Better Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 6, January 12, 2020

New Beginnings and New Heights =Pure Bliss

This week was the start of something beautiful~ better together!

Seeing the community, altogether, this week was pure bliss! The love and excitement of the children and families as they saw their teachers and friends all coming together in our new learning home for the first time was uplifting, where everyone is so eager for a fresh start of fun and learning: BETTER TOGETHER!

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YOU are invited! Save the date

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Please Join us!

We are looking forward to an exciting evening of gratitude, friends, and fellowship on Friday, January 31, from 6-7:30 p.m.

Please join us for a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 6 p.m. in the gym, followed by a light appetizer progressive reception, student demonstrations, and a scavenger hunt in the new facility!

We are extending the invitation to the community, so please invite your friends and family members with this link:

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Invitation: We Hope YOU Can Join Us!

If you or a loved one would like to be a part of the planning committee or be a part of the ceremony, please complete this quick form:

Better Together: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Volunteer Form

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

Loving the new lockers

As the original locker owners, all upper elementary and middle school students were able to sign their locker foot plates before snapping them into place. Please follow your child's classroom guidelines, and sign and return the locker agreement as soon as possible.

Car Line update

Woohoo! The morning drop-off is already so smooth and safe, so thank you so much for your efforts and being familiar with the procedures ahead of time! Please be mindful that school begins at 8:30. If you arrive past this time, you will need to walk your child into school and sign the tardy log.

Car line begins at 8:15 a.m. for arrival, and begins at 3:30 for dismissal, with teachers gathering car rider numbers at 3:15. Prior to 3:00 p.m., the car line area will be blocked, so please plan accordingly.

After school pick-up was already 5 minutes faster on Friday than Thursday, and we anticipate that it will continue to get speedier; we appreciate your patience as we all acclimate to these new procedures.

Please continue to show courtesy and grace: Parents turning right into the parking lot off of 900 N. should take turns: one car turns right, and then the car in the opposite direction turns left, and we just keep zippering in, allowing eastbound traffic to merge into the lot.

In addition, please remember to use the S pattern when lining up.

Also, I wanted to let you know that according to the police, all parents that turn right onto 900 at dismissal must go down to Carroll Road to turn and not turn into a neighborhood or Senior Living Facility. Citations may be issued, if this is not followed.

All cars need the car rider number prominently displayed in the window.

For more car line information, please refer to the attached car line map and procedures.

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The robotics Team made it to the finals!

The Robotics Team did exceptionally well at their first competition this weekend, and they even made it to the finals!

Chloe, Devon, Joy, Eliza, Bentley, Caleigh, Ellen, Molly, and Cameron serve on this incredible team and will be trying out their new ideas and insight at their next competion at 10 a.m. on January 25 at, Franklin Township Middle School. You are welcome to come out and cheer them on!

Thank you Jonny Sweeney and Ms. Kathy, Robotics Team Sponsor, for all of your support; we wish you the best of luck this season!

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Run, Run, As Fast as you can !

The Gingerbread Man was on the loose at GMA as kindergarten students in Ms. Staci's room looked for his clues to learn about the new campus. All classrooms reviewed their expectations and new procedures at our new school family's home.

It has been my pleasure visiting rooms, hearing, "We just love our new "home!"

It has truly been a wonderful week of joy, reunion, and togetherness.

Nurse and Family feature

Such a Joy to Meet Joy Sterrett

Greetings GMA Parents,

My name is Joy Sterrett, and I am the new school nurse here at GMA. I am so excited to be able to help the staff and students with daily medical needs. My daughter Maggie is in the Pre-K Class, and this is how we became a part of GMA initially in 2019. I have been a nurse for 14 years, and my background was in Neonatal ICU nursing, case management, utilization review and medical chart auditing. I am an IU Hoosier fan, as I graduated in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing from IU.

