February 11, 2019

Topping Out Ceremony

Bison over blue colored bison figure                                       Great Falls Great Schools GFPS logo

to the
“Topping Out” Ceremony!

“Topping out” is an age old tradition of celebrating the placement
of the final beam of a new building.

(On the west side of South Campus)

Dress warmly and come a little early to sign your name
on one of the last major beams to be set for the school!

Time to Submit Healthy Habits BINGO Information!

Healthy Habits BINGO ends on Friday. How are you doing? Did you try something new? We hope you are having fun and discovered that healthy habits are not really that hard to achieve! The link to submit information for the CASH drawings is listed below.

The deadline to be entered into the random drawing is: MONDAY, Feb. 11, 2019, at MIDNIGHT.  Winners will be randomly drawn from participants and notified Wednesday, February 12, 2019.

Remember: You will need to be logged in to your GFPS Google Drive NOT your personal Google Drive. Your user name and password are the same as logging into your computer/email. Call 6770 or email if you need assistance. For staff members who participated and do not have access to email or Google Drive, just give me a call and leave a message or  you may email me as well.

  • Click here to submit your Healthy Habits BINGO information.
  • Click here for additional information about the challenge.

Converge: E Pluribus Unum

Converge: E Pluribus Unum is an original play based on interviews with Great Falls Public Schools youth and educators who shared stories of struggle, loss, triumph and hope. These personal stories will raise awareness and spark conversation about the depth and breadth of hardship many youth and families in our community face.

Audience members can expect a dynamic, moving and heartfelt evening at the theatre. This city-wide, collaborative production features a cast of student performers from all three Great Falls Public High Schools.  A string quartet from the Great Falls Youth Orchestra will accompany the play and feature original compositions by Great Falls Symphony Music Director, Grant Harville.

The play is written and directed by Seattle-based theatre director and playwright, Sarah Butts and assistant directed by Great Falls High Drama teacher, Krystina Thiel.  Tim Ljunggren, a local filmmaker and Episcopal priest is creating a film documenting the process, to be released this spring. There will be three performances of the play, on Feb. 20, 21 and 22, at 7 p.m. in the Great Falls High School Auditorium.  All performances are free and open to the public. Viewer discretion is advised for children 10 and under.

Ten Year Anniversary of Great Falls Public School Electric City FFA ~ Dinner & Auction ~ Boots & Bowties

WHEN:  Friday, February 22nd, 2019 5:30 PM
WHERE:  Elks Club
Tickets ($20) or Table Sponsors of eight ($300 or $500):
Jodi Koterba 268-6213 or Becky Nelson 899-8642
Present, Past and Future members to celebrate the 10th birthday

The community is invited to celebrate and support our leaders of tomorrow.  FFA members from the past 10 years will gather and share how FFA has influenced their lives at a birthday celebration, Boots & Bowties. With members who are now running businesses, serving as teachers, doctors, hunting guides and much more, the impacts Great Falls Public School Electric City FFA has had our community are far reaching.

Boots & Bowties is a fundraising dinner and auction on Friday, February 22 at the Great Falls Elks Club. Social Gathering begins at 5:30 with the program starting at 6:30. Businesses and individuals can purchase tables of 8 or single general admission tickets ($20) through the Electric City FFA Advisor, Jodi Koterba at CMR High School.

Electric City FFA was chartered with the Montana Association and National Organization in April of 2009 with just 2 members. Today, Electric City FFA serves over 120 members from seven different high schools. Since 2009, the Electric City FFA chapter has seen 166 members earn various degrees including 16 American FFA Degrees. Members have competed in 12 National Career Development Events, awarded 30 honorary degrees, earned both 2 and 3 star rankings at national convention for our National Chapter application, and been recognized as a Premier Chapter in Building Communities Finalist.

FFA is a dynamic youth organization that changes lives and prepares members for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. FFA develops members’ potential and helps them discover their talent through hands on experiences, which give members the tools to achieve real-world success.

The community is invited to this dinner celebration.  Great Falls Public School is proud of the accomplishments of FFA past and present members.

Judges NeededScience and Engineering Fair logo elementary school middle and high school

Is your child looking for an opportunity outside of school to showcase his/her science or engineering talent?

If so, see below for information regarding participation in the 2019 Montana Region II
Science and Engineering Fair.

  • Registration opens February 4, 2019 and closes March 1, 2019.
  • Students may register at www.gfcmsu.edu/sciencefair/
  • This above website will give you information regarding registration cost (just $5.00 per student), schedule of events, project rules and criteria.
  • This is a great opportunity for students to be exposed to a broad range of scientific inquiry.
  • Since there will be no GFPS STEAM Expo this year, we hope students will take advantage of this opportunity.

