GEMS Family Newsletter

May 2022

Upcoming Events

  • Thurs. May 19 - Fri. May 20 - 8th Grade Passages and Student-Led Conferences - No School
  • Thurs. May 26 - 8th Grade Graduation - 6:00pm - at Summit on 16th - 82 E. 16th Ave. 43201
  • Fri. May 27 - Last Day of School - K-4 Field Day/5-8 Zoombezi Bay
  • Wed. June 1 - In Person Enrollment Session at 6:00pm
  • Wed. June 15 - In Person Enrollment Session at 6:00pm
  • Tues. Sept. 6 - First Day of School

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

Important School Information

Lunch Menu - May

GEMS Academic Calendar 21-22

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

GEMS Front Office Summer Hours (starting May 31) - 9:00am-3:00pm

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

Check out TGFS employment opportunities for the 22-23 school year!

Click here for the GEMS employment opportunities.

Click here for TGS employment opportunities.

Click here for TCS@ODU employment opportunities.

Attention GEMS Families

Attendance: Please remember that if your student is absent, you must send a hand-written note or email with the reason for the absence for it to be excused. All undocumented absences are unexcused. This rule also applies when students are tardy in the morning or picked up early. A note explaining the reason for the missed time must be provided in order for it to be excused.

Dismissal changes: Please do your best to notify the office of any changes to your regular dismissal routine by 3:00pm. Of course we understand that last minute changes come up from time to time, but in general, we cannot guarantee timely communication of dismissal changes to your student if they come in after 3:00pm. Thank you for understanding.

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2022-23 Registration - Is your student returning next year?

Your student's spot for next school year is NOT guaranteed until all 2022-23 Annual Registration forms are received.

Already have an account? Use the same login you used for the 2021-22 school year. If you did not create an account last year, you will need to create an account first using the invite code. Your invite code was e-mailed to you this week. This is just for Returning students, New students will be sent registration information soon.

Please contact Wesley Owens, Registrar & Community Outreach Liaison at or 614-253-4000 with questions or to request your invite code.

OneView Login Page:
  • As you set up your account you will be asked to create your own PIN. You will enter your Invite Code in Option 1.
  • Once you enter the site, your student's information should be pre-populated into the forms. Double check that the pre-populated information is correct, fix any incorrect information, complete new information, and then submit. Check each Section.
  • NOTE: Choose Yes or No at the end of each section BEFORE trying to update the information.
  • NOTE: Use the Save and Return button, frequently.
  • Once you have completed all seven parts, select Save and Return THEN Save and Submit to District.

We are asking our families to help with expenses by paying the annual school fee of $35.00. You can pay with credit card, cash, check or money order in person or by mail. You may also pay with a credit card online via the GEMS School Store at this link: GEMS Online Store

Thank you for confirming that your student is returning to GEMS next year!

Order your GEMS Yearbook today! Deadline Fri. May 20!

The 2021-2022 GEMS Yearbook has arrived! Order yours TODAY! Place your order by Friday, May 20th. Each yearbook costs $13. You can pay by cash, check, or on the GEMS online store by credit card.

● If paying by cash or check please click here to print and return your order form to the front office with your payment.

● If you are ordering through the online store, you do not need to print and return the order form. Please click here to order your yearbook on our online store.

Please contact the Front Office at or 614-253-4000 with any questions.

Celebration of Learning and Better World Day - Fri. May 13

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GEMS won the Ohio Auditor of State Award!

This award is presented for excellence in financial reporting in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) and compliance with applicable laws for the fiscal year ended in 2021. Congratulations to our business office team, Cheryl Long, Cathy Baney and Jennifer Smith, treasure.

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GEMS Students Performs with ProMusica at the Southern Theater

Music Program Fundraiser for FlipForm Risers

Katherine Folger, GEMS music teacher is raising money on gofundme to purchase a set of 4 "flipform" risers. These would help our students to have a more authentic performance experience with risers and a stage setting. Even a small donation could help our Music Program reach their fundraising goal. And if you can't make a donation, it would be great if you could share the fundraiser to help spread the word. Click here to learn more.

Charles Evans Graham - Loyal Friend of TGFS Passed Away

A long-time loyal friend of The Graham Family of Schools (TGFS), Charles (Chuck) Evans Graham, died on May 7. A cousin of Eileen Meers, TGFS founder and retired superintendent, Chuck was a great supporter of TGFS for 20 years. He served on our boards, made significant financial contributions, offered counsel, and spoke widely about the worth of our schools to everyone he encountered.

The Charles School is named after him.

He had many sayings that were practical and wise, including frequently saying, "Don't work around a problem." Chuck and his wife Lorna, who passed away in August, were regulars attendees at events that showcased our schools. They will be deeply missed.

Please take this Family-School Relationship Survey!

GEMS needs your help with an anonymous survey. The family survey is an opportunity for you to share how the school can create a more welcoming school environment, support student learning at home, and build lasting partnerships that contribute to student success. Thank you for your help!

Click here to complete the quick survey!

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

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GEMS After School Program

Next year GEMS will continue to offering our K-4 and 5-8 after school program in partnership with Community's in Schools and funded by 21st Century Community Learning Center grant. More information will be available over the summer!

