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Parents’ F.A.Q.’S

Please read the complete TMS Student Handbook with your middle school student.  The handbook includes important information regarding all school policies and procedures.  District policies can be found on the TPS website.  A link to the TMS handbook can be found on the middle school’s website:  www.ms.tenafly.k12.nj.us

What Do I Do If…


My child will be absent?  Please report student full name, grade, duration of absence and reason for being out, in advance of the absence.  All absences must be verified.  Please call the TMS attendance line:  201-816-4900, option 2 as early as possible.  Students who are not verified are may be considered truant.

My child is or will be late?  Students must be in their homeroom classroom by 8:20 AM.  Otherwise, late students must sign in at the main office. Drop off between 8:00-8:10 to allow time for your child to go to their locker and walk to their HR. 
The categories of “lateness” are:
  • EXCUSED for illness or doctor’s visit with parent/doctor's signature.
  • UNEXCUSED for any other reason.

If a student comes in after 8:45 a.m., they must be accompanied by a parent note.  If you are unable to write a note the parent/guardian must call in to the attendance line, to verify the student’s lateness. Students who are late to the building must enter through the main office field entrance located on the south side of the building.

I need to have my child excused early?  To expedite this process, the parent/guardian must write a note with the child’s full name, dismissal time, and reason for the early dismissal.  Your child should bring this note to the main office during homeroom.  He/she will be given an early dismissal pass and will meet you at the main office at the designated time. Parent/guardian must come into the main office to sign your child out of school.

If the student returns to school on the same day they may sign themselves back in.  The student must report directly to the main office buzzing in at the 6th grade entrance.   Signing back in is imperative to your child’s safety and will enable your child to receive appropriate credit for the school day.

I want to request homework?  If your child has been absent for 2 or more days, you may phone Mrs. Violick in the Guidance Office @ 201-816-4922 before 9:30 AM to request homework.  Work may be picked up after 3:00 PM at the designated area outside of the Guidance office.  Please be sure to pick up requested assignments.


My child is unable to physically participate in physical education, how do I notify his/her teacher?  Parents should notify TMS by filling out the online form “Physical Education Excuse Form” found on the nurse’s web page found on the TMS website: www.ms.tenafly.k12.nj.us.   The online form goes directly to the school nurse and will be communicated to your child’s teacher.  Otherwise parents will need to send their child into school with a signed note, dated and the reason included.  All notes should be handed in to the school nurse during home room. 

My child is in school and not feeling well.  How does he/she go home?  If your child is not feeling well, he/she MUST report to Mrs. Russenberger in the Health Office.  If the nurse determines that he/she is too ill to remain in school she will call you to pick up your child.  Students are not permitted to call home or text from their cell phones during the school day.  For health and safety reasons, they must go through the nurse’s office. The nurse must be notified of all illnesses and injuries in the building. 

My child has a specific health issue? Please be sure to communicate all relevant health concerns in with the school utilizing the appropriate paperwork.  This include medical excuse notes, field trips forms and athletic participation forms.  We encourage you to communicate with our school nurse: Mrs. Russenberger  201-816-4937.   If your concern applies to a specific class or activity, please be sure to notify the teacher or coach that is supervising your child.


My child wants to bring his/her cell phone to school? TMS requires all students turn off their cell phones for the duration of the school day (8:20-2:50).  Cell phones MUST be turned off and secured in lockers. Please do not contact your child via their cell phone during school hours. 

Personal technology may only be used during an assigned teacher-approved educational activity. Personal technology such as cell phones are not ever to be used during the school day for personal recordings, messaging or to access personal social media accounts. There is a phone available in the main office for student use.


My child doesn’t have any money left in his/her lunch account or forgets his lunch or lunch money?  Students may purchase 2 school lunches on credit. They may not use a siblings’ or a friends’ account.

I want to add money to my child’s lunch account? A link to information and instructions on the cafeteria’s    pre-paid options can be found on the middle school’s website under “Lunch Iformation.” (www.ms.tenafly.k12.nj.us)

Parents/guardians are discouraged from dropping off lunches.  Talk to your child about advocating for themselves and speaking up to an adult if they ever forget their lunch.  No one will go hungry.  If you still choose to drop of a forgotten lunch it must be dropped off at the designated table.  The table is just inside the main office entrance -under the stairwell. You will need to be buzzed in first. Lunches must be clearly marked with the student’s name and grade.  A lunch aide will pick the lunches up and bring them to the cafeteria. Students are not contacted from the office to be informed that a lunch has been dropped off for them.  Please do not drop off anything other than lunches at this table.  Items that are placed on table that are not lunches, will end up in the lost and found.  

