Eagle Eye -JMS Parent Newsletter #2

Week of July 25-July 29

Students Return Monday, July 25, 2022!

Good evening, JMS families!

We are eager and excited to welcome your children on Monday, July 25th! Our teachers, administrative team, and support staff have been diligently preparing for an excellent kick-off to this school year.

Thank you so much for coming out to 5th grade orientation and new student orientation this week! Once again, we are amazed at the support from JMS parents and families. So many of you asked questions, offered your time, and stayed to ensure you were active on Skyward and Canvas. A strong start promotes an even stronger finish.

Your child will bring his or her device home beginning next week, unless you have completed the Skyward Opt-out form.

Included below is information about Football, Volleyball , Creating a Parent Canvas Account, Meet Your Librarian, the 22-23 Student Handbook, JMS PTO, How to Drop Off & Pick Up at JMS, 2022 Bus Routes, and much more!

We want to take an opportunity in this first week of school and newsletter to introduce you to our new Vice Principal and Dean of Students. Please see those introductions below!

Please reach out at any time if you have questions.

Have a great evening and weekend!

Phil Cox, Principal, pcox@ortn.edu

Ben Fowler, Vice Principal, bjfowler@ortn.edu

Brian Tinker, Dean of Students, bjtinker@ortn.edu

Elizabeth Leavitt, Instructional Technology Coach, ealeavitt@ortn.edu

Meet our Vice Principal! Benjamin Fowler

I am back!

I became the Instructional Technology Coach in 2019, and I offered many trainings to you and your students about all the programs we offer. But when we went home in March 2020 and through ConnectOR, our online program, or our hybrid school schedule, you and I, dear parents, became much closer acquainted. But we made it through the hard times stronger academically and technologically. After a brief sojourn at Oak Ridge High School as the Professional Learning Community Coach, I have returned as the new JMS Vice Principal.

For those who don't know me, I am originally from southwest Georgia, but with military and government parents. I have attended six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school. I moved to East Tennessee, where I attended Norris Middle School. Mr. Cox was my PE teacher. After graduating ETSU with a bachelor's in English Literature and Technical Writing (2005), I went to Lincoln Memorial to get my Master's in Education in Curriculum and Instruction (2007). I completed my Educational Specialist in (2020) and am working on my doctoral dissertation right now (expected completion 2023).

I taught 9th, 10th, and 11th grade English for 12 years, 7 at ORHS. I spent 2 years as an ITC at JMS, and 1 year as a PLC Coach. Starting my 16th year in education as your Vice Principal is both a dream come true and a challenge. This building houses a special combination of staff, students, and parents that do great work to support those students' success, and I am honored to join in that fine tradition. The challenge is in meeting the high expectations we set for our students and staff at JMS. But I take great joy in a challenge.

If you have any issues, please let me know. My email is bjfowler@ortn.edu and my number is 425-9257. I look forward to a great year and many more at Jefferson Middle School.

Meet our Dean of Students! Brian Tinker

I am so excited to be an Eagle and to soar with the Jefferson Middle School students this year! The JMS staff and families have welcomed me with open arms, and I feel honored to be working amongst such an esteemed group of peers. Let's Go Eagles!

I began my teaching career in Elementary education. I have spent 7 years as a classroom teacher in Kindergarten and First grade in Maryville City Schools. My years of teaching lead to being promoted to the Assistant Principal of John Sevier Elementary, where I served for the past eight years.

My journey has now lead me to Jefferson Middle School, and I am humbled to be able to serve with Mr. Cox and Mr. Fowler. Jefferson Middle School is well renowned for superior education and administration. My family and I are new to the Oak Ridge area, but when this opportunity arose we knew we needed to immerse ourselves into Oak Ridge. So if you see me around town, please introduce yourself, and let me know some good restaurants to eat, and where to get the best tacos.

My main concern is making sure each student is successful. Feel free to contact me on my direct line 865-425-9271 or email bjtinker@ortn.edu with any questions or concerns regarding your student. Let's work together to achieve success.

Brian Tinker

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School Hours

Our schedule at JMS is a bit different than the elementary schedule. Our regular school hours for all students are from

7:40am to 2:45pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

7:40am to 12:45pm on Wednesday.

Doors open at 7am.

Please also keep in mind if your child is tardy to school (arrives to school after 7:40am), they will be issued a tardy note. Students arriving to school after 7:40am must check in through the Main Office. Student tardies will be marked unexcused unless a note is received within three days from a parent or physician stating an acceptable excuse for being tardy. Students will receive 4 unexcused tardies per 9 weeks. After the 4th tardy to school each 9 weeks, students will receive an after-school detention for every tardy to school received (starting with the 5th).

