GEMS Family Newsletter

September 2021

Upcoming Events

  • Wed. Sept. 29 - Picture Day
  • Fri. Oct. 1 - No School - PD Day
  • Thurs. Oct. 28 - Fri. Oct. 29 - No School - PD Days

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Important School Information

Have you turned in your proof of residence? All families must submit a new proof of residence every school year!

In addition to the Registration Forms, we are mandated by the Ohio Department of Education to obtain a new proof of residence every school year. This may be a copy of a utility bill (dated on or after July 1, 2021). If you do not have a copy of a utility bill, please contact the school by calling 614-253-4000 or emailing us at: for other options. Please submit your Proof of residence TODAY.

Have you made your annual school fee contribution?

We are asking our families to help with expenses by making an annual school contribution of $35.00. Make arrangements to pay with credit card, cash, check or money order in person or by mail. You may also pay with a credit card online via the GEMS School Store at this link: GEMS Online Store

Have you completed your Free/Reduced Lunch Application

We are asking all our families to complete the Free/Reduced Lunch form. Click here is the link to print the application. After you complete the application it can be mailed or scanned, OR dropped off at the front desk. Our office hours are Monday-Friday from 8:00am-4:00pm.

Picture Day - Wed. Sept. 29

Mark your calendars for picture day - Wed. Sept. 29. Information will be send home soon. To order pictures before picture day go to and the GEMS picture day ID is EVTRBF9SW.

GEMS After-school Program K-4 & 5-8

GEMS After-school Program is a FREE K-4 & 5-8 after school program! The program hours are 3:30-6:30pm Monday through Friday beginning Sept. 13th and ending May 27th

GEMS After-school Program is a collaboration between Graham Elementary & Middle School & Communities In Schools of Central Ohio. The purpose of this collaboration is to surround students with a community of support, empower them to succeed in school and achieve in life.

GEMS After-school Program is funded through a Nita M. Lowery 21st Century Community Learning Center grant through the Ohio Department of Education.

Program Highlights:

  • A Safe environment with caring adults
  • Homework Assistance
  • Literacy daily & Expeditionary Learning
  • Mentoring & OSU Volunteer Reading Buddies
  • Enrichment & Physical Activities
  • Meals provided daily through Children’s Hunger Alliance USDA food program

Our goal is to provide daily academic assistance and youth development, therefore, consistent attendance is crucial to individual achievements.

Enrollment Link:

GAP will adhere to State, Local & school guidelines concerning Covid to maintain the safety of students & staff.

GAP Admin:

Christopher M. Farris- Program Manager ,

Jasmine Blanton – Elementary Coordinator ,

Mitch Rausch – Middle Coordinator ,

*Not all homework will be finished in GEMS After-school Program. GEMS After-school Program ends at 6:30pm!

Please Complete the Parent Volunteer Interest Survey!

Welcome to GEMS 2021-22 school year! Support from parents and guardians is important to student success in school. Click here to complete the survey!

Grade Level Updates


During Unit 1 kindergarteners will learn and practice behaviors for sharing and caring for classroom toys and interacting with peers.

What will your student be learning?

Students will begin to study the topic of toys and play with a focus on what people can do to make playing together fun. The learning will be focused on these ideas:

  • How we take care of our classroom toys
  • Reading stories to learn how to play together
  • Practicing listening and speaking to each other in conversations
  • Developing classroom commitments for playing together

Students will also practice these reading foundation skills:

  • Learning the name, formation, and sound of many consonant and vowel letters
  • Identifying and producing words that rhyme
  • Concepts of print: reading from left to right, up and down, and pointing to each word as it is read aloud
How will your student be learning?

Throughout the unit, your student will read, think, listen, talk, write, and ask questions about the topic of what makes toys fun. Students will participate in these activities, among others, to build their literacy skills:

  • Listening to the book Llama Llama Time to Share by Anna Dewdney read aloud
  • Singing songs about playing together
  • Engaging in conversations with classmates
  • Playing with toys to practice sharing and taking care of materials
  • Writing and drawing about playing together
Kindergarten Field Trip

Lynd Fruit Farm - Sept 30, 2021 11:30am-1:30pm

9399 Morse Road SW, Pataskala, OH 43062

First Graders

Have had a busy and exciting first 2 weeks of school! We have been practicing our routines and working on building our stamina to work independently. We are getting ready to begin our first Expedition unit of study, Tools in Space!

