May 23, 2016


May-Hem and Motivation
As noted in my May 2 article, I fondly call this last full month of the school year “May-hem.” I don’t have to tell any of you that May is the busiest month of the year as each day brings a special reason to celebrate student achievement and success.  When you throw in a little spring fever with all of the goings on, things can feel a little bit out of control.  As we work our way through the organized chaos that is May and into the final days of the 2015-2016 school year, I suggest we go back to where we started last August and our focus on Dr. Bill Daggett’s work around high performing schools.  Of particular importance in these waning days of the school year is MOTIVATION.
Hopefully you recall these key factors of student motivation:
·       A sense of academic and social belonging
·       Seeing school as relevant to the future
·       A disposition to work hard and postpone immediate gratification
·       An ability not to get derailed by academic or social difficulties
·       A willingness to seek out challenges
·       The desire to remain engaged for the long haul
I underlined three factors that seem to be particularly important this time of year as we seek to nurture academic tenacity and grit in our students.
As we seek to manage the mayhem and finish the year strong, it is a perfect time to revisit goal-setting on a personal level and with students.  One of the main pillars of developing grittiness is the ability to set goals and manage behavior to reach them.  I have found that the only way I can be productive during this month’s challenging schedule is to set specific, measureable, and doable goals for each day.  I suggest that this strategy can also work with students.  In the rush to get everything finished up, we might actually go faster by going slower.  That is, the time we take at the start of the day to set individual and group goals is well spent.  Chaos can be reined in with clarity, focus, and effort.  We can finish strong and I know we will.
Take care. Be safe.  Stay well.


In-District Teacher Transfer Information

That position for the following school year you cannot apply for any
additional positions within the teacher unit.

In-District Teacher Transfer Information

Current openings will be posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2016 and will close
on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at 5:00 p.m. Check the on-line
application system Link To In-District Job Postings for a list of all
current openings. If you are interested in applying for these openings
please hand-deliver your In-District Transfer Form to the Human
Resources Office to meet the deadline.



Starting the week of June 13, 2016
Monday thru Friday
6:30 am – 11 am
Will not be open in the afternoon as PGEC will be closed at 4:30 each day.
Starting June 21 through August 25, 2016
Longfellow Elementary School – Gym
1100 6th Ave South
Tuesdays and Thursdays – 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Starting the week of June 13 through August 17, 2016
Classes will be held at 220 6th Street South, Suite B
Instructor – Lisa Moore
Mondays – 9 am – 10 am
Wednesdays – 4pm – 5pm

There will also be a $5.00 charge per class again this summer. You will pay directly to the facility that we are using for this class. 

ELL Corner

Are you looking for great Professional Development on teaching and assessing English Learners? How about 30 FREE CEUs? Or 2 college credits through University of Montana for the low price of $135? If this sounds like a good option for you, check out the attached flyer! Click here


Lisa Jahraus
Title TSA
Great Falls Public Schools
1100 4th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405
Desk: 268-6028
Cell: 899-0154


Graduate Credit Opportunities

Earn two graduate credits through Northern-MSU and 6 PIR credits for the following classes:

Absolutely Awesome Graphics, No Photoshop Needed
Creating professional-looking classroom graphics, newsletters, posters and handouts is just a click away as we discover all of the great free online resources available on the internet. Most of the tools we will use require no log on, so they will be perfect for student projects as well, from Facebook memes for book reports to online or printed posters and newsletters based on content standards. In addition, we will learn how PowerPoint can be used to create graphics in a jiffy as well as how to search for pre-done slideshows on just about any topic.
Meeting June 20, 2016, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Build an Interactive Digital Textbook with OneNote
Want a way to build your own textbook, whereby students can each have a copy to take notes and complete assignments? Look no further than OneNote Class Notebook Creator. In this class, we will learn how to create a class notebook, create assignments and upload content to create a digital textbook. OneNote accommodates handwriting as well as typing and drawing, making it an ideal place for students to take notes and complete assignments, especially those that are non-linear or that could benefit from drawing. OneNote can also include audio and video, so students can create virtual presentations on their work. Teachers will learn how they can “peek” into a student’s notebook at any time and provide feedback that is written or in audio or video format. Face-to-face class will be held August 22, 2016, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Cost is $190. Sign up in PIR eCentral. If you have questions, contact Katie Kotynski using the form on this page:


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


Youth Job Fair


Retirement Celebration for Mary Rearden

Join us for a CELEBRATION!
Mary Rearden is RETIRING!
Please join us for an Open House:
Tuesday, June 7
2:00-5:00 PM
District Office Building – Student Services Office
We hope to see you there!