January 20, 2020
Administrator's Corner

We hope everyone is back in the swing of things now that we've finished the second week of the semester. We would like to encourage all students to take some time to set goals for the spring. Remember that strong attendance is key, and that staying on top of your assignments and getting extra help will go a long way. Office hours are a great way to check in for extra help, and after school tutoring is always available as a support when needed. Good luck TJ, and let's stay on top of our work and our progress to make it another great semester!

Esperamos que todos estén de vuelta en el balance de las cosas ahora que hemos terminado la segunda semana del semestre. Nos gustaría animar a todos los alumnos a tomarse un tiempo para establecer metas para la primavera. Recuerde que la asistencia fuerte es clave, y que mantenerse al tanto de sus tareas y recibir ayuda adicional será un largo camino.  El horario de oficina es una excelente manera de registrarse para obtener ayuda adicional, y la tutoría después de la escuela siempre está disponible como un apoyo cuando sea necesario. Buena suerte TJ, y vamos a estar al tanto de nuestro trabajo y nuestro progreso para que sea otro gran semestre!

Andrew Skari
Assistant Principal
Quick Links
Week at a Glance - Week of 1/20-1/24
  • No school for students - MLK Jr. Day
  • Please click here (or see the above "Athletics Schedule" quick link) to see athletic events for the week



Kudos Korner
Speech and Debate had another successful Congressional Debate last week at Cherry Creek High School. Six students competed and gave a total of over 12 speeches on topics ranging from nuclear energy and water conservation to the banning of solitary confinement. Sponsor
Lauren Palek says, "I am consistently impressed with the professionalism and earnestness that our students bring to the table!" If you see the students below, please congratulate them on a job well done:

Ben Yellen
Deqa Muse
Peter Bodin
Jesse Johnson
Jessica Nesbit
Elijas Sliva
Girls' Swim and Dive Fundraiser - next week!
TJ Talks - Save the Date!
Dear SE Denver Community,
Thomas Jefferson High School would like to extend a special invitation to your school community to join us for a conversation around the Teen Vaping epidemic. We are excited to partner with Denver Public Health to provide this unique opportunity for us all to come together to learn, discuss and problem solve how best to support healthy lifestyles for our youth. Denver Public Health  (DPH) provides training and education specific to youth, parents and trusted adults around the dangers of vaping including the attraction of flavors that are targeted toward youth. During the presentation, we will also discuss resources for youth wanting to quit vaping.
Where: Thomas Jefferson High School - Room 111
When: Tuesday February 18th
Time: 6-7pm
Who: Any parent, community members, trusted adults. Please spread the word!
**Please register at the link below**
For more information please contact Megan Miccio, School Health Professional at megan_miccio@dpsk12.org or 720-423-7008
Countdown to the Online Auction
Mark your calendars - TJ's 4th Annual Auction is rapidly approaching!  The auction, sponsored by the PTO opens on March 15th and runs through March 19th.  This is TJ's largest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds from the event directly benefit our staff and students by providing classroom grants and much needed upgrade s for improved working and learning environments.  We need many donations to make the auction a success. Here are some ways you can help...
  • Do you own a business that can donate goods or services?
  • Do you have a subscription to the theater and can donate tickets?
  • Do you have season tickets to any local college or professional sports team?
  • Can you ask for a gift card donation from your favorite restaurant or any other business you frequent?
TJ PTO is a 501(c)3 organization so all donations are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Attached below is a letter you can give to businesses when asking for a donation as well as a template for emails.  If you have any questions please contact Heather Reeder: hmbdvm@yahoo.com

