JMS Weekly E-Blast

May 29, 2022

Dear JMS Families,

It is hard to believe that the end of the school year will be here in just a few days.

The end of the school year is a time to celebrate the many wonderful learning experiences, educational opportunities and accomplishments of our school, the students, and our extraordinary faculty. The end of the year is a time to reflect on our successes and to begin making plans to build on these successes for the future.

We would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all of our parents, students and teachers. Thank you for all of your hard work, dedication and support throughout the year. Thank you for making a difference in the lives of all of our students.

We hope everyone has a wonderful summer full of exciting things to do, relaxation, and quality family time! Remember to check our website, Facebook and Twitter pages for updates throughout the summer.

It has been a pleasure leading the JMS community.

This week's Update contains information about the following:

  • Congratulations!
  • Safety Drill - Shelter In Place
  • Information From the Health Office - Medicine Pick Up
  • Masking
  • Send Us a Postcard
  • Beginning Band - 8th Grade

Please complete this FORM if anyone in your family has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. We want to keep the children here and we want to keep them safe. This information is critical to the safety of the students and staff at JMS.

Take Care,

Dr. Sarah Shaw, Principal

Ms. Katelyn Deet, Assistant Principal

Weekly Schedule

Weekly Schedule

Monday - No School - Memorial Day

Tuesday - Day 2

Wednesday - Day 3 - June 1st Schedule

Thursday - Day 4 - Last Day of School - 12:00 Dismissal


JMS Earns Superior Ratings at High Note Musical Festival

Congratulations to our 8th grade Band, Chorus and Orchestra! Each of these groups of talented children earned SUPERIOR ratings at the High Note Musical Festival on Friday! Thank you to Ms. Wagner, Mr. Lash and Ms. Lim for their dedication to their work in our music department!

Promising Young Writers

Congratulations to Emi Neuer and Eva Schmidt for receiving Certificates of Recognition for the Promising Young Writers Program from the National Council of Teachers of English!

According to NCTE, 116 eighth grade students from across the country were nominated this year. Of those, just 66 students received Certificates of Recognition.

To participate in this program, students were nominated by their English and literature teachers. Then, they submitted a piece of writing in response to the prompt provided by NCTE. After being selected to represent JMS as finalists, the students revised their writing samples and also revised and submitted an additional piece of their best writing in a different genre. The two writing samples were evaluated by national judges on content, purpose, tone, word choice, organization, development, and style.

Congratulations, Emi and Eva!

JMS Writing Celebration

Sixty students attended the annual Writing Celebration after school on Thursday, May 26. During the event, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders read a sample of the pieces published in this year's literary magazine. Mrs. Kelly recognized the writers, artists, typists, student editor, cover designer, and selection staff members who contributed to this year's publication. Writing Lab assistants and the Promising Young Writers finalists were also recognized. Following the program, students received their copies of Our Piece of Mind, Jefferson's literary magazine while enjoying cupcakes and water.

JMS & MMS Raise over $12,000 for the Children of Ukraine

JMS and MMS students raised over $12,000 for the children of Ukraine. They combined efforts earlier in the year with the help of parent volunteer Kristine Sorenson and teacher sponsors Mr. Bluemling and Mrs. Duchin.

The children raised $4,600 from the donation tables from three Mellon concerts, the JMS musical, the elementary district orchestra concert, the Washington Elementary variety show, the Lebo Earth Day celebration and the Saturday Farmers Market.

The children raised another $2,000 through the T-shirt sales. Vanshika Jain (MMS Student) raised another $1,000 at the St. Patrick's Day parade.

Due to the combined efforts with JMS United and Mellon UNITES (as well as student council members) Ms. Sorenson was awarded the "Paramount Impact Award" by the parent company of CBS where she works and was able to donate another $5,000 to Save the Children.

All of this totals over $12,000!!!

Thank you to everyone who supported the MIddle School children during this project!

