Newsbits
April 4, 2016
Issue No: 
30

Contents

SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE

Please Vote

Because you work for an organization such as GFPS, you are part of something bigger than yourself. By coming to work each day and joining with your colleagues in delivering this most important thing, education, you are part of something bigger than yourself. By living in Great Falls and in the United States of America, you are part of something bigger than yourself. As we participate in our world, we are givers and takers of resources. I am grateful for all I receive and for the ability to give.

It is also important that we do our part. The responsibilities of being a citizen of a collective society are many, but today I would like to focus on a very important one: voting. While I know that the national politics scene is not always a positive one, I do know that the work of our locally elected Board of Trustees IS positive. The work of our Board of Trustees impacts each of us daily and therefore, it is important that we do our part…that we participate in the voting that seats the Board.

This year, there are three seats up for election. Those are the seats of Jeff Gray, Ann Janikula and Laura Vukasin. All three incumbents have filed as have four other candidates. Here are the dates to keep in mind:


            Close of Voter Registration
       4/4/2016
            Late Registration Begins           4/5/2016
             Mail Ballots Mailed                    4/18/2016
             Election                                      5/3/2016

If you haven’t registered to vote, TODAY is the last day of regular registration. You can still use late registration but it is easier to get it done on time. To register, stop by the Elections Office at 325 2nd Ave. N. It only takes a moment. If you aren’t sure if you are registered to vote, you can check at this website: departments.cascadecountymt.gov/elections

Now the next thing: getting ready to vote. That means paying attention and getting information about the candidates. The Tribune is sponsoring a Candidate Forum on Monday, April 18 at 6:00 pm. Mark your calendar to hear firsthand, what the candidates have to say. The Tribune also usually prints interviews with the candidates.

Lastly, VOTE! Trustee elections are often decided by only a few votes. Every vote counts. Don’t let yours sit in your pile of mail. Every registered voter will receive a ballot. Exercise your right and responsibility. Fill it out and mail it in. I thank you for taking the time to get this done.

Just one more reminder. There are specific rules about using public time and other public resources to advocate for candidates. Check out the article in Newsbits for more information about that. In the meantime..
Take care. Be safe. Stay well.
Tammy

GFPS Employee Election Guidelines

These hold true for the upcoming Trustee election as well as the facility bond election to be held in October.

BACKGROUND
MCA 13-35-226: A public employee may not solicit support for or opposition to any political committee, the nomination or election of any person to public office, or the passage of a ballot issue while on the job or at the place of employment.
MCA 2-2-121: Public funds may not be expended for any form of commercial advertising in support of or opposition to a bond issue or levy submitted to the electors.
GFPS 5224 Personnel Policy—Political Activity—Staff Participation: No person may attempt to coerce, command, or require a public employee to support or oppose any political committee, the nomination or election of any person to public office, or the passage of a ballot issue. No District employee may solicit support for, or opposition to, any political committee, the nomination or election of any person to public office, or the passage of a ballot issue while on the job or at his place of employment. However, nothing in this section is intended to restrict the right of a District employee to express his or her personal political views.

EXAMPLES OF RESTRICTED USES OF PUBLIC FUNDS
The following are examples of prohibited activities for political purposes by governmental bodies. Not all possibilities can be shown:
1. Political signs to expressly advocate a ballot issue, candidate, or political committee may not be placed on school property or buildings.
2. District equipment such as telephones, copy machines, fax machines, video equipment, audio equipment, and cameras are not permitted to be used for political purposes.
3. District computer equipment such as computer hardware, computer software, and printers are not allowed to be used for political purposes.
4. District e-mail and web sites are not permitted to be used. School district employees should not use District resources to forward or generate political e-mails.
5. Political posters, brochures, buttons, flyers, or promotional literature of any type cannot be displayed by schools.
6. Employees of a governmental body may not engage in campaign activities of any sort during time the employees are expected to be engaged in official work duties.
7. Teachers may not send advocacy literature home with students.
8. The teachers’ lounge cannot be used to distribute or display political advertisements.
9. Employees cannot encourage others to support or oppose the election of any person to office or the passage of a ballot issue during the time the employee is expected to be engaged in official work duties.

