Eagle Eye JMS Parent Newsletter #23

January 16-20, 2023

“He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.” ~Samuel Taylor Colerdige

Hello, Jefferson Middle School families and parents!

As this week has brought an assortment of weather patterns, we have also seen an array of activities, assignments, and academic endeavors! We cannot express how truly grateful we are for your continued support and enthusiasm as we are now well in to our third term for 2022-2023! Our Eagles continue to meet the challenges that our exceptional teachers present to them each day in the classroom.

IMPORTANT: School Supplies and Preparedness!

On that note of exceptional learning, it is imperative that all students are prepared before coming to class. Our teachers have expressed that many students may need to replenish their school supplies, especially paper and pencils. Our JMS teachers will always ensure that students have what they need, but now is a great time for students to restock if they are low on paper and writing utensils. Additionally, having their school devices, fully charged, when they walk into school will help them avoid delays in getting started on classwork and readings.

Please do not ever hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

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

Inclement Weather Reminders

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Week at a Glance!

January 16-20

Monday 16: Dr. Martin Luther King Day

  • No School!

Tuesday 17, A day

  • Atomic Eagles Meeting Science Wing 2:45-4:30
  • RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30
  • Master Builders Meeting Rm 102 2:45-4:30
  • Basketball Game vs. Webb @ Webb BJV-4:30, GV-5:30, BV-6:30

Wednesday 18, B day

  • Ski/Snowboard Club to Ober Gatlinburg 1:00
  • Cheer Practice 1:00
  • Gardening Club 1:00-2:00
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 1:00-3:00
  • Girls Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:0

Thursday 19, A day

  • 7th period Basketball Game vs. Eagleton @ Eagleton GJV-5:00, GV-6:00, BV-7:00

Friday 20, B day

  • Youth for Christ Band Room 7:10 AM
  • Ms. Kala’s class to Chamber of Commerce
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00
  • Girls Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00
  • Middle School Recognition @ ORHS Basketball Game ORHS 7:15

Saturday 21

  • Basketball District Tournament Cherokee Middle School (Roane County) Time/Teams TBD

2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook


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Congratulations to Ian Smith (center) , 6th grade JMS Eagle, for taking first place in the Bee!!

  • Ian Smith, 6th: 1st place
  • Duncan Rowden, 8th: 2nd place
  • Halie Campbell, 8th: 3rd place

Lisa Webb, 6th Social Studies Selected as 5-8 Band Teacher of the Year for ORS!!

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Lisa has been teaching sixth grade Social Studies at Jefferson Middle School for 24 years. During this time, she has custom built an extensive One Note notebook with articles, stories, videos, maps, worksheets, quizzes, and online activities that she has collected from various sources, continually keeping the source material updated and relevant. Student feedback has allowed her to refine the notebook and unify the learning, which is all tied to state standards. Mrs. Webb believes the data is the best evidence of her contribution to student success. In 34 of the 36 standards tested on the TN Ready assessment, her students maintained a double-digit advantage over the state average. Jefferson 6th grade outscored the state on every Social Studies standard.


UPDATE! Ms. Webb has been named the ORS Middle School Teacher of the Year! She will go to the regional Teacher of the Year competition.

Wednesday Zero Period: Capstone and Social Emotional Learning

This past week, we spent time Wednesday morning with the following topics in each classroom.

  • 8th Grade: We spent time completing two video lessons, "Paraphrasing" and "Plagiarism". This will help prepare students as they begin researching and taking notes for their Capstone projects!
  • 7th Grade: Happiness Part 1
  • 6th Grade: Building Awareness
  • 5th Grade: Understanding Emotions

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

CATCH My Breath Parent Presentation

Youth Vaping Prevention - Additional Resources

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

Attention Parents and Guardians of 6th and 8th grade Students

On February 16th and 17th , students in 6th and 8th grade will participate in the Oak Ridge Board of Education approved Family Life curriculum during their Physical Education class. The programming will be age appropriate and address topics covered in the 6th and 8th grade Health Education standards.

6th Grade Family Life Information

Lessons presented will be age- appropriate information on the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up. Boys and girls will be separated for this presentation, but will watch the same video. The link for the video is:


8th Grade Family Life Information

Lessons presented will be age-appropriate information on the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up. Information on sexually transmitted diseases, refusal skills, abstinence, HIV/AIDS is also included. Students will remain in the same classroom, unlike when boys and girls were separated in the 6th grade program. This information will be presented by Mrs. Tracey Robbins.

Per School Board Policy 4.213, a parent/guardian has the right to opt their child out of participating in the family life education programming. Your child may be assigned alternative health activities and will not be penalized academically.


If you would like additional information about the program, or if you have further questions, please feel free to contact Katie Bolling, Sean Jessie or Casey Ensley at 425-9301 or by email at ksbolling@ortn.edu, skjessie@ortn.edu, or ceensley@ortn.edu.

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Atenciones padres, madres de familia y tutores legales de los alumnos de 6to y 8vo grado.

Los días 16, 17 y 27 de febrero, los alumnos de 6to y 8vo grado, participaran en el plan educativo “Vida de Familia” aprobado por el consejo educativo. Esto se llevará a cabo durante la clase de educación física. El programa será apropiado para la edad de los alumnos y abarcará temas vistos en los estándares de Educación de la Salud de 6to y 8vo grado.

Información de Vida de Familia de 6to grado.

