September 21, 2015

Prescription Drug Take-Back

Safely dispose of unused prescription drugs on Sept. 26

Area residents will have a chance to get rid of potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs in September for free as part of a drug disposal effort.
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sept. 26, pills and patches can be delivered to the Montana Highway Patrol office, 812 14th St. N. Liquid medicines, needles or sharps cannot be accepted. Other items that cannot be turned in include nonprescription medicine, mercury thermometers, medical/first aid supplies or chemotherapy drugs.
The service is free and anonymous and no questions are asked.
The rate of prescription drug abuse in the United States is rising at an alarming rate, as is the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses. Studies show that many abused prescription drugs are obtained from family members and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.
Many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
“Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem and this is a great opportunity for folks around the country to help reduce the threat,” said Carol Bronson, NeighborWorks Great Falls Community Engagement Coordinator. “People should clean out their medicine cabinets to help make their homes more safe from theft and drug misuse.”
The local drug take-back is part of both a state and national take-back program. In 2010, the NeighborWorks Great Falls Community Leadership Institute team chose to focus its project on the problem of prescription drug abuse. The team formed Operation Medicine Cabinet: Central Montana, a community consortium of the NeighborWorks Great Falls Community Leadership Team, Montana Highway Patrol, Great Falls Police Department, the county attorney’s office, Cascade County sheriff’s office and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
Operation Medicine Cabinet: Central Montana developed one of the western United States’ first through-the-wall prescription drug drop boxes, open 24 hours, seven days a week.
In the previous nine DEA Take-Back events nationwide from 2010-2014, more than 4.8 million pounds, or 2.4 tons of drugs were collected. The Montana Highway Patrol has collected approximately 2,000 pounds of drugs per year since the Great Falls drop box opened in 2012.

WHAT: Montana Highway Patrol 10th Prescription Drug Take-Back
WHEN: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 26
WHERE: 812 14th St. N.
INFORMATION? Call 453-1121 or visit


ELL Corner

What is ELL?
ELL stands for English Language Learner. An ELL is a student in your classroom whose home language or heritage language is other than English. Since some of the interaction at home may be held in a different language or a combination of languages, the student may be considered an ELL. If the student is proficient in the use of academic English, they will not qualify as an ELL, but if they are not proficient in academic English, they will be considered an ELL by our district. English Language Learners are a very diverse group due to the interplay of many factors: different cultures, educational backgrounds, and native and English language proficiency levels.

Identifying the language proficiency of the student is an important task; one that will help you see how the student can navigate the type of language used in school – academic English. You may notice that being able to carry on a social conversation is not enough in the classroom where linguistic demands are much higher. In our district we have tools that can help teachers get a glimpse of what their ELLs are able to absorb and produce at each of proficiency levels. We can also help if you are in need of a translator for a parent conference. Let us know if you have this need!

As a district, we are responsible for identifying and screening any new ELLs within the first 14 days of school. You can help us with this task! If you suspect you have an unidentified ELL in your classroom, or if you have questions or need other support, please contact:
Lisa Jahraus, Title TSA, 268-6028
Irina Payne, ESL teacher, 268-6056


Staff Purchasing Reminders & Tips

From time to time as staff members, we get pre-approval and buy certain items for school use with our personal money. By district policy, the maximum limit for a staff reimbursement is $150. Once a purchase has been pre-approved by an immediate supervisor, the purchase should not include personal items on the same receipt. To avoid the reimbursement process totally, many merchants accept hand carry purchase orders. This means that staff members won’t have to use their own money and go through the burdensome process of getting a check from the district to be reimbursed for their purchases. The Purchasing Department (Mary – #6040/Kayla – #6043) will work with you to identify the merchants who accept hand carry purchase orders.


Impact Aid (Federal) Count

Impact Aid (Federal) count will be taken on Monday, October 5 2015 in all schools. The cards, forms and letters will be delivered to your school on Tuesday, September 15, 2015 and are to be sent home with the students Wednesday, October 7, 2015. Students who are absent are to take the cards home when they return. DO NOT send the cards home earlier than the 7th. Thank you.

Dale Lambert
Student Services Director


34th Annual Cross Town Run Around

34th Annual Cross Town Run Around
October 27, 2015 (Tuesday)
Paris Gibson Education Center
Race begins at 4:15 pm

The date for our Annual Cross Town Run Around has been set since 1982, typically the Tuesday of Cross Town Football week. Although it has been on the district calendar since early last spring, we wanted to remind you of the date and hope you can attend. As many of you know it is quite a lot of fun to walk or run with staff from all-round the district. This event happens rain or shine….sleet or snow! More details to follow and look for posters in your building. Be thinking of a theme as the 7 trophies are up for grabs once again! As our dear friend Mikie Messman would say “Rally the troops and join us for Cross Town!”.


EdCamp BootCamp