November 6, 2017
Issue No: 


Online Learning Opportunity - Supporting At-Risk Students

Teacher Learning Hub: The Hub is a learning network on the Moodle platform dedicated to providing free, high quality professional learning for all K-12 educators across Montana.  It aims to minimize the time teachers spend away from their classrooms to attend training, as well as save school districts money on professional learning.  Get started by creating an account today at   


Length: 1 hour each

Audience: Faculty and staff 


Format: The participant learns about mental health warning signs and communication strategies by viewing a conversation between a virtual child psychologist and a virtual teacher. The participant then guides the teacher through three conversations with distressed students, each taking approximately 5-7 minutes. The program prepares the participant to identify, approach, and refer students exhibiting signs of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.


Evidence base: The At-Risk for High School Educators program has been accepted into SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and the SPRC/AFSP Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention (BPR). A quasi-experimental study among 327 high school teachers from 40 states found consistent and statistically significant results across demographic characteristics. The results suggested that At-Risk increases teachers’ ability to identify, approach, and refer students exhibiting signs of distress; teachers’ confidence in their ability to help a suicidal student; and the likelihood that teachers will intervene when faced with a student at risk. 

Password Policy - What is Changing?

                                           October 19, 2017

What Is Changing?

What: Implement a strong password policy
When: Effective November 15, 2017
Why: In order to protect confidential data and business operations, having a strong Information Security policy is required. There are many layers to Information Security and one of the most basic and best practices is a strong password policy. A strong password consists of:
  • complexity (3 of the 4 following criteria)
o   upper case
o   lower case
o   numbers
o   special characters
  • minimum length 8 characters
  • restricting reuse of old passwords (not last 3)
  • and periodic expiring and entering a new password annually
Who: All individuals (staff & students) who log into the GFPS domain and who have not changed or reset their password in the last year.
How: At end of day, November 14, 2017, the Data Center will set the new password policy. The next time an individual logs into the GFPS domain, the password will be evaluated to see if it has been changed or reset within the last 365 days. If not, the individual will be prompted to enter a new password using the rules listed above. If the password meets the policy rules, you will be asked to re-enter to confirm. Users must log into a Microsoft Windows pc or laptop to change their password. You cannot change your password on an iPad or Chromebook.
When changing your Active Directory password, the password will also automatically be changed for:
  • Email (and Webmail)
  • Google Drive
  • Office 365
  • Moodle
  • iVisions
  • SharePoint
  • Helpdesk
All other systems will NOT be affected by this password change, such as PowerSchool, SuccessMaker, Typing Pal, ThinkCentral, Mileposts, NWEA, AESOP, PIR eCentral, etc.

Generic logins for labs at the elementary level will not be affected by this policy.
Recommendations: The new password cannot contain any part of your name. A good practice is to use a phrase that you can easily remember, i.e. Ilike7up. Another option would be to take a word or phrase you can easily remember and replace e with 3, i with 1, o with 0, or s with 5 and then capitalize the first letter, i.e. Supportit = Supp0rt1t. A strong password is only as good as you keep it confidential. Under no circumstances should staff share their password. At the elementary level, it is permissible for students to share their password with their teacher but they should also be instructed not to share with other students.
New accounts: After November 14, 2017, all new accounts will have the following format – P******s where ****** is the same identifier we have always used.
Contacts: Tom Hering, Bob McGregor, IT Help Desk

STEAM 2018


Join the Fun! It’s FREE!

Teachers and administrators, please encourage ALL your students to either participate or attend.
(High School Teachers, please encourage your students to look into the STEAM scholarship as well.)
STEAM EXPO (science, technology, engineering, art, math) is an event designed to encourage the interaction and collaboration between our Great Falls Public School students and community professionals. The purpose is to apply knowledge and understanding of science, technology, engineering, art, and math to conduct in-depth “real-world” investigations. The process will include mentorships, demonstrations of classroom science explorations, and extensions of the inquiry process posed in student note-booking journals. The exposition itself will offer a venue for students to demonstrate the results of their STEAM studies, professionals to show how STEAM is used to better our communities, and spectators to participate in hands-on experiments. The STEAM EXPO event will connect our schools to the community, our students to professionals, and generate interest and excitement for science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. 
Participants and public will interact with science, technology, engineering, art, and math projects.
Community groups will also share information and provide hands-on activities!
Hope to see you as well at the STEAM EXPO 2018 to see the amazing inquiry work that will be presented by GFPS K-12 students.
March 24, 2018   10:00 AM-1:30 PM
Great Falls High Fieldhouse
Click on the link below for more information:

Online Safety Training Drawing Winners


Safe Schools Online Safety Training $50.00 Card Drawing Winners