TJ Today

Thomas Jefferson Middle School 2019-20


Dec. 9 - "This is Our Story" - VHS 7:00 p.m.

Dec. 19 - 11:30 Dismissal for Students

Dec. 20 - Jan. 5 - Holiday Break

6th-Giving Thanks

The Holidays are upon us and soon the 6th graders of TJMS will have completed their first semester! We’ve had a pretty good first half—let’s make sure the second half is even better!

Giving Thanks!

As a part of our Veterans Day celebration, our 6th grade students wrote letters to our current service members that were sent as a part of Builders Club’s Treat for Troops packages. And for Thanksgiving, students wrote letters of thanks to staff members at TJMS. It’s always nice to know you are appreciated!

Parents, if you could please:

· Check grades and assignments on Skyward/Canvas weekly.

· If you see a missing assignment, communicate with your child and let them know it needs to be completed/turned in.

· Contact your child’s teacher with any questions/concerns if your child is struggling academically—we all want your children to be successful!

· Encourage your child to keep up to date on his/her reading counts points!

· Over break, please try and replenish any school supplies you can. We are experiencing quite a number of students that are low on certain items (pencils!)

· Donate dry erase markers to the Math teachers! They would greatly appreciate it!

7th Finishing 1st semester strong

7th Grade is looking forward to a strong finish to the first semester. We are reading and studying Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol' in English class. It's so interesting to see the differences in language and culture from one country to the next. Speaking of culture, our history of monotheistic religions unit in Social Studies will be wrapping up soon. Science is looking forward to working on a Rube Goldberg project for most classes and learning about continental drift, plate tectonics and earthquakes in the other classes until break. In math, we are beginning our unit on slope, while Pre-Algebra students will begin our study on percents. Please take a moment to check with your child to make sure they still have plenty of paper, pencils and supplies they need for daily success at school.

8th Learning and Competing

Before Thanksgiving, 8th grade students participated in an Interdisciplinary Unit that had them exploring the nine different regions of the United States. After a number of competitions Viking Time groups participated in, each Viking Time class choose one of the nine regions of the United States. Then the students learned many things about their region such as the population, the weather/climate, landmarks, tourist attractions, interesting things to do, and unique foods for that region. Students then worked to put together the information and competed by presenting their findings by creating posters with interesting facts & travel advice, weather forecasts, menus, and jingles to entice visitors to their region. Miss Ellenson’s Viking TIme took first place, Mr. Krenz’s took second place, and Mrs. Joll’s took third place.

As a reminder, the grading period will officially end on December 19. We know this is a busy time of year, but please be sure to be checking Canvas for assignments/tests/quizzes and Skyward for grades. Reminding your child about the importance of keeping up with their work and planning ahead will help avoid last minute stress.

Congratulations Science Olympiad Team 2020

Our Science Olympiad traditions continue here at TJMS as our new team was chosen in late October and we begin now to organize and prepare for our 23 multi topic events. Our team has high expectations, as our goal will be to repeat as Regional and State champions. Good luck !

Lily Rengstorf 9th Grade

Sylvia Rotole 9th Grade

Elias Iceman 9th Grade

Matthew Smith 8th Grade

Liam Utesch 8th Grade

Tyler Edwards 8th Grade

Nick Will 8th Grade

Karissa Kasper 8th Grade

Lauren Harris 8th Grade

Susannah Gross 8th Grade

Martin Aguilera 8th Grade

Amy Yu 7th Grade

Chase Henry 7th Grade

Aliya Mayer 7th Grade

Daniel Nathan 6th Grade

Alt. Kaenen Bartley 6th Grade

Alt. Vincent LaFollette 6th Grade

TJMS Spell Bowl

The TJMS Spell Bowl team finished as State Runner-Up at Purdue University on Saturday, November 16th! Team scores were close throughout the entire competition with lead changes and ties across all divisions. Anchor Preston Hughes helped TJ hold on to the second place title. He was assisted in this effort by Liam Strietelmeier, Naomi Bosman, Amy Yu, Kate Norrod, and Vincent LaFollette (who each posted perfect rounds), along with Ally Telesky and Sylvie Goss who were near-perfect.

