GEMS Family Newsletter

February 2022

Upcoming Events

  • Mon. Feb. 21 - No School - President's Day
  • Tues. Feb. 22 - Produce Drive Thru at TCS@ODU - 4:00-6:00pm
  • Wed. Feb. 23 at 6:00pm - Virtual Enrollment Session - click here to join
  • Wed. March 9 at 6:00pm - In Person Enrollment Session
  • Thurs. March 17 - No School - PD Day
  • Fri. March 18 - No School - Front Office Closed
  • Wed. March 23 - In Person Enrollment Session

Haga clic en "Translate" (Traducir) a la derecha para ver esto en español.

Important School Information

Breakfast/Lunch Menu - Feb.

GEMS Academic Calendar 21-22 - Updated - No School on March 17 - PD Day


GEMS Front Office is open 8:00am-5:00pm

If your student is absent please e-mail the Front Office at

Check out TGFS employment opportunities!

Click here for TGS employment opportunities.

Click here for TCS@ODU employment opportunities.

Attention GEMS Families

Reporting Absences: If your student is absent, or has been absent, please send a written excuse to

The lost and found is once again piling up with jackets, coats, and other cold-weather items. Please label your student’s belongings, it makes it easier to find the owner of lost items.

Have you completed your Free/Reduced Lunch Application

It is essential for every family to complete the Free/Reduced Lunch application every year. This information directly effects school funding and resources.

Click here to print the application. After you print and complete the application it can be mailed or scanned, OR dropped off at the front desk. Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00am-

Have you completed the Tech Needs Survey?

Please take a moment to fill out our brief Tech Needs Survey. This will help us better ensure that all students have access to curriculum both at home and at school. Thank you so much!

Click here to complete the survey!

3rd Grade Trip to Sharon Woods Metro Park

GEMS third grade students have been learning how frogs adapt to their environment to survive. Recently, they were able to meet a tree frog and other animals from Sharon Woods Metro Park.

Heart Health Week

February 14-18 is Heart Health Week at GEMS. In partnership with the American Heart Association’s Kids Heart Challenge, our students will learn about healthy living through classroom and home resources and physical activity. Students also have the opportunity to fundraise and earn prizes. Look for your student’s Kid’s Heart Challenge envelope for more details on this program that can also help GEMS earn new physical activity equipment! The campaign will end March 11th.

Free Produce Drive Thru at The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University - 1270 Brentell Ave. Columbus 43219

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Free Covid-19 Tests

Click here to complete the online form to request free at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government.

Covid-19 Vaccine Locations:

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Grade Level Updates


Will be introduced to the calendar and the days of the week. They will learn characteristics of weather and the four seasons, and discover connections between them. They will also explore the world of color, and meet inventor Benjamin Franklin and artist Georges Seurat.

First Graders

Have started a new expedition unit- Growing as Researchers: Birds’ Amazing Bodies. During this unit, we will use the guiding question, “What makes a bird a bird?” as we study the characteristics of birds and grow as researchers. In math, students are working on using a variety of strategies to add and subtract within 20. While adding within 20, students will continue to work on using related facts and combinations that make 10 to increase fluency. It is helpful if students keep practicing their math facts within 10 at home as we focus on adding bigger numbers!

Second Graders

Are continuing to dive into fossils. We are learning about the fossilization process and all that paleontologists do for work. We are writing and doing lots of good research.

We are working on place value in math. Learning how to write numbers in expanded form as well as three digit numbers (200+40+9 or 249). We are building our knowledge of number lines and base 10.

Third Graders

Are starting a new expedition starring Peter Pan. Students will be making connections between each chapter and focusing on historical context. Our Freaky Frog final project will be coming home. In crew we will be taking part in heart health week with lots of fun activities to get those hearts beating! Students have been diving into fractions and learning how to match equivalent fractions as well as plot on a number line.

Fourth Graders

Word problems, word problems, word problems! In math, we are using our knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division to solve problems while using our knowledge of words to break down the problems, making them easier to solve! Decimals are next!

Fifth Graders

In math, students have been working on multiplying unit and non-unit fractions together. They will be taking these skills and continuing to strengthen them as we move into dividing fractions. In science, we will be starting our expedition. We will learning about how different types of animals get their energy, how energy flows through living things along with making our own food webs.

