Panther Corporation Newsletter

January 2020

#RedforEd Week

I bet you learned something today you didn't know yesterday. Know why? Because of your teachers! It's a Red For Ed movement! For our students, for our teachers, for our community we wear red! During the week of January 27th, our students and staff wore red in honor of public education! Here is a list of contest winners, as well as the percentage of participation at each building. Will be providing a "Surprise and Delight" this week to Beiriger!

Top 8 Essay Contest Winners from MS/HS:

Blake Loudenber

Katie Plopper

Miley Loudenber

Janelly Moyo

Tyler Smith

Hannah Bubala

Joel Adams

Brianna Middleton

36% of the students and staff wore red this week.


Beiriger Essay Contest Winners:

Michael Kocon

Anthony Cermak

Aubree Steele

Adelle Petyko

Jeriah Mccaffery-Lewis

Jeanne Presler

Mya Reed

66.3% of the students and staff wore red this week.


Ready Essay Contest Winners:

Chloe Villarrreal

Addison Hornyak

Sophia Lugo

Trinity Baine

Harmony Rooks

62.9% of the students and staff wore red this week.


Wadsworth Essay Contest Winners:

Olivia Clark

Geovani Castaneda

Zoey Mansanarez

Allyana Silva

Audrey Dillard

Payton Martine

Zachary Kenney

56% of the students and staff wore red this week.

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Positive Happenings Around the District!

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State Assessment Time for Griffith MS/HS in February!

Dear Students and Families,

Griffith Middle/High School will be administering the state assessments to current students in grades 7-12 for a number of reasons during the month of February. These assessments will take place on February 13, February 20, and February 27, 2020, respectively. On these days students who are not obligated to take the assessments will be participating in an e-Learning day and will not report to school. Only those students who are identified as needing to still successfully achieve a qualifying score on the ISTEP+ Grade 10 Assessment will need to report to Griffith High School on November 13th and/or November 20th.

Students who will be participating in the state assessments will be notified by Griffith Middle/High School and be provided a specific testing location to report to on February 13, February 20, and/or February 27, 2020 All students who will be participating in the ISTEP+ Re-Test will be provided lunch at school along with brain breaks between testing sessions. Additionally, those students who utilize school transportation will still be transported to and from Griffith High School at their regularly scheduled times. If you are a student who has been contacted you must be in attendance during the scheduled day/s (February 13, February 20, and/or February 27, 2020). Please be reminded that this assessment is a graduation requirement.

The e-Learning day does not include Elementary School students and students enrolled in either the Panther Adult Program, Intense / Life Skills Program or Social Emotional Program. Those students will still observe their regular daily schedule and report to school at the regular time.

All Griffith High School and Middle School teachers will report to the building on February 13, February 20, and February 27, 2020 and will help proctor the state assessment and be providing select office hours to help students working on their e-learning assignments.


Christine Brenner

Interim Principal

Griffith Middle / High School

Gold Star National Recognition

Our three elementary schools received this notification:

Congratulations! Your school’s counseling program has met the criteria to become a Recognized ASCA Model Program by the American School Counselor Association. We look forward to acknowledging your school’s accomplishment publicly at the RAMP Recognition Dinner, which will be held on June 29, 2020, in Seattle at ASCA’s annual conference. Information about the conference, ASCA membership, and other important items are included in the attached RAMP Toolkit.

The RAMP designation is valid for five years through the 2024-2025 school year. To maintain continuous RAMP designation, your school must successfully apply again in October 2024. Check the RAMP website to stay abreast of any program modifications to ensure you are ready for the ReRAMP process.

Please let me know if you have any questions once you’ve reviewed the RAMP Toolkit. Congratulations again on this honor.


Jill Cook, M.Ed., NCC

Assistant Director

Thank you to Mishaela Johnson and Mary Sanger for leading this charge! We will be celebrating with them at the national conference. Congratulations Beiriger, Ready, and Wadsworth!

And...HAPPY SCHOOL COUNSELOR WEEK! We appreciate and thank our school counselors for all that they do!

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Community Forum Update

The past 2 Mondays, the community forum has been busy working. Here is some of the information completed during this time:

1. Buffalo Grove and Eminence, KY visits were highlighted and information shared about each of these two visits. A panel of students, staff, administration, and parents answered the following questions:

  • What did you enjoy most about your visit to Buffalo Grove/Eminence?
  • What are the positives you saw at Buffalo Grove/Eminence for students?
  • Any concerns do you have from a student standpoint?
  • What opportunities did you see that made you excited and want for Griffith Public Schools and our students?

2. Pictures from each of the two visits were shared by a leader within each group. You can see these pictures at the following link:

3. Groups answered the following questions:

  • What is GPS currently?
  • What will GPS be like in 2025? How do we best prepare our students as future workers? How do we help shape our educational system to accommodate for this change? Are we going to let the future happen to us or are we going to steer our students towards a preferable future? Do you want to shape the future of GPS or be shaped?
  • What Graduate Portrait/Portraiture would you like for GPS?

