Alice Deal Middle School

Think globally - Listen compassionately - Act inclusively  


The Weekly Bulletin 

deal modernized
Our school mission:
Alice Deal Middle School inspires excellence, curiosity, and compassion through intellectual and social engagement.
deal front        Ecology Field Trip

Principal's message to Deal students and families: 


I want to thank all you diligent Weekly Bulletin readers for persevering through another year of information, messages, entreaties, thoughts, pleas, and round-ups of achievements, both curricular and extra-curricular, of our Deal students. Each year we start the bulletin in August, hardly aware of the roughly 36 editions to follow till the next summer. My goal has been that the bulletin serves as a chronicle of our shared time together; looking back is a great way to chart the path we have taken to get to this day.


Our 8th grade brought their year to a wistful close at the Black and White Ball on Friday night. While we try to come up with opportunities for students to get dressed up in their finery throughout the year, the 8th grade dance (or Ball in this case) brings out their adolescent flair. In all their wisdom, the students selected this theme. It allowed them to look distinguished in an endless variation of black, white, checks, stripes, dots, and a hundred other ways to match the theme. If felt very Washingtonian, of course, and I am not sure I didn't see a tuxedo or two in the bunch.


Of course, the theme allowed others to break from tradition and show themselves in a different form of glory. Those who came in bright colors or more casual ensembles also helped make the scene. One innovation noted this year was the matching of formal attire with the casual tennis shoe. I hope that this catches on in our city, as it makes dancing significantly easier.


Either way, students had a great time. Having spent the previous day at Kings Dominion swimming and riding roller coasters in the heat - and then spending Friday getting ready or partaking in Deal Day - the 8th graders looked exhausted at 7:15. It might be the only time this year that the class was actually tired enough to slow down and look around at their school!


Our 6th and 7th graders are eager to enjoy their trips out of the building this week, eager to have the 8th graders get promoted, and eager to get their hands on lockers of a different color next year. When they return at the end of summer, there will surely be changes - besides moving to a new floor - but they will roll with these as maturely as the 8th graders did. Although we are sad for them to go on Friday, it is made a bit less emotional knowing that they will be back in two months.


Take care,


James Albright


PS - Registration for Deal is supposed to conclude this week. We are not there yet. The District has required all schools to complete course registration earlier this year, so not being enrolled is a significant burden for our staff (they will have to revise schedules all summer long). While all families who are in neighborhood for attending Deal are guaranteed spots for the coming year, it is essential that those who are not maintain their connection to the school. Please take advantage of the extra hours on Thursday for registration, or come in during the day. Please take care of this.


Register Now! for SY 2015-2016


All students must be registered for the 2015-2016 school year by June 17th.


Current 5th, 6th, and 7th graders should bring their completed enrollment papers and proof of residency to Deal. We have scheduled evening hours every Thursday until 7 pm for families who are not able to come to the school during the day. 8th graders should take their enrollment papers and proof of residency to the high school that they will attend.    


Wilson HS has late nights for enrollment for incoming 9th graders Thursday nights in May and June from 4:30 - 6:45 pm starting this week.

Week of June 15
 Bell Schedule
Monday - Bell I 
Tuesday - Bell I 
 Wednesday - Bell I 
Thursday -  Bell I
Friday - Bell I  
Textbook  Collection  Dates 


Make - Up

7th GradeJune 15
June 17
6th Grade June 16June 18 


Please be certain to return a textbook for each of your classes.
Upcoming Dates  
June 15
Promotion Practice
7th Grade Textbook Collection
6th Grade to Cameron Run

June 16
8th Grade Promotion, 10 am
7th Grade King's Dominion Trip
6th Grade Textbook Collection

June 18
Faculty Meeting, 3:30 pm
End of the Year Staff Celebration

June 19
End of Term 
Last Day of School
Students Dismissed at 12:15
6th/7th gr - grades due from teachers
Y After School Program

We are very happy to announce that the YMCA has been selected to lead our aftercare program. The YMCA is a well-known provider of youth programs, has a long and distinguished history in our area, and is eager to ensure that our aftercare program transitions to a new provider with a minimum of hitches. We are glad to partner with them and look forward to having their presence in our building.

