TJ Today

December 2022-23


Dec. 5 - This is Our Story - Band, Choir, Orchestra Holiday Concert & Art Show, 7pm @ VHS Gymnasium

Dec. 15 - Half day of school for students - 11:30 dismissal

Dec. 16 - No school for students, 1/2 day- teacher record day

Jan. 3 - School Resumes

6th Grade

The Holidays are approaching and soon the 6th graders of TJMS will have completed their first semester! We’ve had a pretty good first half—let’s make sure the second half is even better!

Need Holiday gift ideas?

The new semester is a great opportunity for new school supplies! Many of our students could really use refills on regular pencils and colored pencils--teachers are noticing a lack of both. Also, quite a bit of folders/binders are in need of replacement.

Parents, if you could please:

PLEASE make sure your student has earbuds/headphones for school!

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!

7th grade

In math, we just finished with our unit over Percent and are beginning our unit over Slope and Rate of Change. In Prealgebra, students just finished the Ratios and Proportions unit and are beginning the Percent Unit. We will end with a "shopping spree" activity before Winter Break. The ELA classes are going to spend the end of the quarter studying Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol. Students will be tasked with learning a bit about the author and explaining how some of Dickens' own life experiences could be considered motivation for the emotions and characters found within the story. Science classes are exploring the forces within the Earth. We are continuing to study the reason behind earthquakes and volcanoes. We will finish our Earth unit by learning how to identify different minerals and by learning how different types of rocks form. In social studies, students are finishing up a unit in Sub-Saharan Africa. Students have looked at large trade empires in West Africa Then moved through the continent to Swahili culture to the east and Great Zimbabwe to the south. Students finished the unit by looking at the role of imperialism on the continent. Students looked at the outcomes of imperialism by listening to the story "A Long Walk to Water" by Linda Sue Park. After the Africa unit is finished, students will be watching the Gandhi movie to close out the quarter and transition us into India when we return from the break.

8th Grade - Keeping Busy

The 8th graders are continuing to push forward to finish this quarter and semester strong. All students in Biology, Algebra, and Spanish will have a final or project coming up in the next few weeks. The Algebra final will be on Dec. 7th and Dec. 8th. The Spanish I & II final is on Dec. 9th and Dec. 12th. Biology students will be preparing a project showing everything they've been working on. All students started fresh with 100% of their PRIDE points upon returning from Thanksgiving Break and are looking forward to our Holiday festivities on Dec. 15th. We hope you all have a wonderful long break

Student Council is ready for the holidays

Student Council is hard at work bringing holiday fun to our school family. Our Elf On the Shelf, Tommy J, will be here and there in the school. Dress up days are listed below:

Here are the upcoming dress-up days:

Dec. 12 - Red/Green color blast day - Wear red & green if you have any

Dec. 13 - Hat Day - Wear a festive, fun hat or any hat.

Dec. 14 - PJ Day - Be comfy, cozy today

Dec. 15 - Ugly/festive seater day - Wear something festive or a silly/ugly shirt

Bring on the cheer!

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Builders Club News

Our membership has grown to 45 members. If you are interested in joining Builders Club, it’s not too late. November 19th was our monthly hike at our Meadowbrook Nature Preserve adopted trail. Two brave members met to hike and help maintain the trail on a very blustery day! Last month, we successfully collected over 100 cans of green beans for 500 Turkeys, spent a sunny Saturday morning with other Valparaiso Schools service organizations raking leaves for families throughout Valpo, and shopped for four students from the Angel Tree. In December, we plan to participate in the Opportunity Enterprises Packing Event on December 3rd, as well as volunteer as bell ringers on December 10th. Our only December meeting will be on December 7th. This will be our holiday party. We hope to see you there!

Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Student Services News

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Did You Know?

You can set up Skyward to let you know when your child's grades drop below a certain percent? That you can also set up Skyward to notify you if your child has missing assignments?

Setting up email notifications is THE BEST way of staying informed of your student’s grades.

  1. Log into your account.

  2. Click on “My Account” in the top right-hand corner of your Skyward homepage. See Figure D.

  3. At the bottom of the window, look for Email Notifications.

  4. Check all the boxes that you would like information about and how often you would like to receive the information. The second checkmark item allows you to set a parameter if a grade falls below a certain number. In the example below, this parent put “70” in the “Low:” text field. This means the parent will be immediately notified if their student receives any class assignment, test, quiz, etc. that falls below a grade of 70. See Figure E.

Below is the link to the video instructions.

School Wide Contact Information

Below are email addresses of TJMS office members:

Mark Maudlin -- Principal

Erin Strauss -- Assistant Principal

Shannon Morris -- School Resource Officer (SRO)

Laura Dull -- Secretary

Kristin Scheub -- Secretary/Treasurer

Jami Carlson -- Guidance Counselor, Last Names A-K

Erik Shive - Guidance Counselor, Last Names L-Z

Heather Himes -- Social Worker

Shawn White -- Nurse

Supply Lists

Supply lists are posted on our website as well as linked below.


Please encourage your student to view the daily announcements that can be found on our website or by clicking here to watch for important call out information, upcoming daily schedule changes or general school announcements.

Calendar 2022-23

P.E. Uniforms

P.E. uniforms will be required in P.E. classes this school year. Uniforms (t-shirt and shorts) can be purchased at Blythe’s Sporting Goods on Calumet Avenue. Uniforms can be purchased as a set or individual pieces. The same uniform will be worn in 6th-8th grades, so purchasing one that’s a little looser may be a good idea. Students are welcome to use the uniform an older sibling used while attending TJMS.

Students who are not enrolled in band, choir or orchestra will have a full year of P.E. Students enrolled in band, choir or orchestra will have least 2 rotations of P.E. during the year.

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Sport Physicals

A sports physical dated on or after April 1, 2022 is good for the 2022-23 school year. If your student is planning to tryout or participate in a sport this school year, please don't wait until just before the season begins to schedule a physical. A physical done this summer or fall is good for winter and spring sports as well. All forms in this packet need to be completed and turned into the main office as one packet.

Student Handbook

Each student received a student planner early in the school year. Included in that planner is a copy of the TJMS student handbook. The handbook can also be found here. Please encourage your student to keep their daily planner up to date with class due dates and other important classroom, grade level or school wide dates.


Please call the main office at 531-3140 by 8:15 a.m. if your child is absent from school. If we have not received a call by 8:15 a.m. and your child is marked absent from school, you will received a automated phone call alerting you of his/her unexcused absence.

Becoming A Canvas Observer

Parents are encouraged to become an observer of your child in Canvas. Being an observer will allow you to monitor your student's work, assignments, etc that are assigned through Canvas. To see more about how to sign up as a Canvas observer, click here.

Dropping Off Forgotten Items

From time to time students do forget things at home that they may need during the school day (i.e. music instrument, lunch, chromebook, etc). If this occurs, items may be dropped off on the table in the front lobby, just inside door #1. Please make sure your student's name and grade level are clearly marked. We will then email your student to let him/her know to stop by the main lobby to pick up the item(s). Please encourage your students to check his/her school email account a few times throughout the school day.

Follow TJMS on Social Media

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