Frequently Asked Questions:
What do I do if I want my child to attend Helena High?
Call 324-2223 for registration information or check the HHS website. Call the HHS office with all other questions 324-2200
What classes and electives will be offered to Freshmen in 2019-2020?
The new high school will be a comprehensive high school, meaning it will offer an accredited high school experience for students. There will be a highly rigorous and quality set of required classes dictated by the State Accreditation Standards… i.e. math, science, English and social studies just like every high school in Montana. Advanced classes and core classes modeled to career and college readiness will be offered. Typically, Freshmen have a limited number of electives at high schools, but there will be electives for freshman tailored to their interests. A few of the current courses being planned include Band, Jazz Band, choir, Intro to Agriculture Science, Intro to Industrial Technology, Art, Business classes, Culinary Arts, Lifetime Sports, World Languages, CAD, and Speech and Debate.
What sports/activities will be available?
The district has made a commitment to offer a wide range of extracurricular activities including obvious MHSA sanctioned sports (football, basketball, volleyball, Varsity track, Varsity cross country, Varsity wrestling, softball, Varsity tennis, Varsity golf, Band, Chorus, Speech, Varsity swimming) and others depending on the ability to field a complete team of athletes. Also the District plans to immediately build the fundamental government and clubs that make for a complete well rounded high school experience. Student Council will be an absolute must for the first freshmen. Also other important clubs like National Honor Society, DECA, FFA, Rodeo Club, etc. will be offered as interest of students warrant.
What schools will we play?
East Helena has already been to meetings with the Montana High School Association (MHSA) to determine a preliminary competition conference in Class A.. East Helena Athletic Director Kevin VanNice is working with the Class A Director to begin the early planning for the fall competition schedule for next year. MHSA Officials have assured us that they will have Class A games and competition ready for us next fall, but not necessarily conference teams. Most of the games for our freshman students will be against other Class A freshman students. Competition for freshman students, no matter the Class, will be appropriate for their skill level and close to their own age students. Possible Class A Conference teams include Livingston, Laurel, Billings Central, Lockwood, and Hardin under a recent proposal to MHSA.
What clubs and activities will the new high school have?
Student Council will be an absolute must for the first freshmen. Also other important clubs like National Honor Society, BPA, FFA, Rodeo Club, etc. will be offered as interest of students warrant. Staff and community members will be working hard planning and taking input from students and parents who will be paramount in planning for the many unknowns that still lie ahead in this area.
Will Cheerleading/drill team be offered?
Will there be freshmen level honors courses?
Yes, there will be classes available for honors credit. We are also working towards offering classes for AP credit for upper level students when the time comes as well as dual credit options through Helena College and classes though Carroll College.
What part of EVMS will the freshmen- classes be held in?
The new wing of the middle school has been designated as the high school wing and will operate as an independent East Helena High School. There will be an administrator and counselor assigned along with the new teaching staff and the high school students. Some portions of the facility such as the gym, band room, and cafeteria will have to be shared as will some of the staff.
How will this freshmen year be different than a 4th year of middle school?
The administration is committed to making this a high school experience. Some separation of the high school will occur because the new wing of the middle school has been designated as the high school wing and will operate independently within the building as East Helena High School. The administrative staff will work hard to establish traditions and events that will be exclusive to high school students. Some portions of the facility will unavoidably have to be shared (Gym Cafeteria, Library) , as will some of the staff, but the activities and events will be uniquely high school.
Will there be bus service available?
The School District will offer bus service to the new high school no matter whether it is located in EVMS or when it is located in the new building in 2020 at 2750 Valley Drive.
Will I have to pay tuition if my child goes to Helena High?
Yes. The Helena School District practices have been to charge tuition for out of district boundary students which will include East Helena area students. Here is the link to Helena’s tuition form: http://hhs.helenaschools.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2018/01/Out-of-District-Application.pdf Upperclassmen will not be charged tuition next year only freshmen students.
Will there be bus service available to HHS?
The East Helena School District is independent of the Helena School District so no bus service to Helena High or Capital High will be offered for freshmen next year.
Will there be school dances? Pep rallies?
Yes! The East Helena School District working cooperatively with the new administrator and East Helena high school staff will begin building traditions and events for high school students exclusive from the middle school.
Is it mandatory that students attend East Helena High School if they live within the East Helena school district?
No. The State of Montana allows students to attend schools outside of their home district through a mutually acceptable Out of District Tuition Agreement. In most school districts there is an up front payment for the cost of annual tuition. The costs for that attendance will need to be worked out between the parent and the Helena, Townsend or Boulder School District.
Will the East Helena high school at EVMS still be considered a closed campus for freshman?
Will freshman have an opportunity to take Driver’s Education?
We are making every effort to offer Driver’s Education for our students. The program should be up and running no later than spring or summer of 2020 if not sooner.
What academic support services will be available for students?
The district will offer tutoring support before and after school in much the same way we always have at the other schools. We will also have Title 1, 504, and SpEd services for our high school students as well as study hall options during the school day.
Will students have a designated “homeroom” teacher to help provide social,academic and home communication/support?
Planning is still in the works on this topic. “Homeroom” may be too “middle school” for high school students. We are, however, exploring the possibility for a robust high school advisory program to cover everything from career topics to digital citizenship to suicide prevention and social skill help.
Will there be parent/teacher conferences?
