Parent Newsletter

Sept. 16th - 20th

It's Spirit Week!

It's hard to believe there are only two weeks left in the first nine weeks. Please check out this week's newsletter to learn more about what's happening this week:

- A look at the Week Ahead

- Finishing Strong

- Amazing Lessons at JMS: 6th grade ELA

- 21st century skill for our students: Collaboration

- Introduction to Aeronautics

- Intersession Information for Fall Break

- Attendance is Important

- Intersession Information for Fall Break

- Counselor Corner

Thanks for all that you do to support Jefferson Middle School,

Phil Cox, Principal

Chris Layton, Vice Principal

Jenifer Laurendine, Dean of Students

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A Look at The Week Ahead

Week of September 16-20, 2019


Monday: Color me rad with colorful clothing

Tuesday: Tacky Wacky Tuesday

Wednesday: Western Wear Wednesday

Thursday: Blue and Gold

Spirit Link Sales before school M-Th 7:00-7:30


A day

“Color Me RAD with Colorful Clothing”

8th Grade Morning Homework Help (Haun) Rm 204 7:05-7:35

Homeroom Teachers distribute Impact Aid Forms

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

RadioActiv 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

Cheer Practice 3:00-4:00

Cross Country City Championship at Robertsville MS Girls 4:30, Boys 5:00

Football Practice 3:00-5:30 PM

Volleyball vs. Lafollette MS @ JMS JV 4:30, Varsity 5:30

8th Grade Williamsburg Trip Informational Parent Meeting JPAC 6:00


B day

Tacky Wacky Tuesday

8th Grade Morning Homework Help (Haun) Rm 204 7:05-7:35

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

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

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

Interact Club Meeting (Painter) Rm 311 2:45-4:00

Football Practice 3:00-5:00

Cheer Practice 3:00-5:00

Cross Country Practice 3:00-4:30

Volleyball vs. Jacksboro Middle School @ Robertsville MS (Varsity ONLY) 6:30


A day

Western Wear Wednesday

Board Members visit JMS

8th Grade Morning Homework Help (Haun) Rm 204 7:05-7:35

FCA-JPAC 7:15-7:30

Cross Country Practice 1:00-2:15

Football Practice 1:00-3:30 PM

Volleyball vs. Robertsville MS @ JMS “8th Grade Night” JV 4:30, Varsity 5:30

Fall Boys Basketball Practice 7:00-8:00


B day

“Blue and Gold”

8th Grade Morning Homework Help (Haun) Rm 204 7:05-7:35

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

Pep Rally Gym 7th period

Library Club (Haverkamp) Library 2:45-3:45

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

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

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

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

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

Cross Country Practice 3:00-4:30

Football vs. Robertsville MS at RMS 6:30


A day

Homework Help (Haun) Rm 204 7:05-7:35

YFC-JPAC 7:00-7:30

IMPACT AID forms due

Cross Country Practice 3:00-4:30

Football Practice 3:00-5:30

Volleyball Practice 3:00-5:00

Middle School Football/Cheerleader Recognition Night at Blankenship Field 6:45

Mr. Dodson students featured in National Art Publication

JMS Students and Mr. Dodson participate in Dogwood Arts Chalk Walk

The Chalk Walk remains one of the fan favorites among visitors in April to the Dogwood Arts Festival in downtown Knoxville Tennessee bringing over 25,000 visitors in a single day out to see the artwork created by over 300 artists on more than 130 concrete sidewalk squares! The street painting festival, whose origination as a featured event of Dogwood Arts, drew inspiration from a 16th century Italian happening, turns Knoxville’s downtown sidewalks into a seemingly infinite canvas for the region’s most talented professional and student artists. Founders Doug and Kathy Slocum along with Chalk Walk co-chair Jim Dodson continue working with Dogwood Arts bringing this event to Knoxville’s downtown yearly to educate visitors and artists, alike, of this lost art in hopes of keeping it alive for future generations.

Chalk Walk is the Dogwood Arts organization’s largest-community driven event, and is open to the public where novice and professional artists alike can apply for a space on historic Market Square to ‘chalk.’ At the conclusion of the daylong event the winning artists are presented ribbons and cash awards.

