement along with the eventual Valley Drive improvement in 2023 will hopefully make pick up and drop off times flow more smoothly.  At Radley we are creating a pickup and drop off lane on the west side along Thurman Street to create a safer space for kids to be picked up and dropped off.  We also worked cooperatively with the City to install stop signs at the Thurman/King intersection to keep the crosswalk open and safer for kids. 

     

    • Finally, we completed an asbestos abatement project at Radley school in which old, asbestos containing floor tiles, which were originally under the carpet, were safely removed.  We were then able to replace the carpet in the East Wing providing for a much nicer appearance and environment for the kids.  

     

    • Throughout the district, our maintenance staff have worked hard over the summer to provide deep cleaning of all buildings, to provide a safe and inviting learning environment for all students.  We want our kids and our community to be proud of our schools and we appreciate the facilities and resources the community has provided for our teachers and kids!

     

    Help Wanted - Career Fair

    The district is still looking to hire for most hourly positions.  We have multiple openings for paraprofessionals and are also seeking bus drivers, kitchen staff, and custodians.  We also need folks who are able to step in and sub in all positions.  Beside the obvious benefit of being able to work with the greatest kids around each day, school jobs also have a nice benefit of following the school schedule and being off work most days that the kids are out allowing for more family time.  To help found folks, the school principals are hosting a career fair TONIGHT at EHHS.  The address is 2760 Valley drive and administrative staff will be there from 5:30 to 7:30 allowing candidates to apply and be interviewed on the spot.  If you or someone you know is in the market for a rewarding career inspiring kids, then come on down to EHHS tonight.

     

    COVID Info

    While the COVID 19 pandemic is not yet officially ‘over’, more and more restrictions are being lifted setting us up for (hopefully) the most “normal” school year in a while!  The new CDC Guidelines for schools are to shift the burden to the responsibility of the individual person to take precautions to protect themselves and others.  Mask rules and mandatory quarantines for close contacts are behind us, but we are relying on all families to be aware and do what they can to stop or slow the spread of COVID 19.  The key for schools, students, and teachers will be to stay home when sick.

     

    We have secured a significant number of take home self test kits that will be made available to parents who ask for them free of charge.  Take home tests do not require reporting although people are asked to report a positive result to the county health department.  If you need a test kit, please inquire at your school office for a package to take home.  

     

    This coming year, I won't be reporting weekly COVID counts by school anymore as the new testing guidelines allow for far more personal privacy, and any counts we report will almost certainly be inaccurate.  We WILL notify families via email if their child has possibly been exposed to COVID 19 in class.  This will allow parents to monitor for symptoms and take precautions to protect other, possibly vulnerable family members.  

     

    Regarding vaccines, the CDC still recommends them, and we recognize it is the decision of individual families whether or not to get vaccinated or boosted.  We are aware and have been asked to share that there will be a free vaccine event tonight on the walking mall near the Parrot Confectionery in Downtown Helena from 4 - 6 PM.  There are no appointments required for this walk up clinic.  Later this fall (October), the health department will bring a Flu Shot and Covid vaccine event to East Helena, and I’ll share details about that when they become available.  

     

    I want you to know that the pandemic has been difficult for a lot of people, and it has been especially difficult for schools and school staff as we have had to navigate some of the most complicated decision making of our lifetimes.  Throughout this entire time, the community of East Helena has been incredibly supportive and understanding even at times when we did not all agree on things.  For this we are grateful!  We appreciate your support and look forward to ushering in this new school year.  

     

    Busing 

    Bus Routes can be found here.  This year we're adding another bus route, route 9. Here are some important details:

    • You do not need to register your child for the bus.  Find the stop nearest your house and have them there 5 minutes prior to the scheduled pick up time,

    • If you have questions about bus routes or stops, contact Nick Turner, bus supervisor.

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    6.03.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Wrap Up!

    The end of the school year is an exciting time.  Final band and choir concerts, Kindergarten graduation,  talent shows, move up days to meet new teachers, picnics, and fun days are all part of the formula as we celebrate another year of learning and helping our students develop to their fullest potential.  This week I was able to attend a few of these fun events to enjoy the work our students have put in and see what they have learned along the way.  

     

    One event I participated in was the first ever JROTC Awards ceremony held by LTC Mark Smith and his cadets at EHHS.  We have come a long way since the first discussions of an East Helena high school started years ago.  Back in those days, Karen Goldsberry was one of our lead advocates and an active school board member. Karen was an ardent supporter of our military and veterans and knew the leadership opportunities presented by JROTC would benefit our community.  This week we saw the fruits of that labor in action as the first ever JROTC Cadets received their medals and awards!!  

     

    Next week we’ll celebrate our 8th graders with graduation on Tuesday evening.  Wednesday is an early release day for students with school being dismissed at 1:30 PM. After that, School’s Out for Summer!

     

    A year from now, we’ll shift our focus to our first ever graduating senior class at East Helena High School!  It is amazing to me how much things have changed in East Helena in just a few short years!!!

     

    I want you to know that although school ends next week, the buildings will be busy with activity this summer.  We operate a robust summer program for K-5 students and are expanding those opportunities for 6-11 grade students who need to recover credit this summer.  Additionally, high school athletic programs will be utilizing summer for workouts and off season training for interested students.  On the maintenance side, summer gives our custodians an opportunity to give the buildings the deep cleaning they so desperately need, and spruce things up a  bit. And in a few short months we’ll be welcoming the kids right back to start it all over again.

     

    On behalf of our entire staff, I want to thank parents for sharing your kids with us.  Your trust and partnership means so much!  We truly hope all of our EHPS families are able to enjoy another amazing Montana Summer and spend some quality family time together.   See you in the fall!

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 6.03.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 5.27.22 - 68

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 6.03.22 - 92

    Lewis and Clark County Transmission Level today, 6.03.22 - HIGH

     

    New reported cases  5.31.22 - 6.03.22

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 15 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 8 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 30 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 5 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    5.31.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    We are monitoring a school threat situation involving Helena Public Schools.  Our school SRO, Officer Jeff Stoltz has been essential in our response and awareness of the evolving situation that unfolded this morning.

     

    At this time our schools have shifted to “Secure” status as a simple precaution.  This is part of our standard response protocol in which school staff were trained last August.  During “:secure” status we keep all school students and staff inside the secure building until we receive the all clear notification from authorities.

     

    There are no students in Helena or East Helena in immediate danger at this time.  All actions are precautionary.  You do not need to come pick up your children and the kids will fare best if we maintain business as usual as much as possible.

     

    Thank you for your care and concern!

     

    Mr Rispens




     

    5.27.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    School Tragedy

    Those who know me, know I am rarely at a loss for words, but time and again this week, I have been unable to comprehend or put into words my feelings about the Uvalde school shooting.  

     

    Nineteen 4th grade angels and their teachers lost.  

     

    It is unimaginable… yet starting to feel commonplace at the same time.   

     

    Of course, events such as this cause those of us working in schools to evaluate our own situation and preparedness, but in reality we are regularly reviewing our safety protocols and plans.  It’s not just something we save for times when tragedy strikes. Over the course of the next few weeks as more details emerge, we will watch and learn new ways to try and protect our students.  One key frustration this time around is that many of the safety plans and protocols we have in place in East Helena are similar to those already in force in Uvalde.  

     

    This week I have spoken and exchanged emails with a few frustrated and worried parents and teachers.  I have searched through professional publications and websites for new information, advice, and suggestions.  Most of the content has common threads:

    • Be willing to discuss the incident if/when children ask about it,
    • Be honest with kids about what happened,
    • Talk to kids in language appropriate to their developmental level,
    • Limit screen time and exposure to graphic newscasts,
    • Discuss a safety plan for family reunification and identify trusted adults at school.
    • refer kids (and adults) to counseling when necessary.

     

    A few community members have asked what they can do to help.  The best advice I have heard about that is:

    • If you have firearms in your home, ensure they are stored securely and safely so they don’t fall into the hands of the wrong people,
    • If someone in your home is struggling with mental illness or depression, consider storing your guns somewhere else for a while,
    • If you see something, say something.  This applies to online content as well as what’s going on in the community.  Notify authorities or school leaders/counselors about your concerns,
    • Listen to your kids and take their reports seriously.  Again, notify authorities about your concerns.
    • If you have suggestions about improving school safety (no matter how small or inconsequential it may seem), bring it up with your school’s principal.

     

    We want parents to feel welcome and invited to their child’s school.  We also want our schools to feel safe and secure for kids. Like Uvalde, East Helena is a wonderful small town community for families raising kids.  We want to work with you to keep it that way, and keep our kids safe.

     

    A Note About Me

    Most EHPS staff and board members are aware that I recently applied for a central office position with Helena Public Schools and was a finalist for the job.  The job would have possibly given me a chance to be a contributing member of a  team working to improve facilities in Helena, particularly high school facilities. The challenge was intriguing, and my application was in no way a reflection of any dissatisfaction with my role here in East Helena as your superintendent.  In the end, the selection committee decided to go with a  different candidate, and I was not selected for the job. It was a long and sometimes emotional process as I contemplated the prospect of leaving EHPS where I have spent the past 21 years.   In the end, I learned a lot, including a new appreciation for our amazing, supportive community and strong leadership of our experienced board of trustees.  I look forward to working with all of you as we take our schools into the future!

     

    (Repeated Item) Annual Title 1 Parent meeting

    The East Helena School District receives federal TItle 1 dollars to assist students who struggle academically and are economically disadvantaged.  Each year we are required to hold a Title 1 parent meeting to review the program and accept public comment about the programs offered.  This year's meeting will be held May 31 at 3:30 PM in the EVMS library.  The public is welcome to attend.  Title 1 teachers and staff will share information about how the program supports students at the various school sites.  There will be an opportunity for questions and answers and public input.  



    COVID Update

    After weeks of nothing to report about COVID, we are starting to see some new cases in schools.  This is a reminder that we are no longer requiring transitions to remote learning for close contacts, but rather are working to notify families of students who are close contacts and allowing families to determine the best course of action for their child.  

