September 22, 2016
Administrator's Corner

Hello TJ,
Homecoming week has been tremendous! It has been great to see all the kids showing their school spirit through their participation with the different themed days. The bonfire Monday night symbolized that we are one TJ Family and that we stand together!
We are all excited about the upcoming Homecoming Football game Friday night as dance Saturday night. Students, in order to get you into the dance as soon as possible, please remember to have your ticket and ID with you when you come to the dance. This allows us to get you checked in quickly. The Homecoming Dance typically has over 500 students at it, it's a great time! If you didn't get your tickets ahead of time, tickets will be sold at the door, but only to TJ students that have their ID with them.
Parents, one thing I do need from you is for your voice to be heard! If you are interested in being on the Thomas Jefferson Collaborative School Committee, please email me at For more information as to the duties of this committee, please click here.

Finally, I invite all of you take part in the Unity Project that our TJ Parent Teacher Organization in a partnership with our TJ students and staff have worked so hard to bring to TJ. To learn more about how we are bringing everyone together at TJ - click here.

Hola TJ,
La semana de "Homecoming," regreso a casa, ha sido tremendo! Ha sido genial ver a todos los niños que muestran su espíritu escolar a través de su participación en los diferentes días temáticos. La fogata el lunes simbolizo que somos una familia de TJ y que estamos unidos!
Todos estamos emocionados con el próximo partido de fútbol, "Homecoming" la noche del viernes y el baile el sábado por la noche. Estudiantes, en orden de entrar al baile lo mas pronto posible, por favor recuerden de tener su boleto e identificación con ustedes cuando lleguen al baile. Esto nos permite registrarlos rápidamente. El baile típicamente tiene más de 500 estudiantes en asistencia, es un gran tiempo! Si no compran sus boletos de ante mano, los boletos serán vendidos en la puerta, pero sólo para los estudiantes de TJ que tengan su identificación con ellos.
Padres, una cosa que necesito de ustedes es que su voz sea escuchada! Si usted está interesado en ser parte del Comité de Colaboración de la escuela Thomas Jefferson (TJ), por favor mándeme un correo electrónico a . Para más información en cuanto a las funciones de este comité, por favor haga clic aqui­.
Finalmente, yo les invito a todos ustedes de tomar parte en el proyecto "Unity"(unidad) que nuestra Organizacion de Padres y Maestros con la unión de nuestros estudiantes y personal han trabajado duro para tener en TJ.  Para aprender mas sobre como nosotros podemos unir a todos en TJ- haga clic aqui.

Mike Christoff
Quick Links
SAT Prep
We will begin the after school study sessions on
October 6, 2016 from 3-4 p.m. and they will be every Thursday through March. There will be snacks and gift cards given out. We will also offer four FREE Saturday Mock SAT exams (dates TBD soon). To be able to participate in the study sessions students need to bring proof that they completed a practice exam on Khan Academy (print out or screen shot of score is fine). Please see Corielyn Bromley with any questions!
Parent/Student Portal - Please Sign Up!
If you haven't done so already, please sign up ASAP!

2. Click the "getting started" tab on the top

3. Fill out the form on the left with your name, e-mail   address, phone number, student name, school ID number (lunch number) and student's 8 digit date of birth. Click "submit."

4. Create your username and password. Click "submit."

5. You will receive an e-mail immediately from the DPS Portal Team with a link to activate your account.
Kudos Korner
  • At the CTE Kickoff meeting on September 13, the CTE CareerConnect department recognized Thomas Jefferson High School's CTE programs for exemplary work in creating well-defined pathways for students, including concurrent enrollment opportunities. In addition, TJ's CTE programs have high completion rates and strong participation in two student organizations, DECA and SkillsUSA. Both organizations have had students qualify for nationals, with national winners at SkillsUSA in recent years.
Unity is Here!
TJ brings nationwide interactive public art display to Denver
Compelled to demonstrate we are more united than divided, TJ launches a new, public interactive art project, UNITY. Scheduled to run September 19-29, 2016, the project is one of many occurring throughout the country to visually celebrate that we are unique individuals connected by a common thread.     

Open to the General Public

WHERE:               Thomas Jefferson High School front lawn
            3950 S. Holly Street, Denver, CO 80237

WHAT:                  UNITY Interactive Public Art Project

WHEN:                 September 19-23:  11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
 September 24-25:  11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
 September 26-29:  3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Yearbook Deadline for Senior Pictures
Here's a friendly reminder that senior pictures are due on October 9th. Please review the guidelines and directions to submit the photo.
Calling All Young Ladies
Senior Portrait Fundraiser
Professional Photographer Gina Theilmann has offered her services to take your senior portrait for a fee of $350.00 of which she is DONATING $50 back to the Class of 2017 Fund for After-Prom. Gina is offering a special session which is about capturing your child's personality. She is an experienced professional at bringing out the subject's natural beauty and personality. She welcomes siblings and family members to join in at the end of the photo shoot if you desire to get some additional special photos.

