Eagle Eye JMS Parent Newsletter #11

September 26-30

"Who questions much, shall learn much, and retain much." Francis Bacon

Hello Jefferson Middle School families and parents!

We are nearing the end of Term 1 and have begun our Fall benchmarks. We want to remind families to not only push your children toward academic success, but also take time to enjoy the change in seasons; enjoy hayrides, hot chocolate, pumpkins, caramel apples, festivals, and of course, falling leaves.

We appreciate all of your efforts at home, and we are confident that we see the reflection of that every day here at JMS.

Monumental Moments this past week:

  • JMS held a successful Pep Rally for the first time in a LONG time!! Students overflowed with Eagle spirit and sportsmanship!
  • Spirit Week was a BLAST! Be sure to check out all our photos on JeffersonMS Twitter!
  • Our SEL Zero Period continues to be a place and space for students to build community and connections!! JMS Soaring Eagles are immersed in becoming Character Strong alongside of high academic expectations and endeavors.

We appreciate and encourage all of our families to reach out with any needs, questions, or concerns.

Have a wonderful evening!

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

Wednesday Zero Period and Social Emotional Learning

Diving Deeper, Soaring Higher!

Our fourth session on Wednesday was incredibly meaningful and productive! All grades were immersed in for session 3 as teachers facilitated discussion, journaling, and games. We continue to build strong communities, and this week we casted dreams, goals, and steps to reach them!

2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook

Week at a Glance : September 26- September 30

Monday, September 26, 2022

  • Fall Benchmark-ELA/Science
  • Atomic Eagles Meeting Science Wing 2:45-4:30
  • Master Builders Meeting Rm 102 2:45-4:30
  • RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30
  • Chess Club Library 2:45-3:45
  • End of Season Football Celebration Cafeteria 3:00-4:30
  • Cross Country Practice 3:00-4:30
  • Volleyball District Tournament @ Lafollette Match vs. Jacksboro 4:30
  • Williamsburg Parent Meeting JPAC 6:00
  • Board of Education Meeting SAB 5:00

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

  • Atomic Eagles Meeting Science Wing 2:45-4:30
  • Master Builders Meeting Rm 102 2:45-4:30
  • RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30
  • Cross Country Practice 3:00-4:30
  • Volleyball District Tournament @ Lafollette Match TBD 7th/8th
  • Grade Fall Chorus Concert JPAC 7:00

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

  • Girls Basketball Team shoe sizing Gym 12:45-1:30
  • Staff Book Club Library 12:45
  • Special Education Meeting Eagle’s Nest 1:00
  • FLL tour KUB 1:00-5:00
  • Japanese Video Pen Pal Club Library 1:30-3:00
  • Middle School Recognition Night @ ORHS Volleyball Match 5:00

Thursday, September 29, 2022

  • 5th/6th Grade Level Meetings Eagle’s Nest Cross Country Practice 3:00-4:30 Volleyball Practice TBD

Friday, September 30, 2022

  • Youth for Christ-Band Room 7:10
  • Ms. Kala’s class to Erin’s Meadow
  • 1:45-2:00 Cross Country Practice 3:00-4:30 Volleyball Practice TBD

Saturday, October 1

  • Cross Country State Meet Clarksville TN (Central Time Zone) Girls 12 CST, Boys 12:30 CST
  • Volleyball Sectional Tournament @ Anderson County HS Match TBD

October 3-17

  • Fall Intersession: October 3-6

Tuesday, October 18: Students return to school!

Lunch Charges!

We have had many parents calling regarding the negative charges on their child’s lunch account. I checked with AraMark and the problem is that the students are getting more food items than are allowed for the ala carte meal. Please see the paragraph below from Aramark, our food service provider:

“Students are charged for an extra entrée when they select items that are not a part of the main meal options. The extra item will charge them for that item and if it is one of the options of a main meal, they could be charged for a another meal.”

Please be sure to speak to your student about lunch if you are seeing additional charges.


Big picture

2022 Fall Intersession is right around the corner and will be held the first four days of Fall Break, October 3-6, from 8:30am-11:30am each day! We will be offering a lot of fun courses during intersession, but space is limited, so sign up today! Students received a copy of this flyer in homeroom this week.The deadline to turn in forms has been extended, but transportation requests can no longer be accommodated! All forms must be turned in by Wednesday, September 28th. .Breakfast and lunch will NOT be provided. Please reach out to Coach Bolling at ksbolling@ortn.edu if you have any questions.

