TJ Today

Thomas Jefferson Middle School


Nov. 3 - 8th Grade Eva Moses Kor

Nov. 9 - Five Guys Fundraiser

Nov. 10 Veteran's Day Program


Nov. 28 - PTSO Meeting 6:00 p.m.

Nov. 30/Dec. 1 - NWEA Assessment

TJ helps hurricane victims

The Puerto Rico fundraiser on 10-31-17 when the students paid a dollar to wear a costume, raised just over $225.00 ($226.05, to be exact)

VETERANS DAY PROGRAMS - Friday, November 10th

  • 7TH/8TH GRADE 8:20 A.M.
  • 6TH GRADE 9:20 A.M.
  • Grandparents are welcome. There will be refreshments for our veterans and grandparents. Students can get photos with grandparents after the program.

Science Olympiad

Our Science Olympiad traditions continue here at TJMS as our new team was chosen last week and we begin now to organize and prepare for our 23 multi topic events. Our team has high expectations, as our goal will be to repeat as Regional and State champions. Good luck !

Congratulations TJMS

Science Olympiad Members 2017-2018

Calvin McMurtrey,Zach Heskett,

Amol Verma, Ari Kessler

Caden Hamscher, Max Trowbridge

Lily Rengstorf, Isaac Utesch

Micah Nathan, Ethan Hutton

Xander Green, Connor Brant

Ian Smith, Elias Iceman, Susannah Gross

(alt) Matthew Smith

Coaches: Carol Haller, Richard Bender

8th Grade - Holocaust lessons learned

On October 13, eighth grade students toured Ivy Tech in Valparaiso. Ask your student which area(s) interested them the most. The Valpo Schools Foundation helped organize and chaperone this trip. We will be visiting Valparaiso University in March.

Students will be studying about the Holocaust in many of their classes prior to attending a special presentation on November 3 given by Holocaust Survivor Eva Mozes Kor. At the age of 10, Eva and her family were taken to Auschwitz. Upon arrival, Eva and her twin sister, Miriam, were subjected to experiments by Dr. Josef Mengele. At one point, Eva became gravely ill and almost died. Her determination kept her alive, and TJMS 8th graders are fortunate to hear her story of hope, forgiveness, and life lessons. This event has become an annual tradition for our 8th grade students thanks to Tri Kappa. Eva has a Holocaust Museum, CANDLES, in Terre Haute, IN. You can learn more by visiting the museum’s website:

An important annual tradition for all students is the TJMS tribute to Veterans. Students are encouraged to dress up on November 10. During the program, Veterans in attendance are recognized and thanked for their service. All Veterans are remembered and honored through music, a guest speaker, and 8th grade student Veterans Day Essay Contest Winners who read their personal essay about a special veteran in their lives.

7th grade Boo-Gatta

This year’s “Boo-Gatta” was a blast. The team building activity took place on Friday, October 27th. The students took time to create a “vehicle” to take to the championship race. This year we had such amazing designs such as Scooby Doo, Skeletons, a Hearse, Frankenstein, and so much more. The students worked well together creating such life-like creations. The qualification races had some close finishes. In the end, the championship race was between Blakley’s SpongeBob and Wassilak's Coffin. The race came to the final few steps when the SpongeBob washed away the competition and ended up swimming right over the finish line. Congratulations to Ms. Blakley’s homeroom for a fantastic finish.

The day continued with some truly “mind-boggling” activities. Students created some very original Limericks, were Ohhing and Ahhing over some local folklore, and even took a bite out of some true creepy crawlers. The students had some interesting responses after trying the “bug brownies” and the live mealworms. “They [mealworms] started out tasting like almonds and ended up tasting like milk!” “These have a nutty taste!” “It’s crunchy like a peanut!”

Thank you 7th graders for a great start to the 2nd quarter. The teachers had fun working with you and are very proud of you teamwork!

6th graders Using their Brains

The second quarter is in full swing at TJ!

Last week was Red Ribbon Week and the 6th graders at TJ participated in large numbers to support the cause. There was even a little healthy competition between the two 6th grade teams: Team Valpo and Team Viking. All made a valiant effort, but in the end, it was Team Valpo that was victorious! You all make us Viking Proud!

6th grade Advisory classes have also started participating in the Brainology Program! The Brainology® program is a research-based, award-winning blended-learning program for students that improves motivation and achievement by teaching a growth mindset. Through interactive animations and classroom activities, students discover how the brain works and how it gets stronger and smarter through effort and learning, boosting their confidence in their potential, desire to learn, and willingness to work hard. They also learn and practice effective strategies to accelerate learning and growth.

