TJ Today

Thomas Jefferson Middle School

May 2018

May 3 - 5th Grade Parent Night @ 6:30 and 21st Century Scholars Meeting @ 5:30-6:30

May 4 - 7th Grade Only - GREAT Party

May 7 - Chipotle Fundraiser- Science O

May 8 - No School due to Elections and Band Concert @ BF 7 PM

May 14-18 - Book Fair in Library

May 14 - Orchestra Concert - 6:30 @ BF

May 15 - Choir Concert - 6:30 @ BF

May 15-16 - NWEA Testing

May 16 - NJHS Induction Ceremony

May 16 - May 20- Science Olympiad Nationals

May 22 - PTSO Meeting @ 6:00 p.m.

May 25 - 7th Grade Career Day

May 28 - No School - Memorial Day

May 29 - All school Incentive Trip - Deep River Water Park

May 30 - Awards Day (Dress-up)

May 31 - Field Day 1/2 Day - Last Day of School

June 1 - Teacher Records Day

PTSO Updates

  • Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7th - 11th. We are in need of a 6th grade parent to help chair this event. Please contact Kelli Ellis (219-241-8491 or if you are interested or have questions.

Academic Super Bowl

Over the last few months, many TJMS students were spending their early mornings at school preparing and learning all they could about World War I. They wanted to be more than prepared, so when it came time for the competition, they’d be ready! This past weekend, these students, along with their coaches, took a trip to LaPorte High School to compete in the Indiana Academic Super Bowl—Junior Division.

There were five rounds of the competition—English, Science, Social Studies, Math, and Interdisciplinary. Their hard work paid off and all of our teams performed extremely well!


  • The English - 3rd district
  • Science tied for 1st but due to the tiebreaker came in 2nd in district and 8th in State
  • Math - 1st district and 8th in the State
  • Social Studies -1st in district and 7th in State
  • Interdisciplinary -1st district and 5th in State!

What a great group of students! We are extremely Viking Proud of all of our ASB students! Special thanks to all of the ASB coaches: Mr. Wassilak (Science), Miss Blakley (English), Mrs. Kemper (Math), Mrs. Joll/Miss Alberson (Social Studies)

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Schedule Changes 2018-19

We are really excited to share with you some changes that will be made to our current middle school schedule beginning next school year! A scheduling committee met throughout the school year to discuss proposed changes. After receiving input from students, staff, and families, the changes below will be made for the 2018-2019 school year. If you have questions please contact your child's guidance counselor or come to our next PTSO meeting on May 22nd.
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8th Grade - Finishing Strong!

As the weather warms up, everyone starts thinking about summer; however, we still have a full month of school. Please encourage your student to finish strong! There are many special 8th grade events during the month of May.

8th Grade Upcoming Events

May 7 - Porter County Career Center at TJ AM; Tour of VHS PM (wear advisory t-shirt)

May 10-11 - Spanish Final Exam

May 17-18 - German Final Exam

May 22-23 - Algebra Final Exam

May 24 - Biology Final Exam

May 25 - Poetry Contest, Picnic Lunch, Farewell Events

May 31 - Field Day-wear advisory t-shirt

7th grade - Busy

As we come to end of this school year, our 7th graders have the chance to participate in some fun school activities.

This Friday, May 4th, the 7th graders will be celebrating their success in the G.R.E.A.T. program with a party at VHS from 7pm-9pm. The fun continues with our 8th annual 7th grade Homeroom Kickball competition. The competition runs from the end of April until the end of school year-as long as the weather will cooperate.

As we look ahead to the future of our students, the TJMS 7th grade will host a Career Day on the afternoon of May 25th. Members of the community will share their career experiences with our students. Civil servants, business owners, engineers, and a host of other professionals will engage our students in small group and hands-on learning experiences. This is a great way of introducing new and exciting career opportunities to our students.

6th Grade - the school year is winding down…

PRIDE Celebration:

The 6th grade PRIDE celebration for the 4th quarter is a trip to Zao Island. Students who have kept their PRIDE points above 80% AND do not have any F's will be able to participate. The celebration will take place on the afternoon of Friday, May 25th. More details to follow.


If any student has a copy of any textbooks at home, please make sure they are returned to their teachers no later than Wednesday, May 16th. It is important that we get all loaned books back in a timely manner.

New Hobby?

Our students have been reading and enjoying the novel, Becoming Naomi Leon in their Literature classes. And, like the main character of the story, the students tried their hands at soap carving. They truly enjoyed this activity and even took extra soap home to carve on their own time!

ISTEP Update: Last week was a long week of testing, but we made it through! Way to go, TJ 6th graders, we knew you could do it! Take a deep breath—we’re done!

Parents, as always, if you could please:

● Check grades and assignments on Skyward/Canvas weekly.

