December 11, 2017
Administrator's Corner

Hello TJ!  I hope you had a great weekend and big shout out to the TJ PTO for putting on such a wonderful ArtFest. Every year it continues to grow in both popularity and quality. Great job PTO!

We are busy preparing for Finals next week and for the SnowBall this weekend! Parents please remind your students that studying, getting a good night's sleep and eating breakfast will all help them on their Finals. The SnowBall will be this Saturday from 8 p.m. -11 p.m., tickets are $6 per person and $10 per couple. Tickets will be available all week during lunch and after school. Students wishing to bring a guest (non-TJ student) must get a guest-permission form completed and turned in to Mr. Laurita by the of the day Wednesday, January 13th. Forms can be picked up in the main office. Tickets will also be sold to TJ students at the door at the time of the dance but only to TJ students. Guests will not be permitted in the dance without a previously purchased ticket. Parents, please make sure you are at TJ by 11 p.m. to pick up your student. The building will be closed promptly at 11 p.m. and all students will be ushered outside of the building at 11 p.m. and we do not want students standing outside waiting for rides for an hour in the cold weather. 

Finally, as we constantly strive to better serve our TJ community, I'm excited to announce that in January, 2018 Thomas Jefferson High School will be piloting an online-bill pay system. We will send out more detailed information directly through Constant Contact prior to break, but I just wanted to put this on your radar.

Have a great week!

Hola TJ!   Espero que hayan tenido un gran fin de semana y un gran saludo al TJ PTO por organizar un festival de arte tan maravilloso. Cada año continúa creciendo tanto en popularidad como en calidad. ¡Buen trabajo PTO!

 ¡Estamos ocupados preparándonos para las Finales de la próxima semana y para el SnowBall este fin de semana! Padres, por favor recuérdenles a sus alumnos que estudiar, dormir bien y desayunar los ayudarán en sus Finales. El SnowBall será este sábado a partir de las 8 p.m. -11 p.m., las entradas cuestan $ 6 por persona y $ 10 por pareja. Los boletos estarán disponibles toda la semana durante el almuerzo y después de la escuela. Los estudiantes que deseen traer un invitado (un estudiante que no sea TJ) deben completar un formulario de permiso de invitado y entregarlo al Sr. Laurita antes del día miércoles 13 de enero. Los formularios se pueden recoger en la oficina principal. Los boletos también se venderán a los estudiantes de TJ en la puerta en el momento del baile, pero solo a los estudiantes de TJ. Los invitados no serán permitidos en el baile sin un boleto comprado previamente. Padres, por favor asegúrense de estar en TJ antes de las 11 p.m. para recoger a tu estudiante El edificio se cerrará puntualmente a las 11 p.m. y todos los estudiantes serán conducidos fuera del edificio a las 11 p.m. y no queremos que los estudiantes queden afuera esperando por una hora en el clima frío. 

Finalmente, mientras nos esforzamos constantemente para servir mejor a nuestra comunidad de TJ, me complace anunciar que en enero de 2018, la Escuela Secundaria Thomas Jefferson pondrá a prueba un sistema de pago de facturas en línea. Enviaremos información más detallada directamente a través de Constant Contact antes del descanso, pero solo quería poner esto en su radar. ¡Que tengas una buena semana!

Mike Christoff
Quick Links
TJ's Tardy/Truancy Policy
Thank you for your su pport in keeping our attendance at its best!  Please click here to view TJ's attendance policy.  Please click here to view Colorado's student attendance policy
**Only ONE more week until Final Exams!**

The PTO Teacher Appreciation Lunch will take place on December 20th. We need your help!

Please click here to contribute or volunteer your time. Thank you!
Week at a Glance - Week of 12/11-12/15
  • Spirit Day: Crazy Sock Day
  • Please click here (or see the above "Athletics Schedule" quick link) to see athletic events for the week
  • Spirit Day: Ugly Sweater Day
  • TJ PTO fundraiser at Esters: 5-8 p.m. (details below)
  • Swim & Dive Fundraiser at Chipotle: 4-8 p.m. (details below)
  • Choir Concert: 7:00 p.m.
  • Spirit Day: Holiday Day
  • Last day for SkillsUSA Food Drive!
  • Karaoke: 2:00-4:00 p.m.
  • White Elephant gift exchange: during Office Hours
  • Office Hours: 2:14-2:55 p.m.
  • Holiday Movie Night: 6:30 p.m.
Thursday -
  • Spirit Day: Family Photo Day
  • Last day to buy Candy Grams
  • Art Show: 4:30 p.m.
  • Spirit Day: TJ Day
  • Last day for Sock and Glove Drive!
Kudos Korner

