News You Can Use :: May 25, 2016

Letter from the PTSA President

As we end another great year at GMS, we have to look back at a FEW of the great accomplishments. We began the school year with a new school store equipped with a refrigerator, school supplies, and spirit wear. We added several new committees along the way with new committee chairs. We supplied the fine arts program with over $10,000 in supplies, such as bow ties and cummerbunds, sound equipment, PE equipment, new music stands and more. We funded over 28 clubs (all sponsored by our wonderful teacher sponsors). We contributed over $8,000 toward after/before school clubs; for example, Robotics and Science Olympiad, soccer goals, competition fees, and provided
sponsor thank-you gifts (delivered this week) to thank our wonderful teachers.
The PTSA hosted Griffin’s Got Talent in October. Students sang, danced, acted, and showcased their talents while the audience thoroughly enjoyed the night. The entire theatre stood up and danced while the directors and fellow staff surprised everyone with their own little act.

This year was also the first Bingo Night, Hispanic Heritage, Science Fair, Makers Faire STEAMfest, GA Math League Math Bee competition, and 6th/7th grade award ceremony. Each of these events were great family events. The staff and PTSA are already planning for next year.
In May, Field Day at Rhyne Park was a huge success. Smyrna’s finest debuted their kickball skills, Coach Tatum had a little too much fun on her bullhorn, and Mr. Gillihan was a trooper getting soaked in the dunk tank all three days. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but he had the cafeteria staff add heated water to the tank. Most importantly, the kids all said it was SOOOOOO much fun.
Of course, we cannot forget the amazing ‘Shrek Jr. the Musical’. We laughed and we watched in awe of 55 cast members under the direction of Mrs. Rabun produce a truly memorable event. The teachers, crew, and parents all volunteered their time over the past five months. Next time you see Mrs. Rabun, Mr. Smith, Ms. Todd, Mrs. Meyers, Mrs. Yahne, and Mrs. Blomberg, tell them thanks!
This summer, the PTSA needs your help. We need a few volunteers to step up and help plan for next year. If you have a passion, we have a place for you. Our goal is to have two or more chairs for each committee. Remember, many hands make light work!
Next year we will roll out a new website and eNews. Our goal is to improve communication and improve access to calendar events. We will continue to utilize Facebook to communicate some information. The PTSA will purchase new flags within the school, and begin planning the landscape overhaul of the cement Griffin sign at the stop sign, with implementation in the fall. We will purchase new sound panels in stages-$7,000 this summer ($23,000 total cost) for the cafeteria to improve the sound of the orchestra and band concerts.
We love new faces and ideas. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact any board member or email kara.gold@yahoo.com. Have a great summer!

School Council News

With elections now complete, the GMS Council would like to welcome new parent members Marie Stockton and Angel Arrington! They join returning members Michelle Pickard, Tomeca Brown, Gretchen Fuller (now a community representative), and teacher representative, Mrs. Melissa Barlow.  An additional teacher representative will soon join us once teacher elections are complete. We’d also like to recognize and thank Steven Fuller, a “graduating” parent member and Council chair, for his years of service and leadership, as well as Mr. David Santiago for supporting us this year.  In the coming year, we look forward to continuing to support Griffin’s strategic goals through several important long-term initiatives now well underway.

Celebrating Another STEAM Success

Griffin’s first-ever Science Fair was a big success with 110 students participating and 57 projects submitted! Congratulations on a job well done to the following winners in each grade.
6th grade
1st place – Mattie and Emmy Pickard
2nd place – Deisy Reyes Salado
3rd place – Rhylie Turner and Justin Moore

7th grade
1st place – Veronica Sills
2nd place – Katherine Stanek, Sophie Faust, and Skylar James
3rd place – Emily Nguyen

8th grade
1st place – Austin Fabritius
2nd place – Jose Luis Vasquez
3rd place – Eric Alvarado

Science classes had the opportunity to tour the fair and enjoy the projects on display in the PL room this past Thursday. Special thanks to our many Smyrna community judges, Ms. Khurana for having the most participants, and our Science Fair teacher sponsors who made this new STEAM event a reality at Griffin – Ms. Anderson, Mr. White, and Mr. Scotchlas.  We look forward to an even bigger and better fair next year!

