May 4, 2015
Issue No: 




This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. It is also Nurse Appreciation Week and Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week. A day is also set aside this week for Military Spouses Day, Tourist Appreciation Day and Mothers’ Day! That’s just this week! You can find calendars on-line for every kind of national appreciation day or week imaginable! The long list I viewed got me to thinking, “Why do we have all these days and weeks set aside to thank groups and individuals? Shouldn’t we be thanking people that truly make a difference all the time or at least during those moments we are enjoying their services?” Putting aside the commercialism that surrounds some of these appreciation events, I think our national obsession with setting aside days or weeks to thank others is because we just aren’t very good at saying thank you on a regular basis. As noted in previous columns, gratitude is an attitude. I think it is an attitude that should be taken every single day of the year.

With that being said, I still want to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of you during Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week. One week to thank all of you for what you do for our kids, our community and our future. It hardly seems like enough. I know how much energy and emotion you put into your work. I know how much you care for your work and for the children you work with. I know that day in and day out you pour your heart and soul into making a difference. Five short days of thanks isn’t enough, but please know that as I write these words, they are heartfelt and sincere: Thank you so much for all you do! I hope you are thanked by many others this week. You deserve to be recognized and thanked not only during this week, but during the other 51 weeks of the year as well.

Here’s to another wonderful Monday and another wonderful week in Great Falls Public Schools. Thank you for being a part of it!

Take care. Stay safe. Be well.


Ballots Due: Tuesday, May 5

Even though there is only one issue on the ballot, employees are
reminded to mark and return the ballot by election day,
Tuesday, May 5. At this point, please do not mail your ballot.
You can drop your ballot off at the County Elections Office today,
Monday, May 4, or at the Fairgrounds on Tuesday, May 5.

PIR Registration Update: Cancellations and New Courses this Week

PIR Registration Update: Cancellations and New Courses this Week

This week marks the end of the first round of PIR registrations. Registrations will continue throughout the week, but many sessions with low enrollment will be cancelled this Thursday, May 7th.

Round two of preregistrations will run from Wednesday, May 6th until Friday, June 5th. Registrations will continue and some new PIR offerings will be added this Wednesday.

Please contact the curriculum office for any questions pertaining to PIR at 268-6020.

Classes Cancel May 6th; Sign up soon!

Classes Cancel May 6; Sign up Soon
PIR classes with low enrollment will be cancelled Wednesday, May 6. For best selection, sign up before that date at

Click here  to log in

Click here for  help on using PIR eCentral

Tech Team Opening at Roosevelt Elementary

Are you a teacher at Roosevelt who likes helping others with technology and learning about new hardware and software? Then you might like to apply for the Tech Team. See the linked application, which is due Friday, May 8, 2015 at 4 p.m., for further information.

Please submit completed applications and direct any questions to Charlene Ammons.

Click for application


Indian Education For All has the trip for you! We will be exploring the Blackfeet and Flathead Reservations while learning about herbal medicines, language immersion, bison history and management, listening to oral tradition, and perhaps we’ll sleep in a tipi.
This is a 5-day, 4-night trip via charter bus. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for participants and teachers will receive 12 PIR hours.
The focus of this trip to provide teachers with a unique experience that provides for the learning of Indian culture, history and contemporary issues within an authentic setting.
Teachers should expect to have an exciting, fun, and challenging learning experience.
Training Day: June 6th, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Travel dates: Leave June 22nd – Return June 26th
Register on PIR eCentral: IEFA Teacher Camp l
Indian Education For All has the trip for you! We will be exploring the Blackfeet and Flathead Reservations while learning about herbal medicines, language immersion, bison history and management, listening to oral tradition, and perhaps we’ll sleep in a tipi.
This is a 5-day, 4-night trip via charter bus. There are no out-of-pocket expenses for participants and teachers will receive 12 PIR hours.
The focus of this trip to provide teachers with a unique experience that provides for the learning of Indian culture, history and contemporary issues within an authentic setting.
Teachers should expect to have an exciting, fun, and challenging learning experience.
Training Day: June 6th, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Travel dates: Leave June 22nd – Return June 26th
Register on PIR eCentral: IEFA Teacher Camp l

In-District Teacher Transfer Information

In-District Teacher Transfer Information
The on-line application system (via Applitrack) is up and running. All job postings are posted on the on-line application system.

Current openings were posted on Friday, May 1, 2015 and
will close on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.
Check the on-line application system (
for a list of all current openings.
If you are interested in applying for theses opening please hand-deliver your
In-District Transfer Form to the Human Resources Office
to meet the deadline.


Instructional Reading Strategies Part 2


Using ELA Standards to Create Proficient Students
2 Credits

Instructor: Sharon Kelley
Place: College of Great Falls-MSU
Dates: May 15, 16, 29, and 30
Times: May 15 and 29; 4:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
May 29 and 30th; 8 a.m.-6 p.m.


