TJ Connection


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Message from Mrs. Emden, School Principal

Dear TJ Families,

November 4, 2022, marks the end of the first marking period. This is the perfect time to work

with your child on the art of reflection. Reflection is an integral part of the learning process. It

allows students to learn more about themselves, and how they learn, but it also supports

students in improving their academic skills. Discuss with your child what he/she is most proud of from the first marking period. Also, assist your child with identifying areas in need of

improvement and action steps to promote growth. These skills are fundamental in developing a student’s growth mindset. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

May Thanksgiving and the rest of the year remind us to be grateful for what we have. Enjoy the holiday season with your families!

Antoinette Emden

School Principal

Upcoming Events

November 4: End of Marking Period 1

November 6: Daylight Saving Time Ends - Clocks Fall Back

November 8: No School - Staff Professional Development Day

November 9: No after school clubs

November 10 & 11: No School - Teacher's Convention

November 17: Parent Teacher Conferences 6 PM - 8:30

November 23: Early Dismissal 1 PM (No after school clubs)

November 24 & 25: No School - Thanksgiving Recess

November 28: Report Cards Posted to Portal

November 30: Photo Retake Day

Attitude of Gratitude

Nurse's Corner

Remember, you cannot educate a child who is not healthy, and you cannot keep a child healthy who is not educated. That is why it is so important to help our students stay well and continue to excel while in school. Please communicate with your child regarding the importance of washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, before meals or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. Another way to keep our children healthy is to make sure all of your child’s immunizations are up to date, especially the state-required Tdap and Meningococcal immunization for all sixth grade students. Please encourage your child to eat a healthy, balanced meal, especially by starting the day off right with breakfast. Promote healthy sleep habits and assist your child with going to bed before they are actually tired in order to get a good night’s sleep.

Lastly, if your child is sick, please stay home, take care of yourself, stay in touch with your doctor and avoid public places. Even though seasonal influenza (flu) viruses are year-round, it mostly typically circulates during the fall and winter season. Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lung. Please keep your child home if he/she has a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or more has a persistent cough and/or excessive nasal discharge, is vomiting and/or has diarrhea or an undiagnosed rash. Your child must be fever free for 24 hours before he/she can return to school and a physician note is required for all absences to be excuse. For more information regarding influenza (flu), please refer to the CDC recommendations:

Ms. Montilus, RN MSN CSN

Head District Nurse

Transportation Safety Reminder

Whether children walk, ride their bicycles or take the bus to school, it is extremely important that they take proper safety precautions. Here are some tips to make sure your child safely travels to school:

Walking to school

  • Walk on the sidewalk, if one is available; when on a street with no sidewalk, walk facing the traffic

  • Before you cross the street, stop and look left, right and left again to see if cars are coming

  • Make eye contact with drivers before crossing and always cross streets at crosswalks or intersections

  • Stay alert and avoid distracted walking

Riding a bicycle to school

  • Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic, and in single file

  • Come to a complete stop before crossing the street; walk bikes across the street

  • Stay alert and avoid distracted riding

  • Make sure your child always wears a properly fitted helmet and bright clothing

Riding the bus to school

  • When waiting for the bus, stay away from traffic. Line up at least five giant steps away from the curb or the roadway to wait for the bus

  • Never run after the school bus if it has already left the bus stop.

  • Never push when getting on or off of the school bus

  • Always walk at least 10 feet in front of the bus when crossing so that the school bus driver can see you

  • Be aware - Cross with Care! Wait until the school bus has stopped all traffic before stepping out onto the road

  • When the school bus is moving, always stay in your seat

  • Never put your head, arms or hands out of the window

  • Talk quietly; do not distract your school bus driver. If there is an emergency, listen to the driver and follow instructions

  • Always obey your school bus driver's instructions, so that he or she can make safe decisions

  • Never play with the emergency exits. Backpacks, band instruments, or sports equipment may not block the aisle or emergency exits

  • Never cross the street behind the school bus

  • If you leave something on the bus or drop something outside of the bus, never go back for it. The driver may not see you and begin moving the bus

Dr. James Falco, Ed.D

Assistant Principal

Thanksgiving Food Drive

What is a Food Drive?

Food drives help food charities keep their shelves stocked. They also help raise awareness about hunger in our community and encourage others to help.

The TJMS Student Council will be hosting a Thanksgiving Food Drive supporting the Hands of Hope Food Pantry in Edison until November 16, 2022. Non-perishable goods can be brought in to TJMS until November 16. Non-perishable goods are considered canned goods and boxed dried goods. Each homeroom with the most donations for each grade level will receive a prize from student council when the food drive has ended.

We thank you in advance for your donations!


Clubs are from 3:05 PM - 3:55 PM. Students are able to join the club of their choice. No sign up is required. Thomas Jefferson Middle School encourages every student to take advantage of the many co-curricular clubs that are offered. Below you will find the list of all the after-school clubs that are available at TJMS.

Please review the club list with your child. Students must get their parents permission to attend a club prior to the day of the assigned club.

Late buses will be available for clubs on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Late buses are available for bus students only!

Thank you!

From November 7th - November 30th, the 1st Place Spiritwear website is offering 20% off savings on the entire website and free shipping over $75. Please use this link to order your TJMS apparel and support TJMS.

Thank you.

Guidance Department

Welcome to the Thomas Jefferson Middle School

Counseling Department

The end of the first marking period is here. Now is a great time for students to reflect. Talk to them about what worked for them during the first marking period and what didn’t turn out as they had hoped. Did they meet the goal(s) they set? Work with your student to create goals for Marking Period 2 and set check in dates on their calendar to monitor progress. Encourage your student to speak with their teacher or counselor if they need help with anything.

Photo Retake Day

Photo retakes will be on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.

In an effort to streamline communication to parents, a monthly "TJ Connection" will be emailed to all parents. Please review/update your contact information on the Genesis Parent Portal. Instructions on updating contacts begin on page 36.

Report an Absence in the Parent Portal Instructions


Please visit our district website to purchase insurance for your child’s device from Worth Ave. Group.


You are invited to join the TJMS PTO! Our PTO does a lot of important work for our students, which offsets the cost of student activities. Please complete the google form to join the TJMS PTO. The PTO’s first meeting is Thursday, October 6, 2022, at 6:30 PM in the school cafeteria. Feel free to contact the PTO at any time: and visit their website.


If your child will be absent, you can report the absence in the parent portal or call the attendance line at 732-650-5290, then press 1 for attendance. Cleary state your child's name, date, homeroom, and reason for absence.

Absences are not excused until a note from a doctor or medical facility is received. Students can bring these notes to the main office or email them to

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Bell Schedules