December 2, 2019

Message from the Superintendent

Supt Tom Moore

Dear GFPS employees,

I hope that you enjoyed a short Thanksgiving break.  I was very thankful to be able to spend the holiday with some of my family here in Great Falls!  I am thankful for the opportunity to serve with all of you as we meet the daily needs of the students in our community throughout the school year.  You are a great team to work with, that is for sure!

At our last Board meeting on Monday, November 25, the Trustees voted to go for an Operational Levy in the May of 2020.  I will be providing information over the next few weeks and months to all of you so that you can understand and relay accurate information about our budget and the specifics on the levy to your friends, family and colleagues.  We need the support of our citizens in Great Falls to fully fund the general operations of the school district so that we don’t have to continue to make reductions and cuts, year in and year out.  Our job is to accurately depict the needs of the school system and the effects that continuous cuts and reductions have had on our school system.  In doing this, public employees must be careful in how they advocate for political issues like levies, bonds and elections.

I have attached a document, which gives us guidance on the DO’s & DO NOT’s of advocacy as a public school employee during work time.  Please read and abide by these guidelines so that you and the District do not have to deal with the public scrutiny or accountability of doing something inappropriate during this important campaign.  If you have questions or concerns, please ask your administrator or director.  In addition, you can call or email my office at 268-6001.

Sincerely,

Tom Moore, Superintendent
tom_moore@gfps.k12.mt.us


Red Flag Reporting

Red Flag Reporting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Falls Public Schools Mission is that we successfully educate students to navigate their future.  In order to accomplish this, we have a number of belief statements that drive our work, help us to formulate our goals and build the culture of our organization.  At GFPS, we believe all students and staff learn and work best in a safe, secure, and nurturing environment.  We believe highly skilled and committed personnel are our greatest asset.

We can’t do it alone, but we can do it together.

The Board believes that highly skilled and committed personnel are the District’s greatest asset.  In support of this Board’s strong commitment to the public’s trust and confidence of school staff, the Board holds all school staff to the highest level of professional responsibility in their conduct.  We know that District resources and staff are public assets requiring responsible stewardship and community involvement.  Policy 5223 covers this matter in great detail. 

In order to ensure we are being responsible stewards of tax payer dollars and in honor of this belief, GFPS rolled out a program called Red Flag Reporting in the fall of this year.

This program is an anonymous reporting system that allows any GFPS Employee to report concerns regarding possible fraudulent behavior.

Remember, if you have concerns, contact your administrator, HR Department, or us: www.RedFlagReporting.com  |  1-877-647-3335.


Retirement Party for Bob McGregor

Bob McGregor Retirement

 


Celebrating Garth Gabriel

Garth Gabriel retirement

 


Listening Party

GFPL Listen Party

 

Three of our GFPS teachers will be on the radio for the Great Falls Public Library listening party!

WHEN: Tuesday, December 3rd  |  6:30 to 7:30 PM
WHERE: The Cordingley Room (basement), Great Falls Public Library

Calling all kids and families! Join us as we sip hot cocoa, make snow dough & other winter-themed crafts, visit with Santa & Mrs. Claus, and listen to “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on the radio!  Come be a part of our mission to provide free books to ALL children under the age of five in Great Falls!  This program is a collaboration with Cherry Creek Media and the Great Falls Early Childhood Coalition.

‘Twas The Night Before ChristmasTwas The Night Before Christmas

 


CMR Performing Arts Presents: SOUTH PACIFIC!

CMR's South Pacific

 

The CMR PERFORMING ARTS DEPARTMENT proudly presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s sweeping classic World War II musical “South Pacific”, December 5 – 7 and December 13 and 14, in the Bill Williamson Hall Auditorium on the CMR campus.  Curtain time is 7:30 pm.  There is a matinee performance at 2:00 pm on December 14.

Come, see AND hear the classic songs, “There is Nothing like a Dame”, “I’m Gonna Wash that Man Right out of my Hair” and the unforgettable “Some Enchanted Evening.”  Come see what you expect from CMR Performing Arts. Quality entertainment and a great night at the theatre.

Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 with Military ID.

For ticket information, please call 268-6117.

We will be collecting unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots, monetary donations for Shop With A Cop and non-perishable food items for the CMR Food Pantry.


Christmas Stroll

Christmas Stroll

Please join us to support our GFPS Students!

Our GFPS Pop Up Shop opens at 4:00 PM on Friday, December 6th at 610 Central Avenue!

Our students are selling:

  • Martinson’s Chocolates
  • Peruvian bracelets
  • Original Art by GFH & CMR
  • Engraved mugs, coasters etc (personalized there) ~ Griz Biz & RAM Enterprises
  • Hot Cocoa & Cookies

Stop in for your FREE POPCORN between 4:00 – 9:00 PM.

Also, take a look at the shed parked at the intersection of 6th and Central Avenue made by our High School House Students.  The 8×12 Mini Barn Style shed with plywood panel siding and malarkey shingles is for sale: $1500.


Winter Wonderland Walk-A-Thon

Winter Wonderland Walk-a-Thon

 

Our Great Falls High School-Business Professional Association students and Special Olympics are partnering together as a benefit to Special Olympics Montana!

We encourage anyone to sign up for this walkathon!  You can sponsor a student, walk yourself or even provide a pie for the finish line (all participants will receive a slice of pie and hot cocoa once they complete the 2.5 miles walk!


Grant Opportunities

Foundation grants
The Great Falls Public Schools Foundation is once again offering two grant programs.

