Greetings Jefferson Middle School Students and Families
It’s hard to believe that we are just two weeks from opening the doors to Jefferson Middle School for the 2019-20 school year—starting with Orientation on Thursday, August 29, 2019 and the first day of school on Tuesday, September 3, 2019. We’re looking forward to welcoming our younger neighbors at Alice West Fleet Elementary School as they move into their new building, and to seeing our own Jefferson teachers and staff when they return, during the week of August 19, 2019. Leading up to these dates, we remain busy behind the scenes and in the community, working on all fronts to ensure a smooth transition. I am happy to announce the reopening of TJMS’ main front door entrance as well as our individual grade level entrances! School busses will drop-off and pick-up in our new bus lane near our main entrance. In addition, there is a new parent/guardian drop-off and pick-up lane adjacent to Alice West Fleet Elementary School on S. Old Glebe Road. Students will use the walkways from bus and parent drop-off and pick-up to access their grade level entrances. Bike riders can use bike racks located near the main front entrance to secure bikes. At arrival, students will enter the school building according to their grade:
- 6th Grade – Door 17
- 7th Grade – Door 16
- 8th Grade – Door 15
At dismissal, students will exit through their appropriate grade level doors. To help families prepare for day 1, we’ve been working with Arlington Public Schools Transportation offices and Arlington County Department of Transportation to develop Thomas Jefferson Middle School Student Arrival and Dismissal Procedures for 2019-20. We encourage you to review this comprehensive document and other resources online at your earliest convenience. I thank our Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) and the entire Jefferson community for your support. We look forward to working together with students, families and staff in the remaining weeks of the summer to ensure a successful start to the 2019-20 school year.
Principal Keisha Boggan
JEFFERSON MIDDLE SCHOOL 2019-20 TRANSPORTATION UPDATE
The first day of school begins the minute students leave home, so whether students are taking the bus, walking or biking, it’s important for families to plan and test commutes ahead of time. To support your commute planning, this 2019-20 Transportation Update includes highlights from the Student Arrival and Dismissal Procedures document and other need-to-know information on transportation to and from Jefferson Middle School, specific resources by transportation mode, and transportation safety tools and tips for all:
All students residing in the Jefferson bus eligibility zone (see tan portion of the bus eligibility zone map) will be assigned school bus transportation and are encouraged to take the school bus.
- School bus assignments for 2019-20 will be mailed to families by Thursday, August 22. Assignments will also be available on ParentVue.
- Jefferson students who transferred from their home neighborhood schools are being assigned to centralized “hub stop” locations or nearby bus stops within the Jefferson boundary. Students will be assigned to the stop closest to their home. More information on hub stops is available
- General information on APS School Bus Transportation for 2019-20 is posted
- Jefferson school bus drop-off, staging and pick-up will take place at the bus loop located at the northwest corner of the campus, in front of the main entry plaza. See Map A on page 4 of the Student Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
- For more specifics, see the School Bus section (page 2) of the Jefferson Student Arrival and Dismissal Procedures.
Students residing in the areas surrounding Jefferson that are not zoned for bus service (see pink portion of the bus eligibility zone map) are encouraged to walk or bike. Here are a few resources to help you plan:
- Specific guidelines are outlined in the Walking and Bicycling to School section (page 1) of the Student Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
- Bike racks are available at multiple locations on campus. See Map A on page 4 of the Student Arrival and Dismissal Procedures for rack locations
APS encourages families to explore all possible options for traveling to and from school and to utilize healthy, green transportation modes as often as possible. If you must drive, please be aware that:
- Family vehicle queuing and circulation will take place along South Old Glebe Road. See Map B on page 5 of the Jefferson Student Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
- Student drop-off and pick-up by family vehicle should occur ONLY along the curb and in the designated drop-off and pick-up zone. Students are not permitted to exit the vehicle onto the roadway.
- Families will help avoid / minimize vehicle congestion during arrival and dismissal by carpooling where possible and/or identifying remote drop-off and pick-up locations near school (as many families did during 2017-19 construction).
- Visitor Parking: Whether coming into the building for a quick stop (to pick up your student or drop something off) or to attend a meeting or school event, please use the following parking options. Park along 2nd Street or nearby before 9:00 AM and on S. Old Glebe Road between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Visitors are welcome to park in the garage after 4:00 PM if spaces are available. ADA-compliant parking spaces are available on the theater side of Thomas Jefferson Middle School. In addition, public parking is also available in the lot adjacent to the tennis courts.
- Important guidelines are outlined in the Private Vehicle Drop off and Pick Up section (pages 2-3) of the Jefferson Student Arrival and Dismissal Procedures
Transportation and Safety Support
To assist our student commuters and families, Jefferson will have support from:
- Our returning Arlington County Police Department Crossing Guard, who will be stationed at the intersection of South Old Glebe Road and South 2nd Street at arrival and dismissal time each day.
- Our School Transportation Coordinator Jeremy Siegel, who may be reached at 703-228-5904.
Law Enforcement Support
APS has been working with Arlington County Police to anticipate and support transportation safety needs by:
- Placing variable messaging signs in multiple locations countywide with messages to alert drivers of school opening (starting in August, following the Arlington County Fair)
- Conducting enforcement efforts in advance of school opening (starting in August)
- Stationing officers at key intersections during the first week of school
Transportation Safety Tips
When travelling to, from and near school, please remember to:
- Remain alert and pay attention to your surroundings whether driving, walking or bicycling
- Disconnect from your mobile devices and remove earbuds
- Cross at marked crosswalks
- Obey all regulatory signs and traffic lights
Visit the APS Safe Routes to School webpage for a complete list of safety suggestions and active transportation resources for all modes.
Watch for additional APS and Safe Routes to School safety materials coming via Peachjar after school opens.
Transportation Safety Resources and Tools
Safety is our number one priority. The following resources are available, and we encourage you to use them:
Online Resources (posted on Jefferson website as available)
- Jefferson Bus Eligibility Zone Map
- School Bus Queuing Drop-Off/MAP A
- Walk/Bike Access to Campus and Bike Parking Locations /MAP A
- Family Vehicle Drop-Off / Pick-Up Map/MAP B
- Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Resources
- Pedestrian Safety
- Bike Safety
- Walking School Bus Information (adaptable for middle school)
- Bike Train Information (adaptable for middle school)
- Funding Opportunities (SRTS Mini-Grants)
Tools and Supplies
- Reflective vests for staff / parent volunteers
- ShareVaRoads pocket guides for families/staff in English and Spanish
APS is committed to working with Jefferson families, staff and the community to make our transition to the 2019-20 school year as seamless as possible, support the opening of Alice West Fleet Elementary School, and ensure all of our students arrive at school safely and on time.
We have been working closely with Fleet Elementary School administrators, staff and families to streamline arrival and dismissal procedures and facilitate use of our shared transportation resources and space. For planning purposes, please note the Fleet School Day schedule:
- Normal School Day: 9:00 AM – 3:41 PM
- Early Release: 1:26 PM
- Two-Hour Delay: 11:00 AM
- Extended Day Program:
- AM 7:00 AM – 8:45 AM
- PM 3:41 PM – 6:00 PM
- After School Clubs/Enrichment: 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM
When it comes to safety, we all have a role to play, and we can’t emphasize enough the importance of advance preparation. You know what’s best for you and your student, so we encourage you to take advantage of these transportation resources and opportunities in the weeks ahead to map out your student’s school commute, whether on foot, by bike or by school bus.