     

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 5.27.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 5.13.22 - 28

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 5.27.22 - 68

    Lewis and Clark County Transmission Level today, 5.23.22 - LOW

     

    New reported cases  5.16.22 - 5.27.22

    EG cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 1 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 1 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 15 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 8 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 29 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 5 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    5.13.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Spring Sports and Activities in East Helena

    East Helena Schools is proud to offer a wide range of sports and activities for our students. This past week, the EHPS Board of Trustees approved expanding our activities program to include MHSA Sanctioned Baseball next spring.  As we have grown and developed the High School program, more students have had opportunities for interscholastic competition.  This week I wanted to share some highlights of this Spring’s middle and high school activities:

    • High School Track - Spring weather has been a challenge. In fact the Missoula meet was canceled midway through due to snow.  There are 40 EHHS students out for VIgilante Track.  We hosted our first home meet at our beautiful new facility and it was a great success. Kaeden Sader qualified for state and competed in the top 10 in both the 100 and 200 meter races.  Braden Howell is a state contender in Javelin.  Montana Pierson has overcome adversity (broken leg) and come back to win her events at two meets as well as matching her personal best in high jump.  James Brooks and Josiah Hombeck are increasingly competitive in the middle distance races for the team.  On the coaching side, head coach Jon Moore is joined by two new assistants, Bret Charlton and Riley Sampson.
    • High School Tennis - Spring weather has been a challenge.  Several matches have been postponed or canceled.  Connor Brown, Justin Brewer, and Amber Stevenson are top competitors for the Vigilantes.  There are 7 boys and 14 girls out for tennis, a significant increase over last year’s numbers! Coach Ryan Murgel is leading the Vigilante Tennis team this year.
    • High School Softball - Spring weather has been a challenge.  The team record is 3 and 6 and our girls have navigated some heartbreaking losses in a very competitive conference.  These girls are tough and have played in “feels like” temps as low as 18 degrees!  The team goal is to finish strong!  The Vigilante Softball team’s last home game for the regular season is May 17 at 5 PM at EHHS against Butte Central. Megan Surginer is the head coach of the Vigilante Softball program.
    • Middle School Track (Grades 5-8) - Spring weather has been a challenge.  A record 148 students came out for middle school track this year.  55 of them are Radley 5th graders!   The season wrapped up May 10 with the Boulder meet. Many long standing EVMS track records were threatened or overcome this year.  Head coach Troy Arntson was joined by assistants, Nikki Odegard, Gage Vermillion, Tricia Haines, and Hailey Carpenter in running the EMVS Tiger track program.  
    •  Intramural 5th and 6th grade boys and girls Basketball - Practices and drills were held at Radley School for intramurals.  Coaches Dani Norling and Michael Kemper had great turnouts of athletes for these fun programs.

     

    The growth and expansion of the district has led to growth and expansion of these great opportunities for kids.  All these activities have really ramped up our travel and bussing, and our awesome drivers have risen to the occasion and kept things rolling along.  As we emerge from the COVID 19 pandemic, it is exciting to see kids taking part in this important part of school life and being willing to represent EastHelena at the state level.   

     

    Annual Title 1 Parent meeting

    The East Helena School District receives federal Title 1 dollars to assist students who struggle academically and are economically disadvantaged.  Each year we are required to hold a Title 1 parent meeting to review the program and accept public comment about the programs offered.  This year's meeting will be held May 31 at 3:30 PM in the EVMS library.  The public is welcome to attend.  Title 1 teachers and staff will share information about how the program supports students at the various school sites.  There will be an opportunity for questions and answers and public input.  



    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 5.13.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 4.29.22 - 21

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 5.13.22 - 28

     

    New reported cases  5.02.22 - 5.13.22 - NONE

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 29 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    4.29.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Teacher Appreciation Week.

    Today we celebrated Loyalty Day in the East Helena Schools.  In this annual observance, the schools partner with the local ladies auxiliary of the VFW to promote patriotism and service to one’s community.  Students create art or write essays on these themes and the ladies auxiliary selects the winning entries to be recognized in school assemblies.  Part of this entire celebration is a proclamation of the East Helena Mayor, Kelly Harris declaring the first Tuesday in May as “Teacher Day'' as part of the national recognition of the efforts our teachers put forth for our kids and communities.  

     

    Our schools have long observed not just “Teacher Day” but actually the entire first week in May as teacher and staff appreciation week.  Our local PTO supports these efforts as we all take a moment to recognize and appreciate the work our school staff undertake each day in caring for and educating the kids of East Helena.  Next week we’ll be serving staff treats and luncheons, ordering coffees from Leilanni’s, and generally thanking them for their hard work.       

     

    Parents can get involved too!  A quick card or note to your child’s teacher can speak volumes about your thoughts and appreciation.  Please join me in recognizing our awesome and dedicated staff next week!

     

    Sports Physicals

    As we wind down the 2021-22 school year, it’s time to think about getting prepared for 22-23.  For our high school athletes, that means completing sports physicals to be ready for fall competition.  This year St Peter’s Health is partnering with us to provide physicals for interested students on May 23, 24, and 25 from 4:00 - 7:00 PM at EHHS in the gym hallway.  These physicals are open to all EHHS Students and EVMS 8th graders.  The suggested $20 donation comes back to EHHS Athletics as a donation from St. Peters and is the most cost effective and convenient way to get this requirement completed.  Students need to complete the MHSA form and bring it with them.  You can find the form here

     

    School Elections

    Tuesday, May 3 is election day for Montana school elections.  In East Helena we do not have a mill levy request on the ballot but we do have 4 community members running for two open seats on the EHPS board.  The candidates are incumbents Scott Walter and Marcia Ellermeyer who are joined on the ballot by Juliet Hahn and Tristan Ulmer.  You should have received your mail ballot already.  They are due by 8:00 PM Tuesday the 3rd.  They can be mailed into the courthouse or dropped off at Central Office at 226 E Clinton in East Helena.  Questions about voting?  Call Kim Aarstad at 227-7700.

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 4.15.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 4.15.22 - 24

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 4.29.22 - 21

     

    New reported cases  4.19.22 - 4.29.22 - NONE

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 29 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

     

    4.15.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Easter Weekend - No School Monday.

    A quick review of the school calendar shows “no school” Monday , April 18.  We certainly hope all of our students and families have a great weekend and get to enjoy some time together over the holiday.

     

    Weather Check

    Oh Montana, you never fail to surprise us when it comes to weather!  The recent change from Spring back to “Winter” has shown that in Montana the one thing you can count on is that you can’t count on the weather!  With EVMS and EHHS Spring sports in full swing, the swing in temperatures has challenged our athletes, coaches, and school staff.  We appreciate your patience as we navigate the season and the uncertainties that go along with it. Ultimately we want the kids to have a good experience, while keeping safety first and foremost when it comes to difficult travel and playing weather.  Short notice cancellations and reschedules are occurring regularly.  When games are canceled in the short spring season it becomes difficult or impossible to reschedule.  Coaches usually have the latest up to date information and will communicate to parents as quickly as possible when things get changed up.

     

    COVID Update

    Tonight EVMS held the first dance in a  LONG time for our 6-8 grade students.  A big thank you is in order to the EVMS Administrative staff, the student council, and student council advisor for helping to plan the dance and make it a reality.  Mr. VanNice sent me a video from the EVMS gym this afternoon and the kids looked like they were having a great time.  This is yet one more step on our way back from COVID closures.  

     

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 4.15.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 4.08.22 - 17

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 4.15.22 - 24

     

    New reported cases  4.11.22 - 4.15.22 - NONE

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 29 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens


    4.08.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Month of the Military Child

    April is the Month of the Military Child.  Our military families undergo many sacrifices to support our nation and preserve our freedom.  Parents who have to leave home for drill or deployments leave behind spouses and children who have to carry on and be strong without them.  Observing April as the month of the Military Child gives us a chance to build awareness and let our military families know that the East Helena Community and EHPS appreciates their service and supports their families while they are away.  In particular we are observing April 12 as “Purple up” Day for military kids.  We are encouraging all students and staff to wear purple on Tuesday, April 12 in support of military families and kids.

     

    Spring Construction Season is Upon Us

    It’s often said that in Montana there are two seasons, Winter and construction.  With all the growth in and around our community, active construction projects and sites are all around.  From new home construction in the Highland Meadows and Vigilante subdivisions to road construction projects on Highway 12, the signs of progress and growth are all around us.  An additional project will be starting late next week that involves construction of a recreational trail across City of East Helena property, school district property and Prickly Pear Land Trust property.  The haul route of the trail materials will travel down Main Street in East Helena and the staging area will be based out of JFK park north of the pool.  I am bringing all of this up because these projects add to our community, but active construction sites and zones also pose a risk for people, especially kids who may be curious about the site, project, and machinery.  This would be a good time to chat with your children about the importance of avoiding construction sites and zones and avoiding heavy equipment.  Adults can set a positive example for our kids.  Below is some information from MDT about auto safety when passing through road construction zones.  THANKS!

     

    WORK ZONE FACTS

    • Most work zone crashes are caused by inattentive or distracted drivers.
    • Speeding, like driving too fast for conditions, is a leading cause of fatal work zone crashes.
    • More work zone crashes occurred in daytime compared to nighttime.
    • Fatal crashes occurred more often during the months of May through September.

    o   In work zone crashes, it is most often drivers or their passengers that are killed or injured.

     

    Safety is MDT’s top priority. You can do your part by remembering to slow down when approaching work zones and follow posted speed limits. Leave adequate braking room between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Keep your cool, pay attention, and plan for delays. Thank you for helping MDT and Riverside Contracting ensure that everyone is safe in the work zone!



    EHHS Administrative Changes

    Over the past 5 years our district has grown from 3 buildings and grounds to 5 and we have doubled the number of bus routes we operate.  Additionally, transportation for student activities has increased exponentially with the addition of a comprehensive high school.  Our high school enrollment is targeted to hit 580-620 students next year prompting the need for a vice principal who can focus full attention on the care and well being of our students.  With all this in mind we are making some changes to staffing.  Mr. Murgel will transition to a  full time role of Athletic Director and Operations Director for transportation and facilities.  In this capacity he will be able to focus more energy on building and supporting our athletic and student activity programs while providing administrative oversight to the facilities and transportation areas.  We will begin looking for a new EHHS Vice Principal right away.  In this full time capacity the new administrator can provide additional support to EHHS staff and students in the areas of attendance and discipline.

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 4.08.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 3.25.22 - 18

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 4.08.22 - 17

     

    New reported cases  4.04.22 - 4.08.22 - NONE

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 29 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    3.25.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  You probably didn't notice but we missed last week, so this is the 2 week update!  Enjoy the weekend!

     

    SPRING BREAK!

    Happy Spring Break Everyone!  It is hard to believe we are here already.  I am wishing all of our amazing students and awesome staff a restful, safe, and fun break from the hustle and bustle of school next week.  I am hopeful that our district families enjoy the time off, so we can all return on April 4 ready to learn!