To view the list or winning artists and their artwork please visit and enjoy perusing all the wonderful images from the 2019 event!

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Special thanks to Keep Anderson County Beautiful and Mr. Jim Rome

This week Ms. Kala's class had a visit from the Keep Anderson County Beautiful as they donated a litter collector to help Ms. Kala's class keep Fairbanks Rd. clean. The class has taken on the Adopt A Road project to keep Fairbanks clean and the group wanted to donate some resources to the class and come by to visit and share information.

In addition, Mr. Jim Rome made a contribution to Jefferson Middle School to help several programs including the Orchestra, Band, Aeronautics and Ms. Kala's class coffee shop concept. A special thank to Mr. Jim Rome for his generous donation to help support these programs.

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PTO News

Fundraiser Thank you! The PTO would like to thank everyone that supported our annual direct drive fundraiser! It was another successful year thanks to all of you. Without your help, we could not continue funding teacher and classroom requests. On behalf of the PTO, staff and teachers, THANK YOU!

Next Teacher Luncheon is an Italian Feast. t's time for our Fall Teacher Luncheon! An Italian feast is planned for our amazing JMS teachers and staff on Thursday, September 26. If you would like to contribute an item to the luncheon, please sign up here HERE . Thank you!

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 the Main Office at JMS. Did you know there is a plaque hanging outside the office which displays names of students who earn highest honors at JMS? We have had so many students reach this milestone that the plaque was filled up! PTO was able to purchase a new plaque using funds from the direct drive fundraiser so that we can continue this tradition. Thank you JMS families!

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7th Grade ELA students meet their goal

Ms. Humphrey set a goal for ALL of her classes to have ALL of their assignments turned in by the midterm. Every single student had submitted all of the assignments given to them in the first part of the nine weeks. They worked to collaborate and hold one another accountable with reminders and work as a class to make sure they all completed their assignments. Ms. Humphrey set this goal in order to motivate, inspire and organize her students for a great academic start to the year. Since the students ALL met the goal and submitted ALL of their work they were rewarded with a pizza lunch in the new courtyard picnic table area in the front of the school.

The experience was great and listening to the students comment about working to submit all of their assignments really helped them focus on their grades. Many students commented that they are going to work to help one another continue the challenge into the end of the nine weeks. It was a great challenge and a great day to reward our students. Ms. Humphrey is going to continue to work to establish challenges to help support a collaborative effort for students to work on their skills and keep up with their work.

Amazing Lessons: 6th Grade ELA

Our 6th grade standards require that we teach plot and that we write fictional narratives. We also work on mastering the conventions of writing through regular editing of prompts. Using our weekly Write On…, we had all students read a short article called “Extreme Selfies” and write a fictional narrative with the ideas from the article as the topic. Through our Authors’ Groups, the students narrowed the collection of narratives to one per group. In order to model the collaborative process, we showed our students clips from the new show Songland. We watched one songwriter present their original song, collaborate with a producer and the artist, and present the new version of their song. The members of the student groups were then asked to come up with three improvements for their group’s narrative just as the producers worked ahead of time to have suggestions for the songwriter in the show. Our students worked in their collaborative groups to improve their narrative using the big touchscreen TVs in the library. Each group was able to see in real time if their suggestions worked. In the end, each group had an improved fictional narrative.

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21st Century Skills: Collaboration

As we work to promote 21st century skills within our curriculum there are some that present more challenges than others. The ideas behind generating collaboration are evident and vital to creating a successful classroom community. Our students have great ideas, but the collection of their thoughts and ideas together are more indicative of the world in which they will live, work and grow professionally. Our curriculum should not limit this idea, nor should preparing students for assessments. In fact, a significant amount of research shows that students learn better when they are able to collaborate and work to facilitate knowledge.

Creating a successful culture of collaboration takes time. When we were students, if you spoke to another student about a problem it was branded as cheating and you were to keep your thoughts to yourself. In the future (present) workforce, it is expected that people work together and collaborate. The mantra of the 20th century education model that harvested competition at all costs is being removed more and more from the real world industries because through innovation and collaboration there is a lot more room for growth.

