February 22, 2021

Administrator's Corner

Hello Spartan Families,
A reminder that we are back to our normal hybrid schedule this week (A-L on Tuesday and Wednesday,  M-Z on Thursday and Friday). We had a great meeting this past week with the Class of 2021 where a lot of important information was shared regarding commencement and how to get your cap and gown. If you missed it, please reach out to your counselor or Mrs. Lynch the Senior Class sponsor  ELIZABETH_LYNCH2@dpsk12.org.

If you didn't get a chance to see TJ featured on NBC Nightly News last week, here is a clip from the show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mJtDah6ENY. We are so proud of the hard work the kids have put in this year. Spartans, if you need help or are feeling overwhelmed, please reach out to your counselor.
Last Name: A-D Jillian Gleason (jillian_gleason@dpsk12.org) 
Last Name: E-L Maggie Kennedy (margaret_kennedy@dpsk12.org)
Last Name: M-Q and students with IEP's Erin Thompson (erin_thompson@dpsk12.org)
Last Name: R-Z Jeremy Anderson (jeremy_anderson@dpsk12.org)
Class of 2024: Rebecca Taylor (rebecca_taylor@dspk12.org)
We're all in this together! 

Hello Spartan Families,

Un recordatorio de que estamos de vuelta a nuestro horario híbrido normal esta semana (A-L los martes y miércoles, M-Z el jueves y el viernes). Tuvimos una gran reunión la semana pasada con la clase de 2021 donde se compartió mucha información importante sobre el comienzo y cómo conseguir su gorra y bata. Si lo perdió, por favor comuníquese con su consejero o con la Sra. Lynch, la patrocinadora de la clase Senior ELIZABETH_LYNCH2@dpsk12.org.

Si no tuvo la oportunidad de ver a TJ aparecer en NBC Nightly News la semana pasada, aquí hay un clip del programa:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mJtDah6ENYEstamos muy orgullosos del duro trabajo que los niños han puesto en este año. Espartanos, si necesita ayuda o se siente abrumado, comuníquese con su consejero.

Apellido: A-D Gillian Gleason (gillian_gleason@dpsk12.org)
Apellido: E-L Maggie Kennedy (margaret_kennedy@dpsk12.org)
Apellido: M-Q y estudiantes con IEP Erin Thompson (erin_thompson@dpsk12.org)
Apellido: R-Z Jeremy Anderson (jeremy_anderson@dpsk12.org)
clase de 2024: Rebecca Taylor (rebecca_taylor@dspk12.org)

¡Estamos todos juntos en esto!

Andrew Skari
Assistant Principal
Quick Links
Week at a Glance
  • Remote learning for all students
  • GT Virtual Meet and Greet: 11:30-12:30 (details below)
  • In-person learning (Cohort A-L)
  • In-person learning (Cohort A-L)
  • In-person learning (Cohort M-Z)
  • In-person learning (Cohort M-Z)
  • Deadline to opt out of in-person CMAS Testing (details below)
Kudos Korner
  • Congratulations to senior Ava Ward, a 2021 NCWIT Aspirations in Computing (AiC) National award recipient! Ava was selected from over 4,200 applicants from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. overseas military bases, and Canada. Ava is one of 40 National award winners. The award, powered by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), recognizes 9th-12th grade students who self-identify as women, genderqueer, or non-binary for their computing-related achievements and interests, as part of an effort to encourage a diverse range of students to choose careers in technology.Award recipients are selected based on their aptitude and aspirations in technology and computing, as demonstrated by their computing experience, computing-related activities, leadership experience, tenacity in the face of barriers to access, and plans for post-secondary education. We are so proud of you, Ava!
Mike Christoff and TJ graduate Emmanuel Pregnon at Signing Day (2020).

TJ's favorite principal, Mike Christoff, was featured in this week's Equity newsletter for the district! 

