Return to Headlines

Principal Update 11/12

Good evening Githens.  This is Dr. Lanier with important reminders for the week.  

Important Dates:

  • Monday, November 13 - Winter sports tryouts begin.
  • Sunday, November 19 - Githens will host the 39 Legends Foundation Annual Turkey Drive.
  • Wednesday, November 22 through Friday November 24, is Thanksgiving break.  There is no school for scholars.

39 Legends Foundation Annual Turkey Drive

Sunday November 19th from 1-3pm, Githens will be hosting the 39 Legends Foundation Annual Turkey Drive.  This will be an opportunity for families to come by and receive a free turkey.  Turkeys are available on a first come first serve basis, so be sure to arrive on time.  For further information, visit

Student Climate Survey (7th Grade Students Only):

The 2023-24 DPS Student Climate Survey will be administered online from November 20, 2023 to December 19, 2023 to all seventh grade students that have completed the opt-in survey.  The survey is designed to measure student perceptions about aspects of their schools including:

  1. Emotional and Physical Safety
  2. Student Discipline
  3. Expectations for Students
  4. Student Support
  5. Social and Emotional Learning
  6. Teacher and Administrator Treatment of Students
  7. School/Classroom Environment and Learning Conditions

In addition, middle school students will also be asked about their participation in extracurricular activities while high school students will be asked about their participation in extracurricular activities along with their post-high school graduation plans. 

Beginning with the 2021-22 administration, the survey has been modified to include additional questions related to gender identity (all levels) and the LGBTQIA+ community (at the high school level). Additionally, questions related to sleep and school start time were removed. 

DPS will use student feedback to determine the district’s strengths and areas for improvement so we can improve our school climate.  DPS’s independent research partner, K12 Insight, will analyze the results by school, area and district to identify trends and specific strengths and areas needing improvement. 

The 2023-24 DPS Student Climate Survey will be administered electronically by K12 Insight. The survey should take no more than 15-20 minutes to complete.  The survey is offered in English and Spanish.  DPS would appreciate your consent using the Google form that you should have received via email. It will be administered between Monday, November 20 and Tuesday December 19.

Give to Githens (Update):

As of yesterday evening, we have raised $12,812 towards our $35,000 goal. This includes the $5,000 match we received after reaching the first challenge match! Can you help us reach the next challenge match level? We need to raise another $2,188 in general donations to get an additional $10,000 in matching funds!

Your tax deductible donations go towards supporting important initiatives and events for our school community, including teacher stipends and grants (see more examples in today’s PrideBlast), school events, and so much more. 

You can donate online through MemberHub or Paypal. Cash and Checks (made out to Githens Middle School PTA) are also accepted. Donations can also be dropped off at the Githens front office during school business hours (8:15am to 3:00pm) or mailed to 4800 Old Chapel Hill Road, Durham, NC 27707. No amount is too small, every dollar counts and is appreciated!

Click on the Give to Githens flyer (English | Spanish) for more information on how to donate, and be sure to share with grandparents, neighbors, and friends and ask them to support our school. Reach out to givetogithens@gmail.comwith any questions. 

Thank you for supporting our Githens community!

Raider Sports:

Monday, November 13, 2023

Winter sports tryouts begin after school.  

A document has been added to the Parent Resource folder that contains the sports schedules for the 2023-2024 school year.  Click on the link provided in the email that accompanies this phone message to access the document and plan accordingly.  All sports ticket sales are virtual through “GoFan” and are required for entry.  Please use the link provided in this email to follow the steps necessary to purchase tickets.  For further information regarding athletics or specific teams, please email either Ms. Stackhouse, Athletic Director, or the coaches.

Durham Public Schools wants to ensure safety at all our athletic events.  To achieve this, there must be effective collaboration with our schools, athletics, security, and school communities.  Please be advised of the following:

  • Clear One Bag Limit: Guests (spectators and students) will be limited to one bag that is clear plastic, vinyl, or PVC and less than 12" x 12"x 6" — exceptions will be made for medical and baby needs. However, if the bag is not clear, the contents of the bag must be displayed. 
  • No Re-entry: Spectators that voluntarily leave an athletic contest may not be allowed reentry into that contest. 
  • Elementary & Middle School Students: All elementary and middle school students must be accompanied by an adult when attending athletic competitions.

