November 2019 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.

For our students to be college and career ready, GMS utilizes several educational initiatives.  The first is the implementation of Advancement Via Individual Growth and Development (AVID) strategies on a school-wide level. AVID is deeply entrenched across all grade levels in the school’s culture, providing courses in which students are directed to routinely set goals and prepare for future challenges. The second initiative is found in the practice of purposeful reflection by the students on their behavioral marks 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 their goals on a goal-setting organizer for each course in which they are enrolled.  Finally, GMS is also explicitly teaching organizational skills to students in all subjects. Teachers are constantly working to help students organize themselves for the week and monitoring their use of the Griffiths Guide.

GMS is globally competitive. We received the State and National Schools to Watch Award as well as the California Gold Ribbon Award and Title 1 Academic Achievement Award. Our Robotics Team continues to excel and compete regularly in State and League Tournaments. Both teams are top contenders. Our Robotics program, as well as our other CTE courses, have been honored with the California Gold Ribbon CTE Exemplary School Awards for outstanding performance.

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 also have implemented our Student Strengths Direction program this year as a way for students to identify and develop their unique talents and abilities.  This curriculum was introduced to parents during our October parent academies.  Thank you for being part of our journey as we continue to improve our positive school culture at Griffiths.

In the spirit of the month, I am truly thankful for all of your support as a community in preparing our students for their next steps in their educational journey.  It is an honor to be a part of such a caring staff, school, and community.



Anthony Zegarra, Ed.D.



November Important Dates

November 3   
Daylight Saving Time Ends

November 4
Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ GMS – 2:15 p.m.

November 6           
Progress Reports Distributed to Students

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

DUSD College and Career Fair @ College & Career Center, Warren High School, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

November 11
Veteran’s Day Holiday – No School

November 12
Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ GMS – 2:15 p.m.

November 13
Parent Academy: Math Strategies in GMS Library – 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ GMS – 2:15
SSC Meeting @ GMS, Room 27 – 3:00 p.m.

November 14
Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ MSMS – 2:15 p.m.
AVID Family Night @ GMS Cafeteria – 6:00
PTA Meeting @ GMS Cafeteria – 7:00 p.m.

November 16
STEAM Saturday @ GMS – 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

November 18
Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ MSMS – 2:15 p.m.

November 20
Boys Volleyball and Girls Soccer Games @ SMS – 2:15 p.m.

November 18-22
GMS E-Sports tournament – Times TBD

November 25-29
Thanksgiving Break – No School