Welcome Back Parent Newsletter

Oct. 14th - 18th

Students return Monday Oct. 14th

Welcome Back for the 2nd Nine Weeks

Parents and students,

We are excited to have everyone return for the second nine weeks. We hope you had a restful and relaxing fall break and an opportunity to relax and recharge. Please check out this week's newsletter to learn more about what is happening this week at Jefferson Middle School:

- A look at the week ahead

- Great strategies to start the 2nd Nine Weeks

- PTO News

- STEM Night is 2/20/20

- Talent Show Information

- Checking Canvas and Skyward

- Talent Show information for tryouts

- Counselor Corner

Thanks for a great first nine weeks,

Phil Cox, Principal

Chris Layton, Vice Principal

Jenifer Laurendine, Dean of Students

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A Look at the Week Ahead

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8th Grade Morning Homework Help (Haun) Rm 204 7:05-7:35

Health Screenings-grades 6 & 8, new students grades 5 & 7 during Gym class

Environmental Club 2:45-5:00

Chess Club-Library 2:45-3:45

Atomic Eagles Lego League Team Meeting (Shanafield) Science Wing 2:45-4:45

RadioActiv Brix Lego League Team Meeting (Davis) Rm 223 2:45-4:45

Master Builders Lego League Team Meeting (Scott) Rm 102 2:45-4:30

Cheer Practice 3:00-4:00

Boys Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00

Girls Basketball Practice 5:00-7:30


B day

5th/6th Grade Morning Homework Help (Martin) Rm 319 7:00-7:30

8th Grade Morning Homework Help (Haun) Rm 204 7:05-7:35

Health Screenings-grades 6 & 8, new students grades 5 & 7 during Gym class

5th/6th Grade After School Homework Help (Martin) Rm 319 2:45-3:30

Interact Club Meeting (Painter) Rm 311 2:45-4:00

Atomic Eagles Lego League Team Meeting (Shanafield) Science Wing 2:45-4:45

Master Builders Lego League Team Meeting (Scott) Rm 102 2:45-4:30

Boys Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00

Girls Basketball Practice 5:00-7:30


A day

8th Grade Morning Homework Help (Haun) Rm 204 7:05-7:35

FCA-JPAC 7:15-7:30

Device Check in homeroom

Boy Scouts visit 7th and 8th grade lunches

Health Screenings-grades 6 & 8, new students grades 5 & 7 during Gym class

Grade Report Distributed 7th Period

Talent Show Practice-JPAC 1:00-2:30

Cheer Practice 1:00-3:00

Boys Basketball Practice 1:00-3:00

Girls Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00

Girls Basketball Parent Meeting 5:00


B day

5th/6th Grade Morning Homework Help (Martin) Rm 319 7:00-7:30

Device Check in homeroom

Health Screenings-grades 6 & 8, new students grades 5 & 7 during Gym class

Library Club (Haverkamp) Library 2:45-3:45

Math Club (Tracey) Rm 203 2:45-4:00

RadioActiv Brix Lego League Team Meeting (Davis) Rm 223 2:45-4:45

5th/6th Grade After School Homework Help (Martin) Rm 319 2:45-3:30

7th/8th Grade After School Tutoring (Hondorf) Rm 301 2:45-3:30

Robotic Sumo Bot Team Meeting (Franco) Rm 316 2:45-4:30

Boys Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00

Volleyball End of Season Party-Cafeteria 3:00-4:00

Girls Basketball Practice 5:00-7:30


A day

Youth for Christ 7:00 JPAC

Device Check in homeroom

Discipline Assemblies-JPAC (7th grade) 8:40 , (8th grade) 9:30

Health Screenings-grades 6 & 8, new students grades 5 & 7 during Gym class

Boys Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00

Girls Basketball Practice 5:00-7:00

Girls Basketball Scrimmage Play Day @ Alcoa HS (Varsity ONLY) TBD

JMS Parent's Introduction to Skyward

Starting the 2nd Nine Weeks on the Right Path

It's time to start another nine weeks. It's hard to believe, but the first nine weeks is in the books and students will receive their physical report cards on Wednesday Oct. 16th. Maybe your child doesn't get the grades they hoped or maybe they got great grades and you want to make sure they keep it up. Either way.....our goals, strategies and resources to help families support the educational process for students can be found in this text box and the resources below. Check out the following strategies, resources, and tools.

