September 29, 2016
Administrator's Corner

There are several ways that we offer our students college credit and high school credit while still attending Thomas Jefferson. We have 13 Advanced Placement (AP) courses offered here at TJ in which students can take one class on our campus and get college and high school credit for the class when they pass it. We also offer the CCTM program as well as CU Succeeds which offer students college credit for taking classes at TJ as well. Another way to gain credits, which is coming up quickly, is to register for the College Level Examination Program (CLEP exam). If your student is a Senior who is a native Spanish speaker or speaks fluent French, we would like to offer them the opportunity to take this exam. The district is currently funding the CLEP exam, and it will be given for our students here at Thomas Jefferson. Last year, we had 13 students take the exam and 100% of the students passed earning 6-9 college credits! This year, we would like to offer the opportunity to even more students. If you are interested, please contact myself or Mrs. Thibodeau to access this opportunity.

To see more about AP and the colleges who will accept AP credits, please see the below links:

Hay varias maneras que ofrecemos crédito a nuestros estudiantes para la universidad y crédito para la escuela secundaria, mientras asistiendo a Thomas Jefferson. Tenemos 13 clases de Colocación Avanzada (AP) que se ofrecen en TJ en el que los estudiantes pueden tomar una clase en nuestra escuela y obtener créditos para la universidad y para la escuela secundaria cuando la pasen. También ofrecemos el programa CCTM, así como CU Succeeds, que ofrecen a los estudiantes obtener créditos universitarios por tomar clases en TJ. Otra forma de obtener créditos, que se acerca rápidamente, es de inscribirse en el Programa de examen de nivel universitario (examen CLEP). Si su estudiante es "Senior", del grado 12, y es un nativo de español o francés, nos gustaría ofrecerles la oportunidad de tomar este examen. El distrito está financiando el examen CLEP, y se les dará a nuestros estudiantes aquí en Thomas Jefferson. El año pasado, tuvimos 13 estudiantes que tomaron el examen y el 100% de los estudiantes pasaron a ganar 6-9 créditos de la universidad! Este año, nos gustaría ofrecer la oportunidad a más estudiantes. Si usted está interesado, por favor, póngase en contacto conmigo o con la señora Thibodeau para tener acceso a esta oportunidad.
Para ver más información acerca de AP y los colegios que aceptan estos créditos AP, por favor vayan a los siguientes enlaces:

Paula Hammel
Assistant Principal
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
The regional team playing a practice round in Fruita:  Devin Mauro-Gallegos,  Eddie Aldridge,  Roger Nakagawa,  Coach Fornstrom,  Jessie Aldridge
  • The TJ boys golf team completed their conference season with a 2nd place finish at the DPS City Cup tournament with a 235 team score.  Top scores were:
    • Roger Nakagawa - 75 (3rd)
    • Jessie Aldridge - 79 (T6th) 
    • Eddie Aldridge - 81 
On September 19, the golfers competed in the regional tournament in Fruita at Adobe Creek Golf Course.  Roger Nakagawa was in a playoff for the final state tournament spot and was edged out by a birdie on the first playoff hole by Blake Kusava from Evergreen. Great season, Spartans!
Parent Teacher Conferences Next Week - Please Join Us!
The first Parent Teacher Conferences of the school year will take place on Wednesday, October 5th and Thursday, October 6th from 3:30-7:30 p.m. Please come by and check in with your student's teachers!
Last Chance to Experience the Unity Project at TJ
TJ brings nationwide interactive public art display to Denver
Compelled to demonstrate we are more united than divided, TJ launched a new, public interactive art project, UNITY. Scheduled to run through today, September 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:                 Today:  3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

October Count Day - Attendance is Critical!
October Count is the official student membership count for all Colorado public school districts mandated by the Colorado Department of Education. This is how we get funding to provide the best schooling experience possible for your student(s). The district receives an annual average of $7200 in per pupil operating revenue. In order to get this funding, we need your student(s) in attendance in every class in the window of September 28th through Wednesday, October 12th.
The official date that CDE counts our students is on Wednesday, October 5th!! Please be sure that your student is here and in every class. 
TJ's Tardy/Truancy Policy
Thank you for your support in keeping our attendance at its best!
Community Event on Parenting
Spartan CMAS Results
The CMAS results from 2016 are in, and TJ did outstanding! We showed 65% median growth percentage in math and 64% growth in language arts for 9th and 10th grade. Your individual student's result are out and there are several places that you can go to see their scores and understand the reporting of these scores. First, Parent Portal in IC has many resources for you to access with helpful links. One of the links that the district has provided is here: 
DPS Website - Colorado Academic Standards, CMAS Resources and f or Q/A in English and  Spanish:

You can also come by the table at our Parent/Teacher Conferences on October 5th and 6th from 3:30pm to 7:30pm where we will be handing out scores and will be available to answer any of your questions. 
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.
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.
What's Happening in the Dance Room?
TJ is very fortunate to have Sensei Mark Nothdurft from Mountain Tiger Society come to Thomas Jefferson for 6 weeks to teach our students with special needs some tools of self-defense, helping them recognize dangerous situations before they become unmanageable and teaching them the best ways to escape. The class involves learning stances, blocks and self-defense techniques to build coordination, confidence and physical health and they have fun while they are learning. Each class ends with a role playing exercise to help students react in the best way, should they encounter a problem. We are very fortunate to have this program come to us at no cost as these opportunities are very limited. To learn more about the program or to make a donation to this organization please visit the website at
Give Hope, Give Life, Give Blood!
TJHS is again hosting their annual blood drive for Bonfils Blood Center.  The drive will be held on October 12 th , 2016 in room 111.  Students and teachers can sign up with Deb Samuels, the school nurse, located downstairs in the language hallway.

  • 16 or 17 year olds must have a consent signed by a parent.
  • 18 year olds can consent themselves.
  • Donors must not weigh less than 110 pounds or more than 350 pounds.
  • Donors cannot have gotten a tattoo or body piercing in the last 12 months.
  • Donors cannot have an active infection or illness.
  • If you have recently returned from a country where Zika is present, 28 days must have passed before donating blood.
Blood donation is very important, each donation can save up to 3 lives! 
See Deb Samuels TODAY or call 720-423-7061!
GT News
High School Advanced Learning Plans are LIVE on Naviance!
Those requiring completion have received an email from Mr. Weaver, please watch for it!

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.
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.
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
~ Soft Skills ~

What Are Soft Skills? *Soft skills are desirable qualities for employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge. Softs are a combination of: 
- interpersonal people skills              - social skills and teamwork 
- effective communication skills        - organizational skills 
- adaptability                                     - punctuality 
- character traits                              - attitudes 
- emotional intelligence quotient (EQ)
Recent Research Suggests ... These skills are in need!
  • Of more than 500 Colorado recruiters and hiring managers surveyed this year (through LinkedIn), 41% of recruiters and 46% of hiring managers reported that it is "hard to find job candidates with the right soft skills."
  • Across the United States, 59% of hiring managers said soft skills were difficult to find, and that the lack of soft skills is limiting their company's productivity.
Why Are Soft Skills Important?
  • Companies are hiring on hard skills (acquired knowledge/academic skills) but firing on soft skills. "It's what makes or breaks someone being successful on the job."
  • Company's recognize this is a pervasive problem and are looking for applicants and employees who can not only respond to the content, but who show common sense, the ability to deal with people, and a positive flexible attitude, among other traits.
  • We need a healthy balance of hard and soft skills to be successful and effective in our careers, and as strong members of our community. 
Increasing my teen's soft skills?
1)     Discuss "hard skills" versus "soft skills ," as they may not know what these are- the more they know, the more they can be aware of how they interact with others, areas of strength they can highlight in interviews, and areas of which they can improve.
2)     Model out loud problem solving (talk through your thought process when you come across a problem).
3)     Highlight the importance of being on time. You can help them by teaching them time-management skills (try backwards planning, estimate how long things take, then have them actual time it!). 
4)     Help them learn to work with different people and work as part of a team- encourage them to be involved in groups that facilitate this, such as playing music in a group, sports, community service projects, and for them to step outside their comfort zone!
5)     Instill resilience ! We all know many aspects of life can be quite difficult; help them understand that no one is perfect, people make mistakes, but it is how we respond to and learn from our mistakes that make us strong and resilient. Positive attitude/outlook can help (ie: what can I learn from this experience?)
6)     Encourage them to explain their thought process, ideas, feelings and concerns, and to be strong listeners as well. This will help their articulation skills and may help decrease frustrations that can arise when working as a team.  
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 (
Love Your Library!
Don't forget!
The TJHS Library is open every school day from 7:15 until 3:30pm.  Yes, we are open during lunch.  Yes, we are open during office hours on Wednesday.  Yes, the computers are available during these times.
AND...tutoring is offered in the Library on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 3pm until 4pm, with a math and social studies tutors on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. They also offer Science on alternating Tuesdays and Language arts on Thursdays.
Also, find the "hidden-in-plain-sight" trivia question in the library, answer it correctly, and if your name is drawn from the correct answers, get a $5.00 gift card to Starbucks, Chipotle, or other teenage friendly place of conspicous consumption (librarian's choice of gift card).
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.
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 |