Course Description
This course will provide the classroom teacher with a variety of instructional approaches that will best meet the ELA Standards. The candidates will learn how to develop lessons that address the fundamentals of effective reading, writing, English grammar, listening/speaking, and word knowledge. . Throughout the 4 day face to face time, candidates will learn through modeling, lectures, guided practice, various activities, and discussions and hands on activities.

If you would like more information, please contact Sharon Kelley at sharon [dot] kelley [at] northern [dot] desire2learn [dot] com

Autism for In-service Professionals Class

Registration deadline extended to May 8th.

Register on-line:

Retirement and Longevity Awards

Retirement and Longevity Awards
Wednesday, May 20, 2015 7pm
Paris Gibson Education Center

All employees who have served the District 25, 30, or 35 years will be honored as well as those employees who have retired during the 2014-2015 school year or are retiring at the end of the school year.

Honorees will be sent an invitation via letter in April. If you do not receive one and you think you fall in the categories noted above, please contact Kim Fadrhonc at 268-6051. The District will honor each recipient with a gift. Desserts and refreshments will be provided.




Teacher time sheets are due in the Business Office the morning of Wednesday, May 13th. Please e-mail your absences to BoPayrollLead [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us each day through May 15th. If you know in advance a teacher is going to be gone, please mark it on the time sheet rather than waiting to email. Teachers who use time cards should also turn them in at this time.

All other time cards are due in the Business Office the morning of Thursday, May 21st.

Substitute teacher time sheets are due by the 2nd of each month.

All time cards are due on the above dates. Do not put them in the school mail any later, as it will be impossible to pay them on this pay period. All time cards must be signed by the employee before pay checks will be released.

All federal time cards are due to federal programs office two days before the dates listed above.

Secretaries, please review your time card check-off list and be sure all employees have turned in their time cards.


Any employee terminating their employment with the district must send their timecard to the business office immediately upon termination (DO NOT wait for the end of the pay period). If the employee will be terminating shortly after the end of the pay period those days can be added to the current time card.


Fall Print and Graphic Orders 2015-2016 School Year

All Fall orders need to be titled as "Fall" for the due date. That is for both the Print Center orders and Graphic orders.
Graphic orders for the 2015-2016 school year that must be created need to be submitted no later than June 30th. Any submissions beyond then may not be returned until approximately early October. Please try to prepare for the new school year early so we can get your orders done on time.
Fall Print orders CAN NOT be submitted electronically. With having such a high volume of orders for the fall, we do not want to risk any orders being lost in the system. Please send all fall orders as you would in the past.
Please feel free to give Central Reception a call with any questions or concerns.


Poker Walk

CMR 2015 Retirement Tea

East Middle Shool 2015 Retirement Social

East Middle School Administration, Faculty and Staff Invite You to Our
2015 Retirement Social
May 20, 2015
2:20 pm in the EMS Cafeteria
We will be honoring the following educators for their
years of service and dedication
to the students of the Great Falls Public School District.
Barb Holden
Elaine Blythe
Elaine Schoyen
Maria Taylor
and Mary Aspinwall
Family, Friends and Colleagues Welcome

GFH Farewell to Staff

On May 20th from 2:45-4:00pm in the Bison Beastro (South Campus) GFH will be holding its farewell celebration for staff who will not be rejoining us next year: Jane Gregoire, Gary Copeland, Rachel Waterfield, Shawn Ruff, Kathleen Brown, Jessica Bryant, Stacy Peterson, Taylee Fromm, Matt Carey, Missie Hill, and Lyn Conway.

We will also have a Silent Auction to replenish the funds of the Ben Lundquist Scholarship that is offered to graduating seniors who have a parent currently employed full time at GFHS for a minimum of 3 years with GPA of 2.5 minimum. Unfortunately the fund was depleted so no awards were given last year, but this year we are hoping to be back on track due our staff’s and a benefactor’s amazing generosity!

We are asking you to consider donating anything (apparel, baked goods, art, or anything you think might spur the interest of bidders. Donation items we have already received that you might consider bidding on so far include: 4 Disneyland Passes valued at $620, a golfing package, various baked or homemade items (including GFHS Staff’s Choice Award Winning Cyndi Jacobsen’s cookies), various apparel, and an emergency car kit (portable compressor, jumper cables and the whole caboodle). Donation(s) can be sent to April Senger at GFHS. The paperwork is in place! The value that your donation sells for will be sent to you as a tax donation form for your next tax season.

The description below shows that Ben Lundquist’s dedication to our students and families is a long standing tradition!