Contact Nick Knauer (YMCA Program Director) at (P)202-23BOWEN (202-232-6936) ext. 1726 for more information.
Tutoring at Deal...

Team Tutoring

Team teachers will be available after school on the following days:


6th Grade Teams

Seoul: Monday (C128)

Shanghai:Tuesday (W103)

Istanbul: Tuesday

Baku: Tuesday (E101)


7th Grade Teams

Buenos Aires: Wednesday 

Athens:Wednesday (E205)

Kyoto: Wednesday (W207)

Brussels: Wednesday


8th Grade Teams

Marrakesh: Tuesday

Dublin: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday

Addis Ababa: Tuesday. Wednesday, and Friday

Tokyo: Wednesday


ELL Tutoring

ELL tutoring Mondays and Wednesday from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in room C213. 


Spanish Humanities

Spanish Humanities tutoring will be in room C212 every Wednesday from 3:30 - 4:30 pm.


Spanish Tutoring

Spanish tutoring will be every Wednesday from 3:30 - 4:30 pm in room C217.


French Tutoring

French tutoring wil be held every Wednesday from 3:30 - 4:30 pm in room CG06.  


Chinese Tutoring 

Chinese tutoring will be held on Wednesdays from 3:15 - 4:30 pm in room N101.   

Media Center News

Center Hours


The Deal Library will be closed after school on Deal Day, and during all textbook collection days.

Before School 8:00 - 8:40 am

 After School  3:30 - 5:00 pm

Students must have parental permission to stay after school


The Alice Deal Media Center welcomes students for reading and homework after school! Students must have a permission form on file in the library to use the space after school. Students may pick up a form in the library, or may download it from the library website (Library Pass). 
Bus Information 2014 - 2015

Here is a link to the bus route schedule.


If an issue occurs with your designated school transit service, below are contacts at Metro who can help.


Northern (D31, 33, and 34) (202) 962-5800

Superintendent Priscilla Alston: (202) 962-5808 (direct)

Assistant Superintendent Frank Machado: (202) 962-5809 (direct)


Western (Morning D32s, one of the afternoon D32s)

Superintendent Jackie Smith: (202) 379-8787; mobile: (202) 962-8785

Assistant Superintendent Amit Tonse: (202) 379-8787 mobile: (202) 570-6728


For longer-term bus planning needs (i.e., requests for new transit services, ongoing crowding, etc.), contact Kristine Marsh at (202) 962-6088 or [email protected]

As always, please send an email about bus problems or concerns to  [email protected]

Immunization News 


Thanks to the parents who have been sending in immunization information. Please continue to send in  documentation every time your student receives new immunizations. It is important to have all students immunized to prevent the spread of childhood diseases.


All 6th graders 11 years or older must have the following:

Tdap (tetanus, diptheria and pertussis)

Meningococcal (meningitis) 

HPV (human papilloma virus)


For the HPV vaccine, three doses are required for females or you may complete an opt out form.


All immunization forms must be stamped, signed and dated before the Immunization Registry will accept them.


If there are any questions, please call Nurse Whitlock at (202) 939-2009.

The DCPS Attendance Protocol 


 DCPS Attendance Protocol and Policy: Things to Remember


1. Students that miss two class periods will automatically be counted as being absent for the entire school day.

2. Students must submit a note from their parents to excused from being absent from school (please refer to the list of authorized excused absences)


Excused Absences According DCPS:

  • Death in the Family
  • Illness (doctor's note must be provided for absences that exceed 5 days)
  • Medical Appointment
  • Emergency
  • Religious Holiday
  • Court Summons
  • School Activities (DCPS sponsored sports events, academic activities etc.)
  • School Visit (tours, interviews, etc.)

If you have any questions or concerns more, please contact our Attendance Counselor:


Krystle Johnson

[email protected]



UK Trip 2015 


United Kingdom Trip for Current 7th Graders Summer 2015:  

Registration for the 2015 summer trip to the United Kingdom is open for current 7th graders. To learn more about this trip, please visit and enter the tour number1605005AT. If you have questions, please email Mr. Otterstatter ([email protected]).


2014 - 2015



The Alice Deal 2014-2015 yearbooks are on sale now for $30.00!


