DOWNEY -- Staff and faculty members from Griffiths Middle School were honored with the Downey Board of Education's Shared Values Award in the area of Continuous Improvement last week for "providing improvements and enhancements to all aspects of school programs based on performance data."
The school's Instructional Leadership Team, or ILT, accepted the award.
Each school in Downey Unified has a defined ILT that sets the direction for the entire school. At Griffiths Middle School, the ILT is comprised of Professional Learning Community (PLC) lead teachers, technology teacher leaders, counselors and administrators.
The goal of the ILT is to improve instruction, student engagement and student achievement.
Dr. Rani Bertsch., principal of Griffiths Middle School, shared the important work and achievements of their ILT with those in attendance.
“The ILT functions as a Distributed Leadership Model and incorporates and values all teachers’ voices and establishes ‘buy in’ for our practice," he said. "For example, the ILT prepared a discussion framework to identify our instructional focus of critical thinking. The focus was shared with our students, and they were engaged in creating and voting on a student-friendly slogan, ‘ThinkShareDefend.’ Students collaborated with community members and designed a logo for ThinkShareDefend.”
According to Smart Balance Assessment data, students at Griffiths Middle School have performed above state averages for the past two years in most grade levels and in nearly every subject area of the test.
“We at Griffiths Middle School directly relate this remarkable data to the hard work of our ILT and PLCs,” noted Bertsch.
The percentages of EL (English Leaners) students who reclassified to English proficiency in the past three years grew from 18 percent in 2014 to 30 percent in 2016, according to data collected by Griffith Middle School administration. During this three-year span, Griffith’s average daily attendance surpassed 96 percent, discipline referrals decreased from 496 to 267, and suspensions days decreased from 133 to 92.
“All staff members of Griffiths Middle School, including our ILT, are proud to be a part of a learning environment in which all students will acquire 21st Century skills, be college and career ready, globally competitive and citizens of strong character,” said Bertsch.