TJ Today

Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Welcome to the 2018-19 School Year

Calendar

July 23 - Middle School Office Opens

July 24 - July 31 - Online Registration

July 31 and August 1 - New Student Registration Onsite 8-11 a.m. and 12:30-3:30 p.m.

July 31 - August 6 - New Student Registration Appointments with Counselors

August 8 - Student Schedules Available in Skyward

August 10 - Orientation for 6th Grade and New Students

August 13 - 1st Day of School

August 16 - Open House at 6:00 p.m.

August 16 - Picture Day

Registration and Student Schedules

2018-19 REGISTRATION DATES

  • July 24 - July 31- Online Registration (TJMS is open from 8:00-3:00 if you need to use a computer)
  • July 31 and August 1: 8-11 a.m. and 12:30-3:30 p.m. - Onsite Registration
  • July 31 - August 6 - New Student Registration Appointments with Counselors


Registration will be held in the Media Center, and the office will be closed from 11-12:30 on those dates. Parents of new students to our district will need to call the office to set up an appointment with one of the school counselors, who will be registering new students from July 31 through Aug. 6. Our school nurse will be available to confirm that all required vaccinations are up to date and discuss any health concerns or needs with you during Onsite Registration days July 31 and August 1. The cafeteria will be accepting payments for school lunch accounts. The building will be open to students from July 31-August 8 to try out their lockers and walk the building. Student schedules will be available online August 6. Parents of students who have been selected for honors classes have received a letter, which is attached to their student's portfolio in Skyward. The building will not be available for students on August 9 and 10, as these are teacher workdays and new student orientation. Please plan accordingly.


  • All parents of 6th grade students will need to bring documentation of required vaccinations.
  • Book rental fees will be ready mid-September.
  • Student handbooks will be distributed on the first day of school.

Immunizations

The Indiana School Immunizations Law (IC 20-8-7) identifies the diseases against which children must be immunized. When a child enrolls in a school corporation or when a change in the law has occurred, parents/guardians must show that their child has been immunized or that a current religious or medical objection is on file. Please discuss any questions with our school nurse. A child without updated immunizations documentation will be denied school attendance at Valparaiso Community Schools.

School Supply Lists

Physical Education Uniforms

Students may purchase physical education uniforms from Blythe's Sport Shop (located at 2810 Calumet Avenue) for a cost of $20.00 ($12.50-shorts, $7.50-shirt). Students are welcome to wear uniforms purchased for older siblings. All students are expected to wear P.E. uniforms. Link to order online - $1.00 to ship to school.

Orientation for 6th and new 7th/8th Grade Students

Friday, Aug. 10th, 8am

1600 Roosevelt Road

Valparaiso, IN

All 6th grade and new 7th and 8th grade students should attend school from 8:00-10:15 a.m. on this day. Students will meet their teachers, follow their class schedules, and learn how to open their lockers. 7th/8th grade students will be given a technology overview as well as usernames and passwords that are needed for the first day of school. Buses will be picking up students on the regular schedule and returning students to their home after 10:30 a.m. Students are asked to bring their schedules and meet in the cafeteria. Seventh and eighth grade students who have already attended TJMS should remain at home on this day.

Book Rental and Lab Fees Estimates

Book rental and lab fees will be based on the courses in which your child has been enrolled and scheduled. The following values are estimates for each grade level: 6th Grade $146.00, 7th Grade $187.00, and 8th Grade $195.00. Exact fees will be released in September and you will be notified. Those persons who are experiencing economic hardship may apply for textbook assistance through the registration process. Families who qualify for the free lunch program will also qualify for textbook assistance. You must check the appropriate spot on the free lunch application in order to qualify for textbook assistance. Those families that qualify are still responsible for student lab fees.

What's New About School This Year?

