Parent Newsletter

Dec. 9th - 13th

Two Weeks Left in the 2nd Nine Weeks

It's hard to believe that there are only two weeks left until the end of the 2nd nine weeks. We encourage students and parents to look on Canvas and Skyward to set goals to finish the nine weeks strong. Check out the information below to learn more about the end of the nine weeks as we head into winter break.

- A Look at the Week Ahead

- Upcoming Events

- Lt. Governor McNally visits JMS

- TE21 Benchmark Assessments

- STEM Night is 2/20/20

- Finishing the Semester Strong

- Understanding Canvas and Skyward for Parents

- Promoting 21st Century Soft Skills

- The Impact of Social Media

- Counselors Corner

Thanks for all that you do,

Phil Cox, Principal

Chris Layton, Vice Principal

Jenifer Laurendine, Dean of Students

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A Look at the Week Ahead


B day


Environmental Club (McCullough) Rm 310

Chess Club-Library 2:45-3:45

Atomic Eagles Lego League Team Meeting (Shanafield) Science Wing 2:45-4:45

RadioActive Brix Lego League Team Meeting (Davis) Rm 223 2:45-4:45

Master Builders Lego League Team Meeting (Scott) Rm 102 2:45-4:30

Basketball vs. LaFollette Middle School @ LMS GJV—5:00, GV—6:00, BV—7:00


A day

5th/6th Grade Morning Homework Help (Martin) Rm 319 7:00-7:30

TE21 Benchmark-ELA

Atomic Eagles Lego League Team Meeting (Shanafield) Science Wing 2:45-4:45

Master Builders Lego League Team Meeting (Scott) Rm 102 2:45-4:30

5th/6th Grade After School Homework Help (Martin) Rm 319 2:45-3:30

Cheer Practice 3:00-5:00

Girls Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00

Boys Basketball Practice 5:00-7:00

7th/8th Grade Chorus Concert-JPAC 7:00


B day

TE21 Benchmark-ELA & Math

Atomic Eagles Lego League Team Meeting (Shanafield) Science Wing 12:45-3:00

RadioActive Brix Lego League Team Meeting (Davis) Rm 223 12:45-3:00

CPR/AED Certification-Library 1:00-3:00

Girls Basketball Practice 1:00-2:00

Boys Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00


A day


5th/6th Grade Morning Homework Help (Martin) Rm 319 7:00-7:30

TE21 Benchmark-Math

AVID Meeting-Eagle’s Nest (Teachers), JPAC (Students) 3rd Period

Math Club (Tracey) Rm 203 2:45-4:00

RadioActive Brix Lego League Team Meeting (Davis) Rm 223 2:45-4:45

Robotic Sumo Bot Team meeting (Franco) Rm 316 2:45-4:30

Master Builders Lego League Team Meeting (Scott) Rm 102 2:45-4:30

Library Club 2:45-3:45

5th/6th Grade After School Homework Help (Martin) Rm 319 2:45-3:30

7th/8th Grade Tutoring (Hondorf) Rm 301 2:45-3:30

Basketball vs. Episcopal School of Knoxville @ ESK BJV—5:00, GV—6:00, BV—7:00


B day

Youth for Christ-JPAC 7:30

Student Council Meeting-Cafeteria 7th Period

Master Builders Lego League Team Meeting (Scott) Rm 102 2:45-5:00

Girls Basketball Practice 3:00-5:00

Boys Basketball Practice 5:00-7:00


First Lego League Knoxville Qualifier Competition-Hardin Valley Academy 7:30-5:00

Next home Basketball Game is 12/19 JV Starts at 5 pm

Upcoming Events rest of the Semester

There are several events that are upcoming at JMS after Thanksgiving Break. Please check out the list below to learn more. For specific information about concert ticket prices, program schedules and details please check with your student's teacher:

Week of Dec. 9th

December 9th - Basketball at Lafollette

December 10th - 7th and 8th grade Chorus Concert at Jefferson Middle School at 7 pm

December 12th - Basketball at Episcopal School of Knoxville

Week of Dec. 16th

December 16th - Basketball at Jacksboro

December 16th - 5th and 6th Orchestra at Oak Ridge High School starts at 7 pm

December 19th - Basketball vs. Norris at Jefferson Middle School JV starts at 5 pm

