Helena Public Schools dismissed students early Thursday and will cancel classes altogether on Friday because of an impending storm.
The district has been monitoring the incoming weather conditions, it said in an email, leading to the decision Thursday morning.
Temperatures are quickly dropping in the area, and the rain that fell Wednesday night into Thursday is now freezing, and forecasters expect between four and six inches of snow or more in the Helena area to fall tonight through Friday morning.
School officials say that they are following the lead of the Montana High School Association in regards to State tournaments, so State swimming and wrestling will continue as planned, as will speech and debate meet here in Helena. Participants are, though, encouraged to get to the tournament location ahead of the storm.
The Capital and Helena High basketball teams were scheduled to play this weekend, the girls on the road in Kalispell and the boys teams here in town. The Friday night games, however, have been canceled.
Saturday’s games will go on as scheduled. Helena High’s boys will be at home against Glacier on Saturday, the varsity game starting at 7:30 p.m., and the girls will be at Glacier at that same time. The Capital boys will host Flathead on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and the CHS girls will be at Flathead at the same time.
Jefferson, which already runs on a four-day school week, also releases early on Thursday.
East Helena is planning to remain open on Friday.
Montana City also plans to stick to schedule, and officials say they “have a safe and warm building for students.” Montana City, though, canceled parent-teacher conferences for Thursday night to avoid travel on potentially unsafe roads. A plan for rescheduling will be sent out at a later date.
Harlow’s will be able to provide bus transportation as usual with altered routes in Montana City. The buses will not go up Sawmill Road or upper McClellan Creek Road, unless officials hear differently from the bud company.
If conditions or bus routes change, they will be announced during Montana’s Morning News on KCAP.