Parents, if you could please:

· Check grades and assignments on Skyward/Canvas weekly.

· If you see a missing assignment, communicate with your child and let them know it needs to be completed/turned in.

· Contact your child’s teacher with any questions/concerns if your child is struggling academically—We all want your children to be successful!

· Students will need earbuds/headphones for classes and Brainology. If your child doesn’t have any, they can be purchased at the TJ Bookstore.

· Encourage your child to keep up to date on his/her reading counts points!

What are we learning at the moment?…

· Social Studies—Ancient Greece

· Math—Pre Algebra

· Science—Astronomy

· ELA--Mythology

Orchestra News

It is Solo and Ensemble/ISSMA time for band, choir, and orchestra. This yearly contest is sponsored by the Indiana State School Music Association. Students in the performance music classes prepare solos or ensembles to perform at the district level at Kankakee Valley Middle School in Wheatfield in late Jan./early Feb. They play these pieces for a musical judge and receive comments and medals for their work. The entry deadline is Fri. Nov. 17. Interested students should check with their band, choir, or orchestra teacher for more details.

October Pride Card Winners

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Student Council Update

Red Ribbon Week was a successful one last week at TJ! Thank you to all of the students and staff that participated and helped make it a great weekJ

What’s up next for TJ Student Council?

We are getting ready for JAR WARS! But, we’re going to need a little bit of help. If you have empty gallon milk jugs, please bring them (or have your child drop them off) to Miss Alberson’s room D168. We need to have quite a bit of them for all of the classes to decorate for JAR WARS. We need to have all jugs donated by November 8th.

Important Info/Dates:

· Next meeting- Wednesday, November 8 @ 7am in the FLEX Room

· Week of November 6th—canned food drive

· Week of November 13th—JAR WARS fundraiser

And as always, the TJ Bookstore will be open before school on Tues/Thurs from 7:15-7:45

Guidance - Planning for College

It’s never too early to start planning for college!

Have you completed a Twenty-First Century Scholar application for your child? The applications must be completed by the end of the eighth grade year. If your child is currently a seventh or eighth grader who qualifies for the program and follows the Twenty-first Century Scholars Pledge, he or she can get up to four years of undergraduate college tuition to attend an eligible Indiana college or university. The online application can be found at If your family income does not exceed the income maximums, complete each section of the enrollment form no later than the end of your child’s eighth grade year. The Twenty-first Century Scholars website can also be accessed on the Thomas Jefferson Middle School website under the guidance tab. Please contact Mrs. Carlson in the TJMS guidance office for any questions.

Remember Your Yearbooks!

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

Email Etiquette for Sixth Grade Students

Throughout October, sixth grade students received instruction about how to compose an email to a teacher and learned how to use in-person communication rules to guide what they say and how they create an appropriate tone when using email. The benefit? Improved digital communication between students and teachers, in addition to students learning about this important part of their digital footprint. Using the Common Sense Education resources also introduced students to the idea that they should treat their email as a business account since they are using it for school business. What a great way to set the expectation that their email messages should not resemble their text messages!

Upcoming Activities

The months of November and December will be busy here in our media center! First, in partnership with the Valparaiso public library, we are hosting a Nerf Battle here in our media center during advisory periods on Tuesday, November 14. Students will bring their own Nerf guns and ammo -- and will need to have protective eye wear. The activity will offer both mental and physical challenges as students work with their teammates. Also, our first book fair is scheduled for Monday, December 4 thru Friday, December 8. As we’ve done in the past, students will be encouraged to visit the book fair as a way to learn about new and exciting reading options. Our library has many of the books offered for sale, so it’s a great chance for students to build a winter reading list.

Builders Club News

November is the start to a busy couple of months for Builders Club. We are currently collecting Halloween candy that will later be combined with donations from other organizations in Northwest Indiana to create care packages for local men and women serving our country overseas.

The annual leaf raking event has been postponed, and will take place November 11 due to a current lack of leaves. Students who have already turned in permission slips will need to turn in updated ones. Other students who still wish to participate, permission slips are due by Wednesday, November 8.

November 10 is the date of Choc-O-Lots, sponsored by Sunrise Kiwanis. TJMS Builders Club will be decorating a tabletop tree to auction off that evening. If you love chocolate, this is a must-do event! Tickets are available from a Sunrise Kiwanis member or at the door.

The month will end with our first holiday event. Builders Club selects a few families from the school’s Giving Tree, and we shop at Walmart and Kohl’s to fulfill their wishes. More information will be provided at the November 15 meeting.

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

~Mahatma Ghandi

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

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.