December 8, 2016
Administrator's Corner

Greetings, Spartans!

We're in the final push of the semester....after today there are only 5 days of normal classes before final exams! Just a reminder that now is the time for students to finish strong, which includes staying on top of attendance. As the weather turns colder, be sure to plan ahead for traffic issues to ensure your timely arrival to school. 

This weekend be sure to visit the 28th Annual Spartan Artfest from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Saturday, December 10th.  Artfest is organized by TJ's hardworking PTO community, and is a major fundraiser for the school each year, benefitting every student and teacher at TJ. As a non-profit organization, PTO raises funds for classroom grants, teacher appreciation and more. Please help us make this wonderful event an even bigger success! 

¡Saludos, Spartans!

Estamos en el empuje final del semestre .... después de hoy hay sólo 5 días de clases normales antes de los exámenes finales! Sólo un recordatorio de que ahora es el momento para que los estudiantes terminen fuerte, que incluye teniendo buena asistencia. A medida que el clima se vuelva más fría, asegúrese de planear con anticipación los problemas de tránsito para asegurar su llegada a tiempo a la escuela.

Este fin de semana asegúrese de visitar el 28 Anual Spartan Artfest de 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. el sábado, 10 de diciembre. Artfest es organizado por la comunidad trabajadora de PTO de TJ, y es un recaudador de fondos importante para la escuela cada año, beneficiando a cada estudiante y maestro en TJ. Como una organización, PTO recauda fondos para becas en el salon, apreciación de maestros y más. Por favor, ayúdenos a hacer de este maravilloso evento un éxito aún mayor!

Andrew Skari
Assistant Principal

Quick Links
TJ's Tardy/Truancy Policy
Thank you for your su pport in keeping our attendance at its best!
Unified Basketball
Unified Basketball's season opener is
December 15 against Littleton. If you want to sign up please see Mrs. Lynch!
Kudos Korner
  • Congratulations to Brittany Nicolo, who has done a great job organizing various events for the faculty and staff that are focused on overall wellness! The Wellness Program here at T.J. is compiled of several different elements, one of them being mental wellness. In coming up with ideas that impact the wholeness of teachers, educators Fox and Sonheim presented the idea of Canvas and CapriSun (mimicking the concept of Sip'n'Paint). This painting opportunity brought teachers a sense of artistic exploration as well as a calming environment for 90 minutes after school. It was a great success! 
Week at a Glance - Week of 12/12 - 12/16
Monday, 12/12 - 
  • Clothing Drive (all week)
  • Food Drive (all week)
Tuesday, 12/13 - 
  • Choir concert at 7 p.m.
Wednesday, 12/14 - 
  • Ugly Sweater Day & Competition
Thursday, 12/15 - 
  • Gift donations for DECA Adopt-A-Family are due
  • "Relax and Focus For Finals" Yoga session (after School)
Friday, 12/16 - 
  • Holiday Movie Night Dec 16th 6:30-9:00pm (the cost is $3 per person and this gives you a bag of Popcorn, there will also be drinks   and snacks for sale so bring some extra money)
ARTFEST This Saturday...Don't Miss It!
Pancake Breakfast and Chili Lunch 

The optimist club of Denver is generously donating their time to provide a hot pancake breakfast the morning of the Artfest (this Saturday at TJ from 8-4) for  $4 with sausage and $3 without sausage.  Full breakfast includes 3 pancakes, 2 sausage links and juice! Breakfast will be served from 9-11 a.m. If you would like to pre-purchase a breakfast, you can do so  online at the Spartan ArtFest online store. You can also purchase onsite at the Artfest. Also available is the ability to purchase and donate the breakfast to a volunteer. 

Chili will also be for sale, and we will start serving at 11:30. 

