JMS Weekly Update
March 7, 2021
This week's JMS Update contains information about:
- Talking to Your Child About Discrimination and Bias
- Our "Tuesday Talk" Program
- Traffic Around the Complex
- MLEA Summer Grant Scholarships
- A Message from the President of Mt. Lebanon City Council of PTAs
See this week's JMS Update for more information.
Please continue to let our nurse, Mrs. Suess, know if anyone in your family is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Now that we have returned to 4-days of in-person instruction, this information is critical to the safety of the students and staff at JMS.
Please do your best to stay home, wear a mask, physically distance (6ft or more), avoid congregating in groups, and wash your hands so that we can continue to have the children back in the building with us.
Dr. Sarah Shaw, Principal
Ms. Katelyn Deet, Assistant Principal
JMS Science Bowl Team Earns 2nd Place!
Congratulations to the JMS Science Bowl Team (Soham Dam, Michael Zhu, Sally Tan, and Caleb Campanaro) for their 2nd place finish in the Western Pennsylvania Regional Science Bowl on Saturday.
They competed (virtually) against 22 teams from the Western Pennsylvania Region. This is only their second year participating in this competition. We are very proud of this team's hard work!
Thank you to our coaches, Mrs. Martz and Mrs. Mercier for their time and dedication preparing the JMS team for this competition.
In an effort to continue to educate our students, families and the community about discrimination and bias we wanted to share the following resources with you.
- Anti-Defamation League (ADL): Talking to Young Children about Bias and Prejudice
- Talking to Children About Hate Crimes
- Partners Against Hate: Parents and Families Against Hate
- Healthy Children. org : Talking to Children About Racial Bias
- American Psychological Association: Talking to kids about discrimination
This essential conversation and continued education is imperative if we are committed to creating a school and community that is welcoming and inclusive. These conversations are bigger than JMS and must also take place at home and throughout the community. Please help us, as a school and as a community, continue to grow in our in our understanding about discrimination and bias.
We will have a Tuesday Talk discussion on Wednesday, March 10th. You can find the Tuesday Talks (On Wednesday) Schedule here.
The JMS "Tuesday Talks" are part of our Character Education & Olweus Bullying Prevention programming. Typically we run our Tuesday Talks discussions on Tuesdays. This year, we will be having these discussions on Wednesdays, as long as Wednesdays are remote days. Tuesday Talks occur between Period 2 and Period 3.
During this time, the students return to their homerooms to engage in activities and discussions about Character, Inclusion, and Social and Emotional Learning. This week's Tuesday Talk (on Wednesday) we will focus our discussions around our recent change in educational programming and safe and inclusive school environments.
Traffic Around the Complex
More students coming into the building means more traffic around the Jefferson Complex. Please drive slowly, stay alert and be patient when dropping off or picking up your child.
We would like to offer the following suggestions for drop off/pick up if you do not like traffic:
- Your child is welcome/encouraged to walk to and from school.
- You may drop off/pick up your child at a location near the school so they can have a shorter walk.
- Students do not need to be dropped off/picked up at their exact door.
- You are welcome to use the entire Go Zone in the front of the building.
- You are also welcome to use the Jefferson Elementary driveway.
- When dropping off your student, please pull forward as far as you can before letting your child out of the car. We realize that this may cause your child to be a little further away from their assigned entrance, but this is OK.
We will continue to monitor drop off and pick up and will make adjustments as necessary.
MLEA Summer Grant Scholarships
The MLEA summer grant scholarship applications are OPEN!
For almost 40 years, Mt. Lebanon School District teachers have awarded study grants for current kindergarten through 11th grade students who plan to participate in summer enrichment programs. Please visit www.mlea.org for more information and links to the digital application and recommendation forms. All forms are due May 1st.
Email Eve Kollar at email@example.com with any questions.
Attention students interested in joining our JMS Drama Club!
We will hold our first informational meeting on Wednesday, March 10. Please see the JMS Website for the link to join our Google Classroom for our first virtual meeting at 3:00 pm on March 10. Looking forward to seeing you then!
Drama Club Meetings:
- March - 10, 24
- April - 7, 14, 21, 28
- May - 5, 12
- May 19 - Virtual Performance
*All meetings will be virtual and all students in grades 6-8 are welcome to join.
