GCIS Weekly News 9/16/2016

Weekly Celebrations, Successes, and Up Coming Events!

We're not here to be average; We're here to be AWESOME!

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Another Great Week at GCIS! Below are our Amazing Awesome Students of the week! Staff nominate students for demonstrating Key Behaviors throughout the week and coming to school every day trying their best, respecting all students everyday no matter what, and modeling leadership behaviors and qualities! Congrats to these students that make our school community great! Thanks for Being Awesome this week!
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GCIS Office News

School has been off to a great start!! We have some many AWESOME students and staff!

Here are just a few reminders from the GCIS Office:

  • Please call our office by 8:30 am if you know that your child will be out for the day and no later than 2:30 pm if you would like for us to deliver a note to your child. On Wednesday, please be sure to have your calls in by 12:30 pm. 515-738-5721.

  • GCIS will have school on Friday, September 30th!!

    • (No school for Elementary ONLY)

  • School Picture day (for all buildings) will be October 4th! Stay tuned for more info!

Did you know?

  • Infinite Campus is a great tool for parents to use! It allows you to check your student’s attendance, grades, assignments, lunch balance and more! To sign up give us a call! 515-738-5721!

  • You may now access the breakfast & lunch menu online! Click HERE for the link!

Thanks Greene County Deputy Officer Williams & Deputy Officer Kersey!

On Wednesday September 14th, we had a refresher on what to do if there was a threat at school and how to respond from our amazingly AWESOME Greene County Deputy Sheriffs! Thanks for sharing all your wisdom and knowledge so we remain safe and prepared in any situation! Most importantly, thanks for all you do to keep our community safe! We appreciate you!
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Cell Phones at GCIS

As we work on being AWESOME at GCIS, we are asking the students to follow the following guidelines related to cell phone usage in the following areas. Teachers have spoken with each homeroom at what is okay with cell phones in the classroom. Please email your student's homeroom teacher with inquiries about this.

If you have any questions related to Recess/Lunch, Hallways, or Before/After School please contact the office, 515-738-5721. Thanks GCIS parents and families for being AWESOME as we tighten up cell phone usage! Safety is our number one priority! Please don't hesitate to call with any concerns.

  • Recess/Lunch: No phones out. If caught with phone out send student to office. We will keep phone until the end of the day, when they can pick it up. Parents will be notified.

  • Hallways: Same as above.

  • Classroom: Homeroom teachers and grade level teams have set what they want this to look like with students. Most teachers allow for cell phones to be used by students for a quick google, calculator, and some online quizzes.

  • Before and After School: Cell phones are okay for use until the bell rings and students are brought inside.

If staff or teachers need to have a student turn over a phone, students will be asked to turn it in, in the office and parents will be notified. Cell phones will be given back to students at the end of the day. It is the responsibility of the student to pick up their phone in the office before leaving the school. Cell phones can remain in the possession of the student throughout the day, we just ask that students understand the rules we have put in place (see above) and respect those rules while in school. Please call the office or email me with any additional questions or concerns.

Mrs. Van Cleave



Homecoming Dress Up Days 2016

Homecoming is the week of September 19th-23rd

Monday September 19th:
Mustache Monday

Tuesday September 20th: Neon Day (Wear your Brightest Threads!)

Wednesday September 21st: Pajama Day

Thursday September 22nd: Color Wars

  • Staff: Green
  • 6th: Purple
  • 5th: Yellow
  • 4th: Orange

Friday September 23rd: Show Your School Spirit! Wear Black and Red!

Parade Information:

  • GCIS students will be walking/riding in the parade again this year!
  • Parade starts at 2pm
  • After parade students will be dismissed from the middle school.
  • Any students riding to Grand Junction and Scranton will load buses at Web House.

Principal Shoutout!

We had a great time learning from our Greene County Officers what it means to be safe in a lockdown situation. Special thanks for Officer Jack Williams for his time and wisdom in helping us understand what we need to do as students and staff to ensure the highest level of safety.

We will run a drill this next week to practice what we learned. The first drill we will run is a lockout drill. This drill consists of locking the exterior of the building so no one can enter or exit the building until we give the all clear. If you happen to arrive at the building we will have a poster hanging out front informing parents and students that we are running a drill.

Last Reminder for Monday.....

On Monday September 19th (week of Homecoming) We are celebrating Mustache Monday! Students will be able to purchase a mustache for $1

This is your chance to rock a mustache for the day at GCIS! All funds raised will go to our Collabratory supplies! What a great way to support our school and learning all while sharing a few giggles!

Students can bring their money starting next week! Students need to bring money to the office and they will get their mustache on Monday September 19th! If you have any additional questions please call the office!

Parents & PBL


Below is a fantastic link for parents to explore about Project Based Learning (PBL) and how we might utilize YOU the parents to support and enhance our PBL experience! Our building goal and focus is to increase real world learning opportunities for students and move towards full blown PBL look to our instruction.

Take a few moments to read, reflect, and provide feedback with our google form below. Your feedback helps us connect and partner with parents in a real-world, engaging way! We would love to partner with you! Thanks in advance for your feedback!

*Read article below, then click HERE to fill out our Parent PBL Google Form.

4th Grade Happenings!