New News

Jefferson Complex Safety Drill - Shelter in Place

The Jefferson Complex will be conducting a Shelter in Place Safety Drill this week.

Shelter-in-place is initiated when school officials believe there is some type of emergency that does not directly impact the interior of the school. Shelter-in-place is typically used when there is a dangerous event outside of the school building. The goal is to keep students and staff safe and indoors. During a shelter-in-place staff and students are instructed to stay inside the building. This measure is designed to prevent anyone from entering/exiting the building. During this drill we will not be allowing anyone into or out of the building. The drill should last approximately ten minutes.

Information From the Health Office - Medicine Pick Up

If your child currently has medication in the health office, please note the following for pickup of your child’s medication at the end of this current school year:

  • According to the PA Department of Health Medication Guidelines, all unused medication stored in the health office must be returned directly to the parent/guardian before the end of the school year. If the parent/guardian does not pick up the medication by the last day of school, licensed health office personnel will properly dispose of the medication.

  • Please contact your child’s health office to arrange for pickup of your child’s medication. All medication must be picked up by a parent or adult designee on or before the last day of school.

  • The school can not store medications over the summer. If your child requires medication next school year, we will need a new MD order and medication will have to be provided at the start of next school year.

  • Nurses will only be available until 12pm on the last day of school.

  • Please contact your child’s health office with questions.

It has been a pleasure taking care of your child this year. We hope that you have a safe and healthy summer.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has moved Allegheny County to a high level of COVID-19 community level transmission. Therefore, in accordance with the CDC guidance, the District strongly recommends indoor masking for all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Friday, May 27, 2022. While this is not how we hoped to finish out the last three and a half days of school for our students, it is extremely important that we follow the CDC’s recommendations and hope that this need will be short-lived.

We will continue to monitor the community transmission level through the end of the school year, as we want to ensure our students and families start the summer safely and without illness. In addition, stay home if you are not feeling well, take advantage of testing, follow proper hygiene and handwashing.

Thank you for your continued support to keep our students, faculty, staff, and administrators safe.

Send Us a Postcard

Send us a postcard from your travels this summer. Whether you're driving to the beach, flying overseas, or visiting the Pittsburgh Zoo, pick up a postcard and mail it to JMS!

All of the postcards will be displayed in the office for all the children to see upon their return to school in the fall!

Beginning Band - 8th Grade

Attention all current 8th grade students ~ If you missed the first round of high school beginning band and still want to try it out, we are offering a second beginning band class. We will rehearse on Mondays and Wednesdays starting on June 6. Please contact Mr. Cheskawich at if you are interested. We would love to have you join our team!

Other Information

JMS Yearbooks

Yearbooks will be distributed during the last week of school.

If your child has not ordered a yearbook, it is not too late to reserve a copy! Please send an envelope with $60 cash only to Ms. Beckett in room 123 to reserve a copy while supplies last. Any remaining yearbooks will be sold on a first come first serve basis on the last day of school.

Please contact Ms. Beckett if you are not sure if you ordered a yearbook.

Library Book Return

It is time for students to return all library books, and Mrs. Anstandig would love your help checking under beds and on bookshelves for any JMS library books. There are no overdue fines, but books that are not returned will be assumed lost, and the cost of a replacement copy will be added to your child's account before they leave JMS.


Families In Need of Technology

As we prepare to start the 2021-2022 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 email address. Please also be sure to whitelist 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:


Middle School Athletics

You can learn everything you need to know about Middle School Athletics, including starting dates, by visiting the MS Athletics Webpage.

JMS PTA Information



If you haven’t used AmazonSmile Before:

  • Go to 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 on your browser.

If you already use AmazonSmile:

  • Go to 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 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.

Box Tops

Scanning Box Tops is an easy way to earn money for our school. 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.

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.

Resources For Families

Local Resources for Families

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:

  • Food
  • Rent/Mortgage
  • Utilities
  • Pets
  • Abuse
  • Mental Health
  • General Assistance

Safe 2 Say Something

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

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.