November 20, 2017
Issue No: 


Superintendent's Message

Thanksgiving Blessings
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It’s my favorite because of what it is and what it isn’t. It isn’t about buying gifts or pulling out boxes of decorations.  There aren’t special TV programs to watch and I only send out a few cards commemorating the holiday.  Because the retail machine mostly skips over Thanksgiving, we get to take a break from commericialism.  We get to pause and enjoy family, fellowship and of course, food!
Mostly however, Thanksgiving is my favorite because to its core it’s meant to encourage us to be grateful for all that we have and for all the opportunities that are before us.  As for me, I am grateful for my work, my family, my friends and my community.  I am also thankful for each of you and the work you do.  Your dedication to our kids, our community and our future, no matter how crazy things are all around us, warms my heart.  You aren’t told “thank you” enough so please let this message make up for that.
Along with Thanksgiving blessings to each of you, I also wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving break.  I hope you are surrounded by your families as you eat a wonderful meal and put your feet up for some much deserved rest.  Take this time to recharge your batteries as you reflect on all the blessings in your life.  Take this time to prepare your hearts and minds for all the joys and opportunities December will bring.  Happy Thanksgiving!
Take care.  Be safe.  Stay well.


Online Learning Opportunity - Supporting At-Risk Students

Teacher Learning Hub: The Hub is a learning network on the Moodle platform dedicated to providing free, high quality professional learning for all K-12 educators across Montana.  It aims to minimize the time teachers spend away from their classrooms to attend training, as well as save school districts money on professional learning.  Get started by creating an account today at   


Length: 1 hour each

Audience: Faculty and staff 


Format: The participant learns about mental health warning signs and communication strategies by viewing a conversation between a virtual child psychologist and a virtual teacher. The participant then guides the teacher through three conversations with distressed students, each taking approximately 5-7 minutes. The program prepares the participant to identify, approach, and refer students exhibiting signs of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.


Evidence base: The At-Risk for High School Educators program has been accepted into SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention (BPR). A quasi-experimental study among 327 high school teachers from 40 states found consistent and statistically significant results across demographic characteristics. The results suggested that At-Risk increases teachers’ ability to identify, approach, and refer students exhibiting signs of distress; teachers’ confidence in their ability to help a suicidal student; and the likelihood that teachers will intervene when faced with a student at risk. 

Wellness Closures for Thanksgiving Break

  • The PGEC Fitness Center and gym will be closed November 22, 23, 24, 2017, opening back up on Monday, November 27, 2017.
  • The Circuit Training class is cancelled for November 22, resuming Monday, November 27, 2017.
  • Zumba is cancelled for November 23, resuming, Tuesday, November 28, 2017.
  • Yoga classes are cancelled November 22, 23, resuming Wednesday, November 29, 2017.