Please visit the link below if you are interested in judging:

American Indian Studies for Students and Teachers

This five course program through IEFA is available for both GFPS educators and students.

Educators will be offered a $200 honorarium towards the purchase of classroom materials after the completion of three of these courses, and an additional honorarium of $200 upon the completion of the final two (these do not have to occur in order). We will also be offering these courses for PIR units to finish out the 2019 year.
Students will be offered one half credit upon the completion of all five courses and must be completed on the offered dates or on the makeup dates listed above. This half credit is approved by the GFPS Board as a history course or as an elective.


American Indian Identity Through Imagery & Literature

Feb 9th 8:30-2:30

or Feb 23 8:30-2:30

 [Choose ONE]

This course will first examine how the images of AI people have been presented to non-Native audiences and the consequences of those portrayals. We will then examine contemporary figures in fiction, poetry, literature, art, science, philosophy, politics, and Oral Tradition to make classroom connections.
American Indian Policy in the U.S.
March 12th and 14th 4-7
or March 23 8:30-2:30
[Choose ONE]
This course will focus on the perspectives of AI and their relationship with the federal government beginning with Columbus and the Doctrine of Discovery, Manifest Destiny, Removal, Citizenship, Allotment, and the Cobell Case. We will examine each federal policy time era, and how it has contributed to contemporary circumstances among AI people.

American Indians in Film

[Schedule with Instructors]
This course is unique in the fact that it is available for take home use for students and educators. Participants will have the opportunity to check-out one of the listed films and watch at home (up to two hours), with a preparation session (.5 hours) and a debrief session (.5 hours) with Miranda or Jordann. Those who choose this course will also be given a guided questions worksheet to fill out while watching each film and the opportunity to examine social issues (both historical and contemporary in nature) that American Indians are faced with through the context of film representation and identity.

Contemporary Issues Among American Indians

March 26th 4-7
or March 28th 4-7
[Choose ONE]
This course will focus on American Indian culture in relationship to the environment and natural resources. Students will examine how these topics correlate with cultural, social, and political issues. Taking an in-depth look at water and land rights, federal policy regarding American Indian resources, and how to integrate them into your classroom.
Montana Tribes
April 2nd and 4th  4-7
or April 6th 8:30-2:30
[Choose ONE]
Students will explore each of the reservations and their tribal affiliations among our 12 Montana tribes.  This will include historical federal policy among the distinct groups as well as contemporary issues. This course will focus on the Essential Understandings and the unique and distinct qualities of Montana’s Tribes.

For more information or to express interest in these courses please contact:
Jordann Lankford-Forster: jordann_lankford@gfps.k12.mt.us or 268-7825
Miranda Murray: miranda_murray@gfps.k12.mt.us or 268-7825

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls

black graduation cap with diploma tied with a red ribbon

Starts late Spring!

Integrated Teaching through the Arts Curriculum & Instruction, M.Ed.

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


MS and HS Student Writing Awards Applications Now Open

Deadline: February 15

Click the links for samples and this year’s prompts.

Katie Kotynski
Creative Consulting–Home of the 100-Dollar Website



Andrew Nagengast Gallery 16 Feb Featured Artist - photo of pottery vase

Gallery 16 is proud to announce our February featured potter is North Middle School Art teacher, Andrew Nagengast.  A reception will be held on February 1, Friday, from 5:00 – 9:00 PM at Gallery 16, 600 Central Avenue.  All are welcome.  His pottery will be shown all month.




Safety Starts with You! on yellow background

Safe Schools Online Safety Training $50.00 Card Drawing

During the months of February and March, Montana School Boards Association invites you to participate in Safe Schools online safety training. Safe Schools offers online video safety training to all Great Falls Public Schools employees. Please follow the instructions below to access the video trainings:


  1. Make sure you are using Google Chrome Browser
  2. Go to the Safe Schools Link http://www.greatfalls.mt.safeschools.com
  3. Sign-in with your first name_last name
  4. Password will be your first name_last name
  5. Click “View More Courses”
  6. Choose a safety training to view
  7. Once you have viewed the safety video, please go to the provided Google Doc’s Link https://goo.gl/forms/WmxZXuuAovGasgZw2
  8. Sign into your google account to fill out a 2 question survey on the training. You will be entered in a $50.00 gift card drawing upon completion of the survey. The drawing will end March 31st with the winners being announced the following week.