Help Wanted at TJ!
We are in need of two paraprofessionals for our Special Education students. If you are interested, please contact Paula Hammel at paula_hammel@dpsk12.org
PTO News
The Auction Committee is actively seeking donations for the online auction which will be held March 15-19 th . The auction is our  main source of fundraising . Donations of all shapes and sizes are needed. 
Can you help? Ask wherever you shop if they can support TJ by donating to the auction. Businesses are often happy to support their local school. Don't forget to ask your friends, family and neighbors if they can help too. Please check out the Auction News section of this newsletter for more information.
The funds from the auction go towards Classroom Grants. The grants directly benefit our staff and students by helping to pay for valuable programs and much-needed upgrades to enrich the working and learning environment at TJ. This year we have budgeted  $10,000  for Classroom Grants.  Please see what you can do to help make the auction a success. We can't do this without you!
Questions? Email tjhspto@gmail.com
PTO Fundraising
Wondering how fundraising works at TJ? In the 2018-19 school year, PTO awarded almost $10,000 in classroom grants! While the bulk of the monies raised go toward these grants, PTO support the TJ community in several other ways.
  • Teacher appreciation & staff wellness events
  • Student Leadership sponsored events such as Homecoming and the Backyard BBQ
  • Community events such as the Newcomer Cookout in August
  • Parent education events such as the Screenagers documentary
In the last few years, the PTO has simplified fundraising by focusing on the following efforts...
ArtFest: Last year, we celebrated 30 years of this event. This is a tradition for the wider community and brings over 80 local artisans and small businesses together. In the 2018-19 school year, ArtFest raised $7,500 that went toward classroom grants.
  • This year, we are taking a break to rethink how we produce ArtFest. Stay tuned for more information. 
Online Auction: Last year's online auction netted $12,000! This is an easy way to include lots of people in supporting TJ. The auction is critical this year since we don't have any funds from ArtFest. We want to keep the momentum going and need your help collecting donations and promoting this event. This year's auction will be held on March 15-19, 2020.
  • We will start planning for the auction at this month's PTO meeting on November 19th. 
King Soopers Cards: This is an incredible source of FREE money. All you need to do is register your King Soopers loyalty card number or alternate ID (phone number) to earn money for TJ. After you register for the program,  a percentage of ALL your King Soopers purchases will go to the PTO each month. The PTO grants a portion of these funds to each class at the beginning of the school year to help pay for senior year activities.
Amazon Smile: Again, FREE money. When you ramp up for your holiday shopping, go to   smile.amazon.com and select Thomas Jefferson High School Partners as your charitable organization to receive donations from your eligible purchases  before you begin shopping.  Amazon will remember your choice for future purchases.
Class Fundraising Events: Parents serve as Class Sponsors to coordinate raising money for senior year activities. The Student Leadership Class works on raising money for Prom while parents focus on raising money for After Prom. This money is not part of the PTO general fund but is held for each class to use during their senior year.
The PTO can't do any of this without parents getting involved so we look forward having your support! The PTO is a 501c3 organization (official name: Thomas Jefferson High School Partners) so donations are tax deductible.

Together we are Spartan Strong!
Spartan Spirit Store
We now have TJ car magnets for $5!!
Our store inventory has been moved upstairs and therefore we'll be selling at various events throughout the year. We'll be out cheering on the Spartans at fall sporting events and hope you'll come and purchase spirit wear from us.

Please email  tjhs.store@gmail.com  if you would like to purchase something & we would be happy to get the spirit wear for you. We can arrange to have items picked up.  
Yearbook News
Yearbook Announcements:

Price: The earlier you buy your book, the more you save! Please see the discount schedule below. Buy your book now for the most savings!

Purchase before:
9-27-19 = $50
11-1-19 = $55
1-31-20 = $60

From February 1st on, the book will be $65 until sold out.

Senior Recognition Ad To purchase an ad, please visit the yearbook website.

All information about the yearbook can found on the journal under the News & Events tab or by clicking here.
News from the Future Center
We are very pleased to welcome Emily Webster as our new DSF Future Center Advisor!

