August 28, 2017

Superintendent’s Message


Student-Centered and Future Focused
Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year…the 129th school year of this amazing institution—Great Falls Public Schools! Another year, where we work to ensure that our great democratic society is preserved through what I call the game-changer, the door-opener, the foundational enterprise that is so vital to our country, this important thing we call public education!
There is no doubt that we made history last year with the passing of the bond levy in October.  I can’t even tell you how amazing it was to win the election, but even more amazing has been the results of the election.  As you look around our schools today, so much has already been accomplished.  Thanks to so many of you who stood up, spoke up and showed up during the bond election, we are building the future!
While we continue to be excited about the facility work, we must be even MORE excited, even MORE strategic and even MORE dedicated to our most important work:  helping our students achieve success.  No matter how nice our buildings are, no matter what kind of technology we have, no matter how much our budget is or isn’t, if we don’t ensure and thrive on student success we cannot meet our student achievement goals.
I believe that success is more likely in a system that is student-centered and future focused; in an approach that seriously evaluates the effectiveness of an industrial, one-size-fits all, assembly line system; in an approach that personalizes learning through relationships; and in an approach that pays attention to the skills students need to be successful in today’s and tomorrow’s world, not the world of the past.
            There are challenges before us to be sure, but our ability to overcome and do right by our kids, our community and our future is unsurpassed.  Together, we can rise to the challenge and by doing so, our students will as well.
            Speaking of challenges, a big thank you to the Buildings and Grounds crew as they worked all summer to make our schools clean and beautiful—inside and out!  In many cases this was done with the inconveniences of construction in the building as well.  Thanks for being creative in dealing with the logistics of it all.  I also appreciate all the staff members who attended training this summer to hone their skills and knowledge.  Also, please know that the rest of the support team has been busy this summer hiring staff, securing resources, and preparing for what is going to be another great year!
I look forward to seeing all of you throughout the year as I visit buildings and classrooms.  When I stop in, please do not feel like you have to stop what you are doing.  I am just there to watch with admiration as you provide a world class education to the students of Great Falls.
Ready or not, here they come!  Here’s to the next 187 days of magic!
Take care.  Be safe.  Stay well.

2017-18 Insurance and Financial Information


     The following dates are scheduled for presentations regarding:
·         Health Insurance Changes/Updates
·         Employee Wellness Announcements
·         Voluntary Insurance Options
·         Flex Plan Discussion
·         Retirement Programs Information
ALL employees eligible for insurance, licensed and classified, are encouraged to attend.  It is important to attend a meeting so employees can be wise consumers of health insurance and other benefits of employment.  The health insurance rates will also be discussed.  Employees can attend any of the scheduled meetings.  Spouses are invited to attend as well.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017
1:00 PM
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
4:00 PM
Thursday, August 24, 2017
10:00 AM
Thursday, August 24, 2017
1:00 PM
Thursday, August 24, 2017
3:00 PM
Thursday, September 7, 2017
Bill Williamson Hall
3:45 PM
Monday, September 11, 2017
3:45 PM
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
3:45 PM
Thursday, September 14, 2017
3:45 PM

Monday, September 18, 2017


Room D-2

3:45 PM



2017-2018 Payroll Schedules

Please click on the appropriate links below to see
your Payroll Schedule for the 2017-2018 School Year. 

17-18 All Custodians, Engineers, Groundsmen, and Warehousemen
17-18 Pay Periods for ALL Licensed Educators
17-18 Pay Periods for ALL Non-Certified Employees (Except Groundsmen, Engineers, and Warehousemen)

June Teacher, Psychologist, MRP Direct Deposits

June Teacher, Psychologist, MRP Direct Deposits

A small change in direct deposits has been made in an effort to eliminate the potential for errors caused by an outdated process.  June direct deposits for teachers who elect the 12 pay option will no longer show up as three separate deposits on pay day.  In June 2018, those who elected 12 pay, will see one single bank deposit for the full amount.  This does not affect the amount of your check.  If you have loan distributions (payments) set up where the number of deposits trigger an equal number of payments please contact your bank to make any necessary changes.  If you have any questions please call Katie Allen in the Business Office at 268-6064.  

What Is Changing?

What Is Changing?

What: Leaving computers on during the week nights to get Windows Updates
When: Effective August 30, 2017
Why: Microsoft has changed the way they deliver Windows Updates. Updates are distributed in much bigger packages now which is creating bandwidth issues as well as increased time to install those updates. It has become difficult and also disruptive to apply those updates between the hours of 8 am and 3:30 pm when computers are on. Computers are also not shutdown regularly or not done properly, preventing updates from installing.
Who: All individuals who use computers throughout the District
How: All computers should be left on 24 hours a day from Monday through end of business day Friday and shutdown for the weekend.
Best practice – at the end of your working day (Monday – Thursday):
Close all documents and programs running on your computer – information may be lost if this is not done and computer restarts due to windows updates
Logoff by (Windows 10):
Click on the Windows Start button    
Click on User icon located just above Windows Start 
Click on Sign Off
Turn off monitor but leave computer on
Best practice – at end of your working day on Friday:
Close all documents and programs running on your computer
Shutdown by (Windows 10):
Click on the Windows Start button    
Click on Power icon located just above Windows Start 
Click on Shutdown
Turn off monitor
This process needs to occur for all Windows computers (not Chromebooks, iPads) located in the building, both staff and student. Staff should be designated for lab responsibility.

Contacts: Bob McGregor, IT Help Desk, Tom Hering 

2017-2018 Wellness Exercise Schedules

2017-18 Schedules For: GFPS Fitness Center, Classes & GFH Pool
The GFPS Employee Wellness Team is pleased to announce the schedule for the GFPS Fitness Center, fitness classes and pool for the upcoming school year! Whether you are a regular attendee or have never accessed any of these FREE offerings, we hope you will take a look! There are a few updates to class times and we have extended the hours of operation for the fitness center as well. As always, you can find the schedule and any updates on the Employee Wellness website and in weekly Wellness Wednesday emails.
Monday through Friday during the school year, starting Wednesday, August 30, 2017 (Closed on holidays)
          5:30 am – 7:00 am
          3:30 pm — 9:00 pm
PARIS OPEN GYM Shoot hoops or run a few laps! Sign in at the Fitness Center
Monday through Friday during the school year (Closed on holidays)
          5:30 am – 7:00 am  
ZUMBA CLASS Free to employees!  Begins Sept. 12, 2017
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. 6, 2017
Monday & Wednesday 4:45-5:45 pm (No class on holidays)
Fitness Center @ Paris Gibson Education Center
Instructor: Laurie Roberts
YOGA CLASS Free to employees during school year! Begins Sept. 6, 2017
Wednesdays:     5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Thursdays:         5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Classes held at 220 6th Street South, Suite B. (No class on holidays)
Instructor: Lisa Moore
WATER EXERCISE CLASSBegins Sept 12, 2017
Tuesday & Thursday:  7:00 – 8:00 pm
Classes held at Great Falls High Pool (19th Street & 5th Avenue S)
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 required. 
For questions, contact Bob Stingley at 268-6281 or 
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: Begins Sept. 5, 2017–Monday through Friday 6:00 am – 7:30 am

Family Open Swim: Begins Sept. 11, 2017–Monday & Wednesday 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm