Geist Gazette

August 13, 2021

School Safety Week

Good afternoon GES Families-

Next week begins School Safety Week! By State law we are required to complete Fire, Man-Made and tornado drills on a regular basis. I like to focus a week on school safety and allow students to meet our amazing Fishers PD and FD. This is a great time for you to partner with us and follow up at home on safety in your house.


  • Where is your meeting spot at your house if you must evacuate?

  • Have you checked your smoke alarms lately?

  • Are your children allowed to answer the door when you are not home?

  • Can they open the door when you are taking a nap?

  • Have you discussed going straight home when they get off the bus?


I recommend you take time at dinner to talk about safety.


Considering the world in which we live, best practice for School Safety tells us to have discussions and drills at developmentally appropriate levels. That means, the discussion we have with kindergarten students is different than what we have in 4th grade which is different from sophomores in high school. Teachers are trained to adjust discussion, give basics but not scare, and respond accordingly in crisis. The best advice you can give your children when under the care of school officials is to listen to the adults in charge and be very quiet. With our youngest students we equate it to Simon Says. Remember our children will feed off of adults’ energy and what they see on TV. Unfortunately, we can’t prevent them from hearing the negatives that occur in our world, but we can prepare them to the degree that is appropriate.


I will share that your children are doing great and meeting new people! Last week our teacher from the Fire Department, Mrs. Heckley came to lunch and her team will return in September for safety lessons for all grades. Next week our Emergency Personnel will be out waving and giving elbow bumps. We are blessed with a great team of Emergency Personnel helping to keep us safe within Fishers. I want your children to know our police and fire personnel are helpful people to keep us safe.


Please know that each day following announcements we will give instructions on the PA system about our drill and safety tips for the day.


Monday- Shelter in Place- we stay inside, and we don’t go into the hallways

Tuesday- Bus evacuations

Wednesday- NO Drill

Thursday- Lockdown or what the state calls a Man-Made Drill.

  • HSE uses ALICE as our protocol- Alert-Lockdown-Inform-Counter or Evacuate

  • The business world usually calls it Run, Hide, Fight (Has your business practiced a drill? They should!)

Friday- Tornado drill


Some of the tips we have shared with your children for when they are at school include:

  • do not open doors for strangers

  • if you see something that does not seem right, then report it to an adult

  • staff and visitors must have on a school ID or Safe Visitor badges

  • listen to adults during the drill and remain quiet


During our lockdown drill, we will practice parts of ALICE. The children hear the Alert (an announcement on the PA about an intruder) and the Lockdown portion of ALICE by closing the classroom doors and covering the classroom window. Please feel free to ask them what they learned and how the teacher explained the procedures. You can reach out to your child’s teacher if you have questions. All teachers will read the book "I'm Not Scared, I'm Prepared” (pictured below). Your children do ask questions and we don’t give excessive details; however, we do answer with truth and we encourage you to do the same. For example, students have asked if there was fire in the hallway, what would we do? Answer- we would evacuate through the window or possible other exits! Please remember, ignored questions lead to more stress. Regardless, our explanations are done in a developmentally appropriate way.


We appreciate you partnering with us and having follow up conversations at home about safety. We want to ensure your children feel safe and secure in life and within our schools. Being prepared to a developmentally appropriate level is important!


Have an amazing week and thank you for sharing your children with us!


Christi Thomas, Principal

School Pictures on Wednesday

Picture Day is Wednesday, Aug. 18, mark your calendar!


Ordering online is easy, visit inter-state.com/FlyerEntry/59419WF


Retakes will be in early October. If your child is absent on Picture Day you may order now or wait until retakes.

Student Health Card Updates Due Next Week

If your child visits the clinic at school for treatment or has a medical emergency the nurse will refer to the health information form in Skyward to contact you if needed. In order to give permission to treat your child, you must update the health form.


It is critical that this information is updated each year. To update your form please follow these steps:

  • Log in to your Skyward account,
  • Select the Back to School Forms tab on the left
  • In the pop up box select your child's name
  • On the pop up list of forms go to Student Health Card
  • Complete the form

Setting Up Your Child's iPad

Is your child using a personal iPad? If so, Please click here for instructions on signing in, downloading apps needed for school and more on your child's personal iPad.


If you are renting an iPad from school be aware that the school iPads are distributed already set up.

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Speech and Hearing Screening


Welcome back GES families! Many students will be participating in speech and hearing screenings during the first two weeks of school.


Speech screenings will be completed for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students and you will be contacted via phone and letter if your child would benefit from speech therapy services in the school setting. If you are not contacted, you can assume your child passed his/her speech screenings for their developmental age level.


Please click here for more information.

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What to do if you suspect a disability/Child Find:

What to do if you suspect a disability/Child Find:


If your child is age 2 ½ through 21, attends any school within the Hamilton Southeastern Schools boundaries or you live in our community, and you suspect your child may have a disability, you should contact us for more information.


· For children at least two and a half years of age, but not yet age-eligible for kindergarten, you should contact the Early Childhood Assessment Team at Brooks School Elementary School, 915-4250.

· For students who are eligible for kindergarten through age 21, you should contact your child’s teacher, school counselor or building administrator to discuss your concerns and explore the steps to be taken. If your child is not enrolled in public school, you should contact the counselor or building administrator in the building your child would attend if enrolled.

