Newsbits
January 20, 2015
Issue No: 
20

Contents

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

Superintendent’s Message

 TOWARDS CULTURAL PROFICIENCY

 
Today is the day after an important holiday; a holiday that celebrates the life of Martin Luther King (MLK).  Dr. King was the chief spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement.  He gave his life while protesting racial discrimination.  Yesterday, numerous staff members served our kids, our community, and our future as they attended the PIR training that addressed the important topic of cultural proficiency.  They had rich and authentic conversations about: the core values that drive us as educators; examined the alignment between those core values and the decisions we make; and explored ways to navigate the dynamics of difference.
 
MLK had a vision - Freedom and respect for all people.  Still today, after all these years, we seek to fulfill his dream where all people are respected regardless of their skin color, wealth, gender, abilities, disabilities, and any other characteristic that makes us individuals.  As recent national conversations about race indicate, we have work yet to do.
 
Freedom and respect for all requires a nation of people who are culturally proficient.  Being culturally proficient is an intentional decision to learn about oneself in order to be open to learn about others.  Being culturally proficient means that you are cognizant of your own culture, and also recognize that every individual has culture.  With recognition, we are more able to respect the culture of other, whether as groups or individuals.
 
As a district, being culturally proficient means that we are open to understanding that culture is a predominant force in our schools as it impacts the ways we enforce and reinforce the values of GFPS.  We must be good at acknowledging, affirming and embracing the diversity that exists between and within cultures.  We must also be good at upholding the dignity of every person, and by doing so; we increase opportunities for their success.
 
Thank you to all the staff that organized yesterday’s PIR opportunity and to the staff members that attended.  The GFPS Indian Education Department’s mission is to support the District’s efforts in our journey towards cultural proficiency.  If you have questions or need support in your personal journey, please contact Director of Indian Education, Corri Smith.  There are many resources available to support your work on this path.  It’s a trip worth taking.
 
Take care.  Be safe.  Stay well.
 
Tammy

WINTER REMINDERS

 SOLVING THE TECHNOLOGY, FASHION AND SAFETY RIDDLE:  WINTER REMINDERS

Isn’t technology great?  Mankind has available a plethora of information right at our fingertips.  Think about it – our cell phones come with cameras, calendars, video capabilities, games, music, and any number of other useful devices and tools to make our world easier and more enjoyable to navigate.  Cell phones even provide us via access to the internet up-to-the-minute weather reports, regardless of where we are or what we are doing.  
·        Check your cell phone first thing in the morning for the weather report:  Most accidents in the MSGIA book of business occur between November and April due to snow and ice
·        Proper footwear may determine what kind of day you will have:  Wear appropriate footwear during the winter months: rubber-soled shoes, Yak Trax, ice grippers, etc.
·        Navigating the parking lot to the building: Once employees arrive at school, walk the paths that have been cleared, sanded, and treated with de-icer.  This work has been done by the maintenance/custodial personnel for your safety.  And remember, though the shortest distance between two points may be a straight line, the direct route isn’t always the safest one
·        Keep your hands free:  Employees often take work home with them and bring it back the next day.  If you’re doing so, please be sure when carrying your materials to focus on walking into school in a safe manner:  put your cell phone away; carry items in a backpack to keep your hands free; and, most importantly, slow down, take shorter steps, and in these ways take care of yourself
·        Entryways and hallways:  When entering the building, be aware of wet floors
 
Please remember that workplace safety starts at home.  That’s right – it happens when you are picking out that favorite pair of shoes that goes nicely with the outfit you are wearing that day!  Once you have the outfit and shoes selected, take time to select and wear appropriate footwear:
1.      Carry Your Fashion…place your indoor shoes in a bag and carry them to school and change once you are safely inside the building
2.      Slow Down…once you have made the conscious decision to wear appropriate footwear, you need to remind yourself to slow down and take shorter steps
 
And remember…safety isn’t an event, it’s a daily effort!

What Would You Do With a Discovery Grant?

 What Would You Do With a Discovery Grant?

Discovery Grant Applications Open Now until February 22nd
The Great Falls Public Schools (GFPS) Foundation is encouraging innovative and creative projects in GFPS through the Discovery Grants Program. The program provides 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. Great Falls Public Schools employees can submit applications for funding ranging from $500 to $3000. This year, the Foundation will be accepting grant applications through a new online program. You can find the application HERE or through the Foundation’s webpage at http://www.gfpsfoundation.org/discovery-grants/.
If you have any questions on how to apply for a Discovery Grant, you can contact Lyndsay Lettre at foundation [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us or at 7401 and she can answer your questions. If you have any questions regarding the Discovery Grant Program, you can contact Dave Crum at dave_crum [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us or at 7340.
 

PAYROLL INFORMATION FOR JANUARY 2015

PAYROLL INFORMATION FOR JANUARY 2015
 
Teacher time sheets are due in the Business Office the morning of Tuesday, January 13th.  Please e-mail your absences to BoPayrollLead [at] gfps [dot] k12 [dot] mt [dot] us each day through January 23rd.  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, January 23rd.
 
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
 
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.
 
 

  

Walleye Banquet

 

Courses offered cooperatively with Montana State University - Northern

STEAM EXPO 2015

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