Friday, May 27, 2022

Letter from the Principal - School Safety


May 27, 2022


Dear Great Falls School Families,


It has been an emotional week but your children continue to be loved, supported, and happy here at school. Thank you so much for joining us at our 10-year (belated) birthday celebration. The joy, smiles, and genuine happiness displayed by our students were just what we all needed during this difficult time. It felt like a true Great Falls community event that we have been missing. Thank you! 

Despite the recent happiness and celebration, it is hard to deny our feeling of immense heartbreak about the Texas school shooting. I want to extend a reminder that we take safety procedures and protocols very seriously at Great Falls and we work diligently to ensure that our staff and students are well prepared in case of an emergency. 

The District’s emergency management plan includes a safety program called ALICEALICE is a research-based, proactive, options-based, empowering program for responding to a dangerous incident. ALICE is an acronym for Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.  With regard to classroom messaging to K-5 students, as in years past, we continue to keep this information developmentally appropriate and simple.  Students know that we regularly conduct emergency lessons for everyone’s safety including evacuations during a Fire Alarm.


ALICE calls for our children to focus on the teacher and other school adults for specific directions depending on the situation.  Our staff is trained to respond in a variety of ways, making the decision that will best ensure the safety of the students in their care.  In order for these actions to be met with success, our students are coached to stop, look, listen and follow directions without questions in these variable situations.


Our emergency lessons using ALICE protocols occurred early in the school year. In the first lesson, the teacher facilitated a discussion on what it means to be safe at school, read the book I’m Not Scared, I’m Prepared: I Know About ALICE to the class, and highlighted the procedures to use during an emergency: stop, look, listen and follow teacher directions without question. In the second lesson, the teacher introduced an age-appropriate scenario to practice how to respond if there is an emergency in our building. Examples of emergencies shared include a burst water pipe in the hallway or an animal in the building.  These were practice scenarios only to demonstrate the need to “STOP, LOOK and LISTEN”, which is revisited throughout the school year. We will continue to regularly review all of our safety procedures and make modifications as needed to keep our school community safe.


Thank you for your compassion towards our school community as we work together to cope and support one another. Please enjoy the holiday weekend with your family and friends. As always, please feel free to call if you have any concerns or questions regarding your child. I am available through email at and by phone at 222-1050.  Take care and be well!

Kind regards,

Becky Fortier

Great Falls Principal

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Letter from the Principal - May


May 5, 2022

Dear Great Falls Families,

Happy May! Great Falls loves this time of year as we begin to spend more time outdoors. Our tent and outdoor classroom benches are back and ready for lots of spring use! 

“Step-Up” Presentations

I hope you had a chance to review the “Step-Up” presentation describing what the next grade for our students will be like. These grade-level presentations will highlight the academic and social aspects of next year. 

Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Monday, May 9th at 6pm: Parent Connection Meeting 

A teacher representative from each grade level will be present at our Parent Connection meeting to answer any specific parent questions regarding next year. We will be meeting from 6:00-7:00pm in the Great Falls Library.

Music Fun!

During the week of May 16-May 20, Ms. Doak’s talented son, Lincoln Gray, will be at the school as an Artist in Residence! (Thanks to an Aspire grant!) He will work with each class during their music time. After singing 2 songs to get them in the groove he will lead them in composing lyrics for their own class song.  If the weather is good- on Friday, May 20 from 2:15-2:45, he will perform a full school concert in the garden area behind the school for a final hoorah!   

May 2nd - May 27th: Spring NWEA Testing 

Wednesday, May 25th: Great Falls 10 Year Birthday Celebration 4-7pm

Join the Great Falls staff and students as we celebrate the 10-year "belated" birthday celebration IN PERSON on the Great Falls campus. We hope everyone can join in the fun!

Monday, May 30th

Memorial Day - No School

Great Falls Field Days - May 26 - June 3rd

We are very excited to bring a field day opportunity back to our students again this year! We will be hosting the events at the Gorham Sports Center. This event will encourage team building and fun as students celebrate the end of the year with their friends and teachers! 

Monday, June 6th - Grade 5 Step-Up Day                                                                                                         

On Monday, June 6th at 9:00am, an in-person step-up experience will take place for our current 5th graders with advisors at Gorham Middle School. The middle school will share materials and information with our students regarding classrooms, teachers, and what to expect from the middle school experience!

Friday, June 10th - Grades K-4 Student Step-Up Day 

On June 10th, grades K-4 students will also participate in an in-person Step-Up Day. Students will meet their new teacher here at Great Falls and have a chance to become familiar with their classroom community for the 2022-2023 school year.

Monday, June 13th - Last Student Day of School

Students will be dismissed at 12:00pm.  Report cards will be emailed home on this day. 

2022-2023 School Calendar: 2022-2023 School Calendar

End of Year Events:

  • NWEA Testing Schedule: May 2nd - May 27th

  • Grade 5 Science MEAs Testing Schedule: May 2nd - May 27th

  • Parent Connection Meeting with Grade Level Team Leaders- May 9th at 6pm

  • Great Falls 10 Year Celebration - May 25th from 4pm-7pm

  • Grade 5 Field Day - May 26th

  • Grade 4 Field Day - May 27th

  • Grade 3 Field Day - May 31st

  • Grade 2 Field Day - June 1st

  • Grade 1 Field Day - June 2nd

  • Grade 5 Parent Step-Up Night at GMS - June 2nd from 6-7pm

  • Kindergarten Field Day - June 3rd

  • GMS Visit to GF Grade 5 - Friday, June 3rd

  • 5th Grade Step-Up to GMS - June 6th from 12:00 - 1:30 pm

  • 2nd Grade Ferry Beach - June 7th 

  • 3rd Grade Gorham History Tour -June 7 & 9

  • Kindergarten EOY Celebration - June 9- Parade 1:30-2pm

  • GHS Senior Walk and 5th Grade Walk - Wear Future Story T-Shirts - June 10 - 9am-ish

  • K-4 Step-Up Day - June 10 from 10:00-10:30 am 

  • 5th Grade EOY Celebration - June 10 - Student Subway picnic 1:00-2:30pm 

  • Report Cards Go Home - June 13th

  • Last Day of School -  June 13th, Early Release at noon

As always, please feel free to reach out to me at any time with questions and feedback. Please be sure to follow our social media sites for posts and pictures! Great Falls is on Instagram at, Twitter at, as well as Facebook at I am available through email at and by phone at 222-1050.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Becky Fortier

Great Falls Principal

Monday, May 2, 2022

Welcome to Our Virtual Parent Step Up

 Welcome to Our Virtual Parent Step Up

The purpose of this opportunity is to share an overview of each grade level at Great Falls Elementary School. The presentations will cover the academic and social experiences that will occur for your child next year. 

Click on the links to view the presentations. 



Grade 1

Grade 2

Grade 3

Grade 4

Grade 5

Have additional questions about the information shared in the presentations?

We will be hosting an in-person parent forum at Great Falls. 

Classroom teachers and administrators will be available to answer your questions. 

The “Parent Connection” forum will take place on Monday, May 9th from 6-7 pm in the Library.