JMS Weekly Update

December 20, 2020

Good Afternoon JMS,

We have nearly made it to Winter Break! We hope that you and your families enjoy this time together safely and that you are able to find some time to relax and recharge.

Be sure to peruse the New Information Section of this week's JMS Update for information about:

  • The Promising Young Writers Competition
  • Wednesday's 12:00 Dismissal
  • The JMS Kahoot! Challenge
  • A Message from Dr. Steinhauer

Please continue to let our nurse, Mrs. Suess, know if anyone in your family is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. With a planned return to school on January 21st, this information is critical to the safety of the students and staff at JMS.

We all need to do our part to slow the transmission. During this break, please do your best to stay home, wear a mask, physically distance (6ft or more), avoid congregating in groups, and wash your hands.

Do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions.

Happy Holidays,

Dr. Sarah Shaw, Principal

Ms. Katelyn Deet, Assistant Principal

Weekly Schedule

Hybrid A/B/Cyber Schedule

Monday - Day 5

Tuesday - Day 1

Wednesday - Day 2 - 12:00 Dismissal for All Students

12:00 Dismissal Schedule

  • HR - 8:00-8:30
  • Pd 1 - 8:36-8:55
  • Pd 2 - 9:01-9:20
  • Pd 3 - 9:26-9:45
  • Pd 4 - 9:51-10:10
  • Pd 5 - 10:16-10:35
  • Pd 6 - 10:41-11:00
  • Pd 7 - 11:06-11:25
  • Pd 8 - 11:31-11:50
  • HR - 11:56-12:00

Thursday - No School - Winter Break

Friday - No School Winter Break

Monday (1/4) - Day 3

New Information

Congratulations to Our Promising Young Writers!

On November 11, 75 eighth graders began the writing for the NCTE Promising Young Writers Program in response to the theme they were given. Of those, 52 students put forth the necessary effort and time, completed the writing sample, and turned in a copy for evaluation. We are especially proud of them for their motivation and effort in seeing this opportunity to completion.

This year’s prompt was both challenging and open-ended. Of our 52 participants, 5 deserve recognition for their excellent work. The following students deserve an honorable mention for their performance: Rachel Capriotti, Ellison Resler, Sophia Savarese, Clara Sun, and Tess Woods.

Of the 52 participants, three finalists from JMS have been chosen. Their papers, along with a sample of their best writing, will be sent for evaluation in the state competition. This year’s finalists should be very proud of themselves. With a challenging prompt, they composed insightful, original pieces that showed authentic voice. This year’s JMS Promising Young Writers Finalists are Cara Lotter, Josie Gillen, and Anouk Ritivoi!

Congratulations, Cara, Josie, and Anouk!

JMS Kahoot Challenge!

Our 6th Grade Student Council, under the leadership of our awesome Executive Board members, have prepared a JMS Kahoot challenge for the entire school.

This Kahoot Challenge will take place on Wednesday morning during an extended homeroom. Homerooms will compete against each other for prizes!

A Message from Dr. Steinhauer

Dr. Steinhauer sent the following information to all families last week.

Hybrid Resumes

Elementary (Grades K-5) - January 11, 2021

Secondary (Grades 6-12) - January 21, 2021


In the recent order issued by Governor Wolf, athletics paused until January 4, 2021. Last evening the School Board voted to resume athletics on January 4, 2021, pending no further action from the Governor.

Updated Plans

The School Board also approved the Health and Safety Plan 3.0, the Revised Reopening Education Plan, and the Revised Athletics & Activities Health and Safety Plan 4.0. All of these documents can be found at

New Dashboard

In addition, we have launched a revised Dashboard. This revised Dashboard is designed to provide more data to create a fuller view of COVID-19 cases in our schools. It aligns with the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s new guidelines regarding the identification of Covid-19 cases in school.

The Dashboard consists of three elements:

  1. The first chart is aligned with the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Recommendations for Pre-K to 12 Schools Following Identification of a Cases of COVID-19.
  2. The second chart provides a snapshot of the total number of employee and student positive cases of COVID-19 in the District.
  3. The third chart displays the total COVID -19 cases by month.

Out of State Travel Restrictions

If you plan to travel out of state, please know that your child will need to quarantine or produce a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering PA, before returning to school. During this time of quarantine you child will be able to log into class remotely, but will not be permitted to physically enter the building.

Contact Ms. Deet or Mrs. Suess with any questions regarding your travel plans.

Other Information


We’re down to the final few weeks to order a yearbook and take out an 8th grade advertisement. If you are interested in a yearbook or an advertisement visit

JMS Yearbooks are on sale now through January 1, 2021. We will be working throughout the year to collect pictures from the children who are working at home. If you have pictures that you would like to share with the yearbook, please email them to Ms. Beckett at


  • Sunday, November 1 at 12:00 AM-Friday, January 1 at 11:59 PM: $45

Limited extras will be sold on the last day of school for $50. 8th Grade Advertisements are also for sale from now until January 1 for $30. Order your yearbook and take out an 8th grade ad TODAY!

