TJ Today

NOVEMBER, 2021-2022


Nov. 18 & 19 School Play - Hydrangea Albright: Comedy or Tragedy? 7 p.m.

Nov. 24 - 26 No School Thanksgiving Break

Dec. 6 - "This Is Our Story" - TJMS Night plus Elementary Schools at 7:00 p.m. at VHS

Dec. 16 - Staff Development 1/2 day of school - End of Semester 1

Dec. 17 - Jan. 2 - Winter Holiday

Spell Bowl Team is State Bound!

The TJMS Spell Bowl Team''s score of 72 points (of a possible 96) qualified them to compete in the state spell bowl competition this Saturday at Purdue, West Lafayette. Included in this score are 3 perfect rounds of 12/12 points and 2 near perfect rounds with students missing only 1 word.

Please take time this week to wish the following team members as well as Mrs. Alvarez and Miss Blakley the best on Saturday:

Lena Allison (8th)

Sofia Alvarez (8th)

Ahana Bharwadj (6th)

Lucas McNulty-Brown (6th)

Kassadee Goodwin (7th)

Caroline Hedman (6th)

Jackson Kick (7th)

Sophie Norrod (7th)

Dionne Ralph (7th)

Raegan Ralph (6th)

Katerina Siatras (8th)

Rachel Zeck (6th)

6th Grade - Planning for their Future

Naviance: Helping student prepare for the next step…

Starting next week during Viking Time, students will begin Naviance—a career and college readiness program. Naviance helps prepare our students for college, career, and life readiness. This program has become an important tool to make sure each of our scholars are on track and have a vehicle to navigate their pathways. Unique readiness content and activities help build knowledge and strengthen students’ competencies in all essential areas.

What ‘cha Reading?

Core Plus classes have started reading the novel, A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle. It is the story of Meg Murry, a girl who is propelled on an adventure through time and space. Along with her younger brother, Charles Wallace and friend Calvin, she sets off to rescue her father.

Parents--if you could please:

Ask your students these two questions:

1. Do they have earbuds at school?

2. Do they have colored pencils at school?

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!

Being Thankful

Share your "TJMS is..." hashtag with the school. Student Council has created a Padlet with four hashtags: #family, #friends, #kind, and #thankful. Show us your photos of your gratitude. We sure are thankful for YOU!

7th Boo-Gatta tradition continues

7th graders got to participate in activities their teachers call the "Boo-Gatta". This is an interdisciplinary fun day done around the end of the first nine weeks. For English, students competed to make the best 6 word scary stories. Entomophogy was the theme for science. Students learned about the benefits of eating bugs. Many brave students ate a chocolate covered mealworm! For math, students competed in a Jeopardy style game to see which Viking Time had the highest score. For social studies, we shared our spookiest stories throughout history. Students in each Viking Time also built "vessels" out of cardboard, decorated the vessels and then chose two people to run a foot race while inside the vessel. The Boo-Gatta was a fun time had by all!!

Please continue to check Skyward to ensure your student does not have any missing assignments. If your child does have missing assignments, please make sure they get them made up whenever possible. Please communicate any concerns with the teachers as soon as possible so teachers can continue to help your child in the best way possible.

8th grade- 2nd Quarter moving forward

Second quarter is in full swing! An important skill we are working on in 8th grade is self advocacy. If your child is struggling in any classes with content or missing assignments, urge them to go see their teacher during Viking Time for extra help.

Forms and money for Class of 2026 T-Shirts are due Monday November 8. These shirts are a great way to inspire class unity and pride in our 8th grade class. If you have any questions please reach out to your child’s Viking Time Teacher.

Upcoming Dates:

Thursday November 11 Veterans Day: 8th grade band, choir and orchestra students will be performing in the TJ Veterans Day Ceremony. The program will be livestreamed out to all classes that day.

Friday November 12: Progress reports

November 24-26: No school, Thanksgiving Break

November 30 and December 1st: NWEA Testing

Science Olympiad 2021-22 Team

Congratulations to our New TJ

Science Olympiad Team 2022

Our Science Olympiad traditions continue here at TJMS as our new team was chosen in late October and we begin now to organize and prepare for our 23 multi science and engineering events. Our team has high expectations, as our goal will be to repeat as Regional and State champions. Good luck !

Amy Yu 9th Grade

Chase Henry 9th Grade

Aliya Mayer 9th Grade

Clara Warren 8th Grade

Katerina Siatras 8th Grade

Ben Barribal 8th Grade

Jennifer Wang 7th Grade

Helen Hahn 7th Grade

Ava Bosman 7th Grade

Izzy DeJesus 7th Grade

Caroline Dyer 7th Grade

Madden Hartz 7th Grade

Wesley Moye 7th Grade

Adam Warren 6th Grade

Iysa Townsend 6th Grade

Alt. Dallas Wells 7th Grade

Alt. Mia Green 7th Grade

Music Dept. Happenings

The music department is excited that the ISSMA Solo and Ensemble Contest is back LIVE this year! Registrations for this event are due to your performance music teacher by 3:00 on Friday, Nov, 19. We hope to have many TJMS representatives!

This is our Story (TIOS) - the winter showcase for performance music and art will also return this year! TJMS groups will perform Monday, Dec. 6 in the VHS gym at 7:00pm. All are welcome to come enjoy the festivities!

Strolling Strings will perform Christmas carols at various shops during the Valpo Holly Days, Fri. Dec 3, 5-7pm and also at Faith Lutheran Church on Wed. Dec. 8, 6:15pm.

Pictured below: Strolling Strings preparing to play the National Anthem at the TJ vs BF football game in Viking Stadium.

