October 15, 2018

Wellness Schedule Updates

  • The Fitness Center will be closed October 18, 19, 2018 (Thursday, Friday)
  • YOGA is cancelled October 17, 18, 2018 (Wednesday, Thursday)
  • ZUMBA is cancelled October 18, 2018 (Thursday)

A Day in the Life of a Mayor Assembly

Monday, October 15, 2018; 2:30 pm
West Elementary Auditorium

Mayor Bob Kelly will be speaking at West Elementary School on Monday, October 15th to the 3rd, 5th and 6th grade Leadership students about:  “A day in the life of a Mayor.”  Students are able to ask questions such as:  “What do you do every day?  Is it a fun job, and do you like being a Mayor?”

“I look forward to hearing from some of our youngest citizens in Great Falls. I’ve asked them to think about what they would do if they were Mayor. I am hopeful that I will come away inspired by them and learn about their hopes for their community, “ commented Mayor Kelly.

A great assembly is planned for these students to learn various occupations, careers and facts about our city government.

East Middle School is the First Middle School in the Nation to Receive the AT & T Grant 

Great Falls Public Schools logo              East Middle Schools Rams logo            Jobs for Montana Graduates logo

WHAT:  Celebration of $30K AT&T Grant to East Middle School to establish JMG program and kick-start RAM student-run enterprise

WHO: Governor Steve Bullock, Superintendent Tammy Lacey, AT&T representative, school and program staff, students, community members

WHEN: Tuesday, October 16, 1:15 PM – 2 PM

WHERE: East Middle School Cafeteria, 4040 Central Ave, Great Falls

Password Policy Reminder

Last year at this time, we implemented a stronger password policy. In addition to enforcing a complex format and minimum length of 8 characters, the policy also requires annual password changes. This is a reminder that you will need to change your password soon, as well as some guidance on how to do it.

There are two options for changing your password.

  • You can wait till Windows prompts you to change your password, which will be 365 days after the day you changed it last year.
  • You can be proactive and change it ahead of time, which resets the 365 day countdown. From the desktop of a Windows computer, press Ctl-Alt-Del. From the menu presented, select Change a Password. Enter your current password, a new password and confirm new password.

When entering a new password, you must follow the rules of a complex password (3 of 4 options – upper case, lower case, numbers, special characters), and a minimum length of 8 characters. In addition, you cannot use the past three passwords or any part of your name (and as a result, no part of your username). Please also remember you must do this on a District supplied Microsoft Windows device, not a Chromebook or iPad.

When you change your Windows Active Directory password, it will also update the following applications with the same password – email, Google Drive, Office 365, iVisions, Moodle, and SharePoint.

If you use the GFPS-Staff Wi-Fi network, you will need to re-authenticate your account on each device accessing the staff network by updating your password there as well. The easiest way to do this is to forget or disconnect from the Staff network and then reconnect, which will prompt you for your new credentials.

If you have email setup on your smartphone, it may prompt you to change your password the first time you use it after changing it on a District Windows device. If it does not automatically prompt you to update your password, then you can change it by:

  • iPhone – Settings, Accounts & Passwords, Exchange, and then the Account associated with your GFPS email.
  • Android – Email app, Menu (3 bars in top left corner), Settings wheel, Account associated with your GFPS email, Exchange Server Settings.

If you have any further questions on the password policy, please contact the IT Help Desk at 7393 or Tom Hering at 6068.


National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

Every October, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sponsors National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCASM) as an annual initiative to raise awareness about the importance of cybersecurity. NCSAM 2018 is a collaborative effort between government and industry to ensure every American has the resources they need to stay safer and more secure online, while increasing the resiliency of the Nation during cyber-threats.

Overarching Theme

  • Cybersecurity is our shared responsibility and we all must work together to improve our Nation’s cybersecurity

Key Messages

  • Strengthen the Nation’s cybersecurity ecosystem
  • Cybersecurity is a cross-cutting, cross-sector challenge, so we must tackle it together
  • Increase and strengthen the cybersecurity workforce across all sectors
  • Secure critical infrastructure from cyber threats

The STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™ Toolkit provides resources for students, parents and educators that you will find helpful when discussing cybersecurity with them.

