Geist Gazette

September 10, 2021

Principal's Letter

As usual, this newsletter is packed with information. I want to thank everyone for your efforts to reinforce mask wearing with your children. With the new guidelines, as long as everyone is wearing a mask, we will still contact trace all areas however quarantining would only apply during unmasked situations like lunch! Thank you for your continued efforts to keep sick children at home! THANK YOU.

September 24 is our first eLearning day! Please see below regarding eLearning vs. Virtual instruction. If you are seeking child care for that day, please know the YMCA may be an option.

Thank you to everyone who has pre-registered your child for the Gator Gallop. All funds raised help to support our students and staff for the 2021-22 school year! THANK YOU!

Have a wonderful weekend-
Christi Thomas

GES Principal

Gator Gallop - GES Fundraiser

We are over 1/3 of our way to our Geist Elementary fundraising goal but we NEED YOUR HELP to reach $30,000! There are only 2 1/2 more weeks to donate! This year's Gator Gallop will take place on Friday, October 1st!

You should've received a parent packet from your child's teacher last week--please be sure you're registering your child on the Gator Gallop Web site and sharing your child's fundraising page with friends and family!

Please follow these easy steps to set up your childs account!

  1. Go to
  2. Click on “Register to Run”
  3. Simply fill out the info for your child, and a page will be created for them! *If you have more than one child attending Geist Elementary, please create separate logins and pages for each student so that we can track their fundraising goals individually.
  4. Share your child’s personal fundraising webpage address with family and friends via e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and more by clicking on of the “Share” icons at the top right of your child’s personal fundraising page.
  5. All donations made online will be e-mailed a receipt for tax purposes. Also, once your page is created, you can go to the bottom right corner, and you will find an area called “Student Resources” where you can download flyers, pledge sheets, thank you letters and more!

We have some exciting new incentives for fundraising this year! Be sure to check it out on the Gator Gallop Web site, along with more detailed information! (Ellen, please insert this hyperlink so it's clickable:

For your child to be eligible for incentives, all donations must be submitted by Monday, September 27, 2021, at 5:00pm!

Should you have any questions, please contact Andrea Wright at or Melissa Gray at

eLearning Day- September 24

On Friday, September 24, we will have our first eLearning day. As you can see below, the assignments will be posted and there will not be direct instruction because our staff will in training during the day. Staff will NOT be available during the day. I have gone ahead and included the other types of instructions only to help you know the different types. We have no intention of changing our mode instruction at this time.

Just like in your employment, so much has changed in the past four years due to the pandemic. The reality is, that through the past four years we have transitioned greatly from our original definition of eLearning and then to a more advanced approach to virtual instruction. I wanted to take a moment to explain some differences in case during the year we face any of the different modes of instruction.

Definition of Instruction:

E-Learning-This form of instruction requires the students to learn asynchronously, where teachers post assignments to their Canvas page and students access and complete their assignments for that day without direct instruction from the teacher or teachers. For unexpected closings (K-6), teachers will monitor e-mail for questions about assignments.

Virtual Instruction-This form of instruction requires students to learn synchronously, where both students and teachers follow their schedule for the day in real time. Instruction occurs virtually through the designated virtual instruction platform for live, face to face instruction.

Big picture

Generous Gators Helping to Turnover Hunger

The Hamilton Southeastern Education Foundation (HSEF) recently established the Food for Thought Community Fund in partnership with Fishers Youth Assistance Program (FYAP). The fund will address a broad array of food insecurity needs in the HSE Schools community.

The first Turnover Hunger food drive was held this past week as part of Mudsock Week. Our Gator families contributed enough oatmeal, cereal and mac & cheese to fill two donation bins!

Thank you for your generosity and support of our community!

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Work at GES 2021-2022

Social-emotional learning (SEL) is an integral part of education and human development. SEL is the process through which young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions, achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions. In our schools we support the whole child which means supporting their social and emotional health. We work to build strong relationships with students which in turn support their academic success.

Remembering the WHY behind specific SEL instruction Social Emotional Learning happens frequently in our classrooms as learning opportunities present themselves naturally during the school day. Time has been built into our teachers’ schedules for SEL specific instruction to target skills that have been identified by the IDOE as required teaching standards.

