Eagle Eye JMS Parent Newsletter #24

January 23-27, 2023

“The best way out is always through.”- Robert Frost

Hello, Jefferson Middle School families and parents!

Another week of achievement, activities, and lessons learned in our building here at JMS. At times, it is a letter grade; other times it may be tough love and a restorative conversation. Still other times, it may be growth in a reading or math skill. We celebrate success continually and consistently, and we seize opportunities to turn any negative into a positive. We want our families to know how very much we appreciate that we are truly "all in this together", pushing our students to new heights academically, socially, and emotionally, every day, every hour. We encourage our parents to have evening conversations about their child's school day.

IMPORTANT: School Supplies and Preparedness!

On that note of exceptional learning, it is imperative that all students are prepared before coming to class. Our teachers have expressed that many students may need to replenish their school supplies, especially paper and pencils. Our JMS teachers will always ensure that students have what they need, but now is a great time for students to restock if they are low on paper and writing utensils. Additionally, having their school devices, fully charged, when they walk into school will help them avoid delays in getting started on classwork and readings.

Please do not ever hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns.

Have a wonderful week!

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

Inclement Weather Reminders

Big picture

Week at a Glance!

January 23-27

Monday 23, A day

  • Chess Club Library 2:45-3:45 A
  • tomic Eagles Meeting Science Wing 2:45-4:30
  • RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30
  • Master Builders Meeting Rm 102 2:45-4:30
  • Board of Education Meeting SAB 5:00
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00

Tuesday 24, B day

  • Girl Scouts Meeting Rm 208 3:00-5:00
  • Atomic Eagles Meeting Science Wing 2:45-4:30
  • RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30
  • Master Builders Meeting Rm 102 2:45-4:30
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00

Wednesday 25, A day

  • Ski Club to Ober Gatlinburg 1:00
  • Garden Club 1:00-2:00
  • Vape Class POG 1:00-2:15
  • Cheer Practice 1:00-2:00
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00

Thursday 26, B day

  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00

Friday 27, A day

  • Youth for Christ Band Room 7:10 AM
  • Ms. Kala’s class to Oak Ridge Public Works
  • Student Council Meeting Library 7th period
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00
Big picture

2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook

Big picture

Feelings of Food: Exploring the Mind Body Connection

The mind- body connection can help us better understand our children’s mood and behaviors as they relate to the food they consume and help to ensure they are fueling up for with the things that support the structure and function of the brain, body and ultimately how they feel.

Here are three main benefits to being intentional with our food.

  1. The brain functions best with nutrient-dense foods.
  2. That gut feeling says a lot.
  3. High levels of performance run on high levels of nutrients.

The brain functions best with nutrient-dense foods.

Eating high-quality foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants powers optimal brain function to support critical thinking, learning and memory. Foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat or fat-free milk products, seafood and lean meats, eggs, beans and legumes along with nuts are packed with beneficial nutrients at low caloric levels. These foods provide the fuel your brain needs 24/7 to stay healthy and active while functioning at its best.

That gut feeling says a lot.

The bacteria in your gut can also affect how you feel, which influences the ways in which those feelings are expressed through different behaviors. Take a look at some of the benefits they can provide!

  • Grab a handful of berries – they’re loaded with antioxidants that support strong immune systems and help fight off stress.
  • Leafy green vegetables are packed with magnesium and other nutrients – a great boost for energy and stamina.
  • Yogurt is a good source of probiotic bacteria – helping the good bacteria in our gut flourish and better support our mood (but watch the labels to make sure the yogurt you enjoy is only made of simple ingredients and has no added sugars).
  • Scramble up some eggs – the yolks are full of choline – a nutrient known to help improve memory and cognition.

High Levels of Performance Run on High Levels of Nutrition

What we eat not only affects our mind and feelings, but in turn impacts our performance. Consuming a healthy and well-balanced diet fuels our physical and emotional processes and helps to maintain energy and endurance so we can enjoy the activities, play and sports we love most.