     

    SWEATSHIRTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We had an amazing gift delivered by Montana Rail Link Employees this week.  Over 2000 hoodies for students and staff were delivered to our 5 schools.  MRL contacted us last fall about being a  recipient for their sweatshirt project.  Honestly the whole thing seemed too good to be true as they gathered sizing information by school and teacher/class to put the order together.  They completed all the artwork and had us approve it for each school prior to moving forward.  The plan was to deliver the shirts to the kids at  Christmas, but COVID and supply chain disruptions pushed the delivery back to March.  In any case, you can imagine the excitement of the kids as they received these high quality, soft and cozy sweatshirts with their school name and logo.  It was incredible to be part of, and we are super thankful to MRL and the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for their generosity!!!

     

    Lead Testing

    You may have seen some articles in state media about new lead testing requirements in Montana schools.  I reported to the school board about our progress in this area at the March board meeting.  We have sampled and and received results for Eastgate, PPE, Radley, and EHHS.  Final sampling for EVMS will be completed over the break.  The sampling and testing is done for each individual fixture within the school which requires significant record keeping.  When results are returned, if any fixture tests above 5 PPB we are required to turn off the fixture until it can be replaced.  We are reviewing these results and making necessary changes as required.  At EHHS and PPE we had 0 fixtures test high for lead.   Eastgate and Radley, each had a few fixtures that tested in the warning zone and required replacing.  

     

    Spring Sports

    Spring Sports are underway at both East Helena High School and East Valley Middle School.  We are proud to be able to offer a variety of sports and activities for our students and we’re even happier about the number of kids who choose to come out and represent East Helena in this way!  Information about EHHS activities and schedules can be found at this link.  For information about EVMS Spring Sports, please contact the school office after spring break.

     

    COVID Protocol adjustment

    The board reviewed the EHPS re-opening plan for COVID 19 at the March board meeting and made some adjustments to the language to better reflect current conditions regarding the virus.  The refined language allows for more discretion by school officials when it comes to managing surges in COVID outbreaks.    Most significantly, now that vaccines are available to staff and most students who want them, and now that the Omicron surge is in the rear view mirror we will transition away from the mandatory transition to remote learning for those exposed to COVID 19 as identified  close contacts.  For future exposures, families will be notified if their child  is a close contact , and can choose their course of action regarding remote learning.  Families will be asked to monitor children for symptoms and continue to keep kids home when symptomatic or if they have tested positive for COVID 19.  Additionally, if you are awaiting test results, it is best to keep kids out until you have verification of a negative test.  

     

    EVMS Administrative Changes

    EVMS Principal, Brenda Stoltz, has submitted her retirement letter to the EHPS school board and will be leaving her post at the end of the 21-22 school year.  We are thankful to Mrs. Stoltz for her years of service to East Helena as a middle school teacher and administrator and wish her well in her future endeavors.  We are currently advertising for a  replacement and hope to make a hiring decision within the coming weeks.

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 3.25.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 3.11.22 - 8

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 3.25.22 - 18

     

    New reported cases  3.14.22 - 3.25.22

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 2 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 29 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    Community Transmission Level = LOW 

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 55% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 63% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 35% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 66%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 47%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 12%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 25%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    3.11.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  Enjoy the weekend!

     

    Spring Forward

    Love it or hate it, Daylight Savings Time is upon us yet again!  This weekend, we all need to Spring Forward one hour Saturday night into Sunday.  This time change wears on kids, teachers, and parents for a few days each year until our internal clocks adjust, so please be patient with each other next week!

     

    Vigilante Attic

    Do you have formal attire items you can donate to the Vigilante Attic?  See below from EHHS teachers:  

     

    We are starting the Vigilante Attic formal closet-please bring in your clean gently worn prom/formal dresses and ties to donate to our closet. Donations can be given to Ms. Canright or Mrs. Schoenfeld or dropped off at East Helena High School during school hours  Please be aware that these dresses, etc will not be returned to you and are considered part of the Attic after donation.  Let's give those formals new life. Donations can be taken at any time but our prom this year is March 19th.

    Thanks!  We are East Helena 227



    Early Release and Staff Wellness

    Monday, March 14 is the 6th early release day of the school year.  Students will be released at 1:30 PM Monday afternoon to enable staff to complete training and professional work.  

     

    If you’ve been following the news this past year, you are likely aware of the news reports about increasing stress and burn out among school staff across the nation.  The reasons for this are varied, but most relate back to the uncertainty of the pandemic and its effects on society.   In light of this, and our ongoing efforts to support mental health in the community, we are setting aside this early release day for a staff “wellness fair.” On Monday, all staff will have the opportunity to participate in training and activities related to overall health and well being.  I am hopeful that setting aside time for staff health and wellbeing will set us up for a positive Spring as we roll towards the end of the school year.  

     

    Lastly regarding early releases, it was brought up through the Strategic Planning survey conducted by the board that traffic on early out days was especially troublesome given the fact that all 5 schools dismiss at the same time and about 350 high school drivers are on Valley Drive along with all the parents wanting to pick up kids at PPE, Radley and EVMS.  This is one of those unanticipated consequences of growth and one that we had not dealt with until this year as the younger age of high schoolers and the pandemic reduced the impact in 2020-21.  We hear and understand the concern and will work to find a better solution for next year in our planning.  We certainly appreciate this input from members of our EH community.

     

    1889

    We want to give a SHOUT OUT to Helena’s 1889 Coffee House.  The fine folks at 1889 provided snacks and coffee for ALL DISTRICT SCHOOLS this week!  The refreshments were much appreciated by staff.

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 3.11.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 3.04.22 - 9

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 3.11.22 - 8

     

    **NO COVID CASES THIS WEEK**

     

    New reported cases  3.07.22 - 3.11.22

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 1 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 27 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 54% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 63% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 35% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 66%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 47%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 12%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 25%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

    Mr Rispens

    3.04.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  Enjoy the weekend!

     

    Strategic Planning

    Your EHPS School Board Trustees are invested in the education of students in our community.  Part of their responsibility lies in making long range plans that guide district administration and staff in their day to day planning and decision making.  The process is often referred to as “Strategic Planning” and endeavors to see ahead into the 5, 10, 15, and 20 year horizon and chart a course for district priorities. As representatives of the community, trustees are interested in the view and opinions of their constituents.  We set out to gather input from the community during our community survey in December of 2021.  285 responses were gathered through the survey process giving us a good view into the thoughts and opinions of folks throughout East Helena.  

     

    The board will meet on Monday, March 7 to review those survey results and take the next steps in incorporating that input into the revised and updated strategic plan.  The meeting will be held in the East Valley Middle School library.  There is also an option to attend virtually via ZOOM.

     

    You can find the agenda and Zoom link here.

     

    The community survey results are at this link.

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 3.04.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 2.25.22 - 43

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 3.04.22 - 9

     

    New reported cases  2.28.22 - 3.4.22

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 1 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 27 Student; 8 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 54% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 63% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 34% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 66%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 47%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 15%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 25%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    2.25.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  Enjoy the weekend!

     

    The “227”

    Back in the Day when I was a  kid, nobody had CELL phones.  We all had landlines. All landlines had a prefix number that indicated the town or geographical area in which the line was located.  Most if not all of East Helena numbers started with “227”.  To this day our school phone numbers maintain the “227” prefix!  Over the years, “227” became a number that indicated  belonging in East Helena, and kids growing up in East Helena were proud to note to their friends that they were from “the 227”.  Even more recently, February 27 (2/27) has become infamous in local social media circles for being a day of pride for those of us in ”the 227.”

     

    As we grow into our new high school, we are being mindful of where we have come from.  We are looking to establish traditions that will carry us forward while never losing sight of who we are as a community.  East Helena has a long history that for years was intertwined with the ASARCO Smelter.  Yet students in our schools nowadays were born after the stacks came down, and have no meaningful memory of our town’s rich history.  East Helena is tough. We are known for hard work and tenacity.  We want to carry those values forward to the next generation.

     

    In light of all this, your EHPS Trustees passed “Resolution 227” at their February meeting.  The resolution declares Feb 27 as East Helena Heritage Day in the EH Schools and directs staff to design and teach lessons and plan activities on that day that will instill a sense of history and civic pride in our kids.  This year, February 27 falls on a  Sunday, so most classrooms will observe EH Heritage Day today or Monday. Parents can support by sharing their own knowledge about East Helena’s past or visiting with their kids about the lessons learned at school about East Helena. We hope to grow and develop this tradition with community partnerships over time.

     

    Happy 227 Day everyone! 

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 2.25.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 2.18.22 - 82

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 2.25.22 - 43

     

    **0 New Cases this week!!!**

     

    New reported cases  2/22 - 2/25

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 27 Student; 7 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 54% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 63% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 34% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 66%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 47%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 10%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 24%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    2.18.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest (short and sweet) update from your superintendent.  Enjoy the 3 day weekend (No School Monday)

     

    Staff Appreciation (SRO)

    Last week I mentioned appreciation observances for school counselors and paraprofessionals.  I missed National SRO day which occurred this past week.  In East Helena we have an AWESOME SRO through our partnership with the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office.  Deputy Jeff Stoltz serves all 5 schools and provides an invaluable service to our students and staff in his capacity as School Resource Officer.  Thanks for all you do Officer Stoltz!!!

     

    2022-23 School Calendar

    At their regular board meeting Monday night, the EHPS School Board adopted the official school calendar for the 2022-23 school year.  While all the calendar details are not yet finalized, the attendance days are set and many families desire to have this information early for their advance planning.  You can find the calendar at this link.

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 2.11.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 2.11.22 - 191

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 2.18.22 - 82

     

    New reported cases  2/14 - 2/18

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 1 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 2 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 27 Student; 7 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 41 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 54% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 62% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 34% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 66%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 47%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 10%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 24%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    2.11.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Staff Appreciation (Counselors and paraprofessionals)

    All of your EHPS School staff are working hard to provide a quality educational experience for East Helena kids in a caring environment.  This past week, we observed School Counselor Appreciation Week, and next week is Paraprofessional Appreciation Week in Montana.   We want to take a moment to recognize these folks who provide support to the classroom teachers and our students in a variety of ways.   They are often the “unsung heroes” of most schools, so it’s very appropriate to set aside some time to recognize their efforts and contributions to our school system.  Our school staff will be making efforts to make sure these folks know their work is appreciated and valued.  Parents can get involved too.  Sometimes  a simple thank you note can go miles towards making someone feel appreciated and acknowledged.  These can be dropped off at school offices or emailed into the school secretaries who will distribute them to the right people.  