  • Congrats to Chris Anver, one of our Honors Precalculus students who recently got a job tutoring math at Mathnasium, one of the tutoring centers nearby. He has also been helping TJ students. Good job, Chris! 
  • CHSAA has announced their All-State Teams for 2017 Fall Sports and DPS is well represented throughout.  Boys Soccer highlighted the awards as four DPS Student Athletes were named 1st Team All-State, three were named 2nd Team All-State and four were named to the Honorable Mention All-State Team.  Softball represented well as three DPS Student Athletes were named 2nd Team All-State and four were named to the Honorable Mention All-State Team.  Below is a list of DPS All-State Award Winners and a link to the All-State page on

    Boys Golf
    Roger Nakagawa - Second Team

    Boys Soccer
    Isaac Chihuahua - Honorable Mention
    Sevi Harden - Second Team
    Zoya Robbins - Second Team
    Jaelyn Jackson - Honorable Mention
    Daija Robbins - Honorable Mention
    Gracey Jarecke - Honorable Mention
    Way to go, Spartans!
SkillsUSA Holiday Food Drive - Ends Wednesday!
There are only three days left to help provide TJ families with meals this holiday season! SkillsUSA's annual food drive runs through December 13th and they are asking for your help to provide meals for at least fifteen families this holiday season. Boxes will be located in the front of each classroom and SkillsUSA is asking students to bring in nonperishable food items to their second period classes. SkillsUSA already has a supply of corn, green beans, and corn so other goods such as soups, boxed mashed potatoes, marshmallows, canned fruit, beans, cereal, apple sauce, rice and pasta are encouraged. If you have any questions, contact Mr. Esparza in room 105 or at (720)  423-7135  or any chapter officer. The class with the most items collected will win a pizza party, so bring in what you can! Good luck and thanks TJ!
Adopt-A-Family Program
Dear TJ Family,

Every year several groups come together to sponsor the Adopt-A-Family Program here at TJ. The Adopt-A-Family Program was created to help financially challenged families during the holidays by supplying gifts and gift cards to help them celebrate with their families. In the coming weeks we will have a specific online sign up system which will allow you to sign up for specific requests by the families, but we are always in need of gift cards to Walmart, Target, and King Soopers. If you would like to donate gift cards to the main office feel free to drop them off with a reference to the Adopt-A-Family Program or you could always contact Matt Nicolo ( or Samanda Davis ( with your donation.
Thank you and from our family to yours we wish you a happy holiday season.
Denver Public Health Recommendation: Letters to Families about the Flu
Winter is here and so are winter colds and other illnesses.We do not want children to miss school. Neither do we want our families sending a sick child to school to expose others to possible illness.
Due to the increase in influenza cases in the school district, Denver Public Health has recommended that school leaders send a letter to all DPS families about the flu. Public health officials have shared there is a significant increase in reported cases this year.
I am providing a letter from DPS Nursing & Student Health Services in  English and  Spanish and request that you distribute this letter to your families. This valuable information will help them navigate through flu season.
Staff Appreciation Lunch - Dec. 20th. Parent help needed!
Dear TJ Families,

It's hard to believe but the holidays will be here before we know it!  It's a very busy time for all of us including our teachers and students with the semester winding down and finals on the horizon.  We want to show our dedicated TJ staff our appreciation with a holiday luncheon and gift and we need your help to do it!
Please  sign up here   to share your favorite holiday dishes with the staff. These events mean so much to our teachers and your generosity at this busy time of year is so appreciated!  
If you are not available on the  20th , there are still ways to help!  You may  click here to donate  or bring in check or cash donations to the office by December 15th . Donated funds will be used to help provide the lunch and teacher gifts.
The staff truly appreciates your support.  Thank you in advance for your generosity!
PTO News
  • Please note: there will not be a PTO meeting in December.  Our next meeting will be January 9 at 6 pm in Room 111.
  • PTO invites you to join us at Esters Neighborhood Pub (1950 S Holly St, 80222) on Tuesday December 12 from 5-8 pm for Happy Hour to celebrate the successes of the first semester at TJ this year. PTO will provide a few rounds of appetizers.  Esters has also agreed to do this as a fundraiser for us so 20% of our groups' purchases will come back to TJ.  Hope to see you there!  Email with any questions.
  • Want to help make your students high school experience the best it can be?  
  • Want to support the staff at TJ? 
  • Want to get to know some parents at TJ?                                    
      Come to a PTO meeting!

