Eagle Eye JMS Parent Newsletter #16

November 14-18, 2022

“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we can fear less.” – Marie Curie

Hello, Jefferson Middle School families and parents!

We can hardly believe we are in the middle of Term 2! Midterms WILL NOT go home on paper this year. As we look at how we deliver our grades, JMS staff realized that by the time the printed piece of paper made it home (if it gets there at all) the grades have already changed! With Skyward and Canvas, you receive updates just as soon as teachers post grades. Additionally, the cost of printing and paper usage keeps going up. So, going forward we will NOT PRINT midterm reports. You will receive an email and Sky alert phone call alerting you that midterms are finalized.

As we all continue to push students toward greater heights, we want to remind our families that each of you is a paramount accelerator of learning at home. Research has shown us consistently that families are our largest asset when it comes to students' academic growth and behavior. We want to encourage families to talk with your children at home; ask them to show you any homework assignments. "Well-designed homework assignments are beneficial to students and can communicate with parents what their children are learning at school." Also, consider reading with your child or prompting them to read independently at home, routinely, for 20 minutes. Have an engaging conversation with questions about what they read! Research proves that "reading at home for at least twenty minutes a day has significant academic benefits." Another way to help your children grow academically and emotionally is to "Set and enforce screen-time limits and steer children toward reading, exercise, and play instead."

(quotes from fordhaminstitute.org for educational excellence)

We encourage you to take time to read through the newsletter this week as there are several events, opportunities, and announcements! Our pictures below are some repeats. It isn't that we didn't do great things at JMS this past week. We did and will continue to do so, but last those events were such a great snapshot of what Jefferson is about, we wanted to be sure people saw them.

We appreciate and encourage all of our families to reach out with any needs, questions, or concerns.

Have a wonderful evening!

Phil Cox, Principal, pcox@ortn.edu

Ben Fowler, Vice Principal, bjfowler@ortn.edu

Brian Tinker, Dean of Students, bjtinker@ortn.edu

Elizabeth Leavitt, Instructional Technology Coach, ealeavitt@ortn.edu

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Wednesday Zero Period and Social Emotional Learning

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We continue to see growth as we dive deeper; reflecting on values, being equipped with vocabulary to help with emotions, allowing our values to be non-negotiable as they guide as, and seeing the fruit of teamwork even when we have differences!! We are rocking our sessions on Wednesday during our Zero Period.

5th grade: Building Listening Skills

6th grade: Identifying Emotions

7th grade: Creating Goals

8th grade: Practicing Teamwork

2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook

Week at a Glance!

Week of November 14-18, 2022

Monday 14 A day

PTO Meeting Zoom 7:45

Chess Club Library 2:45-3:45

Atomic Eagles Meeting Science Wing 2:45-4:30

RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30

Master Builders Meeting Rm 102 2:45-4:30

Basketball Game vs. Webb at JMS

GJV – 4:30, GV – 5:30, BV – 6:30

Tuesday 15 B day

Atomic Eagles Meeting Science Wing 2:45-4:30

RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30

Master Builders Meeting Rm 102 2:45-4:30

Girl Scouts Meeting Rm 208 3:00-5:00

Hearing Screenings 6th/8th grade during science classes

7th Gr-2nd Pd, 8th Gr-3rd Pd, 5th Gr-6th Pd, 6th Gr-7th Pd

Boys Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00

Girls Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00

Wednesday 16 A day

Pre ACT 8th Grade

Talent Show practice 1:00-2:00

Gardening Club 1:00-2:00

Boys Basketball Practice Gym 1:00-3:00

Girls Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00

Thursday 17 B day

RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30

Turkey Trot PreK-5th Grade A.K. Bissell Park 4:00-6:00

Basketball Game vs. Cherokee at Cherokee

BJV – 5:00, GV – 6:00, BV – 7:00

Friday 18 A Day

Youth for Christ-Band Room 7:10

Boys Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00

Girls Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00

Talent Show JPAC 6:00

French Student visit Rodin in the U.S. Exhibit

@High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA 7:00AM-7:00PM

Sunday 20

First Lego League Innovation Project Presentation

Webb School of Knoxville 2:00-4:00


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K-5 Turkey Trot! Thursday, November 17!

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Ms. Kala's Students Visit UT Arboretum, Create with Maker Space, and Adopt a Street!!

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New digital sign board coming!

