Eagle Eye JMS Parent Newsletter #12

October 17-22

“Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.” ― Leonardo da Vinci

Hello Jefferson Middle School families and parents!

Welcome back to Term 2 at Jefferson Middle School!

Monumental Moments these past two weeks:

  • A fantastic intersession!
  • A restful break for staff and hopefully our students as well.


Staff will be having a professional development day to discuss results from the Term 1 Benchmark and plan for instruction based off that data. We look forward to seeing your students on Tuesday, October 18.

We have great plans for students this term, including the Pre-ACT for 8th graders, some exciting labs in our Science classes, some great musical concerts, the start of our Basketball season and SO MUCH MORE! On Tuesday, we launch into a fantastic Term 2.

We appreciate and encourage all of our families to reach out with any needs, questions, or concerns.

Have a wonderful evening!

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

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Remember, your students don't come back until Tuesday, October 18th. We will see you and them on Tuesday!
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Wednesday Zero Period and Social Emotional Learning

We have seen great engagement by our students on our SEL mentoring sessions on Wednesday during our Zero Period.

Coming back from break, we are looking at these topics!

5th grade: Meeting New People & Get to Know Your School

6th grade: Understanding Emotions

7th grade: The Story of Values

8th grade: Overcoming Obstacles

2022-2023 JMS Student Handbook

Week at a Glance : October 17-22

Monday, October 17, 2022

  • No School for Students!!

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

  • Atomic Eagles Meeting Science Wing 2:45-4:30
  • Master Builders Meeting Rm 102 2:45-4:30
  • RadioActive Brix Meeting Rm 223 2:45-4:30
  • Girls Scouts Meeting Rm 208 3:00-5:00
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00
  • Girls Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

  • Cheer Practice 1:00-2:00
  • 7th Grade Spanish Field Trip to McClung Museum of Natural History at UT 1:30-2:45
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 1:00-3:00
  • Girls Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00

Thursday, October 20, 2022

  • PTO Meeting Zoom 7:45
  • End of Season Volleyball Party Cafeteria 3:00-4:00
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00
  • Girls Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00

Friday, October 21, 2022

  • Youth for Christ-Band Room 7:10
  • Success Assemblies
  • Ms. Kala’s class to Arboretum 1:45-2:00
  • Student Council Meeting (5th/6th graders ONLY) 6th period Library
  • Boys Basketball Practice Gym 3:00-5:00
  • Girls Basketball Practice Gym 5:00-7:00

Lunch Charges!

We have had many parents calling regarding the negative charges on their child’s lunch account. I checked with AraMark and the problem is that the students are getting more food items than are allowed for the ala carte meal. Please see the paragraph below from Aramark, our food service provider:

“Students are charged for an extra entrée when they select items that are not a part of the main meal options. The extra item will charge them for that item and if it is one of the options of a main meal, they could be charged for a another meal.”

Please be sure to speak to your student about lunch if you are seeing additional charges.


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Williamsburg Trip

A special thanks to Mr. Linn and Mr. Brewer for organizing a fantastic trip to Williamsburg. Hurricane Ian had us worried, but it turned out to be fine. A shout out to our adult chaperones. They dedicated their first weekend of fall break to enabling our students to explore the history and the travel. Take a look at some photos below!

7th Graders: Serving Others!

Oak Ridge Animal Shelter

September 12-23 JMS 7th graders participated in their first community service project for the year. They collected items for Oak Ridge Animal Shelter, and they came through big time. We had numerous bags of dog and cat food, cans and pouches of food, treats, toys, blankets, and beds. Students were even thoughtful enough to bring in dog and cat food coupons so that shelter volunteers would not have to spend as much of their own money when buying items for the shelter – this was totally thought up by the students as teachers did not mention this idea. Items were donated in memory of pets that have passed, and many students checked in multiple times to see what else was still needed. Kori Gentry was our student representative. We were proud to have her at the shelter to represent our grade level.

Thanks to all who supported this community project. We look forward to our next project as we collect items for Emory Valley Early Learning Center during Term 2.


