February 2017 Principal’s Message-English

Principal’s Message


Dear Parents, Guardians, and Friends of Griffiths Middle School,

Although it may be hard to believe, we are halfway through the current school year. This school year has already been filled with many memorable events, and I know that there will be many more wonderful times during the rest of the year.

I am proud to share some exciting news about Griffiths Middle School. Our GMS Instructional Leadership team was honored by the DUSD Board of Education with the Shared Values Award in Continuous Improvement. The achievement of our students is a team effort, and we thank you for your support! Please see the link to the article in the Downey Patriot regarding the award. http://www.thedowneypatriot.com/articles/griffiths-middle-school- earns-award-for-performance-advancements

Character Counts! is a program that helps develop character traits and academic, social, and emotional skills in students. One way we teach our students about the Six Pillars of Character is by modeling behaviors that we want our students to exhibit. For example, our staff is modeling the pillar of caring is by participating in the True Lasting Connections Family Resource Center (TLC) 5K on February 25th. TLC is committed to helping students and families in need in our Downey schools. We would like to invite our students and families to join our team this year. Our team name is “The Blue Crew,” and it is headed by Team Captain, Natalie Soto.

This is going to be a great event for our community. We hope to see you there. Please see the link to join our team.


I would like to highlight one of our premier programs on campus. The AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program here at Griffiths Middle School continues to grow and become an integral part of the Griffiths’ community. Our AVID program continues to have strong support from both the District and school communities through the alignment of the mission statements to ensure all students be self-motivated learners that are college &

career ready to compete globally in the 21st Century. Griffiths Middle School fosters and implements staff development, student engagement, and community building opportunities as integral components of our AVID program. Some of the highlights of this program this year include the following:

  • 3 field trips to college campuses, including UC Irvine and Azusa Pacific University in which our 7th & 8th grade AVID students experience a college going atmosphere
  • Parent Nights in which parents and students alike learn more about our Griffiths Middle School AVID program and participate in fun community-building activities, e.g., “College Knowledge” with the Warren HS AVID Coordinators and students discussing AVID and ways to afford college/post-secondary education.
  • AVID exploratory class, offered for the first time to our Griffiths Middle School 6th grade students, designed to give our 6th graders exposure to AVID core principles and strategies

Our AVID program is headed by our coordinators, Mrs. Jeanetta Wolfe, Mr. Dino Wharton, and Mrs. Julie Romero. If you would like more information regarding the AVID program, please feel free to contact them.

Lastly, please refer to the important dates emailed home with this newsletter. Please note that our Open House is on Thursday, February 9th. A flyer has been emailed to parents and will be sent home closer to our event. Please mark your calendars. We will be requesting that all parents complete the District survey regarding our school. Your input is vital to our improvement. On February 9, Room 63 will be open from 5:00 p.m. -7:30 p.m. for parents to complete this online survey. Also, please see below for QR code links and website links to the survey if you would prefer to take the online survey from home. If Griffiths Middle School reports an 85% parent participation rate in the survey, our students will receive a special reward.  Thank you for your participation.

English à https://goo.gl/forms/oMiT62npQLHtsJuk2
Spanish à https://goo.gl/forms/1yS7f4mCJNtKGn603

English QR Code for Parent LCAP Survey:

English QR for LCAP

Spanish QR Code for Parent LCAP Survey:

Spanish QR for LCAP





Rani Bertsch, Ed.D. Principal


February Important Dates

February 2                   2:15 Girls Basketball/Boys Soccer @ Stauffer February 4

8-12 Saturday School

8-12 STEAM Saturday

8-12 Parent Academy


February 5-24              Intramural Sports – Whiffle Ball and Softball during lunch

February 6-10              “Blue Jeans” Drive – donate a pair of used jeans for Solo Hope

February 9                   9:00 a.m. PTA Meeting, Library

5:00 – 7:30 p.m. – PTA Fundraiser Dinner, Quad
5:30 – 6:00 p.m. – EL Parent Meeting, Cafeteria
6:00 – 6:30 p.m. – Title 1 Parent Meeting, Cafeteria (English), Library (Spanish)
6:30 Open House/Classroom Visitations – see flyer for detailed info 
February 13                 No School – Lincoln’s Birthday

February 15                 3:00 SSC Meeting – Library

February 16                 Yearbook Ads are Due 7:00 Builder’s Club Night

February 17                 8th Grade Panoramic Picture

February 20                 No School – Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day

February 21                 Fieldtrip to WHS for Career Technical Education – All 8th grade
February 25                 TLC 5K @ Apollo Park– Please join our team!

February 27                 2:00 Boys Baseball/Girls Softball @ Griffiths
February 28                 Spring Pictures
8th Grade Promotion Pictures