Please note that students will not be permitted to enter the building until 7:00am each morning. All students not participating in a scheduled extracurricular activity should be off campus no later than 3:15pm (M, T, TH, F) and 1:15pm (W).

After school supervision will be provided by JMS administration & staff on M, T, Th, & F until 3:15pm. Supervision on Wednesdays will be provided until 1:15pm. If a student has not been picked up by 3:15pm (M, T, Th, F) or 1:15pm (W), student will be taken to wait on parent/guardian in the Main Office. Please be sure that your child is picked up prior to the times listed above.

For more details about all Jefferson Middle School policies and procedures, please see the 2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook linked below.

New Bells!

Over the summer, we updated the bell and PA system. So students should expect some changes.

At 730am, they will here a bugle call over the PA system, releasing them from the front of the building to their classrooms. At 7:39, they will hear our new Two Chime warning bell. This means they have ONE MINUTE to get to class before they are tardy. Then, at 740, they will hear the two second tone that is the start of class. When classes are dismissed they will hear the same tone again. 4 minutes later they will hear the one minute warning, and a minute later the tone starting the next period.


The safety of our students & staff at JMS is our number one priority each and every day. It is of utmost importance that our building provides the highest level of safety for learning to take place.

There are a few new policies going into effect across all Oak Ridge Schools we wanted you to be aware as we begin the year.

Classroom doors will remain locked at all times throughout the school day to provide an increased measure of security for our students and staff.

JMS specifically, will conduct multiple exterior door checks daily making sure all doors are closed properly and locked.

We have updated our Safety Plan with the State of Tennessee, and work with ORPD with training and drills in our building spaces.

We have some future building plans and safety tools we will be implementing, and we will bring you more news when we have it.

Suggested School Supply List

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What's Happening this Week?

Monday, July 25

A day

Early Dismissal 12:45

Football Practice 1:00-3:00

Volleyball Practice 3:00-5:00

Cheer Practice 3:00-4:40

Tuesday, July 26

B day

Football Practice 3:00-5:00

Volleyball Practice 3:00-4:30

Wednesday, July 27

A day

Volleyball Practice 1:00-3:00

Football Practice 1:00-3:00

Cheer Practice 12:45-2:15

Thursday, July 28

B day

Success Assemblies JPAC:

· 7th Grade-2nd period

· 8th Grade-3rd period

· 5th Grade-6th period

· 6th Grade-7th period

Football Practice 3:00-5:00

Cheer Practice 3:00-4:30

Friday, July 29

A day

Volleyball Practice 3:00-5:00

Football Scrimmage vs. Coalfield @ Coalfield 6:00

Saturday, July 30

Volleyball Atomic Play Day ORHS

Oak Ridge Schools Meals no Longer Free

Please see the article regarding schools meals:


PLEASE fill out the Free and Reduced Lunch form. The only way we can get your student access to those programs is through direct service programs OR the form. You may qualify for some portion of the program.

  • Students have 30 days to eat free
  • Students must submit applications
  • If student is not approved for free / reduced lunch , it will be retroactive for charges from beginning of school year.

You can check out what your kids are ordering at lunch by looking at your Skyward Account. If you want to add money to your student's lunch account, you or your student can bring in cash or a check and give it to the cashier at the beginning of the day OR you can add money through a web app. Check out Resources - Oak Ridge Schools (ortn.edu) https://www.ortn.edu/district/food-services/resources/

Additionally, we will be going back to the biometric scanners for lunch this school year. Most parents have already filled out the form. We will be contacting parents who have not soon. If your child has not already been put into the scanner, we will be doing that over the next week.

You can find Breakfast & Lunch Menus at the following website: https://www.ortn.edu/district/food-services/menus/.

Request for Bus Service and Updating Bus Service!

Thank you to all who have completed the Bus Request forms last week!

As we begin to prepare for the upcoming year, we will need to know if your child will need bus service for the 22-23 school year. If you need bus service, follow the steps below.

FIRST! Log into Tyler's Versatrans E-Link https://transportation.ortn.edu/elinkrp/Login.aspx

Username: (use student’s name) firstname.lastname This is case sensitive–example: john.smith
Password: (use student birth date) in this format 03122007 for March 12, 2007

Click on Students, then View My Students. If you see a bus route there, you should be good. If you DO NOT see a bus route, or If your child did not ride the bus in the spring of 2022, you will need to update bus service!

If your child needs bus service, please fill out the Request for Bus Service form below. Upon completion, please send the form to amyers@ortn.edu for processing.