$350 Session Includes:
Time and travel to photo shoot
Creating your images and transferring to a flash drive
Yearbook image for senior book 
Authorization and release to print of any/all images
More information on TeamApp, Class of 2017 Team

Gina is available the week of  Sept 18th through Sept 25th , sunrise to sunset. If you are interested, please contact Gina directly to schedule: 952-913-0906 or email to:
TJ Kitchen - Now Hiring Students!
TJ kitchen is hiring. We need two student workers to work 1 hour a day during lunch. We pay $10.00 an hour for students. Juniors and seniors only need apply. Positions open until filled.  Go to DPS job board, food service -student worker.
Town Hall & Visioning Meeting and Workshop
Get involved!
Join Councilwoman Kendra Black this fall to learn how Denver is changing and share your ideas at her office's interactive Town Hall and Visioning meeting! We will discuss restaurants, retail, walkability, safety, public art, streetscaping, and how to maintain our strong, stable neighborhoods and parks. Using your vision, the councilwoman will develop a work plan to implement your ideas in the follow­-up workshop.
Town Hall & Visioning: Sept. 20, 6-7:30 pm 
OR  Sept. 24, 12:30-2 pm at Thomas Jefferson High School (3950 S Holly St)

Follow-­up Workshop: Oct. 25 6-7:30 pm 
OR  Oct. 29, 12:30-2 pm at TJ
Please  take 2 minutes  to fill out the visioning survey by clicking here.   Our work will help inform the citywide Denveright  effort.
Parent Engagement Panel
Community Event on Parenting
GT News
TJ administration of the PSAT will be on Oct. 19.
Please make your $25 check payable to Thomas Jefferson with 'PSAT' in the subject line and submit it to the treasurer before Friday, Sept. 23.

Essential and Required Communication:
Every student must have an up-to-date email account on Naviance, and be using and checking it regularly. The default address is students' accounts. Every student should be using Naviance and checking email. GT specific and official communication/business is done this way. There is a cheat sheet of instructions here.

Recommended Communication:
Facebook Group for Parents (District wide, not TJ specific)
- Search 'DPS High School Gifted and Talented Parent Group' and request access

Activities, resources and services:
Call for parent volunteers! - Mr. Weaver needs parent volunteers to help with Chess and GT Lunch!

"Sixteen" talent search - Are you an extraordinary 15-year-old turning 16 this year and would like to share your story for a national audience? Please see Mr. Weaver.

GT Lunches are Wednesdays in Mrs. Bromley's 134, and Chess Club will meet Thursdays after school in Mr. Pratarelli's 117.
TJ's Tardy/Truancy Policy
Thank you for your support in keeping our attendance at its best!
Clothes to Kids Donations
Denver Classroom Teachers Association is pairing with Clothes to Kids, an organization that gives free clothes to students in Denver on Free and Reduced Lunch. TJ is stepping up to help DCTA in this effort! Clothes to kids has certain "high needs" items that they never get enough of in donations. Unused socks and underwear are some of these high needs items. Through September TJ will be supporting the DCTA clothing drive by collecting unused socks and underwear to donate. Collection boxes will be placed in classrooms through September. Please bring some unused socks and underwear with you to donate to Denver students! Clothes to kids donates clothes to school children, so bring clothes for kids between the ages of 5 and 18. Stay tuned as the TJ Leadership students roll out their plan gather donations. For more information visit the websites below or contact Elizabeth McMahon in the math department.
Grief and Loss Support Group for Students
Thomas Jefferson High School  is hoping to  offer a grief and loss support group for students who are grieving the death of a loved one. The group will be facilitated by a counselor from Judi's House. Judi's House is an organization that specializes in the healing process for children and families. If your student is interested in participating in this group, please call the school social work office at:  Samanda Davis  (720)-423-7072
For more information about Judi's House, please visit: 
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
~ Self-Injury ~

