Getting the Most

How to Get the MOST out of Middle School

Step One: Know Your School

  • School calendars have important dates & events
  • Learn the attendance & tardy policies
  • Learn about required and elective courses offered at school
  • Schools need rules and policies to run safely; know them and follow them.
  • Where do I go for assistance?  There are teachers, counselors, administrators, office staff available to assist.

Step Two: Be in school every day

  • Good attendance will not guarantee you good grades.  You are, however, pretty much guaranteed to get bad grades if you have bad attendance.

Step Three: Know how to get good grades

  • Be organized; use a student planner or assignment notebook
  • Manage your time well
  • Take good notes
  • Know how to read a textbook
  • Study smart
  • Use test-taking strategies (teachers will help you learn these techniques)

Step four: Set Goals

  • It is important for people of all ages to have goals
  • Set short-term goals
  • Example: “Get a B on my next Social Studies test.” or ” Get all of my chores done by Friday.”
  • Set long-term goals
  • Example: “Get all A’s & B’s on my report card this quarter.”  or  “Go to college and become a lawyer.”
  • Set goals that are specific, measurable, and realistic.
  • Set both school and personal goals
  • Write the goal

Step five: Get Involved

  • Participate in school activities
  • Get involved in activities outside of school

Step six: Make Good Choices and Decisions

  • You must “own” your behavior.

Step seven: Deal with Stress, Anger, and Bullies

  • Getting enough sleep, eatting right, and getting plenty of exercise will help you deal with stress.
  • If you find yourself getting angry talk with a friend, parent, or counselor.  It may also help if you close your eyes, breathe deeply, and count to 10 or 20.  I often tell students to go “kick a rock” not hit or say something you may regret.
  • In middle school, you’ll probably run into some students who act like jerks.  You may also see a few students who are more than jerks – they are bullies.  A bully is looking for a reaction, so if you’re ever the target of a bully, ignore him/her, or give this person a look and tell them to stop; then walk away.
  • If you’re having a problem with a bully, let your friends know and also tell your parent, counselor, and/or a teacher.

Step eight: Get Along with Your Parents

  • Getting along with your parents will make your middle school years a lot easier and a lot more fun.  Talk to your parents about what’s happening in school and about what you and your friends are doing.  Communicate!  Communicate!

Step nine: Understand the Social Scene

  • Middle school students are a lot more interested and involved in social activities than elementary students.  During these years, there are parties, dances, cliques, boyfriends, girlfriends, and a lot more gossip.  Students care about what other students do and wear, and everyone is worried about how they look.
  • The middle school social scene can be exciting, crazy, and sometimes difficult to deal with.  Here are some suggestions on how to deal with it:
  • Find friends that you have things in common with and who like you for who you are.
  • Go out of your way to be friendly.
  • Don’t do something that isn’t you just to be cool.
  • Be careful what you say.

Step ten: Plan and Prepare for Your Future

  • Now is a good time to start thinking about what kind of career you might want to have.
  • Seven Career Areas: 1) Business, 2) Health Care, 3) Skilled Trades, 4) High Tech/Computers, 5) The Arts, 6) Education, 7) Human Services
Posted on August 28, 2018

Seventh Grade Intro

Welcome to 7th grade!

The first 3 weeks we dive into the 8 math practices and computational thinking.  With these practices, students will be able to solve any problem that they face.  The kids will then create their own algorithms and rules for math.  For example, we will play the game of poison/nim.  After playing the game and analyzing the patters, the students will relearn and understand the concept of multiples and factors.



Posted on June 9, 2020

Support Resources to Help Children and Families with Ongoing Events

Support Resources to Help Children and Families with Ongoing Events

On May 26, our nation and the world became aware of the brutal and tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the days since, we have all witnessed the powerful public rallies, marches, demonstrations and other positive acts of personal and collective expression that have occurred in nearly every city and community. Peaceful, united messages to end systemic racism and violence are applauded as our nation works to deliver on our promise of liberty and justice for all. However, images associated with Mr. Floyd’s death and the resulting unrest in many communities across our country can be unsettling for children as they seek to understand. Please know that your school counselors are available for any family in need of additional support.

Additionally, below are a number of resources that parents may find helpful in talking through these matters as a family.