Please stop by the Welcome Center after school to purchase your yearbook. 

Student & Parent Information


New: Unveiling of Reno Building Historical Displays

Come join us on Wednesday, June 17, from 7 until 8:30 when we unveil the newly installed historical displays that chart the history of the Reno School and its community, Reno City. There will a reception and speakers in the Reno School itself.. Enter the building either at the traditional front of Deal or drive around on Howard Street and enter by the front door of the historic school.


New: End-of-Year Edline Updates

Progress reports will be updated before the school day starts on the following dates:


- Monday, June 15th

- Thursday, June 18th


Final fourth advisory reports will be posted on Monday, June 22nd.


New: 6th grade trip on Monday

The sixth grade field trip to Cameron Run Water Park is Monday! All students must wear a Deal-appropriate ensemble; the one exception is that they may wear flip-flops! Students must also bring a lunch, plenty of water, snacks, and sun protection. If your child hasn't yet submitted their permission slip and $20 fee, they must do so first thing Monday morning. We will return from the trip by 4pm. 


New: Textbook Collection

Check the closets and look under the beds because 6th and 7th grade textbook collection takes place this week! 7th grade students should bring in all books Monday, June 15th and the 6th grade collection is Tuesday, June 16th.  


New: 8th Grade Promotion

This Tuesday we will bid farewell to a remarkable class of students as we celebrate the 8th grade promotion at American University. We are excited to announce that we will be joined by our keynote speaker, Mr. Johnathan Scribner and the Honorable Mayor Muriel Bowser at this year's event. Please see the "8th Grade Corner" below for additional details.  


New: Speech and Debate Team at Nationals     
The Viking speech and debate team will travel to Dallas, Texas this week to participate in the Middle School National Speech and Debate tournament! Deal will be the only representative from Washington, DC and we can't wait to show the other 124 middle schools what we're made of! The following students will attend:

Anaily Acosta - Original Oratory, Extemporaneous Speaking
Levi Berger - Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Layla Behbehani - Lincoln-Doublas Debate
Zora Colleye - Extemporaneous Speaking and Prose Interpretation
Zach Crouch - Original Oratory, Declamation, and Dramatic Interpretation
Alex Holmes - Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Jonah Docter-Loeb - Declamation, Storytelling, and Impromptu Speaking
Josh Landweber - Lincoln-Douglas Debate

Jamie Stewart-Aday - Lincoln-Douglas Debate
Iona Volynets - Dramatic and Humorous Interpretation, Declamation
Savannah Waymer - Poetry Interpretation, Original Oratory, Storytelling

Best of luck to everyone!


New: Deal Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)

Thank you to the Deal students, families, and staff that joined us for the annual DC Pride Parade this weekend!


New: NHD Nationals-Bound Students

Good luck to all NHD Nationals Bound students this week! Although you have received this information in another form, it is repeated here: 

Please come to the Colony Ballroom in the Stamp Student Union on the University of Maryland campus on Sunday, June 14 to register. At registration, you will find out the place and time of your presentation and interview. It is recommended that you arrive around 5:00 and stay for the Welcome Ceremony that begins at 6:30.  Please wear your DC t-shirt and bring your buttons to trade.

If you have an exhibit, bring it on Sunday and you can set it up in the Grand Ballroom in Stamp Student Union. You will need to get your envelope first that lets you know where to place your exhibit on the tables.    

There is a food court in Stamp Student Union that may stay open until 6:00 on Sundays.  

The junior division interviews are on Monday and finals are Tuesday evening.  If you advance from the performance or documentary categories, you can find out on Monday evening around 7:00.  The information is posted on the NHD website -

There is an NHD app you can download on your phone that has UMD campus map and other helpful information. The general schedule for the week can be found at -
Good luck!

DCPS/UConn Summer Enrichment Program for Rising Middle School Students

DCPS will offer the DCPS/University of Connecticut Summer Enrichment Program for rising middle school students (those students currently enrolled in grades 5, 6, and 7) as a collaboration between DCPS and the University of Connecticut's Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development.


This free summer program is geared towards students in need of an extra level of academic challenge and requires a competitive student essay application to be admitted. The summer program relates to the "Schoolwide Enrichment Model" (SEM), which already exists in 10 DCPS schools. The program is meant to develop the gifts of students who show high levels of ability, creativity, and drive.