Promote a healthy and well-balanced diet at home by:

  • starting the day with a balanced breakfast
  • making half your child’s plate consist of fruits and vegetables at mealtime
  • choosing healthy sources of protein such as lean meats, nuts, fish, legumes and eggs
  • serving whole-grain and whole wheat bread, pasta, and cereals
  • choosing not to fry foods, but broil, grill, or steam them instead
  • limiting fast food intake
  • offering water or skim/low-fat milk instead of sodas and sugary drinks
  • encouraging hydration throughout the day

Role modeling is our most powerful tool as we teach our children healthy habits that influence their social and emotional well-being. The slightest change in your words and behaviors at home can make a significant impact. Take this information and start making small changes today. Become informed, start the conversation, and reap the benefits of having a child who feels great and is well-equipped to function at their best!

For more information, head to ActionforHealthyKids.org

Wednesday Zero Period: Capstone and Social Emotional Learning

This past week, we spent time Wednesday morning with the following topics in each classroom.

  • 8th Grade: We spent time gathering credible sources and taking notes for our Capstone projects! Our outline process was introduced as well.
  • 7th Grade: Happiness, Part 2
  • 6th Grade: Choosing to Care
  • 5th Grade: Naming our Emotions

ORS Vaping Letter to parents


We are sad to report that student vaping has increased significantly at the secondary level this school year. School Administration and staff are committed to addressing this concern, but effectively controlling this trend will be challenging. Student access, the ability to hide vapes and the odorless nature of vapes increases the difficulty of monitoring and reducing this dangerous trend.

This trend is resulting in lost instructional time for many students. Students using or possessing vapes that contain nicotine products are being assigned multiple days of out of school suspension. Students identified as using vapes or being in possession of vapes containing THC, are being expelled for a full calendar year. Approximately 50% of the students currently assigned to the Secret City Academy are there due to using a vape that contained THC.

Due to the increase in vapes containing THC, we are informing parents that the Secret City Academy is currently at capacity. The Oak Ridge Schools Code of Conduct clearly communicates our expectations regarding the unauthorized use or possession of drugs. Students confirmed of using or being in possession of drugs at school, or at a school activity, will be expelled in accordance with the Oak Ridge Schools Code of Conduct.

If your child is expelled, it is likely that they will only have the option to participate in on-line learning. Expelled students will be placed on a waiting list and granted access to the Secret City Academy when a student complete their time at the SCA. Choosing to use a vape containing THC or participating in other zero tolerance events while at school or at a school event will remove your child's ability to participate in face-to-face instruction.

Oak Ridge Schools clearly recognizes the value of attending school in person, but we also understand the importance and are committed to providing students a drug free learning environment.

Please continue speaking with your child or children regarding the harm of vaping and drugs. We are in the process of scheduling a Vaping Education Week which will focus on providing students an educational assembly to communicate the harms of vaping. We are also looking to provide a similar evening opportunity for parents to attend.


Oak Ridge Schools

CATCH My Breath Parent Presentation

Youth Vaping Prevention - Additional Resources

Dress Code Conversation

Just a reminder:

The dress code is always published in the yearly ORS Code of Conduct (specifically page 15 and 16 in the document below). It is the policy that your school administrators use as guidelines and that students and parents sign acknowledgements about each year. Until it is changed and approved by our Board of Education, that is our policy.

That being said, we take you and your students' feedback about this policy, and the others, quite seriously. We have had several conversations with students, staff, and parents about some of the dress code policies, most specifically #4 about loungewear. We took your concerns to other principals and have started a conversation about revisions for next year's Code of Conduct.

However, until that policy is changed, our dress code is still outlined below. In general, when a student has been identified as out of dress code, we will ask the student if they have clothes to change into in their lockers. If not, we will place a phone call home to you and ask for a change of clothes.

We do not like students missing instruction and we do not like bothering you during your day with these issues. Please help us avoid these interruptions by having a conversation with your students about the guidelines.

As always, if you have any questions, please let us know.

2022-2023 ORS Code of Conduct

Attention Parents and Guardians of 6th and 8th grade Students

Attention Parents and Guardians of 6th and 8th grade students

On February 16th, 17th and 27th, students in 6th and 8th grade will participate in the Oak Ridge Board of Education approved Family Life curriculum during their Physical Education class. The programming will be age appropriate and address topics covered in the 6th and 8th grade Health Education standards.