You may have noticed our sister school Robertsville has a new digital marquee, and late last week, we started the installation of our own at JMS. Contractors should finish early next week and we should have a fantastic and frequently updated news board for families driving past in the morning, day, and early evening.

For years, our sign board was frequently updated by Mr. Randolph, our JMS head of maintenance, and we thank him for the many hours he spent making sure our messages got out to the community. We offered him access to the sign board when it comes online, but he politely declined. We are very excited to have a new way of communicating with all the stakeholders of JMS.

PORTRAIT of a GRADUATE NOVEMBER Focus: 4 Cs: Critical Thinking

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4 Cs: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity

FOCUS: Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is just that--CRITICAL! Critical thinking is crucial for middle school students to be equipped to respond to academic, social, and emotional challenges successfully.We must provide learning opportunities, experiences, and platforms that allow and even insist that students think critically

CHALLENGE: One part of our rubric, "I can demonstrate critical thinking while creating a question, answering a question, proposing a solution, and/or solving a problem"

Inquiry-based learning is a cornerstone of critical thinking skills. Give your child a topic and have them build questions from their own thinking; Inquiry builds analytical skills.

8th Grade Students Use Critical Thinking Skills

  • Building Roller Coasters in STEM! Students will be testing what they have created by using a marble to "take a ride"! They will then analyze the experience to determine the strengths and weakness of their engineered roller coaster! GO MR. JAEGER's STUDENTS!
  • Analyzing Dialogue in Language Arts through guided notes, interactive notebooks, and high-level questioning to determine if a character's dialogue "propels action, provokes a decision, or reveals character." GREAT WORK, MS. MACMAHON's STUDENTS!
  • Presenting Business Plans in Business/Marketing! Students have been working over the past few days to develop business plans; categorizing the types, analyzing the market, critically thinking about funding, sources, and qualifications. Their classmates activated their listening skills so that they could vote and justify whether each business should be funded. They presented their plans this week! WAY TO GO, MR. MITCHELL's STUDENTS!

Backpacking Trip was a Successful Adventure of Fun and Learning!

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"Day of the Dead": Ms. Kerr and Ms. Sample's Classes

Day of the Dead has various Spanish (Catholic) and Aztec (indigenous) influences. In many US cities that border Mexico, one may find that Day of the Dead has adopted many American (Halloween) influences, as well. Day of the Dead isn’t celebrated by all Hispanic countries. It really varies from country to country, city to city, and household to household. However, this holiday is celebrated heavily in Mexico and because that’s where I lived, I like to spend additional time sharing my own, personal experiences with our students. -Ms. Kerr

Some items you may have seen on the altar in our lobby this past week:

-3 levels (representing heaven, earth, and hell)

-Flowers, fruit, and other decorative items

-Pictures of deceased friends or family we are celebrating on these 2 special days

-Calaveras: happy skulls/skeletons representing joy in the afterlife

-Calacas: sugar skulls (typical candy for Day of the Dead—again, handmade by some of our students)

-Candles for the souls to warm their hands upon returning to earth for the 2 days of celebration (Our altars contain flameless candles or candles that will not be lit. J)

-Items the deceased enjoyed doing during his/her lifetime

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November Character Trait: Empathy


We want to congratulate our Student of the Week winners, nominated by their teachers. We are so proud!

  • 6th grade: Zara Van Coevering
  • 7th grade: Emmerson Bradshaw, Daegan Ashworth, Zya Watson, Zimarion Carrol
  • 8th grade: Malachi Dawn, Kevin Hurst, Aaliyah Morgan, and Jordy Villanueva Velasquez

The Reading Eagle - Messages from Ms. Haverkamp!

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Athletic Update:

We have another busy week of basketball games this week! On Monday, the Eagles will host Webb. Girls JV will begin at 4:30pm, followed by girls varsity at 5:30pm and boys varsity at 6:30pm. On Thursday, Jefferson will travel to Cherokee for District games. Boys JV will begin at 5pm, followed by girls varsity at 6pm and boys varsity at 7pm. Please make plans to come out and support the Eagles this week!

Admission for all home JMS basketball games is $5 and children 6 and under are free. Good luck to the JMS basketball teams and cheerleaders this season!

Go Eagles!

Our BASKETBALL schedule is below!