Impact Aid Form in Skyward Monday, September 19 through September 30

Impact Aid is a federal education program that reimburses school districts for the lost revenue and additional costs associated with the presence of nontaxable federal property. Most public-school districts are funded largely through local taxes and fees, and because federal land is exempt from taxation, districts containing federal property are at a financial disadvantage in funding their schools. We need your help in completing the Impact Aid online form to receive additional funding. We ask that every parent log into your parent portal account within Skyward and complete the form for each child in your household. The dates of completing the form are between Monday, September 19 and Friday, September 30. Thank you for your assistance.

Ms. Kala's Students

Ms. Kala's Students Visit Erin's Meadow: Agriculture in East Tennessee!

PORTRAIT of a GRADUATE September Focus: 4 Cs: Collaboration

4 Cs: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity

FOCUS: Collaboration

CHALLENGE: One aspect of collaboration from our 4 Cs rubric: "I am a productive team member who effectively works with others." Ask your child to share a moment from last week when they were working with others and being productive to create something or to solve a problem.

Collaboration at JMS this Week! Ms. Hensley and Ms. Wilson's 6th Grade ELA!

September Character Trait Focus: RESPONSIBILITY


September's Character trait focus is RESPONSIBILITY. We want to congratulate our Student of the Week winners, nominated by their teachers. We are so proud!

  • 5th Grade: Eva Scruggs, Ella Bradburn

  • 6th grade: Laney Harper, Albert Coin

  • 7th grade: Selah Smith, Kennedi Honas, , Brooke Solomon
  • 8th Grade: Ren Muchero, Dylan Thomas, Anna Hicks

The Reading Eagle - Messages from Ms. Haverkamp!

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Counseling Corner

Ms. Katie Cormack (Left- 6th and 8th Grade)

Ms. Candie Price (Right- 5th and 7th Grade)

Please contact our school counseling department with any other questions at 865-425-9302. Ms. Amy Myers, school registrar, is happy to assist with enrollment, withdrawal paperwork, transportation, Skyward, school updates, etc.

Benchmark Testing Update

JMS students will complete their TE 21 Benchmarks on Friday, September 23 (Math and Social Studies) and Monday, September 26 (ELA and Science). The tests will take place during their regular class time. Please encourage your child to try their best and remember the following test taking tips (link below)!

24 Test Anxiety Busters (According to Science) | GoZen!

Character Strong Update: September is Responsibility Month!

This month we are talking about Responsibility. Our district wide Social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, Character Strong, defines responsibility as “taking action and understanding the impact of our choices.” Taking action can mean doing the right thing or completing the tasks you have been assigned. Understanding the impact of our choices means that our actions matter. Positive and responsible actions can help people and irresponsible actions can hurt others. Responsibility is 1 of 3 traits we will focus on throughout the year that helps students Be Strong. Throughout the school, students will be developing skills like focusing, organizing, and goal-setting.

Fun Family Challenge #1:

As a family, think of ways in which you might make someone’s life a little easier by helping a neighbor or family friend with 1 of their Responsibilities. Could you bring the garbage to the chute or out to the curb? Could you carry things in from the grocery store? Could you invite someone over for a meal or a show?

Fun Family Challenge #2:

Review Responsibility as a family! Responsibility is taking action and understanding how our choices affect others. Choose 1 household chore (or more!) that requires multiple steps. Then have each member of the family select 1 step to complete to help get the job done! Maybe it is washing the dishes, doing laundry, cleaning the living room, or unloading the groceries - whatever it is, see who can be the quickest or most effective at their task!

Clothing Closet Accepting Donations

JMS is pleased to offer support for students in need through our “clothing closet”. We are accepting clean, gently used clothing items for students in need. All sizes are welcome but our largest need is for junior sized clothing. Please make sure all donated items meet JMS dress code policy. Donated items can be dropped off in the JMS counseling office. Thank you for your support!

The family resource center has two offices located on the west and east side of Oak Ridge. Their offices are located at Willow Brook Elementary and Glenwood Elementary.

For assistance, please contact Jo Bruce, FRC Director at 865-425-3205/jbruce@ortn.edu or Sharon Gleason, FRC Assistant at 865-425-9369/slgleason@ortn.edu


Click on each picture to enlarge!

