Newsbits
September 19, 2016
Issue No: 
4

Contents

Superintendent's Message - Making History, September 19, 2016

Making History
 
A historic moment is before us:  the Facility Bond Levy.  The process leading to the ballots arriving in your mailboxes tomorrow has been intense and intentional. It has been rigorous and rewarding. And in so many ways, it has also been historic.
 
Historic because for the first time since the late 1960’s, our community has had a conversation about building new schools.  The last time taxpayers built a complete school was when they said yes to taxes to build Mountain View, Skyline and North, all completed 46 years ago in 1970.  In fact, most Great Falls schools were built between 1950 and 1970 and paid for thanks to the foresight and generosity of community members.  Thank goodness for those foremothers and forefathers who knew they needed to pay then, so we can have what we do now.
 
Historic because the interest rates on the bonds that will be sold to finance the Facility Plan are at historic lows.  Now is the time to get the greatest amount of work done for every hard earned dollar invested.  For once, history can be on our side.
 
Historic in that our community members are engaging with us as never before.  Citizens have attended presentations and asked good questions.  Young and old have gone on bus tours to see the issues for themselves.  Staff members have ensured that their friends and neighbors have the information they need to make an informed decision.  I personally have talked to hundreds of people as I share our GFPS story, and that story includes very dire needs as we seek to build, reinforce, replace, create, and improve our schools.
 
Now, it’s time to see how this part of our history will be written.  Will both the elementary and high school bonds pass?  Will just one of the two pass? Will they both fail?  I don’t have a crystal ball, but I do have a vote and a voice.  So do you.  Now is the time to use them. 
 
I thank you in advance for returning your ballot and for being a part of this historic moment in time.
 
Take care.  Be safe.  Stay well.

Tammy 

ATTENTION All Benefit Eligible GFPS Employees, September, 2016

ATTENTION All Benefit Eligible GFPS Employees
 
The final re-enrollment meeting will be held today (Monday, September 19, 2016) at the District Office Building in the Aspen Conference room at 4:00 PM.  Spouses are invited to attend as well.   Those not enrolled and not interested in enrolling in benefits do not need to take action, but it is recommended you explore possible benefit options to ensure you are making educated benefit decisions as this is your one time of year to do so.
ACTION IS NEEDED!  (Deadline is Friday!)
If you have been unable to attend a meeting we highly recommend that you do so to ensure you make the best decisions for you and your family’s individual benefit needs.  Open enrollment is the one time of year, outside of a qualifying event (i.e. birth of a child, marriage, divorce, etc.), that employees can make changes to their benefit elections.  From now up until this Friday, September 23, 2016you may make plan changes (enroll/un-enroll, change plans, add family members, etc.). 
 
The enrollment process is on-line again this year.  Please log into the PlanSource system (instructions link) to complete your enrollment.   All elections made will be effective October 1, 2016.  Remember medical and dependent care flex accounts do not roll over into the next plan year.  You must make an annual election if you intend to have those plans continue into 2016-17.  Also, if you are participating in the health insurance, you must take action by going into the PlanSource system and indicating if you are participating in the 2016/2017 Wellness Program.   Please note, if you choose not to go into the on-line enrollment system you will not be eligible for the premium incentives equaling up to $660 per yearAll health premiums are automatically setup to be taken from your paycheck pre-tax.  If you wish to opt out of this automatic pre-tax deduction and choose to have deductions taken after tax please complete this Opt-Out Pre-Tax Premiums Formand submit to the Human Resources Department before September 23, 2016. 
 
Below are links to information regarding the various voluntary benefit options:
 

As always, should you have any questions please contact the Human Resources Department at 268-6010. 

Flu Shots, September 2016

 

Pre-retirement Workshops TRS and PERS Fall 2016 Schedule

SEVERANCE PAY FOR RETIRING TEACHERS

SEVERANCE PAY FOR RETIRING TEACHERS
 
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 December 1, 2016 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 October 21, 2016 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 

PAYROLL INFORMATION FOR SEPTEMBER 2016

PAYROLL INFORMATION FOR SEPTEMBER 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 Tuesday, September 13th.  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, September 23rd.  Please do not send timecards in prior to the 21st.  Make all changes/corrections before turning them in.
 
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. 

PIR Cancellations, September 2016

Next Round of PIR Cancellations this Week
The next round of PIR cancellations for Late Fall/Early Winter begins this week (September to December).  Sessions with low enrollments are in the process of being cancelled.  If you have received an email from PIR eCentral, please log back into the system to register for sessions that have not been cancelled. If you are no longer planning on attending some PIR events that you have registered for, please unregister to allow for space to open up.   
Please contact the curriculum office for any questions pertaining to PIR at 268-6020.
 

Link to PIR eCentral: https://www.solutionwhere.com/ww/gfps/ 

Impact Aid (Federal) Count, September 2016

Impact Aid (Federal) count will be taken on Monday, October 3, 2016 in all schools. The cards, forms and letters will be delivered to your school on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 and are to be sent home with the students Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Students who are absent are to take the cards home when they return. DO NOT send the cards home earlier than the 5th.  Thank you.
 
                        Dale Lambert

                        Student Services Director 

Save the Date - Business After Hours, September 22, 2016

SAVE THE DATE—SEPTEMBER 22!
 
