Better Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 9, February 2, 2020

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Standing Room Only!

Wow! What a wonderful evening filled with love and togetherness! Over 500 students, staff, friends, family and community members joined us for our Grand Opening Celebration.

Nick Wright, Geist Montessori Academy’s visionary Board President, reflected on the school’s journey, beginning back in 2014, when the seed was planted to unify the two school campuses under one roof.

Rob Wohlschlaeger, project leader extraordinaire from Lauth Group Inc., presented Geist Montessori Academy (GMA) with a ceremonious dedication plaque. Then, to help celebrate the ability to collectively shine brighter in our new school space and to thank each guest for radiating their care in making it possible, Melody, Darius, and Phoenix Kim played the violin, cello, and piano to the tune of “You are My Sunshine.”

Soon after, Callie Heflin and Amelia Santiago showcased their artwork portraying Dr. Montessori’s principle, “Above all things, love is the most potent,” and noted that love is the unifying bond at GMA. Highlighting the similarity of each unique snowflake to the special characteristics of each GMA student, Christopher Moore, kicked off the night’s snow theme.

Bailey and Presley Williard then recited “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost, denoting that GMA keeps its promises, while being mindful to pause in awe and wonder of the beauty in each moment.

Next, the enchanting voices of Ms. Meagan, Orion and Teagan Cortez, and Jaxsen Demos reminded us all that though GMA is in a new space, “Some Things Never Change.” Then, all present joined together in a giant circle, each holding the grand opening ribbon as one united school family, to the tune of “We are Family.”

After that, attendees enjoyed exploring our students’ new home away from home that our incredible staff, parents, PTO, and so many other partners have worked tirelessly to provide for our students. The evening concluded with the gymnasium floor signing, water bottle giveaways displaying the new logo, and thanks to Inter-State Studios, a fun photo booth opportunity to commemorate the evening. A special thanks, also, to Brian Paul for videotaping the event, which will be shared soon.

United under one roof, with a common snow theme, each room shone brightly, so special and unique, filled with so much love, our unifying bond. Thank you for joining us in celebrating how we’re working together, for the better!

Behind the scene dress rehearsals

Thanks to Interstate Studios for the Photo Booth Fun!

Recycling Program Begins!

GMA is proud to announce that we have begun a recycling program.

Republic is our collection company and items, such as

  • Paper
  • Cardboard
  • Plastic Water bottles Take-out containers Soda bottles
  • Aluminum/Metal

For more information on recyclables, visit

Branching OUt

Branching out with new growth

GMA Middle School Students did an incredible job of bringing our new school logo to life in wall mural format. This will become the home of our Outreach leaves of thanksgiving. We have many sponsors to include and will be ordering the metal leaves soon. Please know that families may donate together and be included collectively on the engraved leaves.

Leaves of recognition will be adhered to the tree in tiers:

Bronze: $1000-$4,999

Silver: $5000-$9,999

Gold: $10,000-$14,999

Sponsors and donors that make a contribution of $15,000 or greater will have a banner featured in the gymnasium. The banners are 3X5 feet with grommets in the left and right upper hand corners. The design on the banner needs administration and board approval. Upon approval, the banner needs to be created by the donor.

We appreciate your partnership and are so thankful for your generosity and support. Indeed, we are BETTER TOGETHER!

Calendar and Time Survey~ Please take a moment to let your voice be heard!

Please take a moment to vote for your preference of school calendar times and dates for 2020-2021.

2020-2021 Calendar and Time Survey

Something to honk about! Car lIne update

The new car line is definitely something to honk about!

Afternoon dismissal is getting quicker and more efficient every day, thanks to all of your efforts and flexibility!

Thank you for following our new car line procedures:

  • All Pre-K and kindergarten students without siblings will be released for car line pick-up at 3:00 p.m. All Pre-K and kindergarten students without siblings need to be picked up by 3:10 p.m.
  • Pick-up for Pre-K and K will only be at door 3, green moon.
  • Pre-K and K students with siblings, along with grade 1-8 students, will be released at 3:30, with cars stopped in the double-S lane until 3:15.
  • At 3:15, all remaining students’ car line numbers will be taken, and students will be called at 3:30 p.m.
  • All cars need to be in the lot no later than 3:45 p.m. Dismissal for this large group will be at both doors, like we have been doing.

