November 2018 Principal’s Message

Principal’s Message


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

At GMS, we live our vision statement with purpose:

Griffiths Middle School students will acquire 21st century skills, be college and career ready, globally competitive, and citizens of strong character.

 In order for our students to be college and career ready, GMS has implemented several initiatives this school year.  One initiative is using Advancement Via Individual Growth and Development (AVID) strategies school-wide. AVID is deeply entrenched in the school’s culture and provides courses across all grade levels which direct students to routinely set goals for future plans and prepare for future challenges. All students reflect on their behavior and academic grades on their progress reports. Students plan short-term and/or long-term goals based on their grades and comments on those progress reports and write out those goals on a goal-setting organizer for each course in which they are enrolled.  GMS is also explicitly teaching organizational skills to students in all subjects. Each Monday we are doing Management Mondays in which we help students organize themselves for the week and check their use of the Griffiths Guide. Please stop by our new Parent Resource Room located in room 96 on Thursday mornings from 7:30am – 8:30am for resources on how to help support your student.


GMS is also globally competitive. We received the State and National Schools to Watch Award this past June. We are so proud of this accomplishment. These awards are in addition to the California Gold Ribbon Award and Title 1 Academic Achievement Awards that GMS was honored with the year before.  Our Robotics Team continues to excel. We have two of our Robotics Teams competing regularly in State and League Tournaments. Both teams are top contenders. Our Robotics program as well as our other CTE courses were honored with the California Gold Ribbon CTE Exemplary School Award for our outstanding CTE program in 2017.


Our GMS students are citizens of strong character. GMS utilizes the Character Counts! (CC!) curriculum and continually teaches and reinforces its 6 pillars of character: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship.  We had a very successful CC! Week in October. Students engaged in many activities during that week to reinforce the pillars. I am proud of our students for the strong character they demonstrate daily at GMS. We will continue to reinforce the 6 pillars of character through our Positive Behavioral Interventions Supports (PBIS) program. For anyone that did not get a chance to attend our Parent Academy last month, there was a parent letter sent home with your child regarding PBIS. Each parent letter has a QR code unique to each student for their parents. With this code, you will have the opportunity to continue the positive PBIS conversations with your student at home. As a parent, when you download the PBIS Rewards Parent App, you will have access to see how many positive behavior points your child earned throughout the day and what behavior expectation they demonstrated. Thank you for being part of our journey as we continue to improve our positive school culture at Griffiths. Attached you will see a picture of the PBIS App to download.



Thank you for all the support you give your child at home to reinforce the skills necessary to be college and career ready, globally competitive, and citizens of strong character.




Rani Bertsch, Ed.D.




November Important Dates


October 29- November 15      Intramural Sports during lunch – Dodgeball


November 3                Saturday School – 8-12

STEAM Saturday – 8-12


November 4                Daylight Saving Time Ends


November 5-9             All 8th graders take the ACT Exam


November 5                Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ GMS – 2:15 p.m.


November 7                Progress Reports Distributed

Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ Sussman – 2:15 p.m.


November 8                PTA Meeting – 7:00 p.m


November 12              Veteran’s Holiday – No School


November 14

Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ GMS – 2:15 p.m.

SSC Meeting @ GMS Library – 3:00 p.m.

Stauffer Awards @ WHS – 7:00 p.m.


November 15              6:30 AVID Family Night – Cafeteria


November 19-23         Thanksgiving Break – No School


November 26-13         Intramural Sports during lunch – Kickball


November 28              ASB sponsored Lawn Party