The Weekly Griffin

Week of March 17, 2019 - #BuildingABetterGriffin

3rd Grade CTC: Curiosity Project

During Curiosity Project, students are invited to choose a topic of great, personal interest. As they explore their topic, questions generated about the topic furthers their learning. After time is given to research, students take what they have learned and present their finding in a creative display or format.


When students are given ownership of their learning through investigation and discovery, they not only guide their own learning but also become the expert within their own unique community of learners. At its core, Curiosity Project, does not lead students to become passive consumers; rather, this unique instructional approach should encourage students to become passionate generators of information and knowledge. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild


** Ms. Emmel's class created a short video to commemorate this year's unit (see below).

What's Ahead...

  • March 19 - Best Practices in Gifted Education Series, 9:00-9:30am

  • March 19 - PTA Panera (Haywood Rd) Spirit Night, 4:00-8:00pm

  • March 20 - Families for Lunch & Birthday Book Club

  • March 21 - Strings Concert Performance Assessment (wear concert attire)

  • March 21 - Last Day to RSVP for Digital Families Night (3rd-8th grade: FREE DINNER!)

  • March 22 - B-I-N-G-O Night, 3:30-7:30pm

  • March 22 - Last Day to Fill Out SIC Middle School Survey

  • March 25 - End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period

  • March 28 - PTA Digital Family Night, 6:00-7:30pm

  • March 29 - Middle School Dance

  • March 29 - Last Day to Register for April Arts Dinner

  • March 30 - Butterfly Garden Work Day

  • April 2 - Report Cards

  • April 5 - Spring Pictures

  • April 5 - April Arts, 5:30-7:30pm


*Please continue to be mindful of our drop-off and pick-up. Have students exit or load the full length of the awing and please keep this area/time "cell phone free!"

Sterling School Featured in New Professional Learning Book

Here's an exciting tidbit... Sterling School will be featured in a new professional learning book, entitled Reading to Make a Difference. The book is authored by Furman Professor Katie Kelly and writer/consultant and Lester Laminack. The book's official release is THIS Thursday, March 21st and is the #1 new release on Amazon. Dr. Kelly is also one of two professors working with our staff on a collaborative effort for student field experience in Furman's teacher preparation program.


In this text, the authors help educators move beyond exposing students to diverse children’s literature by offering an instructional framework that is applicable to any topic and can be adapted to their own classroom or community. Each chapter highlights different classrooms in action (including video footage from Sterling) and concludes with a wealth of suggested resources, both picture books and chapter books, along with helpful guidelines on how to choose text sets that reflect the needs, interests, and backgrounds of students. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

Middle School Student Improvement Council

Hear ye, Hear ye! Introducing the Middle School Student Improvement Council!


If your student is interested in becoming a grade level representative on the M.S.S.I.C., please encourage them to come to a meeting on Tuesday, March 19 in room 820 (Ms. Saunders’ room). There they will hear all about this new opportunity to serve their class and help to improve our CTC Middle school! The meeting will begin promptly at 2:55 and be finished by 3:15. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

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DownTOWNES is Coming!

Our CTC middle school students will be participating in DownTOWNES from May 1-3, 2019. DownTOWNES is a three-day learning experience where all CTC students will use the city of Greenville as their classroom. Parents of students in grades 6-8 are asked to keep an eye out for an email from Ms. Reynolds and the grade-level teachers on Wednesday explaining the event.

Digital Families Event, Sponsored by our PTA

Thurs, March 28th - Digital Families Event (Grades 3rd-8th): PTA is excited to invite all 3rd-8th grade students and their parents to attend Digital Families Night on Thursday, March 28th, from 6:00-7:30pm. We’ll start serving dinner at 5:15. Parents will connect with their kids to understand what it’s like for them growing up online. You'll go through interactive sessions together to explore how your family responds to real-life online interactions and how you can protect one another online.


Have you started talking with your kids about online safety and digital citizenship? Now’s the time! We want to include as many families as possible, and we hope you'll RSVP to join us. Please register by Thursday, March 21st!


Join us for a FREE DINNER, drawings for DOOR PRIZES, and a great opportunity to connect with your children!! Together, let's help our kids learn about topics such as how to create secure passwords, deciding what information is appropriate to share online, how our online behaviors can shape our privacy, and what it means to be an "upstander" and not just a bystander.


Connect with your children to understand what it’s like for them growing up online. Go through interactive sessions to explore how your family responds to real life online interactions and how you can protect one another online.


  • RSVP for free dinner by Thurs, March 21st: CLICK HERE!


Thurs, April 25th - Family STEM Night (Grades 3rd-5th): Families can participate in fun, hands-on STEM activities! Great enrichment opportunity! (See flyer below for more information.)

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BINGO Night is Back!

Excitement is building for the return of our annual Bingo Night! We have gotten in some fabulous prizes from generous donors. Now we need players to win those prizes! You're invited to a fun, fabulous night of BINGO!


When: Friday, March 22nd


Session Times:

First Session: 3:30-5:00pm

Dinner break from 5:00-6:00pm

Chick-Fil-A and pizza will be available to purchase

Second Session: 6:00-7:30pm

Families may attend either session


Price: None, Nada, Zip! It’s FREE to participate! We are asking for a voluntary contribution at the door to our backpack buddies program. Suggested donations can be found HERE.


