Better Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 22: May 10, 2020

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Aloha GMA School Family!

As the waves lap against the shoreline of the 2019-2020 school year, ALOHA seems so apropos! Aloha means hello, goodbye, and I love you~ our goodbye is just the beginning of our next chapter’s hello, and my love for our GMA school family continues to grow.

It has been such a privilege and pleasure getting to know all of you this year. Some of you and your loved ones have just joined our school family, some are transitioning into the next grade level, and still others are graduating altogether. Rooted in GMA values, we know that wherever you go, you will continue to thrive as you branch out and share your gifts and talents, spreading joy and peace, the GMA way.

For those who are continuing on with us, we will be offering supportive summer learning, so look for more information about this later in the newsletter. Our care and concern for one another remains constant and steady. Wherever you are on the journey, may sunny days, filled with love and wonder, awash your shores this summer!


Cindy Schuler

Executive Director

Geist Montessori Academy

(317) 813-4626

Of all things, love is the most potent.

-Maria Montessori

Shining like Stars!

“Imagination does not become great until human beings, given the courage and the strength, use it to create.”

Maria Montessori

Enjoy the sharing of gifts and talents with GMA's Virtual Talent Show!

Virtual Talent Show 2020

The human hand allows the mind to reveal itself. -Maria Montessori

Flipping over FREE summer support

GMA is flipping over FREE tutoring for our students!

In order to best support our students over the summer months, we will be offering one-on-one tutoring for FREE!

Though we are still unable to meet face-to-face, we will be offering ZOOM lessons to support our students during the month of June. Sessions will range in time, subject matter, and quantity based on student need, teacher input, and what works best with your child's schedule. Students who are being recommended for services will be contacted by Friday, May 15.

If you are not notified by Friday and would like for your child to be tutored, please email me at Cindy Schuler,

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Always having a ball with our teachers and Moms!

Happy Teacher Appreciation Week and Happy Mother's Day!

A special thank you goes out to all of our AMAZING GMA teachers and moms for their time, effort, and dedication to their loved ones and our school family! Your creativity, love, and compassion shines brightly every day, and with you, we always have a ball!

We appreciate all of you and all that you do!

Happy Nurse's Day!

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Notes from the Nurse: End of the Year Housekeeping


By now, some of you have received a letter in the mail regarding your child’s immunization status. I appreciate your help in getting all of their records up to date. For those of you who did not receive something, I will still need a new copy of your child’s current immunization status prior to the start of next school year. You can mail this to the school or email it to me at If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me. I am happy to help!!

Medications at School

When we parted ways back in March, I had no idea that we would not be returning to school this year. If your child has a prescription medication, Epi Pen, Inhaler or other medication that you need ASAP, please reach out to me to arrange a time to pick it up. Once restrictions lift and the school decides it is safe, I may have a pickup day where those medications can be retrieved. All over the counter medications, unless they are picked up, will be discarded. New procedures for medications at school are in place for next year and will enhance the safety of administering them at school.

COVID Updates

Just a reminder that keeping well visits (once they are available again) is important for tracking your child’s growth, development and ensuring those immunizations stay on track. All doctor’s offices are following specific COVID protocols to ensure everyone is safe. I know is can be scary to take your child out during this time, but clinics are following proper cleaning procedures and following CDC recommendations, such as wearing masks and washing hands to keep the germs at bay. In some sense of the matter, this is our new way of life for now. Please do what is right for your family! As your school nurse, I am already looking ahead to the next school year and planning out how I can best take care of our student’s during a pandemic.

We are in the home stretch and you all have done an AMAZING job! Hang in there and again, if you need any help with medical needs or questions, please reach out to me at

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the fabulous mamas in our GMA family!


Nurse Joy

WE dig our School Board!

Thank you, School Board, for building such an amazing school family and facility!

Our sincere appreciation is extended to our amazing school board for their service to GMA this past year. Our president, Nick Wright, vice president, Kirby Durham, treasurer Uriah Ellis, and members-at-large, Lacey Willard and Andrew Cavallaro, have contributed countless hours behind the scenes to ensure the best for our school family.

The dedication, passion, and time they devote to build a better Geist Montessori Academy is extraordinary, and we are so grateful for them and all that they do! Due to social distancing, there will be no School Board Meeting in May.

We look forward to our continued partnership, as we continue to dig in and bring new heights to GMA: Working together for the better!

Mr. Michael's End of the Year Video: GMA

Counselor's Corner

GMA Families!

There is only one week of school left! It is so hard to believe that the school year is already coming to a close. Summer is right around the corner! Since I have not been able to see all students in person, I created a video for GMA students! I am sad that the school year is ending with the pandemic, but when we get back to school next year, it will be so nice to see all of the student's smiling faces! As for the pandemic, I know that places are planning to open up again soon and many places already have, but make sure to continue to stay safe and enforce good hand washing! If there is anything I can do to help over the next week or over the summer time, let me know! Stay safe and have a great last week of school!


Michael Skiles

Geist Montessori Academy

School Counselor

317-813-4626 EXT: 104

Social Emotional Resources:Social Emotional Learning Resources related to Covid-19

Resources to support you and your family:

Supportive Strategies by Ms. Peg: A puzzling strategy

A Puzzling Strategy

The word support as a verb has four meanings - to take care of, to defend, to endure, and to hold up. Do these definitions sound like what you’ve been doing over the last several weeks? Of course it does! All of us have felt inadequate at some point which is expected given the uncertainty of our world, but you have done the best you can do to care for, endure and hold up for your children. I enjoy word puzzles so I created one here for you to do. I spelled out the word support below using synonyms for the word - with one exception. Can you find the word that doesn’t belong?

