Better Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

Volume 3, December 15, 2019

The Survey Says...

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New Campus, New Logo

After polling all students and allowing every family a vote on the school logo, the colorful tree will be representing our Geist Montessori Academy school family as we continue to grow Better Together!

Flipping for Flapjacks!

The Pancake Breakfast was a fun-filled, family morning! It was great to see such fellowship, and I loved getting to meet so many families. A special thank you is extended to all of the volunteers who made this event possible and to our former students, Colleen and Jess Marshall, for flipping some delicious pancakes!

PTO, we truly appreciate ALL that you do!

A Note From Our Front Office Staff

Please remember that if your child is sick, GMA school policy states that your child should be fever-free, no diarrhea, and no vomiting for 24 hours.
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Bundle Up and Stay Informed!

It was so wonderful to see our darlings all bundled up and enjoying some fresh air this week. As inclement weather approaches, please watch local news’ stations and check your emails for delays and cancellations. We will post all 2-hour delays and cancellations on local news’ stations, email, Facebook, and Geist Montessori Academy's website.
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Ms. Lydia's Art and PE Review

For the past couple of weeks, we have been learning about the Visual Art Element of Pattern, the Principles of Balance & Unity, and the different types of symmetry . We’ve expressed these ideas in the form of origami mandalas. “Mandala” is a Sanskrit word meaning “circle” which is traditionally used as a spiritual aid in several eastern religions.

We have been using the meticulous Japanese art of paper folding to create our own spiritual symbols from Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, and Shintoism, which is a great process for students to explore meditation, focused attention, and reflection. Mandalas are representative of the vast and intricate universe, within, and without.

This semester in PE, we have had lots of refreshing time outdoors engaging in team and individual activities. We have had fun playing a variety of games such as dodgeball, soccer, tumbling, “everyone’s ‘it’ tag”, yoga, dance, and many other activities that we’ve creatively built together.

With the weather about to get very cold, we are so excited to move into our new facility where we will have space and equipment for basketball, hockey, volleyball, etc. We have practiced and continue to improve on our mental goals of teamwork, good sportspersonship, leadership, problem-solving, along with physical goals such as coordination, stamina, flexibility, and strategic thinking.

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radial symmetry snowflake by Leo Ke in Ms. Meagan’s class

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PTO Teacher Appreciation Lunch: Thursday, December 19th

Dear Parents,

We have such amazing teachers and staff that help keep our community happy and strong. Let's show them some food love by providing lunch as they help our kiddos finish the semester strong, get ready for a nice break, and prepare for our big move. Please sign up for a food item and help show our teachers and staff how much we appreciate them.

Please have items to school by 11 AM or during morning car line.

​ Sign up for North Campus teacher appreciation meal:

Sign up for South Campus teacher appreciation meal:

Thank you for your help!


A Word From the PTO by: Abby Strong

Hello Families,

I just wanted to send out an email to everyone as the year comes to an end. We are so close to moving into our new building with all our new space. I asked the teachers if they had wish lists for their classrooms. It seems that most teachers need bigger items: bookshelves, rugs, tables and chairs, and some smaller things, as well. If you like to buy things for your teachers during the holidays, consider giving them an Amazon gift card or money to put towards these items. Several of them have Amazon Wish lists or items they could purchase on the site.

A few teachers have sent me specific items, and you can always ask them for more details or maybe something more specific or even a different store. It is nice to give something they need and the children will use.

Ms. Verena’s Classroom: (She included pictures that I can send out if any of these items interest you.)

storage shelves for the closet

area rugs (5X7 or larger) 1-2- gray or navy blue

book shelves -4

classroom tables- 2

headphones (any kind but I included some examples)

an electronic pencil sharpener (heavy duty! :) )

soccer equipment - goals and a couple of new balls

board games and puzzles


Ms. Debra’s Classroom:

shelving (for our new closet)

comfy chairs (saucer chairs etc.) and pillows

classroom rug(s)

Ms. Kathy’s Classroom

Ms. Meagan’s Classroom

Sassafras Wish List

Ms. Leslie’s Classroom

Cookies and Cocoa!

