Welcome to Joel P. Jensen Middle School! We are excited to begin a new year with your student. Because of the recent boundary changes, many of our former students will be moving to other schools and many new students will be joining us. We also have our new 7th grade ALPS program beginning this year. We welcome you all to JPJ, a school on the rise. Each one of our students will be needed to continue our positive changes. The 2019-2020 year will be fantastic!
Our school has continued making several changes for the better. Seven years ago, 63% of our students were passing all of their classes. As we have added programs like Z.A.P.! (Zeroes Aren’t Permitted), Catch-Up Lunch, and academic tracking, we have seen this passing percentage improve significantly. This past year we continued with Standards-Based Grading and reached an 87% passing rate! We give credit to an emphasis on academics and learning standards, and teachers who have been determined to work with their students until they are successful.
In addition, our students are more punctual than ever. In fact, we may have the lowest percentage of late students of all of our district middle schools. As our school population grows from year to year, our tardies continue to drop. Seven years ago our students accumulated over 25,000 tardies for the year. This past year we had just over 2,500. There has been an incredible cultural shift regarding respect for school rules and class time. Teachers are working hard to teach from bell to bell, as to not lose any valuable academic time. A renewed emphasis will be placed on daily attendance.
Once again, Joel P. Jensen Middle School is one of the safest schools in the district according to our district school safety assessments. Our school passed with 100% compliance this past year. We will continue to make changes to help students feel even safer at our school, including emphasizing the use of the SafeUT app for students to use if there are any school or personal issues, including bullying, vandalism, and threats of self-harm. It is an exciting and important tool that is available to all students with cellphones.
Finally, we have made great strides with our reading program here over the past few years, and although we will continue helping students get caught up with literacy, we will now emphasize numeracy. Most of our students struggle with their basic multiplication tables. As the students learn more difficult math, these math facts are so important to know, without using a calculator. We ask that every parent works with their students to learn their 0-12 multiplication tables. Our students will be far more successful in math and in life with these basic skills.
Our culture continues to change from year to year, and we are looking forward to many positive changes during the 2019-2020 school year at JPJ. It will be another memorable year and we are excited that your student will be a part of it. “Keep going…keep growing!”
Thank you for your support.
Principal, Joel P. Jensen Middle School