GEMS Family Newsletter

November 2020

Important Semester 1 Schedule Updates

Due to the recent trend upward in COVID-19 cases in Ohio and Governor DeWine urging all Ohioans to limit and cancel gatherings of people, GEMS will remain in virtual learning mode at least through the first semester, which ends on January 15. We will communicate proactively about plans for learning during the second semester as it approaches.

We understand that the challenges of supporting your student’s learning at home and working are significant. If there are ways we can support your student or family please reach out to one of our counselors or the front office at or 614-253-4000.

We all look forward to the day when we can return to in-person learning and we urge everyone in our community to do their part by wearing a mask, physical distancing, and staying home if you’re not feeling well or have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

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Upcoming Events

  • Wednesday, November 18 at 6:00pm - Virtual Enrollment Information Session
  • Sunday, November 22 - Saturday, December 5 - Scholastic Book Fair - click here to order
  • Monday, November 23 - Tuesday, November 24 - No School - PD Days - K-8 Student Led Conferences
  • Wednesday, November 25 - Friday, November 27 - No School - Thanksgiving Break
  • Wednesday, December 9 at 6:00pm - Virtual Enrollment Information Session

Meal Pick Up During Virtual Learning

We have received exciting news that all students qualify for free breakfast and lunch from GEMS from now until the end of December. No paperwork is needed, but we do need to know if you are interested in picking up meals so that we can schedule weekly times for you to come to the building to pick up the food. You can let us know you are interested by calling the school (614-253-4000) or emailing us at This is only for students enrolled at GEMS. Food portions will not be provided for siblings.

Free Internet Hot Spots Available Now for All Students Eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch!

Through a partnership with the Educational Service Center of Central Ohio and PCs For People we are offering free Internet Hot Spots to all families eligible for free or reduced lunch. If you are eligible, please visit the school during regular office hours (8:00am-3:00pm) to pick up a hot spot to improve internet access for student Chromebooks. Click here to complete a Free and Reduced lunch application. Please contact the front desk (614-253-4000) with any questions.

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. If you enrolled last year you must re-enroll each year to help GEMS. 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.


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

Updated COVID Policies

We wanted to take a moment to remind you of our COVID policies upon entering our premises, as well as update you on a new policy. Any visitor or staff member entering the building will be required to have their temperature taken and logged.

All of our buildings have contactless thermometers that will be sanitized between each use. If you have any questions or concerns in regards to any of our COVID policies please feel free call the front office at 614-253-4000.

The Graham Family of Schools COVID Policies:

  • Any visitor or staff member entering the building will be required to have their temperature taken and logged.
  • Masks on. If you are entering the building you must wear a mask.
  • If you have been sick, have a fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, or recent loss of smell please do not enter the building.
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between one another.
  • Wash your hands for the safety of everyone. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Use a tissue or your sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

GEMS Scholastic Book Fair November 22 - December 5

Shop online by visiting: GEMS gets 25% back on purchases during the online book fair. Purchases are shipped directly to your home and you get free shipping on book-only orders over $25.

Grade Level Updates


Are wrapping up counting and representing numbers to 10. After that we will begin studying 2D shapes!

We finished our Toy Unit for Expedition with Invention Presentations! Students are be busy preparing for Student-Led Conferences during Expedition time. Please sign up for a meeting time for your conference, next week! When we come back after Thanksgiving Break, Kindergartners will begin a Holidays Around the World Unit to address the Ohio Learning Standard for Social Studies, “Heritage is reflected through the arts, customs, traditions, family celebrations, and language.”

In Skills Block, students should know the letter names and sounds for a, t, h, p, n, c, m, r, v, s, g, and i. They have learned the Sight Words I, the, in, he, and on. Students will learn d, f, l, y, and k, and the Sight Words and & up before Thanksgiving Break.

First Graders

Have been working hard as readers, writers, and mathematicians! During Expeditions, we finished our Tools Unit by creating and sharing our magnificent things. We are so proud of the perseverance and collaboration shown by all the first graders! We introduced our new Expeditions unit this week and are eager to learn all about the sun, moon, and stars.

