September 12, 2016

Superintendent’s Message – Safety First, September 12, 2016

Safety First
The GFPS Belief Statement #4 says:  All students and staff learn and work best in a safe, secure, and nurturing environment.  Safety and security is not something the District ever takes lightly.  Given the complexity of a district our size, it is a serious and never-ending endeavor.  It is also a responsibility of every single employee.  Safety is not an event.  Safety is a daily effort.  To that end, please note the following:
·         At the beginning of each year, safety protocols are reviewed.  Please take them seriously and do all you can to keep your students, your colleagues and yourself safe.  Slowing down, asking for help, being aware and using safety equipment are absolutely essential.
·         Assume a protective mindset.  Schools have been practicing lockdowns and evacuations these first few weeks of school and will continue to do so throughout the year.  As you practice, work to develop your protective mindset.  Think of the “what ifs” and make contingent plans in your head as you practice.  I hope that you never have to use those plans, but in today’s world there is no guarantee.
·         Wear your name badges.  This simple act clearly identifies who belongs in our schools and who doesn’t.
·         Review student safety information at this link:  This same safety information is being sent home this week via mail (middle and high schools) and Wednesday Envelopes (elementary).  Staff should be aware as well.  Please review at the link above:
o   Factors Considered for School Schedule Change Due to Weather
o   School Disruptions Information
o   School Disruptions Parent Letter
o   Refrigerator Note
o   Edulink Information
o   Crisis Manager Information
·         Download the Crisis Manager App on your smartphone.  Directions will be posted in Newsbits next week.
·         Promote and practice “Say Something.”  If you see something that is not safe, say something to supervisor or administrator.  As you talk to students, encourage them to say something to a trusted adult anytime and every time something is amiss.
A safe, secure and nurturing environment is essential, and so are the trusting relationships and organizational pride that serve to guarantee it.  Thank you for practicing safety every single day and every single minute.  Safety first is safety always.
Take care.  Be Safe.  Stay well.


Save the Date – Business After Hours, September 22, 2016

Before heading to the Dr. Temple Grandin presentation about autism at 7:00 in the Bill Williamson Hall at CMR, be sure to stop by the Chambers BUSINESS AFTER HOURS (BAH) to check out the amazing work of our students and their teacher advisors from 5:00 to 7:00.  The BAH will be held on the Outdoor Plaza at D. A. Davidson at 8 3rd St. N. 

You can enjoy food catered by the high school Culinary Arts students, listen to music played by GFPS students, check out products made by Grizz Biz, Rustler Gear, Bison Wear, Lynx Grafix, and Bison Welding.  You can learn about the work of several Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs) like BPA, DECA, CyberPatriot, FFA, Bison Business, Art, Skills USA, HOSA, High School Houses, Interior Design, FCCLA, etc.  You can check out the truck that is going to be raffled off by the Foundation and buy tickets as well.  See you there! 

Insurance and Financial Information Meeting Schedule – September 2016

The following dates are scheduled for presentations regarding:
·         Health Insurance Changes/Updates
·         Employee Wellness Announcements
·         Voluntary Insurance Options (dental, vision, cancer, accident)
·         Flex Plan Discussion
·         Retirement Programs Information
ALL employees eligible for insurance, licensed and classified, are encouraged to attend.  It is important to attend a meeting so employees can be wise consumers of health insurance and other benefits of employment.  The health insurance rates will also be discussed.  Employees can attend any of the scheduled meetings.  Spouses are invited to attend as well.
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 DOB Aspen 1:00 PM
Wednesday, August 24, 2016 DOB Aspen 4:00 PM
Thursday, August 25, 2016 PGEC Hub 10:00 AM
Thursday, August 25, 2016 PGEC Hub 1:00 PM
Thursday, August 25, 2016 PGEC Hub 3:00 PM
Tuesday, September 6, 2016 GFHS Auditorium 3:45 PM
Thursday, September 8, 2016 CMR Bill Williamson Hall 3:45 PM
Monday, September 12, 2016 PGEC Hub 3:45 PM
Tuesday, September 13, 2016 NMS Cafeteria 3:45 PM
Thursday, September 15, 2016 EMS Room D-2 3:45 PM
Monday, September 19, 2016 DOB Aspen 4:00 PM



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, 2016 at 5:00 p.m., if terminating employment at the end of the second 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 21, 2016 in order to be eligible to deduct additional contributions from termination pay on a tax-deferred basis.  The Teacher Retirement System can be reached at 1-866-600-4045.                                                                        

Human Resources Office 


Substitute Para timesheets are due by the 2nd of each month.  Substitute Teachers should verify all assignments are correct in AESOP by the 2nd of each month.
Teacher Timecards and Class Coverage sheets are due in the Business Office the morning of Tuesday, September 13th.  Reconciling should be done daily.  Please verify all absences are reconciled by the 12th.
All other timecards are due in the Business Office the morning of Friday, September 23rd.  Please do not send timecards in prior to the 21st.  Make all changes/corrections before turning them in.
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. 

