JMS Weekly Update

October 24, 2021

Dear JMS Families,

This week's Update contains information about the following:

  • JMS Safety Drill
  • Q2 Lunch Room Choices
  • Halloween Costumes
  • Club Lebo
  • Boys Basketball Tryouts

Please continue to let our nurse, Mrs. Suess, know if anyone in your family is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. We want to keep the children here and we want to keep them safe. This information is critical to the safety of the students and staff at JMS.

Take Care,

Dr. Sarah Shaw, Principal

Ms. Katelyn Deet, Assistant Principal

Weekly Schedule

Monday - Day 3

Tuesday - Day 4

Wednesday - Day 5

Thursday - Day 1

Friday - Day 2

Monday (11/1) - Day 3

New News

JMS Safety Drill - 10/27

In an effort to continually prepare our staff and students for emergency situations, JMS will be conducting a School Safety Drill on Wednesday, October 27th. We will run this drill at a walk through pace. We are interested in discussing options with students and then carrying out those options in a slow and organized manner, as the instruction is equally as important as the actual evacuation and/or lockdown & barricade.

The drill will begin with the teachers reviewing and discussing our ALiCE procedures (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) with the children. Following this review, we will walk through an "unidentified intruder" scenario. There will not actually be an unidentified intruder, but rather we will make an announcement stating that there is an "unidentified intruder" in a specific location of the building. Based on this information the teachers and the students will discuss their options to stay safe (evacuate and/or lockdown and barricade), then they will either practice evacuating the building or they will practice locking down and barricading. The teachers and students will discuss these options and then carry out those options in a slow and organized manner.

This drill will not be a surprise. Teachers and students will be notified about the drill. They will also be notified before the drill begins. It is our goal to create a calm and educational environment during these drills. The power of this practice is in the discussion and thinking through scenarios so that we are all prepared.

You can learn more about our ALiCE School Safety Program by visiting the district website. You are also welcome to view our ALiCE Parent Informational Presentation: Keeping our Schools Safe

The Mt. Lebanon School District is committed to taking proactive measures to protect the safety of all our students and staff members. Thank you for your support of this important program.

Q2 Lunch Room Choices

Students will be able to choose their lunch spaces again for Q2. This week, students will receive a form asking them to choose the space (cafeteria or aux cafe) where they would like to eat for Q2. Students who do not complete the form will be assigned to a space. If too many students choose the same space, we will have a random lottery. Students will have the opportunity to choose their lunch space every quarter.

Halloween Costumes

Students are allowed to wear a costume for Halloween on Friday, as long as the costume follows the rules below.

Halloween costumes must comply with the student dress code, found in the Student Handbook:

  • Costumes should be respectful. Dressing up as someone else's culture is not an appropriate costume. Costumes which portray stereotypes, involve religious or sacred symbols, or denigrate others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability are not permitted.
  • No brief and/or revealing clothing
  • No clothing with messages that: 1) Are suggestive, obscene, vulgar, offensive or libelous, that denigrate others on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation or disability. 2) Advertise or promote drugs, alcohol, tobacco or violence.
  • Students are permitted to wear a hat as part of a costume.
  • Students are not permitted to wear costume masks or completely paint their face.
  • Students must be identifiable when in costume.
  • Small amounts of makeup are permitted, such as makeup to create a scar or to add cat whiskers to the face.
  • Students are not permitted to have look-alike weapons as part of their costume per school district policy GBGB/JICI.
  • Students are still required to participate in PE and should dress appropriately.
  • Students are required to follow the COVID-19 masking guidelines.
  • Administration reserves the right to make the final decision on the appropriateness of Halloween costumes. Students will be required to change if a costume is determined to be inappropriate.

Club Lebo

Club Lebo provides middle school students with an unstructured, yet supervised environment to hang out with friends.

Club Lebo's next event is Friday, October 29, 2021 from 7:00PM-9:00PM.

You can find more information here.