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 2.11.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 2.04.22 - 953

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 2.04.22 - 191

     

    New reported cases  2/07 - 2/11

    EG cases = 1 Students; 1 Staff

    PPE Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 14 Students; 9 Staff

    PPE Cases = 11 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 27 Student; 6 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 39 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 54% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 62% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 34% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 66%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 47%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 9%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 24%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    2.04.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Winter Doldrums

    It’s February, Groundhog’s Day, Parent-Teacher Conferences, 100th day of school etc etc.  We have officially hit “mid-winter.”  The excitement of the Holiday Season has passed and Spring Break and warm weather seem way off in the distant future.  As a lifelong Montanan, I can honestly say that I probably don’t have a “favorite” season.  They are all so special and unique in our amazing state.    But I am fortunate in that I do have an affinity for winter, which often feels like the LONGEST season in Montana!  I grew up snowmobiling and skiing and lately have taken up x-country skiing and snowshoeing as ways to get outside and enjoy the beauty of winter.   As a lifelong Montanan, I am also aware that many others don’t feel so fondly about the darker months of the year.  Seasonal depression is a real thing for many in our state and something to be aware of as we look for ways to support and care for others around us.  

     

    In the schools, the winter months can feel like a long slog for students and teachers alike.  We continue to pay attention to mental health concerns of our school population with screening and support.  Parents can help by being aware of this phenomenon and letting teachers or school counselors know if they have concerns about their children.   Changes in mood, behavior, or friends are often warning signs and should not be ignored.    If you have concerns, please reach out.  In the meantime, spread a little cheer with words of support and care for the kids of East Helena and the dedicated teachers who are leading us forward in making this strange and crazy school year a success!

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 2.04.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 1.20.22 - 833

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 2.04.22 - 953

     

    New reported cases  1/22 - 2/04

    EG cases = 2 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 2 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 3 Students; 1 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 2 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 1 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 13 Students; 8 Staff

    PPE Cases = 10 Students; 7 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 27 Student; 6 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 20 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 39 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 54% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 62% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 34% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 66%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 47%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 9%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 23%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    1.20.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Out of the Office

    My wife and I will be taking a trip out of the area, so there will not be a Supt update tomorrow or next Friday.  This update will share the COVID update as of TODAY and then we’ll give another update on or around Feb 1.  

     

    Should a transition to remote learning for an entire school be necessary while I am gone, building administrators will make that decision in consult with your school board chairman.  The information will be communicated with parents via our Powerschool messaging system.  Currently we are doing ok with staffing and that is largely a result of creative thinking on the part of your school principals, flexibility on the part of your teaching and paraprofessional staff, and parents working with us to keep COVID affected students home until they are safe to be around others.  THANKS are in order to everyone for the efforts being made to keep folks safe and keep schools open.  It is MUCH appreciated!!!!  

     

    Lastly I wanted parents to be aware that given the current Omicron surge, we have asked teachers to move as many of their Parent-Teacher conferences to ZOOM, MEET, or good old fashioned telephone calls as possible.  Although we LOVE meeting our families in person for these times, it seems like it would be a good step in keeping everyone safe to try and do most conferences remotely this time around.  Thanks for understanding.    

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 1.20.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 1.14.22 - 844

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 1.20.22 - 833

     

    New reported cases this week 1/18 - 1/20

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 2 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 4 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 2 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 11 Students; 8 Staff

    PPE Cases = 10 Students; 5 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 24 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 18 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 38 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 53% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 62% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 32% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 60%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 46%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 6%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 22%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    1.14.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Friday Ski Trips

    We are excited to announce the return of our Friday Night Ski Trips to great Divide Ski Area for night skiing.  The trips are scheduled to begin (Today) Friday, Jan 14.  Friday ski trips are open to EVMS and EHHS Students.  Sign up information will be available to students at their school.  

     

    What’s Up with COVID?  Are schools closing?

    Rumors are rampant about school closures.  Around the state, COVID Driven school closures are causing chaos and confusion as Omicron continues it’s spread.  Many districts are recording a record number of COVID infections.  Like other districts, EHPS is dealing with staffing shortages caused by infection and contact with COVID but so far has managed to continue with onsite learning.  It is important to keep in mind that when schools “close,” teaching and learning does not stop.  We simply transition to remote learning which can complicate things for staff, students, parents etc.  Staff will continue teaching their classes and interacting with their students in the digital environment during any COVID Induced closure.  

     

    At EHPS, we continue to monitor staffing information on a daily and hourly basis.  Our current plan in this arena would be to first consider reducing or eliminating intervention classes from the schedule as much as possible which would free up intervention personnel to assist in other areas/classrooms.  Our next step may be to consider transitioning EHHS and possibly EVMS to remote learning and transferring support staff from the  remote learning schools to the on-site schools (EG, PPE and Radley) to continue operations for our youngest students.  

     

    With this in mind, we are asking for your continued cooperation and support.  Families should be prepared for students to be sent home for up to 5 days in the coming weeks if there is increased spread in the community. If the news predictions are anywhere close to accurate, the Omicron surge will come and go quickly and we can once again reevaluate the situation.  Keeping kids home when sick, exposed to COVID, or awaiting COVID test results is the biggest help families can give schools and each other.  

     

    (Repeated item) summary of revised school protocols is below:

     

    Student who tested positive for COVID: 

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning 
    • After 5 days, if the student has NO symptoms or symptoms have resolved, they may return to school (this would be a return date on Day 6) 
    • It is recommend that the student wear a mask around others from day 6 to day 10 while in school
    • School nurses have the discretion to send students home from Day 6-10 if we notice their symptoms have not resolved and they should not be in school. 
    • After day 10, students are clear to be here regardless if they still are showing mild symptoms or not. 

    Student who have a household member who tested positive: 

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning 
    • If possible, test on or after day 5 (this is not required in order to return but we highly recommend it since they live with someone who tested positive)
    • After day 5, if they are symptom free, they may return to school
    • It is recommend the student wears a mask from day 6 to day 10
    • We recommend that parents and teachers watch for symptoms closely after the student returns to school

    School close contacts (sent home by the school) - regardless of vaccine status:

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning from the last known exposure date
    • We will still offer testing on day 5 but it is not required to return
    • After day 5, if the student is symptom free, they may return to school 
    • It is recommend the student wear a mask from day 6 to day 10
    • We recommend teachers and parents watch for symptoms closely from day 6 to day 10 after the student returns to school 

     

    We will still offer testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Overall, the general rule is stay home for 5 days (Day 1 is the first day AFTER symptoms or the positive test. - Students will be returning on Day 6 if they are symptom free). 

     

    How Can Parents help?

    • Vaccination - Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if the vaccine is right for your family.  There is a FREE vaccine clinic at EHHS on January 15. 
    • Keep kids home when sick, exposed, or awaiting test results
    • Consider signing up to be a sub. Anyone can be a sub if they have a high school diploma and a  clean background check.  Even if you have limited availability, you may be the difference between keeping schools open or not.  Across the nation, parents are stepping in to help out on a  temporary basis in this way.  You need to fill out a district application to sub.  Someone will call you to arrange the background check once your application is completed. 
    • Be patient -While the pandemic is continuing on longer than ANYONE wanted, we are all dealing with it’s related stress and disruptions in different ways at the same time.  Angry outbursts or attacks on school staff or other community members do not help in any way.  



    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  The numbers below indicate cases that came into the school and caused a contact tracing situation.   In some cases a student or staff member may have COVID but NOT be included in our count if the case was caught early and did not come into the school setting.   Here is the current update as of 1.14.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 1.7.22 - 546

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 1.14.22 - 844

     

    New reported cases this week 1/7 - 1/14

    EG cases = 1 Students; 2 Staff

    PPE Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 4 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 3 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 1

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 11 Students; 8 Staff

    PPE Cases = 10 Students; 3 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 24 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 14 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 36 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 5

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 53% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 61% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 32% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 60%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 46%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 5%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 21%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    1.12.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is a special  update from your superintendent.  



    Symptomatic Students

    Parents, we need your help.  The quick rise in COVID cases combined with a local outbreak of flu and strep has our school nurses and secretaries jumping.  Please do not send students to school if they have any COVID/flu/strep symptoms.  I myself tested positive for COVID today with no known exposure and being fully vaccinated and boosted. 

     

    School support staff are working hard to keep school open and keep kids and teachers safe and healthy.  A COVID outbreak among staff could cause an emergency remote learning situation which is something we would all like to avoid.  

     

    This link takes you to the cdc page regarding symptoms of COVID 19.

     

    If the school calls with a  concern about your symptomatic child, please come pick them up as soon as possible.  While we realize this can be disruptive to peoples’ work schedules, a 5-10 day remote learning session will be disruptive to the entire community.  

     

    ***Vaccine Clinic Saturday Jan 15***  There are still some appointments left

    With the onset of Omicron, local health authorities received a ton of phone calls about vaccines and offered to bring an additional vaccine clinic to East Helena January 15.  The clinic will be open from 10 AM to 2 PM at EHHS and will be offering shots to all interested parties.  First shot, second shot, and boosters will be available to individuals age 12 and up.  Appointments are required.  

     

    You can make your appointment at this link.

     

    (Repeated info) - COVID Protocols in light of new variant and CDC Guidance

    If you are confused by the latest COVID isolation guidance from the CDC you’re not alone.  We have worked this week to understand the new advice and adjust our practices accordingly.  The local health department has provided an infographic that clarifies the new rules quite well.  

     

    You can find the infographic for individuals who are COVID positive at this link.

     

    You can find the infographic for those who are close contacts at this link.

     

    Please remember  that in Montana it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of COVID 19 vaccine status.  In light of that, all students who are identified as close contacts to a  positive case, are treated according to the guidance for unvaccinated individuals.  We fully understand that parents and teachers are frustrated by repeated temporary assignments to remote learning, and now that the vaccine is available to 5-11 year olds, we are looking forward to the day when we can forgo that practice.  However in light of the unknowns about the impending Omicron surge (which has shown itself to apparently be quite vaccine resistant), we are maintaining the practice until we know more about spread and severity.  The good news is that the new guidance shortens the amount of time to 5 days.  It is also important to note that individuals who return after day 5 are recommended to wear a mask when around others for days 6-10.  It is also important to note that anyone who can prove a positive COVID test and recovery within the past 90 days does not have to follow these guidelines. 

     

    Some parents have also asked about the CDC’s new “test to stay” protocols for schools.  That guidance requires masks for students who are exposed and test to stay in school.  Since we operate in a  “mask optional”, personal responsibility environment, we are not taking up the “test to stay” program.  

     

    We will, however, continue to offer rapid testing for students who are close contacts if parents request it. 

     

    Our biggest concern with Omicron is the prospect of staffing shortages due to COVID, which could cause whole class, grade level, or  school transition to remote learning for a temporary period.  Our substitute list is not long and staffing continues to be a concern for organizations and businesses around the country.  We know that families have been put under stress by the remote learning assignments, but our schools have remained on the low end of covid cases throughout the year with the practice, and we want to keep kids and teachers as safe as possible.  