December 19th - 7th and 8th Orchestra at Oak Ridge High School starts at 7 pm

Lt. Governor and State Representative visit JMS

On Friday Dec. 6th JMS had a special visit from both Lt. Governor Randy McNally and State Representative John Ragan. The two visited Jefferson Middle School to learn more about how we are using internal data along with state assessment data to help support student achievement and growth. In 2018 - 2019, JMS was designated as a reward school due to excellent achievement and growth. It is a great honor accomplished by our amazing students, teachers and support of our families. Each and every day our students work with teachers to learn, share and grow. The evidence of this success both in statewide achievement and growth is exemplified in the Reward School status. Below you can see the excerpt from the letter from the Department of Education that describes Reward School status:

"Reward schools for the 2018-19 school year are those with an overall accountability score greater than or equal to 3.1. Congratulations on this identification for exemplifying student success in achievement and growth. We applaud your school’s hard work and student accomplishments!"

The guests listened to a presentation from our JMS administration team, school counselors, and instructional technology coach. The presentation focused on how data is collected throughout the school year to chart achievement and growth. Then how that data is shared with teachers, school counselors, parents, instructional coaches and JMS admin in order to find ways to best support student needs. The presentation highlighted how this internal data allows our teachers better understanding and opportunity to work to help and intervene when needed and also find ways to personalize learning opportunities for growth and review.

It was a great conversation to help share the successes we have seen at JMS and also be able to share thoughts on the processes with utilizing data with leaders from the state government. The event was also catered by Ms. Kala's class and their new coffee shop concept "Jefferson Jumpin' Beans". This was a huge highlight of the morning for our guests to be able to learn more about the business model and concept and enjoy a warm cup of coffee.

8th Grade Students and Parents Check this out

We still need permission forms to be submitted by a few 8th grade students. Please send the permission forms next week to school. If you need another please either have your student inform their homeroom teacher or Ms. Castle. There have been multiple emails with the permission form attached sent over the past two weeks. Our goal is for 100% of the 8th grade to attend this trip.

We want to share with you a great opportunity for our 8th grade students on December 17th from 11:30a.m.-2:30p.m. to attend a Junior Achievement job shadowing event. Below is the information for the event. Students have been given a field trip permission slip and we are working to collect those permission slips by Friday, December 6th. Learn more about the event below and please work to help your student complete the field trip permission slip to go to Roane State Community College for the event by Friday, December 6th. Here are the details:

The information below is from Junior Achievement about the event and their description etc.


JA GET HIRED! is a coalition of educators and industry leaders, led by Junior Achievement of East Tennessee. This capstone experience is an interactive, hands-on, career exploration for 8th grade students. Students participating in the program will acquire and apply the skills needed in demanding and ever-changing workplaces. Students will be able to recognize career clusters and potential job positions; understand the importance of researching the requirements needed to earn a position; and develop job-hunting tools, such as networking, resumes, and interviewing skills. This event will showcase careers at regional businesses and as students make their way through a "scavenger hunt" style personal career journey they will visit interactive career stations, network with industry professionals, learn a variety of job hunting tools and soft skills - skills that are necessary for the workplace. Then they will apply for a job in the field that they are most interested and ultimately, "GET HIRED!"

JMS Band Students Perform Well at Junior Clinic

This past Friday and Saturday, 13 students from JMS got the opportunity to represent our school at ETSBOA Junior Band Clinic. These students spent two days playing in honor bands at Oak Ridge High School with other students from middle schools throughout East Tennessee. The event culminated with incredible concerts from each honor band, and our students represented our school and community incredibly well. Below are the names of the students that attended:

Joseph Colberg

Cassidy Galaska

Bobby Givens

Mason Greenhalgh

Sarah Hudak

Liam LaRose

Isaac Lowe

Tagen Lowery

Jacob Mohr

Lewis Niad

Giada Sachitano

Elijah Sellers

Elizabeth Sellers
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PTO News

Donations Needed for Upcoming Teacher Luncheon: Our next teacher luncheon will be Thursday, December 12. Click here to signup to bring your favorite holiday dish or family favorite dish. We are feeding approximately 85 staff members so your donations are greatly appreciated!