GFPS continues to evaluate and take action when necessary to protect our critical digital assets, including confidential student, employee and financial data. In an effort to help thwart phishing attempts, please refer to Troubleshooting Phishing Emails on our Technology Department webpage. DHS also provides tips for combating phishing in their toolkit listed above.

Staff Computer Acceptable Use and Internet Safety Agreement

The Board of Trustees recently adopted the Staff Computer Acceptable Use and Internet Safety Agreement which replaces the “Code of Ethics for Technology” form that was signed when you were hired.  GFPS offers staff access to electronic devices, networks, and the Internet, but access is a privilege, not a right, and carries with it responsibilities.  It is imperative that any and all staff utilizing District technology resources understand these responsibilities.  Therefore, every staff member must sign that they have read and received the new Acceptable Use Form.  Signature of this form is mandatory in order to have access to GFPS technology resources.  The signed consent form will be placed in your personnel file.  The form is due to your building principal/supervisor no later than October 17, 2018.

Severance Pay for Retiring Teachers

Please remember that in order to be eligible for severance pay, a retiring teacher must submit a letter of resignation to the Board of Trustees no later than December 1, 2018 at 5:00 p.m., if terminating employment at the end of the first semester.  You are encouraged to forward your letter prior to this date.   You may wish to refer to Article 8.C of the Negotiated Agreement for further information.  Teacher Retirement System must be contacted and an irrevocable election form completed by October 10, 2018 in order to be eligible to deduct additional contributions from termination pay on a tax-deferred basis. The Irrevocable Election Form is available in Human Resources or Teacher’s Retirement website.  The Teacher Retirement System can be reached at 1-866-600-4045.

Human Resources Office

American Red Cross Logo

 #Riverview Pints for Troy

October 17
11:30 to 6:30
Riverview Gym

Sign up for an appointment on line at redcrossblood.org (search by troystrong) or by calling Lee Ruud at 268-7040.
Redcrossblood.org                 1-800-red cross

Communicating with Parents of English Learners

Communicating with parents who speak no or limited English is a challenge, but we have resources to support you.
Please call or email Irina Mills or Carol Paul for information on emailing/texting parents with Google Translate to set up conferences or communicate about a student.
We also have interpreters for Parent-teacher conferences! Please call at least a week in advance to request an interpreter for Parent-Teacher Conferences.
We look forward to working with you!

Carol Paul
Title Coordinator, Great Falls Public Schools
1100 4th Street South
Great Falls, MT 59405

Through language, . . . students learn how to become strategic thinkers, not merely strategy users.  Peter Johnston

For texting using Google Translate, this is helpful

Safe Schools Online Safety Training $50.00 Card Drawing

School Safety Starts With YOU!

During the months of October and November, Montana School Boards Association invites you to participate in Safe Schools online safety training. Safe Schools offers 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
  8. 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 November 30th with the winners being announced the following week.

MILITARY FAMILIES:          Boy holding two American flags

As a way to honor our community military members and their families,
Great Falls Public Schools is sponsoring free admittance to and recognition of any community member with a military ID at the events below.
By showing your military ID, you will get in free.  *Be sure to listen for a special announcement during the game to recognize your extraordinary contributions to our great country.


  • CMR Football at Memorial Stadium, Friday, October 12, 7 pm, vs. Kalispell Flathead
  • CMR Volleyball at CMR, Saturday, October 27, 1:00 pm, vs. Billings Skyview
  • *CMR Soccer at Siebel Field, Friday, October 5, Girls-3 pm, Boys, 5 pm, vs. Bozeman
  • *GFHS Soccer at Siebel Field, Friday, October 5, Girls-3 pm, Boys, 5 pm, vs. Billings West
  • GFH Football at Memorial Stadium, Thursday, October 18, 7 pm, vs. Bozeman
  • GFH Volleyball at GFHS, Saturday, October 27, 1:00 pm, vs. Billings West

* Given no intercom at Siebel Field, a special announcement honoring military families was made at the crosstown soccer games on October 2 at Memorial Stadium.

Free Flu Shots Through Benefis Health System for all Employees and Spouses of District Employees

Great Falls Public Schools is again offering free flu shots through Benefis Health System for all employees and spouses of district employees – see link below for dates, times and locations.  (You do not have to carry insurance to be eligible for the free flu shot.) Shots are not available for children at these times/dates. North and Sacajawea will be having separate flu shot clinics for staff and students through CCHD on and October 16th and November 8th, respectively.