May Coffee Talk…With the Principal

At the May 10th “Coffee with the Principal”, Mr. Gillihan shared LOTS of exciting changes planned for next year – NEW class schedule, NEW Connections enhancements, NEW classes and high school credit options, and NEW STEAM instructional opportunities for all students!   Read on to find out about how Griffin is the FIRST to pilot a high school Business and Technology class in Cobb!

Click HERE for the full scoop from the May coffee. This year’s coffee series has been a GREAT source of information and a great opportunity to meet other parents, ask questions, and share ideas for a “greater Griffin”. Check the schedule next year and plan to join us!

Math Bee Update
One of our STEM competitions this year was a Math Bee organized by Ms. Keller and PTSA (Tracey Santos) to give students an educationally enriching opportunity to participate in an academically-oriented activity and to gain recognition for mathematical achievement. Our 2016 Math Bee had 93 student participants total across 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.  Our students were given access to an online Math League Adaptive Learning System where they could practice before the test. The Math Bee event occurred on February 23, and GMS student tests were graded and submitted to the GA Math League organization. GMS 6th grade team (of top 5 scores) placed 19thout of 41 schools in GA, the 7th grade team placed 22nd out of 42 schools, and the 8th grade team placed 22nd out of 39 schools. We plan to continue the Math Bee next year and improve our scores and rankings! Thank you to all student participants, Ms. Keller, and parent helpers the day of the event.

PTSA supports GMS’ goal of achieving STEM certification by supporting competitions and community involvement in our school. We have engaged many community sponsors and have supported the following activities that directly contribute towards the STEM certification goal: STEAM Fest, Science Fair, GA Math League Math Bee, Science Olympiad, Robotics, and Future City competitions.

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News You Can Use :: May 16, 2016

Advance Ticket Sales End Wednesday! Save $ & Make Sure You Get a Seat to SHREK, the Musical!
It’s finally here! “SHREK, the Musical, Jr.” will be held on May 19, 20 and 21 at 7:00 pm in the Griffin Middle School Theater. The talented cast and crew have been working extremely hard for months and the time has finally come! Under the direction of our dedicated faculty team led by Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Sarah Rabun, this show will be very fun and entertaining so don’t miss it.

Advance tickets are $8 and are available in the school store now through Thursday! Tickets will be $10 at the door. You don’t want to risk the musical being sold out, so buy yours now!

Please support our fabulous students, staff and parent volunteers — bring your family and friends and leave “a believer!”
Dads’ Club Duty-Free Lunch: May 20

The Dads’ Club final Duty-Free Lunch for this school year is Friday, May 20 from 10:30 to 1:00 pm. Please sign up here http://vols.pt/sjXfqs or contact Wade Stockton at wstockton@printpack.com.

Haunted House Leader Request

The GMS Foundation hosts the annual Haunted House as the biggest fundraising event for the school each Fall. Now in its third year, it is a great gift to our students, teachers, Griffin families, and even the local community at large. We are looking for a key volunteer to oversee the design and construction of this much anticipated event. There is a lot of freedom to make our Haunted House as scary, thrilling and memorable as possible. We already have a lot of the props and materials to make this a huge success, however, we need a passionate designer to craft it into a reality. We need YOU to make this into one for the record books. If this sounds like your thing, please contact Robb Stanek at robbstanek@yahoo.com.

