January 21, 2016
Administrator's Corner

Dear Parents, 

This is just a note to remind you how important upcoming testing is for your student and for our school. 
  • The CMAS/PARCC tests help us define 9th grade areas of strength and opportunities for growth
  • The ACT is crucial to college readiness
  • The PSAT is crucial to pre-collegiate readiness
  • AP Testing in May is crucial for earning high school and college credit
All of these tests help us gauge our success compared to others in DPS and around the state. Our plan for carrying out the administration of these tests will ensure that your child's instructional time is maximized during the testing windows.

The test results from the last two years have helped propel TJ to where we are today...let's keep that momentum going!  

We encourage you to TAKE THE TEST and DO YOUR BEST!

Andrew Skari
Assistant Principal | Athletic Director  
Quick Links
Special Schedule for Friday, Jan. 22
Please remember that tomorrow will follow a typical "Wednesday" schedule, with the pep assembly taking place from  2:14-2:45 p.m. 
Saturday School will take place 
January 23rd from 8-11 in the library!
Kudos Korner
  • Special thanks to Samanda Davis and all of the volunteers who made Challenge Day possible! Thanks too to the custodial staff who came together at the last minute to make it work for all juniors to attend on the same day when the first of two days had to be cancelled. Great teamwork!
  • Thanks to TJ teacher Dana Starbuck, who made Math Day a success! (story below)
Math Day at Bradley Elementary School
What are the odds?
On Tuesday January 12, the Advanced Placement (AP) Statistics students shared a MATH Day with the students at Bradley Elementary School.  The Stats students shared probability games with the students that included rolling dice, spinning spinners, flipping coins and drawing blocks. Some of the games also required the youngsters to review some of their math skills, such as multiplication and division. The third and fourth graders won prizes and candy for their mathematical efforts!

The high school students were the perfect mentors and facilitators of the event, helping the students understand probability and showing how math can be a truly fun experience!  Hopefully, they helped to inspire a new group of future TJ SPARTANS!

A special THANKS to Bradley Principal Steven Wera, and teacher Heather Sanchez for letting us visit your school and share the MATH!
The Yearbook is back, with Free Personalized Pages!
With the new school year came the passing of the Aristocrat torch to Mr. Forrester  and the photojournalism classes. We're doing things a little differently this year, and  want all of you to know about it! We have switched production companies and are  now working with TreeRing, and they have some great ideas we are excited about. 
One of the biggest changes is that you can now personalize your copy of the Aristocrat by creating two free pages! All  you have to do is make a free account on the website and follow the links we've  provided, and you're on your way to owning a completely unique version of our 
yearbook! This lines up perfectly with purchasing your book online through  TreeRing for only $45.00.

Click here to add your personalized pages, and buy your book!
Calling all TJ Parents!
Join us for a night of games, food, and fun! January 23rd from 7-10:30 p.m.
$20 per person  (you can register & pay at the TJ 2017 webstore or pay at the door)  All funds will be used for the Class of 2017 events. Feel free to extend this invitation to others.  Support Thomas Jefferson High School!  Click here to RSVP.
Tennis, Anyone?
Any Ladies interested in playing on the TJ tennis team are invited to a important meeting January 27, at 2:45 in the community room;  even if you want to learn how to play tennis you are invited.

The season starts Feb 27 and runs till May 1. Tennis is a lifetime sport  - give it a try! Hope to see you there!

Coach Jeff Zinke  jzinke957@comcast.net or jzinke@dpsk12.org or 720-231-4298

News from Native American Student Support (NASS)
The Indian Education Program is changing its name to "Native American Student Support" (NASS) after a survey was answered by students and their families across the district. This will be in effect at the beginning of next school year, but I will currently start addressing our program by NASS.

Our January student NASS meetings will be on Wednesday, January 13 th and 27 th in room 108. We will be discussing upcoming trips to CSU and Denver March Powwow, semester goals, and volunteer opportunities for your resumes and college applications. As always, I am available Wednesdays to review gra des, goals, and check in. Happy 2016!

Calling all Class of 2016 Parents
2016 is upon us and it's time to get serious about planning for the Class of 2016 After Prom Festivities.
We are doing our best to bring After Prom Back at TJ. The past few years there has not been an After Prom at TJ and we need your help in making it happen for our fabulous TJ Spartans this year.  After Prom is a parent driven event that gives Seniors a safe place to hang out and have fun "After Prom."   Whether they attend Prom or not, "After Prom" is for all Seniors to enjoy and come together for one last hooray...
If you are interested in getting involved with After Prom, please sign up below. We will need help in many different areas, so whatever you like to do, there is a place for you!  Event Planning, Fundraising, Decorating, Organizing Volunteers, Cooking, Purchasing Food, Sponsors, Chaperoning, Setup, Cleanup etc, there is something for everyone to do when it comes to After Prom.
The After Prom Committee will be contacting interested Volunteers with more information regarding getting involved in the next few weeks.  
If you are interested in getting involved in After Prom, please sign up here!
Girls' Leadership Council Inspires Young Women to be Leaders and Philanthropists
Applications are due by February 1, 2016.
For more information, please go to: https://wfco.org/girlsleadershipcouncil
Student Immersion Travel Opportunity with Meet the Middle East Youth Ambassador Program
Meet the Middle East (MTME) is a Denver-based organization bringing together East and West, and a new Community Partner at TJ.
MTME offers a Youth Ambassador Program for high school students, a five-month educational experience where students are taught identity, conflict resolution and negotiation, listening and dialogue, the regional religions of the Middle East and finally, the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict as a case study.