In math, we’ve been reviewing kindergarten content and building our number sense. We are getting ready to dive into our first math unit, which focuses on data and addition/subtraction within 10. We will build upon this knowledge as we transition into addition/subtraction within 20.

Second Graders

Have had a busy first 2 weeks in 2nd Grade! We’ve worked on building our knowledge of expected behavior and school rules! We are working to build up our stamina for reading independently.

We have also been discussing parts of speech (nouns, adjectives and verbs) as well as other phonics concepts such as long and short vowels!

In math, we are beginning with addition and subtraction with 20. We are working to be able to add and subtract within 50 and 100!

Third Graders

Are beginning our expedition topic of “access to books around the world” and our specific learning challenges. In math we are refreshing our memory on addition and subtraction with regrouping as well as decomposing numbers. Our classrooms are continuing to build their community and our friendships.

Fourth Graders

Hello fourth grade families! These past two weeks we have been reviewing content, getting to know each other and setting high expectations for the school year! In 4th grade ELA we are beginning our study of the main idea. Once we understand what the main idea is of a poem/article/ story etc. then we can begin our dive into our first expedition covering poetry. In 4th grade math we have been reviewing previous content while also completing assessments that let us, the teachers, know what level all the students are at.

We will be sending home another document with your kids that will have the instructions on how to access/sign up for the 4th grade Remind. Please make sure to sign up for this so nobody misses any important announcements!

Fifth Graders

Are starting our exploration into human rights. In Humanities, we will start learning about what human rights are and explore examples of rights being denied as well as upheld. In science, students are continuing their exploration of planets beyond our own. In math, students are working on volume.

Sixth Graders

Will start our expedition topic focusing on plastic and other waste pollution. In Humanities we are reading the book Flush analyzing point of view, figurative language, and author’s perspective. In science students are learning about rocks and minerals and the scientific method. During math class students are beginning our first unit exploring the area and surface area of both 2D and 3D shapes. In science, we are going to begin to investigate the layers of the earth, as well as have the opportunity to analyze different types of rocks and minerals.

Seventh Graders

During this month we will be kicking off our expedition! We are excited for the opportunities students will have to interview members of the community and record a podcast in a real recording studio! In Humanities we will begin reading the novel All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely. In science we have started talking about the periodic table and how the elements are involved in our bodies.

Eight Graders

Have kicked off our expedition talking about what makes up and influences our identity. We will be exploring identity from many angles, such as how we see ourselves versus how we are seen in the community. In science we will be looking at how genetics play a role in shaping our identity, in math we are exploring data around the values we share, and in humanities we are analyzing how historical events shape our identity today.

K-4 Music

During this month we are reviewing what we have learned in previous years in music class. We are also going to start to dive into new topics! In Kindergarten we are learning about our 4 voices and how to use them to create music! In 1st grade we are learning about the difference between steady beat and rhythm! In 2nd grade students are learning how to recognize rhythms and learn about a new solfege syllable “LA”. 3rd graders are learning how to hear a song's melody and label it with solfege. This month the 4th graders are learning to put different vocal parts of music together and listen across the ensemble for your part. We are already off to such a musical start! Way to go GEMS musicians!

K-4 Art

During this month we have started investigating the amazing street art of Kelsey Montague and her murals. Together we have been working on our own pieces of work that we will put together to create our very own inspired mural right here in the school! Next we will be focusing on some basic drawing skills as we learn how to draw people using shapes and lines in Kindergarten and First grade! In Second grade we will be working on self portraits as we learn all about proportion. In Third and Fourth grade, we are so excited to continue learning even more about street art as we investigate the different styles of Graffiti to make our own signature name designs.

5-6 PE

Starting Tuesday, September 14th we’re going to do a 3 week Unit on Team Building. We will engage in many team building games while learning how to use effective communication strategies and tactics to move our bodies in different ways, times, spaces, and environments to win games/challenges or activities.