Thanksgiving Food Baskets and Food Drive: Thanksgiving is past, but JMS would like to thank all those who donated via funds, food, and/or time to our very successful Thanksgiving Food Baskets and Food Drive event. This year we were able to provide 35 JMS families with a full Thanksgiving meal. There was a fair amount of organization that went on behind the scenes, but all went smoothly and was successful due to those who helped. Students contributed a total of 77 boxes of non-perishable food via the Food Drive! 35 of the boxes were given to our JMS families to complete the Food Baskets. The other 42 were donated directly to two local Oak Ridge Food Pantries. We are impressed with our students’ generosity. Mr. Tracey’s 8th grade homeroom won a Chick-Fil-A breakfast for donating the most food items: they brought in close to 300 food items! Many students helped by creating posters, counting food items, sorting food and prepping food for pick-up. We also want to give a big shout out to the staff who encouraged the students to donate. This Thanksgiving effort is a true reflection of the generosity of our students and staff at JMS. We are proud of their volunteerism and willingness to help others in need.

Fundraiser Spotlight: Are you curious about how your fundraiser dollars are being used? Each week, the PTO section of this newsletter will feature a different department or classroom from JMS that was helped with money from our annual Direct Drive fundraiser! This week the spotlight is on Mrs. Scott’s CDC class. The CDC class was in need of an ear thermometer to check for fevers in the classroom. PTO was able to purchase this for them with funds from the Direct Drive. Thank you JMS families!

Promoting School Safety

On Friday Dec. 6th as a part of our safety drill training we performed a lock down drill at Jefferson Middle School. The JMS safety team including our SRO Owen worked to coordinate the drill in an effort to help prepare both students and staff. The drill was a great success and our students and staff did an excellent job taking the drill serious and working to help practice school safety. This drill is a part of a series of safety drills performed at Jefferson Middle School including fire drills and tornado drills. Our number one priority is to promote school safety and help students and staff be prepared. We are thankful for the efforts of our students and staff along with the preparation made by our school safety team.
JMS Parent's Introduction to Skyward

Students Accessing Canvas and Skyward is a Great Resource

You have probably heard about Canvas or Skyward, but you may not know how they are used by teachers. Both are incredible tools that work to help both students and teachers keep up with their classes. Below are some brief descriptions for each tool and how you can utilize them at home to help your student stay organized and on top of their work.

Skyward - (video above)

For the 2019 - 2020 school year parents will be able to check out student grades in Skyward. Teachers will work to keep the grade book up to date weekly. This will help to have a better idea of student's progress weekly. Around 4.5 weeks into the nine weeks, students will get a midterm report sent home and at the end of the nine weeks.

Canvas (video below)

For 2019 - 2020 Canvas will serve as the place to get information about your child's class. For example, "what did you do in school today?" or "what did you learn about today?" etc. Canvas allows teachers to post announcements, links to resources, videos, PowerPoint notes, links to OneNote and other information that will help students in the class.

We ask our teachers to work to keep the announcements section updated each week in Canvas. This will allow parents to see a glance at the week ahead. Please keep in mind that some assignments, quizzes, tests, projects etc. may be subject to change and that the look at the week ahead is a tool to help students and parents have an idea of what will be discussed each week.

JMS Parent's Introduction to Canvas

New Vaping Policy

To effectively address and discourage student vaping, Oak Ridge Schools board of education has approved the following addendum to the 2019-2020 Oak Ridge Schools Discipline Code. This addendum will go into effect January 1, 2020, to allow us to communicate specifics to students and families.

Read the updated policy below or at this link.