We meet monthly and have 1-2 events each month that we support. You can help out as your schedule permits.   Email  with any questions.
2nd Annual TJ Auction
Planning for the 2nd Annual TJ Auction is underway and we NEED YOU! It is time to start reaching out to businesses in the community for end-of-year, tax-deductible donations to TJ's online auction, scheduled for  March 11-15. Last year we raised $10,000 for our classroom grant program. This year, our goal is to raise $20,000 to have an even greater impact on all our students. 

Do you own a business or provide a valuable service? 
Donate to the auction, and include the tax deduction on your 2017 taxes! Donate an item, goods, or services. We're looking for shopping, dining, entertainment, home/yard/vehicle goods and services, travel and getaways, treats, beauty/spas and health services, professional services and more. Simply go to to enter your donation and follow the instructions!

Do you love to shop, dine and explore the Denver-Metro area?
Collect donations from the places you already frequent. Most businesses are excited to have an opportunity to support public schools and earn new customers. Don't be shy! If they advertise, they want business, and school auctions are a great opportunity to get in front of new people. If they're on Living Social, Travel Zoo or Groupon, they're probably great candidates to donate to TJ.  

Do you enjoy theme parties and social gatherings? 
Gather a couple TJ families to co-host a themed party. Get our your neon 80s wear, old college sweatshirts, or check Pinterest for the craziest new ideas for themed parties. Some we love: tacky party, murder mystery, painting and sipping, yoga n mimosas, mamas and margaritas, 80s prom, dads and drafts, pedal push party... the possibilities are endless, fun, and build the TJ community. We'll consult with you to make it a huge success and market your party on the auction site and all proceeds will go to TJ.  

We NEED YOU and helping is EASY!
1.   Use this form to share with businesses. Email it or share it in person. We're not kidding--it's that simple. It has all the necessary details plus PTO's tax ID number and instructions on how to submit donations. 
2. Collect as many donations as possible while you're out and about enjoying a festive holiday season (before the end of 2017). Companies value the opportunity to earn the business of TJ parents and support public education. And the tax write-off is pretty great, too.  

Again, some of the categories of business we need include:
  • stores or all kinds
  • dining
  • entertainment, sports events and recreation (concerts, movie passes, memberships)
  • home & vehicle goods and services (interior design, roofs, painting, fences, landscape design, architecture, auto maintenance or repairs)
  • professional services (taxes, accounting, home organizing, marketing, graphic design, consulting, etc.)
  • travel and getaways 
  • treats of all varieties
  • beauty/spas and health services (hair, nail, body, relaxation, wellness, gyms, yoga, pilates, massage, acupuncture, etc.)
  • student services (tutoring, test prep, college admissions support, voice or music lessons)
  • athletic services (camps, strength and agility training, etc.)
  • parent parties
  • and just about anything else you or your families buy/use!
If you have any questions reach out to Auction Chair Megan Perkins: 
Volunteers Needed 
FIRST Lego League
is in need of volunteers for the Colorado Championship on December 16th! Click here for more information. Students: this would be a great way to earn some community service hours!

Leadership Fundraiser

Leadership Students are holding a holiday movie night for students as a fundraiser for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. There is a bin in the front office for students, parents, and faculty to donate money to the hospital. 
Do Your Normal Shopping - Give Back to TJ!
You shop. Amazon gives.
  • Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice.
  • AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service.
  • Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at

The key is that you have to start at  and select 
as your charity:  Thomas Jefferson High School Partners.

So far in 2017 we've raised $32.62 (every little bit helps!)

Thanks in advance for your support as you do your holiday shopping!
Hey Spartans - 12/12 at Chipotle is going to be fun! Please help TJ Swim & Dive Team fundraise for new Team Parkas!  We are hosting a fundraiser at Chipotle on Tuesday, December 12 - yes that's 12/12 - from 4 p.m. - 8 p.m.  Please mention TJ and 50% of sales during that time will help go to pay for the girls new Parkas!  Join us at Chipotle Tiffany Plaza - 7350 E. Hampden Ave. See you 12/12 at Chipotle after school or for dinner!
Swim & Dive Team Fundraiser 
Yearbook News 

The yearbook is still at a discounted price! It is now $55, but will eventually go up to $65, so act now! The $55 discount will last until 1-19-18.

To see if we received your senior portrait, please go to the yearbook website or check the poster on the office window.

Anything that you would need to know about the yearbook can be found on the yearbook website   here!

Glove and Sock Drive - Donations Requested!
Coats for Those in Need

Dependable Cleaners Coats
1701 S. Broadway Denver, CO: 303-777-2673
Coats offered at no cost for those in need. 
Anyone in need. Parents do not need to bring children to receive children's coats. Bring bags to put coats in.
Call to learn more!

