February 2018 Principal’s Letter-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 there will be many more wonderful times during the rest of the year.

I am proud to announce some exciting news about Griffiths Middle School. Our school has been recognized as one of California’s 2018 Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage model middle schools. In March, Griffiths Middle School will be recognized in Sacramento and Washington, DC as on of the National Schools to Watch. I want to congratulate our students, staff, and school community for this high honor. Our staff and students have worked very hard in an exciting and challenging middle school program to demonstrate strong student achievement.

California’s Schools to Watch-Taking Center Stage program uses a competitive, rigorous review process to identify high-performing, high-impact middle schools so that all middle schools may have access to models of real-world success. Griffiths Middle School is one of just of 112 model schools that have been identified statewide since 2003. There will be a celebration on March 9th to recognize our school for this great achievement. We are asking students to wear their GMS Griffiths gear on that day. There is still time to order spirit wear for this event from our ASB.

In February, we will be celebrating a second Character Counts! week. 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 by participating in the True Lasting Connections Family Resource Center (TLC) 5K on February 24th. 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 “Griffiths Middle School Team,” and it is headed by Team Captains, Gianna Donahue and Sonia Lopez.  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. Register online: https://runsignup.com/Race/CA/Downey/HealthyDowney5KforTLC


Lastly, please refer to the important dates included with this newsletter. Please note that our Open House is on Thursday, February 8th. A flyer has been emailed to parents and will be sent home with students closer to our event. Please mark your calendars. In addition to visiting classrooms, we will be requesting that all parents complete the District survey regarding our school. Your input is vital to our improvement. On February 8, the library will be open from 5:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m. for parents to complete this online survey. Parents who complete the survey at Open House will receive 5 Griffiths Bucks for their student to spend at the Character Counts! store. Thank you for your participation.



Rani Bertsch, Ed.D.


February Important Dates


February 3                       8-12 Saturday School

8-12 STEAM Saturday

February 5-23                 Intramural Sports –Basketball during lunch

February 8                       OPEN HOUSE

5:00 – 7:30 p.m. – PTA Fundraiser Dinner, Quad

5:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Complete the LCAP Survey, Library

5:30 – 6:00 p.m. – EL Parent Meeting, Room 51

6:00 – 6:30 p.m. – Title 1 Parent Meeting, Cafeteria (English), Room 51 (Spanish)

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. –  Open House/Classroom Visitations – see flyer for detailed info


February 12                    No School – Lincoln’s Birthday

February 13 -16             Character Counts! Week

February 15                    9:00 a.m. PTA Meeting, Library

Fieldtrip to WHS for Career Technical Education – All 8th grade

2:38 p.m. – Valentine’s Day Dance

February 16                    8th Grade Panoramic Picture

February 19                    No School – Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day

February 24                    TLC 5K @ Apollo Park– Please join our team!

February 26                    2:00 Boys Baseball/Girls Softball @ Griffiths

February 28                     2:00 Boys Baseball/Girls Softball @ Doty