December 3, 2015
Administrator's Corner

Click here or see below for details about the Final Exams Schedule for the week of December 14-18.

This week we met with the junior class to make sure they are aware of and prepared for upcoming assessments in the spring. Please stay tuned for more information about the testing schedule.

Now that we're in cold weather mode, please ensure that your student has a plan in place to be out of the building during non-business hours.
Please note that the school is not open to students until 6:45 a.m. unless they have made arrangements with a teacher or coach (in which case that adult will need to meet them at the front doors). Unless students are involved in a sport, club, or tutoring, they must exit the building at 3:15 p.m. On Wednesdays during Office Hours if students are not in a classroom or getting tutored, they will be asked to leave the building. Especially as cold weather approaches, please plan accordingly.

There is a full lost and found bin in the main office. If students are missing any items, please have them check there. Those items will be donated to Goodwill right before Winter Break.

Thanks for your ongoing support to help students end the semester on a high note! 

Suzanne Morris-Sherer
Quick Links
Financial Aid Information Night - December 8: 6-8:00 p.m. in room 111
This event will help prepare seniors and their families for the financial aid application process.  This event will cover types of financial aid, how to apply for it, and how to evaluate a financial aid award letter.  Please RSVP to Rena Maez at or 720-423-7134. 
Final Exams
Finals are just around the corner! Please note the below schedule for the week of December 14th-18tth:

Monday, December 14th:    
Study Time: 7:30 to 8:00
Period 2: 8:00 to 9:30 (Final)
Period 3: 9:35 to 11:05 (Final)
Period 4: 11:10 to 12:40 (Final)
Lunch: 12:40 to 1:20
Test make-up and teacher conferences: 1:20 - 3:00
Tuesday, December 15th
Study Time: 7:30 to 8:00
Period 6:8:00 to 9:30 (Final)
Period 7:9:35 to 11:05 (Final)
Lunch:    11:05 to 11:45
Test make up and teacher conferences:11:45 to 3:00 (Finals Make-up)
Wednesday, December 16th:
Study Time:7:30 to 8:00
Period 1:  8:00 to 9:30 (Final)
Period 8:  9:35 to 11:05 (Final)
Lunch:   11:05 to 11:45
Test make-up and teacher conferences: 11:45 to 3:00 (Finals Make-up)
Thursday, December 17th:
Test make-up and teacher grading: 7:00a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Friday, December 18th:
Test make-up and teacher grading: 7:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Food Drive Success
A big thank you for everyone who participated in the TJ Family Food Drive. We received plenty of food to complete 15 boxes with lots of green beans, corn, and peas left over. A BIG thanks goes to JROTC for their large contributions of over 500 food items. Ms. Starbuck's class also did a fabulous job with over 200 items. There is a local church group who wants to help with the 15 TJ families for Thanksgiving, so we will be using the food drive items we collected for these families for Christmas. It is great to be a part of a school community that cares about the needs of others. Thanks again for your generosity!
Spartan Showcase
Thomas Jefferson hosts its annual fall Art Show to kick off the month of December.
From December 1-4, TJ will host its fourth annual fall Art Show at TJ in the room 111. This display gives TJ's artists a chance for their work to be seen and appreciated by the TJ community. The Art Show will be open during the lunch hour as well as on the 1st and 3rd from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.. After the first week of December the exhibit will be moved to the Department of Transportation building on December 9th, and will be showcased until January 8th to be seen by the Denver community. Read more 
Support the Denver Scholarship Foundation
Dear TJ Community,
I wanted to personally invite you to support DSF in its efforts to make college possible for more students by donating to DSF on Colorado Gives Day, December 8, 2015.  Presented by the Community First Foundation and FirstBank, Colorado Gives Day is an annual statewide movement to celebrate and increase philanthropy through online giving.
Many of you have heard my personal stories about the power and positive impact that DSF has on hundreds of thousands of Denver Public Schools' students.  Would you take a moment to donate to DSF to make sure our work can continue?  Your contribution will go directly to help Denver's students succeed!  You can make your commitment online today and it will count on December 8th!
Can you help me reach my goal of raising $500? Any amount helps - could you give $5, $10, or even $20? 
Click here to make your donation. 
DSF is also hosting Open House events at two Future Centers on Colorado Gives Day!  All are welcome to drop by and see how DSF is making a positive impact on our community.  Come by to see what DSF does!
Thank you!