Posted on April 7, 2020

HMS School Use

For the safety of our students, team members, and community, there will be no meetings or events at our school during the school closure.  We will continue to keep you informed throughout the closure of our schools, and we sincerely look forward to seeing everyone in person as soon as is possible and responsible.


Thank You for your understanding

Posted on March 16, 2020

Online Classes

Welcome to the new online math world.  Daily information will be in TEAMS.  Work will include watching and responding to a video, practice work with and grading with teams/powerschool. Please see the links to the right.

Posted on February 7, 2020

2nd Annual Tech Expo

Awesome Door Prizes!  Wireless Headphones, Graphics Tablet, Sphero minis Circuit Playground Express kits and more!
February 20, 2019

6-8 pm Helena Middle School

Expo Experiences:

 Circuit Playground Express is the next step towards a perfect introduction to electronics and programming.

We start our journey with Microsoft MakeCode block-based or Javascript programming. You can code on a Chromebook or any computer with a USB port.  The Circuit Express Playground has a TON of sensors, display, and input options. For this introduction, we will create some basic programs at, then we will plug them into the device to enjoy the “fruits” of our programming labors!


Green Screen Technology – What is it?: presented by MAPS Media Institute

You may have heard of a green screen (think weather reporter on the TV news). In digital design and film, it’s also called Chroma Key. Green screens are used to take subjects out of the real world and transport them into digital domains:Actors being filmed in the studio today can now drive down 1930’s New York streets. A full grown human can be shrunk down to the size of a pencil on a tabletop. Your annual family photo could take place on the moon. In MAPS Media Institute classes, we use Chroma Key to enhance digital images and create fantastic settings for films. It’s a critical tool for certain media creation and digital storytelling.


Apple Swift Programming using EV3 Lego Robots Learn the Swift programming language by playing Lego on your iPad!

Swift was initiated from Apple a few years ago and is now an open-source project under Apple’s guidance. It bridges between fast coding languages like C but still supports readability and has easy to learn features like Python. Apple’s Playgrounds app makes it easy to dive into the language. To make this even more fun we will show and practice how to control a Lego EV3 robot directly from the iPad platform. As this is done from the Playgrounds app, students are able to understand basics, structures, data management and control mechanism within the Swift language.

Robotics fun for everyone

 Fusion and Proto stars Robotics Club presentations

 HMS Robotics Club

  1. Vex pic controlled claw and motion remote controlled robot. Students can use the robot to grab various objects and move them across the room and place them in various other places during a timed session.
  2. Vex pic controlled claw and motion remote controlled robots; along with Turnigy remote control. Students can use the robot to grab various objects and move them across the room and place them in various other places during a timed session. The difference with this robot is that two students are required to work together as a team to accomplish the tasks.
  3. Arduino Phone Project demonstration. Upcycle a retro phone into a recording studio! Students can see how this cool project is constructed using an Arduino Uno R3 Microcontroller. They can adjust the wiring and components, then reprogram the module to accomplish various tasks.

Intro to Graphic Design

Join us for a graphic editing exercise where you’ll be able to create your own invitation to an event with your friends, album art for your favorite musician, or other fun options! Inkscape is a graphic editing software that allows you to make creative things like logos, posters, artwork, and other cool stuff!


Making Cool Stuff with Raspberry Pi and other mad tech skills

  1.  Soldering station.

– lots of tech projects require soldering pin header on RPi’s and Arduino-based PCBs.  We will have 2 soldering irons and common components to solder pin headers into.

  1.  Retro Gaming Systems

– showcasing 3 different retropi assemblies.

A). A console based system kit with an RPi 3B+ that comes with wired controllers

B). An ultra small version of the previous console that minimal handheld version with a build-in controller, using a Raspberry Pi Zero.

  1. C) A mobile handheld gaming system witnessed built in screen, controller and battery using a Raspberry Pi 3B+.

How to Build with Redstone

Redstone Station:
Head to this station to experience cool minecraft redstone builds! You will learn how to make these fantastic machines, and maybe learn a bit about survival mode along the way! Builds include: Massive piston doors, Rube Goldberg machines, and ways to get tons of resources! See you there!

Diddy Bow!!

Think you need an expensive electric guitar to make good music? Think again! We’ll show you how you can make a simple, one string electric instrument in minutes with scraps from the garage! You’ll be playing the slide blues in no time

Ham Radio? What is it?

