JMS Parent Newsletter

January 11 - January 15, 2021

We Will Begin Required Zoom Attendance on Remote Learning Days (from home) for All In Person Students Beginning January 19, 2021!

Week 2: Important Zoom Requirement Announcement - Please Read for Specific Details!

Good evening, JMS Parents & Families!

Our admin team has been working hard to review TE 21 Benchmark Data, ACT Aspire scores, Term 2 grades and School Counseling interactions. Jefferson Middle School is committed to do what is best for students. We take pride in providing a high level of support to students academically, mentally, socially and emotionally. That being said, we have very important news for you and your student!

Beginning Tuesday, January 19th, ALL students will be required to Zoom into every class the days they are at home learning remotely! This is not for students registered in ConnectOR.

You will find important information below outlining expectations for students when they are at home attending their regular schedule via Zoom. This practice will allow students to receive direct instruction each day, collaborate with their classmates, engage with teacher/students and ask questions on the content being taught. Our students are truly our "WHY"!

We want to be sure parents understand that this practice will be mandatory beginning Tuesday, January 19th! If your student does not log into Zoom for each class, they will be counted absent and this will lead to potential truancy just as it would if they would be absent or not show up to class for in building learning days.

Please be sure to read the entire Newsletter to learn about this process. We understand that you may have questions about this process, so please reach out to our admin team if you have any questions or we can assist in providing support in any way.

We truly appreciate your support and are looking forward to a great week!

Phil Cox, Principal,

Jenifer Laurendine, Vice Principal,

Nick Corrigan, Dean of Students,

Ben Fowler, Instructional Technology Coach,

The Eagle Eye - A Look at the Week Ahead

Monday, January 11

A Day

A – K on campus

L – Z Remote

PTO Meeting - 1st period Zoom

Atomic Master Brix Meeting - Rm 102 2:45-4:30pm

Board of Education Meeting - 6:00 SAB Board Room

Basketball Game vs. Lafollette Away - Boys Varsity 6pm

Tuesday, January 12

A Day

L – Z on campus

A – K Remote

Principal PLC Data/Continuous Improvement - SAB 9:30-Noon (Cox/Laurendine - Out)

Atomic Master Brix Meeting - Rm 102 2:45-4:30pm

Boys Basketball Practice - Gym - 3-5pm

Wednesday, January 13

All students Remote learning

Admin Team Meeting - Eagle Innovation Center - 6:30am

Spelling Bee - JPAC - 9:00 AM

Faculty Food Truck-The Crave 11:00-1:30pm

SLT Meeting - 1pm via Zoom

Staff Meeting 2-2:15pm via Zoom

Instructional Coaches Zoom Support Library 2:15pm

Boys Basketball Practice - Gym - 1-3pm

Thursday, January 14

B Day

A – K on campus

L – Z Remote

Grades 5-8 Learning Walks -All ELA Classrooms - 8:30-10:30am

Boys Basketball Practice - Gym - 3-5pm

Friday, January 15

B Day

L – Z on campus

A – K Remote

Student Truancy referrals due to SAB

Boys Basketball Practice - Gym - 3-5pm

Girls Basketball Practice - Gym - 5-7pm

Students Will be Required to Zoom on All Remote Days Beginning January 19th - See Below!

As mentioned in the introduction above, we are excited to provide this opportunity for all Jefferson Middle School students! Beginning January 19th, it will be required that all students Zoom into all of their classes the days they are remote learning from home. Students will follow their regular schedules and the Master Schedule is attached below, along with the Wednesday Remote Learning Schedule.

Please see details below:

  • Monday/Thursday: A-K in building learning at JMS/L-Z at home Zooming into every class.
  • Tuesday/Friday: A-K at home Zooming into every class/L-Z in building learning at JMS
  • Wednesdays: Students will continue to follow the Wednesday Remote Schedule attached below.