1. Canvas is the best place to find out information about what is going on in your child's class.

When we were students, someone may have asked us, "what did you learn in school today?" Sometimes we had an answer and sometimes we simply stated, "nothing", as a strategy to move on. However, our students today along with parents have access weekly as to what is being taught and the expectations for each week. It is a great idea and practice to log in or have your student log in once per week to look through their teachers Canvas pages. This will allow you to keep up with the following:

A. Dates of important assignments

B. Dates for quizzes and tests etc.

C. Important tools, resources including access to OneNote

2. Understanding OneNote and how to utilize and maximize its use

Remember those days when you wrote down every word from a chalk board? Remember those days you kept up with multiple notebooks for all of your assignments etc.? OneNote is designed to help students be more organized and also help as a tool to maximize students abilities and opportunities to focus and pay attention. For many classes, teachers utilize OneNote by posting their classroom notes and also sharing on Canvas. What does that mean for students? It means they will have access to information 24/7 and opportunities to review after a lesson. Why is that important? Well, what if students have questions? What if students need to re-read information? OneNote allows for many opportunities and tools for students. Check out the information below about OneNote to learn more.

3. Complete ALL of your assignments!

We have talked a lot about how a missing assignment (zero) can impact your grade. We have information and videos etc. (you can find them below) that help support the idea that simply not doing something can have a major impact on a student's grade. However, a second part to that idea of submitting ALL of your assignments is because they help teachers know how to help you.

If you submit the work and you don't do well, it allows teachers to see where you have made mistakes, provide feedback, and work to help support so that you learn the information.

Turn in ALL of your assignments. It just makes sense!

4. Grit is not only good for school, but also great for life!

Sometimes students don't have the best day, week, month or even nine weeks. There can be a lot of factors that go into failure. We want our students however to learn how to use strategies to overcome failure. We want our students to see FAIL as a First Attempt In Learning. We spend a lot of time talking about Grit and Growth Mindset. We want our students to understand that success is often about the process of what you will do to be successful. Many famous people are often perceived that they were successful simply because they had talent, but in reality their success comes from a lot of variables. In a study of a large group of people from many different walks of life, Dr. Angela Duckworth determined the major factor to predict success was Grit. Take a moment this nine weeks to watch the video below to learn more about Grit.

5. Cancel out the excuses of "I'm not good at _______" Believe in yourself and have a growth mindset

A second application we have worked hard to share with our students and staff over the first nine weeks is about having a growth mindset. Often, we hear students comment, "I am not a (insert subject) person" or "I'll never understand (insert idea or subject here)". Often with very little efforts or attempts students shut down the opportunity to learn. We want students to understand that their brain is a muscle and with appropriate training, struggle, and effort they can work to grow their ability to learn and have knowledge. Dr. Carol Dweck calls this promoting a growth mindset and talks about how it can be applied. Check out the video below to learn more about how you can help support your child and a growth mindset.

JMS Parent's Introduction to Canvas

Thank you to our maintenance and custodial staff

There is a lot of great work that goes into keeping Jefferson Middle School an amazing school and our maintenance and custodial staff do an amazing job. A special thanks to them for their efforts over the break to polish and clean the basketball court, pressure wash around campus and also paint the front of the building. They work hard each and every day to make Jefferson Middle School look amazing. Check out some of the pictures of the projects they were completing over the break.
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PTO News

Thank you for Teacher Luncheon Donations! The PTO would like to thank everyone that donated food items for the recent Italian Feast teacher luncheon. So many wonderful dishes were brought in – the teachers and staff had a delicious lunch! Thank you JMS families!!