Rena Maez
Denver Scholarship Foundation | a 501(c)(3) Public Charity
College Advisor, Thomas Jefferson High School
Get with the Program
The popular campaign Hour of Code kicks off on December 7th.
The third annual Hour of Code campaign kicks off on December 7th, taking place during Computer Science Education Week. Hour of Code aims to increase students' programming abilities and give them more experience with technical skills. TJ's Introduction to CCT classes will all spend time doing tutorials that will help introduce them to computer programming and code. Read more 
Slices Fundraiser for the Class of 2017 - December 8
Residing in a New Role
Assistant Principal takes on a new role for the 2015-2016 school year.
When Mike Christoff entered the field of education, he never imagined that he might someday become an administrator. After five years of being an Assistant Principal at TJ, this year Christoff is taking on the role of principal resident though DPS Learn 2 Lead in order to learn what it is like to be a sole leader. Read more 
TJ ArtFest Call for Vendors
TJ's ArtFest is back!
Mark your calendars now for this wonderful tradition, and if you know any potential vendors, please send them to the 2015 ArtFest Application. Thanks in advance for making this another successful fundraising event for the TJ Community!

Plan to enjoy, shop and perhaps sign up to help either the night before (set up in Fri eve) or the day of, Saturday.  A list of options may be found by clicking this link.

Thank you for your consideration and support of your neighborhood high school!
Contributions for the ArtFest Book Fair
pile_of_old_books.jpg We need your help!
Please gather up all your gently used books, CDs, DVDs, VHS cassettes, audio cassettes and yes, even, 8-track tapes and bring them to the TJHS office for the TJ Partners PTO ArtFest and Book Sale. This fundraising event for TJ Partners PTO is being held on Saturday, December 12th from 9 am to 4 pm in the gymnasium and cafeteria.
We welcome your donations for the book sale right up to December 12th. We will provide a receipt for your tax-deductible contribution! Tell your friends, family and neighbors that we will be happy to accept their contributions as well. Last year we raised over $700 from the book sale alone to support various programs benefiting the students and staff at TJ. 
If you have donations but are unable to drop them off at the school, please contact Susan Sundeen at and she will arrange to have your donations picked up and delivered to Thomas Jefferson.
Bake Sale Items Requested for the ArtFest
bake_sale_teal.jpg There will be a bake sale at the ArtFest to benefit the class of 2017. Please click here to sign up and support a great cause! 
Students Present World-Changing Solutions
Spartans win the People's Choice Award at the 5280 challenge at Coors Field.
On November 5th, the TJ Leadership program participated in the 5280 Challenge (previously known as the Aspen challenge) at Coors Field. The 5280 Challenge is a competition in which 20 different Denver Public Schools represented by a group of students are given a challenge to benefit their school and community. This year, Spartan leaders including seniors Matisen Perez, Blaise Hokkanen, Maddy Jacobsen, Nathan Waterhouse, Henry Cooper, Shaday Roberts, and juniors Alex Tate and Aminah Nomin were presented with the Anthony Grimes challenge on restorative justice. Read more
DECA Districts
Congratulations, DECA!
On Friday, November 13, TJ DECA competed at Johnson and Wales University with 10 other schools in their District 3 Leadership Conference. The schools involved in District 3 are: Denver East, Gateway, Grandview, Hinkley, JFK, Overland, Rangeview, TJ, T.H. Pickens, and Vista Peak. Over 300 students competed in one of 26 Competitive Events ranging from Apparel and Accessories to Sports and Entertainment. Students compete by taking a comprehensive 100 question written exam and then two "Role Play" interactive presentations with a judge. The top students in each category qualify for the State Leadership Development Conference to be held February 28, 29, and March 1 st at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. TJ DECA qualified 15 students for the State Conference, 3 more than last year, and several other students are actively seeking a State Qualification by writing a Competitive Manual on areas such as Public relations and Innovation Entrepreneurship.
The 2016 TJ DECA State Qualifiers are:
Kayne Walton                                      Retail Merchandising
Valyntine Lonergan                              Principles of Hospitality and Tourism
Jonny Sundeen                                    Principles of Business Management and Administration
Brandon Pietrs                                     Business Services Management
Ilan Eshkenazi                                     Quick Service Management
Jay Stevens                                         Quick Service Management
Brooklynn York                                     Apparel and Accessories
Gabby Medina                                      Restaurant and Food Service Management
Rebecca Gubrud                                  Restaurant and Food Service Management
Evan Anderson and Brandon Griffith    Business Law and Ethics Team Decision Making
David Barrow and Rachel Brandorff     Travel and Tourism Team Decision Making
Dane VanderMiller and Nick Wilson     Hospitality Team Decision Making
To say that Danny and I are proud of our young men and women is an understatement. Judges, Administrators, J&W Personnel and other DECA Advisors repeatedly came up to me and said how impressed they were with our students' maturity and professionalism. Danny Showers made the comment, "In my 19 years at TJ, this group was the best I have ever seen and it would make the TJ Community proud." Mr. Showers, myself, and TJ DECA would like to thank those of you that came to the Study Nights (Mike Christoff and Sara Andolsek) and offered our students some very valuable advice which helped us compete. Danny and I would like to send a huge thank you to the students that competed for continually representing our program in a positive light and for continuing the tradition of making TJ DECA, "The Standard By Which Others Are Measured."
Matt Nicolo
DECA Advisor
Juniors Act Now for ACT Prep
As the ACT approaches, juniors prepare by attending ACT Prep after school.
Every year across the nation, a new set of juniors begin to prepare for the American College Test, most commonly known as the ACT, that will take place on April 26. The ACT is important for a student's career and future overall. Higher scores on the ACT open more opportunities for students in scholarships and acceptances from colleges. "On average ACT prep improves scores by two points. This is the difference between the minimum accepted score at a community college and a four year state university," said the lead teacher of ACT prep, Corielyn Cummins. It is for this reason that juniors are encouraged to participate in ACT preparatory courses. Read more 
 Teacher Luncheon and Student Karaoke Night on December 16th 
It's hard to believe that it's December already!!! It's going to be a very busy month for teachers and students with the end of the semester drawing near and finals on the horizon.  With this in mind, TJ Partners PTO would like to ask for support with a couple of events on December 16th!
For TJ Staff we will be hosting the Holiday Luncheon from 11:30am to 1pm in the Dance Studio.
For Students, we will be helping support a Karaoke Night sponsored by TJ Student Leadership from 6-8pm that evening.
TJ Partners PTO needs your help providing food for these events.  Please sign up here to bring what you can. These events mean so much to our teachers and students, so your generosity at this busy time of year is appreciated!   
Holiday Performances
The Advanced woodwinds will be performing in the lobby of the Ellie Caulkins prior to the Colorado Ballet's performance of The Nutcracker and then during intermission on December 24, for a 1 pm show.