National Honor Society Donation Booth at the ArtFest
NHS Donation Booth 
NHS will sponsor a holiday donation booth collecting for the Make-A-Wish Foundation...all donations will be made on behalf of TJ....
We are still looking for volunteers for Saturday's ARTFest here at TJ.....notices have been sent to NHS members.
Artfest Vendor Highlight of the Week
Music News - Listen to Choir and Orchestra TODAY!
  • Monticello singing on Cruisin' 1430 AM at 10:00 a.m. today! Monticello will be singing one song live at 10am and recorded for the playlist. Both songs will be added to the playlist which I've linked below. It is a huge plug for the San Antonio trip, too. Thank you!
  • Orchestra Concert Tonight at 7 PM.
    The concert is entitled "Spirit of the Renaissance: A Mass to Humanity".  We open with Copland's   Fanfare for the Common Man , inspired by a speech delivered in 1943 by Vice-president Henry Wallace in 1942.  The band has a piece inspired by poems from children imprisoned in Terezin during WWII, and another piece that was written in memoriam for the bombing of Dresden - Feb., 1945.  The orchestra is playing a couple pieces from the Renaissance, including one by Gabrielli.
    The music is not light-hearted, holiday music, sometimes associated with this time of year,  but rather music to inspire reflection and appreciation for humanity.  I've had groups perform some of these songs previously, and the concert has the potential to be a powerful experience.  
STEM Saturday for Girls Only!
Semester 1 Finals Schedule
Friday, 12/16/16: 
Study Time: 7:30 to 8:00
Period 2: 8:00 to 9:30 
Period 3: 9:35 to 11:05 
Period 4: 11:10 to 12:40 
Lunch: 12:40 to 1:20
Finals make-up: 1:20-3:00

Monday, 12/19/16
Study Time: 7:30 to 8:00
Period 6: 8:00 to 9:30 
Period 7: 9:35 to 11:05 
Lunch: 11:05 to 11:45
Finals make-up: 11:45 to 3:00

Tuesday, 12/20/16
Study Time: 7:30 to 8:00
Period 1: 8:00 to 9:30 
Period 8: 9:35 to 11:05 
Lunch: 11:05 to 11:45
Finals make-up: 11:45 to 3:00

Wednesday, 12/21/16
Finals make-up and teacher grading: 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Annual DECA Adopt-A-Family Project
Just a reminder that the Adopt-A-Family is up and running and we need your help! If you are new to TJ here is a brief explanation about the program: Each year DECA, Skills USA, and Samanda Davis (along with help from many others) join forces to help provide holiday gifts for financially challenged families within the TJ community. On average we help about 10-15 families with food baskets and gifts so anything you can do to help will be much appreciated.

Click here for  the link to sign up for specific gifts.  Or, if you would like to donate gift cards (Walmart or Target are preferred) or money, the DECA "elves" will go shopping the weekend of the 16th.  Thank you for making a difference and Happy Holidays!
Annual SkillsUSA Food Drive
It's time for SkillsUSA's annual food drive! The drive will take place between December 5th through December 16th and aims to assist 10-15 TJ families for the holiday season. Students can drop off boxed, bagged, and jar food items (no cans) to their fourth period class as well as the main office. Examples of items to donate include cereal, cookies, applesauce, rice, noodles, dressing/stuffing, mashed potatoes, cake/brownie mix, pancake mix, mac & cheese, Chex mix, chips, Jell-O, pudding, pie crust, sugar, fried onions, biscuit mix, fruit snacks, crackers, peanut butter, jelly, coffee, breakfast bars, hot chocolate, oatmeal, syrup, and spaghetti sauce. 

Donations are also accepted (checks payable to TJHS - memo - SkillsUSA Food Drive.)
Let's Be Good to Each Other!
A Note From the Counselors
  • All second semester schedules must be finalized by December 9thNo schedule changes will be done in January

  • Attention Seniors and Parents: do you want to save money on college through the ASCENT program? If so, read on!
What is ASCENT? 

In May 2009, the Colorado State Legislature passed House Bill 09-1319 and Senate Bill 09-285, the Concurrent Enrollment Programs Act. The collective intent is to broaden access to and improve the quality of concurrent enrollment programs, improve coordination between institutions of secondary education and institutions of higher education, and ensure financial transparency and accountability. This legislation also created the ASCENT program.  

ASCENT stands for Accelerating Students through Concurrent Enrollment. It is a "5th Year Program" that allows seniors to remain enrolled in high school for a fifth year consisting entirely of college classes, if they have met all of their high school graduation requirements, have taken 12 credit hours of college classes prior to the end of their senior year, and are considered college/career ready. 

How would ASCENT benefit me? 

By participating in this program, you will attend college while Denver Public Schools pays your college tuition. 

How do I qualify for the program? 