Parent teacher conferences are not common in the high school setting, so we are still looking at options in this area. Keep in mind that due to the close relationships fostered between parents and teachers as part of our East Helena Schools culture that every teacher will know your name, and of course then know your parent’s name as well!
Will there be an academic counselor to assist in assessments and college/career readiness support?
Yes, a counselor and vice principal are in the plan to start with the kids at EVMS and transition with them to East Helena High School. Board Policy dictates that every staff member of the High School function as a resource for ALL students, not just the counselor or vice principal.
What will the daily schedule look like? ie… 0-7th periods? 1st-7th periods? Will the time of day for start and ending of school be the same as EVMS?
For the 2019-20 school year, the schedule will need to somewhat resemble the middle school schedule to facilitate the sharing of staff and facilities. The new high school schedule for 2020-2021 is a work in progress.
WIll East Helena Kids participate in the Vigilante Parade?
The Vigilante Parade is sponsored and organized by the Helena Public Schools. In the past they have only allowed HSD #1 students to participate due to supervision and liability concerns. It is too early to say whether or not EHPS students would be able to participate but both school boards are planning to work together on transition issues.
If my child chooses to attend Helena High, and then wants to transfer back to East Helena later in high school, will that be allowed?
District resident students will always be able to return to their home school. Non-resident students would have to re-apply for their non-resident status to be allowed to return back to East Helena’s high school. MHSA Rules have a moratorium on varsity sport participation for 90 school days following a transfer between schools.
What will the tuition be of out of district students at the new high school?
The East Helena School District will be very limited for out of district students and that fee has yet to be determined.
When will the first class graduate?
The first East Helena High School graduates will be awarded diplomas in June of 2023!
Can students who started Helena High in Fall 2018 transfer to the new high school when it opens?
The EHPS staff absolutely adore our students that have graduated from EVMS! However, due to the way the Districts have agreed to only have one class per year in the new high school district, the first graduating class in East Helena will be in June of 2023. Unfortunately only students currently attending EVMS will be eligible to attend the new East Helena High School. Students that are currently attending Helena High will continue to be eligible for bus transportation to and from Helena High.
What classes and honors classes will be offered to Freshmen in 2019-2020?
The new high school will be a comprehensive high school, meaning it will offer an accredited high school experience for students that includes all of the required courses for freshman. The core classes taught by the new high school teachers will include English 9, Honors English 9, Science 9 and Honors Science 9, World History and Honors World History and Algebra I, Honors Algebra I, Honors Geometry and Honors Algebra II/Trig. Freshman year will also have a semester of Health and a Semester of PE required along with options to take Spanish, woods, and other electives that will be available depending on the certifications of the staff hired to teach the freshman class. These classes are planned to be highly rigorous and quality learning opportunities.
Will Advanced Placement classes will be offered to East Helena High School students?
Indeed the new high school will offer Advanced Placement (AP) classes to upperclassmen. Typically high school seniors and some advances juniors are afforded the opportunity to take AP classes and that will be the case for East Helena High School students when they reach that point in their education progression. Currently the EHPS District is doing planning for these courses with the Helena College of Technology.
What sports and activities will be offered to Freshmen in 2019-2020?
The new high school is scheduled to offer all of the MHSA sports, depending on enough participants to field a team, including basketball, varsity cross country, softball, football, varsity golf, soccer, varsity swimming, varsity tennis, varsity track, volleyball and varsity wrestling. Of course activities like speech and debate, band and chorus, FFA, FBLA among others will be offered as well.
If my student enrolled in HHS this spring, will parents be paying Helena taxes, EH taxes and tuition for the 19-20 school year?
As of July 1, 2019, EH residents do not pay taxes to Helena Public Schools. All new East Helena ax bills include East Helena Schools taxes only. Starting fall of 2019, any East Helena residents who want to attend school in Helena will need to apply for non resident tuition status.and pay a tuition bill to Helena. Parents who want to go this route will need to contact Helena High or the May Butler Center for the necessary forms and information. It is also important to note that there will not be bus service to Helena High for freshmen in the fall of 2019
Fall sports open gyms are in limbo due to a new rule by MHSA...EH and MT City kids can't go to HHS open gyms because they aren't enrolled in a Helena district school, can't go to EH open gyms because if they register for HHS, they are no longer students of EH district...is this correct and is there something these kids can do other than transfer to HMS the last week of school so that they are student of a Helena school?
We are working on getting some clarification on this issue. It is not clear in the regulation when a student actually becomes "enrolled" in the school or what that definition is. For instance , are they enrolled when they complete the class registration form or when the first day of school occurs and they are in attendance? Stay tuned for details on that. The transfer to HMS on the last week of school could also be detrimental due to the 90 school day moratorium on varsity competition MHSA rule....
What if the whole class decides to stay in EH? How is it decided who would stay if all of them can't be accommodated?
We have room for all 135 students should they decide to stay with us.
If my child decides to go to Helena in 19-20, can he/she transfer back in 20-21? What will the consequences be if this happens?
If the student is a resident of the East Helena School District, the only consequence we see could be the MHSA 90 day moratorium on varsity competition. As we read this rule, a student who switches schools and whose parents have not changed physical addresses, is subject to a 90 school day suspension in which the student cannot complete in any varsity sport. As we read that rule right now, the student could compete at the sub varsity level but we are still not clear about that either, so again we are seeking clarification. If the student is a non-resident, he or she would have to apply to be re-admitted as a non-resident student.