I would like to join the faculty and staff of Garmisch Elementary Middle School (GEMS) in welcoming you to a new school year! I am new to Garmisch this year, but I already love this school, and I believe that you and your children will love it as well. I am certain that your child will enjoy the caring, nurturing environment that he or she will experience at Garmisch Elementary Middle School, and will also benefit from the high academic standards that guide our endeavors.
DoDEA schools pursue the goal of providing “Excellence in Education for Every Student, Every Day, Everywhere”. Even though GEMS is one of the smaller DoDEA schools, we strive to maintain the same high quality of education that can be expected in any DoDEA school, based on the College and Career Ready Standards established for core subjects of science, math, language arts, and social studies. At GEMS, all students are also provided art, introductory German language and culture, and physical education. Our teachers work together to create challenging projects which provide opportunities for students to also work together in ways that go beyond seatwork in the learning environment. Students will be challenged to set goals, assess their progress, and be able to share their progress through Student Led Conferences.
It is always exciting to look forward to a new school year, and to all of the new beginnings which that year will bring. Whether your child is returning to GEMS or is just arriving to our school, they will have a role in helping other students feel welcome and safe, by making GEMS a school that is free from hurtful teasing and bullying. My experience has been that DoDEA students typically are kind, caring individuals, which I am sure reflects what they have learned from their parents. With your help and support, GEMS will continue to be a school in which every person feels respected, valued, and is encouraged to achieve at the highest levels. We want to prepare every student in every grade to be ready for life as they continue beyond school, whether they go to college or move directly into a career.
I have learned that the Garmisch community is incredibly active and supportive, as is the GEMS PTA. There are leadership opportunities in our Parent Teacher Association if you are interested, and I strongly encourage you to join and become involved. I also encourage you to get to know your child’s teacher well, and I encourage teachers to communicate with parents on a regular basis. It sends an incredibly strong message to your kids that you and the teacher know each other and are a team which looks out for their best interests.
I am a part of that team as well, and I look forward to getting to know each parent. You are always welcome to stop by and visit! Let’s work together to make sure that your child receives the best possible educational experience at GEMS, a school that is large enough to meet your needs, and small enough to care!
Dana L. Francis