August 29, 2016

Superintendent’s Message

A Historic Year in the Making
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year…the 128th 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!
It’s going to be historic not just because it’s a presidential election year and not just because the Montana Legislature will convene in Helena in January, but because we have a historic opportunity before us:  the facility bond levy.  For the first time since the late 1960’s, our community is having a serious conversation about building new schools and we are engaging community members with us as never before.  We are telling our story as we seek to build, reinforce, replace, create, and improve our schools.
On October 4, no matter how it turns out, we will be celebrating success because we have forged important relationships with our community.  As I said last year at Convocation, “It doesn’t really matter how nice our buildings are, how flush the budget is, how great our books and curricula are, or how efficient our systems are, if the relationships we have with our kids, with each other and with our community aren’t strong, positive and nurturing, we cannot be great.”  And most importantly, I told you that I believe this with all my heart:  The quality of our relationships will determine the quality of our outcomes.
Speaking of outcomes, 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!  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 a historic 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.


Bond Levy Invitation


To Learn More about the Facility Bond Levy


TO:  All Great Falls Community Members
FROM:   Tammy Lacey, Superintendent
WHAT: Tours & a talk about the facility bond levy,what it is for & how much it will cost you.
WHERE: Great Falls High School, 1900 2nd Ave. S.
WHEN:  Tuesday, September 6, 2016, 6:00 pm-7:30 pm     Tours:  5:30-6:00; 7:30-8:00
RSVP: Cindy at 268-6001 


Come have some light refreshments as I discuss the Facility Plan and the upcoming bond levy.
Q&A moderated by the .
For on-line information regarding the Facility Plan and the bond levy, see this website:


Relationships Matter



Be sure to send in your thoughts about the importance of relationships as invited by Superintendent Lacey at Convocation.  She wants to hear from you!  Click here for more information.  


Autism Workshop

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.


Insurance and Financial Information Meeting Schedule


The following dates are scheduled for presentations regarding:
·         Health Insurance Changes/Updates
·         Employee Wellness Announcements
·         Voluntary Insurance Options (dental, vision, cancer, accident)
·         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.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 DOB Aspen 1:00 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 DOB Aspen 4:00 PM
Thursday, August 25, 2016 PGEC Hub 10:00 AM
Thursday, August 25, 2016 PGEC Hub 1:00 PM
Thursday, August 25, 2016 PGEC Hub 3:00 PM
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 GFHS Auditorium 3:45 PM
Thursday, September 8, 2016 CMR Bill Williamson Hall 3:45 PM
Monday, September 12, 2016 PGEC Hub 3:45 PM
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 NMS Cafeteria 3:45 PM
Thursday, September 15, 2016 EMS Room D-2 3:45 PM
Monday, September 19, 2016 DOB Aspen 4:00 PM


2016-2017 Gradebook Updates and Powerschool Updates

Attention Teachers:
All Teachers will need to update their gradebook for the 2016-2017 school year. To do so, login to PowerSchool and click the ‘Run Installer Once’ option and follow the directions. Once that’s complete, click the ‘Launch’ button on same page to complete the setup for the gradebook.
PowerSchool Admin users:

The new version of PowerSchool has changed the login page. The prior versions had a single field with your username and password separated with a semi-colon.  The new version has two fields one for each value. So the part before the semi-colon is your username and the part after the semi-colon is the password. You will need to enter each item in the correct field and you no longer use the semi-colon at all. 

Payroll Information

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 13thReconciling 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
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.

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!
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:
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
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 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 

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls
Integrated Teaching through the Arts Curriculum & Instruction, M.Ed.
This Program will be starting September 17, 2016!!
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