Bookfair Volunteers are Needed. The JMS Fall Bookfair will be Monday, October 28 – Friday, November 1. PTO is seeking volunteers to help throughout the week. We have lots of different shifts available. Please consider helping out for just one shift that week. To see the available work shifts and sign up, click here: https://signup.com/go/HQKvNQM

Fundraiser Spotlight: Are you curious about how your fundraiser dollars are being used? Each week, the PTO section of this newsletter will feature a different department or classroom from JMS that was helped with money from our annual direct drive fundraiser! This week the spotlight is on the JMS Library. This fall, PTO purchased subscriptions to both the Knoxville News Sentinel. Students can visit the library to catch up on local news and current events. Thank you JMS families!

A Parent's Guide to OneNote

JMS Parent's Introduction to One Note

Why do we always talk about turning in ALL assignments?

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Laptop Inspections Oct. 16th - 18th

When we return from Fall Break we will have a laptop inspection. Homeroom teachers will inspect the laptop and complete an online checklist. Please watch the video below to get a better idea as to all that will need to be checked during the device inspection.

Students need to have their device and all accessories ready for inspection.

Cleaning your student laptop

JMS Basketball Starts Soon. Check out the 2019 - 2020 schedule

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Intersession was a Great Success

The 2019 Fall Intersession was a great success. As you can tell from the session descriptions below there was a wide range of opportunities for our students. Many students came to participate in the course offerings including both opportunities for intervention and enrichment. Our amazing staff did a wonderful job engaging students into a wide variety of topics, resources, and challenges throughout the four day Intersession. You can see a few pictures of different activities that happened during intersession both above and below. To learn more about the course offerings, please check out the descriptions below:

Course Descriptions:

Math Intervention grades 5-8

This course helped students struggling in math by working in groups led by a teacher, focusing on skills that were taught during the first nine weeks. Students received additional math skill development and strengthened a positive attitude through activities and problem-solving. Students brought their devices to work on math skills. One section of math intervention worked to use business and personal finance skills to teach adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals. Students potentially earned credit towards their first nine weeks grade!

Reading Intervention grades 5-8

This course helped struggling readers become more confident in their reading and writing. Students worked on areas of deficiency, allowing them to grow in their abilities to fluently read and comprehend material more easily. This class used the Scholastic Language Arts Scope to help improve reading and writing skills.

Fun With Math

This class focused on enhancing math skills and interests through various tools from the Makerspace are in the library, as well as other tools to engage the students in topics. This class gave the students the opportunity to engage in math learning, while enjoying the mathematical learning process. This class worked to enhance students mathematical learning while using “out-of-the-box” techniques to understand material.

Engaging in the Engineering Design Process

Students were exposed to the engineering design process through this session. We began with an introduction, incorporating a Breakout activity into the learning process. Students spent the remainder of the time brainstorming solutions to a problem presented to them while taking into account criteria and constraints, creating and testing a prototype, then working to increase the effectiveness of their prototype based on test results and peer feedback. The session focused on the engineering component of the "Progression of Science and Engineering Practices" created by the TN DOE.

Eagle Lab -

Creative STEM-Centered Brain-Teasing Activities

Students explored using items from the JMS Library Makerspace like the Ozobots, Osmo, 3-D pens, green screen filming, robots, Little Bits, and Snap Circuits. This session was a self-paced and student-driven activity time with teachers serving as facilitators of their learning.

Sports and Conditioning

Sports and Conditioning provided students an opportunity to exercise and play sports in a fun environment. The sessions focused on flexibility, strength and conditioning, and introductions to the basics of different sports such as football. The sessions included classroom instruction, agility and exercises, and concluded with fun competitive games such as ultimate football, angle ball, basketball, and battle ball.

Talent Show Information

Attention all singers, dancers, musicians, comedians, actors, etc….the JMS Talent Show will be November 22, 2019 at 6:00 PM in the JPAC. Practice will begin October 16 and will take place from 1:00-2:30. We will practice every Wednesday at the same time except October 23rd leading up the show. Please have your rides home arranged on practice days. Practice is mandatory if you want to participate in the Talent Show. Try to have the karaoke versions or your songs ready for practice and remember to bring all necessary materials.

