Growing Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 16: November 20, 2020

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So Blessed by YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving GMA School Family!

During this season of counting blessings, please know that I count all of you twice! Your love, care, and devotion to your children and our school family fills my heart with such gratitude and joy. I want you to know that we see all of the amazing effort that you display at home during changes and virtual learning; we see the time and commitment you give to your students on a regular basis; we see the love and peace you teach and share in your homes, and we feel the compassion and care that fills your children each and every day.

We are such a vibrant and growing school family, one which supports and cares for one another; we lean on each other, and we scoop each other up when needed. Today, I celebrate each of you for being so incredible and investing so much time and energy to your children and school family. We all know that this year has been extra challenging balancing work, changes, stress, and home/school life, and you have done it with such grace and love. As a result, our students are resilient, thriving, and growing in their learning, with real, authentic, whole child development. They are learning how to adapt, how to handle challenges, and most importantly, how to persevere with peace and grace. My deepest appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to all of you. I feel so blessed to be a part of this amazing school family.

As always, thank you for partnership in learning!

Warmest holiday wishes,

Cindy Schuler

Executive Director

Geist Montessori Academy

(317) 813-4626

Of all things, love is the most potent.

-Maria Montessori

Dates to remember

Upcoming Events

11/25-27 Thanksgiving Break

12/14-17 Winter Concert, Virtual Link will be released

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

12/18 End of Quarter

12/21-1/6 Winter Break, ENJOY!

1/6 Progress Reports and NWEA reports sent home

1/7-1/22 Virtual Learning

1/25 Onsite learning resumes

Virtual or LIve, GMA always thrives!

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Spreading jolly and joy!

GMA will be hosting a holiday drive this year, primarily by means of fulfilling children’s needs and wishes. This year has been tough on so many, so let's come together and help alleviate a few GMA families' needs!

We will be accepting families in need forms until Monday, November 23. The families in need will remain ANONYMOUS to those looking to help, as we will sort families , such as family A, B, or C, and GMA will have a chance to adopt a family that they will be able to shower with a little extra love this year!

If you would like to submit your family's wishes, please fill out this form by 11/23:

Are you able to contribute to the holiday cheer this year?

If so, please fill out this form: Spreading JOY Contributor

Donations will be due December 11, and we appreciate your support! We look forward to spreading winter joy at GMA this year!

Thank you,

Christine Haler

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

"Tur" rific learning at GMA

It's Coming! GMA's Super Space

We are so excited to continue our work on GMA's Super Space!

Dedication and applications to build the bridge to GMA’s Super Space, 4 acres of undeveloped land, are underway, and we need your ideas to make your visions come true. This brief survey has some ideas that have been previously submitted but are only the beginning. We need your ideas and fresh perspectives to make this space into something incredible, engaging, and valuable to our entire school family. Please know that this space will be open to your families, so really consider what type of area you would enjoy and benefit from to bring you closer together with one another, the community, and enhance your student’s whole child development.

The Grounds Committee will be meeting virtually at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 1. If you would like to join this committee, please ZOOM in with us: Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 713 9336 1431

Passcode: Si8EE4

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!

GMA's Super Space Family Ideas

Notes from Ms. Nicole

Now that virtual learning is upon us I wanted to share a website that I have used in the past. The website is called Epic. You can access Epic Books at You will need to set up an account but it is free. Once you have an account you can help your students set up their accounts. They will need the access code that is on the teacher homepage. This allows you to assign books to your students that you would like them to read.

Epic levels their books from prekindergarten through seventh grade and higher. There are audio books that students can listen to as well. I have used Zoom and shared my screen and had a student read along with me. At the end of the story we worked on comprehension questions that I had created for that book. My students in the past have loved this website because it has books that they enjoy reading. The students are able to sign in and search for their own books as well as access the books you assign to them.

If you have any questions feel free to send me an email!


Nicole Bultman

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 starts MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30 and 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!

thankful for FREE MOney for Kindergarteners

Dear parents of the class of 2033,

The Hancock County Promise has a special announcement!!

The Hancock County Promise committee has decided to extend the sign-up period until December 31, 2020! Many of you have signed-up already, however many parents have not yet taken advantage of this FREE opportunity! Please remember if you sign-up you get a free CollegeChoice 529 direct savings account for your child and we will deposit a one time sign-up incentive of $25 into every account of children in the class of 2033. Additionally, if you deposit your own $25 by December 31, 2020 you will receive another $25 deposit. Finally, your child will become eligible to win one of the 4 $500 scholarships! This is a FREE program and there is NO CATCH! Do NOT miss out on this free opportunity! Register today!

Go to and register! Video instructions on how to register can be found at HERE. Step by step instructions on how to register can be found HERE. Our Roadmap flyer with more information about the Promise can be found HERE. If you have questions you can email

Sign-up incentives and scholarships are provided by our program sponsors: Greenfield Banking Co., Hancock Health, and NineStar.

Mr. Michael's Thanksgiving Week Video

Hello GMA Families!