Students entering 9th grade this coming August (2021) who are interested in exploring the career major opportunities that Parkway West Career and Technology Center offers, should contact Mrs. Schneider in the High School Counseling Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412.344.2063.
Currently, an opportunity for an in-person shadow experience at the Parkway Technology Center will occur on Thursday, March 25, 2021. If your son or daughter would like to participate in this field trip, be sure to let Mrs. Schneider know as soon as possible (Monday, March 22, 2021).
An Open House for interested students/families will be held on April 6, 2021, from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at Parkway West CTC.
To explore Parkway programming, feel free to view this video.
The following two forms are required to be completed and returned by March 22, 2021:
The district has launched a revised Dashboard. This revised Dashboard is designed to provide more data to create a fuller view of COVID-19 cases in our schools. It aligns with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s new guidelines regarding the identification of Covid-19 cases in school.
The Dashboard consists of three elements:
- The first chart is aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Recommendations for Pre-K to 12 Schools Following Identification of a Cases of COVID-19.
- The second chart provides a snapshot of the total number of employee and student positive cases of COVID-19 in the District.
- The third chart displays the total COVID -19 cases by month.
Excuses for absences, tardies and early dismissals should be emailed to Mrs. Harris, our attendance secretary, and your child’s homeroom teacher. Mrs. Harris’s email is email@example.com and your child’s homeroom teacher’s email address can be found in the Staff Directory.
All excuses must contain:
- Date and time of the absence
- Reason for the absence
- Your child's first and last name
Please review the attached policy JED, for a list of excused absences. District School Board Policy JED - Student Absences and Excuses.
Resources For Families
The Mt. Lebanon School District will continue serving free Grab-and-Go Meals to any student in the community under the age of 18, with no eligibility requirements, until further notice. The meals will be distributed at the elementary schools.
Meals will be available from 10:45 until 1:15 every day to accommodate all students during their lunch periods.
As we prepare to start the 2020-2021 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 @mtlsd.net email address. Please also be sure to whitelist @mtlsd.net 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: RemoteSupport@mtlsd.net
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.
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:
- Mental Health
- General Assistance
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
We are excited to announce that we are now offering the convenience of online registration for our athletic programs through partner company, FamilyID (www.familyid.com). FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for our programs, and helps us to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. When you register through FamilyID, you enter your information once for multiple uses, multiple kids and multiple programs.
JMS PTA Information
A Message from the President of Mt. Lebanon City Council of PTAs
As we approach the 1 year mark of the COVID crisis in our community, I have been doing some thinking about the toll that the past year has taken on my family. There have been times where we struggled - there have been tears and arguments and days where we just didn't want to get out of bed.
But despite the challenges, I think that there are positive things that have come out of all of this. There are things that I've learned about my kids (and my husband, even after 30 years together), my neighbors, and my friends that I don't think I would know otherwise. There have been opportunities for each of us to learn, grow and explore. New hobbies. New pets. While this whole situation has been far from ideal, there have been silver linings- we just need to look for them, share them and celebrate them.
So for the next few weeks, The Mt. Lebanon City Council of PTAs would like to celebrate the victories - big and small - that YOUR family experienced over the past year. Please share your stories and your photos with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Then Follow us on Facebook at @MTLPTACouncil or on Instagram @mtlsdptacouncil and look for your stories (and others)!
We can't wait to hear from parents, students and teachers and hear all about your silver linings!
PTA Council is launching a new PTA Newsletter page on their website. All newsletters will now be available on the website. In the coming weeks, resources will be available for families to translate these newsletters into other languages.
Click the link above for additional community resources, including upcoming Recreation Center programming, schedules from the Mt. Lebanon Public Library and information about technology discounts available to district families.
Help JMS Earn Money While You Shop!
If you haven’t used AmazonSmile Before:
- Go to smile.amazon.com 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 smile.amazon.com on your browser.
If you already use AmazonSmile:
- Go to smile.amazon.com 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 smile.amazon.com 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.
Clipping Box Tops is an easy way to earn money for our school. Each Box Top is worth 10 cents, so don't forget to physically and electronically clip the for us! The clipped Box Tops can be turned into the office.
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.
Giant Eagle Support our students! Enroll your Giant Eagle Advantage Card and earn points for FREE educational rewards with every shopping trip.
Click here to register your card. Our school code is 3369. The Giant Eagle card program is also easy to use - just register your card and shop away as usual!
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.
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.