JMS Weekly Update

February 21, 2021

Hello JMS!

This week's Update contains information about:

Please continue to let our nurse, Mrs. Suess, know if anyone in your family is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. Now that we have returned to Hybrid Instruction, this information is critical to the safety of the students and staff at JMS.

Please do your best to stay home, wear a mask, physically distance (6ft or more), avoid congregating in groups, and wash your hands so that we can continue to have the children back in the building with us.

Stay Safe,

Dr. Sarah Shaw, Principal

Ms. Katelyn Deet, Assistant Principal

Weekly Schedule

Hybrid A/B/Cyber Schedule

Monday - Day 5 - Course Selection Closes

Tuesday - Day 1

Wednesday - Day 2 - Intervention and Recovery Learning Day

Thursday - Day 3

Friday - Day 4

Monday (3/1) - Day 5 - Possible 1st Day of 4-Day Instructional Model

New Information

Instructional Model Update - Planning to Begin Monday, March 1st

We are preparing to begin our transition to our 4-day (Cohort D) instructional model on March 1st.

This past week, Allegheny County moved into the Moderate range of COVID-19 transmission. If Allegheny County remains in the Moderate range this week, we will begin our 4-day (Cohort D) option on Monday, March 1st.

In this instructional model we will be offering the following educational choices:

  • Cyber - Fully Remote (Monday-Friday)
  • 2 Day - Cohort A (Monday-Tuesday), Cohort B (Thursday-Friday)
  • 4 Day - Cohort D (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday)

More information will be shared with you next week.

JMS 2021-2022 Course Selection - Closes on Monday

We are currently beginning our planning for the 2021-2022 school year. The course selection process will begin on February 16th and will end on February 22nd.

Online course selection will OPEN for all students (incoming 6th, 7th and 8th graders) and parents on February 16th through PowerSchool/Dashboard. This system will CLOSE on February 22nd at 8:00AM. Please complete the online course selections for next year's middle school courses during this time frame through your student or parent Dashboard accounts. You can access course selection in Dashboard by clicking on the chair and pencil icon labeled as "Class Registration." The directions linked above should guide you through the process.

Our counselors will be visiting all classes and elementary schools to discuss this information with students in the next two weeks.

Intervention and Recovery Learning Day - Wednesday, February 24th

On Wednesday, February 24th, 2021, JMS students will have the opportunity to participate in an “Intervention and Recovery Learning Services” day. This day will be asynchronous and will provide time for students to:

  • Meet with teachers for support and review

  • Independently complete assignments and projects

Students will NOT join their homeroom or class meetings. Teachers will be available to meet with students via pre scheduled appointments. Teachers will be reaching out to students to schedule appointments during their assigned class period. Students are also welcome to reach out to their teachers to schedule appointments.

If a student is not scheduled to meet with a teacher during their assigned class period, they should be working independently to complete assignments and/or projects.

Before Wednesday, February 24th, students should:

  • Check Dashboard to review their grades and assignments.

  • Check email to see if teachers have scheduled appointments with them.

  • If necessary, reach out to a teacher, via email to set up a meeting.

On Wednesday, February 24th, students should:

  • Check Dashboard to review their assignments.

  • Attend any scheduled meetings with their teachers.

  • Continue to work on assignments/projects throughout the day.

Parkway West Field Trip and Open House Information

Students entering 9th grade this coming August (2021) who are interested in exploring the career major opportunities that Parkway West Career and Technology Center offers, should contact Mrs. Schneider in the High School Counseling Office at or 412.344.2063.

Currently, an opportunity for an in-person shadow experience at the Parkway Technology Center will occur on Thursday, March 25, 2021. If your son or daughter would like to participate in this field trip, be sure to let Mrs. Schneider know as soon as possible (Monday, March 22, 2021).

An Open House for interested students/families will be held on April 6, 2021, from 5:00 - 7:00 PM at Parkway West CTC.

To explore Parkway programming, feel free to view this video.

The following two forms are required to be completed and returned by March 22, 2021:

Other Information

One Warm Coat Drive

The JMS 8th Grade Student Council is hosting a Coat Drive for the One Warm Coat Organization. Coat collection will take place from 2/16-2/24. You can drop off any lightly worn coats in the One Warm Coat boxes located in the JMS front entrance, in the 6th grade hallway, and in the top floor hallway.