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PORTRAIT of a GRADUATE October Focus: 4 Cs: Communication

4 Cs: Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity

FOCUS: Communication

Teaching students that communication can come in many ways is important. It is not just speaking verbally with someone to communicate but can also be non-verbal cues such as hand gestures and facial expressions as well as written emails, presentation materials, and more. Now that we live in such a digital world, it is also important to teach children how to navigate digital spaces with responsibility.

CHALLENGE: One aspect of communication from our 4 Cs rubric: "I shared an analysis of the main message to interpret, synthesize and/or evaluate the meaning of what was read or heard and how the message was achieved (e.g., use of techniques, tone vocabulary, gestures) to draw a logical conclusion about the topic."

Ask your child to share their analysis of a show or presentation they watch with you and encourage them to meet aspects of that rubric.

October Character Trait Focus: GRATITUDE


September's Character trait focus is RESPONSIBILITY. We want to congratulate our Student of the Week winners, nominated by their teachers. We are so proud!

  • 5th Grade- Eva Scruggs, Zaiden Carroll, & Ella Bradburn

    6th Grade- Laney Harper and Albert Coin

    7th Grade- Selah Smith, Kennedi Honas, & Brooke Solomon

    8th Grade- Ren Muchero, Dylan Thomas, & Anna Hicks

Next newsletter will have the students of the week for October!

The Reading Eagle - Messages from Ms. Haverkamp!

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Counseling Corner

Ms. Candie Price (5th and 7th Grade)

Mr. Paul Sudderth (6th and 8th Grade)

Please contact our school counseling department with any other questions at 865-425-9302. Ms. Amy Myers, school registrar, is happy to assist with enrollment, withdrawal paperwork, transportation, Skyward, school updates, etc.

Benchmark Testing Update

We completed Benchmark testing before the break, but there is always class work and future testing that can cause anxiety in our students. Look at the link below to find some strategies to bust that anxiety!

24 Test Anxiety Busters (According to Science) | GoZen!

Ms. Cormack is on leave!

Ms. Cormack is hoping to welcome first child very soon, and will be on leave for the remainder of the year. Mr. Paul Sudderth will serve as interim 6th and 8th grade counselor. He spent the two weeks before break acclimating and working with Ms. Cormack for a smooth transition. Mr. Sudderth comes to us with a wealthy of community counseling experience and four years with Knox County Schools. Please welcome him and if you have any needs, let him know.

Character Strong Update: October is Gratitude Month!

This month we are talking about Gratitude. Our district wide Social emotional learning (SEL) curriculum, Character Strong, defines gratitude as “choosing to appreciate the people and things in our lives.” Practicing Gratitude can increase our well-being and our happiness. Gratitude is 1 of 3 traits we will focus on throughout the year that helps students Be Well. Throughout the school, students will be developing skills like emotion regulation, positive self-talk, and stress management.

Fun Family Challenge #1:

As a family, What are some small, specific things that you are Grateful for? Maybe it is your favorite water cup, the way the cat sleeps on the chair, or when your grandma bakes banana bread. Spend some time as a family trying to think of at least 10 small things that you have Gratitude for and then choose to notice them this week with a smile.

Fun Family Challenge #2:

Review Gratitude as a family! Remember that Gratitude is choosing to appreciate the people and things in our lives. Find a place in your home to display a glass jar. Cut up small slips of paper and place them next to the jar. Use the jar to collect special people, places, events, and memories that your family is thankful for. Find a time each week to add slips of Gratitude to the jar and assist students in writing or drawing gratitude as needed. Having a gloomy day or a challenging time as a family? Pull out the slips of Gratitude and read them aloud together as a reminder of your Grateful moments.

Clothing Closet Accepting Donations

JMS is pleased to offer support for students in need through our “clothing closet”. We are accepting clean, gently used clothing items for students in need. All sizes are welcome but our largest need is for junior sized clothing. Please make sure all donated items meet JMS dress code policy. Donated items can be dropped off in the JMS counseling office. Thank you for your support!