Before heading to the Dr. Temple Grandin presentation about autism at 7:00 in the Bill Williamson Hall at CMR, be sure to stop by the Chambers BUSINESS AFTER HOURS (BAH) to check out the amazing work of our students and their teacher advisors from 5:00 to 7:00.  The BAH will be held on the Outdoor Plaza at D. A. Davidson at 8 3rd St. N. 
 

You can enjoy food catered by the high school Culinary Arts students, listen to music played by GFPS students, check out products made by Grizz Biz, Rustler Gear, Bison Wear, Lynx Grafix, and Bison Welding.  You can learn about the work of several Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) like BPA, DECA, CyberPatriot, FFA, Bison Business, Art, Skills USA, HOSA, High School Houses, Interior Design, FCCLA, etc.  You can check out the truck that is going to be raffled off by the Foundation and buy tickets as well.  See you there! 

Autism Workshop

 
SAVE THE DATE
 
AUTISM WORKSHOP
by
DR. TEMPLE GRANDIN
 
SEPTEMBER 22, 2016, 7:00-8:30
Bill Williamson Hall at C.M. Russell High School
 
Dr. Grandin was diagnosed as autistic when she was three and a half years old. She has become a prominent author and speaker on autism after writing her book, Emergence: Labeled Autistic. Her family and mentors saw her potential and she is now an animal science professor at Colorado State University. She has a successful career as a livestock handling equipment designer, one of very few in the world.
 
Dr. Grandin will talk about stumbling blocks for the autistic, and how early intervention and educational delivery models can make a difference.
 
This event is free and sponsored by Great Falls College Montana State University and the Great Falls Public Schools.
 

    

Multi-Sensory Phonics PIR, Fall 2016

 

35th Annual Cross Town Run Around, October 25, 2016

OCTOBER 25, 2016
C.M. Russell High School 
RACE begins at 4:15 pm
 
Last week we reminded everyone about the upcoming 35th Crosstown event! We had a few questions pop up and here are additional details:
  • The event will remain very similar with the change being a bit of direction to buildings this year when thinking about the event.
  • We are going “back to basics” with this annual event and asking you to support the football theme and teams!
  • This is a bit different for the elementary and middle schools but WE think it will be fun!
  • Don’t want to choose one team over the other? That’s ok too! Just incorporate the idea of football, crosstown and fun into your group!
  • We will still have the 7 trophies up for grabs!  (% HS, % MS, % Elementary, % DOB/BG/Annex/Warehouse/Sky/, most improved %, theme and of course SPIRIT) 

Schedules for: GFPS Fitness Center, Classes & GFH Pool

2016-17 Schedules For: GFPS Fitness Center, Classes & GFH Pool
The NEW School year schedule is listed below! Check the Employee Wellness website and weekly Wellness Wednesday emails for updates or schedule changes for all of the classes. Schedule time to exercise and take care of yourself. You will be glad you did!
 
PARIS FITNESS CENTER FREE!
Monday through Thursday during the school year (Closed on holidays)
          5:30 am – 7:00 am
          3:30 pm -- 7:00 pm
PARIS OPEN GYM Shoot hoops or run a few laps!
5:30 am - 7:00 am   Monday-Wednesday-Friday
Sign in at the Fitness Center
 
ZUMBA CLASS Free to employees!  Begins Sept. 13, 2016
Tuesday & Thursday:  4:30 - 5:30 pm (No class on holidays)
Longfellow Elementary Gym (1100 6th Ave S)
Instructor: Amber Blodgett
 
CIRCUIT TRAINING Free to employees! Begins Sept. 7, 2016
Monday & Wednesday 4:30-5:30 pm (No class on holidays)
Fitness Center @ Paris Gibson Education Center
Instructor: Laurie Roberts
 
YOGA CLASS Free to employees during school year! Begins Sept 7, 2016
Wednesdays:     4:45 pm - 5:45 pm
Thursdays:         5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Classes held at 220 6th Street South, Suite B. (No class on holidays)
Instructor: Lisa Moore
 
OULA Class Free to employees! Begins Sept. 13, 2016
OULA is a great dance fitness program. For a full description go to: oulafitness.com
Tuesday & Thursday 5:45 am -- 6:30 am
PGEC Gym enter on the south side near fitness center! (No class on holidays)
Instructor: Bethany Chabot
 
WATER EXERCISE CLASSBegins Sept 6, 2015
Tuesday & Thursday:  7:00 - 8:00 pm
Classes are held at the Great Falls High Pool.
Class is FREE to all GFPS faculty and staff and open to the public at a cost of $60 for each session. GFPS faculty and staff need to register with Kim Fadrhonc at 268-6051.
This is a great NO IMPACT, fun exercise class.  No particular swimming skills are required. 
If you have questions, contact Bob Stingley at 268-6281 or via email. 
 
OPEN SWIMMING
Open and lap swimming at the Great Falls High Pool is FREE to all GFPS employees!  To get a pool pass, click here for the electronic application or contact Central Reception at 268-6054.  Attendance fee for a non-employee adult is $3 and a child is $2 per visit.
Lap Swim: Beginning Aug. 31--Monday through Friday 6:00 am - 7:30 am

Family Open Swim: Beginning Sept. 12, 2016--Monday & Wednesday 7:30 pm - 8:45 pm