We are excited to roll out our new schedule this year with Viking Time, similar to Advisory, 9th hour for all 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Viking Time will be a 27 minute class at the end of the day, which will give all students the opportunity to organize and plan for the next day. In addition, students' academic classes will increase in length to 50 minutes while allied arts courses will be 40 minutes long. Band, Choir, and Orchestra will be offered as an allied art elective rather than out of Advisory/Viking Time. Middle school classes will begin at 7:50 a.m. and conclude at 2:50 p.m. In addition to these schedule changes, we will also be introducing a new type of teacher teaming which breaks the large grade level teams into smaller teams to which students are assigned. We will be welcoming a number of new staff members this year as well, which you may see along with all staff members' teaching and team assignments on our website in the TJMS Staff Directory,

New TJMS Staff Highlights

Over the next several issues of TJ Today, we will be featuring our new staff members for the 2018/2019 school year. This month we will begin with office staff additions of a new assistant principal and a new secretary/treasurer at TJMS.

Assistant Principal

Mr. Brett Wartman, our new Assistant Principal, comes to us from Lake Central School District, where he served as Dean of Students for two middle schools and one elementary school. He is a graduate of Ball State University with his Master's Degree in Administration and Purdue Calumet with his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Studies Teaching. He carries multiple additional teaching endorsements. He has served in education as a teacher, coach, and athletic director before moving into administration. He also served almost seven years in the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserves, where he earned the rank of Sergeant as a military police officer. We welcome Mr. Wartman to TJMS and encourage all of you to take the opportunity to meet him and all of our staff at this year's Open House on August 15.

Secretary/Treasurer

We are pleased to announce Kristin Scheub as the new treasurer of TJMS. Kristin comes to us with 8 years experience with Valparaiso Community Schools and 13 years of human resource experience, most recently as the Director of Human Resources for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Porter County, then the Director of Training and Development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Northwest Indiana. She returns to the VCS family because of her love and passion for the school system she wholeheartedly believes in. Her experience, positive attitude, and her approachability make her a great asset to our TJMS family. Please join us in welcoming her.

Athletics

Each participant in any sport must have a current (after April 1, 2018) physical on file in our office or with the head coach before he/she may practice any sport. This requirement also includes tryouts. Physical packets are available to pick up in our school office.


Click on the links below for more information about each of the following fall sports


Volleyball

Open Gym

WHEN: July 30th – August 2nd TIME: 8:00 am – 9:30 am

Tryouts

All girls trying out must have a current physical on file. Any physical that is dated before April 2nd, 2018 will not be accepted.

WHERE: TJMS Field House

WHEN: August 6th – 9th TIME: 8:00 am – 10:00 am

Our PTSO is in full swing and is in need of a treasurer for this upcoming school year. We are also looking for chairpersons for our special events throughout the school year. If you are interested, please contact Angie Crossin, acrossin@crossinlawofficesllc.com or 219-765-4091.

Student Handbook and School Policies

The student handbook has been incorporated in an assignment book and student calendar which each student receives on the first day of school. It is important that students and parents read the handbook. It contains a great deal of information which is designed to improve communication between school and home. The handbook is updated annually. The handbook has been developed with significant input from students, staff, and parents. It should help each student with his or her organizational skills and benefit parents who are concerned about assignments being completed. The handbook can also be found on our school website.

School Safety, Absences and Appointments

  • With regard to school safety, Roosevelt Road is always busy when school adjourns and the buses pick up students to take them home. We request that any parent who picks up a child after school not park on Roosevelt. Students should only be picked up and dropped off on the north side of the building at Entrance 6 (Commons).
  • Parents must come to the school office and provide a picture ID before picking up their child early from school. Students will not be permitted to meet the parent in the parking lot. Only adults whose names appear on the child’s emergency card will be permitted to pick up a student from school.
  • Regular school attendance is essential for a child’s success. If a student is absent, the parent must call the office before 8:00 AM. Additional information can be found in the student handbook.
  • Parents should make every effort to schedule medical appointments so the student will not miss school. If this is not possible, he/she is to bring a note from the parent or guardian to the office before school on the day of the appointment. A pass will be issued to excuse the student from class at the appropriate time. A copy of the return to school note from the doctor’s office should be given to the office upon the student’s return to school.

VCS Middle School Dress Code

If in doubt do not wear it!