Affordable Connectivity Program

Please check out information and fliers that can be found here from The Ohio Connectivity Champions on the Affordable Connectivity Program. The OCC can support families through the application process. The ACP provides $30 per month discount on internet bills and $100 subsidy for a connected device.

The Webpage for the ACP -

The Webpage for the Ohio Connectivity Champions -

Who Is Eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program?

  • A household is eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program if the household income is at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, or if a member of the household meets at least one of the criteria below:
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider's existing low-income internet program;
  • Participates in one of these assistance programs:
  • The National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision;
  • SNAP
  • Medicaid
  • Federal Public Housing Assistance
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • WIC
  • Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits
  • or Lifeline;

Columbus Summer Opportunities

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Grade Level Updates


Have looked at creatures in the garden and explored nature for our Expedition. We are excited to share our song about what we learned at Celebration of Learning. We will finish the year exploring literacy, math and fun centers to work on sharing, kindness, and transitions to make sure we are ready for First Grade!

First Graders

Are finishing their bird expedition by studying the life cycle of our 6 class chicks! We will finish the year by learning about more animals and preparing for our Student Led Conferences. In math, students are working on measurement while also reviewing important first grade content from the year.

Second Graders

Are practicing counting coins and solving story problems involving coins! In expedition, students are beginning to think like a scientist while exploring the three states of matter. Students are hard at work making a hypothesis and then making observations about what they see and recording their findings to share with others!

Third Graders

Are working on counting money and volume. We have wrapped up our Peter Pan Movie. We are working on Point of View and Persuasive Writing, and preparing for SLCs. We are also doing a fundraiser for books for our classroom! See link here

Fourth Graders

Are completing case studies of famous Revolutionary War figures such as Abigail Adams, John Hancock, and Ethan Allen. During these case studies students are practicing writing in RACE writing to answer extended response questions in a detailed manner while also providing in-text evidence. RACE writing means (R)estate (A)nswer (C)ite Text Evidence and (E)xplain.

In Math we are continuing our unit on money. Students are working on being able to differentiate between coins, keeping a budget, and working on finance related math problems.

Fifth Graders

Are working on the creation of our persuasive essays on whether or not the Columbus Zoo should have its Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accreditation.

In Science, students are debating whether or not zoos should exist. Students are creating their own decisions based on the information on the pros and cons.

In math, students are learning about reading and correctly plotting on coordinate planes.

Sixth Graders

Are finishing our engineering design project and creating a prototype of a hand that should be able to lift different types of objects. In math we are doing various math challenges to practice our problem solving skills!

In Humanities, students are reading primary and secondary sources to analyze the origin, symptoms, and the impacts the Black Plague had on the world. Students will be creating an illustration to demonstrate the knowledge they learned.

Seventh Graders

Are finishing their vernal pool comic strip final product in humanities and science class. Each student researched an organism that lives in vernal pools, as well as threats they face in the environment. They learned about ways we can help protect these organisms and safely explore vernal pools.

Students are excited to share what they learned at our celebration of learning. In humanities class we will end the year with a unit on the Harlem Renaissance and poetry.

Eight Graders

Soon will be graduating and going to high school. It has been a pleasure working with every one of your children. In preparation for the end of the school year, please be mindful that there are some important documents coming home within the next few weeks. The information will tell you about 8th grade passages presentations, student graduation details, and our class trip to Zoombezi Bay. We look forward to celebrating your children with you in these coming weeks!

In humanities, students are finishing Micahael Pollan’s “The Omnivore's Dilemma”, and working on their final expedition project for Food Justice called What’s In a Story?. Students are writing children's books on the inequalities in America’s food system in hopes to teach younger generations about the importance of equality within all systems. They are also learning about; what Slavery, the Civil War and Industrial Revolution all have in common as they take a final look at America before the 1900s. Lastly, students will participate in a Real World simulation to help them better understand people, and hopefully put themselves in other’s shoes in preparation for high school.

K-4 Art

We are wrapping up the year with some exciting fun projects! For 4th grade’s history project students will be creating portraits of a historical figure they are studying in an anime/comic book style. 3rd grade is getting an introduction to clay and are creating their very own, unique coil bowl. 2nd graders are moving on from bees in their list of pollinators to multimedia hummingbirds. First grade is moving onto landscapes and will create beautiful beach scenes. We recently have been working on some mosaics! Kindergarten is looking at all things creepy crawly as we investigate creatures of the garden! We are so proud to display their beautiful caterpillars for the Celebration of Learning!

5-6 Art

We are cooking up some amazing 3-D food projects to create an Incredible Inedible Art display for our Celebration of Learning!

K-4 Music

We are finishing the school year with some composition and creativity! In 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade we are wrapping up our keyboard unit and composing our own music for the keyboard. In 1st grade we are working on songs related to the ocean and summer time. We are also composing our own class song called “At the Beach”. We are using our knowledge of musical form to create this song! In kindergarten we are creating a musical garden where each creature and part of the garden has a musical quality.

7-8 PE

We will finish our last unit - Flag Football. We’re learning different skills, drills, positions and techniques related to football. The students took a skills assessment this week. And will get the opportunity to make up or edit any assignments/assessments.


8th grade families: now is the time to make final 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

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 ASAP.

  • 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 Wesley Owens 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.

Grade Level Documentation Panels

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

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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!

More Free Covid-19 Tests

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

Covid-19 Vaccine Locations:

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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."