Our mathematicians have been working on solving many different types of story problems and addition/subtraction facts within 10. We are finishing up the last section in Unit 2 and will soon begin working on adding and subtracting numbers within 20. Keep practicing those math facts at home!

Second Graders

Are working on their final product in this month's Expedition. They are working in teams to compare school before and during the pandemic. Students will begin writing informational paragraphs about school with their expert group.

In math, students will be diving into measurement! Students will explore standard units of measurement such as centimeters and meters and decide when to use each.

Third Graders

Started off by becoming experts of either Zimbabwe, Finland, or Thailand and how students get access to books. We will then move onto informative and narrative paragraph writing. Students have been practicing their adjectives, nouns and verbs in preparation of complete sentences. In math students are creating arrays and honing their multiplication skills. We continue to read our book Wish by Barbara O’Conner. Next we will begin Peter Pan.

Fourth Graders

Have been writing poems and reading a book about a student who is growing as a writer. We are working to be more ethical people and revising our work to have high quality poems. In math, we are working hard to understand fractions. We have discovered that there can be different names for equivalent fractions. We are also getting ready to Student Led Conferences coming next week.

Fifth Graders

Will be preparing the final product of our expedition on Human Rights! 5th graders will be working together to publish our very own newspaper on the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and how we see them upheld or challenged in our world. In Science, students will continue their exploration of the universe and planets around us. Finally, in Math, students will continue their work with fractions.

Sixth Graders

Will begin working on our final products. Students will be creating a proposal on how they can decrease their environmental impact. After creating the proposal students will track data to see how much of their goal that they meet. In math, students will be creating graphs or charts based on this data.

Seventh Graders

Are starting our final products! We will be working hard to create podcasts around the following guiding questions: "Was colonial America a land of opportunity for all?" "Is America a land of opportunity for all?" Students will be conducting their own research on their created questions focused on these topics, as well as interviewing community members about their opinions on our guiding questions. We can’t wait to share our finished products with you!

Eighth Graders

All core classes are starting to connect themes from the expedition around food! In Humanities, we continue to learn about the different American food systems in Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma. Students are mastering academic writing in which they prove the author's claim and support their opinion about that claim, and coming to consensus on questions that will guide our exploration of organic food policies. In math, students are working on analyzing and solving equations. Students brought a family recipe or favorite recipe to class and used it to go shopping for the ingredients from different food sources. Students analyzed the prices and used them to write a word problem that demonstrates their understanding of solving equations. in Science, we are learning how genetics play a role in food production. We will be creating a plan for a school garden using our knowledge of natural and artificial selection and genetics.

K-8th Counseling

Click on the link below to contact a GEMS School Counselor, to set up an appointment, and for community and social-emotional resources:

K-4th Art

Kindergarten and 1st grade students are learning all about lines and shapes. Kindergarten is practicing drawing lines and shapes using different materials by creating abstract compositions. 1st grade is learning how lines and shapes make up the parts of the world around us. They are drawing landscapes, diagrams of inventions, and the view into space. We are also investigating contemporary and historical works of art as well as practicing explaining our own artwork.

K-4th Music

This month in music second grade is focusing on how to write and recognize the different parts of a song. We are learning new solfege syllables each week in November and learning new types of notes to help us work towards writing our own melodies! The second graders are singing, dancing, and using their hands and feet as instruments this month. Finally, we will be working on learning our school song for the Celebration of Learning.

PE & Health

In continuing the Fitness unit, 6th & 8th graders created their own fitness plans.They have been following their plans and tracking their progress. Students have also learned about nutrition and are practicing life skills such as meal planning and shopping on a budget.

Third and fourth grade began Physical Education at the start of the 2nd Quarter. These elementary students are having fun with fitness at home. Ask your student how fitness can benefit everyone in the family!

Thanksgiving Baskets!

GEMS is collecting donations for Thanksgiving baskets for our families. If you are able to donate food items or gift cards, please sign up at If you have any questions, please contact Rosa Dixon at


Per House Bill 21 community schools are now required to perform a monthly review of student files and randomly select families for residency verification. Please be sure to 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.

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 including the family engagement policy and the schoolwide program plan. Please contact Debbie Addison at with any questions.

"This institution is an equal opportunity provider."