A note from Emily: 

"I'm thrilled to join the TJ Team! I am passionate about educational equity and access and am looking forward to supporting Spartan Scholars as they work to enroll in post-secondary options that meet their unique needs.  I've worked with high school age youth over the last 17 years in a variety of settings from a therapeutic wilderness program to a school for adjudicated girls along with facilitating a peer mentoring program with a social and learning focus. I most recently developed and delivered the post-secondary success programming for YESS Institute Scholars at 4 metro area high schools- West Leadership Academy and North High School in DPS along with Adams City and Westminster High Schools. Personally, you'll catch me cheering for Clemson football (although not hard enough last week...), dispersed camping as much as possible, and growing too many vegetables in my garden. Stay tuned for homegrown produce! Thank you for the warm welcome thus far. I'm looking forward to connecting with you all in time!"
  • Feel free to contact Emily at emily_webster@dpsk12.org
  • For more information about college visits, scholarships, and more, please visit the Future Center!
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
Did You Know...
We may have created an environment that fosters 
anxiety instead of resiliency?
In our daily practice as well as a trend within the country, we are seeing a rise in anxious behaviors among youth. Author if the article, "10 Reasons Teens Have So Much Anxiety Today," Amy Morin, LCSW, " suspects the rise in anxiety reflects several societal changes and cultural shifts we've seen over the past couple of decades."
Here are the top 10 reasons:  
  1. Electronics offer an unhealthy escape - Readily available access to our devices allows kids to escape from loneliness, boredom, or sadness - and now we are seeing what happens when an entire generation has spent their childhoods avoiding discomfort= their electronics replaced the opportunities to develop mental strength and they did not develop the skills they need to handle everyday challenges.
  1. Happiness is all the rage - happiness is emphasized so much, there is a misconception that we must feel happy all the time. It is normal and healthy to feel sad, frustrated, guilty, disappointed, and angry sometimes, too
  1. Parents are giving unrealistic praise - Saying things like, "You're the fastest runner on the team," or "You're the smartest kid in your grade," doesn't build self-esteem. Instead, it puts pressure on kids to live up to those labels. That can lead to crippling fear of failure or rejection. Instead, praise the effort, not the skill.
  1. Parents are getting caught up in the rat race - Many parents have become like personal assistants to their teenagers. They work hard to ensure their teens can compete: They hire tutors and private sports coaches and pay for expensive SAT prep courses. They make it their job to help their teens build transcripts that will impress a top school. This sends the message that their teen must excel at everything in order to land a coveted spot at such a college.  
  1. Kids aren't learning emotional skills - We emphasize academic preparation and put little effort into teaching kids the emotional skills they need to succeed. In fact, a national survey of first-year college students revealed that 60 percent feel emotionally unprepared for college life. Knowing how to manage your time, combat stress, and take care of your feelings are key components to living a good life. Without healthy coping skills, it's no wonder teens are feeling anxious over everyday hassles.
  1. Parents view themselves as protectors rather than guides - Somewhere along the line, many parents began believing their role is to help kids grow up with as few emotional and physical scars as possible (ever heard the term 'snowplow parent'?). They became so overprotective that their kids never practiced dealing with challenges on their own. Adults should not try to remove all obstacles; these kids have grown up to believe they're too fragile to cope with the realities of life.
  1. Adults don't know to help kids face their fears the right way - At one end of the spectrum, you'll find parents who push their kids too hard. They force their children to do things that terrify them. On the other end, you'll find parents who don't push kids at all. They let their kids opt out of anything that sounds anxiety-provoking. Exposure is the best way to conquer fear but only when it's done incrementally. Without practice, gentle nudging, and guidance, kids never gain confidence that they can face their fears head-on.
  1. Parents are parenting out of guilt and fear - Parenting stirs up uncomfortable emotions, like guilt and fear. But rather than let themselves feel those emotions, many parents are changing their parenting habits. So they don't let their kids out of their sight because it stirs up their anxiety, or they feel so guilty saying no to their kids that they back down and give in. Consequently, they teach their kids that uncomfortable emotions are intolerable.
  1. Kids aren't being given enough free time to play - While organized sports and clubs play an important role in kids' lives, adults make and enforce the rules. Unstructured play teaches kids vital skills, like how to manage disagreements without an adult refereeing. And solitary play teaches kids how to be alone with their thoughts and comfortable in their own skin.
  1. Family hierarchies are out of whack - Although kids give the impression that they'd like to be in charge, deep down they know they aren't capable of making good decisions. They want their parents to be leaders-even when there is dissension in the ranks. And when the hierarchy gets muddled-or even flipped upside down-their anxiety skyrockets.
We've created an environment that fosters anxiety in young people, rather than resilience.
We can do better! Our kids deserve it.  
Mental Health and Social Emotional "Did You Know":  Compiled by Samanda Davis, LCSW, MSW and Natalie Koncz, Ed.S., NCSP. 
Food and Nutrition Resources for Families
  • Click here for Food Resource Hotline information
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 2020 - Seniors
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Megan Perkins ( megandperkins@gmail.com ) or Lisa LoJacono ( lisalojacono@gmail.com ).  
Class of 2021 - Juniors
Attention 2021 parents--Senior Year is just around the corner!
Please join us for a meeting to discuss fundraising and Senior activities.  Agenda includes: Senior Sleep Out, Mr. TJ and Prom.  