My husband Ryan and I live in McCordsville, and we have two beautiful little girls, Magnolia (4) and Emerson (2). We love to travel and experience new places. We have a sweet dog named Henry and he is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. He is our third fur child.

I am looking forward to getting to know each and every one of the staff, students and parents. If you have a child with medical needs, concerns, or medications, I will be reaching out to you to touch base on the current plan. If you have concerns that you would like to speak with me about, I would be happy to talk with you. I will be staffing the nurse clinic on Mondays from 10 am to 2 pm and Tuesday/Thursday 9:45 to 12:45 pm. You can send me an e-mail at or leave me a message and I will get back with you ASAP.

Solid as a rock: GMA PTO

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Better Together: PTO News from Abby Strong and Anne Tordai

Let’s Finish the Playground

The playground is ready for help. A few weeks ago, we received an $18,000 grant from Hancock Regional Health Foundation Board to go towards our new playground. This covered the cost of our beautiful fence (a big thank you to the J. Smith Builder & Co.), a new sandbox, Outlast building blocks, 6 new picnic tables, and 3 storage units. All of these items, along with the other natural elements, fulfill stations needed for a Nature Explore Classroom; please see for more information.

One Saturday, a few of us were able to get muddy and get some hard-landscaping done! The logs and rocks provide seating, balance, and community gathering. The tires were all donated from a local car shop, ASG Automotive. The rest of the playground needs a few more hands. In a couple of weeks, there will be a work day to assemble picnic tables and the Gaga pit. If the ground is good, sink posts for the art easels and peace pole! This will complete the first phase of the playground. The second phase involves student/community projects: art, music, viewing boxes, sensory/loose materials tables, and living teepee with buddy bench! If you are interested in any of these projects, please contact Abby Strong,

I was able to talk to several families at the meet and greet regarding white play sand donations, thank you for the interest. I’ll send an email to you when the sandbox arrives, approximately by Friday. Please bring and dump your 5 bags when you get the go ahead! If you have sand and want to drop it off, let me know.

We are better together! Many of the items left...I physically can’t do them alone. I want the outdoor space to be free, happy, and engaging for students and teachers. Please let me know if you have any questions.

T-shirts - The beautiful new logo is showcased on our new school family T-shirts. These shirts are only $10. Youth sizes XS-L and Adult sizes S-XL are available. Shirts are going quickly, so please contact Casi Durham directly if you would like one: durham.casi@gmail.

PTO Thank you's!
  • Hancock County Regional Hospital for a very generous donation that funded the fence around our play area along the building and to purchase play items and picnic tables
  • Scott Morris, owner of LML Estate Management for moving our heaviest and most awkward outdoor items from GMA South - including rocks, gaga pit, raised beds and Peace Pole
  • ASG Automotive for a generous financial donation to future outdoor play space expansion and unlimited tires
  • Danny DiSalvo, Arborist, for supplying and installing wood donations to our new Nature Explore inspired playspace
  • Jeff Smith Fencing for generously installing the fencing at-cost.
  • Abby Strong, Jen Peden and Jessica Shreve for countless hours organizing these endeavors and moving heavy rocks!

The incredible amount of heart and soul the PTO gives to the GMA school family is so commendable. I have such gratitude and awe for all that they do. Please consider joining this dedicated group!

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important reminders

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Attendance Matters

Please email your child's teacher and CC Beth LaRock, our attendance manager, of any absences:

In order to preserve the importance and value of learning as a school family, it is an expectation that make-up work is made available and completed by all absent students, whether the child is absent for a day or for weeks. This reinforces the importance and value of our time learning at school, while also staying true to the Montessori Method and keeping the community of learners connected to one another, even while apart. The concept is very similar to the eLearning days.

If a student is absent for more than one day, similar works will be placed at the front desk (labeled with student’s name, teacher’s name, and date) by 3:00 p.m. for family members to come and pick up. If you would rather receive the materials/lessons via email, please contact your child's teacher. Since the Montessori Method has many hands-on learning experiences, your child's teacher will customize the learning based on a home environment and personalize the lessons for your child. If a child has a prearranged absence, all work will be sent home prior to the absence. Please give your child's teacher plenty of notice and do not hesitate to ask me if you have any questions or need further explanation.

