Geist Gazette

August 18, 2017

A Message from Mrs. Thomas

Hello Gator Families,

We have had an exciting week and half start to our school year. At the school level we have been working through our procedures in the building, learning about I-messages and how to handle conflict, bucket filling, and talking about the solar eclipse. The students are doing a great job of learning life within a school of 800 other schoolmates!

Monday, August 21 is a regular dismissal day. Students will be dismissed at 3:40 p.m.

A reminder that Monday is the solar eclipse. Students will be provided NASA approved Solar Eclipse glasses meeting the ISO guidelines. Only students with signed permission slips to view the eclipse will go outside. Information was sent earlier this week via the skylert system. Please contact your teacher with any further questions. Thank you for your support of this unique learning experience.

We look forward to Meet the Teacher Night on Monday and Wednesday night. Everyone will come to the cafeteria to start, so please enter door 11. Doors will unlock at 6:45 and please know this is a parent night only. I will introduce the faculty and give a few announcements and dismiss you to learn more about your child’s class.

Gator families, please know we have one major day dedicated to fundraising at Geist Elementary which is Friday, September 22, 2017:

· During the school day we will have our Gator Gallop – In early September, students request donations from family and friends and then on this FUN day they go outside walk/run/skip and GALLOP for 30 mins! (More info on donation collections will be coming soon.)

· During evening hours we will have our Annual Fall Festival --Families purchase tickets for games (kids) & food, there is music, a silent auction and LOTS of FUN and comradery had by all.

Your children will not want to miss this exciting day! MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW for September 22, 2017! Thank you for making our fundraising day a HUGE SUCCESS!

As I noted in my first letter, we are starting our workshop model instruction for reading, writing and math. You will learn more about our instructional practices and HSE21 through your child’s teacher and through the GES Gazette during the school year.

Finally, thank you for your patience and flexibility while we work out bus transportation at the end of the day. Please know that with a district of 21,000 students, 21 schools and 302 buses, the routes may get backed up at times. Most drivers are double and triple routed. As a district, we start with dismissal of HS students, then JH and intermediate, and then elementary. It truly becomes a well-oiled machine, however, it will take time to assess where delays cannot be fixed and new routes need to be created. Sometimes traffic and road issues can delay the process. We have been in contact with transportation; the directors of transportation were with us for Thursday dismissal and they are addressing our concerns. We will try our best to keep you informed when buses are delayed by over ten minutes. Please know that we do not put our students on the bus until all buses have arrived to make sure students are not waiting on the bus! Once buses have arrived, we dismiss K and 1st, and then 2-4th grade. That should take about 5 minutes to dismiss K-4 when running smoothly.

Thank you again for a great start. Have an amazing weekend with your beautiful children.

We appreciate your support of GES,

Christi Thomas, Principal

Meet the Teacher Nights this Week

Monday, August 21

1st Grade 6:00 - 6:45pm

3rd Grade 7:15pm - 8:00pm

Wednesday, August 23

2nd Grade 6:00– 6:45pm

4th Grade 7:15pm - 8:00pm

These meetings are for parents only. You may stop in the office to have your picture taken for the Safe Visitor Badge. The office will open at 6:00 and close at 8:00.

School Dismissal Manager - UPDATE

Starting Monday, August 21, all parents are expected to use School Dismissal Manager exclusively as the way to notify us of a change in your student's dismissal plans. We will put your child on the assigned bus if we do not see any other instructions on SDM.

Please log in on a computer to SDM using the user name and password you received last week. Check that your child's default transportation home is correct. If it is not, please make that change before 1:45 on Monday.

Daily changes should be made by 1:45 each day.

Visit for a tutorial video.

Global Studies

Our Chinese classes had a great start last week! Students really enjoyed learning fun facts about China and how to greet and introduce themselves and their friends in Chinese. During the next 12 weeks, we will continue to meet once a week, enjoying learning the language as well as exploring the Chinese culture while comparing to American traditions. During the next two weeks, we will be learning to say numbers and family members in Chinese. Students will be introduced to “pinyin”, used in pronouncing Chinese, as well as strokes, used in writing Chinese. It will be a wonderful journey and I’m so excited to be a part of it!

Sandra Cao-Wilson

World Studies Teacher (Chinese)

KELLER’S CLIPS - I-Messages: Conflict Resolution Skills

Dear Parents/Guardians:

Your child/children are being taught how to ‘use his/her words’ in dealing with conflicts. They are taught that conflicts are disagreements or one-time events that cause them to feel bad, anger or sad. They are also taught that conflicts are a normal part of life and that everyone has conflicts, sometimes daily.