La información de las lecciones presentadas será apropiada para la edad en el contexto emocional, social y los aspectos físicos del crecimiento. Los niños y niñas serán separados durante esta presentación, pero verán el mismo video. La liga para el video es la siguiente:


Información de Vida de Familia de 8vo grado.

La información de las lecciones presentadas será apropiada para la edad en el contexto emocional, social y los aspectos físicos del crecimiento. Información en enfermedades de transmisión sexual, habilidades de rehusarse, abstinencia, VIH/SIDA están incluidos entre los temas a tratar. Los alumnos permanecerán en el mismo salón de clase a diferencia de cuando se les separaba para estas platicas en el 6to grado. Esta información será presentada por la Sra. Tracey Robbins.

De acuerdo con la política número 4.213 del Consejo Educativo, los padres de familia o tutores legales tienen el derecho de optar que su hijo(a) no participe en este programa. Si usted desea que su hijo no participe en estas platicas, favor de completar el siguiente formato usando el código QR en la parte de abajo o accesando a la liga que se presenta a continuación.


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This is to inform you that Coordinated School Health and the ORS Nursing Department have completed health screenings in 6th and 8th grades. This consisted of 3 screenings: Vision Screening, Blood pressure screening, and Body Mass Index screening which was calculated using your child’s height and weight. These screenings are effective in revealing common vision, health and/or blood pressure issues, but does NOT substitute for a professional examination.

If your child was screened, you can view these results online via your Skyward Parent Portal beginning January 20. Just log in and on your main screen you will see that is says there is an online form available to fill out. Just click the link to fill out the form and you will see directions on how to view your child’s results. If you see that your child did not fall within normal ranges on one of the screenings, please fill out the short online form in skyward. If not, no further action is needed on your part.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our school nurse or Marcia Wade with Coordinated School Health at mkwade@ortn.edu. Thank you.

Well Child Services: See attached flyer!

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NAKA Exchange Update

After months of discussions to prepare for a student exchange this summer, there has been an unfortunate outbreak of Covid in Naka Shi and surrounding Japan again. This has pushed them back into a time of quarantine and social distancing. The Sister City Service Organization met with Naka Shi City and School officials. With an abundance of caution for the wellbeing of our friends in Naka we will unfortunately have to cancel the planned in-person exchange for the summer of 2023 that we were all looking forward to participating in.

Please send thoughts of health their way as we look forward to the time when we can continue the in-person student exchange that has taken place for more than 30 years.

Wilderness Connections Winter Excursion

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Dogwood Arts Epiphone Student Guitar Design Winners

Before the holidays students in Mr. Dodson’s seventh and eighth grade elective art classes created guitar designs for the fundraiser sponsored by Dogwood Arts of East Tennessee.

Over 130 designs were submitted from High School and Middle School students in East Tennessee. Only 20 designs were selected by Dogwood Arts to be transformed into actual guitars. Of the 20 designs selected 5 were chosen from Jefferson Middle School! Consider JMS art students were competing against High School students from our region to have 5 designs selected from 20 was very impressive.

Of the student’s guitar designs selected the following were young JMS artists: Phoenix Raymond, Katherine Pickel, Halie Campbell, Kennedy Tull, and Savannah McCarley.

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Naka Student Exchange Update

After months of discussions to prepare for a student exchange this summer, there has been an unfortunate outbreak of Covid in Naka Shi and surrounding Japan again. This has pushed them back into a time of quarantine and social distancing. The Sister City Service Organization met with Naka Shi City and School officials. With an abundance of caution for the well-being of our friends in Naka we will unfortunately have to cancel the planned in-person exchange for the summer of 2023 that we were all looking forward to participating in.

Please send thoughts of health their way as we look forward to the time when we can continue the in-person student exchange that has taken place for more than 30 years.

John Smith


The Eagles basketball teams and cheerleaders begin the last week of regular season play this week. Jefferson will travel to Webb on Tuesday and will travel to Eagleton on Thursday. On Tuesday, boys JV will play at 4:30pm, followed by girls varsity at 5:30pm, and boys varsity at 6:30pm. The games will be played in the Haslam gym at Webb. On Thursday, the girls JV will tip at 5pm, followed by girls varsity at 6pm and boys varsity at 7pm. The District Tournament begins on Saturday at Cherokee Middle School. Go Eagles!

Coach Katie Bolling

January POG Focus: Digital Citizen

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Digital Citizens in Ms. Taylor's 5th Grade Social Studies!

Digital Citizenship involves many indicators, one of which is

"I will be able to access content-related digital images, digital stories, audio and video to develop cultural understanding." from our ORS Digital Citizen Standards.

Students in Ms. Taylor's Social Studies class are taking notes on paper to accompany a day's learning in class; they were able to navigate through a digital Nearpod lesson and follow up with a Booklet digital gamelike quiz. Students were expected to be on task with a personal choice of which digital tools they used and when. They were able to answer high level content questions and provide rationale as to how the digital tools enhance the day's learning.

January Character Trait: Honesty


Congratulations to our students who were recognized for honesty this short week back to school. We are so proud of our Character Trait winners each week!

  • 8th: Anna Hicks

  • 7th: Stantial Toe
  • 7th: Miles Cullen
  • 6th: Ashton Whalen

We also want to note that our Character Trait program is tied directly to our ORS district POG, as represented in "LIFE READY" above: Students exhibit traits of citizens ready for life with age-appropriate measures of self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy.

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!