1,800 students sign up for Helena Public Schools online option

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-18 12:46:37-04

HELENA — About 22% of Helena Public Schools students have opted for fully online instruction when the school year begins.

Superintendent Tyler Ream told MTN Monday that 1,800 students had signed up for the district’s Digital Learning Initiative, out of about 8,000. He said that was higher than the 15% they had expected to enroll.

The district gave families until Friday to register for the DLI. Ream said that gives them time to plan for the students and teachers who will be taking part in the program.

Students in the DLI will remain in online classes, regardless of what other students are doing, until the district reaches its final phases of reopening – near-normal operations. They will retain their places in their current schools and classes.

Helena Public Schools are currently set to begin the year with a “rolling start” the week of Aug. 31. Full-scale instruction would begin on Sept. 8. District leaders have said their goal is to begin with two days per week of in-person classes and three of online classes – though changes in the COVID-19 situation will still affect that.