Resources For Families

Lunch Menu

The Mt. Lebanon School District will continue serving free Grab-and-Go Meals to any student in the community under the age of 18, with no eligibility requirements, until further notice. The meals will be distributed at the elementary schools.

Meals will be available from 10:45 until 1:15 every day to accommodate all students during their lunch periods.

Families In Need of Technology

As we prepare to start the 2020-2021 school year, we are asking families who need to borrow student technology to please complete the form linked below:

Be sure to list every student for whom you need to borrow a device on this form. Once you have submitted your form, you will receive status emails including device pickup details from an email address. Please also be sure to whitelist email addresses with your email provider to ensure that you receive these communications from us.

Please direct any and all questions regarding loaned equipment to our support address:

COVID-19 Resources

The following resources provide information to help Mt. Lebanon School District families and staff navigate the complexities of COVID-19 and the impact the pandemic it is having on our daily lives. These resources will be updated as more information becomes available.

Local Resources for Families

The MTLSD School Counselors in partnership with The Allegheny Children's Initiative Inc., have compiled a list of social services resources that may be helpful to you and your family. Please take a look and reach out to these organizations. They are here to help with any of the following:

  • Food
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Pets
  • Abuse
  • Mental Health
  • General Assistance

Safe 2 Say Something

Safe2Say Something is a youth violence prevention program run by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General. The program teaches youth and adults how to recognize warning signs and signals, especially within social media, from individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others and to “say something” BEFORE it is too late. With Safe2Say Something, it’s easy and confidential to report safety concerns to help prevent violence and tragedies.

Here’s how it works:

  • Submit a report through the Safe2SaySomething system
  • Crisis center reviews, assesses and processes all submissions
  • Crisis center sends all submissions to school administration and/or law enforcement for intervention
  • If needed, crisis center may contact tipster anonymously through the app


7th & 8th Grade Girls Basketball Tryouts

Basketball tryouts for any interested 7th and 8th grade girls will be on Tuesday, Jan. 5th and Wednesday, Jan. 6th from 3:30 until 5:00 in the JMS gymnasium.

Registration must be completed through FamilyID which can be accessed through the Athletic Department's website. A physical that is dated after June 1, 2020 is required.


We are excited to announce that we are now offering the convenience of online registration for our athletic programs through partner company, FamilyID ( FamilyID is a secure registration platform that provides you with an easy, user-friendly way to register for our programs, and helps us to be more administratively efficient and environmentally responsible. When you register through FamilyID, you enter your information once for multiple uses, multiple kids and multiple programs.

JMS PTA Information

Help JMS Earn Money While You Shop!


If you haven’t used AmazonSmile Before:

  1. Go to and sign in with your regular Amazon username and password.
  2. You will be prompted to choose a charity. You should enter "Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc” into the search box that appears. It will say "Pittsburgh, PA" as the location for the charity.
  3. Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to on your browser.

If you already use AmazonSmile:

  1. Go to and sign in with your username and password
  2. Make sure the charity you’ve selected is "Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc." This information is located under the search bar where it says “supporting”.
  3. If it isn’t, you can change it by clicking on the charity and selecting “change”
  4. This will bring you to a page where you can search for “Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc” and allow you to switch charities.
  5. Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to to checkout.
  6. If you shop on the Amazon app. Please activate Amazon Smile on your mobile app by opening the app and finding ’Settings’ in the main menu (☰). Tap on ‘AmazonSmile’ and follow the on-screen instructions to turn on AmazonSmile on your phone.

Box Tops

Clipping Box Tops is an easy way to earn money for our school. Each Box Top is worth 10 cents, so don't forget to physically and electronically clip the for us! The clipped Box Tops can be turned into the office.

See Box Tops for more information on how to scan Box Tops and to download the app. Receipts must be scanned within 14 days for the Box Tops to be scanned electronically.

Giant Eagle

Giant Eagle Support our students! Enroll your Giant Eagle Advantage Card and earn points for FREE educational rewards with every shopping trip.

Click here to register your card. Our school code is 3369. The Giant Eagle card program is also easy to use - just register your card and shop away as usual!

Office Depot/Office Max

Office Depot/Office Max has a school rewards program. When shopping, remember to ask the cashier to tag Jefferson Middle School. For online orders, enter our school ID (Thomas Jefferson Middle School ID:70088453 Pittsburgh, PA) on the Thank You Confirmation page.

Jefferson Middle School

The Jefferson Middle School learning community has an exceptional reputation for its dedicated teachers, staff and parents working together to provide learning experiences for our children that include high expectations, a challenging curriculum and a shared commitment to provide the best education possible for each and every student.