  • Volunteer Sign Up Genius: CLICK HERE!
  • No RSVP required for dinner - Order & pay at the event (Chick-Fil-A and pizza)


Doors will open for the first round at 3:15. Car riders should be picked up as usual after school. Parking will be available in all school lots. You may not park in the fire lane or in the parking lot behind Tanners. Starting at 3:30, you may line the outside of the driveway. Do not park on both sides of the drive or block the flow of traffic. If you are parked inappropriately you will be called out to move your car. Carpooling is recommended. We are looking forward to a really fun event. We hope to see you all there!

GSSM Summer Camp is Coming to Sterling School!

The South Carolina Governor's School for Math and Science will host two summer day camps at our school this year! Be sure to register by April 15th to receive Early Bird prices. Sterling School is the only host school in the entire upstate. Registration is now open and space is limited!

iTeams Xtreme for current 5th-7th grade students
June 24 - 27, 8:30am - 4:00pm
(Micro)control Your World!


Dive into microcontrollers and their applications through one of two tracks:

Arduino & Robotics
Explore the world of computational thinking and microcontrollers using Arduino technology and robotics. Learn how to program your very own microcontrolled robot and pit it against other students' robots in camp-wide competitions such as Maze Runner and Robot Wars.

Arduino & the Internet of Things
Explore the world of programming with Arduino technology. Increase your programming skills while learning about digital communication, cybersecurity, and the Internet of Things.

Register for iTeams Xtreme HERE.

CREATEng for current 7th and 8th grade students
June 17 -20, 8:30am - 4:00pm
Innovate. Design. Create.


CREATEng is GSSM’s one-of-a-kind engineering and design thinking day camp for rising 8th and 9th graders. Students take on the role of NASA engineers charged with developing a sustainable colony on Mars. Working through project-based, hands-on team challenges, students learn what engineering is and what engineers do. With a focus on civil, mechanical, and electrical engineering students work through a series of mini challenges from building windproof structures and protecting transportation with impenetrable wheels for the Rover, to using Arduino technology for greenhouse automation.

CREATEng students will interact with guest speakers and go on a field trip to a local company to see engineering in action.

Register for CREATEng HERE.

Get Involved...Our Students Need YOU!

Did you know Greenville, SC ranked 3rd among cities in the United States of citizens who volunteer most? According to Barna's recent report, 27% of survey participants reported that they volunteer for a nonprofit organization on a weekly basis. On behalf of the faculty and staff at Sterling School, we appreciate our volunteers! THANK YOU for generously supporting our students and school community with your time, energy, and care! #BuildingABetterGriffin
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"Making" a Way to Success!

Tony Wagner, in his compelling text Creating Innovators (2012), states, "The interest in and ability to create new knowledge to solve new problems is the single most important skill that all students must master today" (p. 142). Behind every problem solution or innovation lie questions and layers of inquiry. Recently, our school implemented a MakerSpace in our media center. With the leadership of media specialist, Mrs. Jennifer Matthews, and support from our PTA, our students now have another space in which to create, collaborate, and explore.


The work or "tinkering" that is done in MakerSpaces is a powerful tool for learning at all grade levels. In fact, according to Curiosity Commons, "MakerSpaces were recently identified as one of six important developments in educational technology for K-12 education by the New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report for 2015, which states, 'Makerspaces are increasingly being looked to as a method for engaging learners in creative, higher-order problem-solving through hands-on design, construction, and iteration' (p. 38). According to the NMC (2015), MakerSpaces have the potential to effectively support the necessary skillset for students in the 21st Century (p. 38)."


At Sterling, we want our students to become empowered, creative, resilient leaders who can solve problems, advocate for others and themselves, and empathize with others. Such soft skills do not develop in a vacuum; like cognitive strategies, they must be taught, modeled, and encouraged through an intentional process. When students learn in a safe environment where they are encouraged to explore, they will become lifelong learners who not only investigate but influence the world around them. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild


***If you'd like to support our school's MakerSpace, we are currently in need of the following supplies: LEGO's, duct tape, glue, packing tape, puzzles, scissors, and markers! All donations can be delivered to the front office or to our media center. Thank you!

Sterling/CTC Student Places 3rd in Regional Science Fair

Congratulations to 8th grade student Rishita Tikkala! Rishita placed third in the middle school Biology and Health Division of the South Carolina Regional Science Fair, sponsored by Southern Wesleyan University. Rishita’s project was “Resistance of Bacteria to the ordinary kitchen cleaning materials and best ways to disinfect.”


Briefly, Rishita's research included culturing bacteria on agar plates from the kitchen sink using a home made incubator (card board box and a desk lamp) and checking for their growth pattern while using different disinfectant solutions. #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild

2019 Sterling School Spelling Bee

Last week, we held the annual Sterling School Spelling Bee. With the word “frippery,” Aditya Harikumar (5th grade) became our elementary champion, and with the word “ricotta,” Maggie Austin (8th grade) won at the middle school level. CONGRATULATIONS to Maggie, Aditya, and to all of this year’s spellers! #BuildingABetterGriffin #WholeChild