TJ Today

Thomas Jefferson Middle School

October 2017

Oct. 9 - Fazoli's Give Night

Oct. 11 - 8th Grade PSAT

  • 6th Grade "Around the Table"

Oct. 13 - Fall Fundraiser Orders Due

  • 8th Grade Visit to Ivy Tech
  • Last Day of Quarter 1

Oct.16 - No School -Fall Break

Oct. 18 - Wrestling Call-out meeting

Oct. 20 - Report Cards Available on Line

Oct. 17 - Football Tailgate

Oct. 27 - 7th Grade Boo-gatta

Nov. 3 - 8th Grade Eva Moses Kor

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Congratulations to our students, teachers, support staff, and parents in helping us work together for the success of our school. The link below provides more information about our A Letter Grade.

Student Success - Homework, Retakes, and Study Table Procedures

This is a link to our Student Success procedures

  • Homework is posted on your child's Canvas Calendar. Create a parent Canvas Observer account using this link on our website.
  • Grades are posted on Skyward

Fall Fundraiser

  • Our fall fundraiser began September 29th, and we hope to have a great sale! The money earned from this sale will go towards designing our new Flex Room and other school programs. We are hoping ALL students will sell at least 12 items so they can participate in the laser tag event that will be coming to our school!
  • Increase your sales by using the Internet. See the attachment below for details. All students who register for online sales will go into a company-wide drawing for Amazon Echo Dot!
  • Turn in your orders and money by Friday, October 13th. Unpaid orders will not be accepted. Checks should be made payable to Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Cash and money orders will also be accepted. Delivery for the products will be at the beginning of December. All students who sell for the fundraiser will earn accumulative prizes!
  • Parent Help Needed - If you are willing to come to school to help count money, process orders or sort items when they are delivered, please contact our office.

TJ/BF Football Tailgate October 17th

We are so excited to announce our second annual FOOTBALL TAILGATE! On Tuesday, October 17th, our A football team will be playing Ben Franklin at the High School! Our tailgate begins at 4:30 at the High School Football field and continues until 5:45, when TJMS students will line the field to cheer on our team.

Students may then attend the football game. The game begins at 6:00 p.m. Students may leave at any time and should have rides home immediately following the game.

Event cost is $3 for parents and students, and this includes entry into the tailgate and the football game. Advance sales will include a free spirit wear item and will be before school from 7:15 - 7:45 outside the cafeteria on the following dates: Oct. 11th, 12th, 13th, and 17th.

Music will be provided by THE CODE NAMES, sponsored by Front Porch Music. We will have food and concessions for sale, as well as spirit items. This event is open to all TJMS and BFMS families.

This event is brought to you by our PTSO in partnership with the TJMS Student Council and Front Porch Music.

Below are two sign up genius links for item/food donations and event volunteers. Thank you in advance for your support!

8th Grade - Sept. Flew by Fast

September was a busy month for our 8th graders. Teachers have been working to integrate chromebooks to enhance student learning opportunities when appropriate and keep a balanced curriculum. Since the chromebooks are used throughout the day, it is very important that all students remember to bring their fully charged chromebook every day.

Recently, we had our annual Teacher Trivia Contest in which students learned a little bit about their teachers and determined which advisory would be the first to pick their t-shirt color. Ask your child to share some interesting facts about their teachers. This month, all 8th grade students will participate in ProSocial Training. This training is a part of the Indiana State Standards on Bullying Prevention. Students will spend the day participating in activities and discussions learning about what bullying is, what it is not, and how to deal with a variety of situations.

On Wednesday, October 11, eighth grade students will take the PSAT 8/9. This test helps students determine what they need to work on most so that they’re ready for college when they graduate from high school. It measures what they’re already learning, shows them whether they’re on track for college, and lets them know where they need the most improvement. Students will share their scores with Khan Academy to create a personalized practice experience.

As a reminder, the first grading period will be ending on Friday, October 13. As we continue the school year, we would appreciate the help of all parents.

  • Check grades and assignments on Skyward at least once or twice a week.

  • When your child has a missing assignment, please remind him/her that the assignment still needs to be completed.

  • Contact your child’s teachers to develop a plan if your child is struggling academically so that your child can have a successful year.

Important 8th Grade Dates

Tue. Oct. 10: Last day of academic classes for first grading period due to special events.

Wed. Oct. 11: PSAT (Get a good night’s sleep and eat breakfast before this test.)

Thu. Oct. 12: Team Peace Training or Bully Prevention Training for students

Fri. Oct. 13: Visit Ivy Tech (Valparaiso Campus) Wear Advisory t-shirt or color

Tue. Oct. 17: 2nd Grading Period begins; Get off to a great start!

7th grade change is in the air

As the leaves start to change and the air begins to cool, our first quarter of 7th grade comes to an end. October is a month of change. It is a month where we can reflect on how successful we have been at the start of the year and decide the changes we must make to continue doing our best. It is a month for change in sports with volleyball, football, and cross country coming to an end and basketball and wrestling starting. In celebration of these changes, the 7th grade team will be holding the 18th annual Boo-gatta. This will be a homeroom activity, held on October 27th, which encourages team building with activities geared to academic classes and Halloween.

