Griffiths Middle School has been named a California Gold Ribbon School, one of only 275 middle and high schools in the entire state to earn the designation, state superintendent of public instruction Tom Torlakson announced.
Griffiths received this award "as a direct reflection of the dedication, hard work and vision of their educational community," DUSD officials said. They were also selected for demonstrating exemplary achievements in implementing state standards in priority program areas.
“These terrific schools are leading the way in embracing our new rigorous academic standards and showing others how to help students succeed on their way to 21st Century careers and college,” stated Torlakson.
Schools applied for the award based on a model program or practice their school has adopted that includes standards-based activities, projects, strategies, and practices that can be replicated by other local educational agencies, Torlakson said in a news release.
Griffiths Middle School applied as a result of their principles of 21st Century Learning, which is a top priority in the school’s culture. Critical thinking is emphasized through rigorous, relevant, and technology-rich learning opportunities that support student achievement on internal and external measures.
Technology is integrated at Griffiths through the 21st Century Learning Community (CLC) grant. All teachers in the CLC receive ongoing Professional Development and coaching on technology integration within their respective subject area(s). The rigorous, research-based core course curricula at Griffiths is aligned with state and national standards, as well as district-adopted instructional initiatives and include strategies for thinking and learning.
The focus of the California Gold Ribbon Schools Award is to recognize California schools that have made tremendous gains in implementing the academic content and performance standards adopted by the State Board of Education for all students, including English learners. These include, but are not limited to, the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts, California English Language Development Standards, Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and Next Generation Science Standards.
A ceremony will be held May 15 to recognize Gold Ribbon schools. Separated regionally, this event will honor the 2017 Gold Ribbon Secondary Schools along with the Exemplary Program recipients, Title 1-Academic Achieving Schools, 2017 Green Ribbon Schools, 2017 Civic Learning Award Schools and the National Blue Ribbon Honorees from 2016.
The California Gold Ribbon Schools Award was created to have a program focused on honoring schools while the California Distinguished Schools Program is on hiatus. This interim is due to the period of time required for California to transition to new assessment and accountability systems.
This new award, which began in 2014, recognized elementary schools last year where Downey Unified’s Old River Elementary School was selected. Downey Unified has had at least one school selected for this award each year.