JMS Weekly Update
November 15, 2020
Dear JMS Families,
As we approach the holiday season, we wanted to take a moment to reach out to you to share these community resources which can provide assistance to families for food, utility, financial, and mental health needs. As a District, we are committed to providing you with additional resources if you have specific needs or concerns you are comfortable sharing with us. Please feel free to reach out to our school counselors (Mrs. Levison and Mr. Berg), Dr. Shaw, or Ms. Deet if we can provide you with additional information or assistance for your family throughout the holiday season.
This week's Update contains new information about:
- Dr. Steinhauer's Message about the increase in COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County
- JMS's Best Practices for Remote Learning
Remember to wear a mask, physically distance (6ft or more), avoid congregating in groups, wash your hands, complete the self-screening before coming to school and stay home if you are sick.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or Ms. Deet with any questions.
Take Good Care,
Dr. Sarah Shaw, Principal
Ms. Katelyn Deet, Assistant Principal
Please help keep the JMS Community safe by:
- Wearing a mask
- Physically distance (6ft or more)
- Avoiding congregating in groups
- Washing your hands
- Completing the self-screening before coming to school
- Staying home if you are sick
In light of the current uptick in COVID-19 cases in Allegheny County, Dr. Steinhauer sent an email to parents on Friday. Click the link above to view the email. A discussion about potential decisions will take place at the School Board meeting on Monday night, November 16 at 7:30PM. You can find more information about how to log into the School Board Meeting here. A link to join virtually will be updated on Monday.
This school year has been like no other; we are all experiencing a completely new learning format. Now that school has been in session for nine weeks, we wanted to take a few minutes to share what we have learned in hopes of making this an even better experience for our students.
Students learn best when:
Their camera is on.
Students are more focused and engaged in class.
They are more likely to participate in class.
Their work space is free from distractions.
Distractions could be from other people or from other activities.
Students should be seated at a table or desk to help maintain their focus.
They are being truly present in class.
Students are more likely to complete their work.
They are more likely to participate in class discussions or ask questions.
Students are more likely to treat the virtual classroom as a real one, meaning they remain in class for the whole period and complete work while in class.
Please let your child’s teachers know if you have questions. This may be an unusual school year, but our goal of having students be successful remains the same.
What to Expect if We Have a Positive COVID-19 Case at JMS
In an effort to provide you with meaningful and accurate information we wanted to share details about what you can expect if there is a positive COVID-19 case at JMS. We hope that this information helps to ease any concerns surrounding the identification of positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts. Below is a brief explanation of process from notification about a positive case to JMS family communication.
- Family/Staff member alerts JMS about a positive case.
- JMS notifies Deanna Hess, Mt. Lebanon SD Head of Nursing, who contacts the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) for guidance.
- ACHD and JMS begin contact tracing if ACHD determines there is a need based on several factors (e.g. date onset of symptoms, date last in school, etc.)
- Any identified close contacts (less than 6 feet apart for more than 15 consecutive minutes) will be notified by the ACHD, Deanna Hess, or JMS Administration.
- JMS will send communication to families.
- If you are not contacted by ACHD, Deanna Hess, or JMS Administration, your child has not been identified as a close contact.
- All positive cases and close contacts will complete the quarantine/isolation protocol.
You can find information about COVID-19 on the District Website under the COVID-19 Tab. You can find all of the communication that has been sent about COVID-19 under COVID-19 District Communications. If you are interested in learning more about the confirmed positive COVID-19 cases of staff and students participating in Hybrid Instruction and/or activities in the District click on COVID-19 Dashboard. For COVID-19 Resources, including a list of free testing sites, click here.
School pictures have been uploaded to our photographer's website for ordering. Please visit Wayne's World of Photography to order your photos. Detailed instructions for how to do this are below. The company offers retakes if eyes are closed, glasses have glare, or hair is blown in the face. If you have any additional questions about orders or retakes, please contact Wayne Bratten at 412-257-1506. To view and order your photos:
- Visit Wayne's World of Photography.
- Click on "Schools" and then "Jefferson Middle School".
- Enter your student's MTLSD 7 digit ID number. (This number can be found on dashboard in the Student Information section.)
- Complete "student information" section.
- Complete your purchase online.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 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! yearbookforever.com
Resources For Families
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.
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:
- Mental Health
- General Assistance
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
We are excited to announce that we are now offering the convenience of online registration for our athletic programs through partner company, FamilyID (www.familyid.com). 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.
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 @mtlsd.net email address. Please also be sure to whitelist @mtlsd.net 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: RemoteSupport@mtlsd.net
JMS PTA Information
JMS PTA membership drive is still open. JMS is working with the faculty to identify creative virtual ideas to replace or support typical PTA-funded field trips and special events. We remain committed to PTA special events for our families and students, even in an unusual year.
Family dues have been reduced this year to $15, to minimally meet our budget commitments and to cover national and state dues and fees associated with the organization. We have included an option to make a donation, 100% of which goes to JMS PTA-supported activities.
Membership includes one vote per household at PTA meetings, inclusion in the Membership Directory, and PTA Newsletters. Families can link a second parent's email to their first at no additional cost or decide to purchase memberships for two parents. Membership Toolkit has a mobile app for your convenience.
You will be prompted to update your family's information, opt in or out of the directory, and update your child's team, optional phone contact info, and the elementary school from which they came.
Please join us!
Help JMS Earn Money While You Shop!
If you haven’t used AmazonSmile Before:
- Go to smile.amazon.com and sign in with your regular Amazon username and password.
- 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.
- Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to smile.amazon.com on your browser.
If you already use AmazonSmile:
- Go to smile.amazon.com and sign in with your username and password
- 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”.
- If it isn’t, you can change it by clicking on the charity and selecting “change”
- This will bring you to a page where you can search for “Jefferson Middle School PTA Inc” and allow you to switch charities.
- Make sure whenever you check out, you always go to smile.amazon.com to checkout.
- 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.
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 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.