***Due to the 8th graders touring ORHS on February 16th, 8th grade students who have PE on A-days will participate in their Family Life presentation on Monday, February 27th.

6th Grade Family Life Information

Lessons presented will be age- appropriate information on the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up. Boys and girls will be separated for this presentation, but will watch the same video. The link for the video is:


8th Grade Family Life Information

Lessons presented will be age-appropriate information on the emotional, social and physical aspects of growing up. Information on sexually transmitted diseases, refusal skills, abstinence, HIV/AIDS is also included. Students will remain in the same classroom, unlike when boys and girls were separated in the 6th grade program. This information will be presented by Mrs. Tracey Robbins.

Per School Board Policy 4.213, a parent/guardian has the right to opt their child out of participating in the family life education programming. Your child may be assigned alternative health activities and will not be penalized academically.


If you would like additional information about the program, or if you have further questions, please feel free to contact Katie Bolling, Sean Jessie or Casey Ensley at 425-9301 or by email at ksbolling@ortn.edu, skjessie@ortn.edu, or ceensley@ortn.edu.

Big picture
Big picture

Our Nurse Clinc is taking Donations: Opportunity to HELP!

Big picture

Contact SJCallison@ortn.edu with any questions!


This is to inform you that Coordinated School Health and the ORS Nursing Department have completed health screenings in 6th and 8th grades. This consisted of 3 screenings: Vision Screening, Blood pressure screening, and Body Mass Index screening which was calculated using your child’s height and weight. These screenings are effective in revealing common vision, health and/or blood pressure issues, but does NOT substitute for a professional examination.

If your child was screened, you can view these results online via your Skyward Parent Portal beginning January 20. Just log in and on your main screen you will see that is says there is an online form available to fill out. Just click the link to fill out the form and you will see directions on how to view your child’s results. If you see that your child did not fall within normal ranges on one of the screenings, please fill out the short online form in skyward. If not, no further action is needed on your part.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our school nurse or Marcia Wade with Coordinated School Health at mkwade@ortn.edu. Thank you.

Well Child Services: See attached flyer!

Big picture

Wilderness Connections Winter Excursion

Big picture



The Eagles begin District Tournament play on Saturday at Cherokee Middle School. The Lady Eagles will take on Jacksboro in the first round at 11am on Saturday. The Eagles will play their first game on Tuesday at 6pm. District Tournament play will continue through Thursday an the top three teams from the District will advance to the Sectional Tournament. Please see the tournament brackets below. Go Eagles!

JMS Track & Field:

It’s almost time for JMS Track & Field! We will have an interest meeting for current 6th, 7th and 8th grade JMS students who are interested in running track this spring on Tuesday, February 7th from 2:45pm-3:45pm in the JMS gym. Students interested in running track this spring must have a current sports physical, dated April 16, 2022 or later, on file. A link to the JMS sports physical packet is linked here: http://www.ortn.edu/Jefferson/FY23_JMS_Physical.pdf. Please contact Coach Byas, Coach Bolling or Coach Jessie with any questions.

Coach Katie Bolling

Big picture
Big picture

TACL Updates: Mr. Solliday's Students

  • 5th grade is working on building a timeline of key figures and events of the civil rights movement from the founding of America to modern day.
  • 6th grade is working on creating geographic puzzles and riddles using information gathered on historical figures, locations, and cultures.
  • 7th grade is working on creating 3 dimensional models and presentations of microorganisms and their ecology.
  • 8th grade is working on sorting through actual data on stars and stellar objects and charting their results. they are also working on creating travel brochures of exoplanets while speculating what would be required to colonize those worlds if possible.

January POG Focus: Digital Citizen

Big picture

Digital Citizenship in Ms. Kerely's Class!

Digital Citizenship involves many indicators, one of which is:

"I will be able to access content-related digital images, digital stories, audio and video to develop cultural understanding." from our ORS Digital Citizen Standards.

Ms. Kerley's student is researching to learn about the desert; this will lead to him creating a Diorama. He is accessing digital images, creating digital narratives based on these images, and viewing videos to better understand the desert environment.

Big picture

January Character Trait: Honesty


Congratulations to our students who were recognized for honesty this short week back to school. We are so proud of our Character Trait winners each week!

