March/April 2020 Principal’s Message-Distance Learning Information

March 27, 2020
Griffiths Middle School Parents,
As we wrap up our first two weeks of online learning, I want to thank you all for a job well done. Who
would have guessed that we would be experiencing a shutdown of our normal routines and ways of life
a short 13 days ago? In this short time, we have distributed hundreds of devices, mobilized our school
lunch program and moved our school staff to an at home work model. Again, I am so proud of the job
they have done as well as the grit of our students to continue to be engaged virtually.
Moving forward with the school board’s adoption of a May 5th return for students means making some
adjustments to our current plan that will be more sustainable, meaningful and responsive to the new
stresses of being homebound. We have heard your feedback and recognize that this is not business as
usual. Six classes a day, five days a week, in homes that perhaps have multiple students and possibly
parents working from home as well requires thinking outside of the box to deliver instruction through
this next phase of virtual learning. Below, you will find a chart that summarizes what will be Griffiths
Middle School’s Distance Learning Plan for the weeks ahead, officially starting on Monday, March 30th.
As a middle school team, I and the principals of Doty, Sussman and Stauffer worked together to provide
similar schedules for Downey Unified middle school students. Class will meet virtually twice a
week. Within a two-hour window, each class will provide an online instruction component, including
a digital assignment(s), and the teacher will be available throughout the two-hour block of time.
This works out to three classes a day on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. However, it
is not required that students access the lesson and assignment within the scheduled time. At your
convenience, these lessons and assignments can be viewed and completed when your home
schedule allows. Wednesday mornings are being reserved for our faculty members and counselors
to hold office hours and be available to you and your students via email or other online formats.
Wednesdays also provide for your student supplemental enrichment opportunities through Virtual
Field Trips (please reference the Google Classroom on our websites).
As always, we are a Griffiths family, know we are here for you and the community as a whole. If there
is anything, we can do to assist in these unprecedented times please reach out to any of our staff members
and we will do whatever is in our power to meet your needs. The Downey Unified School District will
continue to provide free meals to students, and loaner laptops as needed throughout the school closure.
For details and schedules for these resources please log on to the district website, dusd.net.
I want to thank you for your flexibility in these ever-changing times. Take care of each other and stay
healthy Griffiths.
Sincerely,
Anthony Zegarra, Principal
Griffiths Middle School