September 9, 2019

Congratulations, Jordann Lankford-Forster!

Jordan Lankford-Forster

GFPS’ Jordann Forster was one of four finalists chosen for Montana’s 2020 Teacher of the Year.

Jordann is a Great Falls native who graduated from Charles M. Russell high school in 2006.  Her tribal affiliations are A’aniiih (Gros Ventre) and Little Shell Band of Chippewa Cree.  In 2012, Jordann graduated from the University of Montana with a teaching certificate in Broad Field Social Studies, a major in Native American Studies, and a minor in English.

After teaching and coaching in Sunburst, Montana for two years, Jordann began working in Great Falls Public Schools’ Indian Education Department.  She specialized in improving the graduation rate for American Indian students.  In 2015, Jordann was asked to join the Office of Public Instruction and Superintendent Juneau’s Graduation Matters team.  Before returning to Great Falls in 2016, Jordann and the Graduation Matters team received the Governor’s Award of Excellence for their work in Montana.

Throughout her career, Jordann has shared her work with educators and administrators in Washington, Oregon, Wyoming, and Nevada.  In 2018, Jordann was selected to be featured on the “Making Montana Proud” poster series, which highlights successful American Indian individuals for their achievements.

Aside from Jordann, the other finalists included Traci Doll from Billings, Connie Wittak from Scobey, and Linda Rost from Baker who was selected as Montana Teacher of the Year.  Rost will go on to represent Montana in the 2020 National Teacher of the Year competition.

Help Wanted: Volunteer STEM Mentors

Starbase Mentors Flyer

STARBASE 2.0 is an after-school mentoring program sponsored by the Great Falls STARBASE Academy, a Department of Defense youth program hosted by the 120th Airlift Wing in Great Falls.

Click here for more information on how to become a volunteer STEM Mentor.


Calumet Montana Mini-Grant Program

Calumet 2019 Mini Grant

To foster greater understanding and appreciation of science and environmental issues, the Calumet Montana Refining Community Advisory Panel (CAP) is sponsoring a mini-grant program for secondary schools in Great Falls.

Cash mini-grants of $100 to $500 may be awarded to individual classrooms, a group of classrooms working together, or an entire school working on the same project.  Examples of potential mini-grant projects include investigating a specific scientific or environmental problem, developing a series of science experiments to enrich classroom teaching, or taking a field trip to learn more about a certain area of science.

Mini-grant recipients will be required to attend a future Community Advisory Panel meeting to describe the methodology and results of their project.

Any secondary classroom, group of classrooms, or school in Great Falls, as well as private and charter schools, are eligible.  The program is not intended for individual student projects.

$100 to $500 grants will be awarded to projects chosen by a committee appointed by the CAP.  A recipient is eligible for one grant.

Any teacher or administrator who wishes to have a project considered for a mini-grant should complete this application form and submit by email to the CAP.  The application must be received by October 31, 2019.  The application should be emailed to

Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR) Vaccination

MMR Information

Measles Preparedness

*While there are no cases of measles in Montana at this time, most health officials believe that it is a possibility given the cases in Washington State.  In order to be prepared to protect our students, our staff and our families in the event that measles develop in our community, please note the following:

  • Measles are very contagious and are easily spread through coughing and sneezing. A measles infected area is contaminated for 2 hours after exposure.  They are more contagious than pertussis and mumps.  One case in a school could lead to everyone in the school being considered to be exposed.
  • Proper immunization is very effective in preventing measles.
  • You should become knowledgeable about your own and family member immunization status because, in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the Health Department, an individual who is not known to have immunity to measles may be kept home for as long as the disease is circulating in their work place (this could exceed 21 days). According to the CDC, acceptable evidence of immunity against measles includes at least one of the following:
    • Written documentation of past vaccination:
      • One or more doses of measles-containing vaccine administered on or after the first birthday for adults not at high risk, or
      • Two doses of measles-containing vaccine for adults at high risk (including college students in post-high school institutions, healthcare personnel and international travelers)
    • Blood tests that show you are immune to measles
    • Laboratory confirmation that you had measles
    • Birth before 1957 as presumed immune by age

* Measles have not been identified in Montana since 1990, and with continued diligence that trend is hoped to be maintained. However, measles is present in many places across the nation. In 2018, 372 cases of measles were reported from 26 states in the US, with an additional 79 cases reported in 10 states since January 1, 2019. If you are traveling, be aware of local measles risk in the places you intend to visit.

GFPS is asking that all employees know their risk and what immunizations they have had.  If they do not have a current record of their immunizations, here are a few ideas where they can be found:

  • GFPS has student shot records if they graduated 2008-present. Sharon Iszler in Central Reception, 268-6054, can help those employees in getting their records.
  • The City-County Health Department, 454-6950, has some records on file.
  • The School District in which employee attended
  • The College in which the employee attended
  • At the employee’s parent’s house…mom has everything!


 If an employee has received the MMR shot and has a copy of the record, the CDC recommends that employees receive a booster of the vaccine.  It is NOT mandatory and the original immunization records from when the employee was a child will suffice.  Employees are requested to submit their MMR vaccination records to Human Resources.  This is not required but is STRONGLY recommended.

  • Submit MMR vaccine records to Human Resources
  • Records will be recorded in computer system
  • Records will then be placed in a sealed envelope in the employee’s personnel file

If you do not have record of receiving the vaccine, it is recommended that you get the two-part series MMR vaccine.  The vaccine is covered 100% if the employee is on the Great Falls Public Schools’ insurance as it is considered preventative.  If the employee carries insurance elsewhere, they will need to find out through their insurance company how it is covered.

MMR Immunizations are offered at:
Alluvion Healthcare 454-6973
Benefis Healthcare 455-5000
Great Falls Clinic 454-2171
Any other medical facilities and/or pharmacies

MMR virus

Safe Schools Online Safety Training $50.00 Card Drawing 

Safe Schools Safe Training

During the months of September through 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:
  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
  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 29th with the winners being announced the following week.