The program will operate two sites from Monday, July 6th through Friday, July 31st: Stuart-Hobson MS and Hardy MS. Student hours are 9:00 am - 1:00 pm with free breakfast and lunch served daily. Space is limited to only 120 students and enrollment is based a competitive application.


Please see the application (DCPS/UConn Summer Enrichment). The deadline to apply is May 31st.


Tune-in to the Deal VikingCast!

Alice Deal's podcast is free on iTunes! Subscribe today to receive the latest episodes capturing the sights and sounds of life at Deal. Click here to listen in:  (iTunes) or (non-itunes). Please email Mr. Martini ([email protected]) if you have feedback or ideas to improve the show! 


School Newspaper

Our student journalists have been busy sharing the latest in news, sports, and entertainment. Check out your school newspaper at!


Follow us on Twitter
Do you want to know more about daily life at Deal? Follow us on Twitter @DealVikings.Mr. Albright has generously offered to buy dinner for the millionth follower so act fast; with over 910 followers, we could have a winner any day!

Deal Athletics ...


Alice Deal Athletics
Please visit the Alice Deal Athletics Calendar to see our practice and game schedules.
Free Athletic Physicals 
Save the date and don't miss out on DPCS and DCIAA's inaugural Athletic Physical Days!
When & Where:      
  • Saturday, June 13th @ Eastern (1700 E. Capital St., NE) 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 18th @ Providence Hospital (1150 Varnum Road, NE) 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
  • Saturday, August 29th @ Eastern (1700 E. Capital St., NE) 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
  • All returning student-athletes in grades 6 - 12 for the Fall 2015 school year 
  • New students may attend the August session
  • Athletic Physicals
  • Completed signed health history form
  • Signed Universal Health Certificate (UHC) (must be signed by parent)
This event is free for returning DCPS students. Please rsvp with your school's athletic director no later than 48 hours prior to event. Contact (202) 729-3288 with any questions. 
Summer Sport and Fitness Camp 

The Alice Deal Athletic Department will offer a four week youth sport and fitness camp in July! 


What: Four weeks of rotating sports instruction, fitness and nutrition education, and fun!


When: Four sessions, from July 6th - July 31st, from 8:00 am - 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday.


Who: All rising 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students.


Deal Fit and Sport Camp will provide fitness, sport, and nutritional education in a fun and nurturing environment. In addition, the Deal Fit and Sport Camp will offer opportunities for enrichment, team building, peer mentoring, and...  

  • Weekly swimming and water play
  • Weekly rotating sports and games
  • Skills instruction
  • Indoor/outdoor free play
  • Stretching and exercise instruction
  • Daily fun runs
  • nutrition and diet education
  • Weekly field trips

Camp rates

Full Day Rate:

1 week session: $275

2 sessions: $500

All 4 sessions: $900


Partial Day Rate:   

1 week session: $175

2 sessions: $300

All 4 sessions: $650


Register now using the following link (paper registration forms are also available):

Deal Fit and Sport Camp Online Registration Form HERE


Please email [email protected] with any questions or contact Coach Downing directly at


Deal Swim Team

To receive information about joining the Deal Swim Team, please contact [email protected] to join the email list!

Sign up for the Deal football team in the locker room area with Coach Downing. Spring and summer preseason workouts are fast approaching! Contact [email protected] for more information.
This Week at Deal...


After School Outdoor Basketball Club
The After School Outdoor Basketball Club will not meet this week on Monday, June 15th. Thank you for another super year of the club. We bid
goodbye to our 8th graders: O'Brien, Vitaly, and Ben and wish them the best as they enter high school next year. We look forward to seeing the rest of you again in the fall. Enjoy your summer!

Tuesday: 7th Grade Kings Dominion Trip 
This Tuesday our 7th graders are heading to Kings Dominion! Please bring cash for lunch and bring lots of sunscreen because it's going to be a hot day! Dress for the weather, but remember that dress code applies for this trip.