Bundle Up and Be in the Know!

As inclement weather approaches, please watch local news’ stations and check your emails for delays and cancellations. We will post all 2-hour delays and cancellations on local news’ stations, email, Facebook, and Geist Montessori Academy's website.

A Note From Ms. Jane

Current GMA families, it is that time of year to let us know if your current student has a sibling not currently enrolled that wishes to enroll for the 2020-2021 school year. Per our charter regulations, siblings of current students have priority. If you have a sibling that wishes to enroll for the 2020-2021, please email Jane Deutsch at with the following information:

1. Sibling Full Name

2. Sibling Date of Birth

3. Sibling Grade for 2020 -2021

4. Sibling Birth Certificate

by January 31, 2020.

Please contact Jane Deutsch with any questions or concerns.


Important News Regarding Appointments, Entrances, and Exits

In order to keep our students safe and best meet their needs during the day, the only entrance/exit that will be open during the school day is the one closest to Olio Road on the east-side. This will allow students to utilize the blacktop area on the north-side of the building as extra play space during the day.

Along with this, due to the car line dismissal time of 3:30, there will be no student dismissals permitted after 2:45 p.m. Therefore, please make all appointments for your children before 2:45 p.m. In order to properly manage the flow of car line dismissal traffic, any student needing to be picked up beyond 2:45 p.m. will have to join the rest of the students in the regular car line procedures.

eLearning Day : January 17

Per Indiana Department of Education, "eLearning Days have given the option for continuing an instructional day away from traditional time limits and brick and mortar setting. This innovative program has evolved into an engaging instructional model used in many Indiana schools to keep the sequence of learning going in spite of weather and other challenges. More importantly, it has provided teachers and students the opportunity to engage with digital resources, to collaborate virtually, and to develop digital skills that are used and valued beyond K-12."

Please enjoy the eLearning PowerPoint Presentation by Mr. Logan, presented on October 3 to explain the process:

Additionally, please find the attached board policy pertaining to eLearning Days. Students should have received their eLearning day work before leaving for winter break.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day: Monday January 20, 2020

There will be NO school on Monday, January 20, in observance of Martin Luther King Jr.

If we have a snow day and need to make this day up, we will have an eLearning Day on 1/20/2020.

School Board Meeting: January 21, 5:30 p.m.

We are so very appreciative of our incredible School Board!

Please join us at the next School Board Meeting on January 21.


Nick Wright – President

Kirby Durham – Secretary

Uriah Ellis – Treasurer

Lacey Willard – At-Large Member

Andrew Cavallaro – At-Large Member

YUM! Dine to Donate January 20

YUM! Dine to Donate is a very easy way to help our school family with fundraising. Simply mention Geist Montessori Academy when you order from Hotbox on Friday, January 20, and 20% of your sales will be donated to GMA.

Upcoming Events

January 14: PTO Meeting, Pre-K Classroom, 4:15 p.m.,


January 16: Family Dance Committee Meeting, 4:15 p.m. -

We’d love your help planning this fun family event!

January 17: eLearning Day, Professional Development for Teachers

January 20: NO School: MLK Holiday or eLearning Day, if snow make-up day is needed; Dine to Donate - Hotbox Pizza Fishers/Geist - just mention GMA with your order

January 21: School Board Meeting, 5:30 p.m.

January 31: Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, 6-7:30 p.m., Gym,

Invite your friends and family with the evite link!

February 13: Skating Party at Roller Cave, 5:30 Learn to Skate, 6-8 p.m.

February 14: eLearning Day, Professional Development for Teachers

February 21: Family Dance, 6-8 p.m.

Together, we are so much better!

Meet Geist Montessori Academy's Executive Director: Cindy Schuler

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