GEMS Family Newsletter

January 2023

Upcoming Events

  • Thurs. Jan. 19 - Fri. Jan. 20 - GEMS Closed
  • Mon. Jan. 23 - K-4 ELA MAP Test
  • Mon. Jan. 23 - 5-8 ELA MAP Test
  • Tues. Jan. 24 - Wed. Jan. 25 - K-4 Math MAP Test
  • Wed. Jan. 25 - Thurs. Jan. 26 - 5-8 Math MAP Test
  • Wed. Jan. 25 - Enrollment Information Session - 6:00pm
  • Fri. Feb. 3 - No School - PD Day
  • Mon. Feb. 6 - No School - PD Day

Haga clic en "Translate" (Traducir) a la derecha para ver esto en español.

Important School Information

GEMS office hours are 7:45am to 4:30pm, however the office is closed each day from 3:00-3:35pm to help with a smooth dismissal process. If you arrive after 3:00pm to pick up students, please proceed to the appropriate pick up line instead of the front office. Thank you for your support.

If your student will be absent or tardy, please send an email with the information to If they are absent/tardy because of an appointment, please provide an excuse from the office/clinic. Any absences NOT documented are considered unexcused and marked in our attendance records accordingly.

Our front office associates do not have access to real-time information about buses. GEMS can help with general information about route assignments, but for questions about the location of the bus, or how late it is running, particularly in regards to morning routes, please call CCS at 614-365-5074.

Thanks to everyone who attended the K-8 Celebration of Learning! We hope you enjoyed learning more about your student's work and connecting with community resources.

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GEMS is on Facebook and Instagram! Please like and follow!

Attention GEMS 7th and 8th Grade Families!

Join us online for Virtual Enrollment Information Sessions to talk about high school: The Graham School (TGS) Jan. 24, The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University (TCS@ODU) Jan. 25. The Graham Family of Schools comprises GEMS, The Graham School, and The Charles School at Ohio Dominican University. However, an application must be summited before a GEMS student may be enrolled in either high school.

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OELPA Assessments for English Learners

OELPA assessments for students who are English Learners will begin in late February. Letters with more information will be sent to the families of English Learners in late January. Please contact Chris Spackman at with any questions.

Grade Level Updates


Have completed lessons about letters, letter sounds, and letter formations. Students are working to identify beginning, middle, and end sounds of CVC words. In math, we are doing simple addition and subtraction problems, as well as acting out word problems. In our weather expedition, we are learning about weather in different parts of the world.

First Graders

Are excited to be finished with our expedition about the Sun, Moon, and Stars. We completed the our study with a visit to the OSU Planetarium. We are now focusing on our flying friends, Birds! In math we just started our unit on adding and subtracting within 20 which will continue through January and into February.

Second Graders

Are continuing to learn about fossils through reading, writing and playing! We are learning about measuring in math and will move on to increasing our skills in adding and subtracting bigger numbers. In Crew we are talking about what it looks like to take care of our classroom and how we can be responsible throughout the day.

Third Graders

Frogs, Frogs, Frogs! We now have classroom pet frogs to continue our study of adaptations like camouflage. In math we are learning about measuring areas using square units in a tiling process. Please have your student continue to practice multiplication flash cards at home, and reading for 20 minutes! We have also begun our residency program with Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA).

Fourth Graders

Completed our study of the animal defense mechanisms! Choose-Your-Adventure Projects along with the animal sculptures are coming home this week. Our next topic is the American Revolution. Stay tuned to the 4th grade newsletter for more information! Remember to have your student reading at least 30 minutes each day. In Math class we are adding and subtracting fractions. Students will soon be able to read, write and compare numbers in decimal notation. It’s important to keep reviewing all our operations. Grab a deck of cards to add and subtract quickly, or roll the die and multiply! A pair of dice can be a fun way to practice if students misplace their flashcards.

Fifth Graders

In science, we will be having a mini unit on reflection, refraction, and absorption. The students will be able to explain how people see color. After the mini unit, we will start learning about the solar system. In math, students continue to work on multiplying and dividing fractions.

Sixth Graders

Will begin looking at integers and equations. We will spend time learning how to find missing pieces in equations to make them true. In science, we will continue our study of the earth by creating several different models of earth’s layers and learning more about plate tectonics, as well as the rock cycle.

In Humanities, students began a new module on the Space Race and the United States mission to the moon. We will read both primary and secondary sources to support an analysis of the informational text Hidden Figures.

Seventh Graders

In math, are learning about how to write and solve equations using different methods. We will study word problems, and learn how to identify important information to help us solve them.

In Science and Humanities, students are finalizing their Children’s Book that tells the story of someone struggling with access to clean water. Students have researched water inequalities around the world in places such as Flint, Michigan; Jackson, Mississippi; Mumbai and Sudan. We will begin our study of Patient Zero by Marilee Peters as part of our unit on epidemics.

Eight Graders

In math, students are exploring the Pythagorean theorem. They discovered why the theorem works and will be applying it to situations in the world around them. To demonstrate their understanding, they will create their own cell phones based on research and calculate the display sizes of their phones.

Art - K-4

We are excited to dive into more artmaking! Kindergarteners are beginning their rotation stations. First graders are becoming more acquainted with process art. 2nd graders are focusing on their artistry as we develop more techniques in both 2D and 3D art and delve into printmaking. 3rd graders, focusing on 3D art, and will be studying and creating sculptures throughout the quarter. 4th graders are diving into their design unit as we begin our study of the art movement pop art.

Music - K-4

We are starting the year off by reviewing music classroom expectations and norms. Students will be moving into new and exciting things with our guiding question, “How does music help me?” Each class will be exploring all of the many ways music can help them in math, reading, history, science, understanding emotions, self-expression and more!

Art - 7-8 - Welcome Ms. Claire

My name is Ms. Claire, and I am the new 7th and 8th grade art teacher. We have so many in-depth and exciting projects to work on for the rest of the year including; clay, spray paint, and printmaking. We will focus on getting to know each other and our interests in both grade levels. In seventh grade we will begin the quarter by exploring different styles and mediums in visual art. In eighth grade, we will be focusing on themes of identity and self love!

P.E. - 5-6

In the upcoming weeks, we will focus on establishing norms/expectations in gym class while also getting to know each other. At the end of January, we will start our first unit on “Why is Physical Activity Important?” Being physically fit is a lifelong journey and we will learn the importance of making positive lifestyle choices even as early as 5th and 6th grade.

Do you know someone interested in attending GEMS?

GEMS is accepting applications for K-8th grades for the 2023-2024 school year. Please share this newsletter with anyone who is interested in learning more about GEMS. Please e-mail Wesley Owens at with questions.

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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 Kroger 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 through Feb. 20 they will donate 0.5% of your total purchase to GEMS. Go to to get started! After Feb. 20 this program will change. More information coming.

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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.

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. Please contact Debbie Addison at with any questions. Follow this link to the Parent Pact.


Per House Bill 21 community schools are required to perform a monthly review of student files and randomly select families for residency verification. Please 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."