 

Coffee Talk…With the Principal

At the April 12 “Coffee With the Principal,” Mr. Gillihan shared updates regarding adjustments to the Milestones testing schedule, new teacher allotments and upcoming staff changes, as well as the draft schedule for next year. Parents were excited about the possibilities and eager to discuss optimizing the course content of the school day. If you have friends and neighbors with rising middle schoolers, invite them to join us. An 8:15 “coffee” followed by a 10:00 school tour led by Mr. Gillihan himself makes for a great opportunity to hear directly from the principal, meet other parents, make connections, ask questions, and share ideas as we work together to make a greater Griffin,

Click HERE for the full scoop from the April coffee. Meetings occur every second Tuesday of the month at 8:15 am in the main office conference room. Plan to join us for one last opportunity to fill your cup this year…May 10.

Landscape and Grounds Maintenance
Help keep Griffin beautiful by lending a hand as a grounds maintenance volunteer! We’re currently searching for volunteers to take ownership of select areas around the school’s exterior. Activities include planting, mulching, and general clean-up activities. Interested parties should contact Chuck Young at charlesyoung39@hotmail.com.

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News You Can Use :: May 2, 2016

Maker Faire: Wednesday, May 4 from 4:30 – 7:30!

Join us on May 4th: Full STEAM Ahead! Star Wars Day – may the 4th be with you!
4:30 – 6:00 pm: pre-Faire Frisbee Fun with Mr. Podell! Kona Ice Truck + Chick-fil-A for purchase!
6:00 – 7:30 pm: The GMS STEAMFest Maker Faire will host over 25 maker booths.  Makers will include designing and developing Drones, developing Sim Cities, programming Spheros (robotic balls), building Rube Goldbergs, designing electrical currents, building Robots, and designing and creating using a 3D Printer.

Please come enjoy the festivities and volunteer for a part of the event as well – sign up here:http://vols.pt/MUJ17UWe need help with activity support for Makers, volunteer check-in, food & snack sales, setup, and cleanup! Please make this first event success so that we can continue toward STEM certification! Email Tracey Santos with any questions tsantos@scires.com.

8th Grade Dance: May 6, 7 – 10 PM – Volunteers Needed

On Friday, May 6, from 7-10 p.m. the PTSA will hold the 8th grade “Hollywood Red Carpet Event.” There will be food, drinks, great music, and you won’t believe the transformation of our own gym! Plus a few more surprises.  Tickets are $15 and will be sold at the School Store in the mornings and at lunch on May 3 – May 5. CASH ONLY! Tickets will not be sold at the door. You must have a signed permission slip; permission slips were sent home with 8th grade students on Friday, April 29. If you did not receive a permission slip, please contact Lesley Lyons at lesleylyons@bellsouth.net. 
 
Calling all students: Upload school photos from your time at Griffin to gmsphotos8@gmail.com. We are preparing something special for the Red Carpet Event.
 
Calling GMS Parents: We need volunteers on Thursday, May 5 & Friday, May 6 for set-up, ticket takers and clean-up. We also are looking for donations of water, soda and chocolate. We need parents of 6th and 7th grade students to help at the dance so 8th grade parents can enjoy helping their kids get ready and to take pictures. Sign up here: http://vols.pt/9VCZNe
Field Day: May 6, 12 & 13 – Volunteers Needed!
This year’s Field Day will be fun and exciting for the kids!  We will need many volunteers to make this year’s event successful. Come out to Rhyne Park and enjoy the day with your child. This year all Field Day volunteer sign-ups will be done electronically via the links below.

The dates are this Friday, May 6 for sixth grade; Thursday, May 12 for 7th grade; and Friday, May 13, for 8th grade. If you can not volunteer your time, we would appreciate donations of 3 oz. Dixie cups and/or freeze and eat popsicles. These items may be dropped off in the school store before the designated field day event. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Renee LaPrade at reneelaprade@gmail.com 

6th grade:http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4daeac2ba31-6thgrade
7th grade:http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f0c4daeac2ba31-seventh
8th grade:www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20f0c4daeac2ba31-8thgrade

