Sharpening Our Protective and Vigilant Mindset
One year ago today, my Newsbits message was titled “This is Not Normal” as our nation came to terms with the school shooting at Sante Fe High School in Texas on May 18, 2018. Sadly, again this May, we mourn more student deaths at the Highlands STEM School in Colorado. There is no doubt that our nerves are raw; that the worry is real. We felt that last week as GFHS dealt with a threat of violence.
As I read last week in “What Educators Need to Know About the Latest School Shooting,” it is important that school districts stay the course on proven safety practices. The Director of the Virginia Youth Violence Project said, “It’s really important that schools have good solid training in responding to student threats so they don’t overreact when students make alarming statements. We see them all the time, and in the context of a recent shooting, those statements seem very troubling and disturbing. More often than not what they reflect is a student who is frustrated and needs assistance.” Just last week, the GFHS staff did just that. They didn’t overreact despite social media pressures based on inaccurate information.
Speaking of pressure, every school shooting causes increasing demands on school districts to harden our schools. While it is understandable that people want to see physical evidence that schools are secure, experts remind us that these measures are limited in their prevention efficacy. The article notes, “Behind the fortified entry ways, additional surveillance cameras, single-point entries, and scanning driver licenses, what matters are the steps educators are taking to build environments to address things like bullying and student mental health concerns, threat assessments, staff training to spot early warning signs, and creating a culture in which students feel comfortable seeking help and reporting their or their classmates’ concerns so that problems can be identified before they escalate into violence.” (Emphasis added by me.) In other words, as I wrote a year ago, it’s about relationships. It’s about taking care of each other, and treating ALL who walk through our doors with respect.
Even as we approach the end of this school year, I thank you for continuing to foster those relationships; for making all feel heard, cared for and nurtured. I know you will continue to empower students and staff to say something to a trusted adult anytime and every time something is amiss, or if they are afraid. Assure them that we will listen and act. Any threat to our students, staff or schools, should be taken seriously and reported to the Great Falls Police Department immediately. It is always right to SAY SOMETHING.
As we celebrate success and accomplishments these final fourteen days, we focus on what is right and good in our world, while sharpening our protective and vigilant mindset. We can and must do both.
Take care. Be safe. Stay well.
In-District Teacher Transfer Information
Current In-District teaching openings will be posted Friday, May 24, 2019 and will close on Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 5:00 p.m.
Any teacher currently employed with the District may apply for these positions.
Check the on-line application system (Applitrack Link To In-District Job Postings) for a full list of all current in-district teacher job openings.
If you are interested in applying for any of these openings please hand-deliver your
In-District Transfer Form to the Human Resources Office by the deadline. You may obtain the form(s) in any school office and one form must be completed for each position for which you are applying.
Please contact your building administrator or the Human Resources Department if you have any questions.
Please be reminded that once a teacher accepts a position via the transfer process, that teacher cannot apply for another transfer position that year.
Fall Print and Graphic Orders for the 2019-2020 School Year are Now Being Accepted Via Hard-Copy
All Fall orders need to be titled as “Fall” for the due date. That is for both the Print Center orders and Graphic orders. Please be sure to fill in the work request number and keep the pink copy for your records. That is how we are able to track any missing orders in the fall.
Please try to prepare for the new school year early so we can get your orders completed on time.
Fall Print orders CAN NOT be submitted electronically (with the exception of GFHS and CMR). With having such a high volume of orders for the fall, we do not want to risk any orders being lost in the system. If you have any questions or concerns please call 268-6059.
Fall Graphic orders in which you would like us to make your posters, can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your e-mail should include the graphics order form with clear detailed instructions and the PDF you want enlarged if you have one. Please put “FALL” in the subject line, so that we are aware of when they are due without opening the document.
Save the Date – Open Enrollment Schedule for 2019-2020
Insurance meeting start Wednesday, August 21, 2019. The complete schedule can be found on the Human Resources Benefit Information webpage.
Host Families Needed for Japanese 4-H Youth
Learn about another culture in-depth when you host a student from Japan this summer. Delegates are here to experience what it is like to live with a “typical” American family. Program dates are July 21-August 17 and the 24 delegates are from 12-16 years old. For more information, contact MSU 4-H International Program Coordinator Stephanie Davison (406-994-3502) or go to https://www.states4hexchange.org/apply/host/ to apply. Families should have a youth at home who is within 2-3 years of the person they host and the same gender.
MIET Registration Open for the 2019 Tech Days
The Montana Institute on Educational Technology (MIET) has opened registration for the 2019 MIET Tech Days. Great Falls Public Schools staff can attend for free this year; however, there is limited seating up to 150 GFPS staff members. To register and reserve your spot for this District-Directed (DD) PIR option, sign up in PIR eCentral. No other registration or forms are required. For additional information, please visit the MIET website.
Open House for Carole McKittrick
Mrs. McKittrick is Retiring!
There is an open house to show Mrs. McKittrick our appreciation for her 31 years of working for GFPS.
You Are Invited!
When: Tuesday, May 21st, 3:30-4:45
Where: Mountain View Elementary School Gym
3420 15th Ave South
Refreshments will be served!
Please join us!
Retirement Celebration for Cathy Kuntz
Celebrating 42 years at GFPS
Cathy Kuntz is retiring
East Middle School Library
Wednesday, May 22, 2019
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Please join us in Cathy’s celebration!
Retirement Celebrations at North Middle School
Please join us at North Middle School
To celebrate the retirement of
Maureen Scott, Mary Warner
and Lynn Tobin.
Wednesday, May 22nd
C.M. Russell High School’s 2019 Retirement Tea
You are cordially invited to
C.M.Russell High School ‘s
2019 Retirement Tea
May 29th ~ 2:40p.m. ~ CMR Cafeteria
Honoring Anne Bulger, Terri Dahl, Lori Hoff, Joan Karls, Rhonda Moore, and Betsy Rogstad for their years of dedication and service to the students of CMR.
Retirement Celebration for Tammy Lacey
Red Cross Urges Blood Donations to Help Trauma Patients
There’s no way to predict when or where an accident will happen. That’s why the American Red Cross needs donors to give blood during Trauma Awareness Month this May and throughout the year to help ensure that trauma centers are prepared the moment an injured patient arrives.
Donors of all blood types are urged to give now to help meet the needs of trauma patients and others with serious medical conditions. Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
In thanks, all those who come to donate blood, platelets or plasma with the Red Cross May 1 through June 10, 2019, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)