Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy
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!
Geist Montessori Academy
(317) 813-4626 firstname.lastname@example.org
Of all things, love is the most potent.
Meet our incredible School Family staff members: Enjoy Photos and Letters
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.
Meet the Benbow Family
Ms. Karen, Ms. Staci, Ms. Justine, Ms. Lori, Ms. Vicki, and Ms. Rebekah had a ball meeting our new learners.
Cait and Hudson Huntzinger had a ball!
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
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
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.
PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR CAR IS IN PARK WHEN STATIONARY IN CARLINE. ALSO, PLEASE REFRAIN FROM CELL PHONE USE DURING CARLINE.
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 email@example.com.
- Most current immunization record*
- CHIRP Parent Consent Form
- 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.
4 WAYS TO KEEP OUR CHILDREN SAFE AT SCHOOL
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
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.
Whole School Resources for the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Free Webinars and Town Hall Meetings from the Montessori Foundation and International Montessori Council
- Montessori Foundation YouTube Channel
- Learning from Home Parent Handbook (graciously shared with the public by the Montessori School of Tokyo)
- Downloadable Montessori parent ed video series provided free of charge from Nido Marketing
- Distance Learning for Equity Plan: created by Magnolia Montessori for All, a charter school in Austin, Texas
- Montessori4Inclusion: Resource page for COVID-19 response for students with special needs
- Montessori Now: Montessori and special needs with Christine Lo
- Adapting to teaching by Teleconference by Andy Lulka and Beth Kalisky from Integrating Montessori
- Seesaw: Remote learning training for teachers and school admin
- Google resources for schools during the coronavirus pandemic
- How to use Zoom for online learning and video conferencing
- List of free online platforms: compiled by School Choice Week
- 3-6 Parent Support Group: please refer your families to this group for general support, resources and ideas during the school closure. Moderated by trained Montessori guides and teacher trainers. Admin: Jana Morgan Herman
- Sample daily messages from Mighty Oaks Montessori.
- Sample daily schedule and home activity suggestions from Lanny Cheuck of WBees Forest School
- Curated Book Lists by Ashley Speed of Diamond Montessori
- Primary resources compiled by the Montessori Agency
- Want to keep up with resources for the Primary level all year long? Join the Trillium Montessori Primary Email Newsletter.
- Elementary Parent Support Group: please refer your families to this group for general support, resources and ideas during the school closure. Moderated by trained Montessori guides and teacher trainers. Admin: Letty Rising
- Timeline of Pandemics FB Live from Montessori Renaissance Academy
- MINT’s Idea Book for Primary and Elementary by Montessori Institute of North Texas (weekly PD also available)
- Elementary resources compiled by the Montessori Agency
- Want to keep up with resources for the Elementary level all year long? Join the Trillium Montessori Elementary Email Newsletter.
- Search the Resource Database below for content specific supports.
- Elementary Independent Writing Prompts
- Elementary Writing Activities to Accompany Reading
- Secondary Independent Writing Prompts
- Secondary Writing Activities to Accompany Reading
- TV and Movie watching templates for Elementary | Elementary Spanish and Secondary | Secondary Spanish students - IDOE wants to ensure learning continues for students at home. These templates are meant to provide an opportunity for students to learn and grow while watching a TV show or movie.
- AskRose Homework Help(link is external) - A free math and science tutoring service for Indiana students and other students in grades 6-12. Students can call 877-ASK-ROSE, email, or chat live with a friendly tutor to work through and better understand homework assignments.
- Fred Rogers Center - Talking to Young Children about the Coronavirus(link is external)
- CDC - Talking to young children about coronavirus(link is external)
- PBS - How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus(link is external) (with PBS Kids videos and shows that discuss handwashing)