It is very important you return the completed from so your child is signed up for buses the first day of school.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Mr. Fowler at bjfowler@ortn.edu at or Ms. Myers at amyers@ortn.edu.

MyStop Bus Tracking App!

First Student Transportation is working hard to get routes assigned to all students who requested bus service.

Once you are registered for transportation, you will be able to track your child's bus using the app information detailed below. Please see information on how to register for MyStop below.

MyStop - Parent/Student Login (You may click on the MyStop Picture to the left!)

  • Username: (use student’s name - case sensitive) firstname.lastname
  • Password: (use student birth date) in this format 03122007 for March 12, 2007

MyStop Phone App Available In Your App Store

Go to: Versatrans My Stop™ provides mobile access to bus information. This app displays the location of the user’s assigned school bus, as well as the estimated time of arrival to their stop. Students can plan for late or on-time arrival, and prevent missed pick-ups or being left outside in inclement weather.

Can’t Access the MyStop App?

If you are having difficulty accessing the MyStop App please take the following steps:

  1. Please confirm the following:
  2. You have downloaded the App from Tyler Technologies.
  3. You are using the legal student name as listed in Skyward.
  4. You have selected all lower case letters.First Student Transportation is working hard to get routes assigned to all students who requested bus service.

Creating a Canvas Parent Account

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2021-22 JMS Student Handbook

Join Our PTO!

The JMS PTO would like to welcome all families to Jefferson Middle School and invite you to learn more about PTO activities and how you can get involved.

Our first PTO Meeting is Monday, August 2nd at 7:45am. We will provide information next week regarding the location of the meeting.

If you would like to receive PTO text or email alerts, please click below to be added to our contact database. We use the Remind app to send meeting announcements, information about volunteer opportunities and other reminders.


Please contact PTO President Caroline Johnson at carolinefilas@me.com if you have any questions.

Drop Off and Pick Up at JMS

Safety is our number one priority at Jefferson Middle School. The following video below helps to show the process for both drop off and pick up each and every day.

We want our parents and students to be aware of the process in order to create the safest environment for our students at arrival and dismissal. The following times below give you the best idea for drop off times:

  • There are two loops on the campus: one on the gym/football field side of campus which is a car drop off loop all morning long.
  • The second loop on the softball field side is the bus loop at the beginning of the morning and becomes a car loop after buses leave. This is approximately 7:15am or when no buses are present after 7:10am.
  • Fifth & sixth grade students will report to the gym until 7:30am when they are dismissed to class. Seventh & eighth grade students will report to the main lobby prior to being dismissed to class each morning.
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JMS Athletics - EAGLE UP!

Our Jefferson athletic teams are gearing up for their upcoming seasons and the JMS Football and Volleyball schedules are posted below. The Cross Country meet schedule is coming soon. Please make plans to come out and support the Eagles and Lady Eagles this fall! Go Eagles!

The JMS Cross Country Team is preparing for their first meet in August. If there are any 6th, 7th or 8th grade students interested in joining the JMS Cross Country Team, please contact Coach John Smith at jrsmith@ortn.edu or Coach Katie Wilson at skwilson@ortn.edu.

CROSS COUNTRY Begins SOON: Message from Coach Smith!

We practice every day, weather permitting. Occasionally, we will take a day off to rest. Practice starts after school at 3 p.m. and is over by 4:30 on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Wednesday practice is after school and begins at 1:00 pm. and is over by 2:15pm. Wednesday is the most common off day due to teacher in-service training. If you must miss practice for any reason, you must see Coach Smith to discuss it, preferably beforehand. Unexcused absences mean that you cannot run in the meets!

What do I need in order to join the team and run?

    • A completed physical packet for the 2022-2023 School Year completed and signed by your doctor, medical history, emergency and insurance information must be signed by parent. Last year’s cross country or track physical is NOT valid.
    • T-shirt, shorts, running shoes for practices; running shoes do NOT need to be super fancy or super expensive. If you need suggestions about shoes and/or where to purchase them Coach Smith is happy to help. I have even been known to show up to a store to help.
    • A willing spirit! Cross Country is both physical and MENTAL sport; it is okay to not be fast. You just have to be willing to keep trying to improve your time and ability.


8th Grade Williamsburg Trip

Who: All Eighth Graders Can Apply

What: Annual Field Trip (45-year tradition)

When: Sept. 30 - Oct. 3 (Fall Break)

Where: Virginia's Historic Triangle & Monticello

*Applications & More Details Distributed to Students on Weds 7/27

Please reach out to Mr. Ben Brewer with any questions at btbrewer@ortn.edu

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