Newsbits
February 8, 2016
Issue No: 
23

Contents

Building Elementary Leaders

 

Tax Documents & The Affordable Care Act – Form 1095 Update

All employees should have received your W-2s that were sent at the end of January. Please note as you are preparing your taxes for submission, the Form 1095C will be a new form sent by the District that you will need. However, the IRS has issued an extension for employers to issue this form to their employees and it is not needed in order to submit your 2015 taxes. The new deadline set forth by the IRS is March 31, 2016 and the District is prepared to comply with this new Affordable Care Act mandate.
Additionally, you will receive another new tax document sent directly from Cigna if you participate in the District sponsored health plan. This document, called a Form 1095B, is used as verification that you held health insurance coverage in 2015 to comply with the individual shared responsibility provision of the Affordable Care Act. Like the 1095C, you are not required to submit the 1095B when you file your 2015 taxes.
Should you have any questions regarding any of this information please contact the Human Resource Department at 268-6010.

 

PAYROLL INFORMATION FOR FEBRUARY 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 Friday, February 12th. 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 Monday, February 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.

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 Friday, February 12th. 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, February 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.

 

Notice to Members of MPERA-Administered Retirement Systems

On May 2, 2016, the Montana Public Employee Retirement Administration (MPERA) is implementing a new computer system that will improve customer service for employers and members. With the implementation of the new system there will be some impacts to our members. Please be aware of the following:
If you want to retire effective April 1, 2016
• April 14, 2016 – This is the last day we can receive your completed retirement application (including all required paperwork) for you to receive a retirement benefit on the last working day of April.
If you want to purchase any type of service
• March 1, 2016 – MPERA will stop processing service purchase requests. We will do our best to process your request by this deadline. If your request to purchase service is not processed by March 1, 2016, it will not be calculated and mailed to you until the new system goes live in May of 2016. Please be assured that you will not be charged any additional interest due to this short delay.
• May 2, 2016 - Service purchase requests received after March 1, 2016 will be processed as quickly as possible in the new system.
Employers will begin using the new computer system in May. Later this year MPERA will implement a web-based Member Self Service Portal that will provide account access to all of our members. Watch our website for more information about the Member Self Service Portal.
If you have any questions, please contact MPERA at 1-800-275-7372 (or 444-3154 in Helena).

 

TEACHER RETIREMENT INFORMATION

 

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 https://trs.mt.gov/.

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

 

Tech Team Openings at Longfellow & Sunnyside

Interested in representing Longfellow (effective March 1, 2016) or Sunnyside (effective August 1, 2016) on the district-level technology team? If so, please fill out the below application by Friday, February 12, 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, February 12. 

Discovery Grant Applications Now Open

The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation is pleased to announce that Discovery Grant applications are now open. Individuals can apply for a maximum of $3,000 per grant. The Foundation will award $60,000 for Discovery Grants this year.

This grant program provides opportunities for teachers to purchase equipment or books that will enrich student education. Additionally, individuals can apply for funds to teach students in new environments and facilitate social and academic out of school experiences. These are just a few examples of funded Discovery Grants.

Applications are currently being accepted and will close on March 4th, 2016. The winners will be notified by April 4th. You can find the application here.

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 grants can be directed to Dave Crum at 268-7340 or at dave_crum [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us.

 

Heisey Teacher Scholarship

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

What:
• 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.
Who:
• 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.
When:
• Online applications opened January 5, 2016
• Application is available here.
• Online applications will close on February 11, 2016

APPLICATION WILL BE RANKED ON:
• 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.

 

Bring Your A Game

 

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 (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/GFPS-PIR-PROPOSAL) 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: http://gfps.k12.mt.us/content/pir-help