Coats for Colorado
Those interested in receiving a coat can call 303.777.2673 to schedule an appointment.

Community Christmas Dinner: December 22
Spirit Store Hours
The TJ Spartan Spirit Store is a virtual store which is online. The store is also set up at some school events such as athletic events, concerts, plays and conference nights. Click here for more information!
We will be opening the spirit store:
  • Tuesdays at lunch: 11:15 -12:00 
  • Wednesdays after school - 2:15 - 3:00 
  • Thursday mornings before school 6:45 - 8:30
  • Fridays at lunch: 11:15 - 12:00 
  • At all home Volleyball Games, Basketball games & JV Football Games
We take Cash and Credit Cards!
New PopSockets are in for $9 each or buy with a friend and save, 2 for $16.

When the store is open we will be in front of the physical store by the auditorium. For games, we will be in front of the gym in the lobby.

Call or email Laura Whalen if you have questions.
Laura Whalen
cell: 303-681-7226
Need a Part Time Job?
Saucy Noodle is hiring!

Located in Bonnie Brae off University and Exposition
Hiring hosts and dishwashers 
Host shifts approximately 5-9pm
Dishwasher shifts approximately 3:30-10pm

Please stop by to pick up an application! 
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
Did You Know...?
Gratitude can:
  • Boost overall well-being
  • Encourage better grades
  • Improve pro-social behavior
  • Help promote good sleep
  • Protect from negative emotions associated with loss or stress
  • Enhance group/team morale
Practicing gratitude can be as simple as asking youth, "What are you thankful for today?" Changing the language from "I have to" to "I get to."

These four steps can help you start feeling more grateful, and appreciative of the good things in your life:
  1. Notice good things, look for them, and appreciate them.
  2. Savor, absorb, and really pay attention to those good things.
  3. Express your gratitude to yourself, write it down, or thank someone.
  4. Changing your language from "I have to" to "I Get to or I am lucky enough to"
Mental Health and Social Emotional "Did You Know": Compiled by TJHS Mental Health Team. 
The National Institute for Trauma and Loss in Children 

Challenge Day for Juniors - Jan. 17-18
TJ Parents,

We are proud to offer The Challenge Day Program on Wednesday January 17th and Thursday January 18th to the Junior class. 

What is Challenge Day?
Challenge day is 7-hour engaging kick-off event serving as the catalyst for change in a school community and the foundation to year-long programming. Challenge Day engages the entire community - parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders - in a multi-generational approach that builds connection, trust, healthy relationships, and social emotional skills in students and their networks of support to ensure long-term, sustainable impact. It has been premiered on Oprah, Chicken Soup for the Souls and MTV.  For more information, please check out

What this means to you:
  • If you have a junior expect them to miss one full day of school on January 17th OR 18th, unless they opt out of the event
  • You can be an adult volunteer in the room.  It is a 1 full day commitment and I can vouch it will be one of best experiences you have ever had as a volunteer.
  • You can donate money to the event.  To bring the program to TJHS, it sots money.  Instead of charging the students to participate, we open it up to donations.  As a frame of reference, it averages to about $20 per student to participate.  
Please contact Samanda Davis, school social worker, with any questions. or 720-423-7072.  Donations checks can be dropped off to treasure written out to TJHS-Challenge Day.
Class News You Can Use
All Classes 
  • Great news! All Class T-Shirts are now available (as wells as other TJ gear) in the Spartan Store!

  • Supporting our TJ students, classrooms and teacher is as simple as a click of a button. Visit the online store to donate to TJ PTO today: Online Spartan Spirit Store for TJ Gear
Class of 2018 - Seniors
  • 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 - Juniors
The Class of '19 is raising money for senior year activities including After Prom.

How you can support:
Class of 2020 - Sophomores
  • Thank you to Megan Perkins and Lisa LoJacono, the 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: .
Class of 2021 - Freshmen
  • New Graduation Requirements! DPS has adopted new, evidence-based graduation requirements that will go into effect this year for the graduating class of 2021. Click here
    to read more!
News from the Future Center
Meetings with Ms. MaezSeniors are encouraged to stop by the Future Center to set up a time to discuss their plans for next year.  A calendar of her availability is posted on the door.
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 |
Download the new TJHS Mobile App today!
We encourage you to download the app from the App Store or Google Play at no cost (scan the QR codes below or simply search for "TJHS"). We will be finalizing formatting and loading new content in the coming weeks, so please be patient and check the app frequently for new information! Our hope is that this will be yet another way to strengthen communication for our community. 

Helpful hint: make sure your push notifications are on, 
so that you can get  updated info and event reminders!