Growing Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 5: August 30, 2020

Beautiful Horizon!

Dear GMA School Family,

It's party time!

A week of celebration and fun is on GMA's glorious horizon this week. We are so excited to shine Dr. Maria Montessori’s light, as we celebrate her 150th birthday on Monday, August 31. All students made candles with messages and images of kindness in art class. These caring deeds of ways to share one’s gifts and talents with others will be exhibited in Maria’s honor to bring about a better tomorrow. Please ask your child what random act of kindness s/he has pledged to fulfill.

Revolutions of the earth around the sun, singing, fun, and birthday treats will fill the GMA parking lot Monday morning in celebration, as well. Stepping stones made by every grade level will also be presented in Dr. Montessori’s memory to remind us that, “We shall walk together on this path of life, for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”- Maria Montessori

We continue to meet so many amazing and loving new families! If you have a new student joining us this week, please pay special attention to the car line information, complete the health screening verification form, and be mindful that all students bring their own lunch to school. We are so excited to bring new heights to learning, growing together for the better!


Cindy Schuler

Executive Director

Geist Montessori Academy

(317) 813-4626

Of all things, love is the most potent.

-Maria Montessori

Engaging, thriving, learning's alive!

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scientist at work in home lab!

Supportive Strategies: by Ms. Peg, Special Education Director

As we celebrate what would have been the 150th year of the life of Maria Montessori, may we remember what our purpose is as we interact with our children. Each child is gifted with what Montessori called a “cosmic task”, a job, career, characteristic uniquely designed just for that person. It’s a wonderful way to look at your child, especially if you’re at a loss for how to parent from time to time. But this principle is true for EVERY child, not just those with neurotypical development. Your child may have a “disability” but he/she has far more ABILITIES than what is currently holding him back from reaching his potential. As the new school year is now well underway, you may be seeing areas of need that are concerning. Is your child being under-challenged? Is the work too challenging? Are you seeing your child retreat socially? Are they too social and not focused on their schoolwork? Is your child engaging in concerning behavior? The problems can envelop your thoughts! Today’s Supportive Strategy is a reminder to take a step back and note your child’s strengths and natural abilities. I promise you there are way more ABILITIES than disabilities. We may have to creatively find ways to allow your child to tap into their strengths, but that’s what the school setting is for - whether virtual or onsite. Communicate your concerns when necessary to the appropriate school personnel, but stay focused on the long term outcome - what is it your child is gifted to add to our great world? If she were with you today, Dr. Maria Montessori would remind you to keep your attention on the potentiality that exists within each person. Oh, and by the way, YOU are pretty uniquely gifted too! Let’s celebrate!

Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's the ... GMA Super hero Run coming Soon!

The PTO will be releasing more information soon about the Super Hero Run coming September 30 to GMA!

If you are interested in the Parent Teacher Organization, please contact Morgan Bitz, PTO President at

We need you: Join a GMA committee as we grow together!

GMA is growing and we are so excited for your partnership to better our school community. Please sign up and help us grow for the better: Growing Together Committee Sign-ups.

Arrival and dismissal

Arrival: Please help provide a safe and efficient carline for dropping off children and picking them up. The carline gate opens from 8:00-8:10 for Pre-K ONLY. The carline gate opens at 8:15 a.m. for K-8, with students exiting cars for arrival at 8:20 a.m. Students should be dropped off each morning at school entrances 5 & 6.

Please have your child ready to exit the car independently when you pull up to the entrance (i.e., shoes and jacket on, lunch and backpack in hand). Students may only exit the vehicle once the appropriate staff member has signaled for them to do so. A staff member will greet them and assist them into the building. Please note that if you arrive after 8:30, you must park and accompany your child into the front office of the building and sign him/her in. Children cannot sign themselves in late. These students will be reported as tardy.

Dismissal: At dismissal, your child will walk to your car when his/her number is called. Staff will be present to help ensure that all students are safely in their vehicle before the carline continues. Please refrain from lengthy discussions with teachers or staff, or from giving verbal messages at this time. We make every effort to provide a quick and efficient system of arrival and dismissal, and we appreciate your cooperation and assistance.

ALL kindergarten parents need to be in the inside lane for pick-up. If your kindergarten student has no siblings at GMA, then the gate for pick-up will open at 2:45, with kindergarten students with no siblings being released at 3:00 p.m. If your kindergarten student does have siblings at GMA, the older sibling will walk to the younger child’s room, and they will dismiss together at regular pick-up.

The gate for regular pick-up opens at 3:15, with school dismissal at 3:30 p.m.


