October 22, 2018

Celebrate Red Ribbon Week October 22-26, 2018

The Community Red Ribbon Planning Team has been busy! There are a number of activities taking place to recognize this very important week.The national theme is: Life is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free!  Check out the details below:

  • Red Ribbons: for all staff members. See your building Administrative Assistant to get one!
  • Community Wear Red Wednesday: Staff is encouraged to wear RED on Wednesday along with students from private, public and rural schools as well as our community members.

Other theme days for RR Week 2018 are listed below. We keep it simple so students/staff don’t have to purchase anything. Our kids love these days!

Monday:        “Turn Your Back on Drugs” wear clothes backwards. (Easy to do on Monday after a long weekend!)
Tuesday:       “Too Bright For Drugs” wear bright colors..
Wednesday:  “Life is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free —  wear red day.
Thursday:      “Don’t Let Drugs Mix You Up” wear mismatched cloths, socks, shoes.
Friday:           “Team Up Against Drugs” wear your favorite team shirt, jersey or colors.

  • Our Community: Take a drive by Central Ave, Flag Hill, Gibson Park, the Civic Center and the County Courthouse to name a few….we are decorating with red ribbons in and around these areas. Look for the message Life is Your Journey. Travel Drug Free! on our school reader boards.
  • Stop The Stigma Event: A group of community members have come together to offer a series of presentations at Great Falls College MSU October 22-26, 2018. The events include speakers with the following theme: “STOP the Stigma: Debunking the myths about mental health and addictive disorders.” Included are: 1) a viewing of “Screenagers” a documentary on screen time, 2) Blowing Smoke: The Past & Present State of Tobacco, 3) Red Flags & How To Take Action and respond to a mental health and/or substance abuse crisis, 4) Prescription Perspective: My Story, 5) Porn & Sex Addiction what our families and parents need to know. Most events take place during the evening of that week.


C.M. Russell High School Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Tours

Charles M. Russell High School circular logo with skull in the middle

Please join us for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony beginning in the CMR Fieldhouse to open the new Auxiliary Gym, Fitness Center, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Facility.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018 starting at 2:45 p.m.  

The Salvation Army 2018 Holiday Assistance Program

Application Information for the Salvation Army 2018 Holiday Assistance Program

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.

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!!

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.

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

District Rental House Available

Gray and White House that is if 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.


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.