21st century concept: Model a skill for a whole group instruction on a particular skill or lesson. Once you have completed the modeling for this skill, work to split the students into groups and present them with a task to help facilitate collaboration, communication, critical thinking and creativity. If the students have an understanding for the skill, they should be able to replicate the skill and present a deeper understanding. This task can take place once students are grouped and given the task of communicating ideas, strategies and resources to help understand. The teacher can work to go from group to group to dig in with a deep dialogue and discussion used to assess student understanding.

Amazing Lessons: Intro to Aeronautics at Jefferson

Mr. Jaeger’s class and Mr. Mitchell's combined to learn how to code and program using Students learned about commands, functions, variables, and loops and applied these concepts in multiple lessons. From there the classes split up for 4 week units. Mr. Jaeger’s class is working on Inventor and CAD while Mr. Mitchell's class moved to Drone Safety and Flight safety. After Flight safety students learned the basic flight controls for flying drones and all the features of the Tello EDU drone they are currently flying. Once students mastered flight skills we moved on to programming drones using the TELLO EDU app.

Students are currently attempting to program their drones to run a course while they take encounter multiple obstacles on the way. Groups of students are given a line and box with varying dimensions and must program their drone to fly the exact dimensions they were given along with flying through drone racing hoops. Their dimensions are given in standard measurements while they are programming their drone using metric measurements. All students must convert their measurements from standard to metric and continually change their program for their drone so that the course can be successfully ran. Students must also write in their engineering notebook daily outlining the tasks they are to perform and their results from those tasks, what problems they encountered, and ways they can work around the issues they may encounter. After Fall break, Mr. Mitchell's class will rotate with Mr. Jaeger’s class. Mr. Jaeger's students will learn to fly drones while Mr. Mitchell's students will learn CAD. Doing this allows all students to learn the same skills at the same time so that all students can work together on major projects in the second half of the year.

Attention 7th grade students and parents

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Finishing Strong

Our goal is to help our students to understand how to work over the next two weeks to finish the 9 weeks strong.

Myth # 1 - Once you have an F at midterm, you will have an F at the end of the nine weeks

Remember, in the time you missed assignments, performed poorly on assignments etc. in the first four and half weeks you have the same amount to work to do better in the remaining four weeks.

Myth # 2 - I don't understand it and there is no one to help

Check out the graphic below and ask yourself this question: What steps have I taken to get the support I need to better understand?

Myth # 3 - I don't have any opportunities to turn in assignments

In many classes, teachers offer opportunities to resubmit, make corrections and submit work late. It is important for students to take advantage of these opportunities.

Myth # 4 - I have no way to check my grades until the nine weeks ends.....

Teachers keep Skyward updated weekly with grades. Students should make a regular routine to check their grades weekly. In addition to Skyward, it is important for students and parents to check Canvas each week and in some cases daily in order to have a better idea of assignments, projects, quizzes etc. for students.

Myth # 5 - Zeroes do not have a major impact on my grade

The reality is that most of the time students have poor grades primarily due to missing assignments and zeroes. We spend a lot of time helping students and parents understand that it is important to submit every assignment.

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September is Attendance Awareness Month

September is Attendance Awareness Month and we would like to take some time throughout the month to help focus on the importance of consistent school attendance. It is important for students to be at school consistently in order to receive classroom instruction and assistance from their teachers.

If a student has to miss school......

1. Please make sure to check Canvas to see what information and assignments you missed from class. For many teachers, they post notes, resources, assignments and information to Canvas weekly. While it is not a substitute for classroom instruction it can help keep students up to date upon their return.

2. If it is a pre-arranged absence, please contact teachers ahead of time to get information for assignments they may need.

3. Get ahead and up to date of quizzes, tests, projects etc. by checking the announcements section. If you miss a Monday and Tuesday, but see that there will be a quiz on Friday, make sure to check for that information to help yourself for the quiz or test.

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Counselors Corner

Dates to Remember:

Fall Break – Monday, September 30th through Friday, October 11th

Intersession – Monday, September 30th through Thursday, October 3rd

ACT Aspire Test (8th grade only) – Wednesday, November 13th (English and Math) and Thursday, November 14th (Science and Reading)

Good Evening! We hope that you had a great weekend and that you are ready for the 3-week countdown to FALL BREAK! This week we will continue to educate you on how important it is to provide your child more potassium and less salt to help with mental health concerns. According to Jennifer Berry she states there are 13 foods that provide the most potassium. They are:

1. Dried apricots

Dried apricots are a good source of iron, antioxidants, and potassium. Apricots are a bright orange fruit that people may eat either fresh or dried. These fruits also provide other key nutrients, such as iron and antioxidants. When purchasing dried apricots, a person should look for those that contain no added sugar.

2. Potatoes

Potatoes are an excellent source of potassium. Baked potatoes with the skin still on are the best option, as much of a potato's potassium is in the skin. Eating a Baked potatoes should be eaten with salt-free seasoning to avoid the extra sodium. French fries are usually lacking in nutrients and contain added fat from oil and the frying process, making them a less healthful option. Fries also typically contain high amounts of sodium, which can counteract the benefits of potassium.

3. Leafy greens

Leafy greens are some of the most nutritious foods available. One study found that eating a serving per day of leafy green vegetables may help slow age-related cognitive decline. Leafy green vegetables are low in calories and contain many vitamins and minerals. Most also provide a good amount of potassium.

4. Lentils

Lentils contain potassium, fiber, and protein. Lentils are a small, round legume. They contain plenty of fiber and are also rich in protein. Lentils make a good addition to soups or stews. People looking for a quicker option can use canned rather than dried lentils. However, it is important to rinse canned lentils well before use to remove any sodium.

5. Prunes and prune juice

Prunes are dried plums. Juice companies usually make prune juice by adding water back into the prunes, cooking them, and then filtering out the solids. You can begin your day with a glass of prune juice with your breakfast.

6. Tomato puree or juice

Fresh tomatoes offer several health benefits. To get more potassium, though, it is best to use concentrated tomato products, such as tomato puree or tomato juice. People often use tomato puree in cooking, for example, adding it to pasta sauces. Canned or bottled tomato juice is also suitable to use in many recipes, or people can drink it. When purchasing canned items buy items with no sodium.

7. Certain fruit and vegetable juices

Some varieties of juice contain high amounts of potassium. However, many health organizations recommend that people avoid juices with added sugar. Whole fruit contains more fiber than juice and often more nutrients as well. Still, 100% juice can be part of a healthy diet in limited amounts. Juices are high in potassium are: Carrot juice (canned); passion fruit, pomegranate juice, fresh squeezed orange juice, vegetable juice (canned), fresh squeezed tangerine juice.

8. Raisins

Raisins are another type of dried fruit that is high in potassium. Raisins are a popular snack food. For the most healthful type, opt for raisins that contain only dried grapes with no added sugar, coatings, or other ingredients.

9. Beans

Beans come in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Most contain a high amount of fiber, some protein, and a good dose of potassium. Kidney beans are red, kidney-shaped legumes that people often use in soups, chili, or as a side dish of baked beans. Many other beans are also high in potassium: adzuki beans, white cannellini beans, lima beans, great northern beans, black beans, canned refried beans and navy beans. If you purchase canned beans make sure you rinse them off beforehand.

10. Milk and yogurt

People typically think of dairy products, such as milk and yogurt, as being rich sources of calcium. However, some dairy products are also a good way to add more potassium to the diet. Many people also get their potassium from tea and coffee. An 8-ounce (oz) cup of brewed black has a low level of potassium, but adding creamers and milk raises the potassium content considerably.

11. Sweet potatoes Sweet potatoes are rich in potassium. Sweet potatoes have orange flesh and a sweeter flavor than white potatoes. Their orange color means that they provide more beta carotene than other potatoes, but they also contain potassium. For the most healthful option, a person should eat baked or microwaved sweet potatoes without added sugar. It is also best to avoid canned sweet potatoes that the manufacturers have packaged in syrup.

12. Seafood

Fish and shellfish contain heart-healthy omega-3 fats. These are the fish that you should eat at least twice a week: mackerel, halibut, snapper and rainbow trout. Certain types of seafood are also good sources of potassium wild Atlantic salmon and clams (the most potassium)

13. Avocado

Avocado is a buttery fruit that contains a variety of nutrients, including heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and vitamins C, E, K and fiber. People can eat avocados raw in salads, as dips, or on toast. They also work well in cooked meals, such as pasta dishes.