JMS Weekly Update

September 19, 2021

Dear JMS Families,

This week's Update contains information about the following:

  • Wearing a Mask Properly
  • TikTok Challenges

As we head in to week five, we ask that you please continue to let our nurse, Mrs. Suess, know if anyone in your family is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. We want to keep the children here and we want to keep them safe. This information is critical to the safety of the students and staff at JMS.

Take Care,

Dr. Sarah Shaw, Principal

Ms. Katelyn Deet, Assistant Principal

Weekly Schedule

Monday - Day 4

Tuesday - Day 5

Wednesday - Day 1

Thursday - Day 2

Friday - Day 3

Monday (9/27) - Day 4

New News

Wearing a Mask Properly

We want to reinforce that we are taking mask wearing very seriously. Students who are not complying with our masking expectations will be sent home, as this creates a health and safety risk for students and staff.

Students are expected to wear their mask properly. Please remind your child that their mask must be covering their mouth and their nose at all times, unless they are actively eating/drinking.

This should be familiar to all of the children as we have shared a video with all of the students about proper mask wearing (this video is attached above). Ms. Deet and I, along with your child's teachers, have instructed and reinforced our masking expectations. We have provided children with additional masks on occasions when their masks break, become soiled, or are not fitting properly. We will continue to provide the children with additional masks should they need them.

TikTok Challenges

We were recently made aware of two TikTok challenges that you should know about.

Devious Licks

This challenge has been burdening schools across the nation, including JMS. The "Devious Lick" Challenge encourages students to steal items in school bathrooms such as soap, soap dispensers, toilet paper, toilet paper dispensers, signs, sinks, doors, mirrors, etc. The "Devious Lick" Challenge also encourages students to destroy the bathroom by shoving objects into toilets, squirting soap on the floor, clogging urinals with paper towels and throwing paper towels all over the floor.

Unfortunately, we have been seeing these same behaviors at JMS in the recent weeks. We have had soap dispensers ripped off walls and stolen, soap dispensers ripped off walls and shoved in sinks, signs ripped down, soap bags removed from the dispensers, clogged urinals and paper towels thrown all over the bathroom.

This behavior is unacceptable. Students who choose to participate in this behavior are committing criminal mischief, vandalism/theft, and are subject to repercussions per school code and the law. Students who are caught will face consequences that will include detention, suspension, restitution and/or referral to the Local Law Enforcement Agency.

Social Media can be a powerful tool, however this challenge is encouraging children to make poor decisions. We want our students to be respectful to each other and to our school property. We want them to be leaders. We want to teach them how to make good choices. We are asking that families have a discussion with your child about how this trend is a display of inappropriate conduct and is damaging school property.

We ask that you please review our, rather simple, bathroom expectations with your child:

  • Go, Flush, Wash, Leave

We also ask that you please review your child's TikTok account.

One Chip/Hot Chip Challenge

The One Chip/Hot Chip Challenge is another challenge that is trending. This challenge encourages people to eat a Pauqi brand chip that is made with Carolina Reaper and Scorpion Peppers.

Upon eating this chip, participants are experiencing vomiting and the inability to breathe. We have alerted the staff and our nursing staff about this challenge. Should we see a child in distress we will follow our health and safety protocol.

Please do not send this chip to school with your child. If we see it, we will take it. Please talk with your child about the dangers associated with this trending challenge.

Children can purchase this chip at gas stations, local stores and on Amazon. Although, it is currently sold out on Amazon.

Other Information

It's Time to Order Your School Pictures!

**Orders must be submitted no later than September 19th if you would like free delivery to the school. Any order received after September 19th will incur sales tax and shipping charges.**

School pictures have been uploaded to our photographer's website for ordering. Please visit Wayne's World of Photography to order your photos. Detailed instructions for how to do this are below. The company offers retakes if eyes are closed, glasses have glare, or hair is blown in the face. If you have any additional questions about orders or retakes, please contact Wayne Bratten at 412-257-1506. To view and order your photos:

  1. Visit Wayne's World of Photography.
  2. Click on "JMS."
  3. Enter your student's MTLSD 7 digit ID number. (This number can be found on dashboard in the Student Information section.).
  4. Click on "Order Prints/Products.
  5. Complete your purchase online.

Picture Make-Up/Retake Day - October 6th

JMS Yearbook Sale

JMS Yearbooks are on sale now through January 14, 2022. 8th Grade Advertisements are also for sale from now until January 14 for $35.


  • Now- Sunday, October 31 at 11:59 PM: $45
  • Monday, November 1 at 12:00 AM- Tuesday, November 30 at 11:59 PM: $50
  • Wednesday, December 1 at 12:00 AM- Friday, December 31 at 11:59 PM: $55
  • Saturday, January 1 at 12:00 AM- Friday, January 14 at 11:59 PM: $60

Limited extras will be sold on the last day of school for $60

Order your yearbook and take out an 8th grade ad TODAY!

