GEMS Family Newsletter

December 2022

Upcoming Events

  • Mon. Dec. 19 - Mon. Jan. 2 - No School - Winter Break
  • Tues. Jan. 3 - No School - PD Day
  • Wed. Jan. 4 - Students return to class
  • Wed. Jan. 11 - Enrollment Information Session - 6:00pm
  • Thurs. Jan. 12 - End of Quarter 2
  • Thurs. Jan. 12 - K-8 Celebration of Learning
  • Fri. Jan. 13 - No School - PD Day
  • Mon. Jan. 16 - No School - M.L. King Jr. Day
  • Tues. Jan. 17 - Start of Semester 2
  • Tues. Jan. 17 - Wed. Jan. 18 - K-4 ELA MAP Test
  • Wed. Jan. 18 - Thurs. Jan. 19 - 5-8 ELA MAP Test
  • Tues. Jan. 24 - Wed. Jan. 25 - K-4 Math MAP Test
  • Wed. Jan. 25 - Thurs. Jan. 26 - 5-8 Math MAP Test
  • Wed. Jan. 25 - Enrollment Information Session - 6:00pm
  • Fri. Feb. 3 - No School - PD Day

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

Important School Information

GEMS office hours are 7:45am to 4:30pm, however the office is closed each day from 3:00-3:35pm to help with a smooth dismissal process. If you arrive after 3:00pm to pick up students, please proceed to the appropriate pick up line instead of the front office. Thank you for your support.

If your student will be absent or tardy, please send an email with the information to If they are absent/tardy because of an appointment, please provide an excuse from the office/clinic. Any absences NOT documented are considered unexcused and marked in our attendance records accordingly.

School Fee, Proof of Residency and Food Service Info!

We ask our families to help with expenses by making an annual school contribution of $35.00. You may 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.

In addition to the Registration Packet, we are mandated by the Ohio Department of Education to obtain a new proof of residency every school year. This may be a copy of a utility bill or bank statement (dated on or after July 1, 2022). Please mail, drop off or e-mail your proof of residency to

All families should fill out a Free & Reduced School Meals Application to see if they qualify for free or reduced meal pricing. The USDA has not extended the pandemic related food service program waivers for the 2022-23 school year. This program previously allowed The Graham Family of Schools and other school districts to provide free lunches and breakfasts to all students since the spring of 2020. Please complete the application and return it to the front office as soon as possible. The GEMS front office is open Mon.-Fri. 7:45am-4:30pm. Click here to print complete the application.

Did you know you can complete the Free & Reduced Application online?

  • Go to OneView Login Page: use the same login you used to complete the Annual Registration forms.
  • Under Free/Reduced Meals App click on "Click here for the application"
  • Once you have completed the form, select Save and Return THEN Save and Submit to District.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact, Wesley Owens, Registrar & Community Outreach Liaison at or 614-253-4000.

GEMS is on Facebook and Instagram! Please like and follow!

Attention GEMS 7th and 8th Grade Families!

Join us online for Virtual Enrollment Information Sessions to talk about high school: The Graham School (TGS) Jan. 10 & 24, The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University (TCS@ODU) Jan. 25. The Graham Family of Schools comprises GEMS, The Graham School, and The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University. However, an application must be summited before a GEMS student may be enrolled in either high school.

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Fieldwork at Ohio Wildlife Center

GEMS 4th graders made a fieldwork visit to the Ohio Wildlife Center. They have been learning about animal defense mechanisms, and this month they got to see animals native to Ohio and learn how they defend themselves.

Grade Level Updates


Are continuing our expedition about Weather, and we are VERY excited about it! Children are doing experiments about what causes a tornado to form, how rainbows are made, and how clouds work. We are starting to work on adding two groups of objects together, and have learned almost all of our letters and letter sounds.

First Graders

Are continuing our expedition into the Sun, Moon and Stars. In reading, we are focusing on picking out key details within the text, settings, and main characters. In Math we are finishing our journey into word problems. We have started addition and subtraction problems within 20.

Second Graders

Are starting our new module in Expedition, learning about fossils! This will be a fun and interactive unit. We are learning about measurements in math. We will be measuring in feet and inches this week after learning all about centimeters and meters! In Crew we will be focusing on responsibility and what it looks like to be responsible for yourself and your things.