(special thanks to 8th grade student Addyson Cockrum for the flyer below)

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STEM Night is 2/20/20

STEM Night: 2/20/20 We hope to see you there

This is a message to Save the Date for STEM Night which will be from 6 pm - 8 pm on Thursday February 20th at Jefferson Middle School. The goal of STEM night is to invite our families and students in to our school to learn more about STEM, careers in STEM and applications both at JMS and the world in which our students will work, live, and thrive in their futures.

If you have any resources or you work for a group that may want to be a part of the STEM night, please contact either of our STEM coaches Callie Painter at clpainter@ortn.edu or Alex Goldberg at agoldberg@ortn.edu.

We will keep reminding everyone of this date as we hope to have a HUGE turnout like we did last year!


Understanding Social Media for Parents

Times have changed and with the advent of social media many forms of communication and interaction have changed as well. We work with our students on understanding the importance and the impact of their role and responsibilities as digital citizens and digital natives. For our students, they barely know of a world that did not have social media as an option. However, studies show for many young adolescents that social media is the primary form of communication. As we work with our students to help practice responsible digital citizenship we also work to help inform our families.

The link below gives some good ideas, tips and strategies to talk with your student about Instagram and having a better understanding of Instagram. Here is an excerpt from the link:

"Instagram is a social media app used to share photos, videos and messages. The minimum age to have an Instagram account is 13. Teens use Instagram to celebrate milestones, share everyday moments, keep in touch with friends and family and connect with others who share their passions and interests. It’s an active community, where teens can explore the world through photos and videos."



Understanding Grit and why students need it

Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth

Helping students understand Growth Mindset

RSA ANIMATE: How To Help Every Child Fulfil Their Potential

Counselors Corner

Important Dates

Classes Resume After Fall Break/Start of Second Term – Monday, October 14th

Report Cards for the First Term – Wednesday, October 16th

ACT Aspire Test (8th grade only) – Wednesday, November 13th (English and Math) and Thursday, November 14th (Science and Reading)

Midterm Ends – Wednesday, November 20th


Welcome back from the Counseling Office! We hope that you had a restful and enjoyable break! We are halfway through October and before you know it we will be having Winter Break!

This month, we are looking to concentrate on what bullying is and what students can do if they feel like they are being bullied and/or see someone else being bullied. Please read through the five items below and have a discussion with your students about this sensitive issue to get them thinking about how they can help decrease bullying both in and out of school.

Ideas That Can Share with Students about Dealing with Teasing and Bullying

1. Getting bullied is not your fault. You haven’t done anything to deserve this.

2. Responding to bullies with put-downs, threats, or violence can make a tough situation even worse. When you don’t play the game, you keep your self-respect.

3. Don’t believe negative things others say about you. If you keep playing what they say over-and-over again in your mind, you hurt yourself. Just refuse to do that!

4. Consider your response to bullying. When you choose to let someone’s words or actions hurt you or make you feel bad, then you give that person all the power. It’s not easy to block out put downs, insults or gossip, but you can try to deal with it by thinking of the good qualities that you have.

5.Don’t suffer by yourself. Tell adults at home/school about what is happening. Together, you can let school staff know about what is happening so they can do something about it. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about this to an adult at home, then seek another adult, and talk about it.

Fox, Annie. Be Confident in Who You Are, (Middle School Confidential Series, Book 1). Free Spirit Publishing, 2008, page 14

At your earliest convenience, please follow the link below for additional resources related to bullying and improving school climate. “The National Education Association brought together researchers, policy makers, practitioners, and other key education stakeholders to discuss and frame the critical role that school climate plays in the prevention of bullying for a day-long summit during National Bullying Prevention Month.” Here is the link to resources with mini-videos showcasing how teachers are critical in students’ lives and creating a safe environment for students to learn: http://www.nea.org/home/63900.htm

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