TJMS Newsletter

November 2013

Hillhawk Students of the Month

Jefferson's LEAP Students Land at the University of Dubuque's Aviation Center

Our first field trip was to the University of Dubuque Airport and Aviation training facility. We started off with a short five minutes discussion in the conference room where we talked about what an Aviation degree could lead into in regards to a career. We got to check out four flight simulators which included Commercial, Airline, Private, and Military simulators. The kids absolutely loved it!!! We then continued to see the actual planes themselves. As you can see from the pictures, the kids actually got to sit inside the planes and Brett Hoben, our tour guide, turned on the computers in them.

The Airplanes we got to see inside of were the single engine, twin engine, and a five-passenger plane. They also took us up into the control tower. There we got to see how the control tower communicates with the pilots. We learned a little about their language (Alpha, Bravo, Nebraska, Niner, and so on…) and why you have to use those words in order to enunciate words properly over the radio. While we are up in the control tower, we got to experience a plane start and take off right in front of us as we were inside the control tower! The kids were in awe and loved every minute of this field trip.

TJMS Nurse Notes

From School Nurse Mrs. Schmitt

-Reminder to all Jefferson to review the school district Head Lice Policy. The policy can be found on the District website under the nurses quick find tab. If you have any questions you may call your child's school nurse for clarification.

-This is the season for influenza. Listed below are symptoms experienced with this disease. If you believe you might have influenz, PLEASE stay home. Symptoms can last 3-5 days.


The symptoms of influenza (flu) appear suddenly and often include:

*Fever of 100 to 104 F, which can reach 106 F when symptoms first develop. Fever us usually continuous, but it may come on go. Fever may be lower in adults than in children and younger adults.

*Shaking chills

*Body aches and muscle pain (often severe), commonly in the back, arms or legs.


*Pain when you move your eyes.

*Fatigue, a general feeling of sickness (malaise), and loss of appetite

*A dry cough, runny nose, and a dry or sore throat. You may not notice these during the first few days of the illness when other sypmtoms are more severe. As your fever goes away, these symptoms may become more evident.

When fever is high, other symptoms usually are more severe

Take time to get the flu vaccine.
It is not too soon!

The Dubuque County VNA will be hosting its next Flu vaccine clinic on November 14th from 3-6PM at Finley hospital. Call 563-556-6200 today to schedule.

-Parents of all 6th grade students: In the last 12 months there have been changes to the immunization requirements for school entry for 7th graders. Don't wait until the last minute to see if your child is up to date on their vaccines. Call you doctor's office, the VNA at 563-556-6200 or your school nurse to get the latest information.

Hillhawk Happenings

Mrs. Haverland's Class Helps the Swiss Valley Nature Center

Over the past two weeks, 6-1 has been working closely with Swiss Valley to help them find solutions to two invasive species. Jenny Ammon, a Naturalist from Swiss Valley, told our students that Garlic Mustard and Honeysuckle were taking over and disrupting the soil. Students worked together to find a solution and communicated through and Skype. The overall solution was to treat with a chemical to get rid of the species. However, Ms. Ammon told us that to get rid of these organisms we would need to treat them with more than one solution throughout the year. Thanks to Swiss Valley and to Ms. Ammon.

Special Olympics

Jefferson's Special Olympics team traveled to Davenport for their bowling competition on October 4th. The results were:

Colin Edberg- 2nd place

Ben Lahey- 4th place

Darrell Powell- 5th place

Isaiah Ralston- 3rd place

Jamie Thill- 1st place

Ane Torres-Rogers- 3rd place

Congratulations and great job!! Coach Lucas would also like to thank the peer helpers and staff members who went along to help.

Opus Honor Choir Festival

Evan Wieser, an 8th grade student at TJMS, was recently selected for participation in the twenty-eighth annual Opus Honor Choir Festival!

Evan was selected out of 3300 nominations from choir directors across the state of Iowa to participate in Opus Honor Choir which will be held November 21 in Ames. Only 10 students in Dubuque were selected for this honor.

