Growing Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 17: December 6, 2020

Oh, What Fun!

Oh, what fun it is to see, our students in GMA~ Hey!

This week was so fun and vibrant with the beautiful hum of students actively engaged in learning. Being virtual for those seven days in November made onsite learning that much sweeter this week. It is so hard to believe that we are already in December, and there are only two weeks left in the semester. I thank all of the staff and families for implementing heightened health and safety precautions. Please know how thankful we are for all that you are doing at home to ensure our school family stays healthy and safe! Mr. Michael and Nurse April also revisited their health and safety lessons this week, and students enjoyed eating lunch in our newly furnished rooms to provide enhanced social distancing.

What was especially exciting for me to see this week, though, was how quickly the children were back in their routines and how much the children continue to grow in their thinking! A huge shout out to the entire staff for their incredible efforts of building such dynamic, safe and healthy classroom communities, where collaboration, care, and compassion are commonplace, inquiry is being fostered, and every individual child is being seen and presented lessons at his her level and learning preference!

Being mindful of the whole child, we appreciate all of the generosity in gifts and goods to those who need a little extra help this year. The Holiday Helping Helps Food Drive has been incredible, and the Make-a-Wish donations are so appreciated! Please remember that Friday, December 11, is the last day to contribute.

Time, talent, and treasure are all ways to give back, and we are grateful for the time and talent of the Grounds Committee. Please read below to find out ways that you can play an active role in our school family; together, we are so much better.

As always, thank you for partnership in learning!

Warmest wishes,

Cindy Schuler

Executive Director

Geist Montessori Academy

(317) 813-4626

Of all things, love is the most potent.

-Maria Montessori

Dates to remember- Calendar correction!

Upcoming Events

12/14-17 NWEA Testing and Winter Concert, Virtual Links will be released 12/19

12/15 School Board Meeting, 5:30 p.m.

12/18 End of Quarter

12/21-1/4 Winter Break, ENJOY!

1/5-1/22 Virtual Learning

1/6 Progress Reports and NWEA reports sent home

1/25 Onsite learning resumes

Snowflakes, dancing, and the wondrous rhythms of winter! Students and staff are enjoying related arts as they prepare for our virtual holiday concert

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Easel installed and more to come!

Thank you Mr. Brian and Caitie Copple for your help with the Grounds Committee!

We are so excited about our new outdoor play areas both close to the school and across the creek. We are grateful for the partnerships with so many families who are making this possible. On December 1, the Outdoor Committee met to review the Student and Family GMA Super Space survey results.

A playground, swings, nature path, community garden, outdoor learning space, and maybe even animals are on the horizon! The following parents have graciously volunteered to chair the sub-committees, and we would love for you to join! The Sub-Committees will meet in January, and then report their ideas on January 20.


1. Playground/Swing Committee Chair: Caitie Copple

2. Nature Path/ Community Garden/Outdoor Classroom Chair: James Keith

3. Animals/ Flower Beds Chair: Amanda Merriweather

We need your ideas and fresh perspectives to make this space into something incredible, engaging, and valuable to our entire school family. Please choose an area your family would like to help with and Click HERE for Super Space Sub-Committee Sign-up

Thank you in advance for taking a moment to contribute your ideas for this amazing project for our community of learners! Let's make those visions come true!

"What the hand does, the mind remembers." Dr. Maria Montessori

Opening the Gifts of the Treasures Within!

"Concentration is the key that opens up to the child the treasures within him."

-Dr. Maria Montessori

Twinning! Substitutes Needed!

GMA has thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Elaine onsite to help when teachers are absent. She is able to really experience the Montessori Method on a firsthand basis and make lasting relationships with the staff and students.

If you are interested in being a substitute teacher for GMA, please contact Stephanie Edwards:, and she will explain the next steps.

This is a great way to be active in the GMA school family and also bring in a little cha chingle this holiday season for your family. Substitutes make over one hundred dollars a day!

We would love for you to join us!

Sunshine spreaders

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Spreading Joy and Kindness this week

Thank you for using your gifts and talents and bringing light to others:

Anna Walls

Adriana Diuro

Nora Wolf

Declan Nyberg

Joy Sweeny

Holden Pasley

Kobe Vaden

David Andrei

Not pictured: Nathaniel Paul

Project Lead the Way is on the WAY!

The Montessori Method prepares the imagination by giving it a rich foundation of hands-on experiences in reality. GMA is excited to offer more hands-on opportunities for our students through Project Lead the Way!

All staff are receiving professional development and the new semester will be filled with incredible hands-on, engaging experiences that foster critical thinking, and the engineering design process. PLTW engages students’ natural curiosity through problem-based learning. Through PLTW Launch, students become hands-on problem solvers and learn to collaborate with their fellow students.

They begin each module with an engaging ebook story featuring the characters Mylo, Suzi, and Angelina, who introduce the challenge students will work together to solve. Then, in a series of activities that build upon each other, students are challenged to become confident in trying new things, to learn from mistakes, and to apply what they know to find solutions.