When:  Tuesday, January 28 at 5:30 p.m. 
Where:  Room 111 at TJ.    

Spread the word!  

If you would like to make a donation to the Class of 2021,  please contact   colley_moe@comcast.net
We're looking for volunteers to host future events for our class parents. If interested, please come to the next PTO meeting, or send an email to thetzel@comcast.net ; or colley_moe@comcast.net to find out more. Class sponsors are Jason Klimczak and Elizabeth Lynch. Parent sponsor is Jen Abram - she can be reached at  jenabram18@gmail.com.

Long sleeve $15 Short Sleeved $10
See Mrs Lynch in Room 11
Class of 2022 - Sophomores
If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Julie Rubin (rubin_j@comcast.net) or Marlene Talavera (TJSpartans2022@gmail.com). 

The class of 2022 has two faculty sponsors,  Jillian Gleason and Maggie Kennedy, but parents are needed to work with the staff to plan fundraising activities. Parent sponsors also plan community building activities for the parents of the class of 2022.  Each  class is expected to raise money needed to host their Prom, After Prom and other activities senior year.  The sooner the fundraiser get started, the more choices there will be for events senior year. The time commitment can be as little or as much you can share.   Your involvement in any capacity is important and appreciated. We are successful because of your behind-the-scenes contributions, large and small. It all adds up to a stronger community. An engaged parent body shows our students that we care about them!
If you need more information, contact tjhspto@gmail.com, Julie at rubin_j@comcast.net or Marlene at (TJSpartans2022@gmail.com).
Class of 2023 - Freshmen

WAY TO GO TEAM '23! We have already raised almost $2,000 toward our Parent Goal for After-Prom and other Activities for Class of 2023! HUGE thanks to everyone who supported 2023 and participated in our first two successful fundraisers through Click-n-Shop Pampered Chef and Bronco Game Argus Event Staff Volunteers ($600 total) and combined with PTO's generous King Soopers Funds and Starter Money from previous classes we are well on our way! THANK YOU Dyanna Spicher and Eva Madrigal for spearheading those great fundraisers! 

We are thrilled that Ms. Rebecca Taylor, TJ Counselor, has taken the "LEAP" to be the official Class of 2023 Sponsor for the next 4 years! We are so grateful and she already has so many great ideas and enthusiasm! Lucky Class of 2023! THANK YOU Rebecca_taylor@dpsk12.org

Can YOU "LEAP IN" and help take us to the next level? Please come to our Class of 2023 parent planning meeting  and social time next month - Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Citron Bistro 3535 S. Yosemite St. (Hampden & Yosemite back room reserved for TJ '23).  We will work on our next steps and upcoming fundraiser events. Will you join us? 

As always, please contact us if you'd like to be involved in planning, have some ideas or want to jump in to help. Contact Catherine Poirier - cpoirier@bodybark.com or Christy Jordan - christy.jordan@comcast.net. See you February 4th! 

-Team '23