MATH: This week we put our place value skills to work. We learned how to round to the nearest hundred, thousand, etc. all the way up to a million! Next week we are going to continue to build on those skills and discuss estimation.

SCIENCE - The past week in Science has been quite eggciting! We are continuing to work on applying the scientific method to different experiments we do in class. The 4th graders developed questions, made hypotheses, discussed variables, and watched an experiment on how to get a hardboiled egg into a bottle that has a opening that is too small. Ask your child how it was done!

This week we are designing contraptions out of everyday school supplies to protect an egg from breaking after being dropped from the gym balcony. We have discussed our ideas and made our models. Friday is launch day!

READING: We are finishing up our character traits lessons and building our classroom community. We discussed some adjectives we could use to describe a character trait. For example, instead of saying, “My character is nice” we can say, “My character is thoughtful, loving and understanding”. We also connected to our classroom communities by discussing how we want to be kind, welcoming, understanding, etc. at school with our peers. Here is an example of one of the activities we did to build our community- we came up with traits for our classmates and wrote them on their table tops!

We are looking forward to diving into our mysteries unit next week! Don’t forget to remind your child to read at least 20 minutes every night. We appreciate your support so much!
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5th Grade Happenings!

Math: We are continuing to work on area and throwing in some volume. Learning the formulas for both. We are getting better.

Science: We are studying plants this week and how they adapt to their environments. We are also studying the parts of plants and how we use some plant parts as food.

**Picture packets went home this week for all fifth grade so be looking in bags for the order forms.

Lit/SS:In reading we are working on determining context clues through our whole class reading novels. The kids had fun being”detectives,” as we worked on an activity practicing context clues. In Social Studies this week, we are putting our mapping skills into a creative project. The kids are creating and mapping a thematic- fantasy place! Please remind your child to continue their home reading and logging the minutes on their Home reading Tracker.

6th Grade Happenings!

In reading we are finishing up determining importance and are starting to use those skills to write a summary. We spent a couple of days discussing 9/11 and how it affected our country. Thank you to all of you parents who talked with your child about your memories of 9/11. Your input and involvement in your child’s education is greatly appreciated!

In science, we are learning about how and why Earth is constantly changing. Our focus right now is on plate tectonics and the changes that result from the movement of plates.

In math, students are learning about Greatest Common Factors (GCF). Students have been shown multiple ways to determine GCF and are encouraged to use the one that makes the most sense to them.


5th and 6th remember, if you practice you will get better at your instrument faster. Fifteen minutes in one sitting several times through the week is a good start.

6th grade trumpets. I will be looking for volunteers that would be willing to learn “Taps” for Veteran’s Day.

Music Mania

General Music: 5th & 6th

What do memory, rhythm, eye/hand coordination, tempo, reading and math all have in common? Bucket Drumming! Students in grades 5 and 6 are taking basic rhythmic skills taught since Kindergarten and applying them to a Bucket Drumming routine. In this unit they learn teamwork, listening, focus, physical control and inner pulse. I have personally purchased buckets to get the unit started. We would be willing to accept any donations of 5 gallon buckets toward the cause.

4th Grade

They have been working on Posture and Dynamics, the last couple of weeks. This week we studied musical markings of D.S. al CODA and CODA. We added the concept of tempo and applied it in a rhythm stick circle game.

Looking forward… We will begin a recorder unit in November. Be on the lookout for information on ordering a recorder for your child.

Action in PE!

PE classes have been going fast and furious. We wrapped up this week with learning the safety rules of all the outdoor exercise equipment that students are now able to safely use during recess. Also, in class this week, running activities have been our goal, since our fitness pacer test will be coming up in a few weeks.

It's been a pleasure to get back with my students and start building relationships again with them all. I want to share a some some good news I think are interesting after reading a PE article. The good news is; kids who participate in daily PE and activity learn better in other classes. They're less likely to wander off task or zone out completely, and that improved attention and discipline yields higher test scores. I talk a lot about the importance of do a minimum of 60 min of activity daily. Have a good weekend.


Hello from the Art Room! We have rotated with the Life Skills class! We will be switching every three weeks! That way they will be able to have art and life skills throughout the school year! So my new group have started on the name designs! 4th grade is learning about Henri Matisse and making their first name in the style of his art.

5th Grade is making their name in one point perspective to make it look 3D! And finally, 6th grade art is making their name based on the color wheel!

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T.A.G. Update

Letters for TAG students have been sent home to notify parents and as soon as permission slips return, I will start meeting with students! I am also working on setting up a time to meet with high reading students to create a reading enrichment class and a math enrichment class for the high math students who did not qualify for TAG

Tech Lit & Media

If you walk into the library media center you will see our What’s in the Bag? display. Students select one of the mystery bags filled with a book, and check it out to read. He or she doesn’t know what the genre or topic will be. It’s really exciting to watch the students as they open their “mystery” bags

Nurse News!

When do I keep my child home from school? If your child has had a fever in the last 24 hours, has vomiting or diarrhea, does not feel well enough to participate in the activities of the classroom, or you feel they are contagious, they should stay home. A website, https://www.healthychildren.org/, from the American Academy of Pediatrics is a good source of health information for children. The following is a link to a radio broadcast that talks about when to keep your child home from school:


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