The family resource center has two offices located on the west and east side of Oak Ridge. Their offices are located at Willow Brook Elementary and Glenwood Elementary.

For assistance, please contact Jo Bruce, FRC Director at 865-425-3205/jbruce@ortn.edu or Sharon Gleason, FRC Assistant at 865-425-9369/slgleason@ortn.edu


Click on each picture to enlarge!

Student Success Assembly Information

Our second Student Success Assembly is this Friday! We will highlight some success of our students and reinforce some practices that will help our Eagles be most successful academically, socially, and disciplinarily. After those meetings, we will will add the presentation here.


The Tennessee Department of Education announced today the 2022 Reward and Priority schools, which are two key designations under Tennessee’s school accountability system. The Oak Ridge School district is proud to share that four schools have been named Reward Schools: Linden Elementary, Glenwood Elementary, Willow Brook Elementary, and Jefferson Middle School. Reward status is the top distinction a school can earn in Tennessee. Reward schools are those that are improving overall student academic achievement and student growth for all students and for student groups, and they are identified annually.

Dr. Borchers states, “The Oak Ridge School District focuses on growth and improvement, even in times of instability, and because our students are much more than the sum of their test scores, we will continue to focus on the Oak Ridge Schools’ Portrait of a Graduate which can be found on our district website at www.ortn.edu/pog. The Portrait of a Graduate was developed collaboratively with the community and focuses on achieving college and career readiness for every student by developing a shared vision among all key stakeholders regarding the key competencies that students need to be successful in work, citizenship, and life.”

WEDNESDAY Homework Help has ARRIVED!

Wednesday Homework Help is in FULL SWING. If students have questions about an assignment, need guidance about their homework, or are looking for a quiet place to work, Mrs. Huddleston and Mrs. Ozcan will be available in the Innovation Center on Wednesdays after dismissal. Students will need to be picked up by 3:00 pm. All grade levels are welcome to attend. Please e-mail Mrs. Huddleston (cdhuddleston@ortn.edu) or Mrs. Ozcan (mozcan@ortn.edu) with any questions.

SIGN UP for CANVAS to See What Your Child is Doing Each Week!!

Reminders about Drop Off and Pick Up

Remember when dropping off/picking up your student:

  • JMS's weather policy is to load busses and release car riders during most weather events EXCEPT lightning or severe rain/wind. When lightning is present we will push our students back to the building and delay releasing students. We have had three major lightning issues and a major wind/rain events during our releases over the first term, and we wanted to reiterate what our hold policy is. We thank our parents for their patience as we do our best to keep our students safe.
  • DO NOT enter the bus loop when buses are present!
  • Please pull your vehicle all the way up so we can keep as many cars as possible off of Fairbanks Road.
  • When dropping off AFTER 7:30am, students will be directed towards the main entrance. Go ahead and pull all the way up.
  • Make sure your child is ready to exit the vehicle and doesn't have to access the trunk for items, as this holds up the line.
  • DO NOT park or leave your vehicles in the neighborhoods across the street from Jefferson. Traffic is heavy during pickup and drop off and parking on those streets only increases the danger to our students and parents attempting to navigate the traffic.
HOMEWORK HOTLINE: Monday-Thursday 5-9 PM

Did you know Tennessee has its own Homework Hotline only for students in Tennessee? This is a free service offering live online tutoring, an interactive whiteboard, along with help resources for every subject and grade level! Click the link ABOVE!



Athletic Update:

JMS Lady Eagles Cross Country Team placed 17th in the TMSAA State Cross Country Meet on October 1st.

The Lady Eagles Volleyball season is going to be celebrated this week after their successful season ended right before Fall Break.

Basketball season is right around the corner!

Please make plans to support the JMS athletic teams this week in their practices!

Go Eagles!

Our new BASKETBALL schedule is below!

Volleyball, Football, and Cross Country Schedules are below!

Coach Katie Bolling