Growing Together

Geist Montessori Academy@GeistAcademy

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Volume 4: August 23, 2020

Growing more glorious!

Dear GMA School Family,

As the sun sets on our second week of learning, our GMA school family continues to grow even more glorious as we continue to welcome more students and families! To accommodate our growing needs, we have added another lower elementary onsite class, and our terrific teachers continue to build classroom cultures of peace and the lifelong love of learning.

In Montessori education, teachers are the guides on the side, allowing the children’s unique gifts and talents to shine and flourish by providing “just right” lessons and properly preparing the environment. Being able to differentiate and collaborate with like-minded peers is made possible in flexible groupings and multi-age classrooms. This week, we look forward to discovering more about Dr. Maria Montessori, as we prepare for her 150th birthday party next Monday, August 31.

At Geist Montessori Academy, we are providing the rich and essential nutrients needed to cultivate ALL of our students’ amazing potential. GMA is so grateful for the strong community and family partnerships. Please sign up and get to know the GMA school family even better: Growing Together Committee Sign-ups. We have met so many talented and loving new families this past week, and we are so excited to bring new heights to learning, growing together for the better!


Cindy Schuler

Executive Director

Geist Montessori Academy

(317) 813-4626

Of all things, love is the most potent.

-Maria Montessori

Ms. Meagan brings Montessori's First Great Lesson to Life!

Students will enjoy learning about space, the three states of matter, and much more in this interactive learning experience.

Happy creating~ enjoy!

The First Great Lesson

Welcome new Upper Elementary students!

Students abloom!

We would love to have you join the PTO!

Come out and join in the fun with the Parent Teacher Organization!

The first virtual PTO meeting will be Tuesday, August 25 at 6:30 p.m.

Topic: PTO August Meeting
Time: Aug 25, 2020 06:30 PM Indiana (East)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 966 7303 4813
Passcode: UypJ96

Meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m.

We hope you join in the fun as we grow together for the better!

NEW REaders~ Way to go, Pre-K!

Welcome new kindergartners, ready to bloom!


Hi Parents of 2033 Graduates!!!

As a kindergartner, your child has the opportunity to sign up for the Hancock County Promise. The Hancock County Promise GIVES you FREE MONEY for your child!!! Yes, that is correct FREE MONEY for your child!!! I know, you are thinking there is a catch....NO!!! There is NO catch!! If you sign-up, you get a FREE CollegeChoice 529 Direct Account for your child and we will deposit $25 of free money into the account!!! Attached is more information about the Promise. We want 100% of kindergartners enrolled.

You can find more information about the Hancock County Promise at or by reviewing the Family Enrollment Guide linked HERE or the Roadmap 2020 linked HERE.

How do I take advantage of this FREE money, you ask? HERE is a link to the video of how to create your Hancock County Promise CollegeChoice 529 account. HERE are STEP by STEP instructions. It is very only has 6 steps to complete!

If you have more questions you can contact Hancock County Chairperson, Scott Shipley at 317-485-3100 or

Notes from the nurse: COVID care connection, Safety is number one!

A note from Ms. April, RN GMA school nurse

317-813-4626 ext.106

We are under the guidance of the Hancock County Health Department, who is under the guidance of the Indiana State Health Department and CDC.

It was another great week at GMA, where students and staff are keeping safety our number ONE priority!

The students have been practicing their new safety habits and doing so well. All of the returning onsite students received education in hand hygiene, cloth mask face coverings, and social distancing. I saw a lot of great handwashing this week and friendly reminders to pull those masks up over their noses. There were so many notable efforts made; you can tell the children and staff find joy and value being back with their GMA school family. We have a few changes to our COVID-19 plan for our GMA families to be aware of. We appreciate how our students are being flexible as we learn new practices throughout this time. I am working very closely with the Hancock County Health Department in order to keep our school as safe and healthy as possible. Please note the following changes to the COVID-19 plan and why: MASKS Children 8 years and older are to wear cloth face coverings. If your student is unable to wear a face cloth covering a doctor note will need to be provided so that the school can work with your child's health care provider to find a safe and appropriate alternative. Please make sure your student has a cloth face covering. If your child requires a ventilated mask or face shield please let us know so we can work with your healthcare provider. According to the CDC wearing masks may not be possible in every situation or for some people. In some situations, wearing a mask may exacerbate a physical or mental health condition, lead to a medical emergency, or introduce significant safety concerns. Adaptations and alternatives should be considered whenever possible to increase the feasibility of wearing a mask or to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading if it is not possible to wear one.