Flu Shot Schedule

NOTICE of Dependent Eligibility Audit

***This notice only pertains to you if you are a member of the GFPS Health Plan***

 Great Falls Public Schools has contracted with BMI Audit Services, LLC to perform an audit of the dependent(s) enrollment in our medical insurance programs.

Healthcare costs continue to rise for both employers and their employees. One factor contributing to the increase is the cost of covering dependents that are not eligible for plan benefits.  As part of our ongoing efforts to control these costs and to keep our enrollment records up to date, we will be utilizing BMI Audit Services, LLC (BMI) to perform an audit of dependents currently enrolled in our medical plans.  BMI is an independent firm which specializes in employee benefits auditing services.

 If you have a dependent enrolled in our medical plans, BMI will mail a personalized audit packet to your home. The audit packet will include the following:

  • An audit letter that will explain the audit process and its requirements.  Your letter will provide a toll-free customer service line for BMI Audit Services – please direct all requests for assistance to BMI.   The audit packet will arrive in this envelope.

Dependent Eligibility Audit Envelope

  • A verification form that will ask you to identify your relationship to your enrolled dependent(s) and return any required photocopies of documentation to BMI in order to prove the relationship.  Examples of requested documents are:  marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.
  • A postage paid envelope (you will also be given instructions on how to fax or upload your audit submission if that is your preference)

If you do not have a required certificate or document copy, please order it immediately. The vital statistics website (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm) can help you determine the process for obtaining document copies. You may be required to contact the County Clerk’s office directly and there may be non-reimbursable costs associated with obtaining new copies.

Please remember that the insurance program belongs to everyone and we need to be fiscally responsible.  Your cooperation is required while we conduct this important dependent eligibility audit.

Should you have any questions regarding this process, please contact BMI Audit Services @ 1-877-634-7780.

Be sure to Complete Your Health Screening and Health Risk Assessment!!!

Employees enrolled in Great Falls Public Schools health plan may earn a $55 per month premium contribution reduction by completing a biometric screening and online health risk assessment (HRA) questionnaire by December 31, 2018. This incentive is available to all enrolled employees, regardless of which plan you’re enrolled in or the number of family members enrolled. If your spouse is covered under your GFPS health plan then she/he must also complete a biometric screening and HRA by December 31, 2018 to earn the premium incentive.    

Any employee may participate in these screenings free of charge, regardless of health plan enrollment.

  1. Complete Your Biometric Screening First, if possible
    If possible, we recommend that you complete your biometric screening prior to your HRA. This will provide you with current biometric values to enter into the health assessment. Because the screenings are being provided by a new vendor, your biometric values will not be uploaded to your HRA as they were previously.
  2. How Do I Schedule My Biometric Screening?
    Cascade County Community Health Care Centers will provide biometric screenings October 1 – December 28.

To schedule an appointment at any Community Health Care Center location, call 406-454-6973.

Community Health Care Center locations and hours are listed below. Please note the Holiday Hours.

Community Health Care Center Main Clinic
115 4th Street South
Great Falls, MT  59401
Hours:  Mon – Thurs: 7:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri: 7:00 am – 5:00 pm

School-based Health Center at Paris Gibson
2400 Central Ave
Great Falls, MT  59401
Hours:  Mon: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm
Wed: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm

School-based Health Center at Giant Springs
520 32nd Street North
Great Falls, MT  59401
Hours:  Thurs: 7:30 am – 4:30 pm


The School-based Health Center at Paris Gibson Education Center will be open on Saturday, October 27 from 8am-1pm to complete health screenings!!

ADDITIONAL DATES AND HOURS have also been scheduled at the Giant Springs Clinic for employees to complete their health screenings as follows:

  • October 18- 7:30AM – 4:30PM
  • October 19- 8AM- 1PM

You may also “walk-in” to complete your biometric screening without an appointment during clinic hours of operation.  Please be aware that walk-in participants may be subject to wait times. Service will be provided first to those who have scheduled an appointment.

Holiday Hours:

  • All CHCC Clinics will be closed for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • School clinics will be closed when schools are closed.
  • The main clinic will be open the day before and the day after Thanksgiving.

The main clinic will be open the day before and the day after Christmas.