Carline map:

Thank you for helping to keep our students safe!

islands of personality with Mr. Michael

Mr. Michael's Week 3 Video: Islands of Personality

Counseling Corner

Hello GMA Families!

This week for video 3, we go over more concepts to core memories. We introduce the concept of Islands of Personality from the movie Inside Out.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Let me know if there is anything else I can do to help. If you would like for me to meet with your child on Wednesdays on Zoom for a 15 minute meeting, let me know and I can add them to my schedule!

Thank you!

Michael Skiles

Geist Montessori Academy

School Counselor

317-813-4626 EXT: 104


This resource from Weill Cornell Medicine has a short video that explains some ideas that I work on with students. We sometimes do not have control over what happens during crucial times, but having resilience and learning more about it from this article can help give an understanding of how children experience and show signs of the stressors they are facing.

This resource is short and sweet! It shows ways to try and reduce stress during a pandemic. It has many useful bullet points that can be helpful, especially the one about choosing happiness! I think taking a break from stress and being able to take a minute to appreciate something you love is really important. That could be looking at adorable pictures of animals if you are an animal lover, or making someone else happy by sending them something they might enjoy!

Child Trends wrote a great article that goes over ways to support and protect children's emotional well-being during the pandemic. It gives a lot of great insight on taking steps to help protect and reassure children about safety. Keeping your child busy and increasing their self-efficacy is really important during these times.

This Cincinnati Children's resource has a bunch of links for other useful resources! Some of the resources listed include a picture book about how kids can fight against COVID-19, coping skills for calming kids, ways to ease stress and fears about COVID-19, supporting teens/young adults during the Coronavirus and much much more. I like this resource a lot as there is something for everyone!

This resource comes directly from the CDC website. This resource has a lot of phone numbers listed for those who might need immediate help during these times. It elaborates on the stresses the pandemic has caused and ways to help take care of yourself and the community. This resource is similar to the Cincinnati Children's resource in that it has a lot of additional resources within it.

FREE MONEY for kindergarten Families

Hi Parents of 2033 Graduates!

As a kindergartner, your child has the opportunity to sign up for the Hancock County Promise. The Hancock County Promise GIVES you FREE MONEY for your child!!! Yes, that is correct FREE MONEY for your child!!! I know, you are thinking there is a catch....NO!!! There is NO catch!! If you sign-up, you get a FREE CollegeChoice 529 Direct Account for your child and we will deposit $25 of free money into the account!!! Attached is more information about the Promise. We want 100% of kindergartners enrolled.

You can find more information about the Hancock County Promise at or by reviewing the Family Enrollment Guide linked HERE or the Roadmap 2020 linked HERE.

How do I take advantage of this FREE money, you ask? HERE is a link to the video of how to create your Hancock County Promise CollegeChoice 529 account. HERE are STEP by STEP instructions. It is very only has 6 steps to complete!

If you have more questions you can contact Hancock County Chairperson, Scott Shipley at 317-485-3100 or

Engagement, Concentration, New Growth

Growing in Learning

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Daily Student SCreening Required

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Screening verification required!

As noted in our school reopening plan, all students attending GMA on campus, must self-screen daily. A weekly verification will be sent to all families who have children attending Geist Montessori Academy on campus. This screening link will be released every Wednesday and will be due back every Friday at noon. Since every child may develop symptoms differently, a form must be filled out separately for EACH child. Please note that if we have NOT received this verification form, your child(ren) will not be permitted in the building. We appreciate your understanding and abiding by this vital policy as we work to keep everyone safe.

Please fill out this form:

Health Screening Verification Form

We appreciate your partnership and diligence to keep our school family healthy and safe!

GMA Pre-K Program to Resume August 31

Substitute teachers needed

Are you interested in serving our school community as a substitute teacher?

GMA is looking for qualified candidates to serve in this capacity. Candidates must have a minimum of 60 college credits and a current Indiana substitute teacher license. If you are interested, please contact Ms. Stephanie at and Ms. Marca at

GMA's Sensational 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: October 20, 2020 (*Pending Fall Break calendar), 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 will be held at the physical school location or virtually, as needed.

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

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Party Time~ Maria's 150th Birthday is Monday!

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new calendar

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Virtual or LIve, GMA always thrives!

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Montessori Resources

Whole School Resources for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Special Needs

Online Learning Platforms

Primary (3-6)

Elementary (6-12)

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"Children of the World" Virtual Choir

Children of the World, featuring GMA students!!!

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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!