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Principal's Message

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Dear Thomas Jefferson Middle School Families,

Welcome to the 2022-2023 academic year! We have been working hard over the summer, planning for our students to return in September. I would like to introduce our new Assistant Principal, Mr. Nicholas DeBlasio. His experience includes teaching at the elementary, middle and high school levels. He comes to us with administrative experience at the high school and has been a wonderful addition to our TJ family. 

This year, we will be 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.

We open our doors on Wednesday, September 7th at 8:20 am for students. Students are marked tardy after 8:30 am. Please remember to send your child to school with all needed supplies. Supply lists are located on our school website.

Below are important details about the year ahead:

Breakfast/Lunch

  • 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.

  • Please review Maschio's Food Services Welcome Letter with price information and links to the menu.  Breakfast and lunch are not free this year. Please fill out the Free & Reduced Lunch Application if needed.

  • Due to safety and security reasons, any lunch delivery (parent or Uber Eats) will not be 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 7:45am beginning Monday, September 12th. 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

  • Our TJ Core Values are RESPECT, RESPONSIBILITY, and READINESS TO LEARN!

  • 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.

Chromebooks

  • Students will be BRINGING 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 @students.teaneckschools.org.  Example: [email protected]students.teaneckschools.org

  • Passwords are the first three letters of the student’s last name with the first letter capitalized and the student’s ID number (located in the parent portal).  Example: Oda12345

Arrival

  • 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. 

Departure

  • 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. 

SKYWARD 

  • The portal to inform you of your child’s teachers and schedule will be open on Wednesday, August 31st. 

  • Your child’s schedule should have a course listed for every period (0-7) with a lunch (A or B) and another class the same period (A or B). Example: 05A Lunch 05B WIN

  • Your child’s schedule must include Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, Science, Physical Education and a World Language as well as one elective. 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 & 8)       Mr. Davis (Grades 6 & 7)

Safety & Security

  • 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. Khan 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 school calendar, school supplies lists, and the Student/Parent Handbook

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.  

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.  Please save the date for our Back To School Night on September 29th at 7pm. We cannot wait to meet you then. 

Enjoy the remainder of the summer break.

Sincerely,


Nina Odatalla, Principal


A Commitment to Lifelong Learning in a Caring Environment