Growing up in the suburbs of Youngstown, Ohio, Michael Christoff was a student teacher looking to branch out and begin his career somewhere new. Through a University of Northern Colorado job fair that he attended with a fellow student teacher, Mike first learned about DPS and remembers being attracted to its diverse environment. He got his first job in DPS at Lake Middle School, where he worked for nine years before moving to Morey Middle School, and ultimately landing at Thomas Jefferson High School (TJHS).

Now in his fifth year as the principal at TJHS, Mike's passion to encourage and celebrate diversity has become a driving force in providing all of his students with opportunities that will allow them to make positive impacts in the world.

"That's what I love about my job. Feeling like I can make positive change in this world." 

   Congrats, Lea!

Option to Opt Out of CMAS Testing
We wanted to share this message with Team DPS, which will be shared with all DPS families regarding the upcoming CMAS tests:

The Colorado Department of Education (CDE) requires all districts to administer Colorado Measures of Academic Success (CMAS) in English Language Arts (grades 3-8), Math (grades 3-8), and Science (grade 5, 8 and 11) every year. This year, CDE expects us to administer this test to all students in person, regardless of whether each individual student attends school in person or remotely. There will not be a remote testing option, so all students must come into the school to take the test. Our testing schedule will run from March 22-April 30.

In DPS, we believe that these tests are an important way to monitor our students' learning progress. We also understand that some families may not want their students to participate, including those who have selected remote learning and do not want their child to participate in in-person testing. If you choose to opt your student out of testing, you must fill out the opt-out form. This form is located in the Parent Portal under the "See All Apps" tab. Simply click on the link for Complete Assessment Opt-Out Form. Click here for directions in all consent decree languages. 

Please complete this form no later than Friday, Feb. 26, as your school will need to prepare staffing and testing schedules that follow all health and safety guidelines.

If your student is participating in the remote-learning option and you do wish to have your child participate in CMAS testing, 
please contact your child's school by no later than Friday, Feb. 26, to let them know. For planning purposes, we appreciate you responding as soon as possible. Please note that district transportation is not available for virtual program students who wish to participate in testing.

Your child's school will communicate the schedule for CMAS testing and the plan for instruction during that time. If you have additional questions in the meantime, please contact our Family and Community Helpline at 720-423-3054 or FACEHelpline@dpsk12.org.
Safe Access Code for In-Person 
***This is where students will fill out their health screening (Safe Access) before entering the building: https://live.safeaccess.app/en/locations/pM3hnjQ/attest 

School Based Health Centers are OPEN!
Denver Health School Based Clinic Staff is excited to welcome back students returning for in-person learning! Whether you are staying remote or coming back to school, we are here for you. Give us a call at 720-423-7190 to set up an appointment! #werehereforyou #covid19 #denverpublicschools

PTO News
Help! We need curb appeal at TJ!
 The PTO is looking for parents who are interested in brainstorming ideas for the front entrance to the school. Freshening up the front area will make TJ more attractive and usable for both students and visitors. Now that we have a sparkling, new lobby, let's spruce up the exterior front entrance of our school. Some ideas include using more hardscape, new banners, art, sculptures, new concrete benches or other seating.
This is a temporary work group to come up with a vision to share with the school administrators.  If you are itching to put your creative energy to work for TJ, we'd love to have you be part of this group!  If you are interested, contact Eileen Robinson at tjhspto@gmail.com.
Classroom Grant Request Window is Now Open!  TJ PTO's primary mission is to enhance and support the educational experience at TJHS. With that goal in mind, PTO has budgeted $10,000 to distribute as Classroom Grants! This is made possible by the fundraising done through the PTO's online auction. Your support of the auction directly benefits all TJ students. Do you know a teacher or staff member who may have a need for grant money? It's time for any staff member to submit a request for a PTO Grant to help support students in whatever class or activity they lead. Last year, grants funded by the TJ Auction were used for equipment and supplies to support the departments of Special Ed, PE, CCT, Social Studies, Math, Foreign Languages as well as Speech and Debate, the Library and TJ's Social Work staff.
TJ Staff: Please submit grant requests using this Grant Request Form.  All requests are due by the end of the day on Friday, April 16th.
Questions? Please contact TJ PTO at tjhspto@gmail.com.
Vaccination Information
The College Place: HBCU Virtual College Tour Series