     

    With this in mind, we are asking for your continued cooperation and support.  Families should be prepared for students to be sent home for up to 5 days in the coming weeks if there is increased spread in the community. If the news predictions are anywhere close to accurate, the Omicron surge will come and go quickly and we can once again reevaluate the situation.  Keeping kids home when sick, exposed to COVID, or awaiting COVID test results is the biggest help families can give schools and each other.  

     

    A summary of school protocols is below:

     

    Student who tested positive for COVID: 

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning 
    • After 5 days, if the student has NO symptoms or symptoms have resolved, they may return to school (this would be a return date on Day 6) 
    • It is recommend that the student wear a mask around others from day 6 to day 10 while in school
    • School nurses have the discretion to send students home from Day 6-10 if we notice their symptoms have not resolved and they should not be in school. 
    • After day 10, students are clear to be here regardless if they still are showing mild symptoms or not. 

    Student who have a household member who tested positive: 

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning 
    • If possible, test on or after day 5 (this is not required in order to return but we highly recommend it since they live with someone who tested positive)
    • After day 5, if they are symptom free, they may return to school
    • It is recommend the student wears a mask from day 6 to day 10
    • We recommend that parents and teachers watch for symptoms closely after the student returns to school

    School close contacts (sent home by the school) - regardless of vaccine status:

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning from the last known exposure date
    • We will still offer testing on day 5 but it is not required to return
    • After day 5, if the student is symptom free, they may return to school 
    • It is recommend the student wear a mask from day 6 to day 10
    • We recommend teachers and parents watch for symptoms closely from day 6 to day 10 after the student returns to school 

     

    We will still offer testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Overall, the general rule is stay home for 5 days (returning on Day 6). 

     

    How Can Parents help?

    • Vaccination - Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if the vaccine is right for your family.  There is a FREE vaccine clinic at EHHS on January 15. 
    • Keep kids home when sick, exposed, or awaiting test results
    • Consider signing up to be a sub. Anyone can be a sub if they have a high school diploma and a  clean background check.  Even if you have limited availability, you may be the difference between keeping schools open or not.  Across the nation, parents are stepping in to help out on a  temporary basis in this way.  You need to fill out a district application to sub.  Someone will call you to arrange the background check once your application is completed. 
    • Be patient -While the pandemic is continuing on longer than ANYONE wanted, we are all dealing with it’s related stress and disruptions in different ways at the same time.  Angry outbursts or attacks on school staff or other community members do not help in any way.  




    Mr Rispens

     

    1.11.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Vaccine Clinic Saturday Jan 15

    The East Helena Vaccine Clinic will be held Saturday, January 15 at East Helena High School.  The clinic will be open from 10 AM to 2 PM at EHHS and will be offering shots to all interested parties.  First shot, second shot, and boosters will be available to individuals age 12 and up.  The clinic will not have shots for those age 5-11 due to the different dosage for that age group.   

     

    The clinic is open to anyone who needs a vaccine or booster.

     

    Appointments are required.  

     

    The link below takes you directly to the appointment web site:

     

    https://app.waitwhile.com/book/lcphclinics2021

     

    1.7.22

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    School Board Strategic Planning Survey - Your input is needed (Last Chance -Survey closes Monday, Jan 10)!!

    Your EHPS School Board works hard to provide oversight and direction for the future of our public schools.  Part of their commitment to this process is writing and updating an overall strategic plan for the district.  As part of this process they need your input and support.  The board has put together a short survey for parents, staff, community members, and students to gauge their ideas about the district and gather stakeholder input.  Please take a moment to share your perspective.  

     

    You can find the survey at this link.

     

    Update on HB 279 - tax credit donation law

    The $1,000,000 cap for donations to public schools was met within 5 minutes of opening the portal Monday morning.  So the program is finished for this year.  Next year the cap goes to $2,000,000.  People can donate any amount they want and take that amount as a direct credit from their state income tax bill.  Additionally, you can roll the credit for 3 years if you don’t need to utilize the full amount.  Clearly in this first year, the program benefitted a select few school districts with wealthy donors giving large sums to offset their tax bills.  But as the cap grows, more regular Montanas will be able to take advantage of this unique program.

     

    Friday Ski Trips

    We are excited to announce the return of our Friday Night Ski Trips to great Divide Ski Area for night skiing.  The trips are scheduled to begin Friday, Jan 14.  Friday ski trips are open to EVMS and EHHS Students.  Sign up information will be available to students at their school.  

     

    Vaccine Clinic Saturday, Jan 15

    With the onset of Omicron, local health authorities received a ton of phone calls about vaccines and offered to bring an additional vaccine clinic to East Helena January 15.  The clinic will be open from 10 AM to 2 PM at EHHS and will be offering shots to all interested parties.  First shot, second shot, and boosters for individuals 12 and over will be available.  Appointments will be required.  We will share the appointment information as soon as it becomes available.  

     

    COVID Protocols in light of new variant and CDC Guidance

    If you are confused by the latest COVID isolation guidance from the CDC you’re not alone.  We have worked this week to understand the new advice and adjust our practices accordingly.  The local health department has provided an infographic that clarifies the new rules quite well.  

     

    You can find the infographic for individuals who are COVID positive at this link.

     

    You can find the infographic for those who are close contacts at this link.

     

    Please remember  that in Montana it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of COVID 19 vaccine status.  In light of that, all students who are identified as close contacts to a  positive case, are treated according to the guidance for unvaccinated individuals.  We fully understand that parents and teachers are frustrated by repeated temporary assignments to remote learning, and now that the vaccine is available to 5-11 year olds, we are looking forward to the day when we can forgo that practice.  However in light of the unknowns about the impending Omicron surge (which has shown itself to apparently be quite vaccine resistant), we are maintaining the practice until we know more about spread and severity.  The good news is that the new guidance shortens the amount of time to 5 days.  It is also important to note that individuals who return after day 5 are recommended to wear a mask when around others for days 6-10.  It is also important to note that anyone who can prove a positive COVID test and recovery within the past 90 days does not have to follow these guidelines. 

     

    Some parents have also asked about the CDC’s new “test to stay” protocols for schools.  That guidance requires masks for students who are exposed and test to stay in school.  Since we operate in a  “mask optional”, personal responsibility environment, we are not taking up the “test to stay” program.  

     

    We will, however, continue to offer rapid testing for students who are close contacts if parents request it. 

     

    Our biggest concern with Omicron is the prospect of staffing shortages due to COVID, which could cause whole class, grade level, or  school transition to remote learning for a temporary period.  Our substitute list is not long and staffing continues to be a concern for organizations and businesses around the country.  We know that families have been put under stress by the remote learning assignments, but our schools have remained on the low end of covid cases throughout the year with the practice, and we want to keep kids and teachers as safe as possible.  

     

    With this in mind, we are asking for your continued cooperation and support.  Families should be prepared for students to be sent home for up to 5 days in the coming weeks if there is increased spread in the community. If the news predictions are anywhere close to accurate, the Omicron surge will come and go quickly and we can once again reevaluate the situation.  Keeping kids home when sick, exposed to COVID, or awaiting COVID test results is the biggest help families can give schools and each other.  

     

    A summary of school protocols is below:

     

    Student who tested positive for COVID: 

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning 
    • After 5 days, if the student has NO symptoms or symptoms have resolved, they may return to school (this would be a return date on Day 6) 
    • It is recommend that the student wear a mask around others from day 6 to day 10 while in school
    • School nurses have the discretion to send students home from Day 6-10 if we notice their symptoms have not resolved and they should not be in school. 
    • After day 10, students are clear to be here regardless if they still are showing mild symptoms or not. 

    Student who have a household member who tested positive: 

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning 
    • If possible, test on or after day 5 (this is not required in order to return but we highly recommend it since they live with someone who tested positive)
    • After day 5, if they are symptom free, they may return to school
    • It is recommend the student wears a mask from day 6 to day 10
    • We recommend that parents and teachers watch for symptoms closely after the student returns to school

    School close contacts (sent home by the school) - regardless of vaccine status:

    • Stay home for 5 days on temporary remote learning from the last known exposure date
    • We will still offer testing on day 5 but it is not required to return
    • After day 5, if the student is symptom free, they may return to school 
    • It is recommend the student wear a mask from day 6 to day 10
    • We recommend teachers and parents watch for symptoms closely from day 6 to day 10 after the student returns to school 

     

    We will still offer testing on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Overall, the general rule is stay home for 5 days (returning on Day 6). 

     

    How Can Parents help?

    • Vaccination - Talk to your healthcare provider to determine if the vaccine is right for your family.  There is a FREE vaccine clinic at EHHS on January 15. 
    • Keep kids home when sick, exposed, or awaiting test results
    • Consider signing up to be a sub. Anyone can be a sub if they have a high school diploma and a  clean background check.  Even if you have limited availability, you may be the difference between keeping schools open or not.  Across the nation, parents are stepping in to help out on a  temporary basis in this way.  You need to fill out a district application to sub.  Someone will call you to arrange the background check once your application is completed. 
    • Be patient -While the pandemic is continuing on longer than ANYONE wanted, we are all dealing with it’s related stress and disruptions in different ways at the same time.  Angry outbursts or attacks on school staff or other community members do not help in any way.  



    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 1.7.22: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 12.17.21 - 189

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 1.7.22 - 546

     

    New reported cases this week 1/3 - 1/7

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 1 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this school year

    EG cases = 10 Students; 6 Staff

    PPE Cases = 9 Students; 3 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 19 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 13 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 33 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 4

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 53% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 61% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents boosted - 31% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 60%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated (2 shots) - 46%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 boosted - 4%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 20%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

     

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    12.17.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Happy Holidays to all of our EHPS families!

    I spent as much time in the schools Friday as I possibly could.  This was partly driven by the TIK TOK Threats that were national news this week, but also because the energy and excitement of the holiday break is a fun part of the school calendar, and I wanted to be around the kids and teachers and soak it all up.  I visited kids in classrooms and attended the holiday assembly at EHHS.  It is so amazing to be part of the East Helena Public Schools and all the great things going on.  Our students are really the best and their teachers are incredibly wonderful! 

     

    I hope that all of our EHPS families are able to take advantage of this special time to enjoy together with family and friends.  On behalf of the entire EHPS staff, we wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  See you next year!  Enjoy the Break!