Accessing Class While on Quarantine

Quarantining as a result of COVID-19 protocols is the only reason that students are able to attend class remotely. Quarantining as a result of COVID-19 protocols must be approved through the Nurse's Office.

If your child has been identified as a close contact, is exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, and/or has tested positive for COVID-19, please contact Nurse Suess.

If your child is approved to attend class remotely, Nurse Suess will contact your child's teachers. Students who have been approved to attend class remotely will follow their normal bell schedule and will log into their classes using the meeting links on their Clever page.

Report Cases of COVID-19

If you or someone in your family has been exposed to COVID-19, has COVID-19 symptoms, or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please contact Nurse Suess. We want to keep the children and our staff safe and in school. Your accurate and honest reporting is appreciated.

Close Contacts & Quarantine

Unvaccinated employees and children should not come to school and are to notify school officials if they become sick with COVID-19 symptoms, are awaiting a COVID-19 test result, test positive for COVID-19, or are exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms or to someone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19.

An employee or student who is a close contact of a person who is diagnosed with or tests positive for COVID-19, as defined by the Department or local health department in accordance with CDC guidance, will be evaluated in accordance with the COVID-19 Quarantine Guidance Flowchart. . Close Contacts are individuals who have been exposed (within 6 feet distance for at least 15 consecutive minutes) to someone who is a case during the infectious period, with or without a mask.


Families In Need of Technology

As we prepare to start the 2021-2022 school year, we are asking families who need to borrow student technology to please complete the form linked below:

Be sure to list every student for whom you need to borrow a device on this form. Once you have submitted your form, you will receive status emails including device pickup details from an email address. Please also be sure to whitelist email addresses with your email provider to ensure that you receive these communications from us.

Please direct any and all questions regarding loaned equipment to our support address:


Middle School Athletics

You can learn everything you need to know about Middle School Athletics, including starting dates, by visiting the MS Athletics Webpage.

JMS PTA Information

PTA Membership and Directory Access

The JMS PTA Membership Drive is now open! Parent membership in the PTA helps us meet volunteer needs and budgetary commitments which enrich programs for our JMS students and staff. Members receive access to a member directory which has a mobile app.

Go to My Account.

  1. Check that your updated student info is correct. Indicate your child's team.
  2. Indicate your preferences for inclusion in the directory. Add a second contact so that both receive directory access and all PTA correspondences. Student phone is optional.
  3. Purchase a parent membership for $20
  4. Consider a donation. Donated funds stay 100% with JMS programs without fees. We encourage this rather than purchasing a membership for both parents, unless both parents wish to vote in meetings or hold PTA office.

JOIN US! Together we can do a lot of good for JMS!



If you haven’t used AmazonSmile Before:

  • Go to and sign in with your regular Amazon username and password.
  • You will be prompted to choose a charity. You should enter "Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc” into the search box that appears. It will say "Pittsburgh, PA" as the location for the charity.
  • Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to on your browser.

If you already use AmazonSmile:

  • Go to and sign in with your username and password
  • Make sure the charity you’ve selected is "Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc." This information is located under the search bar where it says “supporting”.
  • If it isn’t, you can change it by clicking on the charity and selecting “change”
  • This will bring you to a page where you can search for “Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc” and allow you to switch charities.

Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to to checkout.

If you shop on the Amazon app. Please activate Amazon Smile on your mobile app by opening the app and finding ’Settings’ in the main menu (☰). Tap on ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone.

Box Tops

Scanning Box Tops is an easy way to earn money for our school. See Box Tops for more information on how to scan Box Tops and to download the app. Receipts must be scanned within 14 days for the Box Tops to be scanned electronically.

Office Depot/Office Max

Office Depot/Office Max has a school rewards program. When shopping, remember to ask the cashier to tag Jefferson Middle School. For online orders, enter our school ID (Thomas Jefferson Middle School ID:70088453 Pittsburgh, PA) on the Thank You Confirmation page.

Resources For Families

COVID-19 Resources

The following resources provide information to help Mt. Lebanon School District families and staff navigate the complexities of COVID-19 and the impact the pandemic it is having on our daily lives. These resources will be updated as more information becomes available.

Local Resources for Families

The MTLSD School Counselors in partnership with The Allegheny Children's Initiative Inc., have compiled a list of social services resources that may be helpful to you and your family. Please take a look and reach out to these organizations. They are here to help with any of the following:

  • Food
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Pets
  • Abuse
  • Mental Health
  • General Assistance

Safe 2 Say Something

Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late. With Safe2Say Something, it’s easy and confidential to report safety concerns to help prevent violence and tragedies.

Here’s how it works:

  • Submit a report through the Safe2SaySomething system
  • Crisis center reviews, assesses and processes all submissions
  • Crisis center sends all submissions to school administration and/or law enforcement for intervention
  • If needed, crisis center may contact tipster anonymously through the app

Jefferson Middle School

The Jefferson Middle School learning community has an exceptional reputation for its dedicated teachers, staff and parents working together to provide learning experiences for our children that include high expectations, a challenging curriculum and a shared commitment to provide the best education possible for each and every student.