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching and it is important to think about and share all of the wonderful things that we are thankful for. Families, friends, pets, food, water, and shelter are a few things that I know I am thankful for! A few of the most common things that students said they are thankful for include video games, pets, families, WiFi, and pizza. There are so many great things to be thankful for and I hope you all get the time to share those things with one another! This Thanksgiving may look much different since we are trying to be socially distant during the pandemic, but my hope is that we all stay safe during this holiday season. Below is a Thanksgiving Week Video that I created and would like to share with all GMA students. I read this story every year during Thanksgiving Week and I get requests to read this book often, so I made a video reading the story so the tradition can continue!

eLearning times can be tough, but know that we are here to support each and every one of you! If there is anything that I can do to help or if you would like to schedule a Zoom Check-in with your child, please let me know and we can schedule a check in. I hope everyone is staying safe and have an amazing Thanksgiving!

Here is a link to the Thanksgiving Week Video:

Gobble Gobble!

Michael Skiles

Geist Montessori Academy

School Counselor

317-813-4626 EXT: 104

Some hands-on learning to Gobble About!

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NOW enrolling and growing!

We are growing and enrolling!

The official enrollment for the 2020-2021 school year begins on 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 or many of the enrollment flyers on your social networks.

Thank you for helping us grow together!

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Remote REsources by Ms. Jen

Even though we are away from school for a short period of remote learning, our teachers and staff continue to work hard to find and use all sorts of tools to engage our students as digital learners. I am so proud of the way that our teachers have been creatively implementing new tools to spark interest and engagement with their students this week! I have been popping into Zoom lessons this week, and I love seeing students engage on the digital platform with their teachers!

One tool that our Lower Elementary teachers are using is an online program called Prodigy. This is an adaptive learning platform that connects in-class instruction to at-home practice in mathematics. Students complete quests by answering math questions and earn in-game rewards for their progress. Also, parents are able to connect their email address to their child’s account to support their learning by keeping track of progress toward learning goals and sending them in-game rewards for meeting those goals. All of this is included free in the program. There is an option for a paid membership for families that choose to take advantage of additional tools and resources within the Prodigy platform as well.

Our Upper Elementary and Middle School classes can take advantage of Khan Academy. This resource is partnered with The College Board and provides instructional videos, practice exercises, and a personal learning dashboard to support students in every content area. This is an amazing tool for parents to utilize as well! When your child is stuck on a math problem or is struggling to understand a complicated science concept, go to Khan Academy for help! Use key words to search for the content you’re looking for and you will surely find a helpful resource to use.

At GMA, we are committed to helping students and families learn in new ways. 2020 has shown us that it is more important than ever to be flexible and able to adapt to new learning environments quickly. Hopefully, these tools and resources help you and your child to make the most of remote learning until we can all be back together again.

Down by the Ditch with Ms. Jeanie: Shultz’ Ditch November 2020

Hi, it’s Miss Jeanie again. Today I’m not at the ditch or in the woods. It’s raining, the wind is howling, and I am inside watching out the window. There is a milkweed plant that is using the howling wind to help it spread its seed. The milkweed plants on the Ditch will spread the same way.

The plants on the ditch have great root systems that let them reach down to soil that is not too wet and not too dry. But those same roots mean that they can’t move around to take their seeds to a good spot to grow up in. So, plants have other ways to help the next generation. The ways plants get their seeds delivered are called seed dispersal.

Maple trees use wind for seed dispersal, too. Watch how they send their seeds to their new home in April in this video from the Kansas Department of Parks, Wildlife, and Tourism.

Birds often sit on fences, electric wires and branches. The next time you go outside, look to see if there are berry plants growing underneath fences, electrical lines and tree branches.

My persimmon tree does this, too. It uses not only birds but raccoons, opossums, and coyotes for seed dispersal. This post is by a guy who has other animals in his yard!

Squirrels help move other seeds, too, that we call nuts and acorns. I bet you have seen them take a hickory nut, walnut, or acorn, dig a hole, bury the nut, and pat the soil carefully. I know people who have put out piles of nuts to get squirrels to plant a woods for them! The squirrels will come back to eat some of the nuts, but not all of them. The nuts they don’t dig back up will grow into new trees.

The Touch-me-nots on the Ditch have a fun kind of seed dispersal. When their seeds are ready in September, the seed pods will pop open and seed will shoot out in every direction.

My last example of seed dispersal uses animals including people to move their seeds. Has this ever happened to you or your dog? These sticktights get on your clothes. You walk home. You pull them off and drop them in a new place to live.

How could you avoid sticktights?

Do birds and animals get anything from sticktight seed dispersal? What about seed dispersal in fruit? Is this a good system?

Can you tell the man in the video from Kansas how the apple tree will disperse its seed?

Can you think of any other methods of seed dispersal?

And now for some fun with seed dispersal, watch this video.

Notes from the nurse

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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!

Virtual Montessori materials


Check out these marvelous Virtual Montessori Materials!

This is a collection of games and tools to support teachers and parents during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

This work was highly inspired by work by Ryan Nevius at

Be sure to check it out!

Thank you Lewis Family!

Sincere appreciation goes out to the Lewis family for the delicious pies that they brought the staff. You warmed our spirits and hearts!

Thank you!

Thank you for the robot parts donations!

The Buckeye room loved learning about robots and designing their own creations with the donated pieces. Each student learned about the engineering design process and added special features to their robots that served specific functions.

They all started with sketching their initial design. Then, they began their building, and adapted and changed their plans based on new inspiration. They collaborated with each other, supported each others' visions, and celebrated each others' finished products. Overall, Ms. Vicki states, "It was a great experience, and we appreciate your contributions!"

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!