Should you wish to attend this show, a "friends and family" discount is available. The coordinator for this event has asked that "friends and family" wishing to purchase tickets contact her directly, and mention that you are with the TJ performers.  If interested, please contact:

Molly Epstein
Group Sales Manager
Additionally, on December 20, a couple students and I will be joining the annual "Tuba Christmas" downtown.  200-300 tuba and euphonium players gather and play Christmas carols.  It's quite a sight &  sound.  This is an event the takes place in cities around the country, and Denver is know for quite a large turn out.  We play regardless of the weather conditions.  Concert is at 1 PM at Skyline Park (downtown).

On December 5, the Denver Brass host a Holiday Brass Fest on the Denver Performing Arts Complex Galleria at 1 pm.  Any current or former brass players are welcome to join.  I frequently attend, and would welcome company.  If you play a brass instrument and want to come, let me know. 

These are both fun concerts.   If you have any errands to run downtown, you might consider running them on one of these days, and catching an outdoor concert.  Bring the kids - it won't matter if they're wiggly.


Robin Johnson
Instrumental Music Teacher
Thomas Jefferson High School

Giving Back - Gloves and Socks Drive to Benefit L.O.V.E.
Donations will be accepted in the main office through December 18.  
Greeting Cards for Cash
As application due dates for colleges get closer, students are finding more creative ways to pay for college.
Planning for college is a stressful factor in many students' lives. Although it can be exciting, the financial burden of public or private universities often weighs heavily on students and their families. Fortunately, there is a plethora of scholarships that can lessen this burden, one of which is the Ninth Annual Create-A-Greeting-Card Scholarship Contest. Bhawana Acharya, a junior at Thomas Jefferson High School, has already taken advantage of applying for this $10,000 scholarship. Submissions to this contest are accepted until February 25th, 2016, so TJ students should take advantage of this opportunity. Read more
Attention Junior Parents
We are excited to announce our Challenge day dates are January 19th and 20th.  We are asking for a $20 participation fee for each student; however, NO Junior student will be denied participation in the day.  We made it easy to financially support the program, please click here for payment and description of the program. 
If you have questions or are interested in volunteering for the day, please contact Samanda Davis. It is a one full day commitment on either January 19th or 20th
Samanda Davis, LCSW MSW
Social Worker
Thomas Jefferson High School
RTD Fare Increase - Effective January 2016
As an approved agency participating in the RTD Pass and Reduced Fare program, a fare increase has been approved by the Board of RTD to take effect January 2016.  As a result of this fare increase the DPS bus pass program cost will increase.  The logistics of the program will remain the same. 
The following increases will take effect January 2016:
 The 10-Ride ticket books were $10.00 and will increase to $10.15.  
·District Issued Eligibility passes were $39.50. New passes will increase to $49.00

If you have any questions regarding this program, please do not hesitate to contact Sherri Jones at 720-423-4603. 
News from the Future Center
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 |