Friday: Last Day of School 
Friday is our last day of school and students will be dismissed at 12:15 pm. There will be plenty of hugs and tears, but we hope our students have a wonderful summer!
          8th Grade Corner
Promotion Time!
Last week we had a blast celebrating the many successes of our 8th grade students at Kings Dominion and the 8th grade dance. Both events were a ton of fun and we hope your student came home with plenty of pictures and happy stories. With promotion this Tuesday, please be aware of the following items:

Students will practice for promotion in the morning in the auditorium at Deal. All 8th grade students are expected to attend as this practice is very important and promotion tickets will be delivered to students in homerooms that day. That afternoon, 8th grade students will enjoy a poetry performance by Komplex and short basketball tournament.

Students will not report to Deal and are asked to arrive at Bender Arena on American University's campus at 9:00 am. While some parking is available, we recommend taking public transportation when possible. Families will be seated at 9:30 am and the ceremony begins at 10:00 am. The ceremony will last approximately an hour and a half and there will be a small reception afterwards, courtesy of the ADCA.

Space at Bender Arena is limited so only individuals with tickets will be granted access to the ceremony. If your 8th grader has a large fan club, please arrange a luncheon or similar celebration after the promotion.

This is a bittersweet event as the 8th grade family remembers its accomplishments and we bid farewell to 450 impressive young adults. The whole Deal family will be sad to see them go, but we know we will hear of them again as they go off to do great things in our community, country, and world!

High School Transcripts
If you know that your student will not attend a District of Columbia Public High School next school year, please send an email to [email protected] with the following information:

- Student's full name
- School they will attend
- Address of the school they will attend

If the high school destination is unknown at this time, please let Ms. White know this as well.
Attention Future Wilson Tigers!
Check out this flier for information on freshman orientation and summer reading for all rising 9th graders at Wilson.    
The focus of orientation will be on high school readiness, study skills, orientation, and academic enrichment. Please contact assistant principals Tennille Bowser and Tamara Clemmons with questions.
By now, all Deal 8th grade students considering Wilson HS turned in a draft schedule. Contact one of the following people on the scheduling team if you have any questions:

[email protected] for Special Education

[email protected] for English Language Learners

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected] for other Counseling Questions

The course catalog and course selection form may be found on the Wilson website. Visit>Academics>2015-2016 Course Selection.

Staff information ...
Monday: 7th Grade Book Collection
7th grade book collection will be held on Monday. Students will bring up their books to the 7th grade book room during math class. Math teachers will receive a schedule. One exception to this schedule: Team Kyoto students will be doing their collection through their Ancient History class.
Tuesday: 6th Grade Book Collection
6th grade book collection will be held on Tuesday. Students will bring up their books to the 8th grade book room during math class. Math teachers will receive a schedule.

Thursday: Faculty Meeting 
All staff will meet in the cafeteria at 3:30 pm. Our staff end-of-year celebration will follow the meeting. 
Schedule of Before School Activities

(all activities begin at 7:45 am unless otherwise stated)






Peer Mediators


Schedule of After School Clubs & Activities

(all clubs and activities end at 4:30 pm unless otherwise noted)




Au Cinema
National Junior Honor Society -W304
Book Club
Creative Writing W307
Dance & Choreography
French Tutoring
Cottage Comic Book 
Open Art Studio
Debate Team
Music Workshop
East Asia Studies
Science Tutoring
Babysitter's Club
Art from the Heart
Board Games
Bocce Ball
Ultimate Frisbee
E307 (to 5pm) 
Peer Mediators
Conditioning Club
Tennis Club
Spanish Theatre
Yo-Yo Club
Corner Nurse & Neal
Team Shanghai
Study Hall
DIY Club
8th Gr Field Trip Club - C308
Girls on the Run
Game Club
Vinyl Club
Nature Lovers Club
Intramural Volleyball
Film Making 101
6th Gr Comic Book