Congratulations, Evan!

Iowa Junior Honors Orchestra Festival

Heather Hostager, viola, was recently chosen to participate in the Iowa Junior Honors Orchestra Festival. Heather will be playing with other middle school students across the state of Iowa. Congratulations Heather!

TJMS Mock Trial

More than twenty 7th and 8th grade students have been working with our coaches Shayna Boxleiter and Betsy Pelkey preparing to try the case The State of Iowa vs. Allyn Funt.

Students have been assigned a role as either an attorney or a witness for the prosecution or defense. They will be participating in the regional mock trial competition on Wednesday, November 6th at Loras College. Our School Resource Officer, Jason Hoerner prepared students by giving them some pointers about courtroom proceedings and law.

Participants include:

8th graders = Marlonda Bell-Clark, Max Coenen, Noah Dougherty, Ian Ernzen, Ethan Healey, Heather Hostager, Jackson Huston, Jeni McGlynn, Koehler Miller, Maddie Perreard, Regan Saunders, Sage Smith, Brandon Xicon

7th graders = Alex Cota, Isaac Cretsinger, Carly Dahlberg, Julie Hammerand, Emilee Heims, Allison Klein, Hannah Kramer, Brandon Little, Ted Spring, Vera Weis, Zaebian Weis

Hillhawk Heroes 7th & 8th Lego League Team

The Hillhawk Heroes have been working on this year’s competition Nature’s Fury twice a week since mid-September. Students have built the challenge elements for the robot game, and now are focusing their attention to building and programming the robot and completing a research project related to natural disasters.

The team started meeting with our mentors from John Deere, Mark Zimmerman and Jonathan Pfeiffer. Our mentors are engineers at John Deere and will provide the team advice and support. Ten members of our team will participate in the FLL regional competition on Saturday, December 7 at Roosevelt Middle School.

Team members include:

8th graders = Noah Dougherty, Logan Ellingboe, Addison Kalb, Mason Kobliska, & Eric McDonough

7th graders = Riley Connolly, Alex Cota, Owen Dunne, Elizabeth Freiburger, Taya Hess, Tyler Lyons, Maddie Peter, Stephanie Stewart, Joe Vize, & Moriah Zimmerman.

A special thanks to our team’s coach Sherry Meyer who has been working with the Heroes since September.

Code Word: STEM

Ten 8th grade students participated in a STEM workshop sponsored by Keystone AEA and held at the Grand River Center in Dubuque. Students were exposed to many types of computer programming and animation software, and were able to learn from some experts in the field. They will be working on creating their own project to share in the spring.

Participants include:

House 8-1: Mason Kobliska, Devin Scheffert, Ashley Schmitt

House 8-2: Denny Doerr, Alexis Ernzen, Ethan Healey, Miranda McCaffery, Kim Reuter, Austin Scherbring, Robin Smith

Thank you to Heather Cairns, House 8-2 exploratory teacher and Michelle Weber, Instructional Coach, for being the teacher-sponsors for this activity.

Iowa Testing – November 11-15

Jefferson students will be completing Iowa Tests during the week of November 11. Students will take tests every morning from 8-9:50 AM, then resume their daily classes on a modified schedule. On Wednesday, November 13, a scheduled early release, students will test from 8-8:50 AM.

· Talk to your child about the importance of doing his/her best on this test. Teachers use assessment data in a variety of ways. Iowa Testing has changed in the past three years. We focus more on growth from one year to another, rather than a fixed percentile. This is a much better practice as it allows us to determine if your child is making a year’s growth in a years’ time.

· -Get a good night’s rest each night of testing week.

· -Eat a good breakfast each morning of testing. Skip the sugary treats and pick something to eat with staying power.

· -Be on time for school. Our building is open for students to arrive at 7:30 AM. The tardy bell is 7:50 AM.

Test Day Tips

· *Read and pay careful attention to all directions.

· *Read each passage and accompanying questions.

