Eagle Eye - JMS Parent Newsletter

July 17, 2022

Welcome, JMS Families!

Good evening, Jefferson Middle School parents and families!

We hope you had a wonderful summer and are gearing up to return to Jefferson Middle School on July 25th!

We want to express how truly thankful we are for our JMS parents and families. Your investment, involvement, and support are the bedrock of all that we do here for students! We could not enable our Jefferson Eagles to achieve the academic and personal success that they do with out YOU!

Please be sure to read the information below for important updates, orientation dates, bus registration, the JMS Student Handbook, drop off/pick up procedures, Canvas, Skyward, PE Procedures, Information on Discounted Internet, etc.

Student schedules will be available in Skyward on Wednesday, July 20th.

This will be the first JMS Parent Newsletter of the 2022-2023 school year. You will receive Parent Newsletters each Friday evening.

Please reach out at any time if you have questions.

Have a great 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

Is this Newsletter not for you?

In order to make sure this newsletter reaches as many people as possible, we combined last year's contact list with this year's active students' parent/guardian newsletter. If you no longer want to see this newsletter, there is an Unsubscribe button in the email. Unsubscribe, and you should stop receiving our Newsletter
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Save the Dates - 5th Grade Orientation, 6th - 8th Grade New Student Orientation & Open House Dates

Please see below for some important dates to start the school year:
  • 6th – 8th Grade New Student Orientation, Thursday, July 21st- 1:30-3:00 (JMS Gymnasium)

  • 5th Grade Orientation - Thursday, July 21st - 8:30am - 10:30am (JMS Gymnasium)

  • JMS Open House - Tuesday, August 2nd - 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Please reach out if you have further questions.

What's Happening this Week?

Monday, July 18

  • Football Practice 11:30-1:30
  • Volleyball Practice 3:00-5:00
  • JMS School Supplies Pick-Up 1:00-3:00

Tuesday, July 19
  • Football Practice 8:00-10:30
  • Volleyball Practice 3:00-5:00

Wednesday, July 20

  • Volleyball Practice 3:00-5:00
  • Football Pictures-Blankenship Field 6:00

Thursday, July 21
  • Football Practice 8:00-10:30
  • 5th Grade Student Orientation 8:30-10:30
  • NEW 6,7,8 Grade Students Orientation 1:30-3:00
  • Volleyball Practice 3:00-5:00
  • Volleyball Parent Meeting 5:00

2022-2023 Suggest School Supply List

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Monday, July 18th, 1-3pm


Questions? Please call the JMS Counseling Office at 865-4259302

Oak Ridge Schools Meals No Longer Free

Please see the article regarding schools meals:


You can find Breakfast & Lunch Menus at the following website: https://www.ortn.edu/district/food-services/menus/.

We will be sending out new signup forms for students who have not completed the biometric sign in for the lunch cash registers in an upcoming newsletter. Please reach out to Mr. Fowler at bjfowler@ortn.edu with any questions.

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School Hours - Plus Tardy to School Policy

Our schedule at JMS is a bit different than the elementary schedule. Our regular school hours for all students are from 7:40am to 2:45pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday, the hours are from 7:40am to 12:45pm.

Please also keep in mind if your child is tardy to school (arrives to school after 7:40am), they will be issued a tardy note. Students arriving to school after 7:40am must check in through the Main Office. Student tardies will be marked unexcused unless a note is received within three days from a parent or physician stating an acceptable excuse for being tardy. Students will receive 4 unexcused tardies per 9 weeks. After the 4th tardy to school each 9 weeks, students will receive an after-school detention for every tardy to school received (starting with the 5th).

Please note that students will not be permitted to enter the building until 7:00am each morning. All students not participating in a scheduled extracurricular activity should be off campus no later than 3:15pm (M, T, TH, F) and 1:15pm (W).

After school supervision will be provided by JMS administration & staff on M, T, Th, & F until 3:15pm. Supervision on Wednesdays will be provided until 1:15pm. If a student has not been picked up by 3:15pm (M, T, Th, F) or 1:15pm (W), student will be taken to wait on parent/guardian in the Main Office. Please be sure that your child is picked up prior to the times listed above.

For more details about all Jefferson Middle School policies and procedures, please see the 2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook linked below.

Request for Bus Service and Updating Bus Service!

As we begin to prepare for the upcoming year, we will need to know if your child will need bus service for the 22-23 school year. If you need bus service, follow the steps below.