We love reading and researching!

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We hope you "CAN" help! Holiday helping hands

Canned Goods BINGO!

We hope you CAN help with this worthy cause.

This holiday season GMA will be sponsoring a Holiday Helping Hands Food Drive. Our goal is to support families during the holiday season with a basket filled with food to ease a little bit of the financial stress many experience during this time of year. This year has obviously been difficult for families and we want to provide as much support as possible!

We are asking each classroom to fill their “Holiday Helping Hands” Bingo Sheet in order for our goal for each family to be reached. Please see attachment.

Our food drive will continue until FRIDAY, December 11th. If you are able to donate, please have your child bring in his/her item(s) to his/her classroom to be placed in one of our donation boxes.

Together, Geist Montessori Academy CAN help CAN hunger!

SWoosh! Basketball Goals coming Friday!

GMA is so thrilled to have the basketball goals and padding installed December 11. We look forward to offering basketball clubs and camps after winter break!

NOW enrolling and growing!

We are growing and enrolling!

The official enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year begins on Monday, December 7, and we hope to bring new friends and family members into our incredible school family. We would love if you could share one of the enrollment flyers on your social networks.

Thank you for helping us grow together!

Spreading jolly and joy!

Thank you Contributors! YOU are making wishes come true!

Please bring all donations to the office by FRIDAY, December 11. Your generosity is so appreciated!

Online Resource Ideas from Ms. Jen

There are several great online tools that our teachers can use to extend the learning that takes place in the classroom and to introduce students to new ideas and concepts. Many of these types of resources will be introduced by teachers in the coming weeks as they prepare students for the planned period of virtual learning in the month of January. Two of these resources are Duolingo and TypeDojo.

Doulingo uses game based lessons to teach foreign languages. There are over 25 languages available for students to learn for free! Since Duolingo easily integrates with Google Classroom, teachers are able to monitor student progress through the self-paced lessons. Duolingo is research-based and effective. In fact, studies have shown that students who used Duolingo to learn a foreign language performed as well in reading and listening as university students who had taken four semesters of college-level foreign language!

TypeDojo is a sequential, progressive touch typing program. It teaches students the proper finger placement on a keyboard so that they learn to type efficiently. Students work through topic-themed lessons and practice the foundational skills needed for proper keyboarding as they increase their accuracy and speed. This program helps learners form good typing habits and helps avoid the “hunt and peck” approach that many students rely on to type.

Parents are welcome to use these tools to engage their children in additional learning activities at any time! Duolingo is available in the app store for either iPhone or Android users, but TypeDojo requires a computer keyboard for use. With all of these great resources available for free online, the learning never has to stop!

We are committed to a safe and healthy school family!

We are committed to a safe and healthy school family!

Here are some extra precautions and measures that we are taking:

· Heightened hand washing and sanitizing

· More plexi-shields in the classrooms

· Temporarily, no singing in music class, instruments only

· Band limits~ only one section at a time

· Mask usage: only one warning for improper usage

· Reinstating the weekly health screening verification, rather than quarterly

· Cohorts for lunch, extra rooms/space for lunch and indoor recess

Notes from the nurse


You may have heard that there have been changes with COVID-19 again. GMA will continue to work closely with the Hancock County Health Department to determine next steps with this guidance for our school. The new guidance is related to recommended quarantine times. If any changes are made with quarantine times at GMA we will be sure to quickly let you know!

Students have received a refresher course on COVID-19 procedures at school including proper mask wearing, distancing physically, and good hand hygiene. Please make sure students are coming to school with well fitted, extra masks in order to make sure students have the needed supplies to wear a mask well at school.

VIRTUAL NURSE CLINIC Some of the students have been enjoying the online clinics with the nurse for their grade levels. Please continue to look for more health-related content, especially as we head into our planned eLearning time after winter break. If you have not seen an invite to the nurse clinic for your student’s grade level, please email me and I will be sure to include your student with another invite.

April Wayman, RN School Nurse 317-813-4626 ext. 10

We love our School board

Our sincere appreciation is extended to our amazing school board for their service to GMA!

President: Uriah Ellis

Secretary: Lacey Willard

Treasurer: Andrew Cavallaro

Members at Large: Karen Swan and Mark Clark

Meeting Dates: December 15, 2020, February 16, 2021, April 20, 2021, June 15, 2021

*All Meetings begin at 5:30 pm and are open to the public. Meetings are being held virtually.

We look forward to our continued partnership, as we grow together for the better!

GMA School Calendar

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Children of the World, featuring GMA students!!!

"Children of the World" Virtual Choir
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Meet our incredible School Family staff members: Enjoy Photos and Letters

Please enjoy this special edition newsletter, filled with letters and photos from our 2020-2021 staff members.

Meet our 2020.2021 Staff Members

We are so excited to grow together for the better!

Meet Geist Montessori Academy's Executive Director: Cindy Schuler

GMA Contact iNformation


(317) 813-4626


6058 W. 900 N.

McCordsville, IN 46055

growing together for the better!