· *Read every possible answer--the best one could be last.

· *Read and respond to items one at a time rather than thinking about the whole test.

· *Reread, when necessary, the parts of a passage needed for selecting the correct answer.

· *Don't expect to find a pattern in the positions of the correct answers.

· *Don't make uneducated guesses. Try to get the correct answer by reasoning and eliminating wrong answers.

· *Decide exactly what the question is asking; one response is clearly best.

· *Don't spend too much time on any one question.

· *Skip difficult questions until all other questions have been answered. On scrap paper, keep a record of the unanswered items to return to, if time permits.

· *Make sure to record the answer in the correct place on the answer sheet.

· *Only change an answer if you are sure the first one you picked was wrong. Be sure to completely erase changed answers.

· *Work as rapidly as possible with accuracy.

· *After completion of the test, use any remaining time to check your answers.

· *Keep a good attitude. Think positively!

Seventh Grade Service Learning at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens

House 7-1 and House 7-2 gave back to the community by providing service at the Dubuque Arboretum and Botanical Gardens on Thursday, October 17 and Friday, October 18. Students were involved in picking up walnuts (which can be toxic to many of the beautiful plants and flowers) and raking leaves. Students also wrote nature-inspired poetry and used dichotomous keys to identify trees. Thank you to the parent volunteers who gave their time to help with our service learning trip, especially in the rain and the cold.

Activities on the Hill

Basketball Skills Sessions for 6th and 7th grade girls every Friday night!

Friday nights from 6:00-7:30 at Roosevelt. There is no cost to attend. You just need to bring your own ball if you have one.

Contact me if you want more information.

Jeff Kreiling 599-3988

News from the Activities Department

Athletic booklets for all Senior and Hempstead winter events can be purchased from the athletic director. Students booklets $12.00 for four games, Adult booklets $16.00 dollars for four games. Excludes inner city games.

Wrestling and girls basketball seasons are underway, come out and support your Hillhawks. Schedules can be found on web-site and/or picked-up in the main office.

Mr. Hatcher has wrestling club information for any 6th, 7th, or 8th grader interested. The club meets outside of school hours.

Girls Basketball skills practice every Friday night at Roosevelt Middle school 6pm-7:30pm for any 6th or 7th grade girl interested. Just show up with a ball, there is not attendance policy, come as often as you like.

Purchase Jefferson Apparel at . Enter JP975 for Jefferson’s locker. Every purchase you make the school will get 12% of your total cost. See athletic director or main office for valuable coupons.

Any student needing help getting a sports physical for athletic participation see Mr. Hatcher. Sports Physicals last 13 months.

Any student participating in after school activities is able to ride the Activity Bus. It’s leaves Jefferson at 4:15pm daily and begins its route. It won’t take you to your front door, but it will get you close! There is no cost to ride the Activity Bus, with colder weather coming take advantage of this today.

Follow and get updates on all after school activities on twitter: @GOHILLHAWKS

It’s a great year to be a HILLHAWK!

Rich Hatcher- Activities Director

Junior Achievement of the Heartland

Thomas Jefferson Middle School is proud to partner with Junior Achievement of the Heartland. Together, we are helping our youth gain the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in a global economy. We invite you to get involved! We are seeking parents to serve as JA Classroom Volunteers and teach a program at a local school. By using JA’s user-friendly lesson plans and classroom materials, you will help students understand the importance of staying in school, develop life skills, and realize their potential.

The time commitment is minimal.

· Volunteer training – 60 minutes

· Preparation at home before class – 30 minutes per lesson

· Classroom visit to teach a lesson – 45 minutes per lesson; there are typically 5 – 7 lessons in a program

To sign up to volunteer, contact:

Cassandra Druhl
Phone 309-277-3916


Jefferson Staff Running and walking for a great cause

On Saturday October 19, twenty Jefferson staff and their families participated in the Mellon Sisters Walk to support the fight against domestic violence. A special thanks to Shayna Boxleiter for organizing the team.