February 18, 2020


State School of Character-Loy

Loy Elementary Receives State School of Character Award Representing Montana

Washington, D.C.— Character.org, a national advocate and leader for character in schools, families, sports teams, and the workplace today designated 81 State Schools and 7 Districts of Character for 2020. In addition, one international school will receive certification. Since its inception, Character.org’s Schools of Character program has positively impacted nearly 3 million students, staff, parents, and other community members. Each year, Character.org certifies schools and districts at the state level that demonstrate a dedicated focus on character development which has a positive effect on academic achievement, student behavior, and school climate. Schools and districts announced today will be considered for Character.org’s highest distinction – National School of Character.

“We are pleased to announce today the 2020 State Schools and Districts of Character,” said Dr. Arthur Schwartz, Character.org‘s Board Chair and Interim CEO. “These schools’ representatives, including educators, parents, and students, are working together to create stronger communities that exemplify the character strengths of honesty, caring, and responsibility. We are honored to be validating their efforts and sharing their inspiring work with schools and school districts throughout the United States.”

Great Falls Public Schools’ Loy Elementary (Kindergarten – 6th grade) is the ONLY school chosen in the state of Montana:  “The State Schools of Character review team received and evaluated 197 applications from schools and districts with quality character education programs. State School of Character designation is not easy to obtain. You and your team should be proud of your accomplishment and your commitment to creating a culture of character in your community,” continued Dr. Schwartz.

“We could not be more proud of this accomplishment and school recognition! To be named a State School of Character is the culmination of a multi-year goal that has involved every stakeholder in our community. It has been our privilege to create a culture and climate that values the development of a deliberate effort to build better citizens and a community of character,” said Loy Principal Kim Ray.

To learn more about the schools chosen today and those in the midst of their 5-year certification as State Schools of Character, please visit Character.org. Criteria for selection are based on Character.org’s  11 Principles of Character which include providing students with opportunities for moral action, fostering shared leadership, and engaging families and communities as partners in the character-building effort.

The 2020 National Schools of Character will be announced in May 2020. Character.org will honor these schools and districts at the 2020 National Forum to be held Oct 1-3, 2020 in Washington, DC.

About Character.org:  Founded in 1993, Character.org is a national nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. We work with schools, families, workplaces, and communities to educate, inspire, and empower people of all ages to be ethical and compassionate citizens. Our 11 Principles of Effective Character is a comprehensive framework that helps schools improve academic achievement, student behavior, and overall positive school climate.  Visit www.character.org to learn more about the National Forum and the Schools of Character program.

In-District Transfers

In-District Transfers

To see the full list of In-District teacher position openings,
go to the on-line application system website at
Click ‘View Internal Positions

Beatles vs Stones with CMR String Quartet!

Beatles vs Stones

CMR (String Quartet) STUDENTS SELECTED to join
touring Beatles vs Stones show on Great Falls stage

GREAT FALLS, MT (2/17/20) When the touring show Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown comes to the Mansfield Center for the Performing Arts Theater on Saturday, February 29, the C. M. Russell High School String Quartet will join the professional musicians on stage to lend some local talent to this homage to the British Invasion.

The show pits Rolling Stones tribute band Satisfaction against rival Brit boys Abbey Road in an all-out musical showdown for rock dominance. The string quartet will perform seven songs with the bands.

The two greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time face off in Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown. Taking the side of the Fab Four is Abbey Road, one of the nation’s top Beatles tribute bands. With brilliant musicianship and authentic costumes and gear, Abbey Road plays beloved songs spanning the Beatles’ career. They engage in a “showdown” of the hits with Stones tribute band Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show, who offer a faithful rendition of the music and style of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and the bad boys of the British Invasion. The production includes multimedia, period costumes and vintage instruments. It has toured for years, with a critic for the Los Angeles Times at one point declaring: “this is the most unique tribute show in decades.” The Great Falls show is part of a 125 city tour of the U.S., Canada and Australia.

C.M. Russell High School seniors Gail Parambi and Jayla Mitchell and juniors Sidalee Sneed and Adonai Gray will join the bands for the songs “Eleanor Rigby,” “Yesterday,” “A Day in the Life,” “Hello Goodbye,” “Hey Jude,” “Gimme Shelter” and “Ruby Tuesday.”

Quartet members belong to prestigious area ensembles, including the All-State Orchestra, the All-Northwest Orchestra and the Great Falls Youth Orchestra. Members compete in District Music Festivals and consistently receive superior ratings.

How the “Beatles” and “Stones” connection was started:
The producers of Beatles vs. Stones approached C. M. Russell High School Orchestra Director Steve Olson looking for a quartet who could hold its own with a rock band in front of an audience. The show commonly hires a local quartet to augment the production while on tour.

