TJ Today - Start of school edition

Thomas Jefferson Middle School 2020 - 21

August 2020

Aug. 4 - Student Schedules available in their Skyward Account

Aug. 11 - New student and 6th grade Orientation - 8:19 a.m. - 10:42 a.m.

Aug. 12 - First full day of school for all students - 8:19 a.m. - 2:50 p.m.

Aug. 20 - Virtual Open House

TJMS Return to Learn Plan

Detailed information on returning to school safely. Please take the time to read all the information included in this packet. Hopefully, this will answer most of your questions on upcoming school this year.

6th Grade and New Student Orientation -- August 11th

Sixth graders and students new to the VCS/TJMS who have elected the in-person option are invited to participate in New Student Orientation on Tuesday, August 11th from 8:19-10:42 a.m. Buses will be running their regular routes in the before and after the orientation times. Car riders are asked to enter the parking lot at the far southern entrance near the press box for the soccer/football field and follow the path to door 5 before retracing that route to exit onto Roosevelt Road. Car riders should not drop off nor pick up on Roosevelt Road, in the south drive or in the parking lot between TJMS and TJE.

Sixth graders and students new to the VCS/TJMS who have elected the remote learning option will be sent a video welcoming them to remote learning prior to August 12th, the first full day of school.

PE Uniforms Not Required

Due to the safety precautions we are taking during Covid-19 PE uniforms will not be required.

In School Learners: Students will be expected to wear appropriate clothing to school including gym shoes. At this time, students will not dress out for PE, although this is subject to change as our school year progresses. We will be sure to give families advanced notice regarding this. In the event we are able to dress out, 6th grade and new 7th and 8th grade students may purchase physical education uniforms from Blythe's Sport Shop. You can purchase online or pick it up at the store (located at 2810 Calumet Avenue) for a cost of $29.00 ($12.50-shorts, $16.50-shirt). Students are welcome to wear uniforms purchased for older siblings. Purchase Online

SCHOOL Pictures Delayed

School pictures will not be taken until November 10, 2020. All students will be given a new ID card when school starts on August 12, 2020, but these ID's will not have pictures on them. More information on Picture Day will be sent out when we are closer to the Nov. 10 date.

IMPORTANT - Safety Precautions that will be taken

The start of the 2020 -2021 school year will be like no other that any of us has experienced. Please know that Valparaiso schools and TJMS will be taking precautions to insure the safety of your students. This is going to be a learning experience for all and we will make adjustments as we see the need.

In classrooms masks will be worn and desks will be separated as much as possible for social distancing. Hand sanitizing stations will be set-up throughout the building. The disinfecting materials will be used between classes and in high touch areas.

For breakfast, only those eating a school breakfast will be allowed to enter through door #8 7:50 a.m. Have chromebook ready to use to sign in to breakfast for contact tracing purposes.

During lunches, seating will be in multiple locations throughout the building to socially distance as much as possible. Supervision will be set up in each of the lunch areas. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up on entering and leaving the cafeteria.

All people will be required to make an appointment to enter the building. Please call (531-3140) or email the staff member(s) you wish to contact to set up an appointment. Email addresses can be found at the TJMS website.

Borrowing items from teachers and fellow students will be strongly discouraged to help stop the spread of germs.

We understand some of these changes will be an inconvenience, but we are trying our best to make TJMS safe for students, staff and parents. Thank you for your assistance.

New Procedures for Dropping off Forgotten Items

We are strongly encouraging students to remember items for school so we can limit outside people from entering the building. Parents, please encourage and remind students to be prepared for that day of school. If something is forgotten the drop-off table will be set up in the front entry. Parents are to drop off the item with the students name and grade clearly marked on the item. There will be no pens or paper set up to write anything down. We will check the table every period, then email the student that they have an item to pick up in the entry way. We will not be delivering items to students. They will be responsible for collecting their items. Parents please remind your student to check the front table if they forget something!

Clubs/Sports and Other School Activities

Per IHSAA mandate Physicals that were turned in last year will be accepted this school year. There is a Health History form that will need to be filled out. If this will be the first time you are taking part in sports at TJMS or you did not get a physical last year, you will be required to get a physical and fill out all the forms for this year. The all the physical forms are located on our website under athletics. These forms can be turned into the school office when completed.

Parents please be on the lookout; on social media, emails, and daily announcements for information, start dates, cancelled or time adjustments to practices, contests, etc. With the ever changing life we are now living these things are subject to change constantly. We will do our best to keep you posted as we get updated information.

Football starts - Aug. 3 at 5 p.m.

Volleyball starts - Aug. 12 from 3 - 5 p.m.

Cross Country - Aug. 17 from 3 - 5 p.m.

How to work your locker


August 21 - Virtual Open House

Teachers will be sending out to their students and families videos of information on their class and themselves. This would be what they would present in person at the Open House.

Remote Learner Information

For parents/guardians who have selected the remote learning option: Remote learning lessons and schedules will vary by teacher. Remote Learning will be synchronous as much as possible with the traditional setting, meaning they will closely follow their traditional school day ; students will have regular assignments, support, feedback, and accountability built in to the learning sessions for core classes. Students are expected to complete assignments and participate in eLearning and livestreaming learning activities when assigned by the teacher.

Remote Learning policies can be found by clicking here.

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Grade level school schedule - The dark green indicates lunch periods


To keep everyone safe and reduce contact touch points for students and staff during COVID-19, It's Free to pay online for meals!

Login to Skyward's Family Access Portal to view, manage and deposit money to your child's cafeteria account. Click here to watch the You Tube Video https:/

Need help? Call 531-3050 and Food Service will be happy to assist you.

Pay for lunch online FREE

Click above and find out more!

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TJMS Aide Position

TJMS is looking for classroom aides. Person must have either 2 years of college or taken the state Praxis exam. If interested you can apply at the VCS website, job openings or you may contact the school. 219-531-3140.

Share your pictures

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!

TJMS PTO Facebook

The TJMS Parent Teacher has a Facebook too! LIKE our page to see school events and news!

TJMS Facebook

Did you know that TJMS has a Facebook page? Please "LIKE" our page!