FIRST! Log into Tyler's Versatrans E-Link https://transportation.ortn.edu/elinkrp/Login.aspx

Username: (use student’s name) firstname.lastname This is case sensitive–example: john.smith
Password: (use student birth date) in this format 03122007 for March 12, 2007

Click on Students, then View My Students. If you see a bus route there, you should be good. If you DO NOT see a bus route, or If your child did not ride the bus in the spring of 2022, you will need to update bus service!

If your child needs bus service, please fill out the Request for Bus Service form below. Upon completion, please send the form to amyers@ortn.edu for processing.

It is very important you return the completed from so your child is signed up for buses the first day of school.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Fowler at bjfowler@ortn.edu at or Ms. Myers at amyers@ortn.edu.

MYSTOP - Bus Tracking App!

First Student Transportation is working hard to get routes assigned to all students who requested bus service.

Once you are registered for transportation, you will be able to track your child's bus using the app information detailed below. Please see information on how to register for MyStop below.

MyStop - Parent/Student Login (You may click on the MyStop Picture to the left!)

  • Username: (use student’s name - case sensitive) firstname.lastname
  • Password: (use student birth date) in this format 03122007 for March 12, 2007

MyStop Phone App Available In Your App Store

Go to: Versatrans My Stop™ provides mobile access to bus information. This app displays the location of the user’s assigned school bus, as well as the estimated time of arrival to their stop. Students can plan for late or on-time arrival, and prevent missed pick-ups or being left outside in inclement weather.

Can’t Access the MyStop App?

If you are having difficulty accessing the MyStop App please take the following steps:

  1. Please confirm the following:
  2. You have downloaded the App from Tyler Technologies.
  3. You are using the legal student name as listed in Skyward.
  4. You have selected all lower case letters.
  5. You have placed a period between the first and last name.
  6. The birthdate is correct and only consist of 8 numbers.

If this information doesn’t allow you to successfully download your child’s MyStop App account, please contact JMS.

2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook

Backpacks, Cell Phones, Headphones, and Social Media


Students are expected to utilize their issued lockers to store backpacks

and belongings. Students will not be permitted to carry backpacks with them from class to class.


Students are required to turn off phones and place in lockers when they arrive to school. Students are NOT permitted to have phones throughout the building. In the event of an emergency, parents can contact the JMS main phone line (425-9301) and students may use the main phone line to contact home.

Additionally, NO wired or wireless headphones or earbuds or personal electronic devices are permitted for use during the school day unless at the direction of a teacher for a classroom activity. If students are using headphones/earbuds/personal devices outside of teacher authorized uses, they will be take and turned into the office for parent pick up later.

Social Media

Due to concerns about social media and improper use of cell phones during the school day, please see detailed cell phone policy below:

  • Students must turn off cell phone upon arriving to campus and place in their locker.
  • Students are not to use cell phones during the school day unless instructed by a teacher. Teachers will make administration aware when they will be using phones in advance.
  • Any student found to be sharing or distributing inappropriate messages or pictures online will be immediately reported to our SRO and the Oak Ridge Police Department. Per the ORS Code of Conduct, "students are prohibited from using personally owned devices to record (video, audio, photograph) others". This could also be considered Cyberbullying - the use of cell phones, social networking sites or other types of digital technology to harass, threaten, discriminate or intimidate others.

Any violation of the cell phone policy will lead to action from administration

Dress Code at JMS


The Board of Education believes that appropriate dress and grooming contribute to a productive learning environment. The Board expects students to give proper attention to personal cleanliness and to wear suitable clothing. Students are asked to wear simple, comfortable clothing that is clean and neat. Shoes should always be worn. Students are not to wear clothing which compromises safety or modesty; nor clothing which is disruptive to the educational process.

Students are prohibited from wearing:

1. Clothing or accessories which by reasonable judgment is considered unsafe, dangerous or a health hazard (examples include, but are not limited to: wallet chains; spiked collars, necklaces or rings with spikes or sharp edges; oversized belt buckles; picks and combs.)

2. Students are not permitted to wear pants or shorts with holes above the knee. This includes wearing any type of shorts or leggings underneath ripped attire.

3. Clothing or accessories which contain or suggest offensive or obscene symbols, signs, slogans or words degrading any gender, cultural, religious or ethnic values.

4. Clothing or accessories which contain or suggest language or symbols oriented toward violence, vandalism, sex, drugs, alcohol or tobacco.