You must: 
 * Be under the age of 21.
 * Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0. 
 * Meet all high school graduation requirements by the end of your senior year. 
 * Have completed at least 12 transcripted college credits (courses level 100 or higher) prior to the end of your 12th grade year.  
o CLEP scores, AP scores, CU Succeed, and Concurrent Enrollment courses will count if transcripted at an accredited college or university 
 * Be college and career ready and have earned the required ACT or Accuplacer scores. 
 o ACT: 19 Math, 18 Writing, 17 Reading o SAT: 430 Verbal Reading, 440 Verbal Writing, 460 Math o Accuplacer: 85 Elementary Algebra, 95 Accuplacer Sentence Skills, 80 Reading Comprehension 
 * Complete a Personalized Education Plan (PEP).
 * Apply to and be accepted into a Colorado postsecondary institution that has an agreement with Denver Public Schools.
 * Register with the Colorado Opportunity Fund (COF)  
 * Remain enrolled in high school for a fifth year (you do not attend classes at the high school).  
 * Have not participated in the ASCENT program in previous years.  

We must submit the names of those interested by December 16th. Please come see your counselor immediately if you are interested or would like more information.
Gloves and Socks Drive - Through 12/16
With the temperatures dropping, how fortunate are we to have clothing to keeps us warm in our transitions through outside.  Ladies of Value is hosting a Sock and Glove drive for the less fortunate and need your help.  Donate socks and gloves today until Dec 16th to the box located in the office.  All donations are handed out directly to the homeless downtown.
Be Merry with PTO!
Join us for our next PTO meeting at Esters for a bit of food, drink and fun!   We will be celebrating another successful ArtFest and looking forward to next semester.  December 13 at 6 pm.  Esters is at 1950 S Holly, 80222.  Hope to see you there!  Questions or let us know you'll be there:  
2016 Teacher Holiday Luncheon - Friday, December 16
It's hard to believe that the holidays are coming up! It's going to be a very busy time for all of us including for teachers and students with the end of the semester drawing near and finals on the horizon. We want to show our TJ staff our appreciation with a holiday lunch and gift and we need your help to do it! Please click here to sign up and get involved!
Buy Groceries and Benefit TJ!
Buy King Sooper Cards that you can load and use and then a percentage (5%) goes to TJ PTO.
We can make ALOT of money from these when people just do their normal grocery shopping or gasoline purchase. 

Right now we only have 7 people using the cards but we made $2500.00 + ......i magine if at least 1/3 of the school used these cards!

lf 150 families at our school committed to spending $250 with their card each month, our school would earn $22,500 in one year! Anyway...details below and here is one image you can use.

  • Did you know you can earn 5% of every dollar loaded to your re-loadable gift card at King Soopers? 
  • Use your reloadable King Soopers gift card to purchase groceries, gas, and prescriptions!
  • You can get a card from the online store - 
...or by sending an email to Kevin Whalen,, or stopping in to see Julie Thibodeau in the main office.

Cards are $5 and can be re-loaded anytime you are in King Soopers and can be used for any purchases including gas!

Thanks in advance for your support with this awesome fundraiser!
TJHS Nurse's Office Notes
Hi TJHS students, parents, staff...My name is Kristine Serrano and I am the new school nurse who will be replacing Deb Samuels.  While I am new to DPS but have been working as an RN since 2013.  I am a graduate of FRCC and MSU-Denver Nursing programs.  I am very excited to get to know everyone.  If there are any questions you have, or just would like to introduce yourself, please call me at (720) 423-7061 or email me at
GT News
Community Conversation Theme
Office Hours
Office Hours after school on Dec. 14th in 146A
Lunch Bunch and Educator Lunch PDU
Dec. 14 Students - Room 134
Chess is for Everyone
Dec. 8, 2016
Spartans and Tigers Chess Meet
at Lakewood High School  - Rescheduled from last week
After school, Transportation is with Mr. Weaver.
Dec. 15, 2016
Spartans and WolvesChess Meet
Home battleground at Thomas Jefferson High School  
After school.
Student Panel/Mile High Discussions
Shout out to all five Spartans who appeared on Mile High Discussions!
             *      Sebastian Aichele, 2016-2017 Official Panelist for Transformative Leadership
*      Rojelio Flores
*      Juan Diego 'James' Schoenwise, returning from Seasons One and Two, and DPStv Official, Resident Talent - congratulations!
*     Ge'Swan Swanson
*     Sophia Ward

Next stop: GT Family Fun Night - All Schools and all Grades! National Popcorn Day!
JANUARY 19 FROM 6:00 TO 8:00 P.M.

