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Principal's Message

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August 2023

Dear Thomas Jefferson Middle School Families,

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year! We have been working hard over the summer, planning for our students to return in September. We will open our doors on Wednesday, September 6th at 8:20 am for students. Please have your child enter through their designated grade level entrance (see below). Students should have hard copies of their schedules posted on Skyward (or handwritten if you do not have a printer at home). Teachers will provide students with the list of materials they need for their classes on the first day of school or will email you directly with the list prior to. 

We will begin the school year focusing on supporting and challenging our scholars as they learn their own strengths and areas in need of improvement. We will begin the school year with a few assessments to assist our teachers in identifying our students’ needs and work collaboratively with our specialists and with you at home.

Below are important details about the 2023-2024 school year:


- Students are encouraged to bring their own water bottle to school as long as it is not glass. There

are water refilling stations as well as water fountains throughout the building.

Your child must know their Student ID number in order to purchase breakfast and/or lunch. All lunch accounts must be replenished online. We strongly encourage using the prepayment method. The main office does not accept any payments for lunch accounts. 

- Please review the Maschio's Food Services Webpage with price information and links to the menu.  Please complete the Free & Reduced Lunch Application if needed. If your child received free/reduced lunch last year, this will continue for the month of September only. Another application must be completed for this school year by September 15th.

- Lunch deliveries (parent or Uber Eats/Door Dash, etc.) are not allowed during the school day. Students must bring packed lunch to school at the start of the day if they are not eating from the cafeteria. Should your child forget to bring a packed lunch from home, the cafeteria will provide your child with lunch and a balance will be owed the next school day. We appreciate your understanding.

- If your child would like to eat breakfast at the school, the cafeteria will be open at 7:45 am beginning Monday, September 11th. If your child reports to the cafeteria in the morning, he/she must remain in the cafeteria until the 8:20 bell rings. Students reporting to breakfast may only enter through the Fycke Lane cafeteria entrance. 

Schoolwide Positive Behavior Expectations


- Please take a moment to review the PBIS Matrix with your child.

- Our Student/Parent Handbook is located on our school webpage under the “Families” tab. Please be sure to review this with your child.


- Students are required to bring their chromebooks to school and back home every day. Please be sure it is fully charged. Chargers must be kept at home as we do not have any replacement chargers if they are lost in the building.

- Email addresses are student first name.student last name    Example: [email protected]

- Passwords are the first three letters of the student’s last name with the first letter capitalized and the student’s ID number (can be found in Skyward)   Example: Oda12345


- Parents may park and walk students to the designated grade level entry:

Grade 5 - Fycke Lane garden

Grade 6 - Teaneck Road flagpole

Grade 7 - Salem Street circle closest to Hartwell St.

Grade 8 - Salem Street circle closest to Salem St.

- Parents can begin dropping students off at 8:20 am. There is no staff supervision prior to 8:20 am so parents must stay with their child if arriving earlier. 

- 5th grade students will line up by homeroom on the first day only. 5th grade teachers will have signs with their names for students to be able to identify them during arrival. 

- After 8:30 am, students will be required to go to the main door on the Salem Street circle and ring the bell to gain entry into the building. Arriving after 8:30 am is considered tardy. 4 tardies will result in an after school detention.

- In inclement weather, all students should report to the cafeteria through the Fycke Lane cafeteria entrance if arriving prior to 8:20 am. 


- Students must exit the building through their designated grade level door.

- Please be courteous to our neighbors and do not block driveways or double park while picking up your child. 

- Most of our students are walkers. Please drive carefully and follow all traffic laws on and around our campus. Our speed zone is 25 miles per hour but please exercise caution and always keep your eyes on the road. 

- If your child is a walker, please remind him/her to be respectful of the property of others, walk on sidewalks and keep their heads up to avoid any accidents. Cell phones are a distraction and can cause injury when someone is not paying attention. 


- The portal to inform you of your child’s teachers and schedule will be open on Wednesday, August 30th. 

- Your child’s schedule must include Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education and a World Language as well as two electives, lunch and WIN (recess for grade 5 only). If any of these courses are missing, please notify your child’s counselor immediately so that your child can have a full schedule prior to the first day of school. 

- If you need assistance with logging into your account, please contact the counseling office at 201-833-5475. 

- Counselors can be reached via email: Ms. Martino (Grades 5 & 6)    Mr. Davis (Grades 7 & 8)


- In an effort to maintain the safety of our school community, visiting the building without an appointment is strictly prohibited. 

- If you have an appointment, you must have your state issued identification to gain entry to the building through the security officer.

- Although we discourage picking up students early, we understand emergencies arise. Please be sure you call the main office before arriving at the building and notify Ms. Gomez of your reason for picking up your child beforehand. The main office number is 201-833-5471.

- Please carefully review all of the visiting guidelines on page 10 of our Student/Parent Handbook.

Other important information can be found on our school and district website; this includes the district calendarimportant save the datesaccess to your child’s lunch accountParent Resources and our Student/Parent Handbook. Please take a few moments to review our school website and follow our social media pages (links at the bottom of this letter). 

We are a paperless school. As such, most of our communication will be via email. Please verify that all of your information is accurate in Skyward. Our school will send you weekly emails and texts to inform you of upcoming events. Any updates to email addresses, phone numbers or emergency contacts can be made through our Counseling Office by calling Ms. Fernandez at 201-833-5475.  

If your child has any health needs, please reach out to our school nurse, Ms. Chan. Only the nurse may administer medication. If your child has diabetes and/or asthma or any other life-threatening or chronic illness, please contact Ms. Chan regarding an individual health care plan.

The TJ faculty and staff are committed to enhancing student achievement, promoting character education, and providing opportunities to discuss specific areas of focus. We are dedicated to upholding our motto of lifelong learning in a caring environment and look forward to working with you to ensure your child’s success. 

We look forward to welcoming back our students next week and greeting our newest Patriots in the fifth grade and new students. We will host an orientation on Monday, August 28th at 6 pm for our new families only, where you can meet our administration and get a tour of the school.  Please save the date for our Back To School Night on September 26th at 6:30 pm. We cannot wait to meet you during one or both of these events.  

Enjoy the remainder of the summer break.


Nina Odatalla


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