January 2, 2018
Issue No: 




Tick! Tock!

Time is a precious commodity. This statement seems the truest to me at the start of every calendar year. As we usher in 2018 with “Happy New Year” exclamations and resolutions, the clock starts ticking. Tick! Tock!

How can we narrow the achievement gap? Tick! Tock!

How can we improve the relationships we have with students, staff and the community? Tick! Tock!

How can we establish a budget that sustains our comprehensive programming? Tick! Tock!

How can we ensure healthy, safe and secure schools and classrooms? Tick! Tock!

How can I accomplish my 2018 to-do list? Tick! Tock!

How can I make a difference to our kids, our community and our future? Tick! Tock!

As I poured over achievement data, ESSA requirements, the public budget setting process, grant opportunities, Board policies, administrative processes and a plethora of other information over the holiday break, the sense of urgency spread from brain to my gut and back again. Time is of the essence! All kids engaged in learning TODAY for life TOMORROW! Tick! Tock!

In my 2013 Convocation message regarding making our time at work count, I said, “I believe that every staff member must cherish every moment of learning time we have with children. I believe that we must protect learning time from distractions and interruptions. This belief is true not only for classroom teachers, but also for everyone else who works in our schools. You have heard me say over and over again that if you waste one minute of time every day of the year, by the end of the year, 180 minutes or 3 hours have been wasted. Please cherish every minute we have with students. Please protect it so students can be engaged today, for life tomorrow.” Tick! Tock!

So, let’s get to it! Let’s commit to doing all we can and then some more as we push to the end of the semester and the end of the school year. Let’s use the precious minutes in 2018 to do amazing things. Tick! Tock!

Happy New Year! Take care! Stay safe! Be well!



Community Budget Meetings

Montana State Speech and Debate Tournament, 2018

GFPS Staff,
On January 26th and 27th, CMR will be hosting the State Speech and Debate Tournament and there is a need for judges.  Judging clinics will be held in January, so even if you haven’t judged before, please don’t hesitate to volunteer.
Please consider taking part in this excellent opportunity to come see some of the best and brightest students from across the State of Montana demonstrate their ability in public speaking and knowledge of current affairs. 
Invitation to Judge
Montana State Speech and Debate Tournament
January 26th and 27th, 2018
Please consider volunteering your time to support students in this tournament!
Friday, January 26th:
Speech Rounds at CM Russell High School
4:00 PM               6:00 PM               8:00 PM
Debate Rounds at CM Russell High School
4:00 PM               6:00 PM               8:00 PM
Saturday, January 27th:
Speech Rounds at CM Russell High School
8:30 AM              10:30 AM            1:00 PM               3:00 PM
Debate Rounds at CM Russell High School
8:00 AM      10:00 AM       12:00 PM     1:30 PM        3:00 PM    


Mileage Rate Change January 1, 2018

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven, up 1 cent from the rate for 2017.
Please forward all mileage reimbursement request for Mileage July 2017 – Dec 30, 2017 to the Business Office by January 15th.

The Mileage rate will need to be changed in File maker Pro Set up before you start a new sheet for January. 


Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy

Would you like to provide a year’s worth of books to children in our community? Now you can easily give this gift! Through the Ferst Foundation, you can provide books for a year every year for children aged 0-5. One year of books for a child you know is just $40. To pay it forward and donate to an anonymous child in need of books, it only costs you $36! For more information, or to order books, please contact Lisa Carlson (Title TSA, x6028) or Carol Paul (Title Coordinator, x6779). Also, be sure to find us on Facebook – Great Falls Ferst Foundation! Give us a LIKE!

HiGH TRUST 2018, Level 1 and 2

January 18-21st
  • ”Growing with Gratitude®” The Greatest Gift you can give yourself and those you love!
  • Leave school...energized...not exhausted!
  • Teach without stress...get that “gerbil feeling out forever!
  • Positive Teaching Attitude!
  • Be your “real self”, ..teach from your “moral code”!
  • Bring your “personal truth” into your teaching!
  • Celebrate students with your goodness & caring!
Times: Thursday/Friday: 4:00-9:00 PM, Saturday/Sunday 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Click here for more information and registration form.


Grant Opportunities Through GFPS Foundation

The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation is offering two grant programs this year. Included will be Discovery Grants (individual teacher grants) and Innovation Grants (collaboration grants). These applications will open December 18th and close on February 5th.
Foundation grants are available to GFPS Staff to provide opportunities for students to learn in new environments, experience creative teaching methods, participate in out of school experiences, or have new equipment or materials that provide enrichment and support.
Discovery Grants are individual teacher projects with funding ranging from $500 to $3,000. Innovation Grants are collaborative group projects with funding up to $10,000.  
Great Falls Public Schools employees can submit applications HERE or through the Foundation’s webpage at The Foundation will be funding up to $150,000 between the two programs.
If you have questions about the grants please contact Dave Crum at dave_crum [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us or call 7340. If you have questions regarding the online application, please contact Lyndsay Lettre at foundation [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us or at 7401.   

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls - 2018

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 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

ckuntz [at] lesley [dot] edu