Other Information

JMS Study Lab

Why not catch the power of better study habits and improved grades?

Study Lab is an after-school opportunity for your child to get organized and develop a plan. It offers a quiet place – free of distractions – for accomplishing tasks at the end of the school day. All JMS students are invited to attend. Study Lab will be offered each Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15-4:00pm in Writing Lab 104 for the remainder of the year.

A JMS staff member will guide students to review their assignments, via Dashboard, and to prioritize school work to include missing and incomplete assignments, as well as to plan for future assignments. If a Study Lab student displays confidence and competence in their work, the student will be provided the time and space to complete school work independently during the time allotted. If the student demonstrates a need, the staff member will provide more direct support in planning for work completion.

Study Lab will also provide students another structured opportunity to connect with their on-and off-team teachers to obtain materials, submit assignments, and seek additional guidance from teachers after school. JMS teachers are generally available to meet with students most days after school through 3:45pm.

Overall, Study Lab will assist your child with their individual academic needs in a fun, focused, and structured environment.

Attendance Policy

If a student cannot attend Study Lab they are expected to make the staff members (Study Lab Coordinators) aware with a note/email from a parent or through spoken communication. Parents may also contact the staff member via email if a student cannot attend or if they have any general questions about their child's participation.

Please email Mrs. Allison Levison ( or Mr. Peter Berg ( for more information.

JMS Study Lab Permission Form 2021-22

JMS Yearbook Sale

JMS Yearbooks are on sale now through January 14, 2022. 8th Grade Advertisements are also for sale from now until January 14 for $35.


  • Now- Sunday, October 31 at 11:59 PM: $45
  • Monday, November 1 at 12:00 AM- Tuesday, November 30 at 11:59 PM: $50
  • Wednesday, December 1 at 12:00 AM- Friday, December 31 at 11:59 PM: $55
  • Saturday, January 1 at 12:00 AM- Friday, January 14 at 11:59 PM: $60

Limited extras will be sold on the last day of school for $60

Order your yearbook and take out an 8th grade ad TODAY!


Families In Need of Technology

As we prepare to start the 2021-2022 school year, we are asking families who need to borrow student technology to please complete the form linked below:

Be sure to list every student for whom you need to borrow a device on this form. Once you have submitted your form, you will receive status emails including device pickup details from an email address. Please also be sure to whitelist email addresses with your email provider to ensure that you receive these communications from us.

Please direct any and all questions regarding loaned equipment to our support address:


Middle School Athletics

You can learn everything you need to know about Middle School Athletics, including starting dates, by visiting the MS Athletics Webpage.

7th and 8th grade boys Basketball tryouts:

Boys Basketball MEMO

8th grade boys basketball tryouts are after school on Thursday Oct. 28th and Friday Oct. 29th.

7th grade tryouts are after school on Monday November 1st and Wednesday November 3rd.

Please make sure that all family id registration is completed and an updated physical is on file with the athletic office before tryouts begin. There is an information sheet in the Jefferson attendance office with tryout details and registration instructions.

JMS PTA Information

Election Day Bake Sale

We’re looking for a few volunteers to staff the JMS PTA Bake Sale table at school (Tuesday 11/2). Please sign up for a morning table shift or to donate bottled water here. if you'd just like to contribute money so you can help fill the table with donuts and coffee you can donate here .

Join the JMS Odyssey of the Mind Team!

Odyssey of the Mind is a creative problem solving program that is offered internationally every year. A team of 7 kids select and solve a "long term" problem from the 5 given each year, and perform the solution in an 8 minute skit. Costumes, drama, sets and humor are encouraged. Creativity within a set of rules is the name of the game. The program encourages teamwork, independence and perseverance, as adults cannot help in any way! Teams compete regionally first (at a local high school). Winning teams compete at the State and World levels. Competition is in person in 2022.