BOGO Book Fair: May 9 – 13
PTSA is so excited to host our first Buy One, Get One Free Spring Scholastic Book Fair Tuesday, May 9-Friday, May 13. This fair allows our student and family book lovers to stock up for summer reading by offering all books Buy One, Get One Free. Students can shop the fair before school each morning and will also attend with their Language Arts Classes during the week. The fair will accept cash, checks and credit cards. Summer reading lists will also be available. Feel free to invite our elementary feeder schools to stop in and shop as well. We will need plenty of volunteers to make this a success. We need assistance with set-up, take down and handling sales during the actual fair. Sign up now athttp://vols.pt/4g7i4C. Contact Marie Stockton atmarie.wade.stockton@gmail.com with any questions.

Friday is the Last Day to Order Yearbooks!
This is the LAST WEEK to order your yearbook. The deadline to order and to complete your two personalized pages is Friday, May 6. The price is $25 for a softcover book & $31.95 for a hardcover book. Yearbooks will be delivered in mid-May. There are two ways to order:

  • Online At www.TreeRing.com/validate then enter Griffin’s passcode: 10138333248790
  • At the GMS school store using cash only. (If you purchase at the school store, your book will not include the two personalized pages.)
We need your photos! Do you have any great photos of Griffin events that you’d like to see in the yearbook? Upload directly to our yearbook site! Download the free TreeRing App on your smartphone & follow the directions. See you in the yearbook!

Haunted House Leader Request
The GMS Foundation hosts the annual Haunted House as the biggest fundraising event for the school each Fall. Now in its third year, it is a great gift to our students, teachers, Griffin families, and even the local community at large. We are looking for a key volunteer to oversee the design and construction of this much anticipated event. There is a lot of freedom to make our Haunted House as scary, thrilling and memorable as possible. We already have a lot of the props and materials to make this a huge success, however, we need a passionate designer to craft it into a reality. We need YOU to make this into one for the record books. If this sounds like your thing, please contact Robb Stanek at robbstanek@yahoo.com.

Let Your Freak Flag Fly on May 19, 20 & 21 at SHREK, the Musical!
Mark your calendars now for Griffin’s presentation of “SHREK, the Musical, Jr.” on May 19, 20 and 21 at 7:00 pm in the Griffin Middle School Theater. A talented cast and crew of over 50 students representing all three grades are hard at work preparing an amazing show under the direction of our dedicated faculty team led by Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Sarah Rabun. Advance tickets are $8 and are available in the school store now! Tickets will be $10 at the door. You don’t want to risk the musical being sold out, so buy yours now!
Dads’ Club Duty-Free Lunch: May 20

The Dads’ Club final Duty-Free Lunch for this school year is Friday, May 20 from 10:30 to 1:00 pm. Please sign up here http://vols.pt/sjXfqs or contact Wade Stockton at wstockton@printpack.com.

Coffee Talk…With the Principal

At the April 12 “Coffee With the Principal,” Mr. Gillihan shared updates regarding adjustments to the Milestones testing schedule, new teacher allotments and upcoming staff changes, as well as the draft schedule for next year. Parents were excited about the possibilities and eager to discuss optimizing the course content of the school day. If you have friends and neighbors with rising middle schoolers, invite them to join us. An 8:15 “coffee” followed by a 10:00 school tour led by Mr. Gillihan himself makes for a great opportunity to hear directly from the principal, meet other parents, make connections, ask questions, and share ideas as we work together to make a greater Griffin,

Click HERE for the full scoop from the April coffee. Meetings occur every second Tuesday of the month at 8:15 am in the main office conference room. Plan to join us for one last opportunity to fill your cup this year…May 10.

Landscape and Grounds Maintenance
Help keep Griffin beautiful by lending a hand as a grounds maintenance volunteer! We’re currently searching for volunteers to take ownership of select areas around the school’s exterior. Activities include planting, mulching, and general clean-up activities. Interested parties should contact Chuck Young at charlesyoung39@hotmail.com.

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