5. Clothing that resembles sleepwear such as lounging pants, or other lounging items. This also includes house shoes.

6. The following types of apparel:

a. skirts and dresses that are inappropriate for bending, sitting, standing, and reaching.

b. attire that is disruptive to the instructional process which may be inclusive of, but not limited to: bare midriffs; halter tops; short shorts; tight, see through, or revealing clothing; or clothing which allows underwear to be exposed, (examples include, but are not limited to: sagging pants, tank tops, spaghetti strap tops, muscle shirts, etc.

c. A belt is mandatory if pants or shorts will not stay at the waist without one.

d. Mid-thigh is the appropriate length for shorts, skirts, and dresses.

7. Hats, head coverings, hooded shirts and jackets, athletic headbands not worn during athletic event, bandanas and sunglasses are not to be worn inside the school building.

8. Any articles which can be related to gang activity such as: items with gang names; gang initials; or individual gang member monikers; gang related jewelry; gang related tattoos; or self-inflicted scars. This may include such items as shoelaces, belt buckles, hats or tattoos. (TCA 49-6- 4215)

9. All students must wear shoes. It is strongly suggested that students wear shoes which either enclose the foot or are secured with heel straps.

10. Coats, jackets and blankets must be removed upon arrival at school, be placed in lockers until the student leaves the building.

Consequences for violations of the dress code guidelines will follow the ORS District Disciplinary Code.

Updated Physical Education Procedures!

We are excited to get active in PE this school year and introduce all students to many different games, activities, and sports! Safety will continue to be our number one priority in JMS PE classes.

As we continue to ensure the safety of all students, dressing out for PE will be optional this school year; however, wearing tennis shoes for PE class each day will be mandatory. Students are also expected to wear clothing to PE that allows freedom of movement. All students are encouraged to carry a water bottle with them every day to PE.

If you have any questions, please contact our PE Department Chairperson, Ms. Bolling, at ksbolling@ortn.edu.

Volleyball and Football Schedules are below!

5th Grade Electives

Please see below for information regarding the electives for our 5th grade students. Students will be able to experience each of these classes the first full week of school prior to choosing their electives.

JMS 2021 Electives – 5th Grade playlist


You can access this resource on our school website


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Come make a Difference!

Have you ever thought about SUBSTITUTE TEACHING?

WE NEED YOU! Think about signing up today!

Flexible days and hours with competitive pay!


Welcome Our New Staff!

We have several new faces at JMS this year! Please welcome our new staff!
  • Kylie Mills: 7th ELA
  • Matthew Box: SPED
  • Samantha Kerley: SPED
  • Sean Jessie: PE

How to Sign Up for Skyward

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Join Our PTO!

The JMS PTO would like to welcome all families to Jefferson Middle School and invite you to learn more about PTO activities and how you can get involved.

If you would like to receive PTO text or email alerts, please click below to be added to our contact database. We use the Remind app to send meeting announcements, information about volunteer opportunities and other reminders.


Please contact PTO President Caroline Johnson at carolinefilas@me.com if you have any questions.

Canvas - Learning Management System at JMS

Canvas is our learning management system. We utilize Canvas in order to communicate with students and parents including announcements, information that is important to the class, links to resources to help support in class learning and also digital assignments.

Our teachers provide great detail on their Canvas pages. We encourage parents to spend 10 minutes each week with their child logged on to Canvas and read the details for each teacher's page, announcements, and assignments.

In Canvas our teachers work to provide:

  • Announcements - A weekly look at what will be taught throughout the week
  • Assignments - Some assignments will be digital and completed through Canvas and some will be analog and completed on paper. The goal for teachers here is to update with information to help explain the assignment and the due date.
  • Calendar - A student calendar that shows all of the student's class and helps to color code each. The calendar allows for parents to see due dates for assignments, quiz and test dates

To learn more about Canvas and how we use it each day, please access the video below, presented by Ben Fowler, our Vice Principal who was once our ITC! You can also reach out to our Instructional Technology Coach, Elizabeth Leavitt at ealeavitt@ortn.edu

Drop Off and Pick Up at JMS

Safety is our number one priority at Jefferson Middle School. The following video below helps to show the process for both drop off and pick up each and every day.

We want our parents and students to be aware of the process in order to create the safest environment for our students at arrival and dismissal. The following times below give you the best idea for drop off times:

  • There are two loops on the campus: one on the gym/football field side of campus which is a car drop off loop all morning long.
  • The second loop on the softball field side is the bus loop at the beginning of the morning and becomes a car loop after buses leave. This is approximately 7:15am or when no buses are present after 7:10am.
  • Fifth & sixth grade students will report to the gym until 7:30am when they are dismissed to class. Seventh & eighth grade students will report to the main lobby prior to being dismissed to class each morning.

