February 29, 2016


 Mean vs. Rude vs. Conflict vs. Bullying

As I read articles about the Livingston boy who recently committed suicide, my heart ached. Since the story broke, I have been asked by numerous people what GFPS does to prevent and address bullying. I talked about our commitment to the Olweus program which is best practice in prevention. I talked about our Respect for All initiative that I believe encourages a kinder and gentler environment. I talked about the collective and individual work that is done by our staff members to address the issue. I also told them that this should not be and cannot be just a school responsibility. It is a community issue and one that each man, woman and child in our community has a responsibility to address.

These conversations got me to thinking about why it’s so hard to address. They also made me think of an article I had read recently that pointed out, “…if kids and parents improperly classify rudeness and mean behavior as bullying …we all run the risk of becoming so sick and tired of hearing the word that this actual life-and-death issue among young people loses its urgency as quickly as it rose to prominence.” (Whitson)

The article defines what it means to be mean versus what it means to be rude and what it means to be a true bully. As it is written by a school counselor, there are very real kid examples of each included. I would also add that sometimes it is just plain old conflict in which two or more people argue or quarrel which is also very different from bullying.

The author notes, “It is important to distinguish between rude, mean and bullying so that teachers, school administrators, police, youth workers, parents and kids all know what to pay attention to and when to intervene. As we have heard too often in the news, a child’s future may depend on a non-jaded adult’s ability to discern between rudeness at the bus stop and life-altering bullying.” (Whitson)

I would add that by having meaningful relationships with our students and parents, we can ask the right questions to determine what really happened and then act accordingly and appropriately. I encourage you to read this excellent article for more information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/signe-whitson/bullying_b_2188819.html. What we call things matters. Thank you for listening carefully to our students.

Take care. Be safe. Stay well.



In-District Teacher Transfer Information

 In-District Teacher Transfer Information
Current openings were posted Thursday, February 25, 2016 and
will close on Monday, February 29, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
Check the on-line application system (http://www.applitrack.com/greatfalls/onlineapp/)
for a list of all current in-district teacher job openings.
If you are interested in applying for theses opening please hand-deliver your
In-District Transfer Form to the Human Resources Office
to meet the deadline.

Youth Art Month Show

What: Youth Art Month Exhibit and Reception
Where: Great Falls Public Library
When: Reception from 4-6 pm Friday March 4. 5 pm ceremony to honor students and teachers. The show will be on display at the Library until March 31.

Come and check out the fabulous art work from all Great Falls schools k-12 as we celebrate Youth Art Month in March at the Public Library. A reception will be held from 4-6 pm, with a brief ceremony at 5 pm to read the YAM proclamation and to honor the students and their hard working teachers for their fine efforts. A string ensemble from East Middle School will provide music and there will be refreshments served. The show will be on display at the Library throughout the month of March.

For questions, please contact Dusty Molyneaux, GFPS Music and Art Supervisor at 268-6079.


Employee Wellness Updates

Circuit Training will be cancelled on Monday, February, 29, 2016.

Oula, New Class Time

This class will be held at Meadow Lark Elementary School in the gym. Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Class time is 6 am – 6:45 am. The Instructor for this class will be Bethany Chabot.


AA Band Festival

What: AA Band Festival
Who: Top bands from Great Falls High, CM RUSSELL High, Bozeman High, and Missoula Big Sky High schools
When: 7:00 pm Monday and Tuesday Feb 29 and March 1, 2016.
Cost: Free admission

Where: GFHS Auditorium

Come out for two great evenings of band concerts as the top high school bands from Great Falls, Bozeman, and Missoula Big Sky combine forces to bring you the AA Band Festival. Monday nights concert will feature individual band performances from the four schools, and Tuesday’s program will feature two mass bands and a percussion ensemble. The guest conductors of the mass bands are Dr. Kyle Prescott of Florida Atlantic University (former band director at CMR) and Dr. James Batcheller of Central Michigan University ( former band director at GFHS), and the Percussion Ensemble will be led by Dr. Robert Ledbetter of the University of MT.