     

    Special THANK YOU to Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office

    By now many of you have met our AWESOME School Resource Office, Jeff Stoltz.  Deputy Stoltz works in our schools as part of a cooperative grant we are participating in with the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's Office. Before anything hit the news about the national TIK TOK threat of violence to school children yesterday, Jeff was keeping us informed of what was going on.  Behind the scenes, our local law enforcement agencies partner together and share resources to work cooperatively to keep our kids safe by staying on top of developments, assessing threats, and informing school officials.  

     

    Many students stayed home today due to concerns about the TIK TOK threats, and we understand the concerns of parents who made this choice.  But having Jeff in our schools provides an added layer of support that helps us evaluate real and perceived threats which enables us to safely operate our schools.

     

    Today, we hosted several uniformed and plain clothed law enforcement officers in our schools and around our school community.  Jeff helped make the arrangements to have an enhanced security presence for the kids.  We thank these officers and the Lewis and Clark County Sheriff's office for their continued support as we navigate these unusual times. 

     

    School Board Strategic Planning Survey - Your input is needed!!

    Your EHPS School Board works hard to provide oversight and direction for the future of our public schools.  Part of their commitment to this process is writing and updating an overall strategic plan for the district.  As part of this process they need your input and support.  The board has put together a short survey for parents, staff, community members, and students to gauge their ideas about the district and gather stakeholder input.  Please take a moment to share your perspective.  

     

    You can find the survey at this link.

     

    (Repeated Item) House Bill 279 - -Tax Credit for school donations

    The 2021 legislature expanded the educational tax credit laws to include public schools. Starting in 2022, individuals and businesses can take a dollar for dollar tax credit on the state income taxes for donations to public school innovative programs.  The credit can be anywhere between $1 and $200,000 and can be extended for 3 years.  There is a statewide total limit of $1,000,000 for the 2022 tax year.  Once that limit is reached, individuals and businesses will have to wait until 2023 to take advantage of this opportunity.  The Department of  Revenue is encouraging folks to take advantage of the credit early in the year to ensure the annual limit is not reached before you make your donation.  If you have questions, shoot me a quick email or check out the linked documents below.

     

    You can find a letter about this new tax credit on our website at this link.

     

    The link below takes you to the MT Dept of Revenue guidance document.

     

    https://mtrevenue.gov/mdocs-posts/tax-credits-for-qualified-education-contributions-guide/

     

    COVID Update

    2 weeks in a row!!!   0 COVID cases to report!

     

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 11.23.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 12.10.21 - 313

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 12.17.21 - 189

     

    New reported cases this week 12/13 - 12/17

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 10 Students; 6 Staff

    PPE Cases = 8 Students; 3 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 19 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 13 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 32 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 4

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 52% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 60% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 60%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 45%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 13%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    12.10.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    House Bill 279 - -Tax Credit for school donations

    The 2021 legislature expanded the educational tax credit laws to include public schools. Starting in 2022, individuals and businesses can take a dollar for dollar tax credit on the state income taxes for donations to public school innovative programs.  The donation and credit can be anywhere between $1 and $200,000 and can be extended for 3 years.  There is a statewide total limit of $1,000,000 for the 2022 tax year.  Once that limit is reached, individuals and businesses will have to wait until 2023 to take advantage of this opportunity.  The Department of  Revenue is encouraging folks to take advantage of the credit early in the year to ensure the annual limit is not reached before you make your donation.  If you have questions, shoot me a quick email or check out the linked documents below.

     

    You can find a letter about this new tax credit on our website at this link.

     

    The link below takes you to the MT Dept of Revenue guidance document.

     

    https://mtrevenue.gov/mdocs-posts/tax-credits-for-qualified-education-contributions-guide/

     

    Holiday Concert and Program Changes (Repeated item)

    COVID adjustments and protocol continue to cause last minute changes to school programming.  You may notice changes in  your child’s holiday program vs what was originally published in the school calendar.  Please refer to your child’s school office for accurate and up to date information about program and concert scheduling changes.

     

    COVID Update

    I am happy to let everyone know that this is the first week since school started in August that we have 0 COVID cases to report!

     

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 11.23.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 12.03.21 - 490

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 12.10.21 - 313 

     

    New reported cases this week 12/06 - 12/10

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 10 Students; 6 Staff

    PPE Cases = 8 Students; 3 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 19 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 13 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 32 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 4

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 51% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 59% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 59%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 45%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 4%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    12.03.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Vaccine Clinic Hours

    The Second Dose COVID Vaccine clinic for 5-11 year olds will be held December 4 at EHHS. Please come at the same time as your 1st dose appointment.   Also note that the clinic hours have been shortened since it was not full, and it will now end at 3:00 PM.  If your 1st dose appointment was after 3:00 PM, you can walk in at any time between 9 AM and 3 PM to receive your second dose.  Anyone unable to make it for their second dose Saturday, can also drop in to the second dose clinic, Saturday, Dec 11 at Bryant school in Helena between 9 AM and 2 PM.  Thanks!

     

    **Important note**, if you missed the first dose clinic, it’s possible your child could receive their first dose tomorrow at EHHS on a  drop in basis between 9 AM and 3 PM.  Stop by the school to visit with clinic staff for details.  

     

    Holiday Concert and Program Changes

    COVID adjustments and protocol continue to cause last minute changes to school programming.  You may notice changes in  your child’s holiday program vs what was originally published in the school calendar.  Please refer to your child’s school office for accurate and up to date information about program and concert scheduling changes.

     

    Dec 6 Early Release and Staff Training

    The East Helena Schools schedules early release days throughout the year to provide time for staff training.  THe next early release day is Monday, December 6.  Students will be dismissed at 1:30 PM and buses will run their regular afternoon routes at the earlier time.  Teachers and paras will utilize this time to receive training about Montana’s Indian Education for All program that infuses instruction related to the unique cultural heritage of natvie people within our state.  

     

    Mental Health Screening and Suicide Awareness

    It’s no secret that suicide awareness and studnet mental health is of concern throughout America, especially during the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic.  EHPS  has developed a series of training and practices to assist students and families and identify kids who may be in need of additional support.  One key piece of this is our mental health screening that is conducted at school with our middle and high school age students.  We started the process before Thanksgiving and are continuing in December and january.  You will receive a notice from the school before your child is screened and you will have the option to opt your child out of the screening if you choose.  If you have questions about the screening, please shoot me a note or contact your child’s school counselor or principal.

     

    Angel Fund Auction (Repeated Item)

    The Angel Fund helps support students in the East Helena Public Schools.  Please consider supporting this worthy cause that helps kids across our area.

     

    The Angel Fund's Annual On Broadway Fundraiser & On-line Auction

     

    Join us at On Broadway for a night of fine food and fun to help raise money for students throughout Helena.  Dine in, order takeout or buy gift certificates between 5:00 and 9:30 PM on Monday, December 6th.  On Broadway will donate 50% of food proceeds to The Angel Fund!  To view a list of available food menu items or to contact On Broadway, please call 443-1929 or visit their website:  https://www.onbroadwayinhelena.com. 

     

    The on-line auction to help support The Angel Fund's mission in Helena begins TODAY and will conclude Monday, December 6th at 9:00 PM.  To view the amazing artwork and generously donated auction items on-line, please go to our Bidding Owl site:   https://www.biddingowl.com/AngelFund.   Start bidding NOW!  You can set up your account to notify you by email or text if you have been outbid.  You can also see items in-person the night of our On Broadway event, Monday, December 6th.

     

    It's as easy as 1, 2, 3...

    1. Log in to view auction items:  https://www.biddingowl.com/AngelFund 
    2. Create a bidding account in one minute & start bidding
    3. Enjoy a fabulous On Broadway dinner



    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 11.23.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 11.23.21 - 564

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 12.03.21 - 490 

     

    New reported cases this week 11/29 - 12/03

    EG cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 10 Students; 6 Staff

    PPE Cases = 8 Students; 3 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 19 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 13 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 32 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 4

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 51% 

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 58% 

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 51%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 44%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 5-11 fully vaccinated - 0%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    11.23.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Angel Fund Auction

    The Angel Fund helps support students in the East Helena Public Schools.  Please consider supporting this worthy cause that helps kids across our area.

     

    The Angel Fund's Annual On Broadway Fundraiser & On-line Auction

     

    Join us at On Broadway for a night of fine food and fun to help raise money for students throughout Helena.  Dine in, order takeout or buy gift certificates between 5:00 and 9:30 PM on Monday, December 6th.  On Broadway will donate 50% of food proceeds to The Angel Fund!  To view a list of available food menu items or to contact On Broadway, please call 443-1929 or visit their website:  https://www.onbroadwayinhelena.com. 

     

    The on-line auction to help support The Angel Fund's mission in Helena begins TODAY and will conclude Monday, December 6th at 9:00 PM.  To view the amazing artwork and generously donated auction items on-line, please go to our Bidding Owl site:   https://www.biddingowl.com/AngelFund.   Start bidding NOW!  You can set up your account to notify you by email or text if you have been outbid.  You can also see items in-person the night of our On Broadway event, Monday, December 6th.

     

    It's as easy as 1, 2, 3...

    1. Log in to view auction items:  https://www.biddingowl.com/AngelFund 
    2. Create a bidding account in one minute & start bidding
    3. Enjoy a fabulous On Broadway dinner

     

    East Helena Christmas Stroll (Repeated from last Friday)

    Believe it or not, it’s the holiday season, and the East Helena Christmas Stroll is right around the corner.  The stroll became an East Helena Staple, and although it took a COVID break in 2020, it’s back and better than ever this year.  For COVID considerations, many of the stroll activities are outdoors.  To allow for more distance for the indoor activities, we are moving the entertainment events to the Radley school gym giving more room for spectators.  This in turn provides more room for the crafters and shoppers over at City Hall.  The stroll will happen on Main Street in East Helena December 2 from 5:30 - 8:30 PM and all are welcome to come spread some holiday cheer.  

     

    Radley School performances will occur at:

    • 6:00 PM - Tiernan Irish Dancers
    • 6:45 PM - East Helena Schools Choir
    • 7:30 PM - East Helena SChools Jazz Bands

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 11.23.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 11.19.21 - 601

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County TODAY 11.23.21 - 564 

     

    New reported cases this week 11/22 - 11/23

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 2 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 9 Students; 6 Staff

    PPE Cases = 8 Students; 3 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 19 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 13 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 32 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 4

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 50% (Adjusted to include 5-11 year olds as “eligible”)

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 64% (Not yet adjusted to include 5-11 year olds as “eligible”)

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 51%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 44%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    11.19.21

    Dear EHPS Parents,

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

    Thanksgiving Break

    There are just two days of school next week, Monday and Tuesday November 22 and 23.  Students and staff will have a break Weds - Fri to allow time for Thanksgiving gatherings and travel.  On Behalf of all EHPS teachers and staff,  I want all of our families to know that we wish you a restful and relaxing time to contemplate the things in life we’re thankful for.  Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!!