Writing and Art Competition (Reminder)

The Bull City Reading Council and NC Reading Association is holding a writing and art competition.  The theme is Reflections:  Celebrating the Me I See.  All scholars are invited to submit original writing and artwork related to the theme.  All entries must be submitted by November 15.  Please see your scholar’s ELA teacher, Ms. Mallory, ELA Instructional Coach, or Ms. Turco, Art Teacher, for all the details.

Winter Dance (Reminder):

The Winter Dance will be held on December 8, from 4:30 to 6:30.  There will be no entry allowed after 5:00 so, all attendees must be on time.  Parents must be in the bus parking lot to pick up scholars by 6:00.  Any student that receives a major office referral from November 2 to December 8 will be ineligible to attend the dance.

Power School Parent Portal (Reminder):

PowerSchool Parent Portal is the official source of student grade information and a convenient way for you to update your most current contact information.  DPS has created step by step instructions, as well as video instructions, on how to access the PowerSchool Parent Portal.  Use the link ( provided in the email that accompanies this voice message to navigate the setup process.  

Student Incentives (Reminder):

Githens continued its Raider buck student incentive plan this week. This plan allows scholars the opportunity to earn raider bucks through exhibiting behaviors aligned with the Raider Way.  Raider bucks can be used to purchase items at the Raiders Store on Fridays during lunch.  Today we had another very successful Raider store opening. The success of the store continues to be attributed to the generous donations of items by our PTA and Raider families.  We encourage families to continue to send in donations as they are truly the backbone of this student incentive plan.  Thank you to all the families who have provided donations thus far.  We hope to have your continued support.  The link to purchase items for the Raider store is located in the weekly Pride Blast sent out by our PTA.  Please drop off any donations at the front office. 

A reminder that we ask all scholars and families to pay close attention and adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Scholars are not allowed to be dropped off prior to 8:00 am.
  • Scholars must be on time daily. 
  • Scholars are required to bring laptops and chargers everyday and must ensure their laptop is fully charged every morning before entering the building.
  • Cell phone use is not allowed at any time during the school day for any reason and scholars will need to power off their cell phones and place them in their book bags prior to entering the building.  Scholars are not permitted to use cell phones on the bus.
  • Scholars who carpool in the afternoon need to be picked up no later than 3:45.  The school day ends at 3:20.


Parent Resource Folder

DPS School Safety, Security, and Emergency Information Guide for Parents/Families:

 DPS School Safety, Security, and Emergency Information for Parents and Families and DPS School Safety, Security, and Emergency Information for Parents and Families (SPANISH VERSION).



One-to-One Student Device Handbook (English/Spanish)

Parent/Student Technology Agreement (English/Spanish)

Githens Middle School 2023 - 2024 Supply List 

Bus Transportation

“Here Comes the Bus” Bus Tracking App

School Nutrition Services

Cell Phone Policy

Traditional Calendar (English/Spanish)

PowerSchool Parent Portal: PowerSchool Parent Portal is the official source of student grade information and a convenient way for you to update your most current contact information.  DPS has created step by step instructions, as well as video instructions, on how to access the PowerSchool Parent Portal.  Use the link above to navigate the setup process.

Canvas LMS

Parent Canvas Observer Access: Parents are highly encouraged to sign up to be an observer in Canvas.  Teachers will post homework assignments for scholars in Canvas and will be responsible for keeping these pages updated.

2023 - 2024 Student/Family Handbook (English/Spanish)

Discovery: Every scholar at GMS is scheduled to take an intervention class from 9:22 to 10:12.  Click the link to access a description of the learning scholars will engage in.

Durham Public Schools Dress Code Policy

Immunization Requirements 


Winter Sports Tryouts


3:45 – 5:45pm

Students meet in Dr. Murill’s classroom

Girls Basketball

3:45 – 5:45pm

Students meet in Mrs. Nelson’s classroom

Boys Basketball

5:45 – 7:45pm

Boys are required to stay after school in order to prepare for tryouts.  Students can’t leave school and come back.

Students meet in Mrs. Stackhouse’s classroom

Ultimate Frisbee

3:45pm – 4:45pm

Students will meet coaches in Mr. Arnstein’s classroom

Parents please make sure that you pickup your child in the bus parking lot.  Also, please make sure that you are on time for pickup.