Morey Middle School  - 840 E 14th Ave, Denver, CO 80218

Led by our High School Gifted and Talented Students, each session will focus on a point of advocacy, a learning session for parents and a fun service learning activity for all. Please RSVP at

Student and Family Advisement
  •  All day Wednesday Dec. 14th - by appointment/referral with Specialist in 146A
  • Wednesday after school, Future Center for college essay writing
Projects and Collaborations
  • Our research study, in collaboration with DU, on high school curiosity, has been approved.  Details to participate are forthcoming.
  • Our conference presentation for the transformative leadership student panel at DU was selected and approved.  This event will happen in February.
  • The minutes from the December Gifted Education State Advisory can be found here:

*        The CDE window for public comment on the new Every Student Succeeds Act (similar to what no Child Left Behind was) is now open until Dec. 14.  Gifted Education is now specifically included and referenced in the act.  Please research the plans.

*        Then, make your public comment before Dec. 14:
Cold Weather Care Guide and Sheltering Options for Families
As cold weather approaches, many families need extra assistance and sheltering options. Please click here to see the comprehensive guide. 
Communications Protocol for District Weather Closures and Delays
As we prepare for winter weather conditions, the Communications and Transportation Services teams want to ensure we're aligned with how we're sharing news about districtwide closures, dismissals and delays:
  • When districtwide school closures or early dismissals occur, information will be provided by Communications to students, families and educators.Additionally, messaging will be shared through area radio, television and print media, as well as through district websites and social media tools. We also encourage you to share this information on your school websites and social media tools.
  • Communications will use Infinite Campus to send out districtwide school closure or early dismissals messages.
  • Please note that the Transportation Services team will share information with students, families and educators about any delayed openings using its notification system called Bus Bulletin.
Shop on Amazon and Benefit TJ
AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support TJ High School every time you shop,  at no cost to you . When you shop at , you'll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to  TJ High School Parent Partners group (0.5%).  The TJ PTO grants teachers and staff each year with funds for projects, supplies and other necessities for your child's classroom and school.

It is easy to setup. Simply go to and search for "Thomas Jefferson High School Partners" and select this as your charitable organization that will receive donations from eligible purchases. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation to TJ Parent Partners.

Just save SMILE.AMAZON.COM to your favorites and use these link to shop on Amazon. You must use this URL in order for your purchase to qualify for the donation.

Click here for more information about how it works!
End of Year Schedule and Transportation 
***Please make a note that the bus will be normal pick up times in the afternoon on the 16th of December (2:45pm), and 11:50 on 12/19-12/20.***
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
Healthy vs Unhealthy Relationships
Part One  
Three main ingredients for a healthy relationship
  • Trust
  • Mutual Respect
  • Honest Communication
Characteristics of a Healthy Relationship
  • Both people feel respected, supported, and valued
  • Both people make decisions together
  • Both people have friends and interests outside of the relationship
  • The couple settles disagreements with open and honest communication
  • There are more good times than bad

Some numbers ...
  • One in three adolescents in the U.S. is a victim of physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner1
  • One of out 10 Colorado high school students surveyed have experienced dating violence2 
  • Being physically or sexually abused makes teen girls six times more likely to become pregnant and twice as likely to get a STI.3
  • Violent relationships in adolescence put victims at higher risk for: substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and future domestic violence4
  • Only 33% of teens who were in a violent relationship ever told anyone about the abuse5
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, " Physical Dating Violence Among High School Students - United States, 2003, " Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 19, 2006, Vol. 55, No. 19.  ( http :// )
2. Healthy Kids CO Survey, 2015
3. Decker M, Silverman J, Raj A. 2005. Dating Violence and Sexually Transmitted Disease/HIV Testing and Diagnosis Among Adolescent Females. Pediatrics. 116: 272-276.
4. Jay G. Silverman, PhD; Anita Raj, PhD; Lorelei A. Mucci, MPH; Jeanne E. Hathaway, MD, MPH, " Dating Violence Against Adolescent Girls and Associated Substance Use, Unhealthy Weight Control, Sexual Risk Behavior, Pregnancy, and Suicidality " JAMA. 2001;286(5):572-579. doi:10.1001/jama.286.5.572
5. Liz Claiborne Inc., conducted by Teenage Research Unlimited, (February 2005).