    East Helena Christmas Stroll

    Believe it or not, it’s the holiday season, and the East Helena Christmas Stroll is right around the corner.  The stroll became an East Helena Staple, and although it took a COVID break in 2020, it’s back and better than ever this year.  For COVID considerations, many of the stroll activities are outdoors.  To allow for more distance for the indoor activities, we are moving the entertainment events to the Radley school gym giving more room for spectators.  This in turn provides more room for the crafters and shoppers over at City Hall.  The stroll will happen on Main Street in East Helena December 2 from 5:30 - 8:30 PM and all are welcome to come spread some holiday cheer.  

    Radley School performances will occur at:

    • 6:00 PM - Tiernan Irish Dancers
    • 6:45 PM - East Helena Schools Choir
    • 7:30 PM - East Helena SChools Jazz Bands

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 11.19.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 11.12.21 - 749

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday 11.19.21 - 601

    New reported cases this week 11/15 - 11/19

    EG cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 3 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 9 Students; 6 Staff

    PPE Cases = 8 Students; 3 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 17 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 12 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 32 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 4

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 50% (Adjusted to include 5-11 year olds as “eligible”)

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 64% (Not yet adjusted to include 5-11 year olds as “eligible”)

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 56%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 44%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 5 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.

    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

    Mr Rispens


        

     

    11.12.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    District Update

    We were happy to host Governor Gianforte at Prickly Pear Elementary School and East Helena High School Monday.  Monday was Montana Day, our 132 birthday as a state.  The Governor talked with students about our great state’s history and his job as our chief executive.  He spent time in the PPE lunchroom and visited a 1st grade classroom before going on to EHHS to see our beautiful high school and visit our CTE Programs.  Below are a few pictures of the Governor’s visit.

    A photo of Goernor Gianforte sitting with students in a  classroom

     

     

    On Thursday we honored our nation's veterans.  East Helena has a long tradition of patriotism and Veteran’s Day activities.  Several EHPS Students and classes were able to attend and participate in the ceremony on Main Street.  Pictures are below.

    A photo of school children at the EH Veteran's Day event.

    Vaccine Clinic

    The youth dose Pfizer Vaccine has been approved by the FDA and CDC for emergency use.  We have partnered with the Helena Schools and local health department to arrange a few vaccine clinics in the schools to make it easier for parents who want their kids vaccinated.  We fully understand that families have a variety of reasons for wanting the vaccine and not wanting it, and we want to respect and support all families in our district.  The vaccine clinics are optional and are not being promoted to kids within the school.  Information is supplied to parents who can then make the best decision for themselves and their family situation. As the pandemic drags on, it continues to stress our communities and schools.  I am asking for your patience and understanding with each other as we all navigate this unprecedented time. 

    Appointments are currently open on the LCPH  COVID-19 Hub at https://www.helenamontanamaps.org/LCPHCovid19HUB/.   Or

    This link will take you directly to the Nov 13 EHHS Appointment page.

    This link will take you directly to the Nov 20 Bryant Elementary appointment page.

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  This week we have seen an uptick in cases at Prickly Pear Elementary.  Here is the current update as of 11.12.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 11.5.21 - 940

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday 11.12.21 - 749

     

    New reported cases this week 11/8 - 11/12

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 3 Students; 1 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 1 

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 8 Students; 6 Staff

    PPE Cases = 8 Students; 3 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 14 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 12 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 32 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 4

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 55%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 63%

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 51%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 43%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 12 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    11.08.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Vaccine Clinics for 5-11 year olds

    The COVID Vaccine from Pfizer has been approved for 5-11 year olds to receive.  We are certainly aware that some families may opt to not receive the vaccine or wait until others have had it before proceeding, but we are also aware that many families have been waiting anxiously to get their children vaccinated in an effort to slow the spread and end the pandemic.  To support families, we are cooperating with local health authorities and the Helena Public Schools to offer some local opportunities to get kids vaccinated.  The clinics are fully voluntary and at your own discretion.  The clinics are set for November 13 at EHHS and November 20 at Bryant Elementary School.  1000 appointments we’re available at each clinic. As of the writing of this note, there were still some vaccine appointments left for both dates.

    There are no residency requirements for these clinics, but pre-registration is required. The clinics will offer first Pfizer doses for children ONLY. Second dose appointments will be automatically scheduled three weeks out. Confirmation of second-dose appointments will be sent to parents via email.

    Appointments are currently open on the LCPH  COVID-19 Hub at https://www.helenamontanamaps.org/LCPHCovid19HUB/.   Or

    This link will take you directly to the Nov 13 EHHS Appointment page.

    This link will take you directly to the Nov 20 Bryant Elementary appointment page.

    Individuals can also call the COVID-19 Hotline at 833-829-9219 for appointments or questions. The hotline is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    All caregivers and children must wear masks at the clinic, which will be indoors. Vaccine recipients and their guardians will be expected to wait on-site for up to 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. Please note that this in an indoor clinic (drive-thru vaccines are not available).

     

    COVID Update

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 11.08.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday - 10.29.21 - 962

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County Friday 11.05.21 - 940

     

    New reported cases this (last) week 11/1-11/5

    EG cases = 2 Students; 2 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 2 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0 

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 8 Students; 6 Staff

    PPE Cases = 5 Students; 2 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 14 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 12 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 32 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 3

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 55%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 63%

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 51%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 43%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 12 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens



     

    11.3.21

    COVID Update

    **Vaccine Clinic UPDATE**

    Good Afternoon EHPS Family,

    I am pleased to announce that – with yesterday’s CDC approval of COVID-19 vaccinations for kids ages 5-11 – EHPS is working with Helena Public Schools and Lewis and Clark Public Health (LCPH) to host free vaccination clinics open to all children, regardless of where they attend school.  We are certainly aware that some families may opt to not receive the vaccine or wait until others have had it before proceeding, but we are also aware that many families have been waiting anxiously to get their children vaccinated in an effrot to slow the spread and end the pandemic.

    There are no residency requirements for these clinics, but pre-registration is required. The clinics will offer first Pfizer doses for children ONLY. Second dose appointments will be automatically scheduled three weeks out. Confirmation of second-dose appointments will be sent to parents via email.

    Appointments are currently open on the LCPH  COVID-19 Hub at https://www.helenamontanamaps.org/LCPHCovid19HUB/. Individuals can also call the COVID-19 Hotline at 833-829-9219 for appointments or questions. The hotline is open Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    All caregivers and children must wear masks at the clinic, which will be indoors. Vaccine recipients and their guardians will be expected to wait on-site for up to 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine. Please note that this in an indoor clinic (drive-thru vaccines are not available).

    Free COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics for children ages 5-11

    East Helena: Saturday, Nov. 13, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., East Helena High School, 2760 Valley Drive

    Helena: Saturday, Nov. 20, 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Bryant Elementary School, 1529 Boulder Ave

    We’re grateful to our partners at LCPH and Bryant Elementary for making this safe and convenient opportunity available to our children.

    Sincerely,

     Dan Rispens, Superintendent

    East Helena Public Schools

    10.29.21

    Dear EHPS Parents,

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

    East Helena FRIGHT NIGHT

    Sunday, Oct 31 is Halloween and once again J-4 Automotive is sponsoring Fright Night in East Helena.  Fright Night is an East Helena tradition and provides fun family entertainment for the whole community!  East Helena Schools participates in Fright Night by handing out candy to trick or treaters at City Hall and supplying sound equipment for the movie in the park.  For the full Fright Night flyer click here.  

     

    Parent Teacher Conferences

    November is famous for many things like Thanksgiving, the annual Cat/Griz football game, “no shave November”, and of course, hunting.  But in East Helena November is also famous for being the month in which we hold our first round of Parent Teacher conferences.  

     

    P-T Conferences are critical to the care and support of kids in our school system.  Parent involvement has been proven to have a positive impact on student learning and growth.  Our district has had a long term goal of fostering and maintaining high quality relationships between teachers, students, and parents.  P-T Conferences are a critical part of that goal effort.  

     

    By now you have probably already scheduled your conference(es) with your child(ren)’s teacher(s).  We want you to know that we appreciate your role as your child’s first teacher and caregiver and we value your time and your ideas.  Together, teachers and parents can create a rich learning environment in which kids can thrive and grow.  This year, in light of COVID, some families may opt for a phone or ZOOM conference vs. in person, but either way, this exchange of ideas and information is super important.  Our goal is always 100% participation, so please plan now to participate and be a part of your child’s growth and learning in school. 

     

    COVID Update

    **Vaccine Clinic UPDATE**

    We are working With health authorities to plan an East Helena COVID vaccine clinic for 5-11 year olds for families who are interested in early November.  More news will be coming soon.

     

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 10.20.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County last WEDNESDAY - 10.20.21 - 951

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County today 10.27.21 - 962

     

    New reported cases this week

    EG cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 1 Students; 1 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 0 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0 

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 6 Students; 4 Staff

    PPE Cases = 5 Students; 2 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 14 Student; 5 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 12 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 30 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 3

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 55%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 62%

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 51%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 43%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 12 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    10.20.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Red Ribbon Week!

    Each year the East Helena Schools observes Red Ribbon Week in our efforts to encourage kids to make healthy choices and avoid drugs, alcohol, and bullying behavior.  For an informational Youtube about the history of Red Ribbon, click here.

     

    In East Helena,  Red Ribbon week is observed by daily dress up themes as well as a parade against drugs, alcohol, and bullying that all students get to participate in either as groups marching in the parade or observers cheering everyone along the route.    The parade will happen at 2 PM Wednesday, October 27 and the route runs from Radley school to EVMS via Montana Street, Main Street, and Kalispell Street.  Thanks in advance to local first responders for supporting the parade and helping make it a success.  Parents are invited to come out and cheer for our kids’ healthy future!  The dress up theme days are listed below:

     

    Red Ribbon Week Themed dress-up days

    Monday- “No Bullying, No Sweat” 

                Wear Sweats

    Tuesday- “Be Someone’s Superhero- Stop Bullying”  

                                 Dress like a Superhero

    Wednesday-“I'm a JEAN-ious, I'm Drug Free"

    Wear Jeans and wear Red

    Thursday- “Team up against drugs and bullying”

             Wear a team jersey

    Friday-“Our school chooses to be drug free”

    Wear your school shirt or school colors




    EHHS First Ever Speech and Debate Tournament - Call for Judges!! (No experience necessary)

    Did you know that we are working to offer the full slate of MHSA interscholastic competition for our East Helena High School Students?  We have been fortunate to find coaches and interested students for almost every activity MHSA offers including our robust Speech, Debate, and Drama Program.  This year, for the first time ever, we are planning to host our own tournament at East Helena High School on November 20, 2021 to show some East Helena Hospitality and show off our school a bit.  To host a tournament of this size, we need about 200 volunteer judges!  Can you help out?  No experience is necessary.  Click this link to find out more and contact the organizers and sign up.



