Panther Corporation Newsletter

May 2020 Edition

From the Superintendent...

To Griffith Public Schools Families,

This week has definitely been a whirlwind of emotions not only for me personally but for the entire Griffith Public Schools community. This week we learned that schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. This brings much sadness for not only our seniors and their families, but to the many other students in grades K-11 and the Griffith Public Schools staff. Despite seeing some smiling faces of our students as we deliver food around the community, it doesn't compare to the daily interactions and relationships that have been formed since our first day in August.

Thank you parents for allowing us another year with your child/ren! Thank you parents for also taking on this responsibility of teaching and learning within your household during this crisis within our world! In addition, thank you parents for ensuring that our students are safe, fed, and loved! Please take care of yourselves as well! It is important that we all heed and listen to Gov. Holcomb's Stay at Home order for the next couple of weeks! Do your part in stopping COVID-19!

To our students...Please know that we continue to pray for your health and safety! Please know that we also love and miss each one of you dearly! In addition, if you ever need one of us, even during a non eLearning week, we are there for you! All you have to do is email, Zoom, or call!!!

Please enjoy the sunshine that today and this weekend is to bring! Enjoy this special time with your family because we may never have this extended amount of time again!

Continue to read my corporation newsletters in weeks to come. There will be answers to the questions I am positive you have!

God Bless!

Michele Riise

Update to eLearning Week of April 6-10 and April 13

There is one correction to next week’s schedule:

April 6 - 9: Griffith Public Schools will be eLearning this week. At this time all essential staff will remain at home. We want to ensure that we are following Gov. Holcomb’s exec. order. Approval is needed by Superintendent if needing to get in building.

April 10: Good Friday - NO SCHOOL! Griffith Public Schools will be closed as planned. Approval is needed by Superintendent if needing to get in building.

April 13: Monday following Easter - Griffith Public Schools will be eLearning on Monday only. At this time all essential staff will remain at home. We want to ensure that we are following Gov. Holcomb’s exec. order. Approval is needed by Superintendent if needing to get in building.

This was a change due to Gov. Holcomb’s new Exec. Order. Our students need 20 eLearning Days after April 2nd. Without adding April 13, we would have only 19 eLearning Days after April 2nd with the present schedule.

Student's Last Day will be on May 22nd.


Griffith Public Schools, along with the community and Mr. Reid, encourages people to make signs or posters. Mr. Reid asks that the signs are to be inspirational and encouraging to all! These signs or pictures are to be positive and promote all to remain calm in these trying times. Words of motivation...words of positivity are a must! "Adults and students together can draw and color pictures or color a picture from a book," states Mr. Reid.

Mr. Reid asks that these signs and/or pictures be placed outside on the front door or windows or anywhere they can be seen from the sidewalk. He encourages healthy habits and would like to extend to our students, along with their family, the encouragement to take a walk around the neighborhood and look for all the signs.

During the eLearning week of April 6 - 10, our teachers will ask that our students make notes and talk with their family about the different signs they saw along their walk. Our students will be asked to write about their experience and describe in their eyes what is currently going on in their lives due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The students can draw pictures along with their writings.

Mr. Reid would like to gather all the writings and artwork to create a book. Mr. Reid states, "I did this when I student taught, and it was a huge success and a lot of fun. I spoke with my publisher and they are on board."

So what do you say Griffith Public Schools and Griffith community? Are you up for this challenge? So get busy...We want to see those signs!

If you are in need of any supplies, such as crayons, paper, etc...please let your classroom teacher know. GPS will make every attempt to get you these items next week. Please know that you or your child will need to meet us at one of our grab and go lunch drop off locations. We can not make home deliveries. Sorry!

Student Schedule for Remainder of School Year

April 14 - 17: Griffith Public Schools will utilize 4 waiver days. Griffith Public Schools will remain closed and limited staff working. Students will NOT have eLearning.

April 20 - 24: Griffith Public Schools will be eLearning this week. Griffith Public Schools will remain closed and limited staff working. Students will have eLearning.

April 27 - May 1: Griffith Public Schools will utilize 5 waiver days. Griffith Public Schools will remain closed and limited staff working. Students will NOT have eLearning.