Third Graders

Welcome to the world of Frogs! Students have written a class and personal pourquoi narrative. Now we are diving into Information text and how they can efficiently use key features. In Crew we have focused on teamwork, and identified what it takes to work successfully with others. Our mathematicians have successfully navigated the new world of multiplication through the use of arrays and equal groups.

Fourth Graders

After a beautifully informative fieldwork experience at Ohio Wildlife Center, 4th grade is knee deep in animal defense research! Students have selected their animals are beginning to gather scientific facts about their animal (i.e. physical characteristics, habitat, two possible defense mechanisms). When we return from winter break, students will be writing a narrative on their animal in a 'choose your adventure' project.

Winter Break Challenge: 18 days away from school is a long time! Let’s challenge ourselves to read 30 minutes and practice multiplication facts for 15 minutes everyday. Students that complete 14/18 days of their tracker will be able to participate in a celebratory party! Books can be checked out from the classroom library upon parent request. Please remind students of the 5 Finger Rule. The number of fingers they're holding up by the end of the page tells them if the book is the right level:

0-1 fingers: It's too easy.

2-3 fingers: It's just right.

4-5 fingers: It's too hard (or best read aloud with a buddy).

Moving forward and moving on in Math with multiplication timed tests to master those facts through the tens. This will take nightly practice and review at home. Working on comparing fractions and equivalent fractions will wrap up when we return after break. Students will have a solid understanding of how to show their work using a number line and fraction strips. In Crew we will continue to focus on perseverance and goal setting when we return in 2023. Have a safe and wonderful winter break!

Fifth Graders

In math, are continuing fundamental building block knowledge on fractions. We are adding and subtracting fractions with the same denominators. We are also learning that fractions and division are the same. In science, we are getting ready for our expedition posters. We are bringing all of our knowledge together.

Sixth Graders

In Science are finishing our natural disaster research project. Students are creating a slideshow and then recording a presentation for our Celebration of Learning in January. In math we are continuing to investigate decimals and will be completing a GEMS market activity to practice using decimals in a real life scenario.

Seventh Graders

In humanities, students are writing children’s books that mirror the experience of someone without access to clean water. Students are drawing from our study of A Long Walk to Water and Thirst, both novels that show water inequities in different parts of the world. Their book will include a short story and facts about the setting and lack of water.

In math, we finished our unit on percentages. Students completed a project on decreasing the number of invasive plant species at Alum Creek State Park using percentages. Next, we will be learning about writing and solving equations.

Eight Graders

In math have been investigating the volume of cylinders, cones and spheres. As part of our food justice expedition, students applied their knowledge of volume to create the dimensions of their own smoothie cups. They calculated the volume of their smoothies in ounces, selected ingredients, and created advertisements to promote their smoothies.

Art - K-4

We are completing our end of the quarter products and are so excited to see everyone's creativity flourish! 4th and 3rd grade are delving into the world of 3D art as they continue to work on their sculptures. 4th graders are making clay animals. 3rd graders are creating paper mache frogs. 2nd graders are learning new techniques this week as we start our winter landscapes using a resist technique. 1st graders will begin their sun and moon shadow boxes. Kindergartens are continuing their exploration of materials as we work on some winter art together!

Music - K-4

“The best way to spread Christmas Cheer is singing loud for all to hear!” -Buddy The Elf

K-4 Music this December will be sprinkled with Holiday Happiness as we continue to work on building our foundational music skills such as playing with a steady beat, creating rhythm patterns, playing and singing melodies, and exploring new instruments. Kindergarteners and first graders are learning songs themed around their expeditions to continue to deepen their knowledge of weather (Kindergarten), and sun, moon, and stars (first grade). 2nd graders have been working hard at learning how to combine steady beat, rhythm patterns, and melodic patterns to play and sing the familiar tune, “Jolly OId Saint Nicholas” on the xylophones. 3rd and 4th graders have embarked on learning to play the Recorder with hopes to play a collection of Holiday Carols.


We will be hosting a family resource fair during the schoolwide Celebration of Learning event on January 12th. Make sure you stop by to check out some amazing community resources such as financial and food assistance, mental health programs, high school enrollment information, and more!

Do you know someone interested in attending GEMS?

GEMS is accepting applications for K-8th grades for the 2023-2024 school year. Please share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in learning more about GEMS. Please e-mail Wesley Owens at with questions.

Start a student application at

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Free Flu & COVID Vaccine 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 Kroger 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!

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. Follow this link to the Parent Pact.


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."