JMS Weekly Update
April 18, 2021
This week's JMS Update contains new information about:
- PSSA Testing Form - Please complete by Monday, April 19th, if you would like to opt out
- Water Bottles
- Color Guard "Try-It Out" Clinics - 8th grade only
We ask that you please stay cautious and follow the CDC guidelines for masking, social distancing, and group gatherings. We know that there are varying opinions in the community about this virus, however if you want to keep the children physically in school, then it is imperative that families follow these guidelines outside of school.
We are doing our best to keep the children and staff safe inside the building, but we need your help to do the same throughout the community.
Please continue to let our nurse, Mrs. Suess, know if anyone in your family is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. This information is critical to the safety of the students and staff at JMS.
Dr. Sarah Shaw, Principal
Ms. Katelyn Deet, Assistant Principal
PSSA Testing Form - 4/19
To help us plan and prepare for the tests’ administration, please complete this form by Monday, April 19th if you would like to opt out of the assessments.
Please read the information below regarding the District's administration of the assessments:
Information for ALL Students
The PSSAs must be administered in person.
The Pennsylvania Department of Education does not provide a remote option to take the PSSA.
All students will need to report to the building to participate in the assessment.
Students taking the assessments will be spaced at least 3ft apart.
Students will use barrier boards for the duration of the assessments.
Masks will be required.
Information for Cohort A/B Students
Cohort A/B students will attend in person for all testing days.
Cohort A/B students will test with their homeroom and/or other classmates, unless PDE approved accommodations are required.
Information for Cyber Cohort Students
Cyber Cohort students will attend in person for all testing days.
Cyber Cohort students will test with their homeroom and/or other classmates, unless PDE approved accommodations are required.
We are planning to administer these assessments to as many students as possible. However, we do realize that not all families may not feel comfortable participating given our current circumstances. Please know that you have the following options:
Have your child participate in the assessment in person.
Opt out of the assessment due to religious beliefs.
Choose to not participate in the assessments for reasons other than the PDE approved religious objection.
If you have any questions or are in need of more information, please contact myself, Ms. Deet, Mr. Berg or Mrs. Levison.
Students Should Bring a Water Bottle to School Daily
Students should be bringing water bottles to school with them daily. Our health and safety plan prevents students from using water fountains. Students do have access to water bottle fillers, and should bring water bottles with them to use throughout the day if they would like to stay hydrated.
Color Guard "Try-It-Out" Clinics - 8th Grade Only
The Mt. Lebanon Color Guard is preparing for the upcoming season and we want you to join our team! The Color Guard performs with the Blue Devil Marching Band in the fall and has an optional indoor component during the winter.
Color Guard is dance, performance, athletic, artistic, musical, friendship, expression, inclusive, supportive, social, travel, and FUN FOR EVERYONE!
Watch https://youtu.be/yIyhpQjjmSI to see what we are all about.
Our "Try-It Out" Dates are:
- April 15, 6-9PM, MMS Gym
- April 22, 6-9PM, MMS Gym
- April 29, 6-9PM, MMS Gym
It's going to be a great season and there's an opportunity for everyone to participate!
Email Stephanie Enedy at email@example.com for more information.
PSSA/Keystone Testing Schedule
The district will be administering the PSSAs and the Keystone Exams this year. The results we achieve on these exams provide us with valuable information that can be used to assess our students knowledge of grade level standards, our teaching, and our educational programing.
Our students have been working hard throughout the year and are prepared for these exams. Our testing schedule is as follows:
- May 11 - 13 - English Language Arts (ELA) PSSA - Grades 6-8
- May 19 & 20 - Math PSSA - Grades 6-8
- May 24 & 25 - Algebra I Keystones - Grade 8 only
- May 26 & 27 - Science PSSA - Grade 8 only
Please understand that during the testing window, pre-approved absences will not be approved.
MLEA Summer Grant Scholarships
The MLEA summer grant scholarship applications are OPEN!
For almost 40 years, Mt. Lebanon School District teachers have awarded study grants for current kindergarten through 11th grade students who plan to participate in summer enrichment programs. Please visit www.mlea.org for more information and links to the digital application and recommendation forms. All forms are due May 1st.
Email Eve Kollar at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
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:
- 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.
- The second chart provides a snapshot of the total number of employee and student positive cases of COVID-19 in the District.
- The third chart displays the total COVID -19 cases by month.
Excuses for absences, tardies and early dismissals should be emailed to Mrs. Harris, our attendance secretary, and your child’s homeroom teacher. Mrs. Harris’s email is email@example.com 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.
Resources For Families
In an effort to continue to educate our students, families and the community about discrimination and bias we wanted to share the following resources with you.
- Anti-Defamation League (ADL): Talking to Young Children about Bias and Prejudice
- Talking to Children About Hate Crimes
- Partners Against Hate: Parents and Families Against Hate
- Healthy Children. org : Talking to Children About Racial Bias
- American Psychological Association: Talking to kids about discrimination
This essential conversation and continued education is imperative if we are committed to creating a school and community that is welcoming and inclusive. These conversations are bigger than JMS and must also take place at home and throughout the community. Please help us, as a school and as a community, continue to grow in our in our understanding about discrimination and bias.
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.
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 @mtlsd.net email address. Please also be sure to whitelist @mtlsd.net 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: RemoteSupport@mtlsd.net
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.
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:
- Mental Health
- General Assistance
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
Are you interested in becoming a Mt. Lebanon Cheerleader ? Tryouts are currently scheduled for the week of May 21st. There will be pre-tryout open gym/conditioning workouts to help prepare you. Simply fill out the attached interest form so we can keep you up to date on details such as workouts, tryout information, and parent meetings. Please note, filling out the form does not require you to tryout. Thank you!!
We are excited to announce that we are now offering the convenience of online registration for our athletic programs through partner company, FamilyID (www.familyid.com). 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
Help JMS Earn Money While You Shop!
If you haven’t used AmazonSmile Before:
- Go to smile.amazon.com 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 smile.amazon.com on your browser.
If you already use AmazonSmile:
- Go to smile.amazon.com 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 smile.amazon.com 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.
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 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.