Also, please note that school begins at 8:30. As such, the chain is being placed after the last car arrives into the lot before the 8:30 deadline. Parents must walk and sign students in if they arrive after the start of school.

Learning Labs

Learning labs are going well and will continue until the end of the month. Parents will be notified by February 28 if their child will be invited to join a learning lab or if their child will be be invited to continue in the lab for another 5 week session. The second round of FREE tutoring will run from 3/9-4/24 ( Spring Break is in that time frame.) We are so excited to be able to provide this extra layer of support for our students and look forward to further enhancing their achievement and learning development.

It's all the Rave, come to the roller Cave

It's going to be great, at 5:30, it's "Learn to Skate"

6-8 p.m., All Skate

February 13

GMA School Nurse Notes

Dear Families,

I am so excited to be here and be a part of your child’s education and daily care. The goal of having a school nurse is for me to help provide a safe and healthy environment for the students to learn in. I will be available to the students on Mondays from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:45 am to 12:45 pm. During these hours I will be in the clinic to assist with any health needs that arise. If you have any questions or have a student with special medical needs, please feel free to reach out to me with any concerns.

Just a friendly reminder that flu season is still going strong and the CDC has seen an increased number of cases in children this year. Please keep your sick kiddos home! The best way to prevent illness from spreading is to keep your child at home when they are exhibiting symptoms, such as fever >100 degrees, cough, vomiting, diarrhea, etc. Per our school policy, your child cannot return to school until they have met the following criteria…

1. Fever free for 24 hours, as exemplified by no temperature greater than 100 degrees or a fever that has required Tylenol or Ibuprofen to reduce it within the last 24 hours

2. Free of diarrhea or vomiting for 24 hours from last episode

3. If your child has a fever of >100, vomiting or diarrhea, the student will be required to go home.

By keeping the germs out of the classroom, this allows us to maintain a safer and healthier environment for all of our students. Handwashing is encouraged and is the #1 way to help prevent the spreading of germs.

Thank you for helping me to take the best care of our students. Please reach out if you have any questions!

Joy Sterrett, RN, BSN

GMA School Nurse

(317) 813-4626, extension 106

Community Work Day

Come out and celebrate the beautiful weather tomorrow, 2/3, and help create a great play space for our students! The PTO Playground Committee is looking for volunteers to help with items such as building the Gaga Pit, tables, and completing the sandbox. Be a part of the fun for any amount of time throughout the day; simply go the play spaces beside the building and lend a helping hand.

Counselor corner

Hello GMA Families!

This week I will be introducing classrooms to our new Kelso's Choices curriculum! This week we are learning about being respectful. I will be using 2 frog characters, Kelso and Lily, to demonstrate what respect is (and what respect is not) and help students see that having a respectful conversation involves having eye contact, listening ears, quiet mouths, and being able to focus on the words that are being said. I use Kelso and Lily puppets by having Kelso ask Lily about daily plans but Lily has a really tough time showing respect during the conversation. She is distracted by rolling around on the floor, biting at her own feet, and interrupts Kelso to ask about lunch. I explain that being respectful means we are polite, saying please and thank you, having proper manners, and explain the Golden Rule: treat others the way they want to be treated.

We then go over 3 "Photo Card Book" examples where there are real world pictures of students being disrespectful and on the flip side of the card, they show respectful choices. The scenarios come in pairs, one side being the disrespectful way to do things and the other being the respectful way. I ask students about what is happening in the photos and what ways they could change the disrespectful cards into respectful cards and then compare their responses to the respectful side of the card. We then talk about real world examples here at GMA and how we can connect these situations to our own lives.

We summarize the lesson by redoing the conversation between Kelso and Lily, and I have one of the students be Lily to demonstrate having a respectful conversation. We review what it means to have a respectful conversation and review the Golden Rule. The students love it! I look forward to using Kelso's Choices to implement the 5 components of being a Kelso Star: respectful, caring, fair, responsible, and honest. Stay tuned for more information about our journey with Kelso and Lily!