Odyssey relies on parent coaches to volunteer their time and talent to form and lead teams. The easiest way to participate in the program is to find a group of friends and form a team. Don't worry, there are more experienced coaches in the district who will be happy to guide you and answer questions. Most coaches have no experience when they start and learn along the way. Teams meet about once a week, until the Regional competition in March.

Ready to learn more?

Please watch this Mt Lebanon Odyssey video created by the Mt Lebanon High School Odyssey team, and see our article, Voyage of Discovery, in the most recent edition of the Mt Lebanon Magazine.

Ready to start a team?

Please contact Jasmine James (, Odyssey Coordinator at JMS for more information, and to get registered.

Reflections Arts in Education Contest

The 2021-22 theme of "I Will Change the World By..." will inspire students to think about the impact that they will have on our world! Entries are due to the Main Office by October 13th.

The entry form can be found here. Check out this video for inspiration.

PTA Membership and Directory Access

The JMS PTA Membership Drive is now open! Parent membership in the PTA helps us meet volunteer needs and budgetary commitments which enrich programs for our JMS students and staff. Members receive access to a member directory which has a mobile app.

Go to My Account.

  1. Check that your updated student info is correct. Indicate your child's team.
  2. Indicate your preferences for inclusion in the directory. Add a second contact so that both receive directory access and all PTA correspondences. Student phone is optional.
  3. Purchase a parent membership for $20
  4. Consider a donation. Donated funds stay 100% with JMS programs without fees. We encourage this rather than purchasing a membership for both parents, unless both parents wish to vote in meetings or hold PTA office.

JOIN US! Together we can do a lot of good for JMS!



If you haven’t used AmazonSmile Before:

  • Go to and sign in with your regular Amazon username and password.
  • You will be prompted to choose a charity. You should enter "Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc” into the search box that appears. It will say "Pittsburgh, PA" as the location for the charity.
  • Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to on your browser.

If you already use AmazonSmile:

  • Go to and sign in with your username and password
  • Make sure the charity you’ve selected is "Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc." This information is located under the search bar where it says “supporting”.
  • If it isn’t, you can change it by clicking on the charity and selecting “change”
  • This will bring you to a page where you can search for “Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc” and allow you to switch charities.

Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to to checkout.

If you shop on the Amazon app. Please activate Amazon Smile on your mobile app by opening the app and finding ’Settings’ in the main menu (☰). Tap on ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone.

Box Tops

Scanning Box Tops is an easy way to earn money for our school. See Box Tops for more information on how to scan Box Tops and to download the app. Receipts must be scanned within 14 days for the Box Tops to be scanned electronically.

Office Depot/Office Max

Office Depot/Office Max has a school rewards program. When shopping, remember to ask the cashier to tag Jefferson Middle School. For online orders, enter our school ID (Thomas Jefferson Middle School ID:70088453 Pittsburgh, PA) on the Thank You Confirmation page.

Resources For Families

COVID-19 Resources

The following resources provide information to help Mt. Lebanon School District families and staff navigate the complexities of COVID-19 and the impact the pandemic it is having on our daily lives. These resources will be updated as more information becomes available.

Local Resources for Families

The MTLSD School Counselors in partnership with The Allegheny Children's Initiative Inc., have compiled a list of social services resources that may be helpful to you and your family. Please take a look and reach out to these organizations. They are here to help with any of the following:

  • Food
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Pets
  • Abuse
  • Mental Health
  • General Assistance

Safe 2 Say Something

Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late. With Safe2Say Something, it’s easy and confidential to report safety concerns to help prevent violence and tragedies.

Here’s how it works:

  • Submit a report through the Safe2SaySomething system
  • Crisis center reviews, assesses and processes all submissions
  • Crisis center sends all submissions to school administration and/or law enforcement for intervention
  • If needed, crisis center may contact tipster anonymously through the app

Jefferson Middle School

The Jefferson Middle School learning community has an exceptional reputation for its dedicated teachers, staff and parents working together to provide learning experiences for our children that include high expectations, a challenging curriculum and a shared commitment to provide the best education possible for each and every student.