Cooking Club
Meditation Club
A Cappella

Calligraphy Club
Cultural Discovery Club
Fantasy Football 

Classic Card Games 
Tm Baku Study Hall
7th/8th Model UN

Girl Up
Learn to Swim Club
E201 (to 5:10pm)
Service Club

Student Council 
String Club 
Music Workshop 

African Drumming 
Science Olympiad
Dance Club

6th Gr Soccer Club
Photography Club
Workout Warriors

Japanese Culture Club
Minecrafters 6th 
History Film Club

Chess Club
Minecrafters 7th 
Jazz Band

International Cinema
Club E101

The Sports Rap

Socratic Club

A Cappella

Scrabble Club

Scrapbooking & Collage


After School Basketball Club

Spelling Bee Club 

Socratic Club



Community Information
(Items in this section are not sponsored by Deal)
PrepMatters is a private test preparation and educational planning organization.  We work with students on test content as well as test strategy.  We have offices in Bethesda, MD, McLean, VA, and Tenleytown, DC.  This summer we are holding a vocabulary class in our Tenleytown office.  Attached is a flyer.
Everyone is welcome to see more information about us at
Please feel free to contact me with any questions about the class or the company.
Thank you!
John Jones
Dir. Of Quality Assurance
PrepMatters, Inc.
301-951-0350, x113
Tutoring and Educational Counseling
Facebook:PrepMatters Twitter:@PrepMatters
Essay Tutoring for Deal Students
One of the most important skills for students is writing a "five paragraph essay".  These essays are assigned throughout numerous classes - English, Science, History, for example - and are the foundation for clear, convincing writing in high school and over a lifetime. As professional writers dedicated to teaching students effective writing skills, we are offering private in-home tutoring sessions specifically designed for Deal students.  Working with existing assignments and clear examples, students will take away:
** A simple and lasting blueprint for constructing 5-paragraph essays.
** The ability to assess and edit their own work.
** An appreciation of the clarity and beauty of the English language. 

Rate: $50/hr.

About the Tutors:
Syd Butler and Nick Paul are experienced, professional writers with a passion for teaching students lifetime writing skills. Both are Deal parents and neighbors and have assisted with English tutoring for Deal 7th graders. Both Syd and Nick are published authors, having written hundreds of essays, stories and articles over their long careers. 

Please contact us at [email protected] or call 202-244-1020. We will be happy to share our credentials and experience, and are ready to help! 

DC Hoops Academy Spring Basketball Clinic 
DC Hoops Academy will be hosting a spring basketball clinic.  Call now to register!!

DC Hoops Academy
Basketball Clinic
Date: April 25, 2015
Phone: 202.309.2319

Keegan Theater Summer Camp!
The Keegan Theatre, located in the heart of Dupont Circle, is excited to announce their Bright Stars Summer Camp 2015! Keegan Theatre's "Bright Stars" Summer Camps provide an opportunity for budding artists to grow their craft and commitment to the arts. Participants are given a safe, nurturing environment in which to freely develop their creative potential under the guidance of Keegan artists and educators. Each week will be a different experience, as camp participants will determine which avenue of the theater process they want to passionately explore: storytelling, acting, directing, playwriting, or improvisation. The open format allows young people with a range of experience (from the new-to-theater to the ready-to-take-the-stage) to explore theater together in a collaborative and playful setting.

This summer we will return for a week to Mt. Olivet United Methodist Church in Arlington to provide summer camps for rising 6th-12th graders.  We are also introducing two weeks at our newly renovated theatre on Church Street in Northwest Washington- one week for rising 6th-12th graders and a week for our budding stars- rising 1st-5th graders.

Interested parties should visit and use code "BRIGHT" to receive a $50 discount for early registration. Also, use the code "DCPS" to receive a $50 discount for all DCPS students.


Summer Enrichment Opportunity

Are you interested in service and leadership in your local community? If so, you may want to check out Spark the Wave. This weeklong, summer service-learning experience is held in Philadelphia, PA and in Washington, DC annually. If interested, please contact Katie Oleksiak, Program manager via email- [email protected], by phone- 215-913-6107, or the website- You may also see Ms. White for a flyer with more information.


Summer Enrichment Opportunity through the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science  (GEMS)

The Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP) Gains in the Education of Mathematics and Science application is open and accepting applications for the summer of 2015. Students from elementary school through high school who are interested in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are eligible to apply to participate in GEMS at Army laboratories.

The AEOP GEMS Program is a one-week summer program in which students learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields at Army research facilities. The program requires all prospective students to complete an application online, and only those who are selected to participate can attend. Once selected, all GEMS students will receive at a $100 stipend to participate in the 1-week program.

More information can be found on the GEMS website