-Mr. Michael

Come Rock around the clock!

Please join us on Friday, February 21st, from 6:00PM - 8:00PM for our Family Sock Hop in the Gymnasium!

  • Swing dance lesson by Naptown Stomp
  • Performance by Leen Illusions
  • Tickets are $5 per person or $20 per family.
  • Please send in your registration by February 17

Like to be involved? We'd love to have you! Sign up here

Kasey the Fire Dog

Students enjoyed learning about fire safety this week with Kasey the Fire Dog and friends.

It's spring enrollment time!

Let the word out, it's spring enrollment time! We are currently accepting new students for the 2020-2021 School Year. Tours are Tuesday mornings from 9:30-10:15; sign-up on our website.

Additionally, current GMA families, it is that time of year to let us know if your current student has a sibling not currently enrolled in GMA that wishes to enroll for the 2020-2021 school year. Per our charter regulations, siblings of current students have priority. If you have a student that will be joining us for the 2020-2021 school year, please complete this form:

Enrollment Form, Sibling 2020-2021

Please contact Ms. Jane with any questions or concerns, 317-813-4626.

Cody Wayman and Cooper share Racing in the Rain, a story of connectedness

This book is called Racing in the Rain because, as Enzo describes at the end of the story, racing in the rain is about balance. It is about anticipation and patience. You can know all of the driving skills that are necessary for one to be successful in the rain, but racing in the rain is also about the mind! It is about believing that one’s car is merely an extension of one’s body. "It is about believing that you are not you; you are everything. And everything is you.”

Noteworthy by Mr. Cameron

The 4th through 8th graders this week are continuing their lessons on the ukulele; they are learning how to play Riptide by Vance Joy, all the while learning how to compose chords, keep a steady strum pattern going, and how to read tablature. These ukulele lessons adhere to standard 5 which is analyzing and reading music, standard 8 playing an instrument, and eventually will cover standard 7 which is singing or playing in front of a group.

Kindergarten is learning basic beats on the drum which adheres to standard 4 understanding tempo and melodies.

1st through 3rd grade is continuing their lessons on writing music and reading it which adheres to standard 11, writing and arranging music. They are also ending each day playing the drums to my guitar and singing, giving them a more band-like experience which adheres to standard 8, playing instruments, and standard 7 playing or singing in front of a group.

PTO Spirit Shirt Sale~ only $10

There are still some shirts for sale, and if you have not already done so, please remit payment for your GMA t-shirt(s) that was/were purchased at the Open House. Please send the funds into school with your child, clearly marked “PTO T-Shirt Money” and your name.

Ms. Jane at the front desk is accepting the payments. Please make checks payable to GMA PTO.

If you have any questions, please contact Casi Durham at

Thank you!!

important reminders

East Entrance is the only exit during the school day until car line pick-up

GMA’s east entrance, closest to Olio, is to be used as an entrance and exit during the school day since cars are not allowed on the north side of the campus during school hours. We are having a sign made to reflect this, so in the meantime, please know that it is ok to drive out the Do Not Enter signed east entrance.

There is also a chain blocking the north side of the school, so please be mindful of this policy. This is ensuring the safety of our middle school students as they play basketball on the blacktop area. We appreciate your help with this, as we continue to keep student safety a priority.

Great STEM opportunity: Register now

Engineering for Kids is offering after school STEM opportunities in explore and mechanical engineering. Please see the attached flyer with all of the enrollment details.

They are also offering an Early Bird Special for Summer Camps at GMA. Register for a full day camp experience and save up to $50 per week!

Here is the link for the website:

eLearning Day : february 14

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.

Upcoming Events

February 11: PTO Meeting in the Art Room

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 17: No School, President's Day

February 18: School Board Meeting in the Art Room, 5:30 p.m.

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

March 3: Engineering for Kids

March 7: Come cheer on the Robotics Team at the State Championship!

March 11: End of Third Quarter

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

working together for the better!

Meet Geist Montessori Academy's Executive Director: Cindy Schuler

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