There are so many exciting new developments at the new campus, and we are eager to be together, for we are better together!

There will be a classroom "Sneak Peek" offered at the new campus on Wednesday, January 8, from 6:00-7:00 p.m. This open house format will allow students to see their new classrooms before coming to school on Thursday, January 9. Be sure to check out the gym and enjoy some Cookies and Cocoa with the PTO.

New Car Rider Line Procedures

Our new campus is almost ready! We are getting so excited to move the school family under one roof. To help with a smooth transition, there will be a Parent Education Night on December 18th, at 6 p.m., at the North Campus. Come learn about the new school’s car rider line and safety procedures.

Putting the Pieces Together with our new controller, Jack Colwell

Meet our Creative Controller: Jack Colwell

1. What three traits define you?

Honesty, Hardworking, people person.

2. What would you like to be your greatest accomplishment?

That my kids would consider me a good parent and my wife consider me a good husband.

3. What's one thing you could not live without?

Oxygen. Oh, wait . . family.

4. What is the one thing you cannot resist?

Jelly beans.

5. What is your favorite thing to do?

Go to movies and dinner with my wife or family.

6. Where is the most interesting place you've traveled to and why?

Maui, snorkeling off the side of the road in the amazing coral and diving in the ocean among the whales.

7. Who is your biggest inspiration?

There isn’t just one particular person who inspires me. I inspire myself daily, but the input from countless leaders, authors, friends and family provide different inspirations at different times. Mentors come from all areas of life and inspire me in those respective areas. I’m inspired more by truth and principle than any one person.

8. What advice do you have for students?

While the effort you give at school may sometimes seem like a waste of time, it builds valuable skills you may not even realize you are developing. It’s like a puzzle. You start putting the pieces together, but the full picture isn’t clear until after you see most or all the pieces in their proper place. Then the value of each piece is recognized. Education is the same way. Each day you work on one piece of the big picture that will only become visible when most of the pieces are in place. You have to put your trust in your teachers and parents who can see which of your pieces are still missing and can help you find and put them in place. Learning is a skill in itself. We never stop learning, so our puzzle will always be expanding.

9. How do you define success?

Success for me is simple. It’s not related to money, fame, or power. Success is simply that others can say you were kind and honest in all you did. It’s that you treat others fairly and with empathy and those around you can attest to those traits about you.

10. What is your favorite song and why?

Carol of the Bells, specifically from Home Alone. I just love the tempo. Any music with a good base layer (think Avi of Pentatonix). Also male falsetto voices (Adam Levine) and good female voices (Mariah in the old days). So I guess it’s less a song and more a tone for me.

11. What is your favorite Montessori quote or principle?

“The child who has never learned to work by himself, to set goals for his own acts, or to be the master of his own force of will is recognizable in the adult who lets others guide his will and feels a constant need for approval of others.”

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Family Feature: Meet the Colwell Family

1. What do you enjoy to do together?

Travel around the country, movies, eating out

2. Grade and areas of interest for your children inside and outside of school?

Blaine: (graduated GMA 8th 4 years ago) – He enjoys musical instruments, violin, piano (anything with strings), computer programming, and security. He currently teaches cybersecurity and coding at The Eleven Fifty Academy.

Hunter: Now a Junior, homeschooled, GMA 6th grade with Ms. Kathy. He enjoys bike riding and online games with friends, history, and science.

Paris: 8th Grade; she enjoys roller skating, hula hooping, drawing, math, and science.

Sophia: 5th grade; she enjoys drawing, crafting, roller skating, science, and learning about and helping with Fritz.

Riley: 3rd grade, He enjoys Pokémon, Legos, hanging out with Sophia, geography, culture, and science.

3. What do you like most about GMA?

We like the family atmosphere / community feel and how it fosters independence in learning. GMA makes learning fun. Learning happens at school and teaches our children time management with more opportunity to interact and collaborate with peers in class.