Sixth Graders

In Humanities students are working on learning about Black History Month. Students will be learning about a variety of people and events to prepare for a research project on an influential person in Black History to create a dictionary of Black History. In math we will be exploring the world of decimals and how we use them in our everyday lives. In science we continue our exploration of cells and what role they play in the human body system.

Seventh Graders

Are finishing recording our podcasts from our first expedition. We started reading The Giver and are talking about utopias versus dystopias.

Eight Graders

Are beginning our unit on current events and informative writing. Later in the month we will begin our new expedition and a unit on The American Revolution.

K-4 Music

Are starting our Representation unit! Classes are learning about black artists from around the world and the music they create! 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade are continuing the ukulele unit. We are learning to transition smoothly through chords we know and play and sing at the same time using different strumming patterns. 1st grade is working on mapping rhythms and melodies on the 1 line music staff. Kindergarten is working on matching words to rhythms and learning songs about weather!

K-4 Art

This month in Art we are improving our skills as an artist as we focus on craftsmanship and quality in all of our grades. In kindergarten we are going to move into printmaking as we explore more about the weather. 1st, we’ve been working on our observation skills. We are working our way up to our projects for their bird expedition! In 2nd, we have been wrapping up our loom weaving this week so we can move into our mixed media unit. 3rd is almost done with their frog drawings and will be learning all about paper mache next. 4th graders have been learning how to add value to their drawings as we investigate the art of optical illusions. This is great practice as we prepare for their animal expedition.

7-8 PE

I am so happy to be working with the 7-8th grade cohorts! This was our first week together and we focused on classroom norms/expectations and Habit targets. Next week, we will start Unit 1 which will be on team building.


8th grade families: now is the time to make decisions about high school! If you have questions or need help choosing a high school or figuring out applications, please reach out to Sydney Frazier (5-8 school counselor) at

All families: Check out this Mental Fitness Challenge from the Nationwide Children’s On Our Sleeves Program, supporting children’s mental health. Keeping our brains in shape is just as important as physical fitness – try out some of these easy tips with your family!

Calling all GEMS 8th Grade Families!

NOW is the time!

  • If you are considering enrolling your 8th-grade student at The Graham School (TGS) or The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University (TCS@ODU) please complete an online application before March 5, 2022.

  • Your family MUST complete an application to be considered for enrollment.

  • Completing an online application does NOT:

    • commit your student to attend OR

    • complete their enrollment for either high school.

  • GEMS students are not guaranteed placement at either TGS or TCS@ODU.

  • Use the following links to complete an online application:

  • If you’d like a paper application for either school please contact GEMS at 614-253-4000 to have the 2022-23 application mailed out to you.

  • Virtual Enrollment Information Sessions are offered Wednesdays at 6:00pm at The Graham School and The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University.

When you shop at Kroger, and/or Amazon you can help GEMS raise money for expeditions!


Go to: or call 1-800-837-4483 to enroll in the program. Add GEMS to your card. You can search for GEMS by name or use our school code: FD086. Shop! Every time you shop and use your Kroger Rewards Card GEMS gets rebates. Kroger totals those rebates and sends GEMS a check.

Amazon Smile

When you make a purchase on Amazon Smile they will donate 0.5% of your total purchase to GEMS. Go to to get started!

Do you know anyone who might be interested in attending GEMS? Please share this information!

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EL Education

Our partnership with EL Education empowers our teachers to unleash the potential of their students. EL Education is built on ten design principles that reflect the educational values and beliefs of Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound and co-founder of EL Education. These principles also reflect the design's connection to other related thinking about teaching, learning, and the culture of schools. The 10 design principles are: The Primacy of Self-Discovery, The Having of Wonderful Ideas, The Responsibility for Learning, Empathy and Caring, Success and Failure, Collaboration and Competition, Diversity and Inclusion, The Natural World, Solitude and Reflection, Service and Compassion.

GEMS School-wide Title 1

GEMS is a School-wide Title 1 program, enabling us to receive Federal Funds to ensure that our students receive the support they need to reach and exceed grade level goals particularly in reading and math. We welcome parent involvement in planning, review and improvement of Title 1 programs. Please contact Debbie Addison at with any questions.


Per House Bill 21 community schools are required to perform a monthly review of student files and randomly select families for residency verification. Please contact the school immediately in case of an address change. Proof of residency must be submitted within two weeks of an address change. If evidence is not provided, requests for additional documentation or a home visit may occur.

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"This institution is an equal opportunity provider."