Resources: Information compiled from:Gillian Grant, Denver Health Educator
Mental Health and Social Emotional Tip: Compiled by Samanda Davis, LCSW, MSW and Natalie Koncz, Ed.S., NCSP
References: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (; National Association of School Psychologists (
Class News You Can Use
All Classes 
Class of 2017 - Seniors

Senior 2017 Table at Artfest - Seniors are running a booth at ArtFest on Sat. Dec 10th to raise money for Prom. Home baked goods individually wrapped for sale are needed as well as student volunteers to work at the booth/table and to help setup and breakdown. Seniors will be selling Cocoa gift jars and baked goods. See the ArtFest signup genius to signup for contributing goodies and volunteer time. 

SENIOR T-Shirts - Get Yours Now
We still have some of the original Class of 2017 T-Shirts available. Y ou can purchase online and pickup at school OR  see Julie Thibodeau in the office  to buy your shirt.  Profits from these shirts support After-Prom Event for 2017.  So please support our Seniors and a safe, fun Prom 2017.

Stay CONNECTED - TeamApp - TJ Class of 2017, Twitter @2017tjhs, facebook TJHS 2017 Spartan Support 

Thanks for helping to make TJ and the Class of 2017 Great!
Class of 2018 - Juniors
  • Please look for more opportunities this school year for parents to socialize, get connected and contribute to the Class of 2018 fundraising efforts. Please email if you're interested in helping out at any point this year. We need you!
Class of 2019 - Sophomores
  • If you have an idea for fundraising, community building event or volunteer opportunity, please contact Jane Bulger:
Class of 2020 - Freshmen
  • Thank-you to Megan Perkins and Lisa LoJacono who have agreed to be parent representatives for the Class of 2020. Please look for important information to come.  If you are interested in getting involved please email Megan at: or Lisa at:
Challenge Day is Coming!
Challenge Day is approaching fast. It will be held on January 24th and 25th for the Junior class. 

What is Challenge Day?
· It is a one day (seven hour), action-packed, interactive program held in the gym at TJ; students, teachers, administrators, parents and other adult volunteers participate in a safe environment.
· Students, teachers, and parents own up to past behavior, apologize to each other, and make a pledge to "change their behavior. 
· Students and adults participate equally and connect on a very personal level.
· Through these personal connections, students are engaged and empowered, and are inspired to be successful.
· Students' personal power and self-esteem are elevated.
· Dangerous peer pressure is transformed into positive peer support.
· Teasing, violence and all forms of oppression are recognized and eliminated.
· The aftermath of the school climate is remarkably noticeable. 

It roughly cost $20 per student to attend the day. Please  click here to make a donation to help support this amazing program. 
Are You Looking to Get Fit in 2017?
Do you want to train in a group setting on the beautiful High Line Canal? Join us  every Sunday beginning January 8th  to train for one of the 7 races offered during the 2017 Colfax Marathon weekend!

  • Created in partnership with Denver City Councilwoman Kendra Black and Denver Parks & Recreation (DPR)
  • Club is open to all ages and abilities
  • Meet Sundays @ 9am (snow or shine) on the High Line Canal behind Eisenhower Rec Center for a group run/walk with coaches provided by DPR
  • Club membership: $5 registration fee
Contact to sign up for the club, visit for more information on the 2017 Colfax Marathon races, and don't forget to like   Councilwoman Kendra Black's Facebook page to stay up to date on what's happening in the community!
News from the Future Center
College/Scholarship Essay Help- Wednesdays during Office Hours
· Before Wednesday during office hours, email or bring a copy of your essay to the Future Center.
· Include the prompt and who the essay is for.
· First come, first served!
· For seniors applying to college only.

College Visits:
· Sign up in Naviance and put it on your calendar!
· You're responsible for any missed work in your classes.
· Schools with a star next to the name and in bold are application workshops. Be prepared to submit your application with support from the college representative.

For upcoming events, college visits, financial aid workshops, scholarships, and much more, visit the Future Center wikipage !
Rena Maez 
College Advisor, Thomas Jefferson High School 
Denver Scholarship Foundation | a 501(c)(3) Public Charity  
3950 S. Holly Street  |  Denver, CO 80237 
O 720.423.7134   F 720.423.7098 |