    COVID Update

    We continue to track the anticipated emergency authorization of vaccination for 5-11 year olds.  While we realize that not all families will be ready to have their children vaccinated, we also are aware that many families are anxiously awaiting this opportunity to take the next step toward ending the pandemic.  Our partnership with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Care Van MAY provide us an opportunity to have an on site vaccine clinic for kids in East Helena to save parents the hassle of making an appointment for driving into town.  But resources are limited and the opportunity for onsite clinics has diminished in the past several weeks as critical medical staff are spread very thin.  More details will be shared as they become available.

     

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned.  Here is the current update as of 10.20.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County last Friday on 10.15.21 - 923

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County today 10.20.21 - 951

     

    New reported cases this week

    EG cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 2 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 2 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0 

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 5 Students; 4 Staff

    PPE Cases = 5 Students; 2 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 13 Student; 4 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 11 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 30 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 3

     

    % of eligible Montanans fully vaccinated - 54%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 62%

    % of Zip Code 59635 fully vaccinated - 51%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 42%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 12 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    10.15.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    October - Teacher Training Days

    Next week is the famous 3 day school week and 4 day weekend across Montana.  Why do we take the 3rd Thursday and Friday of October off each year?  It is actually a requirement in state law that school districts set those days aside for teacher training.  Each year state education organizations arrange conferences and trainings for those days. Nowadays, many staff have already completed their required training and get a much needed break over the long weekend.  In East Helena, our dedicated board members and administrators take part in the Montana Conference for Educational Leadership.  This year the conference is being held online.  The conference provides training and information about a variety of topics of interest to board members and administrators.  

     

    In recent years, the Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks has capitalized on the October weekend to provide a unique opportunity for families to get kids out into the woods and into the Montana tradition of hunting by providing special tags and permits available only to young hunters through the youth hunt days. FWP Youth Hunt Information can be found here.

     

    Also many families take advantage of the days off to travel to visit special places or family and friends or just enjoy some downtime at home.

     

    Whatever your plans, we hope you’ll enjoy the time off school together and have an opportunity to take advantage of the outdoors or family time together.  

     

    Recent Donations

    Here’s a shout out to Winco for donating a $200 gift card to our new EVMS Foods and Nutrition Class.  The money will help defray costs for materials needed to teach kids healthy and effective cooking and food prep skills!  Thanks Winco!

    An image of a representative of RMCU presenting an oversized check to the EVMS AD

    I also wanted to take a minute this month to recognize Rocky Mountain Credit Union for their support for EVMS Athletics. RMCU is funding our effort to secure NEW track jerseys for our kids.  We appreciate our community partners and their assistance in providing high quality programs for the kids of East Helena!

     

    COVID Update

    In this week’s COVID Update, I wanted to take the opportunity to remind parents that we have a permissive masking policy meaning wearing masks to protect oneself and/or others is allowed.  We understand that there are varying levels of tolerance for masks and are aware of varying research supporting and disputing masks’ effectiveness.  We adhere to CDC Guidance and local health advice in most things related to COVID and both agencies promote individuals, especially those who are not vaccinated, to wear masks indoors if possible to limit the spread of COVID 19 during times of high community spread.  There may be a  perception in the community that when there’s not a mask mandate, nobody is wearing a mask in school, but this is not the case.  When I am out and about in the schools I witness many folks (students and staff) choosing to mask up.  Additionally, we have not had a high incidence of harassment or bullying for those who choose to wear or not wear a mask showing a high degree of tolerance and maturity among students for individual preference and choice in this matter.  I bring this up to remind interested parents that if you would prefer that your child wear a mask at school, you can communicate that to teachers who can assist with reminders during the day.  If not, that decision is also respected and honored at this time.    

     

    We have had comparably few new cases of COVID among students and staff this week which is nice to see given the high level of transmission being reported in the community.  It is important to note that a significant number of students were on temporary remote learning for all or part of this week due to the higher than usual numbers last week.  

     

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned. We are anticipating that the youth dose of vaccine may be available to children ages 5 and up locally as soon as the end of the month.  Due to staffing and resource shortages we are not yet certain if we’ll be able to arrange an onsite vaccination clinic in East Helena.  Here is the current update as of 10.08.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County One week ago on 10.08.21 - 900

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County today 10.15.21 - 923

     

    New reported cases this week

    EG cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 1 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 2 Students; 2 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 0 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 1 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 1 

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 5 Students; 4 Staff

    PPE Cases = 5 Students; 2 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 12 Student; 4 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 9 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 28 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 3

     

    % of eligible Montanans Fully Vaccinated - 54%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 61%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 42%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 12 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    10.8.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    October - National Principals Month

    Parents - Did you know that October is National Principal Month?  Our East Helena Schools are fortunate to have a crew of committed professionals at the helm of all of our buildings.  Although our team is new to their positions in many instances, they are knowledgeable, hard working and are learning fast how to lead and create environments in which students can thrive.  

     

    Our Principals and Vice Principals wear many hats.  From being the lead “cheerleader” of their school to knowling how the boilers operate and the toilets flush, they really need to have a wide range of skills and abilities.  Principals are tasked with being the instructional leader of their buildings and helping teachers do their very best every day for our kids. Additionally the stress of COVID and managing difficult situations for students, parents, and staff has never been higher.  

     

    I hope you will join me in appreciating our school leaders.  Maybe take a moment this month to offer a note of appreciation or thanks via email, snail mail, or even in person!  

     

    If you want to send an email to a  principal, see the links below:

     

    Principal Brandon Crusat - Eastgate and Prickly Pear Elementary

    Principal Gus Somefeld - Radley 

    Principal Brenda Stoltz - EVMS

    Vice Principal Krista Swindell - EVMS

    Principal Brian Kessler - EHHS

    Vice Principal/Athletic Director Shaun Murgel - EHHS

     

    COVID Update

    In the numbers below, you’ll notice there is a significant increase in cases in our county.  This follows a large increase in detection through waste water testing that is still occurring regularly.  To a certain degree this is reflected in cases at schools.  A significant number of students were put on temporary remote learning this week due to a few cases in the elementary grades.  We realize how disruptive this is for families and are working to minimize and reduce these remote learning assignments.  We need community support  through being aware and keeping kids home if there’s a known exposure of symptoms of illness.  Your efforts will limit the spread and reduce the impact on other families.  

     

    We are reporting weekly to the community as to the level of COVID in the schools.  We cannot report on individuals or even individual classes.  In every case, if your child is determined to be a close contact (Within 6’ for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period), you will be contacted by the school and temporary remote learning will be assigned. We continue to see that the greatest number of cases are among high school students.  This is understandable given the social nature of the age, but also avoidable as this age group is currently eligible for the safe and effective COVID vaccines that are available for free. Here is the current update as of 10.08.21: 

     

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County One week ago on 10.01.21 - 582

    Active Cases in Lewis and Clark County today 10.08.21 - 900

     

    New reported cases this week

    EG cases = 2 Students; 0 Staff

    PPE Cases = 3 Students; 0 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 2 Student; 2 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 2 Students; 0 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 2 Student; 0 Staff

    Other school staff = 0

     

    Cumulative reported cases this year

    EG cases = 4 Students; 4 Staff

    PPE Cases = 4 Students; 2 Staff 

    Radley Cases = 10 Student; 2 Staff

    EVMS Cases = 9 Students; 1 Staff

    EHHS Cases = 27 Student; 4 Staff 

    Other school staff = 2

     

    % of eligible Montanans Fully Vaccinated - 53%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents fully vaccinated - 61%

    % of eligible Lewis and Clark County residents age 12-19 fully vaccinated - 41%

     

    Here is what you can do to help:

    • Exercise Personal Responsibility
      • Get vaccinated if you’re 12 years old or older.   With more people vaccinated, the virus has less chance to spread and mutate which protects others including unvaccinated children.
      • Stay home or keep kids home if they are sick or symptomatic or have been tested for COVID 19.. 
      • Be aware of possible exposure to COVID and take it seriously.  Do not send kids to school if they have been recently exposed to COVID 19.
      • Avoid situations of large indoor gatherings or congested indoor crowds where COVID can be more easily spread.
      • Follow health dept guidance regarding safe practices and the need for quarantine and/or isolation.    The Lewis and Clark County Health Dept COVID 19 Hub can be found here. Check out this information to keep yourself and those around you safe.



    Thanks everyone! and Make it a Great Day!

     

    Mr Rispens

     

    10.1.21

     

    Dear EHPS Parents,

     

    Here is the latest update from your superintendent.  

     

    Walk to School Day - Wednesday, Oct 6

    EHPS will observe National Walk to School Day on October 6.  This annual observance promotes community wellness and health by encouraging students to walk to school rather than getting a  ride.  Our K-5 students are encouraged to participate and 6-11 grade students have the opportunity to help through service/activity clubs who assist the younger kids and make sure they get to school safely.  All students and staff are encouraged to wear comfy workout and walking clothes on Walk to School Day.  Bus students can also participate in Walk to School Day by getting off their bus at EVMS and walking with designated groups to their school.  Principals and middle school/high school helpers will be there to help.  Mr Somerfeld and Mr Crusat are sharing specific information with parents through their communications and newsletters.  

     

    Parents can help out by joining a walking group or just walking your own kids and showing them the safest route to school.  The district has made great strides in providing safe routes to school by applying for and receiving millions in federal Transportation Alternative grants over the past decade.  The sidewalks and paths these grants have helped to create and build in our community provide kids safe passages to and from school.  The latest T.A. Grant will add a sidewalk along Lewis Street between EVMS and PPE and along Montana Street near the East Helena Cemetery.   When this project is complete there will be safe designated walking paths and sidewalks between ALL East Helena Schools! 

     

    Keeping kids safe and healthy is in the best interest of our entire community.  Please consider joining in on Wednesday, October 6.

     

    TIKTOK Challenge

    The latest “Devious Licks” challenge on TIK TOK is “slap a staff” member. If your children are allowed on TIK TOK, please have a frank conversation with them about this dangerous and illegal trend.  The district will have little choice but to pursue legal action if a student follows through with this challenge and assaults a staff member.  


    COVID Update