4. How long have you been GMA family members?

6 years, 5 students, all grade levels, two graduated from 8th grade

5. Do you have any pets or hobbies?

Fish (only one now). We enjoy going to museums and playing board and card games.

6. Do you have any favorite holiday traditions?

Our favorite tradition is getting together all day on the holiday for food, family and fun (extended family), as well as driving to look at the lights in parks and neighbors. We also enjoy helping at Good Samaritan activities in Hamilton County.

NWEA MAP Growth Assessments

Recently, your child took a MAP® Growth™ test from NWEA® on a computer or tablet. MAP Growth scores help teachers check student performance by measuring achievement and growth. Teachers use results to tailor classroom lessons and set goals with students.

MAP Growth tests are unique, and they adapt to your child’s responses in order to measure your child’s skill level. If your child answers a question correctly, the next question is more challenging. If s/he answers incorrectly, the next one is easier. These results will provide a more complete picture of what your child knows and is ready to learn—whether it is on, above, or below grade level.

Based upon the results, students will set goals within their classroom and assess their strengths and opportunities for improvement. The NWEA results will be going home with the students’ second quarter progress reports on Friday, December 20.

We are truly excited to focus on your child’s individual growth and achievement. For more information about MAP Growth, visit

Thank You, School Board!


Nick Wright – President | Kirby Durham – Secretary | Uriah Ellis – Treasurer

Lacey Willard – At-Large Member | Andrew Cavallaro – At-Large Member

The Board approved many items, such as:

  • a school nurse be added to the staff
  • guidance department curriculum will be purchased
  • learning labs will be coming soon
  • $10,000 for lockers will be funded by the middle school business class, and $722.40 will be paid by the Board.
  • a new school time starting in January, 8:30-3:30

Enjoy some learning in action

Absent Work Policy

In order to preserve the importance and value of learning as a school family, it is an expectation that make-up work is made available and completed by all absent students, whether the child is absent for a day or for weeks. This reinforces the importance and value of our time learning at school, while also staying true to the Montessori Method and keeping the community of learners connected to one another, even while apart. The concept is very similar to the eLearning days.

If a student is absent for more than one day, similar works will be placed at the front desk (labeled with student’s name, teacher’s name, and date) by 3:00 p.m. for family members to come and pick up. If you would rather receive the materials/lessons via email, please contact your child's teacher. Since the Montessori Method has many hands-on learning experiences, your child's teacher will customize the learning based on a home environment and personalize the lessons for your child. If a child has a prearranged absence, all work will be sent home prior to the absence. Please give your child's teacher plenty of notice and do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions or need further explanation.

Upcoming Events

December 18: Parent Education Night: Car Rider Line, 6:00 p.m., North Campus

December 19: PTO Teacher Appreciation Luncheon

December 20: Progress Reports, eLearning Work, and NWEA results sent home

December 21-January 6: Winter Break: Enjoy your time with your loved ones!

January 7-8: eLearning Days

January 8: Sneak Peek, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Cookies and Cocoa

January 9: First Day for the GMA staff and students to be together: Better Together!

Calendar Change: eLearning Days Coming Soon!

With the transition and move into the new GMA building, there will be two eLearning Days in January: Tuesday, January 7 and Wednesday, January 8.

Per Indiana Department of Education, "eLearning Days have given the option for continuing an instructional day away from traditional time limits and brick and mortar setting. This innovative program has evolved into an engaging instructional model used in many Indiana schools to keep the sequence of learning going in spite of weather and other challenges. More importantly, it has provided teachers and students the opportunity to engage with digital resources, to collaborate virtually, and to develop digital skills that are used and valued beyond K-12."

Please enjoy the eLearning PowerPoint Presentation by Mr. Logan, presented on October 3 to explain the process:

Additionally, please find the attached board policy pertaining to eLearning Days.

Busy Time of Year

It's a busy time of year; please help your child learn the value of time management and be prompt in dropping off and picking up your child.

May wonder and awe warm your hearts and spirits during this blessed and joyous season.

Meet Geist Montessori Academy's Executive Director: Cindy Schuler

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