Coach Katie Bolling

Author Visit: We loved it!!! Dusti Bowling

7th Grade Language Arts students with Ms. Humphrey and Ms. Mills enjoyed hearing from Dusti Bowling, author of a book the classes are reading. Dusti was wonderful, sharing personal narratives, explaining connections to each of her books, and taking questions from our students.
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Counseling Corner

Ms. Candie Price (5th and 7th Grade)

Mr. Paul Sudderth (6th and 8th Grade)

Please contact our school counseling department with any other questions at 865-425-9302. Ms. Amy Myers, school registrar, is happy to assist with enrollment, withdrawal paperwork, transportation, Skyward, school updates, etc.


Pre-ACT this week!

JMS will be administering the Pre-ACT to all 8th graders this Wednesday, November 16th. The Pre-ACT is a wonderful opportunity that we offer our students. Please have conversations with your students about getting a good night’s rest and eating a balanced breakfast before the test!

Test Taking Strategies

  • Be prepared

  • Always arrive early and take a moment to relax

  • Listen attentively to last minute instructions given by the instructor

  • Do a memory dump – write out all important information you don’t want to forget at the start of the test

  • Read the test directions very carefully and watch for details

  • Plan how you will use allotted time

  • Look for cues

  • Answer all the questions

  • Maintain a positive attitude

  • Rely on your first impressions

  • Plan to finish early and have time to review

Clothing Closet Accepting Donations

JMS is pleased to offer support for students in need through our “clothing closet”. We are accepting clean, gently used clothing items for students in need. Please make sure all donated items meet JMS dress code policy. Donated items can be dropped off in the JMS Counseling office. Thank you for your support!


Click on each picture to enlarge!

Student Success Assembly Information


The Tennessee Department of Education announced today the 2022 Reward and Priority schools, which are two key designations under Tennessee’s school accountability system. The Oak Ridge School district is proud to share that four schools have been named Reward Schools: Linden Elementary, Glenwood Elementary, Willow Brook Elementary, and Jefferson Middle School. Reward status is the top distinction a school can earn in Tennessee. Reward schools are those that are improving overall student academic achievement and student growth for all students and for student groups, and they are identified annually.

Dr. Borchers states, “The Oak Ridge School District focuses on growth and improvement, even in times of instability, and because our students are much more than the sum of their test scores, we will continue to focus on the Oak Ridge Schools’ Portrait of a Graduate which can be found on our district website at www.ortn.edu/pog. The Portrait of a Graduate was developed collaboratively with the community and focuses on achieving college and career readiness for every student by developing a shared vision among all key stakeholders regarding the key competencies that students need to be successful in work, citizenship, and life.”

WEDNESDAY Homework Help!

Wednesday Homework Help is in FULL SWING. If students have questions about an assignment, need guidance about their homework, or are looking for a quiet place to work, Mrs. Huddleston and Mrs. Ozcan will be available in the Innovation Center on Wednesdays after dismissal. Students will need to be picked up by 3:00 pm. All grade levels are welcome to attend. Please e-mail Mrs. Huddleston (cdhuddleston@ortn.edu) or Mrs. Ozcan (mozcan@ortn.edu) with any questions.

SIGN UP for CANVAS to See What Your Child is Doing Each Week!!

Reminders about Drop Off and Pick Up

Remember when dropping off/picking up your student:

  • JMS's weather policy is to load busses and release car riders during most weather events EXCEPT lightning or severe rain/wind. When lightning is present we will push our students back to the building and delay releasing students. We have had three major lightning issues and a major wind/rain events during our releases over the first term, and we wanted to reiterate what our hold policy is. We thank our parents for their patience as we do our best to keep our students safe.
  • DO NOT enter the bus loop when buses are present!
  • Please pull your vehicle all the way up so we can keep as many cars as possible off of Fairbanks Road.
  • When dropping off AFTER 7:30am, students will be directed towards the main entrance. Go ahead and pull all the way up.
  • Make sure your child is ready to exit the vehicle and doesn't have to access the trunk for items, as this holds up the line.
  • DO NOT park or leave your vehicles in the neighborhoods across the street from Jefferson. Traffic is heavy during pickup and drop off and parking on those streets only increases the danger to our students and parents attempting to navigate the traffic.
HOMEWORK HOTLINE: Monday-Thursday 5-9 PM

Did you know Tennessee has its own Homework Hotline only for students in Tennessee? This is a free service offering live online tutoring, an interactive whiteboard, along with help resources for every subject and grade level! Click the link ABOVE!