Weather Delays/Closings

When emergencies, such as weather conditions or power failures require the delay or closing of school notice is given as early when possible. Weather closings and delay notices are usually made by 6:00 a.m. Typically, when school is cancelled, after-school and evening activities are also cancelled.

Please see Dr. Steinhauer's Message about Weather Delays/Cancellations.

New District COVID-19 Dashboard

The district has launched a revised Dashboard. This revised Dashboard is designed to provide more data to create a fuller view of COVID-19 cases in our schools. It aligns with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s new guidelines regarding the identification of Covid-19 cases in school.

The Dashboard consists of three elements:

  1. The first chart is aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Recommendations for Pre-K to 12 Schools Following Identification of a Cases of COVID-19.
  2. The second chart provides a snapshot of the total number of employee and student positive cases of COVID-19 in the District.
  3. The third chart displays the total COVID -19 cases by month.

Attendance Information

Attendance Excuses

Excuses for absences, tardies and early dismissals should be emailed to Mrs. Harris, our attendance secretary, and your child’s homeroom teacher. Mrs. Harris’ email is and your child’s homeroom teacher’s email address can be found in the Staff Directory.

All excuses must contain:

  • Date and time of the absence
  • Reason for the absence
  • Your child's first and last name

Please review the attached policy JED, for a list of excused absences. District School Board Policy JED - Student Absences and Excuses.

Travel Outside of Pennsylvania

If you plan to travel out of state, please let us know. After your travel, please know that your child will need to quarantine or produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering PA, before returning to school.

During quarantine your child will be able to log into class remotely, but will not be able to physically enter the building. In the event that you are traveling out of the state and your child will not be able to participate virtually, please complete the Pre Approved Absence Form. This form must be completed at least 5 days prior to you leaving for your trip.

For more information about attendance, you can refer to JMS Attendance Information 2020-2021.

Resources For Families

Lunch Menu

The Mt. Lebanon School District will continue serving free Grab-and-Go Meals to any student in the community under the age of 18, with no eligibility requirements, until further notice. The meals will be distributed at the elementary schools.

Meals will be available from 10:45 until 1:15 every day to accommodate all students during their lunch periods.

Families In Need of Technology

As we prepare to start the 2020-2021 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:

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


Girls Softball - 7th and 8th Grade

Attention 7th and 8th grade girls!

If you are interested in trying out for the middle school softball team please email Coach Cogis by February 5, 2021.

Girls Softball Open Gym Schedule

Players are welcome to attend any open gym session. If you are not able to attend Coach Cogis's meeting, email him at for more information.


We are excited to announce that we are now offering the convenience of online registration for our athletic programs through partner company, FamilyID ( FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for our programs, and helps us to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. When you register through FamilyID, you enter your information once for multiple uses, multiple kids and multiple programs.

JMS PTA Information

PTA Council Newsletter Page

PTA Council is launching a new PTA Newsletter page on their website. All newsletters will now be available on the website. In the coming weeks, resources will be available for families to translate these newsletters into other languages.

Community Flyers

Click the link above for additional community resources, including upcoming Recreation Center programming, schedules from the Mt. Lebanon Public Library and information about technology discounts available to district families.

Help JMS Earn Money While You Shop!


If you haven’t used AmazonSmile Before:

  1. Go to and sign in with your regular Amazon username and password.
  2. 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.
  3. Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to on your browser.

If you already use AmazonSmile:

  1. Go to and sign in with your username and password
  2. 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”.
  3. If it isn’t, you can change it by clicking on the charity and selecting “change”
  4. This will bring you to a page where you can search for “Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc” and allow you to switch charities.
  5. Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to to checkout.
  6. 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

Clipping Box Tops is an easy way to earn money for our school. Each Box Top is worth 10 cents, so don't forget to physically and electronically clip the for us! The clipped Box Tops can be turned into the office.

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.

Giant Eagle

Giant Eagle Support our students! Enroll your Giant Eagle Advantage Card and earn points for FREE educational rewards with every shopping trip.

Click here to register your card. Our school code is 3369. The Giant Eagle card program is also easy to use - just register your card and shop away as usual!

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.

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.