Smoking/Tobacco Citations/Electronic Cigarettes

Smoking or the possession or use of any tobacco product including smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes in school buildings, on school premises, or at school-related activities is prohibited. (BEP SEC. I-5, TCA 39-17-1601 and school board policy 1.803) Students who are found in possession of tobacco or tobacco products including smokeless tobacco, and electronic cigarettes will be issued a tobacco citation for a court hearing. (T.C.A. 39-17-1505). Electronic cigarettes mean an electronic device that converts nicotine into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. Nicotine vapors or oils will be considered as paraphernalia for the electronic cigarettes. All uses of tobacco including electronic/battery operated nicotine delivery devices, vapor products, and all other associated paraphernalia are prohibited in all of the school district’s buildings and in all vehicles that are owned, leased, or operated by the district. Smoking and vaping shall be prohibited in any public seating areas including, but not limited to, bleachers used for sporting events or public restrooms. (School Board policy 1.803)

Students who are vaping or found to be in possession of tobacco or tobacco products on school property including smokeless tobacco, and electronic cigarettes, will be assigned the following consequences:

. First Offense – Student will be assigned five days of out of school suspension, receive a tobacco citation and be required to attend a tobacco/vaping education class. The length of the suspension may be reduced pending the successful completion of the tobacco/vaping education class.

. Second Offense – Student will be assigned seven days of out of school suspension.

. Third Offense – Student will be assigned a long term suspension (10 days or more).

Students who are found to be distributing tobacco or tobacco products, including smokeless tobacco and electronic cigarettes, will be assigned the following consequences:

. 1st Offense – Student will be assigned seven days of out of school suspension, receive a tobacco citation and be required to attend a tobacco/vaping education class. The length of the suspension may be reduced pending the successful completing of the tobacco /vaping education class.

. 2nd Offense – Student will be assigned a long term suspension (10 days or more).

Vaping products containing THC – Student activity involving possession or distribution of products containing THC will be addressed as a Zero Tolerance Offense.

Finishing The Semester Strong

Over the past few newsletters we have been highlighting the end of the semester with students and parents. One of our biggest goals is to get ALL students to submit ALL assignments. We have made it a primary focus to inform students of the impact a ZERO on an assignment has on their overall grade. In addition, in keeping with promoting a Growth Mindset, we have encouraged students to make corrections on assignments or take advantage of re-take opportunities from teachers.

Here are a few practices to finish the nine weeks strong, but also prepare for the second semester in January.

- Get organized, either digitally, traditionally, or both

Utilize the tools you have including a planner, the Canvas tools discussed many times in the newsletter, OneNote, and or Microsoft Outlook to set up dates and reminders for you of when projects, tests, quizzes and assignments are due

- Complete ALL assignments with your best effort

When the nine weeks ends, many students want to rush to submit work from the first week of the term. They see their grade may need help, but the reality is you should have considered that in early October when you didn't originally submit the work. Take pride in having ZERO unsubmitted assignments. In the end, the math of including ZEROES only has a negative impact on your overall grade.

- Prepare the first time

You may have a teacher who allows test corrections or allows a re-take, but it is critical to prepare the first time. Don't be surprised if you tell your parents every night, "I don't have any homework or anything to do" and then you fail a test or quiz that you never studied and prepared to take. Even on nights where you don't have an assignment, it is always wise to spend a little time reviewing, reading and organizing. If you prepare the first time, you may not have to spend more time and extra time on a retake.

- Take advantage of the resources you have

If you don't understand something, blurting out in the middle of class, "I don't get this!" or "This is stupid and no one understands this" is not the best strategy to help you. Take advantage of time before class, after class or during lunch etc. to speak with your teacher. Use soft skills to help them understand your dilemma and problem. For example:

"Ms. Johnson, I had a hard time understanding today's lesson, is there a time I can get a little more help or a resource you think could help me?"

Don't forget to say please and thank you. Also keep in mind, if you had a hard time with today's lesson because you were distracted or distracting others you may get that as feedback from the teacher. It is not out of the question if you were off task or distracting for a teacher to comment, "I noticed you had a hard time with what we learned today, but I also noticed you were playing games as we were learning or talking with your buddy etc."

Take ownership over your learning and prepare a plan to help you be successful. Can you be Gritty? Do you want to succeed and if so, are you willing to work at the steps as listed above continuously to improve your grades?

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Thanksgiving Drive is a Great Success

Thanksgiving is past, but we want to thank all those who donated via funds, food, and/or time to our very successful Thanksgiving Food Baskets and Food Drive event.