Just a couple of reminders for 5th and 6th graders:

  • Please bring athletic shoes & clothes

  • Water bottle/canister

  • Deodorant


September is Attendance Awareness Month!

GEMS is shooting for 96% attendance this school year...are you going to be part of the 96% Club?! Help us reach our attendance goal by Being Here at school.

Better attendance leads to more belonging and higher achievement...

Even a few days missed can put students behind!

Help our kids and classrooms be successful by:

Emailing or

Reaching out to 614-253-4000 to let us know about absences, providing excuses (such as doctor’s notes), or if you need help getting your child to school.

Every day and every student matters!

Reach out to Mr. Beery (K-4) or Ms. Frazier (5-8) if you have questions or concerns about attendance.

Required Vaccines for Students

Vaccines protect children from serious and preventable diseases – and all K-12 students must be up-to-date on all required vaccines entering the new school year. Click here for a list of required vaccines.

Please contact your healthcare provider to make sure that your child is up to date on their vaccinations. If for any reason you cannot get into your doctor in a timely manor, Columbus Public Health has an Immunization Clinic at 240 Parsons Ave. where students can receive their vaccines, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. Vaccines are offered at Columbus Public Health’s immunization clinic on a walk-in basis. No appointment is necessary.

Columbus Public Health Immunization Clinic Hours:

  • Mon: 8 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.
  • Tue: 10 a.m. – 6:15 p.m.
  • Wed: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Thu/Fri: 8 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

The week of September 15, Columbus Public Health’s Immunization Clinic will offer extended hours:

  • Sat, 9/11: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • Mon, 9/13: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Tues, 9/14: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Wed, 9/15: 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Thu, 9/16: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Fri, 9/17: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sat, 9/18: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Columbus Public Health may stop seeing new patients before closing hours due to high demand.

Despite these extended hours, we expect wait times of up to five hours during this week. Please visit the Immunization Clinic as soon as possible in order to avoid these long waits. In addition to childhood vaccines, Columbus Public Health also offers free COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 12 years of age and older.

When you shop at Kroger, and/or Amazon you can help GEMS raise money for expeditions!


Go to: or call 1-800-837-4483 to enroll in the program. Add GEMS to your card. You can search for GEMS by name or use our school code: FD086. Shop! Every time you shop and use your Kroger Rewards Card GEMS gets rebates. Kroger totals those rebates and sends GEMS a check.

Amazon Smile

When you make a purchase on Amazon Smile they will now donate 0.5% of your total purchase to GEMS. Go to to get started!

Do you know anyone that might be interested in attending GEMS? Please share this information!

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EL Education

Our partnership with EL Education empowers our teachers to unleash the potential of their students. EL Education is built on ten design principles that reflect the educational values and beliefs of Kurt Hahn, founder of Outward Bound and co-founder of EL Education. These principles also reflect the design's connection to other related thinking about teaching, learning, and the culture of schools. The 10 design principles are: The Primacy of Self-Discovery, The Having of Wonderful Ideas, The Responsibility for Learning, Empathy and Caring, Success and Failure, Collaboration and Competition, Diversity and Inclusion, The Natural World, Solitude and Reflection, Service and Compassion.

Professional Qualifications

The parent or guardian of each student enrolled at GEMS may request information on the professional qualifications of each classroom teacher who provides instruction to their student and the school will provide this information on each applicable teacher in a timely manner.

GEMS School-wide Title 1

GEMS is a School-wide Title 1 program, enabling us to receive Federal Funds to ensure that our students receive the support they need to reach and exceed grade level goals particularly in reading and math. We welcome parent involvement in planning, review and improvement of Title 1 programs including the family engagement policy and the schoolwide program plan. Please contact Debbie Addison at with any questions.


Per House Bill 21 community schools are now required to perform a monthly review of student files and randomly select families for residency verification. Please be sure to contact the school immediately in case of an address change. Proof of residency must be submitted within two weeks of an address change. If evidence is not provided, requests for additional documentation or a home visit may occur.

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"This institution is an equal opportunity provider."