  • Cut-offs and short shorts
  • Tank tops, crop tops
  • Pants with holes above the four-inch guideline for shorts

Dress Code



While fashion changes, the reason for being in school does not. As students mature and become adults, they will be required to meet certain dress standards for many occupational obligations and social functions. Student/staff health and safety, common decency, student schoolwork, and school and classroom order are all affected. This basic dress code does not infringe on students’ rights of freedom of expression, but rather encourages students to “dress for success” and come to school properly prepared to participate in the professional, educational process. Students are expected to observe ordinary standards of good grooming, with attire appropriate to a comfortable, yet professional and working school atmosphere.

In keeping with the above philosophy, and in order to reduce misunderstanding, the guidelines listed below have been approved by the VCS School Board.

1. The maintenance of common decency and classroom order requires adequate coverage of the person. Any clothing which reveals undergarments or the lack of undergarments will be considered inappropriate.

2. Cleanliness of person and apparel is required.

3. Pungent sprays, patchouli oils, strong perfumes, and like substances are not to be used or worn to school. These odors are disruptive to the educational process and harmful to the health of others.

4. Students will not be permitted to wear clothing which contains profanity or other suggestive inscriptions or advertises/promotes the use of death, suicide, destruction, gangs, cults, alcohol, drugs, or other substances which, if used by a minor, would be illegal. Additionally, clothing will not be permitted which advertises, promotes, or via innuendo or double meaning, suggests inappropriate ideas or behavior not conducive to a positive school climate or is disruptive to the educational functioning of the school.

5. Students will not be permitted to wear garments such as halter tops, those which reveal bare midriffs or backs, strapless tops, see-through tops, those which contain spaghetti straps, and garments with plunging or revealing necklines. Shirts and tops must be long enough to tuck in.

6. Pants must be worn on the waist without undergarments exposed. Skirts and shorts must have an inseam of four inches or greater. Any holes in pants must be below the four-inch inseam shorts guideline.

7. The maintenance of health and safety includes the wearing of shoes, sandals, or boots, and such additional items that may be required in special classes such as industrial technology, laboratories and physical education.

8. Unauthorized costumes will not be permitted.

9. Slippers and pajamas or other nightwear will not be permitted.

10. Attire that may cause property damage or personal injury is not to be worn (i.e., chains, shoes that may leave black marks or scuffs on the floor, etc).

11. Upon entering the building during the school day, all students are to remove sunglasses, caps, hats, and other head coverings.

12. A jacket or coat, which is normally worn outdoors, is to be placed in a locker during the school day. In addition, backpacks are to be stored in a locker during the school day.

The administration reserves the right to use its discretion in determining the type of clothing appropriate for the school setting. Wearing inappropriate apparel will result in the student’s removal from class until the problem is corrected and/or may result in possible further disciplinary action.

Schedule/Locker Update

All lockers have been released and can be viewed on your child’s Skyward account under Student Information. Schedules will be released by 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, and students are welcome to come in on Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. to find their lockers and walk their schedules. We have extended our office hours to accommodate more families. Wednesday is the last day that students are welcome to come for this, and we will be open from 7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.



Student Registration Update

We still have many students that have not registered for the 2018-19 School Year. If you need help, please call the school office at 531-3140.



Core Plus - New Class for 6th Graders

Valparaiso Middle Schools are excited to roll out a new class for all 6th graders called Core Plus. English Language Arts and Math teachers from Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson Middle Schools have been busily collaborating to develop the curriculum for this class. The fifty-minute class will consist of 3/5 English Language Arts activities such as novel studies and composition while the other 2/5 of this class will be math activities to enhance learning in the students’ regular math class. The grade for the Core Plus class will be determined by the English Language Arts portion of the curriculum. The math grades earned in this class will be shared with the students’ regular math teacher and incorporated into their regular math grade. We feel the collaboration between teachers as well as the reinforcement of essential math and English skills for students in this class will benefit all. We look forward to the enhanced learning in both English and Math which Core Plus should provide our students this year.



Core Lab - All Grades

This class is available for students in grades 6-8. Students are placed in this class based on their NWEA and ISTEP scores. It is designed to help eliminate gaps in students’ ELA and Math learning as well as assist them in their current classes. Core Lab is included as an Allied Arts/PE rotation. If you have questions or concerns about this class, please contact your child’s guidance counselor.



Thomas Jefferson Middle School

I am Mrs. Elizabeth Krutz, principal of Thomas Jefferson Middle School.