Team members Lena Allison, Ceci Alvarez, Sofia Alvarez, Addi Clark, Lauren Earl, Tyler Edwards, Danni Fisher, Matthew Joseforsky, Abi Lansdowne, Abby McAlpine and Evan Olsen spelled along in the crowd and enthusiastically applauded their peers. GREAT job, Team TJ – we are all so proud of you!!

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Americanism & Government Contest

Twenty-five 8th grade students participated in the American Legion Post 94's Americanism and Government Contest on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. Students took an online test and wrote an essay on U.S. and state history, as well as our government. The winning students for the post will compete against students from across the state for a $500 scholarship. Winners from the Valparaiso area will be notified in 2020. Congratulations to all who participated.

TJMS Participants

Martin Aguilera

Mia Balash

Naomi Bosman

Caylee Brown

Addison Clark

Jessica Cummins

Tyler Edwards

Maria Fodor

Natalie Gill

Emma Hann

Preston Hughes

Karissa Kasper

Lauren Kessler

Nate Lugar

Ruth Mathews

Austin Olsen

Jacob Ray

Amari Samuels

Mya Schultz

Sean Sistrunk

Matthew Smith

Teghan Smith

Mark Teeple

Liam Utesch

Asher Wilson


Greetings from your TJMS PTSO! Thank you to all who dined at Panera for our giveback night! December's giveback night is at Five Guys on December 17th, and we get an extra $1.00 per milkshake sold, in addition to a percentage of sales. The PTSO donated $300 towards book needs for teacher classrooms. This will allow teachers to choose books from the TJMS books fair to help with their classroom libraries! If you would like to help, you can donate to a teacher's library through the book fair that is happening this week. The book fair runs through December 6th, you may contact Ms. Jennifer Hurley, the Media Center Specialist, for more details on donating to the teacher library fund.

We are looking for volunteers! We need parent volunteers to help chaperon the TJMS Snowball dance on Friday, December 13, from 6:00-8:30. Please click the link below to sign up! You must have a background check on file in order to volunteer!

The TJMS PTSO is sponsoring a staff breakfast on Friday, December 20th at 7:30am in the Flex Room. This is a small token of appreciation to the teachers and staff who work so hard all year to make TJMS the best it can be. We will be sending out information on how to participate and give to this breakfast i the future. If you are volunteering to help set up/serve/clean up the breakfast, you MUST have a background check on file.

Did you know the TJMS PTSO has a Facebook page? Please "like" us

Our next meeting is on Wednesday, December 11, at 5:30pm in the flex room. This is welcome to all parents and guardians, we hope to see you there!

Builders Club News

‘Tis the season! Builders Club has a lot of jolly events for members this month! The first event is Angel Tree Shopping on December 5th. Builders Club has picked a handful of angels from local Angel Trees and will pick out special gifts for those people. Bell Ringing is on Saturday, December 7th. Members will be ringing the bells and spreading cheer outside of Town and Country from 10:00 A.M. until 5:00 P.M. Stop by and put some change in the kettle! We will also be caroling at one of the local nursing homes in the middle of the month. Detailed information will be given soon for all the Builders Club singers! Happy Holidays!

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Did you know that we ran out of yearbooks last year? Buy now and make sure you get your copy--don't be left without a yearbook at the end of the year! Orders can easily be placed online by clicking the button below.

Share your pictures

Parents and students--We KNOW you take amazing pictures--like those amazing action shots during sporting events, or group shots of you and your friends---and we want to publish your work in our yearbook!

Have you downloaded the Replayit app on your phone yet? No? No worries! You can upload your amazing photos by visiting

Thanks for sharing your moments with us!

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TJMS PTO Facebook

The TJMS Parent Teacher has a Facebook too! LIKE our page to see school events and news!

TJMS Facebook

Did you know that TJMS has a Facebook page? Please "LIKE" our page!