Safety is Our Number One Priority at JMS!

JMS Safety & Culture

School culture and safety is our number one priority. We know that there are concerns in today's climate and culture that are centered around school safety. We work every day to maintain an environment of positive interaction and relationships while working to be vigilant about school safety. A few highlights as to how we work to promote a positive climate and culture both internally and externally.

  • We are very fortunate to have Officer Vic Owen, as our school resource officer. He does an amazing job working with our students and families each and every day.
  • To begin as far as security goes we currently have 50 cameras spread both through the interior and exterior of our building.
  • We have 165 bollards in the front and around our school building as another added security feature. These security features are pictured above on the far left hand side.
  • Our lobby secured main entrance allow for all entrants to be identified prior to entering the building. Please make sure to have your ID ready when coming to school to check out students.
  • We have updated several exterior lights to help increase visibility for our night time activities.
  • JMS Administration host quarterly Success Assemblies to discuss discipline concerns, rules, expectations and best practices with students.
  • We communicate and identify important safety concerns for our students and parents through our weekly newsletter and monthly PTO meetings.
  • We work to train our staff on multiple safety training opportunities, such as CPR, AED, tornado/fire drills, Crisis Training, etc.
  • Our custodial staff works hard to keep our building clean and sanitized throughout the day in the wake of Covid-19. We will continue to make sure to follow guidelines to promote the safety and healthy of all students and staff.

If you have any questions about the culture and safety of our building, please do not hesitate to reach out to Mr. Fowler at bjfowler@ortn.edu

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RTI Information

We want to provide you information about our RTI process at JMS!

RTI- (Response To Intervention) is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning needs. This a fluid process that allows students to move into and out of RTI every 4.5 weeks, if data supports the move.

Tier 1: The Whole Class (every student is served at this level)

  • In the general education classroom, the teacher measures everyone’s skills. This is known as a universal screening that is given 3 times a year to the whole school (Fall, Winter and Spring) to determine the students that fall at the 25th percentile or below for extra Tier 1 support. If your child falls at or below the 25th percentile your child will be placed in a Tier 2 or Tier 3 class in the areas of Math or English to provide more support because they are performing below their grade level. The screening helps the teacher work with students in small groups based on their skill levels. The school will let you know if your child is struggling and will update you on his/her RTI progress. If your child scores at the Tier 2 or Tier 3 level they will be taken out of one or both of their electives. This class is a revolving door class, which means your child can make their way of the class with showing progress and gains above the 25th percentile. A goal is made for your child in their Tier 2/3 class an academic goal is developed in the progress monitoring software. It takes on the average 6 weeks for the progress monitoring tool to show if your child is making progress on their goal. During the intervention, the RTI team monitors students’ progress to see who might need additional support. Many students respond successfully to Tier 1 support and achieve grade-level expectations.

Tier 2: Small Group Interventions (25
th percentile-11th percentile)

  • If your child is not making adequate progress in Tier 1, he/she will start to receive more targeted help. This is in addition to the regular classroom instruction (Tier 1), not a replacement for it. Tier 2 interventions take place every day during a designated period and will not miss any core instruction in the classroom. During these extra help sessions, he/she will be taught in small groups using a different method than in Tier 1 because the first method was not successful. The teacher may also ask you to work with your child at home on certain skills. The school will monitor your child’s progress so it is clear whether the Tier 2 intervention is helping through 4 ½-week progress reports sent by the school.

Tier 3: Intensive Interventions (at or below 10th percentile)

  • Typically, only a small percentage of the class will require Tier 3 support. In many schools, though, that number is much higher. If your child needs Tier 3 support, it will be tailored to his/her needs. Every day he/she will receive one-on-one instruction or work in very small groups.Your child will continue to spend most of the day in the general education classroom. If he/she does not make adequate progress in Tier 3, it is likely that the school will recommend an evaluation for special education services. The school will monitor your child’s progress so it is clear whether the Tier 2 intervention is helping through 4 ½-week progress reports sent by the school.

English or Math Core Focus

  • This class is for those students that score close to above the 25th percentile or the teacher has identified will benefit from extra support with current core classes. Students will be able to work on homework intermittently during the week and may need re-teaching of Tier 1 instruction.

If you have questions about our RTI process, please reach out to our Reading Specialist, Ms. Stephanie Hope or our Data Coach John Smith at 865-425-9301.

Discounted Internet?

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