This year we were able to provide 35 JMS families with a full Thanksgiving meal. There was a fair amount of organization that went on behind the scenes, but all went smoothly and was successful due to those who helped.

Students contributed a total 77 boxes of non-perishable food via the Food Drive! 35 of the boxes were given to our JMS families to complete the Food Baskets. The other 42 were donated directly to two local Oak Ridge Food Pantries. We are impressed with our students’ generosity. Mr. Tracey’s 8th grade homeroom won a Chick-Fil-A breakfast for donating the most food items: they brought in close to 300 food items! Many students helped by creating posters, counting food items, sorting food and prepping food for pick-up. We also want to give a big shout out to the staff who encouraged the students to donate.

This Thanksgiving effort is a true reflection of the generosity of our students and staff at JMS. We are proud of their volunteerism and willingness to help others in need.

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Developing 21st Century Soft Skills

The term 21st Century Learner has almost reached it's expiration date. We talk about it often in our newsletters, on our TVs, with our students, in our assemblies and through our Twitter account. There is a reason for those messages. As educators, we spend time learning through professional development during the school year, summer months and practically year round. In those growth opportunities, one continuous theme is working to help educators blend learning to meet the needs for our current students in order to prepare them for the realities of their future. Ironically, many say a future we cannot fully comprehend or conceive.

Often we envision just a massive abundance of technology, flying cars, virtual reality, augmented reality, advanced travel and communication etc. In many cases, things that were envisioned in "Back to the Future 2" may very well exist, but 21st century skills goes well above and beyond technology. For our teachers, technology is simply a tool and often a tool to help engage learners. Do we believe our students will need to know how to use technology? Absolutely. However, our larger objective is to help teach them the 21st century skills that will help them be ready for their future and become college and career ready.

We have focused on those skills, the 4 C's of Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Communication. For our staff, they are learning more and more ways to incorporate the mission of the 4 C's into their curriculum while working to teach the standards set forth by the state. We are also working to tie in these skills with our students through the newsletter and other resources. For example, many of our staff are working to teach state standards through an instructional strategy known as Problem Based Learning. In a PBL, students identify a problem that exists in the real world and set out to propose solutions. PBLs require a lot of research, design, innovation, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity and often communication to a panel of experts who assess the final product designed by students.

For our students, we want to continue to help them grow and develop the skills for the 21st century. We want them to understand their future career pathways will not only value their content knowledge, but also their abilities to create, design, innovate, solve problems and work with others. In addition to the 4 C's we also spend time talking to students on "soft skills". For many in the workforce today, they relay that for many employees they have skills, content knowledge and tools to get a job, but often struggle to perform, succeed and maintain those careers due to a lack of Soft Skills. Below are a list of Soft Skills we work to help students focus on and understand. We have these skills currently being promoted on our TVs and will continue to promote these skills with our students.








Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

Benchmark Tests Happening This Week

Benchmark Assessments will be taking place this week on Tuesday Dec. 17th - Thursday Dec. 19th for both ELA and math. These Benchmarks will allow our school to check on students understanding of the standards in these subjects throughout the year. The data that we receive back from these assessments will allow us to provide further instruction, if needed, and feedback for all of our students as we progress throughout the school year.

To help us be prepared for these assessments that will be given online, please encourage your children to charge their devices the night before and bring them to school on Tuesday Dec. 17th - Dec. 19th.

This is the second of three Benchmarks that will be administered this year. Our final Benchmark will be given before Spring Break. We look forward to seeing the progress our students have been making since our First Benchmark in September.

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STEM Night is 2/20/20

STEM Night: 2/20/20 We hope to see you there

This is a message to Save the Date for STEM Night which will be from 6 pm - 8 pm on Thursday February 20th at Jefferson Middle School. The goal of STEM night is to invite our families and students in to our school to learn more about STEM, careers in STEM and applications both at JMS and the world in which our students will work, live, and thrive in their futures.

If you have any resources or you work for a group that may want to be a part of the STEM night, please contact either of our STEM coaches Callie Painter at or Alex Goldberg at

We will keep reminding everyone of this date as we hope to have a HUGE turnout like we did last year!

