January 19, 2016
Issue No: 


Call for PIR Facilitators for the 2016-2017 School Year

Call for PIR Facilitators for the 2016-2017 School Year

Details about 2016-2017 PIR Calendar/reminders:
· The date range is June 13, 2016 - April 30, 2017.
· All forms are due by Friday, March 11, 2016.
· Please be sure to avoid any holidays as well as MEA days and Wednesdays when scheduling your dates.
· PIR Sessions can be done as a single 6-hour session, two 3-hour sessions, or three 2-hour sessions.
If you are interested in facilitating or co-facilitating a PIR offering, please fill out the PIR Proposal Form ( no later than Friday, March 11 (Note: this form is different from last year. Do NOT fill out an old .pdf form). For more information about PIR Facilitator Obligations and Pay, please visit the following link:




In order to be eligible for severance pay, teachers choosing to retire at the end of the second semester must submit a letter of resignation by March 1. Please refer to Article 8, Section C of the Teachers’ Collective Bargaining Agreement for further information.

While the deadline noted above is March 1, the Human Resources Office would very much appreciate notification as early as possible. The earlier we know, the earlier we can start the recruitment process for open positions. An early start will help us with the difficult task of replacing the experience and expertise of our much appreciated retiring staff and also allows us to get top notch candidates to be your colleagues.

If you are even close to considering retirement (5 years or less) please contact the Teachers’ Retirement System and setup an appointment. The more you know the better you can prepare for retirement. TRS may be contacted at 1-866-600-4045. It is very important to note that the Irrevocable Election Form must be completed and submitted to TRS a minimum of 90 days before your retirement date. (March 11, 2016 is this year’s deadline.) For more information on the recommended timelines click this link to the TRS Retirement Timeline.

Additionally, you can log into your TRS account to view information on wages and contribution history, purchasable service, and your current beneficiary. Click here to enter your TRS Account. You can also update your contact information or request an estimate of benefits.

For more information TRS has provided a handbook that can be accessed via this link TRS Member’s Retirement Handbook or on their website at

If you have additional questions about retirement, deadlines, paperwork, etc. please contact the Human Resources Department at 268-6010.


Heisey Teacher Scholarship

Great Falls Public Schools Foundation’s
Heisey Teacher Scholarship Applications for 2016-2017 School Year
Now Open

• Twenty $1,000 scholarships will be awarded competitively to school teachers in the Great Falls Public Schools District to help fund work toward a master’s degree, National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification, academic work supporting Great Falls Public Schools’ District Goals, or an Endorsement, including; counseling, administration, special education, or any other field related to education.
• Twenty scholarships will be awarded throughout the district, with the intent of awarding support in multiple schools. In the event that one or more schools do not have a qualified applicant, multiple scholarships may be awarded at the same school.
• Teachers who have already completed a master’s degree may apply the scholarship to a second master’s degree or an advanced degree (Ph.D. or Ed.D.).
• Scholarships may also be used for the purpose of working toward an advanced degree or securing an endorsement in a specific subject area, which is applicable to teaching.
• Scholarships may be utilized to fund the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Certification process.
• Scholarships may be utilized to support academic work which would directly support the professional in their capacity of supporting district level goals and initiatives.
• All monies must be expended within six months of the date the scholarship is awarded.
• Any teacher presently holding a teaching position in the Great Falls School District and who is committed to signing a contract to teach in the school district for the school year following the scholarship award.
• Online applications opened January 5, 2016
• Application is available here.
• Online applications will close on February 11, 2016

• Competency as a teacher as indicated by letters of reference and other information presented to the committee.
• Commitment to the profession as indicated by goals.
• Availability of job vacancies in the field, as well as needs of the district.

If you have any questions regarding the online application process, please contact Lyndsay Lettre at 268-7401 or at foundation [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us. General questions about the scholarship can be directed to Dave Crum at 268-7340 or at dave_crum [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us.


Lesley University Graduate Program

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls

Integrated Teaching through the Arts Curriculum & Instruction, M.Ed.

This Program will be starting in the spring of 2016. Hurry to reserve yourself a spot!

Program is designed for all K-12 educators
Project based – no GRE required
Skills that transfer to your everyday lessons!
Move up on the Salary Schedule as you go!
Financial aid and payment plans are available.
Regionally and nationally accredited
Financial Aid Counselor to assist Student Loan Process!
Deferred Student Loan payment 6 months after completion of your degree!
Nineteen weekends total! The entire program is completed in less than two years
$5000 Loan Forgiveness is available! $50 application fee waiver!

Face-To-Face teaching one weekend a month: Saturday & Sunday 8am – 5pm

Contact: Cathy Kuntz
ckuntz [at] lesley [dot] edu



STEAM Expo 2016!