My child forgets his violin, book, homework etc.?  Allowing your child to take personal responsibility, will enable them to learn from this experience.  A late grade or an unprepared mark can be a valuable consequence for your student to learn and remembering their homework next time! 

Parents/guardians are discouraged from dropping off forgotten items.  If you still choose to bring the forgotten item in, be sure to label it with your child’s name and grade.  Please be aware that the office will NOT call a student down to the office or notify him/her when an item is dropped off.  This is an interruption to class instruction.  In addition, drop-offs in the main office become a disruption to the school working environment.  We appreciate your support in working with your child at home to plan accordingly for full preparation. 


My child has lost something? Encourage your child to retrace his/her steps and to speak to each of his/her teachers.  Students should regularly check the Lost & Found table located in the cafeteria near the windows.  Valuables are stored in the main office.  An additional lost & found box is located in each of the gym offices.
At the end of each marking period, all found clothing will be donated to charity.  Students should not bring valuables, toys, or excess money to school. Label your child’s clothing so they may be identified and returned.  Students are encouraged to use and to lock their lockers. 


My child is having difficulty with his schoolwork?  Visit the teacher’s website on the TMS website.  Teachers post homework, strategies, resources, and opportunities and times for them to come for extra help.  Encourage your child to speak to their teacher(s). Your child could also visit with their guidance counselor.  
The Guidance Office has information about tutoring opportunities through the THS Homework club which takes place after school. 

What is the best way to contact my child’s teacher?  Teachers will communicate the best way to reach them during Back to School Night.  You can also find office hours, extra help sessions, and email address listed on the teacher’s web page.  Send the teacher an email.  You can expect a response within 24 hours when school is in session.

I would like a meeting with my child’s team or an individual teacher? First contact the teacher or team leader for your child’s team.  Many times things can be resolved over a phone call or an emailed communication.  If you still feel that you need to make an appointment, contact the team leader or Mrs. Violick  in the Guidance Department at rviolick@tenafly.k12.nj.us or at 201-816-4922.

My child is having difficulty with a specific teacher?  Teaching your child how to respectfully approach a teacher and what to say can be an invaluable skill that will last a lifetime!  Practice/Role play so they can be sure to leave the meeting with what they need.  Teaching your child to advocate for his/herself will help them to learn independence.  If the student can resolve the situation on their own, great!  If not, the next step would be for you to reach out to the teacher directly.  Still not resolved? The third step would be to contact your child’s guidance counselor.  In all circumstances, communication is key! 

My child is feeling overwhelmed, confused, or unhappy about school and/or there is something going on at home that I would like the school to know about?  Contact your child’s School Guidance Counselor or the team leader for your child’s team.

My child is having difficulty with another student(s)? Middle school can be a turbulent time emotionally and socially.  Sometimes it’s most appropriate to give it a little breathing room.  Children learn to navigate and are more resilient than sometimes we allow. Depending on the circumstances, feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher(s), school counselor, or Ms. d’Adolf, the Supervisor of Students: (201-816-4907). If it’s a matter of safety, please do not hesitate.

My child wants to sign up for more than one club or activity? Students may sign up for more than one activity.  Many of the clubs allow you to you may join at any time.  Students should read the list of clubs posted on our website.  All students are encouraged to attend the club fair in September to find out more about the requirements and time commitments for each activity.  It is great for your child to be involved, but they shouldn’t over commit. There is no activity fee for middle school clubs/teams.

Athletic teams require additional requirements and commitment.  Late sign ups may not be permitted.  Athletic participation forms are on Tenafly Athletics page and are due prior to the season starting.  For detailed information on all athletics offered at TMS and for information on the registration process, please visit the Tenafly athletics home page: www.tenaflytigers.org

I witnessed a student being kind to another student, how can they be recognized?  AT TMS we love to “Catch a Student Doing Something Good!” You may pick up a nomination form in the main office.

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