Impact Aid (Federal) Count, September 2016

Impact Aid (Federal) count will be taken on Monday, October 3, 2016 in all schools. The cards, forms and letters will be delivered to your school on Tuesday, September 27, 2016 and are to be sent home with the students Wednesday, October 5, 2016. Students who are absent are to take the cards home when they return. DO NOT send the cards home earlier than the 5th.  Thank you.
                        Dale Lambert

                        Student Services Director 

Lesley University Graduate Program in Great Falls – September, 2016

Integrated Teaching through the Arts Curriculum & Instruction, M.Ed.
This Program will be starting September 17, 2016!!
Program is designed for all K-12 educators
Project based – no GRE required
Skills that transfer to your everyday lessons!
Move up on the Salary Schedule as you go!
Financial aid and payment plans are available.
Regionally and nationally accredited
Financial Aid Counselor to assist Student Loan Process!
Deferred Student Loan payment 6 months after completion of your degree!
Nineteen weekends total! The entire program is completed in less than two years
$5000 Loan Forgiveness is available!  
$50 application fee waiver!
Face-To-Face teaching one weekend a month: Saturday & Sunday 8am – 5pm
Contact: Cathy Kuntz

Schedules for: GFPS Fitness Center, Classes & GFH Pool

The NEW School year schedule is listed below! Check the Employee Wellness website and weekly Wellness Wednesday emails for updates or schedule changes for all of the classes. Schedule time to exercise and take care of yourself. You will be glad you did!
Monday through Thursday during the school year (Closed on holidays)
          5:30 am – 7:00 am
          3:30 pm — 7:00 pm
PARIS OPEN GYM Shoot hoops or run a few laps!
5:30 am – 7:00 am   Monday-Wednesday-Friday
Sign in at the Fitness Center
ZUMBA CLASS Free to employees!  Begins Sept. 13, 2016
Tuesday & Thursday:  4:30 – 5:30 pm (No class on holidays)
Longfellow Elementary Gym (1100 6th Ave S)
Instructor: Amber Blodgett
CIRCUIT TRAINING Free to employees! Begins Sept. 7, 2016
Monday & Wednesday 4:30-5:30 pm (No class on holidays)
Fitness Center @ Paris Gibson Education Center
Instructor: Laurie Roberts
YOGA CLASS Free to employees during school year! Begins Sept 7, 2016
Wednesdays:     4:45 pm – 5:45 pm
Thursdays:         5:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Classes held at 220 6th Street South, Suite B. (No class on holidays)
Instructor: Lisa Moore
OULA Class Free to employees! Begins Sept. 13, 2016
OULA is a great dance fitness program. For a full description go to:
Tuesday & Thursday 5:45 am — 6:30 am
PGEC Gym enter on the south side near fitness center! (No class on holidays)
Instructor: Bethany Chabot
WATER EXERCISE CLASS – Begins Sept 6, 2015
Tuesday & Thursday:  7:00 – 8:00 pm
Classes are held at the Great Falls High Pool.
Class is FREE to all GFPS faculty and staff and open to the public at a cost of $60 for each session. GFPS faculty and staff need to register with Kim Fadrhonc at 268-6051.
This is a great NO IMPACT, fun exercise class.  No particular swimming skills are required. 
If you have questions, contact Bob Stingley at 268-6281 or via email. 



Open and lap swimming at the Great Falls High Pool is FREE to all GFPS employees!  To get a pool pass, click here for the electronic application or contact Central Reception at 268-6054.  Attendance fee for a non-employee adult is $3 and a child is $2 per visit.
Lap Swim: Beginning Aug. 31–Monday through Friday 6:00 am – 7:30 am
Family Open Swim: Beginning Sept. 12, 2016–Monday & Wednesday 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm