October 16, 2020

Fall Break is October 19-23

School is out next week for Fall Break. We hope you have a safe and enjoyable week!

Note from the Principal:

Hello Gator Families-

It is exciting to think we have made it into the 2nd nine weeks already! Please know this newsletter is FILLED with important information for you. Much of this would have been skylerted but with Fall Break coming up, we have compiled it for you to reference. Please make sure to come back to our newsletter for details!

I do want to thank everyone for your diligence in making sure to not send children to school with symptoms. You are doing well with this and that is helping to minimize the spread of germs in general. There are two COVID-19 reference sheets in the newsletter if you have questions.

One big reminder is to make sure to send your child with a water bottle everyday. Water fountains are NOT on. We do however have two water bottle filling stations for your child to fill their bottle with during the day. OUR GATORS NEED THEIR WATER DAILY! If you need a water bottle, please email your child's teacher.

Things to look for...

1) Grade Cards come out 10/15- please look at Skyward and reference details below about Related Arts as well as what a report doesn't measure! NWEA will also be emailed during fall break. Remember this is ONE snapshot! It is many snapshots that make up who are children are!

2) Does your child bring their own IPAD from home? We need your help, over half the iPads from home are not set up correctly. Please see below for proper apps needed for general education and related arts. Thank you for your help in making sure your child's iPad is set up so they are not frustrated in class because they don't have what they need that day! THANK YOU.

3) We will be conducting a school fundraiser to help support our classrooms. Details are below. The first date to remember for your child is 10/26, our first dress up day (Sports or Jersey Day/or Gator Shirt). The kids love the dress up part! Remember if you can't find the theme for the day, go Green/Blue or a Gator shirt! As a Mom, there should NOT be tears over dress up day. Gator colors or Gator shirts are great options! See below for the schedule.

Guess what- it is time for Fall Break! I hope you have a relaxing, slower and peaceful change in the schedule! Be safe and we will see you back on 10/26!

Christi Thomas,


Geist Elementary Fundraiser and Spirit Days

The school and the PTO know that our community is facing a lot as we all work to navigate a pandemic. Due to this, we are looking to minimize our fundraising this year.

This year in lieu of a traditional Gator Gallop we are planning a Climbing and Play time for our students on the new playground equipment purchased by district and PTO funds. We will have a great time playing, collaborating and problem solving on the new equipment. We have a few goals that are listed below to help raise needed funds for our teachers this year. We will have a fun two weeks planned for our students!

We will be having a school wide fundraiser from Oct. 26-Nov. 6 to help support our teacher allocations, grade level grants, student Gator shirts, GES scholarship and other fun activities planned for the year.

  1. We will have designated 30 minutes of playtime by class on the new equipment from Oct. 26-Nov. 6.
  2. Dress up week- October 26-30
    1. Monday-Sports or Jersey Day
    2. Wednesday- Wacky Day: Wacky socks and Hair/Hat Day.
    3. Friday- Rainbow day
      1. Kinder- Yellow
      2. First- Green
      3. Second- Orange
      4. Third- Blue
      5. Fourth- Red
  3. Dress up week- November 2-6
  1. Monday- Career Choice Day
  2. Wednesday- Show your colors day- Tie Dye, Camo or your favorite color
  3. Friday- Wear your new Gator shirt

*** (Alternative each day: Remember that any day children can wear a Green or Blue shirt to show school spirit)

  1. On November 6, 2020 the final day of our fundraising drive the students will
    1. Get a popsicle at lunch/or recess. (Goal: $10,000)
    2. An hour of voted on educational time in their classroom (Read-a-thon, STEM time, coding, etc). (Goal: $15,000)

Allergy Information - Popsicles at GES

This 2020-2021 school year students will be receiving popsicles as rewards throughout the year. We use a variety of flavors of flavorice popsicles. We also offer an alternative treat to those students that are unable to have the flavor ice popsicle. It is Ridgefields Smooth Frozen Sidekicks. The ingredients list for these items is attached. We have included a link to our opt out form below if you do not want your student to have a popsicle.