3.  What Tests Will Be Performed at the Biometric Screening?
a.  Height and weight will be measured for calculating body mass index (BMI)
b.  Your blood pressure will be measured (please wear sleeves that can be easily rolled up)
c.  A venous blood draw will be taken for the following tests:
Total Cholesterol
HDL Cholesterol
Blood Glucose
LDL Cholesterol (if fasting)
Triglycerides (if fasting)

4.  Is Fasting Required?

a.  Fasting is highly encouraged for accurate test results.
b.  It is not required to meet the requirement for the Engaged incentive.

5.  How Long Will it Take to Complete My Biometric Screening?
Biometric screening appointments take approximately 20 minutes. Expect to spend a few additional minutes if you chose to receive a flu shot.

6.  Can I Submit Results from a Previous Health Screening?
Yes.  If you have completed the health screening tests outlined in #3 between June 1 – December 31, 2018, you may submit these results using a Physician Form.  The form must be signed by your physician. To obtain a Physician Form, go to http://gfpsweb.weebly.com/benefits.html.
Physician Forms should be returned directly to CHCC. Instructions for return will be provided on the form.

7.  How Do I Complete My Health Risk Assessment?
You can access the health risk assessment from the Blue Access for Members home page (BAM). You’ll find a link to the BCBS “Well on Target” wellness portal or directly to the Health Assessment.
If you don’t have a BAM account, use the “Blue Access for Members Registration Member Flier” PDF located on http://gfpsweb.weebly.com/benefits.htmlThere are additional benefits to having a BAM account, listed on the first page of the flier.
You can also access the Well On Target portal directly – see page two of the Well on Target Flier:  http://gfpsweb.weebly.com/benefits.html.
Regardless of which way you create your account, the same username and password will provide you with access to both Blue Access for Members (BAM) and Well On Target.
If you have questions about the health risk assessment of the Well on Target program, contact BlueCross BlueShield of Montana at 877-806-9380.

8.  What Happens Next?
If you successfully complete both activities needed to earn the Engaged incentive by December 31, 2018, you will continue receiving the Engaged premium incentive.
If you or your spouse (if enrolled) do not complete one or both of the activities needed to earn the Engaged incentive by December 31, you will experience a $55/month increase in your health plan premium contribution effective in January, 2019.

A nurse from a Community Health Care Center may reach out to you to recommend and schedule follow up services if you can benefit from additional services or programs offered by Community Health Care Centers.

District Rental House AvailableGray and White house that is for rent




The District has a three bedroom, two-bathroom house with a garage for rent ($1,100 per month).  It is located at 820 4th Avenue North (next to Whittier Elementary School).   It comes with a clothes washer and dryer.  Tenant will be responsible for gas and electricity.   To arrange a tour, please contact Brian Patrick at 268-6050.

Invitation to Judge



1900 2nd Avenue South                  Refreshments provided all day . . .


Speech Rounds            8:00AM     10:00AM             12:00PM             2:00PM                4:00PM

Debate Rounds            8:00AM     10:00AM             12:00PM             2:00PM                4:00PM

Feel free to register online!

bar code to scan

SCAN QR CODE or REGISTER ONLINE at https://bit.ly/2Dh2EOG

Email or phone with any questions: Julie Easton 268-6381, gfhjudgerecruiting@gmail.com

Judging clinic offered at GFH Tuesday, Oct 30—6:30-7:15 pm, Room 216

THANK YOU in advance for supporting Montana students!

The Compassion Project

Delta Chapter of Great Falls ( Society of Key Women Educators) would like to invite teachers and support staff to be part of the Compassion Project on October 27th at the Paris Gibson Square from 9-12. There is no cost and is not limited to GFPS staff. We ask that you contact Mary Dea at mary_dea@gfps.k12.mt.us by October 24th if you are interested.

The Compassion Project (TCP), a non-partisan, non-religious organization and project, is designed to bring the Bozeman community and the greater Gallatin County together through education in and outside the schools around compassion- what it means, how to recognize it, how to practice it, and why it is important. Upon completion of these school and community lessons and workshops, each participant will receive a donated 8x8in wooden block to create their own artistic representation of compassion based on what they learned. The final output of this project will be an installation of all art pieces (~10,000 pieces) around Bozeman in the spring of 2019. It is the hope that this will then be expanded to other communities around Montana and beyond.