The decision to require students to Zoom from home on remote learning days was made to:

  • better serve our students academically, emotionally, mentally and socially,
  • allow teachers to engage with students every day,
  • provide students direct instruction every day,
  • allow students to engage with staff and students for contact while at home,
  • allow students to ask questions about the content being delivered,
  • Provide more consistency with attendance,
  • allow our School Counselors to visit various Zooms each day to check in with all students, every day,
  • provide students focus/routine and daily structure to allow for seamless transitions from home to in building learning.

Again, we are truly thankful for this opportunity and that we have the awesome staff that will make this happen for our students! Please reach out to our admin team if you have any questions about the details above.

Master Student Schedule

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Wednesday Remote Learning Schedule

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Zoom Norms for Students


Follow your normal schedule for in-building days. Monday and Tuesdays are A days, Thursday and Friday are B days. Try your very best to be on time. Keep in mind, it may be a good idea to check your tech before you start and be prepared to take notes and complete assignments. Remember, your attendance is being taken by your being in the Zoom.


In order to be counted present, you will have to log onto Zoom for each class when you are at home learning remotely. You will no longer have to click the attendance buttons for each class. You must stay on the Zoom for the entirety of the session and/or released by the teacher. Attendance will be taken as if they student was sitting in the classroom.

  • Please keep in mind that each student is permitted 7 parent notes for a sickness that does not require a doctor note. Once a student compiles more than 7 unexcused absences, your parent will be required to attend a Truancy Review Meeting with the District Attorney of Anderson County. Every day, whether you are in person or required to attend via Zoom, will be counted toward your attendance.


You must log onto Zoom at the normal class times for your regular schedule (see schedules above). If you enter a Zoom room late, you will be counted Tardy, just as you would if you were in the building and arrived late. If you are too late, the session may already have ended for that class period. If that occurs and you weren't able to log on, you will be counted absent for that class period. If you are habitually late to Zooms, discipline consequences may occur.


Check your surroundings and make sure you feel comfortable with the background of your Zoom. Gently remind your family that class/zoom meeting is about to begin. Please refrain from being in bed and having other distractions. Keep in mind that we can see you, so dress appropriately, just like you would in school.


If the host does not choose to mute the class, it is always a good idea to make sure to mute your microphone when joining our class meeting. Only unmute yourself when asked to do so, if you have a question, or if you are answering a question aloud.


Headphones are encouraged if you have them. This helps reduce any distraction, prevents reverb from drowning out a meeting, and allows you to focus on your class meeting!


Try your best, pay attention to directions, respect fellow classmates, and be an active listener and participant. If you have a comment or question, please click the “raise hand” icon. Another option is to simply give me a gentle wave with your hand, and the teacher will respond. Submit the assignments that are due during class or be sure to submit them later if they are due later that day.


Stay positive, stay calm, stay motivated! If you have a question and the teacher gives you time to ask, ask! Otherwise email or Canvas message your teacher. If you are having technical issues or struggling to connect, email your teacher and let them know.

Student Expectations for Zoom

Please see below for your students' expectations while Remote Zooming into his/her classes for Remote Learning Days from home:

  • I will only enter my first and last name when joining a Zoom session.

  • I will be on time by logging into each class at the required times throughout the day when I am at home learning.

  • I will not be tardy for my classes.

  • I will make sure that I sit in a well-lit and quiet place without any inappropriate items behind me if I use my camera.

  • If I do not use my camera, I will ensure that I am staying engaged and participating in the lesson.

  • I will dress as if in a classroom setting and understand I am still subject to the ORS Student Code of Conduct and JMS Student Handbook even though in a digital environment.

  • I will keep myself muted until the teacher asks me to unmute myself or during a class discussion. This will help reduce background noise during the session.

  • I will participate in class, complete the assignments given by the teacher, and be attentive in the Zoom session.

  • I will use the chat feature (if offered) appropriately and only ask questions or make comments about what is being discussed in class.

  • I will only share my screen (if offered) with my teacher’s permission.