  • 8th: Kaiden Jiminez, Aiden Lavoie

  • 7th: Connor Wallace, Benjamin
  • 5th: Silas Job

We also want to note that our Character Trait program is tied directly to our ORS district POG, as represented in "LIFE READY" above: Students exhibit traits of citizens ready for life with age-appropriate measures of self-awareness, self-discipline, and empathy.

The Reading Eagle - Messages from Ms. Haverkamp!

Big picture

7th Grade Term 2 Service Project

COLLECTION for Emory Valley Early Learning Center

7th grade collected items for EVELC last quarter, and Harry Shanafield (an EVELC alum) represented the students as we delivered towards the end of November.

Former Student Returns to Speak with Ms. Kala's Class

Big picture

Our former student, Damarion Anderson, came back to speak to our current students about his journey through JMS and ORHS. On track to graduate. “My motivation to do well and graduate is not just about myself, it is for my mom and dad and to set the example for my younger siblings."

Ms. Kala's Students visit the Army Recruitment Center

Big picture



We Need Your Help!

After School Program

Our After School Homework Help Program is in need of nutritious, prepackaged snacks. All donations can be dropped off in the School Counseling Office. Thank you for your willingness to support this wonderful program.

Clothing Closet Accepting Donations

JMS is pleased to offer support for students in need through our “Clothing Closet”. We are now accepting clean, gently used clothing items for the warm, winter months (mostly in need of, girl pants in all sizes and boys clothing in small). Please make sure all donated items meet the JMS dress code policy. Donated items can be dropped off in the Counseling office. Thank you for your support!

January Character Strong Trait – Honesty

This month’s focus is Honesty.

One way to think about Honesty is “being truthful in what you say and do.” Practicing Honesty helps strengthen our relationships and reduce stress. Honesty is 1 of 3 traits we will focus on throughout the year that helps students Be Well. Throughout the school, students will be developing skills like emotion regulation, positive self-talk, and stress-management.

Big picture
What is Honesty?

Family Fun Activity:

Honesty Activities

Managing stress in healthy ways is critical to our well-being. This month, students will focus on stress management. This work includes the following:

● Noticing the body’s reaction to stress

● Creating plans and practicing strategies to manage or prevent stress

Set aside some time to gather as a family and check in with each other. Ask each family member, “How are you feeling today?” Practice Honesty when responding and listen carefully as each family member shares. Use the emotion check-in questions to learn more. Challenge yourselves to check in with each other on a regular basis!

Then ask…

How do you know if you are being Honest with yourself?

Share how being Honest with ourselves can help us to be more confident, calm, or focused when we are feeling stressed.

Emotion Check-In Questions:

● Tell me more about that feeling.

● Why do you think you are feeling that emotion?

● What do you need right now?

Emotional Support through the Winter Months

Although the holidays are a wonderful time of year, the winter months can also bring more frequent emotions like depression and anxiety. If you have seen an increase in these emotions in your child and need further support, please visit the website below from Kids Health. There are many helpful parenting tips of how to support your child during this season!

Please know the JMS School Counselors are always happy to help as well.


We Need Your Help!

Our After School Homework Help Program is in need of nutritious, prepackaged snacks. All donations can be dropped off in the School Counseling Office. Thank you for your willingness to support this wonderful program.

Mental Health Resources

For mental health support, please feel free to reach out to the Jefferson Middle School Counseling Department at (865) 425-9301.

If you or someone you know is in crisis, please refer to the information below:

Mobile Crisis/Youth Villages: 866-779-9225

Ridgeview Behavioral Health in Oak Ridge: 482-1076

Statewide Crisis Hotline: 1-855-Crisis-1 or 1-855-274-7471

Statewide Crisis Text line: Text TN to 741741

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255

School Counseling Support Team!

Ms. Price - 5th and 7th Grade Counselor - clprice@ortn.edu

Mr. Sudderth - 6th and 8th Grade Counselor - pwsudderth@orth.edu

Ms. Myers - Registrar - amyers@ortn.edu


Click on each picture to enlarge!

Student Success Assembly Information

WEDNESDAY Homework Help!

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: 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 first term, 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 Road.
  • 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.
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!