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The Impact of Social Media

We have focused this week's newsletter in helping students and parents find a "big picture" to education and especially hopefully build a connection between understanding the skills needed for success in the 21st century along with the need for class content to help build knowledge for students. As discussed above, "soft skills", are a set of skills that are growing in value and importance for institutions of higher learning and employers.

We have spent time talking about "The Four C's" of STEM learning and 21st century learning. We will continue to focus on those four C's and their importance for students, parents, and teachers as students begin to move into the job market as young adults, but often one aspect and skill that is left out of the discussion is centered around "soft skills". Often millennials and the generations to follow get a bad stigma because their use of technology has lead other generations to believe they are anti-social. We also hear things like "bullying and cyber bullying" have never been this bad. The reality is, those statements may be true or they may also be because we live in an age of information that collects, sorts, and prioritizes data including Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook etc.

We know more about people's comments, ideas etc. than ever before because more than ever before people are sharing and collaborating. While our need to know what you had for dinner last night is probably not a pressing need, we are able in many instances follow friends, family, celebrities, people we like, people we don't like etc. What used to be private thoughts or thoughts conveyed through letters and notes now may have thousands of views because so many people choose to make them public via social media. For young adolescents social media can create quite a challenge

The concern for parents centered around social media is often about the comments made after their child posts, the outcome of future potential ridicule if a student posts something they shouldn't etc. These concerns for a parent should be taken into consideration and seen as great concerns. In addition, there have been many parents comment on the potential for a social media post to impact their child's future including college admissions and/or job employment. While there is a great debate to what extent a person's social media page is scrutinized by admissions officers or HR, it has also been documented that what you post or tweet could impact your future. There are estimates that show admission officers rarely if ever look at social media and mixed reports that state 33% of applicants have their social media searched.

Consider this, often students compete for acceptance to a university or employment after high school or college. When students compete, they often have many similarities (GPA, ACT/SAT score, extracurricular activities etc.) or in the job market (similar experience, resume, education etc.). Given that so many students in the millennial generation along with the future generations see social media as a platform to discuss, post etc. but often they don't realize how public these discussion and posts have become. Is it possible that this could have an impact on their future? Yes, it certainly is possible.

The following articles help to share a little more information about how social media can impact students today and even tomorrow.

CNN article about College Admissions and Social Media

US News and World Report article

New York Times article about social media and college admissions

5 Social Media Rules for Teens & Tweens

Community Information

- CASA of the Tennessee Heartland is a non-profit that provides court-appointed special advocates for children in the court systems of Anderson, Blount, and Scott counties. CASA has fundraising events every other month so they can to raise more money for our organization so that we can reach more children that are in need. They are having an event on December 14th this year called Waffles with Santa at the Centennial Golf Course in Oak Ridge.

The event is run by our non-profit organization CASA of the Tennessee Heartland that advocates for children in the juvenile court systems of Anderson, Blount, and Scott County. The event we're hosting is called Waffles with Santa and is on Dec. 14th from 10am-12pm. There will be waffles with tons of toppings, as well as Santa that parents can have their children take photos with. It will be held at Centennial Golf Course here in Oak Ridge. Tickets for children 5 and older will be $5.

OR Schools Students helping with Masquers Spring Musical

Are you interested in trying out for the musical Little Mermaid? ORHS Masquers is holding auditions for young male and female community members from 3rd - 8th grades to play various characters in the show. Auditions will be held on Wednesday, December 11th starting at 2pm. A parent or guardian MUST be present with each child who auditions. Please see the chorus teacher Ms. Wilson on the 1st floor or Mr. Fowler on the 3rd floor for a detailed information flyer

Counselors Corner

Good Evening from the counseling office! We are getting into the winter and holiday season and need to continue to think how others are not as fortunate as we may be. We will continue our theme of giving back until we go on Winter break. Here are some recipes and ideas as to how to help others.

A lot of people want to volunteer and make a difference in their community but feel overwhelmed finding a place to start. Here is a list of holiday service project ideas that you and your families can do for the holidays!

