The Weekly Griffin

Week of March 24, 2019 - #BuildingABetterGriffin

A Word from Dr. P: Finish Strong

Tomorrow marks the end of the 3rd 9 weeks; on Tuesday, we start the final quarter of the current school year. With 3 weeks until Spring Break, we may find ourselves tired, unfocused, or complacent. You might feel tempted to check homework less frequently, allow your child to stay up later, or hold different expectations than you did in August or September. As a parent, I understand. We must resist these temptations and finish strong.


As parents, you carry a weight that is vital to our mission... to prepare our students for tomorrow's world! At times, you are a coach, teacher, mentor, disciplinarian, counselor... and the list goes on. The role you play within our school is huge! Without your continued involvement and support, we are unable to truly unlock the full potential in every child.


As we enter the final quarter of the school year, please know how much we appreciate you and your involvement! Remember to remain focused... read with and to your child, ensure they complete all homework, communicate with their teachers, and continue to be involved. If there is anything we can do to further support our home/school partnership, PLEASE do not hesitate to let us know! We are here to serve and partner with our Sterling School families. #BuildABetterGriffin #WholeChild

What's Ahead...

  • March 25 - End of 3rd Quarter Grading Period

  • March 28 - PTA Digital Family Night, 6:00-7:30pm (Dinner starts @ 5:30pm)

  • March 29 - Middle School Dance, 2:45-4:30pm

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

  • March 30 - Butterfly Garden Work Day, 9:00am-Noon

  • 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!"

PTA Reflections Winners!

PTA will present awards to our school's Reflections winners at 5:15pm in the cafeteria just prior to April Arts! If your child is a school winner, please try to be present so they can be recognized. Winners will receive a unique award and a movie voucher! We are so proud of all of our school winners!


The Griffin Reflections team is proud to announce the following PTA Reflections Program winners at the School, District, and State levels!


= District & State Winners =


Elizabeth Barr

District Award of Excellence, Middle School Photography


Mary Hazel Hinson

District Award of Merit, Intermediate Film Production


Yashavini Ranganathan

District Award of Excellence, State Award of Excellence, Middle School Literature


Yashavini Ranganathan

District Award of Excellence, State Award of Merit, Middle School Dance Choreography


Yashavini Ranganathan

State Award of Merit, Middle School Film Production


= School Level Winners =


Literature Intermediate Division

1st: Lena Alioua - Robert

2nd: Darby Burdette - The Ones Who Care

3rd: Sashwath Sivaraman - Hound in Our Darkest Hour


Literature Middle School Division

1st: Yashasvini Ranganathan - Hero in My Heart

2nd: Stephanie Hu - My Hero Writing Homework

3rd: Tarika Desai - Poverty’s Silence Can Thou Be Heard?


Visual Arts Intermediate Division

1st: Lena Alioua - Heroes Around Me

2nd: Aditya Harikumar - Our Local Heroes

3rd: Sashwath Sivaraman - Prayers for Our Troops


Visual Arts Middle School Division

Yashasvini Ranganathan (2 entries tied) - A Hero’s DNA & Our Local Heroes


Photography Intermediate Division

1st: Mary Hazel - Hero Hugs

2nd: Sashwath Sivaraman - Guiding Light


Photography Middle School Division

1st: Elizabeth Barr - Our Planets Heroes

2nd: Yashasvini Ranganathan - Shining Hero


Music Composition

Darby Burdette - Heroes


Film Production Intermediate Division

Mary Hazel Hinson - Bear in There


Film Production Middle School Division

Yashasvini Ranganathan - What is a Hero?


Dance Choreography Middle School Division

Yashasvini Ranganathan - Vishnu The Protector & My Hero

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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

PTA is excited to host our Digital Families Community Event this week! 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.

If you RSVP'd, join us for a FREE DINNER, DOOR PRIZES, and a great opportunity to connect with your children!! Together, let's help our kids learn more about topics such as creating secure passwords, 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. Join us this Thursday, March 28th, from 6:00-7:30pm. We'll begin serving dinner at 5:30pm.


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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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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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).

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