GREAT FALLS — Great Falls Public Schools recently wrapped up its first-ever Citizens Academy, designed to let community members learn more about how GFPS operates.
"I'd definitely encourage anyone to do it,” participant Mike Bicsak said. "I've taken the Great Falls Police Department's citizens academy, the Great Falls Fire Department's citizens academy, the City 101 citizens academy. This one became available and I just thought why the heck not? Also, I just had some questions and wanted some answers."
He said he got most of his questions answered and while nothing he learned was truly eye opening, the technology budget stuck out to him.
"Passed a technology levy in 2003 and haven't passed one since. We still have the same technology budget as we did in 2003 and that's kind of embarrassing,” said Bicsak.
"I think it went great,” Great Falls Public Schools Superintendent Tom Moore said when asked how he feels the academy went.
Moore is pleased with the interaction from the academy's 25 participants.
"I don't think any of the questions threw us off. I think some of them were really well thought out questions,” Moore said.
During the program - which spanned about two months - participants visited various district sites, including schools, and learned about a wide variety of topics like the district's budget and safety and security.
A survey was sent out this week to get feedback from participants, but the academy itself has provided some feedback as well.
"We learned some lessons about the pacing and the quantity of information that we're going to share,” said Moore.
Moore plans to highlight the academy at a meeting with other superintendents later this year and says another academy will likely be held sometime during the next school year.
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