Eagle Eye JMS Parent Newsletter #21

January 2-5, 2022

"You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." -C.S. Lewis

Hello, Jefferson Middle School families and parents!

Welcome back to the spring semester! Though the cold temperatures over the last two weeks may not feel like Spring, we are now in semester 2. We hope you and your students have had a relaxing and renewing break. The staff at JMS has been using that same time to rejuvenate ourselves so we can give your students the academic opportunities to grow.

We want to highlight our Return to School Spirit Week leading up to our Jefferson vs Robertsville Basketball game on Saturday.

  • Wednesday: White Out - Students wear all white.
  • Thursday: Throw Back - Students wear the classic clothes of the last generations' youth.
  • Friday: Blue and Gold Day - Students wear their JMS Blue and Gold!

Normal dress code applies on Spirit Days. See below for the ORS Code of Conduct which specifically outlines what is allowed (page 15 and 16) and a small discussion about dress at JMS.

As we get into the 3rd term, we as a teaching staff want to prepare our students for the step up in difficulty our content will ask of them. Now is when we start applying in concrete and abstract ways a lot of what we have been learning. Content and assignments will ramp up in complexity and expectations. This is normal, but it will sometimes catch our students off guard, especially coming back after a break. We are here to help your students become successful academically and emotionally-- to grow into young adults full of promise. So, if you or you student has any questions, we encourage all of our families to reach out to their students and teachers with any needs, questions, or concerns.

Welcome back and have a wonderful week!

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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Students do not return to school until Wednesday, January 4. It will be a regular Wednesday schedule with dismissal at 12:45pm. Please have your students picked up by 1:15.

Wednesday Zero Period and Social Emotional Learning

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Grade Level Topics this Past Week!

5th Grade: Perspectives

6th Grade: Stress Strategies

7th Grade: Making Habits, part 2

8th Grade: Practicing Teamwork

2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook

ORS Vaping Letter to parents


We are sad to report that student vaping has increased significantly at the secondary level this school year. School Administration and staff are committed to addressing this concern, but effectively controlling this trend will be challenging. Student access, the ability to hide vapes and the odorless nature of vapes increases the difficulty of monitoring and reducing this dangerous trend.

This trend is resulting in lost instructional time for many students. Students using or possessing vapes that contain nicotine products are being assigned multiple days of out of school suspension. Students identified as using vapes or being in possession of vapes containing THC, are being expelled for a full calendar year. Approximately 50% of the students currently assigned to the Secret City Academy are there due to using a vape that contained THC.

Due to the increase in vapes containing THC, we are informing parents that the Secret City Academy is currently at capacity. The Oak Ridge Schools Code of Conduct clearly communicates our expectations regarding the unauthorized use or possession of drugs. Students confirmed of using or being in possession of drugs at school, or at a school activity, will be expelled in accordance with the Oak Ridge Schools Code of Conduct.

If your child is expelled, it is likely that they will only have the option to participate in on-line learning. Expelled students will be placed on a waiting list and granted access to the Secret City Academy when a student complete their time at the SCA. Choosing to use a vape containing THC or participating in other zero tolerance events while at school or at a school event will remove your child's ability to participate in face-to-face instruction.

Oak Ridge Schools clearly recognizes the value of attending school in person, but we also understand the importance and are committed to providing students a drug free learning environment.

Please continue speaking with your child or children regarding the harm of vaping and drugs. We are in the process of scheduling a Vaping Education Week which will focus on providing students an educational assembly to communicate the harms of vaping. We are also looking to provide a similar evening opportunity for parents to attend.


Oak Ridge Schools

Dress Code Conversation

Just a reminder:

The dress code is always published in the yearly ORS Code of Conduct (specifically page 15 and 16 in the document below). It is the policy that your school administrators use as guidelines and that students and parents sign acknowledgements about each year. Until it is changed and approved by our Board of Education, that is our policy.

That being said, we take you and your students' feedback about this policy, and the others, quite seriously. We have had several conversations with students, staff, and parents about some of the dress code policies, most specifically #4 about loungewear. We took your concerns to other principals and have started a conversation about revisions for next year's Code of Conduct.

However, until that policy is changed, our dress code is still outlined below. In general, when a student has been identified as out of dress code, we will ask the student if they have clothes to change into in their lockers. If not, we will place a phone call home to you and ask for a change of clothes.

We do not like students missing instruction and we do not like bothering you during your day with these issues. Please help us avoid these interruptions by having a conversation with your students about the guidelines.

As always, if you have any questions, please let us know.

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2022-2023 ORS Code of Conduct

Week at a Glance!

Week of January 2-6, 2023

Spirit Week

Monday 2 NO SCHOOL

Girls Basketball Practice Gym 9:00-11:00

Tuesday 3

Teachers return NO Students

Basketball Game vs. Norris at Anderson Co HS GJV – 5:00, GV – 6:00, BV – 7:00

Wednesday 4 A day

Students return

SPIRIT DAY: Snow Day (White out)

Garden Club 1:00-2:00

Cheer Practice 1:00-2:00

Ski Club Meeting 1:00

Boys Basketball Practice Gym 1:00-3:00

Girls Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00

Thursday 5 B day

SPIRIT DAY: Throw Back Thursday

Friday 6 A day

SPIRIT DAY: Blue/Gold Day

Youth for Christ Band Room 7:10 AM

Pep Rally 7th period

Saturday 7

Basketball Game vs. Robertsville at ORHS BJV – 1:00, GV – 2:00, BV – 3:00 ORHS Jr ROTC will provide Color Guard

Congratulations to the JMS FLL Teams!

