March 2019 Principal’s Message

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

I encourage our students to become involved with the many GMS extra-curricular activities: After School Sports, Intramural Sports, Band, Chorus, Clubs, CTE/Robotics, AVID, WEB, and ASB. Students who have strong connections to their school and build relationships beyond the school day tend to be more positive toward school and enjoy their experience much more. Please encourage your student to become involved at GMS!

I would like to highlight one of our largest extra-curricular groups on campus in this month’s newsletter. Our Femineers program, created by the University of Cal Poly Pomona, introduces engineering to young girls. The program is designed to close the gap between the number of male and female engineers who graduate with an engineering degree. At GMS, we have proudly grown our program from 12 girls our first year to now having hundreds of girls

applying. The program has become extremely competitive; this year we have 53 Femineers. Our two-year program introduces our girls to various branches of engineering through our two courses: Creative Robotics and Wearable Technology.

In their first year of the program, Creative Robotics, the girls are introduced to Scratch and Visual Programming and learn to code using a Hummingbird board. Our girls have learned to bring their innovative designs to life by designing and programing sensors and motors to create spectacular animatronics.

In the second year, Wearable Technology, the girls learn to use different Arduinos including Hexwear and Playground. The girls learn to create circuits through different platforms that can be attached to our clothing or accessories; they learned how to: solder, sew with conductive thread, and use other conductive materials.

One of our main focuses here at GMS is team building. To build a strong team we need the girls to respect and support one another. When we started in October, the girls were assigned into Big Sister/Little Sister groups which we have used to develop quality friendships between higher grade level students and lower level grade students.

Our two teams of Creative Robotics and Wearable Tech began working on their projects that they will be presenting this year at the annual Femineers Gala. Both teams will be attending the Cal Poly Summit on May 15th and we will be holding our annual breakfast and award ceremony with special guests-Warren Femineers on May 17th. We have a very busy year ahead for us, but we are excited!

I would like to congratulate all our students who participated in the PTA Reflections Program. Our students did an amazing job. We had three 1st place winners at GMS.

Congratulations to Sair Patel (Dance Choreography), Karla Gonzales (Photography), and Camilla Guzman (Literature). We will be celebrating their achievement on March 4th at a special breakfast sponsored by Downey Council PTA.

As you can see, we continue to live our Vision Statement through these amazing programs for our kids: Griffiths Middle School students will acquire 21st Century skills, be college and career ready, globally competitive, and citizens of strong character. Our students are excelling in many areas. Thank you again for all your continued support.

Lastly, I would like to thank all our parents who have taken our LCAP Survey. So far 257 of our parents have taken the LCAP Survey. Our goal is to gather input from 600 of our parents this year. Please note that your student can earn 9 PBIS points when you take the survey. Parents can take the survey online and email a screen shot of the last screen of the survey to, or print it, sign it, and bring it to the GMS office. We thank you for all your support. Please see below for upcoming events.




Rani Bertsch, Ed.D.




March Important Dates



March 1                      
8th graders visit Warren High School

March 4                      
2:00 p.m. Boys Baseball/Girls Softball @ Griffiths

March 4-21                           
Intramurals Dodgeball

March 5                      
Advanced Band Fieldtrip – Biola University

March 6-20                
ASB Fundraiser

March 6                      
Fundraiser Assemblies
2:00 p.m. Boys Baseball/Girls Softball @ Doty

March 8  
AVID Fieldtrip to USC

March 9 
8-12 STEAM Saturday Enrichment
8-12 Saturday School

March 11  
2:00 p.m. Boys Baseball/Girls Softball @ Griffiths

March 12
Spring Pictures
8th Grade Promotion Pictures

March 13 
Advanced Band Festival Fieldtrip
2:00 p.m. Boys Baseball/Girls Softball @ Sussman
5:00 – 6:00 p.m. WHS Future Freshman Night @ Warren Gym

March 14 
7:00 PTA Meeting – Library

March 15 
4:00 p.m. AVID Fieldtrip to Magic Mountain

March 20 
WEB Fieldtrip

March 21 
4:00 p.m. Femineers Gala @ Warren Gym
6:00 p.m. AVID Parent Night – Recruitment – cafeteria

March 25-29
ASB sponsors Spirit Week

March 26 
6:30 p.m. Drama Performance

March 27 
6:30 p.m. Drama Performance

March 28 
6:30 p.m. Drama Performance

March 29     
6:30 p.m. Drama Performance