About 90 students have enrolled in East Helena High School’s inaugural freshman class.
Although it’s not too late to sign up, East Helena’s 137 eighth-graders were asked to return their registration forms no later than Friday. The enrollment number will help determine how many faculty and staff members will be needed when high school classes start this fall.
East Helena Public Schools Superintendent Ron Whitmoyer said he expects the freshman class to end up with at least 100 students.
“It would have been nice to have all the registrations in a month ago so that we could go forward with our hiring process,” he said.
The new school will be required to have four core teachers to instruct courses in math, science, social studies and English, Whitmoyer said. The registration forms asked students whether they would like to take any particular elective classes, and that information will be used to help determine what other teachers might be needed.
“This is like a huge jigsaw puzzle where all the pieces come from different puzzles. They don’t always fit together,” Whitmoyer said. “It’s quite a trick to put together a master schedule.”
East Helena High School will welcome one grade level per year beginning this fall. The freshmen will complete their first year of high school in an unused wing of East Valley Middle School, and the freshman and sophomore classes will move into the newly constructed high school building on Aug. 26, 2020.
High school students from East Helena currently attend Helena High School, which expects to make reductions to staffing as students transition into the new school. Helena High School has about 1,500 students, and about 400-500 typically come from East Helena each year.
High school students who live within the East Helena school district boundaries can continue to enroll in Helena or elsewhere after the new school is open, but out-of-district tuition will apply.