In celebration of Black History Month, The College Place is hosting an HBCU Virtual College Tour Series! Throughout the month of February, we will feature virtual tours of over 30 Historically Black Colleges and Universities on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:30 MST.

All tour sessions will take place at https://ecmc.zoom.us/j/96027749366
5th Annual Thomas Jefferson High School Auction
The Auction is an opportunity to support TJ and will run April 11th  -  April 15th.  We acknowledge the impact that COVID has had on businesses, families, schools and students in the past year, and feel that now more than ever, we lean on each other for the support we all need to thrive during this time. We are working to gather donations and we strongly encourage our TJ families to support those businesses that support our school each year. Proceeds from this year's Auction will be dedicated to helping those in our TJ community, funding our Classroom Grant program and building improvements.

Any and all donations are appreciated...
  • Do you own a business that can donate goods or services?
  • Request a donation from the places you already know, love and frequent....they rarely say no to a donation for a public school! 
  • Reach out to businesses and request donations such as restaurant certificates, merchandise, vacation and travel opportunities, spa packages, professional services, and tickets to entertainment, cultural and sporting events. 
The TJHS 2021 Auction Letter provides additional information on the Auction and has the TJ Tax ID #, as donations to TJ are tax-deductible.  This can be given to businesses when requesting a donation. Donation information can be submitted directly into the Auction system here: https://tjhs.ptapal.com.      

If you have any questions or would like to be on the Auction Committee, please reach out to Megan Perkins (megandperkins@gmail.com) or Becca Mahoney (beccaandjoemahoney@gmail.com)

College and Career Readiness
Our goal is that all students graduate college and career ready.  One of the ways we achieve this goal is to support students' career and college exploration through programs that provide opportunities for students to discover how their interests and passions might someday fit into the world of work.  There are many resources to help you learn more about career and college programs in DPS, visit collegeandcareer.dpsk12.org to learn more!  Handouts:  English  Spanish

Matthew Mason (He/Him/His) 
Navigator at Thomas Jefferson High School
DPS Career and College Success

Cell720-466-1617 | Email: matt_mason@dpsk12.org | Website

Incomplete Grades from Semester 1
Incompletes....Did you know that if your incomplete from the first semester was between 40 and 59% you have the opportunity 
now to make up that work and get a passing grade? Please contact your teacher for more information. Also, if you are a student who was enrolled in our "Winterim" semester recovery, you have until January 29th to complete your course. We can do this!!
FREE Tutoring Available 
TJHS Spirit Store
We will be working on a new collection of items for a winter online sale. Please watch the newsletter and School Deets for information. Reach out to TJHS.STORE@GMAIL.COM with any questions!
TJ Food Drive and Distribution Program
Thank you for your continued support of the TJ The Food Bank.  We continue to provide families with food needs and we appreciate your continued contributions!