His family was his teaching, and his students were his children. Ben Lundquist was lovingly referred to by his students as “Uncle Ben”. He taught in such diverse places as Sweden, Minnesota and Bozeman, MT. He helped establish the American Field Service in Great Falls and was the first winner of the Humanitarian Award from the University of Great Falls. He was active in community affairs; he was counselor and friend to many as well as history teacher for 35 years. Because of Ben and his many achievements in teaching, his fellow teachers have been inspired to maintain a memorial to him and the teaching profession and to honor those whom Ben thought so highly of-----the young people.

Retirement Celebration for Sandy Houle

It’s hard to IMAGINE
It’s hard to BELIEVE
But Sandy’s finally ready

Please Join us
May 28th, 2015
3:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Longfellow’s Cafeteria

To celebrate
and her many years of accomplishment
with Great Falls Public Schools

Cake & Punch to be served

Save the Date!

Paint the State- Montana Meth Project


It's time to take action against the devastation of Meth and help the Montana Meth Project 'Paint the State' once again.  Our influential Paint the State campaign took over Montana in 2006 and 2010, encouraging teens to create art with a powerful anti-Meth message that inspired many to join the fight against Meth. The first-ever project of its kind, Paint the State became the largest public art contest in history. With your encouragement, this year's Paint the State can continue to help the Montana Meth Project be a catalyst in sparking conversation and widespread action to fight the destruction of Meth.
Teen and young adult participation is crucial to the success of Paint the State. We hope you'll encourage and support participation in this public art contest. Not only will it help us all take a stand against Meth use in Montana, but give participants an opportunity to win up to $10,000 and have their art judged by our celebrity judges (announced in May)! Paint the State wants kids to get creative - the message can be everywhere: on the sides of buildings, dumpsters, grain silos, busses, even on cows and sheep.
Participants can pre-register online at from April 1 - April 30.  Registration and submissions will be accepted from May 1 - July 15. Please help us encourage teens and young adults to take a stand against Meth and help us 'Paint the State' with powerful anti-Meth messages. Teens can enter individually or as a team, and we are expanding the types of submissions allowed this year. Not only can they paint their message, but tech savvy participants are welcome to create their own anti-Meth commercial! More details are provided at
Thank you again for your support. We need your help and influence to recruit teens in your community!
Montana Meth Project
info [at] montanameth [dot] org (info [at] montanameth [dot] org)
Nationwide Public Art Contest Will Award $30,000 in Prizes
(Missoula, MT) -- The Montana Meth Project has launched Paint the State, a nationwide public art competition, to visually portray the dangers of Meth use and encourage viewers to heed the organizations' mantra of "Meth: Not Even Once."  Participants are encouraged to submit videos, artwork/photography or outdoor/monument/sculpture.  Submissions will be judged by a Celebrity Panel and through a People's Choice voting process.  A total of $30,000 in cash prizes will be awarded at the conclusion of the competition on September 18, 2015.
"The Montana Meth Project has been actively working to keep teens away from Meth for ten years," noted Amy Rue, Executive Director.  "Paint the State is one more way we are reaching out to teens and encouraging peer-to-peer communication; by leveraging the creativity and passion of Montana's youth to get the word out about the risks of Meth use."  This is the third time the Paint the State competition has been conducted by the Montana Meth Project.  "Paint the State is supported entirely through private contributions, corporate donations and foundation grants," continued Rue. "We would like to thank the Gilhousen Family Foundation, Stillwater Mining, Underriner Motors, Yellowstone Club Community Foundation, ExxonMobil, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Locati Architects for their initial support and enthusiasm." Additional sponsors will be announcing in coming weeks.
Pre-registration is open through April 30, 2015 for participants age 12 or older.  Teams of four may also register. Registration and submission of artwork begins May 1st with one entry per person/team per category allowed.  Voting begins August 1 with the announcement of the winners scheduled for September 18th.  A Celebrity Panel will select winners and award $7500 to the top submission in each category.  Additionally, the top People's Choice vote-getter in each category will receive $2500.
"Teens have a unique way of communicating," said Rue, "and in our previous Paint the State campaigns we were overwhelmed by their creativity.  We're looking forward to seeing what they produce this time. Videos and online artwork are new categories, but we know we'll see monumental-scale art as we have in the past." Artwork must be clearly visible to the public from July 16th through September 18th, whether online or from the street or in a public place.  Full details for submissions are available at
Paint the State is a public art competition and large-scale community action program sponsored by the Montana Meth Project and supported by individual, corporate and foundation contributions. The aim is to broadly communicate the risks of Methamphetamine use through works of art including video, artwork/photography, and outdoor/monuments/sculptures. The competition offers participants a way to become involved in the anti-Meth campaign and compete for cash prizes. 

Connect Great Falls