What is Self-Injury?
* Self-injury is the non-suicidal act of deliberately harming one's body in order to relieve emotional distress. Self-injury is often referred to by many different terms such as: self-mutilation, self-abuse, cutting, self-harm and self-inflicted violence.  Examples Include:
  - Cutting one's skin
                  - Burning one's skin
                  - Scratching the skin
                  - Hitting or punching self, walls, other hard objects
                  - Preventing wounds from healing
                  - Breaking one's bones
                  - Restricting the flow of air through air passages
                  - Head banging
                   - Pulling out one's hair
Warning Signs
  • Wearing clothes that are inappropriate for season/climate (i.e.: sweaters in summer may be worn to cover marks on arms).
  • Look for wounds, cuts and marks that are recurring.
  • Are explanations for wounds credible?
  • Social/emotional isolation.
  • General signs of depression (not all students who are depressed demonstrate self-injury behaviors).
  • Secretive behavior, spending unusual amounts of time in the bathroom or other isolated areas.
Why Do Some Kids Harm Themselves?
  • People who self-injure usually do so because of some difficulty they have had or from difficulty expressing feelings.  It is a way of coping.
  • The onset of self-injury can be triggered by specific stressful situations or simply by the tumultuous nature of early adolescence.
  • Self-Injury may also be associated with other disorders such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders and substance abuse. 
What Can I Do?

1)      Assess Safety: First, make sure they are safe.  If necessary, call 911.  
2)      Offer Understanding: Second, listen and try to understand why your student is engaging in this behavior.
                  - DO NOT jump to judgments
                  - DO NOT accuse them of seeking attention
                  - DO NOT get angry (it will make the situation worse)
                  - DO NOT demand they stop self-injury; this can escalate the behaviors.
                  - Try to keep the confrontation as low-key, and individually focused as possible
                  - Safety and understanding are more important in the short term.
3)      Find Help: Talk to the school psychologist, social worker, school counselors and/or someone on the administration team. We have great community resources and would be more than happy to help you navigate supports for your child. Ultimately the goal is to help the student find healthy ways of coping with and addressing underlying difficulty. 
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
Parents of Seniors / Class of 2017 
Senior Photos for Yearbook  -  Due by Oct 9th
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
  • Class of 2018: Oktoberfest Parent Social. Join us for a back to school celebration and fundraiser for the Class of 2018.

    Come get to know other parents while enjoying German snacks and beverages.
    Hosted by the Aldridge/Sensenbrenner family
    When: Saturday, October 8th
    Where: 3710 E. Dartmouth Avenue
    Time: 7:00pm

    Suggested donation of $20 per person. Money raised will be put toward senior year activities for the class of 2018. Any questions or to RSVP please email Kary Cramer at
  • Class of 2018 parents--this is the year we get big in our fundraising efforts so our kiddos have a big senior year. Please email if you're interested in helping out at any point this year. We need you!
Class of 2019 - Sophomores
Class of 2020 - Freshmen
  • The class of 2020 is looking for parent liaisons to work with TJ on fundraising, community building, etc.
New TJ Pop Sockets are here!
Show your Spartan Pride with the new TJ PopSockets for your phone or tablet or any mobile device.

Buy individually or save by buying 2 for $16.00. Special Class of 2017 edition available too.
Add a single or pair to the back of almost any mobile device to transform its capabilities. PopSockets "pop" whenever you need a grip, a stand, an earbud-management system, or just something to play with.
Available at the Spartan Spirit Store online! 
TJ Food Pantry
Thomas Jefferson High School is proud and excited to inform you that we have a food pantry. The food pantry's purpose is to help students and their families have enough food over the weekends. If you receive reduced or free lunch, you and your family are eligible to receive food from the food pantry.  If you would like to enroll or have any further questions, please contact Samanda Davis at 720-423-7072 or .  You can also visit her in the special support office.   This program is confidential and the names of students and families will remain private.
Resources for Families
Clothing Resource: 
Clothes To Kids, a non-profit dedicated to getting school clothes to needy kids from pre-school through 12 th  grade - at no cost to the families.  They have an upbeat store in the south University Hills shopping area at Colorado Blvd and Amherst - next to Chez Artiste and under Tuesday Morning.  Students qualify if they qualify for FRL, if they have a referral letter from a school, social service agency, counseling center or church, and if they have a crisis such as homelessness or displacement
School Supplies:
Social Worker, Samanda Davis has school supplies in her office if a student is in need.  No appointment necessary however her days in the building are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. 
Samanda Davis, LCSW MSW
Social Worker
Thomas Jefferson High School
Senior Fundraisers
The Senior class is holding several fundraisers this year to pay for an After-Prom event and to help fund the Senior Prom.  So please be on the lookout for these fun events and exclusive offers throughout the year and support Class of 2017.
Class of 2017 T-Shirts - Don't miss out! Class shirts and stickers still available online at or contact Laura Whalen, 303-681-7226 or 
News from the Future Center
Seniors and families! The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will now open on October 1st, a change from the January 1st date of prior years. Students will now apply for financial aid concurrently with college applications. To help support families through these changes, Denver Scholarship Foundation is hosting a FAFSA workshop on October 11th, from 3-7pm. At this event, students and families will receive guided support in completing the FAFSA. If you would like to sign up or would like more information, please contact Rena Maez at or at 720-423-7134.

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 |