Monetary donations are welcomed and will be used to purchase items as needed and supply fresh foods to our families.  Donations can be made here:  https://tjhsstore.square.site/product/food-bank-donation/97 
Items can be delivered to "TJ Food Bank" boxes at any of the following locations:
·       7996 E. Jefferson Place, Denver, 80237  
·       7500 E. Dartmouth Avenue #25, Denver, 80231
·       2750 E. Bates Avenue, Denver, 80210  
·       3732 S. Sebring Court, Denver, 80237  
·       6895 Eastmoor Drive, Denver, 80237
·       7925 E. Mexico Avenue, Denver, 80231
·       2805 S. Gilpin Street, Denver, 80210  
·       3614 S. Hudson Street, Denver, 80237
·       3004 S. Milwaukee Circle, Denver, 80210
·       3734 S. Oneida Way, Denver, 80237  
·       3771 S. Rosemary Way, Denver, 80237  
Please reach out to Megan Perkins (megandperkins@gmail.com) or Suzy Stone (suzystone2002@yahoo.com) with questions.
Food and Nutrition Services
The FNS (Food and Nutrition Services) team had a meeting this morning with folks from the Colorado Food Cluster (CFC).  CFC has launched a new initiative to deliver 7-day meal boxes with (7) suppers and (7) snacks to families in Denver.  They are currently working with various charter schools, but they have the capacity to expand to other DPS schools.  
FNS is not "involved" with this effort as we are not the vendor providing the suppers/snacks.  However CFC is working directly with DPS schools to sign up families at no charge.  The meals are available for kids ages 6-18 years old.  Below is the sign up form and is available in English and Spanish. 
Chromebook and Materials Distribution - By Appointment Only
Dear Spartan Families, 

TJHS will continue to offer pick up opportunities for Chromebooks and class materials distribution by appointment only. 

  • To make a request please fill out the form here https://forms.gle/h381kzTdGeEnXTa46
  • We will contact you using the email address provided in the form to arrange a time for pickup.
  • If you are returning damaged technology please make sure the power cord is returned with the unit
  • We are out of Wifi Hotspots and we don't know when additional units will be made available.
GT Corner
Monday, February 22, 11:30-12:30 pm
A Virtual GT Meet and Greet!
With Special Guest Mr. Matt Mason, our very own College and Career Readiness Navigator.
Topics include:  internships, academic supports, passion projects, leadership development, and service learning!
Please check your student email for the invite!

In an effort to provide GT students and their families with the resources and supports needed to begin/complete their Advanced Learning Plan (ALP), the TJHS GT Site Team has created a Google Classroom for each GT grade level.  The title and code for each grade level is listed below:
TJHS Gifted and Talented 2024 Cohort - doyqstu
TJHS Gifted and Talented 2023 Cohort - b7vpvfn
TJHS Gifted and Talented 2022 Cohort - orzg7to
TJHS Gifted and Talented 2021 Cohort - by7mjwi
The TJHS GT Site Team, working alongside our District GT Partners, has included resources, websites and documents to help you complete your ALP goals.  Keep in mind that there are affective as well as academic goals.  At this time, students should only focus on the Goals / Advanced Learning Plan section and not worry about the badges right now.  We don't want you to get in there and feel overwhelmed.
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Ms. Tate, our Dean Instruction and GT Point of Contact at adria_tate@dpsk12.org