Masks with Exhalation Valves or Vents The purpose of masks is to keep respiratory droplets from reaching others to aid with source control. However, masks with one-way valves or vents allow air to be exhaled through a hole in the material, which can result in expelled respiratory droplets that can reach others. This type of mask does not prevent the person wearing the mask from transmitting COVID-19 to others. Therefore, CDC does not recommend using masks for source control if they have an exhalation valve or vent.

Face Shields A face shield is primarily used for eye protection for the person wearing it. At this time, it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides to people nearby from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. There is currently not enough evidence to support the effectiveness of face shields for source control. Therefore, CDC does not currently recommend use of face shields as a substitute for masks.

USING INHALERS AND SPACERS INSTEAD OF NEBULIZERS TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE NEW CORONAVIRUS Inhalers need to be administered using a spacer, and face mask for younger children. Nebulizer treatments will not be performed in the nurse's office this year. Please contact Nurse April if your student uses an inhaler at school to ensure proper equipment and prescriptions are on file. According to the CDC, people with asthma should use inhalers with spacers (with or without a face mask, according to each student’s personal treatment plan) instead of nebulizer treatments whenever possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on limited data, the use of asthma inhalers (with or without spacers or face masks) does not appear to release coronavirus particles into the air. A spacer or valved holding chamber is recommended when using an MDI.). It is best for students to have two spacers, one for home and one for school. If a student does not have their own spacer, consider using cardboard spacers, disposable mouthpieces or a plastic Inflocone™. The American Lung Association’s Model Policy for School Districts: Stock Bronchodilators recommends using inhalers with disposable spacers or mouthpieces.

HOW DO I KNOW IF IT’S THE FLU? ALLERGIES? A COLD? ASTHMA? Or COVID-19? Just like you, I am wondering, how do I know if that headache is covid? Is that runny nose just a little cold or is it covid? Is this regular seasonal allergy symptoms or is it covid? Here is a chart from the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America to help with understanding symptoms and what they could indicate.

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Positively impacting core memories

Mr. Michael's Week 2 Video: Core Memories

Counseling Corner

Hello GMA Families!

I hope you enjoy the weekly videos I will be creating. In addition, if you would like to sign up for a time slot, please use the following link to provide me with additional information:

If you would like for me to work with your child and you are enrolled in either in school or hybrid learning, I can add them to my schedule and meet them in person, just let me know via email or phone call.

We are looking forward to another wonderful school year! If there is anything that I can help with this school year, please do not hesitate to reach out!

Kind regards,

Michael Skiles

Geist Montessori Academy

School Counselor

317-813-4626 EXT: 104


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.

Daily Student SCreening Required

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Screening verification required!

As noted in our school reopening plan, all students attending GMA on campus, must self-screen daily. A weekly verification will be sent to all families who have children attending Geist Montessori Academy on campus. This screening link will be released every Wednesday and will be due back every Friday at noon. Since every child may develop symptoms differently, a form must be filled out separately for EACH child. Please note that if we have NOT received this verification form, your child(ren) will not be permitted in the building. We appreciate your understanding and abiding by this vital policy as we work to keep everyone safe.

Please fill out this form:

Health Screening Verification Form

We appreciate your partnership and diligence to keep our school family healthy and safe!

GMA's Sensational 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

Meeting Dates: 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 grow together for the better!

Car line procedures

Arrival and dismissal

Arrival: Please help provide a safe and efficient carline for dropping off children and picking them up. The carline gate opens from 8:00-8:10 for Pre-K ONLY. The carline gate opens at 8:15 a.m. for K-8, with students exiting cars for arrival at 8:20 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.


Carline map:

new calendar

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Reopening Plan

Virtual or LIve, GMA always thrives!

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Montessori Resources

Whole School Resources for the Coronavirus Pandemic

Special Needs

Online Learning Platforms

Primary (3-6)

Elementary (6-12)

Meet our incredible School Family staff members: Enjoy Photos and Letters

Please enjoy this special edition newsletter, filled with letters and photos from our 2020-2021 staff members.

Meet our 2020.2021 Staff Members

We are so excited to grow together for the better!

Children of the World, featuring GMA students!!!

"Children of the World" Virtual Choir

Meet Geist Montessori Academy's Executive Director: Cindy Schuler

GMA Contact iNformation


(317) 813-4626


6058 W. 900 N.

McCordsville, IN 46055

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growing together for the better!