The Weekly Griffin

Week of September 16th, 2018 - #BuildingABetterGriffin

Sterling Program Night: This Tuesday!

This year, we've worked to create uniquely tailored program nights that will provide more information on the coming year. Not only will you hear from your child's teacher(s), you will also have an opportunity to hear about the many things we are doing to #BuildABetterGriffin!

Sterling Program Night (Tuesday, September 18th):

Grades 4K-5:

  • Pick up dinner from Wholy Smoke's food truck, check-in at main hallway, and eat dinner in the cafeteria from 5:00-6:00. There will be a welcome greeting from Dr. Patterson and schedules will be given to parents for sessions to attend.
  • Then, at 6:00, parents will move to session 1 according to a specified schedule. There are 3 sessions to attend: classroom, guidance, and technology. (Session 1:6:05-6:20; Session 2: 6:25 - 6:40; Session 3: 6:45 - 7:00; Optional Make-Up Session 4: 7:05 - 7:20
  • Raffled prizes will be given throughout the evening as parents attend each session.
  • We will conclude at 7:20.

And while you're there, be sure to sign up for PTA. Parents, grandparents, aunts/uncles, members of the community, and friends are all welcome to join as "parent" members. Students are also welcome to join as "student" members. Becoming a member of PTA doesn't mean you have to volunteer your time or get plagued by future requests. You just pay $5 to support our school and our PTA programs. Please visit PTA's online store today and help make our school the best it can be!

International Dot Day - Make Your Mark!

Last Friday, students at the Sterling School joined millions of people around the world to celebrate International Dot Day. This annual event encourages students to move the world to a better place by connecting, collaborating, creating, and celebrating all that creativity inspires and invites. Thank you, Mrs. Harrington & Mrs. Spitler, for spearheading this event AND thank you to the many volunteers who came to help out! #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more highlights from the day!

What's Ahead...

  • September 17 - 1st 9-Weeks Progress Reports
  • September 18 - Sterling Program Night; 6:00-8:00pm
  • September 19 - Readers Arrrgh Leaders Community Readers Day
  • September 19 - Families for Lunch (Click HERE for Schedule)
  • September 21- Last Day for Attraction Book Orders & Payments
  • September 22 - Butterfly Garden Work Day; 9:00am
  • September 24 - PTA Spirit Night @ Chicken Salad Chick on Augusta Rd; 5:00-8:00pm
  • September 25, 26, & 27 - Talent Show Auditions

"Readers Arrrgh Leaders" Community Readers Day

Did you know that September 19th is National Talk Like A Pirate Day? (And who wouldn't want an excuse to talk like a pirate?!?) So...this Wednesday (September 19th) we'll encourage students to find treasure in reading as we celebrate "Readers Arrrgh Leaders" Talk Like A Pirate Community Readers Day. As part of the festivities, we welcome anyone (teachers, students, and special guest) to dress in their best "seafaring" attire! We look forward to making some great memories as we set sail on the SS Sterling!

Several classrooms are still looking for their Special Guest. Guest readers can bring their own book, or we can find one for you. You can bring a book about pirates or choose a completely different topic. You can also dress up! (Don't worry, it's not required.)

If you'd like to volunteer as a Guest Reader, please click HERE! If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Marchbanks at

Congratulations, Mrs. Newell!

This week, fifth grade teacher, Sara Newell was notified that an essay she recently authored was selected as the recipient of the 2018 Virginia Hamilton Essay Honor Award. Mrs. Newell's essay, Check Your Privilege, Why Diverse Literature is Essential for Gifted Students, was published in the April 2017 issue of Gifted Child Today. Established in 1991, the Virginia Hamilton Essay Award recognizes a journal article published in a given year which makes a significant contribution to professional literature concerning multicultural literary experiences for youth. According to the award notification, the conference board reads numerous articles each year before selecting one they feel is most deserving of recognition. The award, given annually, will be announced next month at the Virginia Hamilton Conference on Multicultural Literature at Kent State University. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

Interested in Reading More?

Article Abstract: Today’s gifted students are in a unique position. Many come from traditionally advantaged backgrounds. However, the societal tide is shifting, and gifted learners should be at the forefront of change. Exposure to and comprehensive analysis of literature by diverse authors will help prepare students for the world they stand to inherit and will open their minds to the faulty systems that work to their advantage. As gifted students gain an appreciation of global context and the impact of colonial influence and oppression, they will be better positioned to demand change and equity. Participating in a culturally responsive classroom environment is one way to facilitate this awareness. This article includes specific examples of both the challenges and strategies to address issues surrounding diversity in the gifted classroom through inclusive literature instruction.

Fifth Week Reminders

  • Starting tomorrow (week 5), students who are picked up late from school will incur a fee to be collected by our after school program.
  • It is imperative that parents pick their students up from school in a timely fashion. Our teachers and administrators have trainings, parent conferences, and other meetings/responsibilities that take their time after school. We will provide supervision for all children while on our premises, but we recognize that to do so requires certain resources (time, people, etc.). Parents will be charged $5.00 per half hour that they are late picking up their child after 3:00 for elementary or 3:15 for middle school. All money collected will be distributed to our after school program.

  • Our doors will open at 7:25am. The tardy bell rings at 8:00am.
  • While breakfast is free to all students, breakfast is not served after 7:50am.
  • Students are asked not to bring breakfast from local restaurants into the building.
  • No early dismissals after 2:00pm. To ensure a safe, efficient dismissal, we ask that parents sign their child out before 2:00pm.
  • For any student who is absent from school, all notes (parent or medical) must be provided within 2 days of the student's return to be excused.
  • To be counted "present"... Elementary students must attend at least 3 hours of the instructional day; in middle school, students must attend at least 30 minutes of each class period.

Attendance Awareness Month #BuildingABetterGriffin

Did you know September was Attendance Awareness Month? This week, we'll continue to share facts and tips to ensure that all students fully benefit from their education by attending school regularly. Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Your student can start building this habit now so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Consistent attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work. #WholeChild


  • By being present at school, your child learns valuable social skills and has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with other students and school staff.
  • Absences can be a sign that a student is losing interest in school, struggling with school work, dealing with a bully or facing some other potentially serious difficulty.
  • By 9th grade, regular and high attendance is a better predictor of graduation rates than 8th grade test scores.


  • Talk to your student about the importance of attendance.
  • Talk to your students’ teachers if you notice sudden changes in behavior. These could be tied to something going on at school.
  • Encourage meaningful after school activities, including sports and clubs.

Advisors Needed for 7th Grade Project

The 7th grade ELA and Social Studies teachers are preparing to begin the Activism Project with their students. We are looking for parents and community members to come in and work with students to provide outside perspective and support as the students work through their individual projects. This advisor time would be during the school day, on the third Thursday of each month from November through March. If you are interested, please reply using the following link, which is a Google form interest survey: CLICK HERE!

For further information, contact Linda Reynolds at

Want to Get Involved? Our Students Need YOU!