What to do if you suspect a disability/Child find


Response-to-Instruction (RtI)

Response to Instruction (RtI) is a general education initiative designed to provide high quality instruction and interventions matched to student needs and using learning rate over time and level of performance to make important educational decisions. The RtI model is based on a three-tiered model of service delivery with a focus on early intervention and prevention of academic and behavioral concerns. Data collected during this process provides valuable information regarding students’ educational progress and response to interventions. Students who do not demonstrate a response to well-implemented, scientifically-based interventions at the Tier 3 level would be referred for an educational evaluation to determine eligibility for special education. RtI is a component of HSE’s Child Find Process.

FFD Presentations

The Fishers Fire Department is excited to partner with Geist Elementary to teach safety lessons between September 20, 2021 and September 23, 2021. The safety topics include:


  • Kindergarten: Calling 911
  • 1st grade: Wheels safety
  • 2nd grade: Water/Ice safety
  • 3rd grade: Smoke alarms and evacuation plans
  • 4th grade: Helmet safety

Please check your child’s folder for more information about the safety lesson topic and objectives.

Help us with Covid Mitigation

Please remember to send your student to school healthy. If a student is ill and has any of the symptoms of Covid listed below, we encourage you to get your student tested using a PCR test, which is available via Fishers Health Department (COVID Vaccine | Fishers, IN - Official Website) or the Indiana Department of Health (ISDH - Novel Coronavirus: COVID-19 Testing Information). PCR tests are the most accurate and provide less risk of a false positive or negative result. A visit to your physician is also suggested if you feel this is not Covid-related, then a doctor's note would be needed for your student to return to school. Please do not send your child to school ill or while waiting for Covid test results.


Symptoms to monitor for:

Fever or chills

Cough

Shortness of Breath or difficulty breathing

Fatigue

Muscle or body aches

Headache

New loss of taste or smell

Sore Throat

Congestion or runny nose

Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea

If you are driving to the school for any reason...

The traffic pattern from 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM in the GES lot is East to West. Enter from the east drive and exit from the west drive throughout the day.


Car Rider Drop Offs:


  • Drivers should follow the traffic map and drop students off at door 11 as directed by staff.
  • If students arrive after 7:40 and there is no staff, drivers must bring the student in through door 1 and sign the students in at the office.


Car Rider Pick Up:


  • Drivers should follow the traffic map to pick up students from door 11 as directed by staff.
  • Drivers should display a white letter size Card with child's name(s) printed BOLDLY to show staff while in line. Staff cannot hear you when you only call out the name.
  • Pickup begins at 2:10.

Visitors and Volunteers:

All visitors must have a Safe Visitor Badge on file and check in at the Geist Elementary office upon arrival and departure.


Background checks take about a week to process so please plan accordingly.


Please visit the HSE Schools website to learn more and apply for a Safe Visitor Badge. http://www.hseschools.org.

Lunch Updates

All HSE Schools enrolled students will receive free hot lunch meals, including breakfast and lunch for the 2021-2022 school year. Click here for details. Find menus, pricing for extras and more here: Check out the HSE Schools Food Services page for more information.

Paying Book and iPad Fees

Student book fees will be visible in Skyward Family Access no later than 9/24. Statements will be emailed to the email address on record. Book rental and iPad fees are due Oct. 15th.


iPad:

Students are required to have an iPad for school. You may purchase your own or rent one from school. The rental fee is $80 per year. You will pay for iPad rental with Book Fees.


Payments/Assistance:

Payments may be made in cash or check. Online payments may be set up through efunds. Click here to learn about efunds. Free and Reduced benefits for meals, books and iPads are available here.

Communications from School and Skyward Family Access

Geist Elementary and HSE Schools communicate regularly with families. Most information will be sent electronically via Skylert email. Check your student's Skyward account to confirm that your email address, phone numbers and communication preferences are correct.


Skyward Family Access: Grades, contact and other information is available on Skyward Family Access. Click here to learn about Skyward.

Website: Visit ges.hseschools.org and hseschools.org.

Geist Gazette: Our newsletter is published every two weeks. It will be sent via Skylert to your email address. The Geist Gazette is posted on our website as well.

PTO: The GES PTO newsletter is published every two weeks, alternating with the Geist Gazette. It will be sent via Skylert and is posted on the website. The PTO is on Facebook.

Social Media: Follow us on twitter @GeistGators

Classroom News: Watch for information from your child's teacher for classroom communication.

Weather Delays/Closings: HSE Schools may delay or close school due to weather. Families will be notified via Skylert.

HSE Community Insider: You can find information about sports, activities and organizations on the HSE Schools Community Insider (linked below). A link is included in each Geist Gazette and on the GES and HSE websites.

Geist Elementary PTO

We are fortunate to have the best volunteers in the district! Learn more about the Geist PTO on our website. The PTO Corner newsletter will be sent via email every two weeks (including this Sunday). Follow the Geist PTO on Facebook.

YMCA Before & After School Care - Currently at Capacity

Before & After School Care is provided at GES through the YMCA. To register or for information please contact them directly at 317-577-2070 or www.indymca.org.


The YMCA is currently full. Please follow instructions to add your name to the waitlist.


If your child is enrolled in the YMCA program, be sure to contact the YMCA IN ADDITION TO THE SCHOOL if your child will be absent or have different care arrangements on a certain day.

What's Coming Up at Geist Elementary......Click Here

You can search our school calendar by date or activity or just read the list for the next week. Call us if you have questions about items on the calendar.

HSE Schools Community Insider

Check out opportunities and activities on the HSE Community Insider on the HSE Schools webpage. You can find it here: hseschools.org/happenings/community-insider