TJ Today

October, 2021-2022


Oct. 11-12 - Fall Break

Oct. 15 - Picture Retakes

Oct. 20 & 21 - Parent/Teacher Conferences

Oct. 21 & 22 - 1/2 day for students

Nov. 2 - E-Learning Day/Election Day

Picture Retakes Are Coming!

Picture Day is: Oct 15, 2021

Order Code is: 60106E
Your link to order is:

Above is your picture date, order code & one click link to online ordering for your retake picture day. THIS CODE IS DIFFERENT FROM THE ORIGINAL ORDER CODE. This code is for parents of any new students, students who were absent on original picture day or any students that may have not yet been photographed. The one click link above will take parents directly to our website to order.

Students who ordered a package on original picture day but are choosing to get their picture retaken MUST bring their original picture package with them on retake day. They DO NOT need to place a new order. If they forget their package on retake day, we will take their photo & write their name down but we won’t order them a new package until the old one is returned.

Parent/Teacher Conferences

Parent/Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, October 20th (3:30-6:30 p.m.) and Thursday, October 21st (12:30-5:00 p.m.). Conferences on Wednesday are slated for grade level teams of teachers to reach out to specific parents/guardians for an invitation to the conference. Those invitations will be send out on Wednesday, October 13th. An open invitation for parents/guardians to attend conferences on Thursday, October 21st will be emailed to all parents/guardians 1 week prior on October 14th.

6th Grade - is Cruising Right Along!

Our 6th graders have done a great job adjusting to the new rules and expectations this school year. We are all very impressed. With that said, the first quarter is almost over! Who knew it’d go by so quickly? All late work/missing work MUST be turned in by Friday, October 8.

What’cha Reading?

All 6th grade students have finished Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen. The students really enjoyed the story about troubled teen Cole and the challenges he experienced while finding himself and the elusive Spirit Bear. Spirit Bear final projects are DUE on Wednesday, October 6.


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?

**Both were on the 6th grade supply list**

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!

7th Gets Into Motion

Can you believe that the first quarter ends Friday, October 8? This is a great time to check in with your student to see if they are missing any work or need any supplies replaced or refilled. In Social Studies, we are beginning our study of the development of monotheism. In ELA, we will begin our study of poetry. Math classes are beginning our unit over ratios and proportions. In Digi Apps, we are learning how to fact-check sources and write MLA citations. In Science, we are continuing our unit on Newton's Laws of Motion.

8th grade- PSAT's Coming Up

It is hard to believe that the end of the first grading period is next week. We are sure that everyone is looking forward to a few extra days to relax and enjoy the fall weather. It also gives all students a fresh start with each of their classes when we return from break. Take a few minutes and look at grades in Skyward with your child. This is a good time to discuss goals with your child for the second quarter.

Upcoming dates:

Monday 10/4 and Thursday 10/28- Students will partake in the DARE program during social studies classes.

Wednesday October 13- PSAT 8/9. All 8th grade students will be taking the PSAT 8/9. The purpose of the test is to give students exposure to a college admissions test as well as give students and parents feedback on skills and knowledge needed for college and career readiness. For more information on the PSAT 8/9, please visit the College Board website (

Once score reports are available, more information will be sent home.

Friday October 15 - Teacher Trivia during Viking Time. This contest is a fun way for students to learn some interesting facts about their teachers. This will also determine the order in which Viking Times will select the color of their Class of 2025 t-shirt that they will have the opportunity to order. More information will be coming home about this after Fall Break.

As a reminder, parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for Wed, Oct. 20 and Thurs, Oct. 21. This year this is an option of in person or virtual conferences.

We are looking forward to a great second quarter!

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.

Builders Club

Are you interested in building a better community while building new friendships? Builders Club is TJ’s service organization sponsored by Sunrise Kiwanis. It is not too late to join! We meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Our October meetings are October 6 and October 20. Go to your grade-level Canvas page to sign up, and contact Mrs. Janowiak or Mrs. Haines if you have any questions.

We elected the Builders Club President at our first meeting. Congratulations to Mikela Douglass! We will be electing the Vice President at the October 6 meeting.

Our first activity was walking in the VHS Homecoming Parade! The weather was perfect and we had a lot of fun! Thank you to all who participated.

Builders Club will, once again, be collecting candy for Treats for Troops this year. Members will be by the doors to collect candy on November 1, 2, and 3. Consider sharing some of your candy with those who have made the commitment to serve and protect our nation.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is:

What are you doing for others?

– Martin Luther King Jr.

String-ing Along

The middle school orchestras are giving their first performances of this year in the VHS auditorium on Oct. 4th and 5th. Monday night will start with the fifth graders playing, then the sixth grade will perform Cripple Creek, T-Rex, Star Dancer and part of the 1812 Overture. Tuesday at 6:00 is the TJMS seventh grade combined with the seventh grade from BF to perform traditional songs and folk dances like Simple Gifts and the Can-Can. We'll have soloists perform improvisations during a fiddle tune titled Toad in the Hole. Tuesday at 7:00 the eighth graders from both middle schools will take the stage together with a program based on earth, wind, water, and fire. All concerts are free family fun.and you are invited to come.

The Strolling Strings students are learning the Star Spangled Banner by ear so that they can kick-off the TJ/BF football game at VHS on Tues. Oct. 19.

Media Center News

Feature Highlight for Parents: “My Stuff” + “History”

One of the coolest features of Destiny Discover is that students can see their checkout history (of VCS school media center materials). Sit beside your child as he or she logs-in to Destiny Discover. After logging-in, a “My Stuff” menu option appears at the top of the screen. Click “My Stuff” to gain access to current “Checkouts” and “History.” How neat to see all of the books your child has chosen over the years!

Reading in the Middle

TJMS serves students in grades six through eight. This means that our middle school library collection includes materials selected specifically for our target audience, students in the age range of 10 through 14. We encourage parents to help their child (or children) choose materials aligned with individual reading interests and maturity. Library books that contain mature content are marked with a YA (Young Adult) label on the book spine (right below the call number). Don’t hesitate to contact our Media Specialist, Jennifer Hurley, for a one-on-one conversation about how to find the right books for your child.

Top TJMS Check-Outs for the 2021-2022 School Year!

And … graphic novels for the win, with five graphic novels making our top 10 list. Graphic novels prompt students to interact with the story; a reader must decode and connect both text and images. For lovers of graphic novels, this synergy drives their interest in the genre.

Follow the links attached to each title to find out why these books are getting checked out!

  1. The Last Straw: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

  2. Grenade by Alan Gratz

  3. Rodrick Rules: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

  4. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

  5. Best Friends by Shannon Hale

  6. Cardboard by Doug TenNapel

  7. The Meltdown: Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

  8. Drama by Raina Telgemeier

  9. Ghostopolis by Doug TenNapel

  10. Bloom by Kevin Panetta

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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.

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