Our District GT Partner is Brian Beard, brian_beard@dpsk12.org, and you may receive GT newsletters from his office with internship and university opportunities. 
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
Did You Know...?  
An estimated 1 in 14, or 5.2 million, children in the U.S. will experience the death of a parent or sibling before they reach the age of 18. By age 25, this number more than doubles to 13.2 million.
Well, that is terribly sad, but why else is this important to know?
Research shows that bereaved children are at an increased risk of disrupted development. Unaddressed childhood grief and trauma can lead to short- and long-term difficulties including decreased academic performance, mental health issues, and early mortality.
So what can you do to help your child, their friend or someone in the community? 
Know the common grief reactions:
Ways to help:
  • Without pressuring youth to talk, make space to listen and answer questions honestly. 
  • Model and invite expression of feelings and thoughts
  • Share books, encourage journaling, drawing, etc. 
  • Avoid putting adult responsibilities or pressure on teens
  • Youth may be more likely to talk with peers or people outside of the family; peer support groups can be helpful. 
Interested in more information on grief and loss, please visit www.Judishouse.org 
Mental Health and Social Emotional "Did You Know": Compiled by Samanda Davis, LCSW, MSW and Natalie Koncz, Ed.S., NCSP. Resources: www.judishouse.org 
News from the Future Center
Class of 2021, 
The DSF Scholarship is now open for application. APPLY TODAY! 
Please review the Spring Timeline Grid with your family. The embedded links will take you to informational videos and other important content. 
Completion of FAFSA or CASFA by MARCH 1st and Institutional Scholarship submission. 
As always, you'll find Weekly Scholarship Highlights and many other resources by accessing the TJ Future Center 2021 schoology course. 
Class of 2022 and Parents, 
Your TJ Future Center schoology course is now available! Please visit the course for resources to support your college search. At this time, you can find Summer College Prep Program info, start your scholarship search, and view Virtual College Tours. More to come!  
Upcoming Deadlines and Events: 
Tuesday, February 23rd: CU Boulder Next Steps Presentation, Mines Admitted Students Web Chat 
Wednesday, February 24th: Sallie Mae Webinar: Navigating Financial Aid Offers         
Thursday, February 25th: Space Careers 101, TheDream.Us Scholarship DUE, Navigating Financial Aid Offers Webinar
Monday, March 1stASCENT Application DUE, CU Boulder Next Steps Presentation, Elevations Credit Union Scholarship DUE

Emily Webster
College Advisor | Thomas Jefferson High School
Denver Scholarship Foundation | a 501(c)(3) Public Charity
789 Sherman Street, Suite 610  |  Denver, CO 80203

Food and Nutrition Resources for Families
Class News You Can Use
All Classes 
  • Remember - TJ gear is available in the Spartan Store. If you would like to make a purchase, please contact tjhs.store@gmail.com.
Class of 2021 - Seniors
Class of '21 - SENIORS!  Cap and Gown orders?  Does that mean we are having a graduation?  Yes!  Mr. Christoff is working closely with the district to determine the format of graduation (see below for more details).  Tentative date is May 18 yet that is fluid depending on format.  Stay tuned! Senior checkout is May 14 - Cap/Gown orders are picked up that day.  
Senior Showcase is on track - April 7 (tentative).  If you did not get your video submitted, there is still time.  This is a brief video stating your interest in participating and in what capacity you wish to help.  You can also participate as a small group.  Your video submission is not your final talent.  We will work on those in the coming weeks.  Keep in mind this is for fun and Mock talent is encouraged.  Please submit to dpa@two24media.com ASAP! We are meeting with participants Tuesday night at 7 PM. Email with Zoom link will be sent to participants so get your video submitted.  Note:  Please film your video horizontally (16 X 9).  If your file is too large, you may submit it to this dropbox address:  https://www.dropbox.com/request/lHBFrVTyPzfCZl71sv9b?oref=e 

Our amazing Class Sponsors Liz Lynch and Jason Klimczak are determined to have additional senior events, including Prom. Stay tuned as we will be reaching out for help once we know what we can do.   
We are also looking for volunteers to spearhead the graduation parade (likely the Saturday after senior checkout) and coordinate an outdoor evening movie/bonfire event (date-TBD).  Please reach out to any of the class parents with ideas and interest in helping.
In the meantime, you may still donate $21 for '21. You can donate through the PTO Spirit Store here.  
Senior Information 20-21


Senior Awards:
Date: May 4, 2021 @ 5:00 pm Location: TBD

Senior Check-Out:
Graduation Rehearsal Cap & Gown Pick-up
Date: May 14, 2021
Breakfast Time: 7:00 am
Rehearsal Time: 8:00 am - 10:00 am Cap & Gown Pick-up

Graduation Information:
Date: May 18, 2021 
Rehearsal Time: 12:00 pm 
Ceremony Time: 1:00 pm 
Place: DU Magness Arena

Possible Graduation Scenarios
Interim Superintendent Jones and his Senior Leadership Team will make a district-wide decision regarding commencement ceremonies by Spring Break.