Here is my plan if Gov. Holcomb decides to extend the closure for the remainder of the school year:

May 4 - 8: Griffith Public Schools will be eLearning this week.

May 11- 15: Griffith Public Schools will utilize 5 waiver days. Griffith Public Schools will remain closed and limited staff working. Students will NOT have eLearning.

May 18 - 22: Griffith Public Schools will be eLearning this week.

May 22 - Last Day of School for Students


Please continue to read our corporation newsletters. We will address items, such as:

1. Student supplies at buildings

2. Graduation and Seniors

3. Ability to enter buildings by staff

Information is updated daily.

We ask for your patience as we continue to address your questions and concerns.

Griffith Public Schools Promise

Please tune in to our Griffith Public Schools Board of School Trustees meeting on Thursday, April 9th at 6pm. More information will come to you as we ensure that are in compliance with current Exec. Orders and community members and staff have the ability to see the board meeting LIVE while at home.

Student Textbook Fees

Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Griffith Public Schools has extended the deadline to pay fees by July 1st. We understand and sympathize with the families who may not be working at this time and hope that this information will bring you some relief during this difficult time. Let us know if you have any questions.

Grab and Go Lunches to Families!

Griffith Public Schools will be serving grab and go meals to children 18 years of age and younger. We will text when on our way to a stop within Griffith. We will utilize two days during these next few weeks to serve our meals. These days will be every Monday and Wednesday from 11:30am to 1:30pm. We will provide families with a couple of meals at that time to ensure they have food on days we are not delivering. We will continue to update you on changes to this schedule if needed.

Grab and go meals will consist of a sandwich, fruit, vegetable and milk or something that is able to be heated up, such as a hot lunch offering typically done during the school year.

Meals will also be served on a drive-up basis at door C at Griffith Middle/High School. Individuals will be required to drive up to door C at Griffith Middle/High School, and the meal will be brought to your car. In addition, these meals will be delivered by bus at the locations listed on the attached flyer.

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to contact the Director of Food Services.

Kindergarten Registration...Register Today!

Griffith Public Schools is postponing Kindergarten Registration at this time; however, parents of incoming kindergarten students can still enroll their child through our online portal. This portal will be located on our website. It will open on April 1st and remain open until further notice.

We will still require the following once our elementary offices are open to the public:

    • Bring child's original birth certificate and immunization records.
    • To be eligible for kindergarten, child must be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2019.
    • If child is 5 by October 1, 2019 for the 2020/21 school year, parent/legal guardian can write a letter of appeal to the building principal by August 2020. Superintendent has the final decision on the enrollment of child into kindergarten.
    • Enrollment is open to only Griffith residents. Please make sure to bring proof of residency!

    Look for the Online Registration Portal to open on April 1st!

  • For more information, please contact the elementary school in which your child will be attending.

    Community Usage of Griffith Public Schools Facilities

    All school facilities, including sports courts/fields, will remain closed to the public during the school closure. All facility rentals are cancelled. No one is permitted in our buildings at this time without approval from superintendent. Thank you for your understanding!

    Athletics and Extra-Curricular Activities, Events, etc...

    All sporting and extra-curricular activities, events, practices, rehearsals, and performances are immediately cancelled.

    Census 2020...Please Complete It Today!

    I know I don't have to remind you that we are facing a very difficult time in this nation. I hope you and your family are staying safe and healthy.

    We are reaching out to you to share with you the current response rates from Lake County; these are real time actual responses from Lake County as of this morning. As you can see only 23.6% of the County has responded to completing the Census 2020 with 20.3% doing so online.

    We want to remind all of our families to respond to the 2020 Census right now online, via phone or when the paper questionnaire starts arriving in mid-April. This is critically important especially as Schools are accessing free and reduced lunch funding in many cases to help feed the families in need in our communities and the emergency services, including ERs, fire and emergency responders are navigating the harrowing realities and effects of this terrible public health crisis we are facing.

    It has never been easier to respond to the Census. If you know of anyone that is not counted please send out the attached "Action Half Page Handout: message to remind them. please do so virtually and if possible call pastors and other community leaders to do the same.

    Thank you sincerely and please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all!