Remember that this time of change gives us an opportunity to improve. So as the quarter ends, be sure to get your school work in and start the next quarter on the right foot.

6th graders keep Rolling

Things have been rolling right along for the TJMS 6th Grade. The hallways are still bustling, but the students have settled in! You can see the ‘middle-schooler’ confidence that wasn’t there before.

Parents attended the first two of three Around the Table Dinners in the TJ Cafeteria. Families were treated to a pasta dinner while enjoying stimulating conversation with teachers, counselors, and administrators. It was a great night all around!

A few things to keep in mind…

· The 1st Quarter ends in 2 weeks. Please keep checking your child’s grades! It is important that all of us reinforce the importance of staying connected—parents and school.

· Also, with the end of the quarter comes the PRIDE Reward Celebration for those students who have maintained an 80% or higher on their points! PRIDE points are updated each week and posted in teachers’ rooms.

Around the Table Dinners - 6th Grade Families

The last Dinner is Wednesday, October 11th. This is the link to RSVP.

September Pride Card Winners

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Student Council Update

Student Council met for the second time this year in the FLEX Room. Attendance was once again outstanding! Topics that were discussed included the TJ/BF Tailgate, Red Ribbon Week. We are busy, busy, busy!

Books and pens and highlighters, oh my! The TJMS Book Store is officially open for business! Student Council will be operating the bookstore Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7:15-7:45. Some of the items for sale include pens, pencils, earbuds, pencil lead, highlighters, paper, notebooks, folders, lanyards, and more! All proceeds benefit Student Council and our student activities.

Important Info/Dates:

Next meeting- Wednesday, October 11 @ 7 am in the FLEX Room

Bookstore will be open before school on Tues/Thurs from 7:15-7:45

Red Ribbon Week: October 23-27

Lowest Price on Yearbooks!

Did you know that the yearbook price will be going up on October 13th? Buy now and save money--don't be left without a yearbook at the end of the year! This year, we will be telling the stories of the year. Our theme is "We"--and our yearbook will be showing how TJMS joins together to accomplish amazing things! Orders can easily be placed online by clicking

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!

Media Center Happenings

September: Library Card Sign-up Month

September is Library Card Sign-up Month, which marks the beginning of the school year. Thanks to Amanda and Cate from the Valparaiso Public Library, all TJM students had an opportunity to sign-up for a public library card here at the school during advisory periods. The benefit? Students can use their Chromebooks to access public library resources, such as ebooks and audiobooks. The joint venture also sparked the idea of partnering to host public library programs here at TJM. Next up: We will partner to host a Nerf Fight here in our library during advisory periods in November. The physical activity will also require brain power as students strategize with their team to win. More details will follow soon!

Student Media Center Helpers

The TJM media center would not be the same without our wonderful student helpers! Mrs. Hurley has started planning and organizing advisory activities with the students, and the first event was this past Tuesday – decorate a Harry Potter-themed wand with Mia and Olivia. Their crafty idea, which prompted students to decorate a wand as a shout-out to the magical world of Harry Potter, made use of various materials, such as our 3Doodler pens! Upcoming projects include Elisabeth and Ramaya’s hexaflexagon session and Izze and Jamaree’s emoji-themed event. All student-led projects are helping to promote the importance of reading and learning to all of our students here at TJM. Encourage your child to listen to the morning announcements for details and to visit the grade-level Canvas page for sign-up forms.

Builders Club News

Builders Club is under new leadership! We just held our elections, and I am proud to announce that this year’s president is Tyler Edwards, and the vice president is Addi Clark. Congratulations to them both! Elections for the PR Director will be held at our next meeting.

We had an impressive showing at the Pack-a-Thon last month with over 40 students and parents lending a hand! What a strong start to the school year!

Later this month,we will once again be collecting Treats for the Troops. Donations of Halloween candy will be collected the mornings of November 1-3.

Also in November, we will be joining forces with BF, VHS, and some of the local elementary schools for the annual Leaf Raking Project. That will take place on Saturday, November 4. Permission slips will go out at our next meeting (October 18).

The following weekend (Friday, November 10) is Choc-o-Lots, which is a fundraiser sponsored by Sunrise Kiwanis. Builders Club will be decorating a tabletop Christmas tree that will be auctioned off that evening. Tickets for this tasty event are $10 a person or $20 for a family. Choc-o-lots will take place at the Old Town Banquet Center, beginning at 5:00. If you are interested in purchasing tickets, see Mrs. Janowiak, any member of Sunrise Kiwanis, or you may buy them at the door.

“We rise by lifting others.”

~Robert Ingersoll


During the 2017-18 school year, the Social Services Team for Valparaiso Community Schools is able to provide food for students in need on the weekends! Contact Ms. Keown if interested.