 The quartet’s Beatles or Stones fans:
Gail Parambi is the quartet’s Beatles fan. “Out of all their songs, I really prefer ‘Hey Jude’ or ‘Eleanor Rigby’,” Gail said.
Additional information about the CMR student string quartet:
Gail Parambi, 17, has been playing violin for thirteen years. She is a member of the Great Falls Youth Orchestra and participated in All-State Orchestra three times.
“I started playing violin really young and I like the versatility of it and how you can achieve multiple musical styles and tones.”
Gail is a member of C.M. Russell’s Varsity Tennis team and participates in the HOSA – Future Health Professionals program. She is a member of the National Honor Society and is a finalist for the National Merit Scholarship. The senior plans to attend Princeton University upon high school graduation.
Sidalee Sneed, 17, has been playing violin for seven years. She is a member of the AA Orchestra at C.M Russell High School and is also a member of the City Youth Orchestra. Sidalee has competed at District Music Festivals.
“I really like being a part of something big like an orchestra, but the quartet is fun too because you get to know people more personally.”
The honor roll student is a member of HOSA and competes with C.M. Russell’s Swim team. The junior plans to attend college upon high school graduation.
Adonai Gray, 16, has been playing viola for nine years. He has selected to the All-State Orchestra three times. He has competed at District Music Festivals.
“I enjoy that orchestra allows me to work together with different groups. I like how the sounds combine to play together.”
Adonai is a member of C.M. Russell’s Swim and Cross Country teams. The junior is a member of the school’s honor roll.
Jayla Mitchell, 17, has been playing cello for seven years. She is a member of the Great Falls Youth Orchestra and is in the top Orchestra at C.M Russell. Jayla was selected to perform with the All-State Orchestra for four years and is a member of the All-Northwest Orchestra.
“There are so many aspects of music and I think the emotion that you can put into it and is something you can’t find anywhere else but music.”
Jayla is a member of Spanish club, Choir and the National Honor Society. She is a National Merit Scholarship finalist. The senior plans to attend college and major in Cello Performance.
Information about “Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown”:
Alternating mini power sets with the two bands coming together on stage for an amazing encore makes this show a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The two greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands of all time face off as the Mansfield Center For the Performing Arts Theater host tributes to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Renowned tribute bands Abbey Road and Satisfaction – The International Rolling Stones Show engage in a musical showdown of the hits. Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Showdown comes to the Mansfield Center For the Performing Arts Theater on Saturday, February 29 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $37 – $57 and may be purchased by phone at (406) 455-8514, at the Theatre Box Office or online at https://ticketing.greatfallsmt.net. Discounts are available for students, seniors, groups and active military. The Box Office is open Monday-Friday 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. The Mansfield Center is located at 2 Park Drive South in Great Falls, MT 59401. The show is appropriate for all ages.

The nationally touring show recently concluded a three month residency at the Harrah’s Reno showroom and a two month residency at the Harrah’s Laughlin showroom. The Great Falls show is part of a 125 city tour of the U.S., Australia and Canada and has been touring since 2011.

Youth Art Month Exhibit and Reception

Youth Art Month

Come and celebrate the opening of Youth Art Month with Great Falls Public Schools student artwork on display at the Great Falls Public Library on Friday, March 6th, 4-6 PM.  Artwork from Grades K-12 will be on display, and light refreshments will be served.  Brief proclamation ceremony at 5:00 PM to honor our student artists and their teachers.

Artwork will be on display March 5- April 28th

For more information, please contact the GFPS Music and Art Department at 268-6079.

How To Beat The Phishing Game

Beat Phishing


No Smile Left Behind and Community Health Fair

NSLB flyer


FREE Brain Building ExpoPreschool Expo flyer



Severance Pay For Retiring Teachers

Severance Pay Retiring Teachers


MREA 2020 Scholarship

MREA 2020 Scholarship

How to Apply?  Request an application from MREA.
www.mrea.info or hamermrea@gmail.com
1722 Montana Avenue
Black Eagle, MT 59414

MREA form

Helen Pouch Memorial Classroom Grants

Helen Pouch Classroom Grants

All applications must be submitted electronically to
Leigh Haislip Spencer at leighhaislipspencer@gmail.com


IPAC Meetings

IPAC Meetings

Uptown Optimist School Supply Drive

Uptown Optimist flyer


Call for PIR Facilitators for the 2020-2021 School Year

PIR facilitatorsDetails about 2020-2021 PIR Proposals:

  • The date range for PIR sessions is June 6, 2020 – April 30, 2021 (priority will be given to those proposals that take place during first semester).
  • All forms are due by Sunday, March 1, 2020.
  • No new proposals will be accepted after the March 1 deadline.
  • Please be sure to avoid the DD & PIR Summit dates (June 8-11 & Aug 20 & 21), any holidays, MFPE days, and Wednesdays when scheduling your dates.
  • PIR Sessions can be done as a single 6-hour session, two 3-hour sessions, or three 2-hour sessions.

If you are interested in facilitating or co-facilitating a PIR offering, please use this worksheet to be sure you have all of the information you need. Once you have read through the worksheet, the form is here: http://bit.ly/20-21-pir-proposal

For more information about PIR Facilitator obligations and pay, please visit the following link: http://gfps.k12.mt.us/content/pir-help

Contact Susan Quinn with any questions (268-6761).

Aqua Aerobics Thursday Classes

Swim Class Notice


Safe Schools Online Safety Training $50.00 Card Drawing

Safe SchoolsDuring the months of February through April, Montana School Boards Association invites you to participate in Safe Schools online safety training. Safe Schools offers a variety of 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

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 April 30th with the winners being announced the following week.