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We are so proud of our Eagles, JMS FIRST Lego league teams. They competed at the Marble City Qualifier on Saturday, December 3, 2022. The JMS Master Builders won 1st Place Robot Performance, the RadioActive Brix won 1st Innovation Project, and the Atomic Eagles won 1st Place Champions. Julie Hartye, a parent volunteer and mentor for our teams, won the Mentor Award.

Congratulations to the following students:

Atomic Eagles:

Eleanor Adamson

Ella Bradburn

Halie Campbell

Finnley Mindrup

Hannah Rieger

Samantha Rieger

Tommy Sauer

Harry Shanafield

Natalie Shanafield

Vladik Puchalsky

JMS Master Builders:

Lucy Kilpatrick

Andrew Martin

Larry Nichols

Emmett O’Meara

Norah Price

Ruby Price

Calvin Sizemore

Ethan Schmitt

RadioActive Brix:

Moira Davis

Ava Hartye

Skyla Hartye

Anna Pickel

Gabe Sherman

Brayden Williamson

Joscelyn Williamson

Nina Vasquez

YOUTH CHEER CAMP January 14th, 9:00 am- 3:00 pm

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Weekly Update

The Eagles continue regular season play as they host Norris on Monday evening for their last home game of 2022. The boys JV game will tip at 5pm, followed by girls varsity at 6pm and boys varsity at 7pm. On Friday, the Eagles and Lady Eagles will begin competing in a Christmas Tournament at Coalfield. The Lady Eagles first game of the Tournament will be on Friday at 8:30pm against Glen Martin. The Eagles first game of the Tournament will be on Saturday at 3:30pm. The JMS basketball teams will continue competing in the tournament through Tuesday.

The week following Winter Break will be Spirit Week! The dress up themes are as follows:

Wednesday, January 4th: Snow Day (White Out!)

Thursday, January 5th: Throw Back Thursday

Friday, January 6th: Blue/Gold Day

Dress code applies and face paint and hair dye cannot be brought to school!

Go Eagles!

Coach Katie Bolling

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PORTRAIT of a GRADUATE DECEMBER Focus: ALL the 4 Cs Working Together!

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4 Cs: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity: ALL TOGETHER NOW!

December Focus: All the 4 Cs working together!!

As we peer into classrooms all across the building, we see, hands on, the reward of our 4 Cs rubric elements working all together! Students critically think, communicate, collaborate, and create!

This week, we wanted to share this happening in Ms. Easterday's 6th Grade Science.

Students rose to the challenge as "teachers"! They are teaching their peers about weather. Students were presenting, explaining, directing, questioning, and allowing their "classmate students" to learn from them. Students even provided checks for understanding, objectives, and formative assessment!

7th Grade Language Arts Analyzing Point of View and Building Citations!

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January Character Trait: Honesty


No students of the week for this newsletter as we have been off for two weeks. Look to this space next week!

The Reading Eagle - Messages from Ms. Haverkamp!

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January Character Strong Trait – Honesty

This month’s focus is Honesty.

One way to think about Honesty is “being truthful in what you say and do.” Practicing Honesty helps strengthen our relationships and reduce stress. Honesty is 1 of 3 traits we will focus on throughout the year that helps students Be Well. Throughout the school, students will be developing skills like emotion regulation, positive self-talk, and stress-management.

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What is Honesty?

Family Fun Activity:

Honesty Activities

Managing stress in healthy ways is critical to our well-being. This month, students will focus on stress management. This work includes the following:

● Noticing the body’s reaction to stress

● Creating plans and practicing strategies to manage or prevent stress

Set aside some time to gather as a family and check in with each other. Ask each family member, “How are you feeling today?” Practice Honesty when responding and listen carefully as each family member shares. Use the emotion check-in questions to learn more. Challenge yourselves to check in with each other on a regular basis!

Then ask…

How do you know if you are being Honest with yourself?

Share how being Honest with ourselves can help us to be more confident, calm, or focused when we are feeling stressed.

Emotion Check-In Questions:

● Tell me more about that feeling.

● Why do you think you are feeling that emotion?

● What do you need right now?

Emotional Support through the Winter Months

Although the holidays are a wonderful time of year, the winter months can also bring more frequent emotions like depression and anxiety. If you have seen an increase in these emotions in your child and need further support, please visit the website below from Kids Health. There are many helpful parenting tips of how to support your child during this season!

Please know the JMS School Counselors are always happy to help as well.


We Need Your Help!

Our After School Homework Help Program is in need of nutritious, prepackaged snacks. All donations can be dropped off in the School Counseling Office. Thank you for your willingness to support this wonderful program.

Mental Health Resources

For mental health support, please feel free to reach out to the Jefferson Middle School Counseling Department at (865) 425-9301.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please refer to the information below:

Mobile Crisis/Youth Villages: 866-779-9225

Ridgeview Behavioral Health in Oak Ridge: 482-1076

Statewide Crisis Hotline: 1-855-Crisis-1 or 1-855-274-7471

Statewide Crisis Text line: Text TN to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255

School Counseling Support Team!

Ms. Price - 5th and 7th Grade Counselor - clprice@ortn.edu

Mr. Sudderth - 6th and 8th Grade Counselor - pwsudderth@orth.edu

Ms. Myers - Registrar - amyers@ortn.edu


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Student Success Assembly Information

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: 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!