This communication is to Opt Out of student participation.

Please fill out this form only if you do not wish to have your student have a popsicle or sidekick.

Thanks in advance!
Geist Elementary PTO

Vision Screenings for Virtual Only Students

The GES Nurses will conduct routine vision screenings for virtual only students in grades Kindergarten through 3rd grade on Monday, October 26th and Tuesday, October 27th.

Please review the available time slots on the Sign Up Genius link below and click on the button to sign up.
Feel free to reach out to the school's nurse via phone or email if you have any questions regarding your child’s vision screening: Thank you!

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Having trouble using personal iPADS?

We are hearing from families and teachers alike that some children are unable to connect successfully to virtual learning apps, Canvas and more.

It is very important that students who are using personal iPad devices (not rented from HSE Schools) have access to the correct apps.

Our IT Specialist has created a short guide to assist with set up. Click here for the guide.

We encourage you to spend time over Fall Break to be sure your student has access to the information.

Keller's Clips

Social Emotional Learning (SEL):

We value, nurture and explore feelings at Geist Elementary!

At GES, we support a whole-child approach to education. We choose to ‘Love First, Teach Second’. As a district, we strive to build foundations for Social Emotional Learning (SEL). “SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions’, (Indiana School Mental Health Initiative).

During the first part of the school year, we are focused on Skills for Learning: Being Respectful Listeners, Focusing Attention, Using Self-Talk to Focus and Tackle Difficult Tasks and Being Assertive (Asking Questions for Understanding and Discovery).

We will then build on Empathy: To show compassion and kindness to others when they are struggling. How can we show compassion to others by our words, our gestures and our presence? A great conversation to have at home, as well

4th Grade - Mrs. Dobbins

Mrs. Dobbins' 4th Graders had a busy first week of Phase 3 and they loved every minute of it! They participated in Math Talks, kicked off their nonfiction reading unit with a bonus visit to the library to pick out books based on their interests, and they started their Essay Boot Camp.

NWEA Results

Families should be on the lookout for Fall 2020 NWEA Student Progress Reports to be sent electronically during Fall Break. The email will come from HSE Educational Technology. Note that there have been instances where this email is directed to a junk or spam folder.

If you have questions, please reach out to your child's individual teacher.

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Keller’s Clips: GES Building-Wide Behavioral Supports

Our community of Gators, their families and staff thrive in an environment where the following are expected and valued:

Great Choices

Effort and

Safety are valued and expected.

As part of our schoolwide Student Success Team approach for behavioral supports, our students are taught behavioral expectations in all areas of school (see 2020-21 GES Behavior Matrix doc.). Positive behaviors are celebrated.

We also teach character traits and recognize actions and behaviors that support our students to become successful community members, friends and learners. For September, we focused as a building on building Resilience: The ability to recover quickly from difficult situations and events. During the month of October, we are learning and practicing Empathy: To show compassion and kindness to others when they are struggling. Our Second Step curriculum builds on Empathy as well, in the next series of lessons.

Students’ positive behaviors and actions are reinforced with praise and by earning Gator Tickets. Gator tickets are collected by each classroom teacher for a drawing for Gator of the Week on Friday. Friday after announcements the chosen winner(s) meet our cafeteria staff outside the cafeteria to choose a reward. The rewards are not tangible; yet are opportunities to do something special; i.e. tape a read-aloud to share with another class, have 10 minutes bonus time, be a teacher’s assistant for the day, wear a hat to school, etc. Students love to earn Gator tickets as a means to reinforce Great Choices, Effort and Safety.

Each month, each classroom chooses 2-3 students to be recognized for Gator of the Month, as a result of consistent demonstration of the character trait of the month. Gator of the Month recipients are recognized in the classroom and at their grade-level lunch as a means for their peers to celebrate with them.

Related Arts: Understanding Grade Reports and Virtual Learning Expectations

Greetings Geist families! We would like to share some updates with you about the expectations for Related Arts.

