February 2, 2015
Issue No: 


Superintendent’s Message

 February:  Love, the Legislature and Looking at Budgets

February is here and along with it comes love, the legislature and looking at budgets.  I loved celebrating the many successes over the previous five months and I know there will be more celebrations to love over the next four.  The District’s Facebook page has catalogued a variety of accomplishments since September and I’m sure there are more to come.  Be sure “like” Great Falls Public Schools on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter @TammyLLacey in order to get District information.
February is also about the continuation of the 2013 Montana Legislature.  Education is always a hot topic for the legislators and this year is no different.  So far, there has been some positive momentum around educational funding in that HB27, a bill that provides for inflationary increases for schools, as it received early and overwhelming support in the House.  Hopefully, it finds the same success in the Senate and gets to the Governor’s desk ASAP.  It would be so helpful to know early in the session what our base funding will be for the 2015-2016 school year.  Being able to make accurate funding forecasts is a definite advantage as we begin our open and transparent budget process.
All staff members, along with community members, are invited to attend the Community Budget Meetings.  The dates and details can be found on the main GFPS webpage.  Also linked on the main page, I would encourage you to take a look at the “This is GFPS” video that was produced by the GFHS Video Production students and their teacher Mr. Kelly Wiles. I would also encourage you to watch “Budgeting 101” as it sets forth the details of school budgeting.
The legislature will also deal with appropriations for pre-school and for educating 19-year old students.  They will be dealing with bills that could raise the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18.  They will also deal with a myriad of bills that seek to use public funding for private schools.  I will provide testimony for those that could impact GFPS.  I encourage you to lend your voice to the legislative process as well.  You can track education bills at$.startup?P_SESS=20151.  Just type “education” under “select a subject”.  Here’s the link for contacting legislators:
The legislature will finish its work in April, the District will complete its preliminary look at the budget by the end of March, but the work we love will push right through to the end of the year.  Thanks for all you do and will do to ensure student success as we finish the second semester strong and focused.
Take care. Be safe.  Stay well.



Teacher time sheets are due in the Business Office the morning of Thursday, February 12th. Please e-mail your absences to BoPayrollLead [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us each day through February 20th. 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 Friday, February 20th.

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.


Announcing Applitrack On-line Application System

 Announcing Applitrack On-line Application System

GFPS is excited to announce a change in the application process.  The District has launched an on-line application system.  This new system will allow external applicants to apply on-line and update their application at any time.  For current employees, this system will allow you to apply for in-District openings on-line.  We are very excited as this on-line system will make the application process more effective and efficient. 
The link to this new on-line system can be accessed by clicking on this link and is also available by clicking on the Employment button on the main GFPS website. 
GFPS encourages candidates to complete an application regardless of current, specific openings as vacancies can occur periodically throughout the school year.  Having an application on file affords individuals the flexibility of applying for an open position with the click of a button.  For those certified teaching candidates, having an application on file automatically enrolls these individuals for consideration of open positions for which they are qualified.  If you know of anyone who has the skills, qualifications and personal drive to be a GFPS employee please encourage them fill out an application through our new on-line application system!

Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge Winners

Maintain Don’t Gain Challenge Winners –
Listed below are the winners of the ”Maintain Don’t Gain”  Challenge that concluded January 14th.  Thanks to those that participated and were able to maintain or lose some weight throughout a holiday season that is FULL of temptations and a lot great food!  The district had 121 participants take the challenge to practice healthy habits over the holiday season.  10 lucky participants were drawn to each win a Garmin Vivo Fit! 
Molly Bevan – Riverview
Sara Buley – CMR
Shauneen Crocker – Longfellow
Deb Davilla - DOB
Edith Echevarria – GFH
Patty Higgins – ELFC
Jan Mader – GFH
Michael O’Rourke – Lewis & Clark
Julie Pavlak – EMS
Sylvia Teasley – Loy
If you are one of the lucky winners, please call (ext 6051) or email Kim Fadrhonc to make arrangements to claim your prize! 


You’re Invited to WarFair!

 On Thursday, April 9, GFHS again is presenting our interdisciplinary performance fair, War Fair!  As you know, War Fair! concerns topics extending far beyond war; students may present on the “war” against drugs, disease, advertising “wars,” etc.   Two sessions are offered, the first from 8-11:30 and the second from 12:30-2:30.  You are welcome to attend either or both.

We hope you and your students will make the trip to GFHS to see what it’s all about and to enjoy the presentations.  Students work hard on them and become very polished and proud.  The projects are very enjoyable.  Hope to see you here!

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls

 Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls

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



Please remember that in order to be eligible for severance pay, a retiring teacher must submit a letter of resignation to the Board of Trustees no later than March 2, 2015 at 5:00 p.m., if terminating employment at the end of the second semester. You are encouraged to forward your letter prior to this date. You may wish to refer to Article 8.C of the Negotiated Agreement for further information. Teacher Retirement System must be contacted and an irrevocable election form completed by March 13, 2015 in order to be eligible to deduct additional contributions from termination pay on a tax-deferred basis. The Teacher Retirement System can be reached at 1-866-600-4045.

Human Resources Office


Last Week to Apply for a Heisey Teacher Scholarship!

 Last Week to Apply for a Heisey Teacher Scholarship!

Heisey Teacher Scholarship Applications Close February 6th!
This is the last week to apply for the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation’s Heisey Teacher Scholarships, which close on February 6th. The GFPSF will be awarding twenty $1,000 scholarships to PreK-12 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, or an Endorsement. 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 2015 -16 school years is eligible for this scholarship. You can apply through the Great Falls Public Schools Foundation here: If you have any questions about the online application process, contact Lyndsay Lettre, foundation [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us or call 7401. Questions about the Heisey Scholarship can be directed to Dave Crum, Executive Director dave_crum [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us or call 7340.

Walleye Banquet



Join the Fun! It’s FREE!
Come and interact with over 200 science, technology, engineering, art, and math student projects.
40 community groups will also share information and provide hands-on activities!

Hope to see you at the STEAM EXPO 2015 to see the amazing inquiry work presented by our GFPS PreK-12 students.
April 11, 2015 10:00 AM-2:00 PM
Great Falls High Fieldhouse