Growing Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 1: August 2, 2020

Such a treat!

Dear GMA School Family,

We are getting so excited to see you tomorrow, August 3, at the drive through Ice Cream Social!

Teachers will be outside to wave and greet students and families in their cars. All cars will proceed through the parking lot in car line pick-up and drop-off fashion. Students will receive a cool treat and a bag of school supplies.

Class lists and teacher assignments were distributed by your child’s teacher this weekend. Due to the 3 learning formats that were offered due to the pandemic, we have had to make class configuration adjustments and your student's teacher will let you know what days and times your child will be onsite for hybrid learning. In addition, your child's teacher will inform you of the virtual learning Zoom times that your child will attend, if the virtual setting was selected as your learning preference.

This year, we will have 3 kindergarten offerings: one onsite class, one virtual and hybrid class, and one class with K-2 students. We will have 2 virtual lower elementary classrooms, one hybrid K-3 class, and one, onsite lower elementary class grades 1-3. In upper elementary, we will have 2 onsite/hybrid classes, and 2 virtual classes. In middle school, we will have one onsite/hybrid class, and one virtual class. YES~ we have creatively found a way to meet all of our students’ diverse needs and preferences! Thank you for your patience as we finalized the class lists.

There is such great positive energy and passion filling the GMA classrooms as teachers prepare for the upcoming school year. We have new and veteran teachers and co-teachers eager to bring learning experiences to new heights this year.

We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Kind regards,

Cindy Schuler

Executive Director

Geist Montessori Academy

(317) 813-4626

Of all things, love is the most potent.

-Maria Montessori

new calendar

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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!

Books on the Beach


We had so many delightful kindergarteners join us for reading fun on July 30 at our first annual Books on the Beach!

Students played Go Fishing for Letters, used Sandpaper Letters, played Floating Alphabet and more! It was a great time meeting the new kindergarten families and teachers, making new friends, and getting book baggies full of reading and learning goodies.

We look forward to partnering with you, bringing fun to learning as we journey together.

What a treat it will be to meet you at the Ice Cream Social!

We look forward to a special treat to get to meet all of you at the Ice Cream Social!

All of the teachers will be outside to greet you.

Bring the whole family to drive through the car line for some car hopper treats!

All students will also receive a school supply bag.

When: Monday, August 3

Time: 12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. OR 5:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

PTO will also have T-shirts for sale for only $5.00!

Please come out for ice cream, supplies, and familiarize your child with his/her new teacher and learn our car line procedures. We are so excited to begin this new learning journey with all of you!

All children will receive school supplies such as water color paints and a notebook, as all children will have eLearning days in January. You will also get your car line number which needs to be displayed prominently on your dashboard for car line pick-up. Some parents find it is easier to clip this sign to their rearview mirror.

We dig our new 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

August 18, 2020

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 continue to dig in

and bring new heights to GMA: Growing together for the better!

Face Covering Tips for Families

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Arrival and Dismissal

Arrival: Please help provide a safe and efficient carline for dropping off children and picking them up. The carline gate opens at 8:15 a.m., with students exiting cars for arrival at 8:30 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:

Daily Student SCreening Required

Notes from the nurse: COVID care connection

The COVID Care Connection was created to answer questions, provide support, and bring clarity surrounding COVID as we start our new school year. Furthermore, as the health and wellness team supporting the GMA community, we are dedicated to the overall physical and mental well-being of the students, staff and families. By using the most up to date resourceful information provided by the CDC, IDOE, and ISDH, we are hopeful that the GMA community will come together to achieve the most healthy and successful school year possible. We are in unprecedented times with things known and unknown about the novel corona virus. Here you will find answers to some of the most important questions related to keeping your loved ones and staff safe physically and emotionally at school. We are here FOR and WITH you, we are BETTER TOGETHER!

GMA CARE TEAM: The GMA Care Team is your family’s primary point of contact for anything COVID-19 related. Together, with your child's teacher, the school counselor and nurse are to support your child's overall mental and physical well-being.

Health Forms Checklist

The following forms/documents are required in order for your child to start school. In an effort to keep your child safe and healthy, we are ensuring all forms are up to date and on file for the current school year. We hope this list helps ensure a smooth transition for your child's first day. As always, if you have any questions regarding these forms and/or their requirements, please contact Ms. April at

  1. Most current immunization record*
  2. CHIRP Parent Consent Form
  3. Student Health Information Card

*Should you child have a medical/religious exemption to vaccination, please fill out this Medical Exemption or Religious Objection Form in it's place.


GMA has identified four areas our family's can focus on to help keep our community safe. Layering the following four practices will increase the health of our community and decrease possibility of spread or contraction: self monitoring, proper mask usage, correct hand hygiene, and social distancing.

Mask Wearing Tips:

The following are recommendations to help with this transition:

  • Have multiple cloth face coverings, so you can wash them daily and have back-ups ready. Choose cloth face coverings that
    • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • Completely cover the nose and mouth
    • Are secured with ties or ear loops
    • Include multiple layers of fabric
    • Allow for breathing without restriction
    • Can be washed and machine dried without damage or change to shape
  • Label your child’s cloth face coverings clearly in a permanent marker so that they are not confused with those of other children.
  • Practice with your child putting on and taking off cloth face coverings without touching the cloth.
  • Explain the importance of wearing a cloth face covering and how it protects other people from getting sick.
  • Consider talking to your child about other people who may not be able to wear cloth face coverings for medical reasons (e.g., asthma).
  • As a family, model wearing cloth face coverings, especially when you are in situations where physical distancing is difficult to maintain or impossible.
  • If you have a young child, help build their comfort wearing a cloth face covering and become comfortable seeing others in face covers.
    • Praise your child for wearing a cloth face covering correctly.
    • Put a cloth face covering on stuffed animals.
    • Draw a cloth face covering on a favorite book character.
    • Show images of other children wearing cloth face coverings.
    • Allow your child to choose their cloth face covering that meets any dress requirements your school may have.
  • Consider providing your child with a container (e.g., labeled resealable bag) to bring to school to store their cloth face coverings when not wearing it (e.g., when eating).


This is a great handwashing video for proper hand washing

I like this visual screening tool for parents to be able to use for daily screening.

Hancock county health department

Marion county health department

Hamilton county health department

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Reopening Plan

Resources from Mr. Michael

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.

Montessori Resources

Whole School Resources for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Special Needs

Online Learning Platforms

Primary (3-6)

Family REsources

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growing 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