● If you see a missing assignment, communicate with your child and let them know it needs to be completed/turned in.

● Contact your child’s teacher with any questions/concerns if your child is struggling academically—We all want your children to be successful!

● Students will need earbuds/headphones for classes. If your child doesn’t have any, they can be purchased at the TJ Bookstore, which is open on Wednesdays during all three lunches

● Encourage your child to keep up to date on his/her Reading Counts points!

Media Happenings!

Upcoming: Our Second Book Fair!

Our second book fair is scheduled for Monday, May 14 through Friday, May 18 -- only two weeks away! In addition to students being able to browse and shop during their regularly scheduled class visits, students can also visit the book fair before school, during lunch and advisory periods - and after school, as needed. The book fair should be the perfect time for your child to choose something they want to read. What’s more, students can just browse and add book titles to their reading list as TJM has many of the books available for check-out here in our library. Mrs. Hurley is passing out numbered book fair flyers to all students, so each student who receives one is automatically entered into a drawing for a book fair prize. Encourage your child to participate in one of the book fair activities to help make the book fair a memorable celebration of books!

#TheTJMSWay Highlights Collaboration

Click here to read more about TJMS partnering with the Valparaiso Public Library!

Valpo Girls Basketball Camp

The Valpo Girls Basketball Camp starts on Monday, May 14th and will run from 3:30pm-5:00pm in the Ben Franklin Middle School Annex Gym until Thursday. Girls in grades 6 -8 are invited to work with Valparaiso Head Coach Candy Wilson, members of her high school coaching staff, and members of the Lady Viking High School Basketball Program. Players will work to develop their basketball skills along with participating in various skill competitions. Each camper will receive a camp shirt and work-out booklet. Forms are available in the main office or online on the Lady Viking website.

April Pride Card Winners

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STEAM Club Happenings

TJ's STEAM Club recently enjoyed a visit from members of Valparaiso University's Robotic Football Team. Matt and Alex came to show how the robots are built and display their code, which is essentially the same as the Arduino Code that some of our club members are learning. STEAM students also had a chance to drive the robots and test them out. We appreciated having the opportunity to see these robots up close and talk to their designers, who were able to boast a national championship as well!

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Student Council Update

Student Council Information and events:

Teacher Appreciation Week is next week—May 7-11! Please show your teachers how much you appreciate them!

Book Fair: The Book Fair is back at TJMS from May 14-18! Make sure to stop into the Media Center and take a look!

Sign-ups: Check out the StuCo Canvas page for sign-ups for poster making (for TAP Week and the Book Fair) and greeters (for TAP Week).

Spirit Days:

5/4 - May the 4th be with you! Wear Star Wars attire

5/7 - Primaries! Wear red, white, and blue

5/11 - Teachers are SuperHeroes! Show your teachers you appreciate them in your best SuperHero gear

5/15 – Animal Day

5/17 – “Hats on” for those who love animals! (Pay $1.00 to wear your best animal related hat)

5/25 – Disney Day


● The TJMS Bookstore is open every Wednesday during all three lunches

● Don’t forget to donate your box tops! There is box located on the table outside of Guidance

Upcoming meetings: Make sure to check email and the Remind App for news regarding upcoming meetings.

Builders Club News

What a delightful year it has been advising the members of Builders Club! The students have been involved in many projects throughout the year and I am quite proud of them.

Last week, 14 members stayed after school on Arbor Day to plant trees. They worked hard and had fun planting 10 of the 20 trees. Round 2 of tree planting will be scheduled soon, so be watching the announcements for more details.

Four students have signed up to help at the Porter County Spelling Bee by handing out programs this week. Also this week is our last Builders Club meeting. To celebrate the end to a great year of service, Sunrise Kiwanis will be donating ice cream and fixings for the students to make ice cream sundaes!

Lastly, Monday, May 14, we will be playing BINGO with the residents of a local nursing home. Games start at 7:00, and permission slips will be available at Wednesday’s meeting/sundae party.

I hope the students have enjoyed their experiences this year, and I hope to see many back for more next year!

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” ― Chinese proverb

Remember Your Yearbooks!

This year, we will be telling the stories of the year. Our theme is "We"--and our yearbook will be showing how TJMS joins together to accomplish amazing things! Orders can easily be placed online by clicking

Thanks for sharing your moments with us!

There are only 23 yearbooks left--don't be left without one!

Student Success - Homework and Study Table Procedures

This is a link to our Student Success procedures

  • Homework is posted on your child's Canvas Calendar. Create a parent Canvas Observer account using this link on our website.
  • Grades are posted on Skyward

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The Viking Voice

Newletter from our College and Career Counselor, Mrs. Valtierra


During the 2017-18 school year, the Social Services Team for Valparaiso Community Schools is able to provide food for students in need on the weekends! Contact Ms. Keown if interested.