  • I will not retrieve, send or display offensive images or messages, insult, threaten or harass others.

  • I will not post anonymous communication or use the Internet or District network resources for illegal, inappropriate, or obscene purposes and will follow the ORS Acceptable Use of Technology.

  • I will report anything inappropriate that happens during the Zoom session to my teacher and parents as quickly as possible.

  • I understand that all ORS - JMS Rules/Protocols still apply during each Zoom session and I will be held accountable for any behavior that is in violation of the Code of Conduct.

Disciplinary Action - Inappropriate Behaviors While Zooming from Home

On occasion, students may display inappropriate behavior within a Zoom session. These disruptions can occur in face-to-face classroom settings, and strategies exist for remediating them. Online learning environments may lead to new situations; however, student code of conduct and behavior expectations do not change for remote teaching and learning contexts. The ORS Code of Conduct, Acceptable Use of Technology, and JMS Student Handbook will be followed. Please see below for some examples of potential consequences for inappropriate behaviors via Zoom:

Potential Consequences:

  • Disruptive participants may be removed from a Zoom session by the teacher.

  • Contact a Parent or Guardian.

  • Escalate offenses to Dean of Students/Administration just as would occur in a face-to-face class.

  • Office Referrals may result in additional consequences including but not limited to: Removal from Class, Detention, ISS, OSS, Alternative Placement, Expulsion.

It is very important that you explain this with your child and reach out if you have any questions about Zoom Discipline.

ITC Corner - Tips from Mr. Fowler

Hello JMS Parents! As we begin preparing for Zooming everyday, I wanted to remind everyone how to fix basic sound problems on their student devices.

Please see the two PDFs below on fixing Speaker and Microphone issues.

As always, I am here to serve. If you need assistance let me know. You can reach me via email at


Next PTO Meeting:

Our next meeting will be Monday, January 11th at 7:50am via Zoom. Everyone is welcome! If you would like a Zoom invite, please contact Sandy Pelletier

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 school clinic. With funds from the Direct Drive, Nurse Cousins organized a CPR class for several JMS staff – just one more way JMS is working to keep our students healthy and safe. Thank you JMS families!

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What if the Weather Outside is Frightful?

We wanted to provide you with some tips regarding inclement weather procedures for Oak Ridge Schools.

  • Any school cancelation/delay decisions are made by 5:15am. Upon decision being made, notifications will then begin from ORS District Admin.
  • Please remember Oak Ridge Schools will be announced as Oak Ridge City Schools (not Anderson County Schools).
  • Delays may include a 1 hour delay (breakfast is served) or a 2 hour delay (no breakfast served).
  • Skylert messages will be made by the district regarding any delay or cancellation. To ensure you receive the call, please be sure your contact information is up to date in Skyward. To make any changes, please contact our registrar, Amy Myers at
  • Updates will be available on ,, and the ORS and JMS Twitter Pages (@ORSchools and @JMS_Eagles).

Portrait of a Graduate - Students Effective Use of Technology

Effective use of technology is a skill that all of our students will be equipped with prior to exiting Jefferson Middle School .

Please see areas that will be focused on through our Portrait of a Graduate efforts at JMS.

For more information, please visit

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2021 Art Aviation Contest - Please Check Out this Opportunity!

20 21 ASPIRE Explanation

JMS Counselors Corner

Good Evening from the Jefferson Middle School Counseling Department.

We are so glad that we got to see our Eagles back in the building this week, after Winter Break. This week our students got right back into the swing of things, put forth their best effort, and started 2021 off strongly. We can’t wait to see what educational gains are ahead of our students for 2021.

30 Days of Kindness

The start of the new year welcomes opportunities for showing kindness and compassion to those around us! As January promotes 30 Days of Kindness, we will send our students challenges each week, in order to encourage a mindful approach to kind acts. Last week, our Eagles were challenged with sharing a pencil with a classmate in need and taking the time to write a letter to a friend!