“Things you can do with amateur radio”:

Talk around the world without the internet or cell phones. Use your own “Internet” when the “other one” is down.

Send your voice, text, and pictures to unusual places, both near and far.

Create your own network of ham radio friends and send instant text messages without cell phones.

Meet awesome people from all over the U.S. and around the world, on-the-air and in person at ham radio events.

Talk through satellites or with astronauts on board the International Space Station.


Plus student demonstrations and more!

Posted on November 26, 2019

6th Grade Parents —get your student’s Tdap Booster Now!

Tdap’s are required before starting 7th grade.

Get your student’s required Tdap booster immunization done and turned in to HMS as soon as possible. Do not wait until summer or right before school starts next fall to meet the requirement as this could cause a delay in your student starting school. No schedule is given without proof of immunization. Call your clinic to schedule a visit for shots. Many of them only require a nurse visit.
New to town and do not have a pediatrician yet? Or looking for the ease of a walk-in clinic? Go to the Lewis and Clark County Health Department on the west side of the Pure View Health building to utilize their walk-in immunization clinic. Anyone can go there for their vaccinations. Their schedule is below along with the school requirements:

Walk-in Clinics                                                                                                        Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays                                                                         11:30 AM to 4:30 PM                                                                                                  1930 Ninth Avenue, Helena

No appointment is necessary. Some immunizations are available on a sliding-fee scale for those who qualify. We bill all insurance providers, except for some travel vaccines. Travel shots are by appointment only, 406-457-8900

School Shots                                                                                                              Please bring your children’s vaccination records with you to the public health department when you come in for back-to-school shots. Your health-care provider can fax a copy to our Immunization Program at 406-457-8997.

Requirements as of Fall 2015

• All grades (K-12): Two doses of varicella (chickenpox) vaccine after age 1 year (or a form from your medical provider confirming immunity)

• Grades 7-12: Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis) booster. The Td vaccine, which lacks the pertussis (or whooping cough) component will no longer be adequate.

Seventh Grade • Required: Tdap, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, and second varicella (chickenpox) vaccination • Recommended: “catch-up” and adolescent vaccines, including hepatitis A, meningococcal, and HPV (human papillomavirus).

Posted on October 24, 2019

Join Our Team

Helena Public Schools





Work with one of the best teams in Helena Montana, the Helena Public Schools. Each person on our team contributes to the success of children each day.  If you are interested in assisting in a classroom as a paraeducator or leading a classroom as a substitute teacher, this is the year to apply.

Our system is automated to notify you of substitute opportunities, and you can choose whether to work a full day every day—or intermittently throughout the week – even, part time.  Our buildings are open from 7:30am -6pm and our need is variable—so we have a number of flexible opportunities.


Substitute Teacher: Bachelor’s degree and specific endorsement preferred. At least one year of college education is required.

Substitute ParaEducator: High school diploma or equivalent; 1 to 3 months experience or training; or an equivalent combination of education, training and experience as determined by the district.

Starting rate is $11.93 per hour as a para-educator and $80 per day for substitute teacher.

Apply on line at

Or Contact:
Maureen Kloker at
Deanna Tolman at

Posted on August 22, 2019

Welcome to 2019

Fall is my favorite season…I LOVE back to school!

Posted on August 13, 2019

Welcome to the 2019-20 School Year!

Welcome to the Helena Middle School Band Program!

This is the start of an exciting adventure for your child and his or her classmates.  I am looking forward to working with all of my students and preparing them for their concerts throughout our school year.  Since we are performing ensembles, we learn our fundamental music skills through our concert preparations.  My main goal as a music educator is to have fun while learning about music, and this is an important aspect of my classroom environment.  I look forward to seeing all of you at our first performance.  If you have any questions please email me and have a great 2019-20 school year!
Posted on June 3, 2019

Library SLAC Quilt!

Student Library Quilt Raffle
Need a cozy quilt to read under? Of course you do. We are raffling off this lovely quilt created by SLAC members as a fundraiser for our Student Library Advisory Council. Tickets are on sale now at the HMS Library and from SLAC student members.  1ticket for $2 or 3 tickets for $5. The raffle will be held on the last day of school. Purchase your tickets now!

SLAC Library Quilt