Virtual Instruction:

  • All Related Arts classes are an expectation of students, whether virtual or in-person.
  • We will continue to have week-long Related Arts classes.
  • Although most students have returned to school, keep in mind that during an illness or quarantine situation your child is still responsible for completing Related Arts assignments.

  • Virtual instruction for Related Arts assignments are accessed through Canvas. Each teacher maintains their own weekly assignments that students should complete for virtual days.
  • PE and Live Zoom – Mr. Sutherlin will continue to do Live Zooms for PE class. The continued expectation is that if you are not in class, you will be on Zoom at the time of the scheduled class. If you are unsure of the schedule you may check Mr. Sutherlin’s Canvas page for the correct time.

Semester Grades:

  • The district has adopted revised guidelines for the first semester of the 2020-21 school year for Related Arts at the elementary level. Grades will be based on participation in both virtual and in class work. We will still be using S, P, and N; however, please see below for the current grading scale criteria:

S-Participated in most virtual and/or with full effort for in-class assignments

P-Participated in some virtual and/or with some effort for in-class assignments

N-Participated in few virtual and/or with little effort for in-class assignments

  • Grades are given in those Related Arts areas for which there are Indiana Academic Standards. Therefore, only Physical Education, Visual Arts, and Music will assign grades.
  • Related Arts teachers only assign grades at the end of each semester.

Please contact the Related Arts teacher if you have questions or concerns.

Visual Arts : Erin Green,

Music: Jen Koenig,

Physical Education: Rod Sutherlin,

Spanish (1st semester): Stacey Zimmerman,

Global Studies (2nd semester): Suzanne Chadwell,

Focus & Flexibility: Kim Povinelli,

When to send your child to school when they're symptomatic of cold, Covid, etc.


Our first family of fish have arrived at GES! Please ask your child about the fish tank that has arrived in our school!

Chemical Check

Our two fish tank experts at checking the chemicals in the fish tank to assure they are in the safe zone so we can add our first family of fish! More to come!

Helping Families within Geist Elementary

Geist Elementary School has a tradition of offering assistance to its families in need. Traditionally we have accepted donations from staff, GES families and community organizations and distributed items to families within our school community who may need help getting through the winter break and holiday period. If you would like to DONATE or REQUEST assistance please refer to the Holiday Assistance link below.

Additionally this year we are participating in a program that will enable us to provide take-home snacks to students whose families would like to participate. Indy Snack Attack is a charitable, non-profit program offered to students in need. There is no cost to the participant or the school. The program is optional and participants can opt out anytime. For more information about Indy Snack Attack please visit If you wish to sign up your student(s) for the program please refer to the GES Nutrition Club link below. If your student is already receiving the Snack Attack packs it is not necessary to sign up again.

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Work while your kids are at school! The demand for substitute teachers is extremely high. HSE subs have an opportunity to pick their hours and even the schools they prefer. Please consider a position as a substitute teacher. Click here for details.

Student Fees Are Past Due

Student fees were due 10/2/20 and are now considered past due.

Up to $8.35 in processing fees along with collection fees may be added if the balance remains outstanding after the due date. To avoid additional fees, please pay the balance in full.

If paying by check, please make the check payable to Geist Elementary and note the student ID in the memo line. You can mail or send the check in with your child.

You may also make your payment using e~Funds at You will choose "Optional Fees" using this particular link attached. Please have your students account balance (available via Skyward-) and their 6 digit student ID to make payment via e~Funds.

To discuss payment arrangements please contact Kristi Ray at 317-915-4260.

Click here for Lunch Menus

Browse the menu, pay for lunch and more.

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Get Involved with Geist Elementary PTO

Meet our PTO Board Members, catch up through the PTO Corner newsletter and learn how you can get involved.

Visiting and Volunteering at Geist Elementary

When we're open for visitors and volunteers you'll need a safe visitor badge. Read here for more.

Employment Opportunities at HSE Schools

Interested in subbing at school? Read here for more information.

Community Insider

Read here to learn about athletic and other opportunities and activities going on in Fishers.