Listen up, Eagles, as this week’s challenges are in!

  • January 11th and 12th: Hold the door open for a fellow student or teacher.
  • January 14th and 15th: Write a thank you note to a teacher/coach.

ACT Aspire Testing Results Are In

As you all are aware, our 8th Grade Eagles sat for the ACT Aspire test in the Fall at Jefferson Middle School. We are excited to announce that the results are in and we could not be more proud of the scores that our Eagles produced. These scores are a product of a number of years of hard work and knowledge acquirement, and their scores reflect this!

Please visit the School Counseling Canvas Page for a debriefing video on all things Aspire, including how to read the results and what these results can mean for future scheduling at Oak Ridge High School! You can also view the video attached above.

Mental Health Resources

For further mental health support, please feel free to reach out to the Jefferson Middle School Counseling department at (865) 425-9301. If you or someone you know is in crisis, please refer to the information below:

  • Mobile Crisis/Youth Villages: 866-779-9225
  • Ridgeview Behavioral Health in Oak Ridge: 482-1076
  • Statewide Crisis Textline: Text TN to 741741
  • National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255

We Need Your Help!!!

Thank you so much to those who have considered donating prepackaged snacks for our After School Homework Help Program. We are still asking all who are able and interested in supporting this program to donate nutritious, prepackaged snacks for our students. All donations can be dropped off to the Jefferson Middle School Counseling Office. We thank you so much for your willingness to support this wonderful program here at JMS.

Our Eagles Have Spirit

On Thursday, January 7th and Friday, January 8th, our Eagles celebrated Blue and Gold Days to support the Boys and Girls Basketball Teams in their games against Robertsville Middle School on Saturday, January 9th! We loved seeing all the school spirit on display this week! See the pictures below!

Student of the Week

Hayden Sauer

Parker Grubb

Landon Leventhal

Jessenya Prado Benitez

Damian Sixtos-Rodriguez

Aaron Fiscor

Andrew Wren

Cynthia Markus-Brock

Upcoming Dates:

Term 2 Report Cards Sent Home – January 7th and 8th, 2021

8th Grade Aspire Test Results Sent Home – January 11th and 12th, 2021

No School - Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday - January 18, 2021

Wear Your Kindness Gear – January 28th and 29th

Spring Break- March 15th-26th

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JMS Athletic Update

The Jefferson Eagles basketball teams traveled to Jacksboro last Thursday for two District games. Both Jefferson teams fell to Jacksboro on the road. On Saturday, the Jefferson boys team hosted cross-town rival, Robertsville at Oak Ridge High School. Jefferson fell to RMS, 21-46. In the JV game, Robertsville beat Jefferson 41-45.

The Jefferson boys team will travel to Lafollette Middle School on Monday evening for a District game at 6pm. The District game against Soldier’s Memorial Middle School, scheduled for Thursday, January 14th, has been canceled. The 2021 District Tournament will begin on Thursday, January 21st at Gatlinburg-Pittman.

Per Governor Lee’s Executive Order No. 70, only players’ parents or guardians and immediate household members will be allowed to attend basketball games through January 19th. Temperature checks, masks, and social distancing between persons from different households is still required.

In addition the following protocols will be followed:

  • All spectators will be required to wear a mask properly at all times while at any Jefferson Middle School athletic events. Spectators will be asked to leave if they do not keep their masks on.
  • Upon conclusion of the girls game, we request that fans not staying for the boys game exit the gym out the front gym doors to allow space in the bleachers for the spectators arriving for the boys game.
  • Spectators attending the boy’s game are requested to arrive as close to tip-off as possible to allow fans attending the girls game time to exit the gym. All spectators will enter Jefferson through the main front doors.
  • At conclusion of games, all fans should exit the gym through the front gym doors.
  • Spectators will have their temperatures taken upon arrival and are expected to maintain social distance in the bleachers from anyone other than those living in the same household.
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