Strolling Strings preparing to play the National Anthem at the TJ vs BF football game in Viking Stadium.
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Builders Club

We would like to congratulate the new president and vice president for this year's Builders Club! Mikela Douglass is the president, and Luis Hernandez is the vice president. We believe they will be great leaders and do a good job representing Builders Club.

Builders Club members were collecting cornbread mix for 500 Turkeys. 500 Turkeys is a group of volunteers who put together boxes of Thanksgiving food and give them to families who can use some help around the holidays. Our goal was 100 boxes of cornbread mix, and we successfully collected 149 boxes!

We also collected candy for Treats for Troops. We collected over 4 large boxes of candy with the help of the whole TJ student body.

As the leaves begin to fall, a lot of raking will need to be done. Not all families will be able to rake all of their leaves themselves, so the Builders Club, along with Sunrise Kiwanis, Ben Franklin’s Builders Club, and Key Club at the high school, will be raking leaves on either November 13 or November 20. This will be a team effort to accomplish what needs to be done.

We would also like to inform you that new members are always welcome; you may join at any time. We would love to have you and greatly appreciate having more people helping to better our community, school, and ourselves. The next meeting will be Wednesday, November 17th.

“Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people can transform the world”

- Howard Zinn

Did You Know?

You can set up Skyward to let you know when your child's grades drop below a certain percent? That you can also set up Skyward to notify you if your child has missing assignments?

Setting up email notifications is THE BEST way of staying informed of your student’s grades.

  1. Log into your account.

  2. Click on “My Account” in the top right-hand corner of your Skyward homepage. See Figure D.

  3. At the bottom of the window, look for Email Notifications.

  4. Check all the boxes that you would like information about and how often you would like to receive the information. The second checkmark item allows you to set a parameter if a grade falls below a certain number. In the example below, this parent put “70” in the “Low:” text field. This means the parent will be immediately notified if their student receives any class assignment, test, quiz, etc. that falls below a grade of 70. See Figure E.

Below is the link to the video instructions.

Media Center News

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School Wide Contact Information

Below are email addresses of TJMS office members:

Mark Maudlin -- Principal

Erin Strauss -- Assistant Principal

Shannon Morris -- School Resource Officer (SRO)

Laura Dull -- Secretary

Kristin Scheub -- Secretary/Treasurer

Jami Carlson -- Guidance Counselor, Last Names A-K

Erik Shive - Guidance Counselor, Last Names L-Z

Heather Himes -- Social Worker

Shawn White -- Nurse

Supply Lists

Supply lists are posted on our website as well as linked below.

6th grade supply list

7th grade supply list

8th grade supply list

P.E. Uniforms

P.E. uniforms will be required in P.E. classes this school year. Uniforms (t-shirt and shorts) can be purchased at Blythe’s Sporting Goods on Calumet Avenue. Uniforms can be purchased as a set or individual pieces. The same uniform will be worn in 6th-8th grades, so purchasing one that’s a little looser may be a good idea. Students are welcome to use the uniform an older sibling used while attending TJMS.

Students who are not enrolled in band, choir or orchestra will have a full year of P.E. Students enrolled in band, choir or orchestra will have least 2 rotations of P.E. during the year.

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Daily Announcements

Please encourage your student to view the daily announcements that can be found on our website or by clicking here to watch for important call out information, upcoming daily schedule changes or general school announcements.

School Breakfast & Lunch

Through a grant from the USDA, all regular school breakfasts and lunches will be free to all students during the 2021-2022 school year. Additional a la carte items or additional breakfast/lunch items may be purchased by students.

The cafeteria will open at 7:20 a.m. for any student wishing to eat breakfast. Between 7:20-7:30 students wishing to eat breakfast may enter door #8 on Roosevelt Road (northern door facing Roosevelt Road). At 7:35 bus riders and car riders entering the building are invited to head to the cafeteria for breakfast.

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School Calendar and Times

The 2021-2022 Valparaiso Community Schools calendar can be found here.

Our school day runs from 7:50 a.m. -- 2:50 p.m. Students may enter the building at 7:20 through door #8 to eat breakfast or at 7:35 to head to their lockers and 1st period class.

Sport Physicals

A sports physical dated on or after April 1, 2021 is good for the 2021-2022 school year. If your student is planning to tryout or participate in a sport this school year, please don't wait until just before the season begins to schedule a physical. A physical done this summer or fall is good for winter and spring sports as well. All forms in this packet need to be completed and turned into the main office as one packet.

Student Handbook

Each student will receive a student planner early in the school year. Included in that planner is a copy of the TJMS student handbook. The handbook can also be found here. Please encourage your student to keep their daily planner up to date with class due dates and other important classroom, grade level or school wide dates.


Please call the main office at 531-3140 by 8:15 a.m. if your child is absent from school. If we have not received a call by 8:15 a.m. and your child is marked absent from school, you will received a automated phone call alerting you of his/her unexcused absence.

Becoming A Canvas Observer

Parents are encouraged to become an observer of your child in Canvas. Being an observer will allow you to monitor your student's work, assignments, etc that are assigned through Canvas. To see more about how to sign up as a Canvas observer, click here.

Dropping Off Forgotten Items

From time to time students do forget things at home that they may need during the school day (i.e. music instrument, lunch, chromebook, etc). If this occurs, items may be dropped off on the table in the front lobby, just inside door #1. Please make sure your student's name and grade level are clearly marked. We will then email your student to let him/her know to stop by the main lobby to pick up the item(s). Please encourage your students to check his/her school email account a few times throughout the school day.

Follow TJMS on Social Media

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