This list is not all-inclusive.

EXAMPLES OF ACCEPTABLE ACTIVITIES
1. Know the facts and be prepared to answer student, parent and community questions regarding the facts.
2. Volunteer on non-work time to participate in a citizen committee. District employees may be members of independent citizen committees to advocate for or against a candidate or ballot issue, and may solicit or encourage members of the public to be part of a citizens' committee, so long as these activities occur on personal time and off District premises.
3. Make phone calls from home to discuss the election.
4. Personally donate money to citizen committees.
5. E-mail on personal time from a personal account and network to other personal accounts information about the election.
6. Provide impartial, factual information as a part of the employee’s job on work time or in a school facility.

                            This list is not all-inclusive.                                 TLacey 4/16

 

Form 1095 Mailed Out From GFPS

 You should have received by now the 1095C form mailed out from Great Falls Public Schools. This form needs to be kept with your 2015 tax records. This document, outlines the months in which your employment qualified you for health insurance benefits during the 2015 tax year and what months you were offered health coverage from your employer. You do not need to include this document when you submit your taxes. You simply need to keep it with your 2015 tax records. GFPS does not have a self-insured health insurance plan, therefore the dependents are not listed on the 1095C you received.

Should you have any questions regarding this information please contact the Human Resources Department at 268-6010.

In-District Teacher Transfer Information

Reminder – As a teacher, if you apply for a position and accept that position for the following school year you cannot apply for any additional positions within the teacher unit.

In-District Teacher Transfer Information

Current openings are posted Thursday, April 7, 2016 and will close on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.Check the on-line application system (http://www.applitrack.com/greatfalls/onlineapp/) for a list of all current in-district teacher job openings.  If you are interested in applying for these openings  please hand-deliver your In-District Transfer Form to the Human Resources Office to meet the deadline.

 

Tech Team Opening At Roosevelt

Tech Team Opening at Roosevelt
Interested in representing Roosevelt (effective August 1, 2016) on the district-level technology team? If so, please fill out the below application by Friday, April 15, and email to Susan Quinn. The application lists the responsibilities of the job, which requires a two-hour meeting once per month in addition to other duties. Questions can be emailed to Susan Quinn, Jana Mora, or Charlene Ammons. Visit the following link for the application (http://bit.ly/GFPS-tech-team-app Download the application as Word, fill it out, and email it to Susan Quinn by Friday, April 15.

 

 

PAYROLL INFORMATION FOR APRIL 2016

Substitute Para timesheets are due by the 2nd of each month. Substitute Teachers should verify all assignments are correct in AESOP by the 2nd of each month.

Teacher Timecards and Class Coverage sheets are due in the Business Office the morning of Wednesday, April 13th. Reconciling should be done daily. Please verify all absences are reconciled by the 12th.

All other timecards are due in the Business Office the morning of Friday, April 22nd. Please e-mail any absences for the 22nd to BoPayrollLead [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us. If you know in advance an employee is going to be gone, please have them mark it on their timecard rather than waiting to email.

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.

TERMINATING EMPLOYEES

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.

 

Do you have your PIR credits completed for the year?

 Here is a video on how to complete evaluations and check your transcript properly.

Click this link to find out.

Sign Up for PIR Classes Now Open

Sign up for PIR Classes Now Open
The PIR catalog of classes is now online. Please sign up for at least 18 hours of classes (unless part time), and don't forget to enroll in the appropriate District-Directed course, based on the letter you received as well as 1st, 2nd or 3rd-Year Teacher Training if applicable.

In addition, be sure to sign up for MEA, MIET or other conference if you think you might attend those. Classes with low enrollment will be cancelled May 8, so sign up soon.

Click here to log in www.solutionwhere.com/ww/gfps/

 

 

 

Autism Awareness

 

MIET 2016

 

2nd Annual Student Services Institute

 

2nd Annual GFPS Student Services Institute 2016

 

Retirement Celebration for Bill Salonen

 

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls

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


First class starts September 17th & 18th, 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
406.899.7308
ckuntz [at] lesley [dot] edu