We are committed to specific SEL instruction because the research has shown:

  • Students’ brains function more effectively when they feel supported by peers and educators.
  • Students are more likely to take risks and persevere when they feel they belong.
  • Learning increases and students feel more committed to school when they have strong relationships with their educators.
  • Students are more engaged, more persistent, and more successful when the intellectual, social, and emotional aspects of learning are integrated. (Aspen, 2019)

Finally, we were able to add 3 sensory/playground additions to our playgrounds due to funding through United Way for SEL supports at GES. Pictured below are a JUMP sensory path on the small playground by the bus lots, a TIP TOE path and a Kelso's Conflict Decision-Making Wheel on the large playground.

Mrs. Thomas, Principal

Mrs. Laffey, Assistant Principal

Mrs. Keller, School Counselor

This week students are working on setting and achieving goals in the classroom. Please check the links below to see a summary.

Week 1 Parent Link

Week 2 Parent Link

New Market Stand on the Playground!

Thanks to the Miller family there is a new play stand on the playground. Ideas are being explored to make it part of a bigger play area. As you can see, the K kids knew exactly how to be creative with it by collecting sticks, rocks and grass to create a market place to make soup and other concoctions.

Reminder for Parents:

Wearing a mask in the classroom and bus consistently is even more important now with the change in quarantine for students. If ALL students and staff in the classroom or on the bus are masked, they would not have to quarantine if a close contact. Please work with your student to understand the importance of masking in the classroom and bus. Please be sure your student has a mask each day. Visitors are reminded to wear masks upon entering the building.

Artists of the Week

Artists of the Week for August 30: (top photo)

K: Anniston M. and Emilia O. in Mrs. Many's class

1st: Elle M., Cooper R., and Josie S. in Ms. Barmore's class

2nd: Lainey G. and Chase T. in Mrs. Bradburn's class

3rd: Ari M. in Mrs Bullock's class

Artists of the Week for September 7: (bottom photo)

K: Bryce B. and Ana U. in Ms. Crawley's class

1st: Scarlet C. in Mrs. Silva's class and Harrison S. in Mr. Baldock's class

2nd: Asha W. and Isaiah R. in Mrs. Friedle's class

3rd: Braylee M. in Mrs. Galliher's class

Book Fees are viewable in Skyward

Student book fees are posted in Skyward Family Access. Statements will be emailed to the email address on record. Book rental and iPad fees are due Oct. 15th.

Interested in paying online? Click here for efunds instructions.

News from the Library

The related arts team and Mrs. Pidcock are planning special activities for this year's Global Read Aloud event which features the works of Duncan Tonatiuh. Duncan is a Mexican-American author and illustrator whose art is influenced by codices, or first books, of the Mixtec, a group of indigenous people living in the area we now call Mexico more than 3,000 years ago .

Hamilton East Public Library is hosting Duncan for two virtual presentations as part of its Books Build Bridges program. Both visits will center around Duncan's book called Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale. On September 21st from 7:00 to 8:00 PM, Duncan will have a book discussion with educators and parents. Then on September 25th from 2:00 to 3:00, he will read from the book and talk to children and families about the story. Registration for the two events is through HEPL at

Mrs. K's Music Newsletter

In this week's issue you'll find:

-Veterans Day Information

-2nd Grade Musical Information

-Music Class Updates

-And more

New Apps for Safe Visitor Badges and School Dismissal Manager

Both the Safe Visitor and School Dismissal Manager mobile apps have been updated for the new school year. If you are having trouble accessing either one you may need to delete and reinstall the new apps. Please refer to the information below.

Safe Visitor App Installation Instructions

School Dismissal Manager App Instructions

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:

HSE Report It!

Hamilton Southeastern School District takes the safety of its students and staff seriously and fostering safe and supportive learning environments is a top priority across all our school buildings. HSE works closely with school buildings, the Fishers Police Department and area law enforcement agencies to protect our students, teachers, school leaders, and staff and to prevent emergencies before they arise.

HSE Report It! is a school safety mobile reporting app that allows students, staff, and community members to provide anonymous information about concerns for their own safety or the safety of others. HSE Report it!, can be downloaded via Google Play or the Apple App Store. It’s anonymous and reports are made exclusively through the mobile app. HSE Report it! will has no length limitations or the need to remember a short code. Reporters can attach photos, screenshots, videos, documents and/or audio recordings to their concerns and they can engage in a two-way dialogue with a real person.