1. Volunteer at the area soup kitchen, but they are always needing help unloading dropped off items in their docks.

2. Make Christmas cards to send to troops overseas. Go to to get started.

3. Your child wants a pet for Christmas? Adopt a homeless furry friend from a local animal shelter.

4. Have a holiday baking party. Get together with friends and bake holiday treats to take down to a local homeless shelter, fire department, or nursing homes so they can have a holiday party.

5. Go to the dollar store and get items to stuff stockings with. Keep the stockings in your car, and whenever you pass a mom battling a screaming child, someone who looks stressed, a homeless person, your post man, whoever, give them a stocking.

6. Put a little treat or card together for the next Salvation Army bell ringer you see. Those people are out there all day long trying to raise money, I think they should be thanked.

7. If you have children, talk to them about a world cause that they are interested in. Help them find a charity to donate to. Have one of their presents be a donation in their name so they can learn how to give and feel the power behind it.

8. Skip out on buying presents for the family this year and do a nice Christmas for a family who otherwise would not have it. .

9. Perform a Christmas program for a nursing home.

10. Go caroling, and leave cookies with each house a great list of 20 of the best Christmas cookie recipes!

11. Have kids and teens offer a gift-wrapping service and donate the money to a charity. They can also raise money by watching neighbors kids while they go holiday shopping.

12. Shovel snow from a neighbor’s sidewalk.

13. Help an elderly person put up Christmas lights.

14. Volunteer at Feed My Starving Children They have several locations around the U.S, and you help box food to send to kids around the world.

15. Leave a quarter in a gum-ball machine with a note on it that says, “Merry Christmas”.

16. For your company or family holiday party, have a craft station where journals, friendship bracelets, cards, etc. can be made. Send them to a local foster care group in your area.

17. Decorate a tree in a populated area for people passing to enjoy.

18. Have your Elf on the Shelf do acts of kindness for family members and have him leave a note that tells them to pass it forward.

19. Winter cleaning! Clean out your closet and donate old hats, gloves, coats, and shoes to shelters for the cold months.

20. Make easy tie blankets to donate to shelters.

21. Pass out cups of hot chocolate to people waiting in the cold for the bus.

22. Decorate the halls of a hospital.

23. Find out the needs of a children’s hospital and meet them.

24. Keep off the holiday pounds and support a charity by running in a 5k in December. Choose a run that benefits a specific charity.

25. Have each member of your family commit to helping 4 people throughout the week. This will help get them thinking about serving others. Share what you did and how you felt with each other

26. Volunteer at a local library. They always need help!

27. Make sandwiches and sack lunches for a homeless shelter.

28. Make a meal for families in Ronald McDonald Homes.

29. Donate a decorated tree to a shelter. Or, take a tree to a shelter and help decorate it with them.

30. Make sure the elderly people you know have what they need when there is bad weather.

31. Help carry groceries to your neighbor’s door.

32. Recycle all your wrapping paper.

33. Introduce yourself to new families on your street.

34. Invite someone to dinner who you know is going to be alone on the holidays.

35. Help fix a run-down playground, and use chalk to write, “Santa was here.”

36. Donate gently used books to a children’s hospital.

37. Let your friends and family know how much you love them.

38. Clean your place of worship.

39. Leave 12 days of Christmas for a family in need.

40. Make homemade ornaments for co-workers and thank them for what they do.

41. Go out of your way to meet someone new.

42. Make Nutella Cinnamon rolls and give them to the school crossing guard.

Give this holiday season!

Dates to Remember:

Thursday, December 12– All 8th grade teachers (Eagle’s Nest) and students (JPAC). Mr. McDonald and Ms. Gass from ORHS will be at JMS to present information on AVID and the selection process this year

AVID is great opportunity for certain students to be challenged in academics, learn to be advocates for themselves, and discover doors that will help them reach collegiate opportunities in the future. This is the 3rd year for AVID, and so far, the high school is seeing great success in the progress and the potential of the program. As a middle school, we play a huge role in the program through the students that we reach out to and the recommendations that we make. Let’s look forward to hearing more about how we can help make this opportunity for our students flourish this year and in the future!

Tuesday, December 17th All 8th graders will be given a great opportunity and experience to go to Roane State in Oak Ridge to attend a career event given by Junior Achievement. See this newsletter for more information.