Student Success Assembly Information

End of Term 1 is in ONE WEEK!

With only ONE week remaining until the end of Term 1, please check in with your students about the state of their grades. Have them reach out to their teachers early this week about any missing work. Remember you as a parent have access to both Canvas and Skyward to help monitor your students and help them advocate with their teachers.


The Tennessee Department of Education announced today the 2022 Reward and Priority schools, which are two key designations under Tennessee’s school accountability system. The Oak Ridge School district is proud to share that four schools have been named Reward Schools: Linden Elementary, Glenwood Elementary, Willow Brook Elementary, and Jefferson Middle School. Reward status is the top distinction a school can earn in Tennessee. Reward schools are those that are improving overall student academic achievement and student growth for all students and for student groups, and they are identified annually.

Dr. Borchers states, “The Oak Ridge School District focuses on growth and improvement, even in times of instability, and because our students are much more than the sum of their test scores, we will continue to focus on the Oak Ridge Schools’ Portrait of a Graduate which can be found on our district website at www.ortn.edu/pog. The Portrait of a Graduate was developed collaboratively with the community and focuses on achieving college and career readiness for every student by developing a shared vision among all key stakeholders regarding the key competencies that students need to be successful in work, citizenship, and life.”

WEDNESDAY Homework Help has ARRIVED!

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 to 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 last three weeks, 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.
  • 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.

New but Exciting Changes with SEL Mentoring Wednesdays and 8th Grade Capstone Project

We at Jefferson are very excited to bring these two new initiatives to your students. We have spent lots of time examining how best to implement these two new projects. As the school year started, we realized we needed a bit more time to refine our expectations and structures before we launched. As with all new programs, there will be some changes after implementation as we see what obstacles appear. We appreciate your support.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Fowler bjfowler@ortn.edu

Through our Portrait of a Graduate, Oak Ridge Schools is helping our students achieve the heights of academic and personal growth as they go out in the world as strong, capable adults. Part of our mission is to build capacity in our students to engage the diverse world socially and emotionally in addition to academically. To that end, we are implementing Character Strong.

Because we are a 5th through 8th grade school, our 5th graders will be doing the Grade 6 lessons, our 6th graders will be doing Grade 7, and our 7th and 8th graders will be splitting the Grade 8 curriculum, as we have some more plans for the 8th grade students. See below to find out what those are!

SEL Mentoring Wednesdays

Every Wednesday for the rest of the year, students will start their day with small groups to talk about social and emotional skills with caring teachers using engaging curriculum. 5th, 6th, and 7th grades will be focusing primarily on the SEL curriculum, but 8th grade will be engaging in the SEL curriculum AND our Portrait of a Graduate Capstone project. See below for an explanation!
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!



Athletic Update:

It’s Spirit Week at JMS! The dress up themes are listed below by day. Please encourage your child to show their school spirit by dressing up for each theme Monday through Thursday. Dress code applies and students cannot bring face paint or hair dye to school. (picture with themes is also attached)

Monday: Neon Day

Tuesday: Dress like a Teacher Day

Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday

Thursday: Blue and Gold Day

We have another busy week of JMS Athletics!

On Monday, the Lady Eagles volleyball team travels to Robertsville to take on Clinton in a varsity match at 6:30pm.

On Tuesday, the Lady Eagles volleyball team hosts Norris for a JV match at 4:30pm, followed by a varsity match at 5:30pm. Our 8th grade volleyball players will be recognized prior to the varsity match.

On Thursday, the Jefferson football team and cheerleaders host Robertsville in the City Championship football game. 8th grade night recognition will begin at 5:30pm and kickoff will be at 6pm at Blankenship Field. Admission for adults is $4 and admission for students is $3. No outside basketballs, footballs, soccer balls, toys, etc. will be allowed. On Friday evening, The Jefferson Cross Country Team will travel to Woodland Park Baptist Church in Chattanooga for the Sectional Cross Country Meet. Please come out and support the Jefferson Eagles athletic teams this week. Go Eagles!

The 2022-2023 JMS Basketball Schedule is attached to publicize in the Newsletter. If you don’t have space this week, anytime in the next couple of weeks is fine!

Please make plans to come out and support the JMS athletic teams this week! Go Eagles!

Our new BASKETBALL schedule is below!

Volleyball, Football, and Cross Country Schedules are below!

Coach Katie Bolling