May 2017 Principal’s Newsletter-English

Principal’s Message


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

The Griffiths Middle School community has many reasons to celebrate!  Congratulations to Griffiths Middle School students and staff for receiving the California Gold Ribbon Award.  The Gold Ribbon Award recognizes California schools that have made gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education. These include the California Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics, California English Language Development Standards, and Next Generation Science Standards. Additionally, GMS was awarded the Title I Academic Achieving School Award. This additional recognition is given only to schools receiving federal Title I federal funds that assist in meeting the educational needs of students living at or below the poverty line. Additionally, I am pleased to inform you that Griffiths Middle School has been named a 2017 Exemplary Program award recipient in career technical education for the amazing work done in our Gateway to Technology classes: Robotics, Design and Modeling, Computer Science, and Green Architecture just to name a few.


We are proud to recognize our GMS Robotics Team 9078X for competing in the VEX World Championship 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky last month. Our GMS team was the first middle school robotics team in the Downey Unified School District to qualify for this competition. Our students did an amazing job. They placed 5th out of 15 California teams that competed. We are so proud of them!  Congratulations to our GMS Robotics Team 9078X!


We were also just notified that we were awarded the California Honor Roll Award on behalf of Educational Results Partnership (ERP) and the Campaign for Business and Education Excellence (CBEE).  The 2016 Honor Roll recognizes public elementary, middle, and high schools that demonstrate consistently high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement over time, and reduction in achievement gaps.

These extraordinary gains and recognition that GMS recently received were based predominantly on student achievement on the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) administered by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC).  These tests are administered each spring and measure how well students in California public schools are meeting the Common Core State Standards.  Our students are now in the process of completing these tests on the computer in the areas of English-Language Arts, Mathematics and Science (8th grade only). A letter explaining the entire CAASPP/SBA was sent home before testing. Please continue to support your student during this time of testing by encouraging him/her to do his/her best.


We have an extremely busy schedule at the end of our school year. Please refer to your list of upcoming events below. One message that I have conveyed to students is that school is not over until June 2nd. I have asked students to put forth their best effort in these last weeks of school as we still have a lot of material to cover in each of our grade levels before students can move on to the next grade. Our students have been working diligently to reach their goals this school year. It is important that students understand that we must make the most of each remaining school day. Thank you for encouraging your students.


Thank you all again for your support in maintaining the high standards of excellence we have at GMS.




Rani Bertsch, Ed.D.



May Important Dates


May 1-12        SBA Testing – Block Schedule


May 1-5          Staff Appreciation Week


May 1              5-7 Honor’s Night @ Florence Foursquare Avenue Church


May 2              8-10 El Grupo Crecer Parent Academy – cafeteria


May 3              3:00 SSC Meeting – Library

3:30 Drama Performance – Room 92


May 4              2:00 Track Meet vs Doty @ WHS


May 5              8:30 8th grade Parent Meeting – cafeteria

3:00 Builder’s Club Jogathon – field

7:00 Drama Performance – Room 92


May 6              8-12 Saturday School

8-12 STEAM Saturday

8-12 Parent Academy


May 7              10-3 Downey Council PTA sponsors Ride and Stride Event


May 8              All library books are due

9:00 ELAC Meeting – Room 51


May 9              8-10 El Grupo Crecer Parent Academy – cafeteria


May 11            2:00 Track Meet vs Stauffer @ WHS

7:00 PTA Meeting – Library


May 16            8-10 El Grupo Crecer Parent Academy – cafeteria


May 18            10:15 AVID Awards- lawn by Library

6:30 Spoken Word Poetry Performance – cafeteria


May 19            8:30-10 21st Century Learning Showcase – library

4:00 All District Track Meet @ DHS


May 20            8-12 STEAM Saturday

8-12 Saturday School



May 23            6:30 pm Choir/Band Night – Outdoor Stage


May 24            9:00 am EL Awards – lawn by library


May 25            CJSF Fieldtrip to Universal Studios


May 29            Memorial Day – No school


May 30            8:15 All School Awards Assembly @ GMS

10:30 Promotion Practice for 8th graders


May 31            8:00-2:00 Long Beach State University Fieldtrip for 8th graders


June 1              8:15 Promotion Ceremony @ GMS Blacktop


June 2              8-11 8th Grade Celebration @ GMS Field hosted by PTA

Last Day of School

Dismissal at 12:24


August 11       New Student Orientation


August 16       First Day of School