The scenarios we are considering for this year's graduation season are below:

Scenario 1:
In Person/Indoors (normal)
Schools manage event coordination with the venue and vendors as normal
Scenario 2:
In person/Indoors (limited guests to 0 or 2 depending on regulations) Schools manage event coordination and logistics with the venue as normal
Scenario 3:
In person/Outdoors (limited guests to 0 or 2 depending on regulations) Liloni is managing venue coordination with the various venues at a district level
Schools will be responsible for school coordination and communication with both Liloni and students
Centrally supported live streaming option will be available
Dick's Sporting Goods Park
Empower Field at Mile High
University of Denver Barton Lacrosse Stadium All-City Field
Scenario 4:
Alternative Celebrations (similar to 2020)
Schools responsible for coordination
Centrally supported live streaming option will be available

Karla Henke karladhenke@gmail.comJen Abram jenabram18@gmail.com, Lisa Allen allenlisa85@yahoo.comColley Moe colley_moe@comcast.net, Teri Hertzel thetzel@comcast.netJohn Trujillo trujillopotter@icloud.com  

Class of 2022 - Juniors

JOIN IN THE FUN FOR A ZOOM WINE TASTING AND WINE PULL EVENT (wine gets delivered to you, it's not virtual!)

Thursday, March 25, 2021 

2 sessions - max of 25 people each session

$60 includes tasting wines and a bottle of wine drawn during the event.

The tasting wines will be delivered prior to the event and the bottle of wine will be delivered within a few days after the event.

Details and rsvp to follow in an email

Your virtual party hosts:
The Beach, Chaiken, and Freedberg Families

Each class raises money needed to host Prom, After Prom and any other senior year activities. We have 1 year to go! WOW!!! Every dollar raised at this event will be matched by a corporate sponsor.

If you are not able to join in this fun, please consider donating to the class of 2022 at

Class of 2023 - Sophomores
DONATE $23 for '23! - Way to go!  $3,700!
Thanks to some PTO funds, our Body Bark Fundraiser, 2023 Masks and some more donations Class of 2023 now has about $3,700 in our funds!  GREAT EFFORTS - THANK YOU for helping make our goal of $10,000 by Senior Year a reality!
 Ongoing $23 for '23 Campaign please just click on the PTO Square link below and support the Class of 2023!  WHATEVER amount you can give - $23    $230   $50   $100 - any amount is so helpful! (Please scroll down to CLASS OF 2023 and hit the custom button or amount of your choice and follow the online payment instructions from there!) https://checkout.square.site/buy/VTNYMQ3ZBZ2T7XLUHGIKYVBT

Last chance to Mask up 2023!      
Hey Sophomores - We have only a few TJ 2023 masks left!  They are still on sale for $10! All proceeds go to Class of 2023! Two quick steps to order:
1. Please email Catherine Poirier at cpoirier@bodybark.com with the number of masks you would like to order and student's contact name.
2. Payment via Venmo:  @Catherine-Poirier-3    $10 per mask - Indicate: 2023 Mask and student's contact name. 


Mask pick-up will be arranged after purchase! 
Hope to meet again soon before Spring Break and look at some more opportunities! We always need more help and input!! If you have any ideas or comments and would like to get more involved, please contact Catherine Poirier cpoirier@bodybark.com or Christy Jordan christy.jordan@comcast.net -  Our 2023 Class Staff Sponsors are Rebecca Taylor, MA rebecca_taylor@dpsk12.org and Annie Berg, MSW, annie_berg@dpsk12.org.
Class of 2024 - Freshmen
Class of 2024 - Welcome!  Part of the Thomas Jefferson mission is to build community, but we can't do that without your help.  Please take a moment to complete a short survey for the Class Parent Sponsors.  The information you provide will help us direct our communication to the people who want to receive it. We look forward to getting to know you and your student(s)! Class of 2024 Parent Survey