May 4, 2015



This week is National Teacher Appreciation Week. It is also Nurse Appreciation Week and Child Nutrition Employee Appreciation Week. A day is also set aside this week for Military Spouses Day, Tourist Appreciation Day and Mothers’ Day! That’s just this week! You can find calendars on-line for every kind of national appreciation day or week imaginable! The long list I viewed got me to thinking, “Why do we have all these days and weeks set aside to thank groups and individuals? Shouldn’t we be thanking people that truly make a difference all the time or at least during those moments we are enjoying their services?” Putting aside the commercialism that surrounds some of these appreciation events, I think our national obsession with setting aside days or weeks to thank others is because we just aren’t very good at saying thank you on a regular basis. As noted in previous columns, gratitude is an attitude. I think it is an attitude that should be taken every single day of the year.

With that being said, I still want to take this opportunity to acknowledge all of you during Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week. One week to thank all of you for what you do for our kids, our community and our future. It hardly seems like enough. I know how much energy and emotion you put into your work. I know how much you care for your work and for the children you work with. I know that day in and day out you pour your heart and soul into making a difference. Five short days of thanks isn’t enough, but please know that as I write these words, they are heartfelt and sincere: Thank you so much for all you do! I hope you are thanked by many others this week. You deserve to be recognized and thanked not only during this week, but during the other 51 weeks of the year as well.

Here’s to another wonderful Monday and another wonderful week in Great Falls Public Schools. Thank you for being a part of it!

Take care. Stay safe. Be well.


Ballots Due: Tuesday, May 5

Even though there is only one issue on the ballot, employees are
reminded to mark and return the ballot by election day,
Tuesday, May 5. At this point, please do not mail your ballot.
You can drop your ballot off at the County Elections Office today,
Monday, May 4, or at the Fairgrounds on Tuesday, May 5.

PIR Registration Update: Cancellations and New Courses this Week

PIR Registration Update: Cancellations and New Courses this Week

This week marks the end of the first round of PIR registrations. Registrations will continue throughout the week, but many sessions with low enrollment will be cancelled this Thursday, May 7th.

Round two of preregistrations will run from Wednesday, May 6th until Friday, June 5th. Registrations will continue and some new PIR offerings will be added this Wednesday.

Please contact the curriculum office for any questions pertaining to PIR at 268-6020.

Classes Cancel May 6th; Sign up soon!

Classes Cancel May 6; Sign up Soon
PIR classes with low enrollment will be cancelled Wednesday, May 6. For best selection, sign up before that date at

Click here  to log in

Click here for  help on using PIR eCentral

In-District Teacher Transfer Information

In-District Teacher Transfer Information
The on-line application system (via Applitrack) is up and running. All job postings are posted on the on-line application system.

Current openings were posted on Friday, May 1, 2015 and
will close on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at 5:00 p.m.
Check the on-line application system (
for a list of all current 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.


Instructional Reading Strategies Part 2


Using ELA Standards to Create Proficient Students
2 Credits

Instructor: Sharon Kelley
Place: College of Great Falls-MSU
Dates: May 15, 16, 29, and 30
Times: May 15 and 29; 4:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
May 29 and 30th; 8 a.m.-6 p.m.


Course Description
This course will provide the classroom teacher with a variety of instructional approaches that will best meet the ELA Standards. The candidates will learn how to develop lessons that address the fundamentals of effective reading, writing, English grammar, listening/speaking, and word knowledge. . Throughout the 4 day face to face time, candidates will learn through modeling, lectures, guided practice, various activities, and discussions and hands on activities.

If you would like more information, please contact Sharon Kelley at

Autism for In-service Professionals Class

Registration deadline extended to May 8th.

Register on-line:



Teacher time sheets are due in the Business Office the morning of Wednesday, May 13th. Please e-mail your absences to each day through May 15th. If you know in advance a teacher is going to be gone, please mark it on the time sheet rather than waiting to email. Teachers who use time cards should also turn them in at this time.

All other time cards are due in the Business Office the morning of Thursday, May 21st.

Substitute teacher time sheets are due by the 2nd of each month.

All time cards are due on the above dates. Do not put them in the school mail any later, as it will be impossible to pay them on this pay period. All time cards must be signed by the employee before pay checks will be released.

All federal time cards are due to federal programs office two days before the dates listed above.

Secretaries, please review your time card check-off list and be sure all employees have turned in their time cards.


Any employee terminating their employment with the district must send their timecard to the business office immediately upon termination (DO NOT wait for the end of the pay period). If the employee will be terminating shortly after the end of the pay period those days can be added to the current time card.


CMR 2015 Retirement Tea

GFH Farewell to Staff

On May 20th from 2:45-4:00pm in the Bison Beastro (South Campus) GFH will be holding its farewell celebration for staff who will not be rejoining us next year: Jane Gregoire, Gary Copeland, Rachel Waterfield, Shawn Ruff, Kathleen Brown, Jessica Bryant, Stacy Peterson, Taylee Fromm, Matt Carey, Missie Hill, and Lyn Conway.

We will also have a Silent Auction to replenish the funds of the Ben Lundquist Scholarship that is offered to graduating seniors who have a parent currently employed full time at GFHS for a minimum of 3 years with GPA of 2.5 minimum. Unfortunately the fund was depleted so no awards were given last year, but this year we are hoping to be back on track due our staff’s and a benefactor’s amazing generosity!

We are asking you to consider donating anything (apparel, baked goods, art, or anything you think might spur the interest of bidders. Donation items we have already received that you might consider bidding on so far include: 4 Disneyland Passes valued at $620, a golfing package, various baked or homemade items (including GFHS Staff’s Choice Award Winning Cyndi Jacobsen’s cookies), various apparel, and an emergency car kit (portable compressor, jumper cables and the whole caboodle). Donation(s) can be sent to April Senger at GFHS. The paperwork is in place! The value that your donation sells for will be sent to you as a tax donation form for your next tax season.

The description below shows that Ben Lundquist’s dedication to our students and families is a long standing tradition!

His family was his teaching, and his students were his children. Ben Lundquist was lovingly referred to by his students as “Uncle Ben”. He taught in such diverse places as Sweden, Minnesota and Bozeman, MT. He helped establish the American Field Service in Great Falls and was the first winner of the Humanitarian Award from the University of Great Falls. He was active in community affairs; he was counselor and friend to many as well as history teacher for 35 years. Because of Ben and his many achievements in teaching, his fellow teachers have been inspired to maintain a memorial to him and the teaching profession and to honor those whom Ben thought so highly of—–the young people.