At the end of this five-month program, MTME staff guides students on a 10-day immersion trip to Palestine and Israel. Over the course of the trip, students apply the knowledge they've acquired among the local population through service projects.

Students stay in a centuries-old monastery in the Old City of Jerusalem, sip tea in the shade of a Bedouin tent in the desert, dine on fish from the Sea of Galilee and float in the Dead Sea just outside Jericho, one of the oldest cities in the world. They meet with Palestinians and Israelis who represent a range of perspectives, and visit museums as well as religious and archeological sites. They also visit settlements and refugee camps. Past students have described the trip as one that "stays with you forever."

Application deadline for the program is January 22. For further information, please email iman@meetthemiddleeat.org or visit www.meetthemiddleeast.org
Don't miss this opportunity to attend the 
Institute for the Development of Gifted Education's 2016 Conference
Please consider registering to attend on Feb. 4th!

Conference at 
the University of Denver's Morgridge College of Education will offer  multiple sessions throughout the day that will be relevant for our parent-body, one of which is from 
11:15 - 12:15, and  includes TJ Spartans!  

Keynote Speaker:   Dr. James Delisle
Lunchtime Keynote:  Palmarium Award Winner (to be announced)

University of Denver Campus: 
February 4, 2016 8:00 am-4:00 pm (Policy Symposium w/reception on Wednesday evening 4:30-7:00, February 3 with panel including Dr. James Delisle, Dr. Sylvia Rimm, and Dr. Julia Link Roberts)
        Conference Strands:
  • Primary Education
  • Secondary Education
  • Research
Choices for intended audience include:
  • Teacher Leaders
  • Building and District Leaders
  • Parents
  • ducation Service Professionals
Registration fee includes breakfast and lunch.

This session is also being led by our own in-house Specialist, Mr. Weaver:

Dynamic High School Learning Environments:
A Student Panel
Facilitated by Brian Michael Weaver and Rebecca McKinney
High School learning environments are changing.  The 2016 dynamics require an increasingly engaging climate that fosters liberty, authenticity and immediacy on the parts of educators and learners.  In this session, a student panel will expound on the functions of academic freedom, genuineness and sense of closeness in secondary learning environments as pathways to achievement.  Through this lens, progressive settings such as collegiate concurrent enrollment and online coursework will be compared and contrasted with traditional settings.  Exploring the most effective climates with the least for our highly gifted teens, participants will gain essential perspectives in this growing aspect of educational differentiation. 
Sweets for Your Sweet - Class of 2017 Fundraiser
Duffeyrolls are being sold in support of TJ 2017 Senior year activities

Juniors, the more you sell, the more money your class will have - all proceeds are for YOU! (& it's easy)

 Sweets for your Sweet - just in time for Valentine's day!
  • Pick up order forms in Ms. Thibodeau's office (just down hallway in the main office)
  • Order forms due back to school by Feb 2, 2016, you may leave them in Ms. Thibodeau's office
  • Each seller will need to pick up orders on Feb 12th between 2-4pm (TJ main entrance lobby)  You are responsible for pick up & distributing the pans of Duffeyrolls to purchasers.
  • If you simply want to place an order, please send an email to  tjhs2017@gmail.com to make arrangements.     

Thanks & Go TJ!

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. 
Some students don't walk across the graduation stage... and not for the reason you think.

They have the grades.
They have the credits.
They may have even been accepted to college already.

Then they get the order form for the cap, gown and graduation announcements, and that's where it stops.

The basic graduation expenses at one Denver high school start at $46 for just the cap and gown. For many of us $46 is what we spend on coffee for the week. Add in announcements and senior pictures, and the cost is a real burden or even impossible for some families.

The Graduation for All Fund helps those for whom the graduation ceremony is out of reach.

Click here to donate

Thanks to your donations, we can make sure that these kids have the same experience as everyone else in their class. Imagine the pride their families will feel when their senior marches across the stage, gets a diploma and a handshake, and takes the next step in their adult life. 
News from the Future Center
Seniors, it's time to work on financial aid!  Here are a few updates for you:
  1. If you have applied to or won any scholarships, come to the Future Center to be entered into a monthly $50 raffle! 
  2. Secondly, if you would like support completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, mark your calendar for February 8th.  From 3-6pm, I will have expert staff available at TJ to help students and their families complete the FAFSA. 
  3. Please check the websites of the schools that you are applying to for financial aid deadlines.  In order to get the best financial aid possible, you need to turn your financial aid in before the deadlines.
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
rmaez@denverscholarship.org |   www.denverscholarship.org