Included will be Discovery Grants (individual teacher grants) and Innovation Grants (collaboration grants). These applications will open December 9th and close on February 7th.

Foundation grants are available to GFPS Staff to provide 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.

  • Discovery Grants are individual teacher projects with funding ranging from $500 to $3,000.
  • Innovation Grants are collaborative group projects with funding up to $10,000.

Great Falls Public Schools employees can submit applications HERE or through the Foundation’s webpage at https://gfpsfoundation.org/gfps-grants/.  The Foundation will be funding over $100,000 between the two programs.

If you have questions about the grants, please contact Dave Crum at dave_crum@gfps.k12.mt.us or call x7340.  If you have questions regarding the online application, please contact Lyndsay Lettre at foundation@gfps.k12.mt.us or at x7401.


Speech and Debate Judges Needed

Speech&Debate Judges Needed

We are so excited to host the Best in the West!

Can you help us by judging at our upcoming Speech & Debate Tournament?

This year, C.M. Russell High School is hosting the Electric City Optimists Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament on December 13th and 14th 2019.  Please take some time to read the announcement below and register to judge for the tournament using the link or via your phone using the QR Code.

Please consider taking part in this excellent opportunity to come see some of the best and brightest students from across the State of Montana demonstrate their ability in public speaking and knowledge of current affairs.

Note that by filling out the form below, you are officially committed to judging for the spots you signed up for.  Please call (406) 616-2695 if you need to make changes or cancel.

There is going to be free food available for judges.  Let us know if you have any questions.

Friday, December 13th:

Speech Rounds at CM Russell High School
4:00 PM  |  6:00 PM  |  8:00 PM

Debate Rounds at North Middle School and CMR
4:00 PM  |  6:00 PM  |  8:00 PM

Saturday, December 14th:

Speech Rounds at CM Russell High School
8:30 AM  |  10:30 AM  |  1:00 PM  |  3:00 PM

Debate Rounds at North Middle School and CMR
8:00 AM  |  10:00 AM  |  12:00 PM  |  2:00 PM  |  4:00 PM  |  6:00 PM

Registration Options:

QR Code Thank you for judging!


MIET Tech Days Bids Farewell with Grant Opportunity

MIET logoMIET’s vision and mission has been promotion of current and future trends of educational technology in order to equip classroom teachers for engaging students in a meaningful manner. As MIET says farewell, we have some remaining funds that will allow us to offer a grant opportunity of up to $500 each to classroom teachers who have been former participants in MIET.

To submit your proposal, please complete this grant application and submit it by December 31, 2019. (You can also use this worksheet to draft your proposal before completing and submitting this form http://bit.ly/MIETworksheet)

Grant proposals could be used for registrations fees to attend another educational technology conference, the purchase of technology for the classroom or school, or any other innovative technology-based project for the classroom. Grant proposals will be reviewed by the MIET Board, and final grant recipients will be awarded by January 31, 2020. Proof of expenses paid by awarded grant funds will need to be submitted to the MIET Board by January 31, 2021. For any questions, please contact Charlene Ammons, MIET Board Co-chair. You can also visit MIET’s website for information: http://miettechdays.weebly.com/.


Safe Schools Drawing Winners

Safe Schools drawing winners

 


GFPS Fitness UpdatesUpdated Fitness Schedule

The Fitness Center at PGEC is now open for business! Plan to visit this free offering during the times on the schedule. There are weights, treadmills and elliptical available for your fitness plan!

For several years, we have offered a super duper Circuit Training class FREE for employees. Our beloved instructor had to step down due to a change in her work schedule. I am happy to say we have secured a temporary instructor for the class! Thanks to Samm Stevens for agreeing to continue the class. The class days and location have changed to: Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:30-5:30 pm at Great Falls High South Campus weight room.

If you or someone you know might be interested in teaching the class after the first of the year, please contact Jody Murray at 268-6770 or email jody_murray@gfps.k12.mt.us.


Work Safety

Workplace Safety in the Holiday Season

~Environmental Health & Safety: University of Washington

As the end of the year quickly approaches, we are often preoccupied with holiday planning, year-end deadlines and work commitments. As a result, many employers see an increase in workplace injuries just before and after the holiday season.

Be mindful while working.

Eliminate as many distractions as possible:

  • Plan enough time to complete your tasks or research experiments safely.
  • Avoid rushing.

These tips are particularly important when working with hazardous materials, sharp devices and powered equipment.

Walk safely through campus.

Slips, trips, and falls continue to be one of the most common causes of accidents reported.

  • Wear shoes with good traction.
  • Be cautious, especially on wet surfaces and stairs, and use handrails.
  • Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
  • Avoid using mobile devices while walking.

Manage your stress level.

The holidays can be a stressful time. Minimize stress by:

  • Reaching out for support
  • Making time for yourself
  • Being aware and mindful during your daily activities
  • Exercising
  • Practicing healthy eating and sleeping habits

Wash your hands.

With colder weather, we are more inclined to stay indoors. And with more people in shared spaces, washing your hands can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds.

Drive safely.

Prepare your car before the cold weather hits by checking your tire tread, antifreeze levels, and radiator. Keep supplies in your car in case you become stranded while driving.

Allow more time for travel than you would during good weather. Drive slowly and cautiously and be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists.

Take care when decorating.

Whether you are hanging decorations in your home or workplace, prevent injuries by using step stools or the appropriate ladder. Never climb or stand on furniture. If hanging lights or electronic decorations, keep cords out of the way to prevent slip and trip injuries.

Information used for this article and more holiday health and safety tips are available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Holiday Health and Safety Tips website.

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!