S - shore up

U - underpin

P - prop

P - promote

O - oppose

R - reinforce

T - tolerate

Did you find it? The correct answer for this puzzle is O - oppose. All of the other words in this list help us understand what it means to be supportive. Read through the list again and reflect on how you have lived out these “supportive” words in your life. In order for a team, family, school, or any other important relationship to remain supportive, we can not live in opposition to one another. Maria Montessori wrote,

“Preventing conflicts is the work of politics; establishing peace is the work of education.”—Education and Peace

As we bring this school year to a close, may we be a people who truly support one another and strive for peace in our home, work and family life. Have a safe and relaxing summer!

Surf Student Progress on Friday, May 22

Students have been diving in and learning at new depths this year!

Surf your child's progression on May 22, when the progress reports will be sent home.

Hi, it’s Ms Jeanie from beside GMA: Shultz Ditch!

Hi, it’s Ms. Jeanie again; this time from the bank of Shultz’ Ditch beside our school. Today I’m going to put in some plants on the edge of the water. You were going to help, but that would be unsafe now that we need to social distance. There will be other times for you to plant. So, for now I will show you what I will be planting and tell you why.

Look how long that flower is. What helper could drink obedient plant nectar and spread the pollen? Hummingbird can reach in with their long bills and tongues. Bumblebees climb right in to drink from them also. In the picture do you see that there are many flower buds, but only some are open now? When those have been pollinated, the buds above them will open, then the next up, all the way to the top. They can get help from the pollinators and, in return, the pollinators get food for weeks. Win/win.

Next is another of my favorite plants, the swamp milkweed. That’s a horrible name for such a pretty flower. But the latin name is even worse (“meat colored”). So what would you call it? Butterflies and bees love to drink its nectar, but the special relationship is with monarch butterflies.

Remember that plants get energy from the sun and share it with animals. Well, that’s a polite way of saying that animals, caterpillars in this case, eat the plants. No plant wants to be eaten, at least not very much. So they develop different ways to protect themselves. The milkweed makes a glue and a poison.

A very few insects have, after thousands of years, found a way to keep from getting hurt. The monarch is one that knows how to avoid the superglue-like milkweed sap. The caterpillar goes up to the main rib of the leaf and bites it so that the sap drains out. Then the caterpillar can eat the tips of the leaf without getting too sticky.

Milkweed leaves have a second defense, poison. The monarch caterpillar eats the poison in the leaves, but uses it to make himself poisonous to birds. Birds need caterpillars to feed to their babies, but they quickly learn that those bright monarch caterpillars make them sick. So birds don’t eat monarchs. The poison protects the caterpillar!

The milkweed limits how many things can eat its leaves.
The monarch keeps from being eaten by birds.
Win, win.

Have you noticed that there are a lot of these win/win connections between native plants and animals?
Can you remember the relationships between the sycamore tree and the oriole and owls?
What about the Dutchman’s breeches and queen bees and ants?
Between tree roots and fungus?

Practically all plants have special relationships with certain insects and animals that they have developed over thousands of years. Each plant needs its special helpers. Each animal needs certain plants.

Did you ever hear the phrase “Build it and they will come.”? That’s what we’re doing at the ditch. I’m putting in the plants hoping that their special helpers will come. Do you think it will work?

It’s time to go plant some more flowers. I’ll tell you about them next time. Take care!

Montessori Resources

Whole School Resources for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Special Needs

Online Learning Platforms

Primary (3-6)

Elementary (6-12)

Resources to stretch thinking

Digital media collections

  • PBS Learning Media has tens of thousands of state curriculum-aligned digital learning resources. Integrates with Google Classroom and Remind.

Literature comes alive with Kidlit TV

  • Kidlit TV has videos and podcasts with authors and illustrators. The site also provides activity ideas, including the annual nationwide video contest, 90 Second Newbery Film Festival, which is open to students of all ages.

Open source books and online libraries featuring works from around the world.

Reading lists by grade

  • Mensa for Kids Excellence in Reading Program is a free program open internationally to any and all readers under 18 years of age (Grades k-12), their teachers, and librarians. The program encourages students to read to the level of their ability or interest, regardless of age or grade level.

Virtual museums and operas

  • Click here for a list of museums throughout the world who have opened a google virtual tour.

National Association for Gifted Children

  • NAGC has compiled an extensive list of eLearning resources for the gifted learner, family, and teacher.

Online courses and video lessons

  • Crash Course, an online youtube channel started by Hoosier native John Green and his brother, Hank, has 15 courses with up to 75 video lessons for each. Lessons are geared for the middle and high school student.

  • Crash Course for Kids follows the same format as Crash Course but with elementary level content.

Thinking skills practice

Industry outreach and virtual connections

Nepris has an incredible selection of videos from industry experts.

Enrollment/ Registration scheduled for late may

GMA is in the process of developing a new online enrollment system through PowerSchool. This new platform will be used for many educational features for next school year, such as attendance and progress reports. The enrollment option will be the first roll-out of PowerSchool, and this will occur in late May for all current and new students. We look forward to this enhanced platform, and aim to open the enrollment May 18-May 31.

Summer Share

Better Together: Padlet to Share Ideas/Learning

Stay connected to one another this summer and share your ideas!

Please feel free to share photos, ideas, or other positive items to this site. You can upload items by clicking on the + sign. This is a fun way that we can all stay connected as a supportive and caring community. I look forward to the posts during the summer months, and thank you for sharing!

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working together for the better!

Meet Geist Montessori Academy's Executive Director: Cindy Schuler

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New Phone Number: (317) 813-4626 and Address

Please take note; our new school family has a


(317) 813-4626


6058 W. 900 N.

McCordsville, IN 46055

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