I teach our students to use ‘I-messages’. I-messages are ‘the words’ to use when there is a conflict. It’s about telling the other person how they ‘feel’ when someone ‘does or says something that causes a conflict’, and ending with a request to ‘stop’ or other desired action. For example, if a Child A pushes on Child B’s back this would most likely cause a conflict for Child B. Child B would be expected to use an I-message. For example, “I feel mad when you push on my back. Please stop it”.

The teachers and I practice the skill of using I-messages with the class. Please do so at home, so they become accustomed to using I-messages to solve conflicts. We use them here at school and they have proven to be very successful with our students and adults, alike. We all have the right to set boundaries for ourselves and the sooner our students learn to do so, the more confident they become.

Thank you for your support!


Lisa Piatek Keller, M.S.

School Counselor

Geist Elementary School

School Pictures September 11

Picture Day for Geist Elementary School is scheduled for Monday, September 11, 2017.

Online orders may be placed at . Forms will be sent home next week.

Calling All Library Volunteers!!

Mrs. Pidcock is creating the schedule for library helpers. If you worked previously and want to continue this year or have never helped but would like to give it a try, please contact Mrs. Pidcock by phone (317-915-4260, ext. 1691) or email ( Volunteers are needed from 9:00 to 10:30, but you can work as little or as much as you like. Responsibilities include using the computer to check in books for the day and shelving the books back in the collection. Training is available. Classes run from Monday through Friday this year and will begin on Friday, the 18th.

Friends of the Library Club 

We would love to help you celebrate your birthday or special event. Simply fill out the attached form and return it to school with payment. Your child will then choose a brand new book for our library during their celebration month. Your child's picture and name will be placed in the front of the book and they will be the first person to check out the new book. You may donate one book for each child or one book per family. Please contact Jennifer Watkins, 816-694-8862, or Mrs. Pidcock, 317-915-4260, with questions.

Click here for the Friends of the Library form.

Student Handbook

Dear GES Parents and Guardians,

The 2017-2018 HSE Schools student handbooks (K-12) are now online for easier access. The handbook for Geist Elementary School can be found at this link:

We encourage you to review it at your earliest convenience. Should you have any questions, please contact the GES main office at 317-915-4260. Our staff is available to assist you. Have a great school year.

Lunch Menus and Visitors

Click here to see what's being served in the café.

Click here for the food services website.

We are practicing smooth transitions and procedures in the cafeteria as our students adjust to the school schedule. The cafeteria is not open to visitors at this time. We will open for visitors after Labor Day.

Does your child attend YMCA or another after-school care program?

Please help us keep our dismissal process running smoothly and on time by notifying both the school office and your after-school care provider of any changes in attendance. We have buses waiting on children whose plans have changed for the day, but the daycare was not notified. Your cooperation is appreciated.

Safe Visitor Badge and Visitors

Anyone intending to spend time in the school must have a SafeVisitor ID Badge. Please note this policy also applies to anyone wishing to join students for lunch (see below). If you have been approved as a volunteer with Hamilton Southeastern School Corporation and did not receive an email from, please email Vicki Foutty ( If you have not yet completed the background check, click here to get started.

Want to keep up on what's happening at school?

Follow @geistgators on twitter. We tweet throughout the day.

Check our website:

This newsletter, the Geist Gazette, goes out every other Friday (although it may be sent again next week). We will send it to you via email, and post it on our website under the News tab.

Click here to see our building calendar. This lists activities before, during and after hours.


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Chess for Kids. Visit for details and to register.
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Boys! Join Cub Scouts!

Thursday, August 31st from 6:30p-8:00p here at school boys in grades K-5 can join Cub Scouts. Cub Scouts is one of the largest programs in our school. Your son will experience fun and adventure, while providing to him a foundation he can stand on to embrace opportunity, overcome obstacles and make new discoveries. What makes Cub Scouting truly unique is the opportunity it gives your entire family to be involved in his development. Come join your son’s friends in Cub Scouts!


Permitted use of school newsletters as required by the Equal Access Act is not an endorsement of this group or this group’s beliefs by Hamilton Southeastern Schools or the Board of School Trustees.
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HSE Schools Community Bulletin Board

HSE Schools has created a Community Bulletin Board on its district website. This will serve as a central location to find information about activities and events promoted by organizations that serve our students and their families. This is where the Fishers Library, YMCA, S.P.O.R.T.S. and other groups' registration information will be located.