December 2018 Principal’s Message

Principal’s Message


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

The holiday season is upon us. This is a wonderful time of year when we enjoy the season with family and friends. The holiday season can also be a hectic period where we find ourselves rushing around to get so many things done in too little time. During this busy time, we need to always remember the importance of being safe and of following all safety guidelines. I want you to know that the safety of your student is always our first and foremost concern at Griffiths Middle School. We are committed to providing our students with an environment where they are safe, feel safe, and enjoy being at school. Such an environment is a prerequisite for your child learning and achieving to his or her full potential. As with every aspect of your student’s education, we believe that a strong partnership between home and school is essential to  achieving our goals.  To this end, we need your assistance in providing a safe environment for our students.


When dropping off or picking up your student, please be sure to follow all traffic laws. We ask that parents do not double-park to let children in or out of the car. Parents and families may need to drive a little further to find an open spot next to the curb, but we need to take that extra moment to ensure the safety of the children. For students walking to school without an adult, please consider the following:

  • Make sure they stick to a safe route to school, one with crosswalks at every
  • If they need to cross any streets on the way to school, practice safe street crossing with them before the start of
  • Ideally, they should walk with at least one neighbor child or older
  • Make sure they know how to say “no” if someone they don’t know offers a ride, and that

they yell and run for help if needed.

  • Explain to them that it is not safe to use a cell phone or text while walking, which makes them less aware of
  • Choose brightly colored backpacks, jackets and other accessories, ideally with reflective materials for days when it begins to get dark


For the safety of all students waiting in front of the school to be picked up, we are requiring that all students either sit or stand in a designated area. Also, please do not block the exit and driveway gates during dismissal time, as it is a safety hazard. Please note that we are a closed campus after 4:00 p.m. Students are to wait at one of the exits for their ride or begin walking home immediately unless they are here for school sponsored afterschool activity. Students should not be on campus without the supervision of an adult. Please help us reinforce our school rules with your student. Working together will help us maintain a safer environment for our students.


The end of first semester is approaching very quickly, and this is a good time for our students to reflect on their progress and achievement. We have been working diligently in the past couple of years to create a goal-setting culture at GMS. All students began the year by reflecting on their Smarter Balanced Assessment scores and writing a goal for themselves for the year.


Additionally, at each progress reporting time, students reflect on their grades in each class and create a goal for improvement in each of those classes on a goal-setting, “My Progress Reflection” form. For the November 7th progress report, students were also asked to write a goal on how they can show improvement in demonstrating the pillars of character. For this recent progress reporting period, students were asked to think about how they can improve the ways in which they show respect. Students should have brought their progress report and goal-setting, “My Progress Reflection” form located in their Griffiths Guide. Please ask your students to see their Griffiths Guide on page 20 and 21so that you can have a discussion with them about their goals. Goal-setting is another example of how we prepare students for college and career. Thank you for continuing to support our vision statement: Griffiths Middle School students will acquire 21st century skills, be college and career ready, globally competitive, and citizens of strong character.


I hope that you and your family have a safe, happy, and memorable holiday season this year. As always, Griffiths Middle School will have many events occurring at the school in the new year. Please refer to the important dates emailed home with this newsletter.




Rani Bertsch, Ed.D. Principal


December Important Dates

November 26-13   

Intramural Sports during lunch – Kickball

December 1    

8-12 Saturday School

8-12 STEAM Saturday

December 2    

GMS Band performs at the Downey Parade

December 3 -14   

City of Downey Toy Drive

December 10    

GATE Fieldtrip – Nixon Library December 12

GMS Band Winter Program – 7:00pm

December 13          

ASB sponsors Winter Dance @2:38-4:00 p.m.

PTA Meeting – 7:00 p.m.

December 15   

8-12 Saturday School

8-12 STEAM Saturday

December 17        

CJSF Fieldtrip – Bowling

December 19     

Be Your Best (BYB) Assembly

December 20   

AVID Fieldtrip – Knott’s Berry Farm

Minimum Day Schedule 7:55-12:24 pm.

December 21  

Student Free Day – No School

End of 1st Semester

December 24-4   

Winter Break – No School

January 7    

Return to School