Some articles and sights were shared with the group throughout the past two weeks. An example of these articles are shared below. Feel free to read and digest.

4. Groups also shared what they felt the education at GPS was like now. Here are their responses:

  • traditional
  • test-driven (standardized)
  • predictable
  • rigid
  • outdated
  • stale
  • industrial
  • stifled communication
  • hopeful
  • a want to be better/different than other NWI schools
  • close knit
  • "cliquey"
  • one on one with technology (good/bad) but it is current
  • dedicated and caring staff
  • well rounded education (parent perspectives)
  • community involvement
  • diverse
  • focused on state ranking
  • 20th century style education with some innovation
  • more access to technology
  • transient community
  • mediocre
  • systematic training for staff
  • work in progress
  • course offerings are basic
  • traditional classroom settings
  • starting to incorporate new ideas
  • community involvement is getting better
  • more transparent
  • opportunities for growth
  • transitional - wiling to learn new things
  • having a growth mindset
  • still developing a vision
  • lack career pathways
  • close minded
  • stagnant
  • need of more parental involvement
  • parent and student accountability
  • always adding on new programs but not getting rid of bad ones
  • parental frustration with curriculum and technology
  • no consistency from building to building
  • underachieving
  • safety is good

5. Groups then shared what they felt the education at GPS should look like by 2025. Here are their responses:

  • group based learning
  • parental participation (shadow students in their learning)
  • innovative and creative learning
  • business partnerships for job shadowing
  • inclusive services for all schools
  • more automation and maker spaces for students to create and innovate
  • alternative seating/work stations (flexible learning environments)
  • implement career pathways
  • positive communication
  • students are engaged and learning
  • more course/pathway options
  • soft skills are a focus
  • community partnerships
  • on-campus experiences/partnerships
  • job experiences
  • increased parental engagement
  • less weight in state testing and ranking
  • creative and innovative learning
  • choice and exploration by students
  • project based learning
  • freelance learning
  • college campus feel - "student unions"
  • increase opportunities for students to explore career/college pathways
  • students have options and choices of his/her learning
  • offer skills/trades courses/pathways
  • increase STEM opportunities
  • increased student engagement
  • hands on consumption and creation for students
  • improvement of the quality of basic education
  • student led learning
  • consistent work based learning opportunities for on demand careers
  • articulated curriculum
  • low suspension and expulsion rates
  • high graduation rate
  • meet and exceed state performance rankings
  • high expectations
  • students prepared for post-secondary success
  • collaborative learning spaces
  • students are passionate about learning
  • not traditional
  • cafeteria upgrade
  • new ideas implemented in intentional ways
  • staff is open-minded and willing to change/try new things
  • learners are working anywhere and anytime
  • students and teachers are empowered
  • Innovation!
  • Learning is personalized
  • students are leaving prepared for their future
  • curriculum is aligned K - 12
  • better communications with community/parents/students and town board - being transparent
  • real life skills
  • diverse pathways
  • more staff
  • flexible scheduling
  • constantly adapting to change and student needs/choices
  • promote creativity
  • adaptable classrooms
  • soft skills are present and intentionally taught
  • less traditional with a focus on college/career readiness
  • volunteer work/community service
  • variety of settings for students to learn but help regulate children and needs (sensory and calming rooms)
  • discipline - accountability (for students and parents alike)

Where is this group headed next week? GOAL: Defining a Griffith Public Schools Graduate Profile. What does that mean? The group will be focusing on defining what characters or skills a Griffith Public Schools graduate should exemplify and learn to ensure that the graduate is ready for post high school endeavors whether it be with a career, college, or in a trade?

Take time to listen to Buddy Berry, Superintendent at Eminence, KY describe his district's change in providing education to their students and what they wanted their graduate to have learned upon graduation.

Utilize this link:

Dancing with the Panthers Information

Here is some of the information for Dancing with the Panthers!

The event is Saturday March 14th and is open to GHS students only from 7-10pm; however, the t-shirt sales are open to anyone in the community!

Here is the donation link:

Below is the T-shirt design. Prices are as follows: S-XL $12 2XL $14 3XL $16 4XL $18.

There will also be a district wide Spirit Week:

Monday is Put Childhood Cancer to Bed! Wear school appropriate pajamas

Tuesday is What do you want to be when you grow up? Wear your dream job attire

Wednesday is Twin with your Childhood Bestie/Crazy Socks! Wear the same outfit as you’re bestie! Or wear a “pair” of crazy socks!

Thursday is Be a child’s hero today and lets beat childhood cancer! Wear a school appropriate superhero outfit

Friday is Be Bold, Go Gold! Wear your Dancing with the Panthers T-shirt or Black and Gold shirt!

Any questions, please contact Ms. Scheidel.

Thank you!

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