January 28, 2019
Administrator's Corner

We will continue to monitor all potential DPS strike news. Please click here for family resources. In the meantime we are working with DPS on contingency plans to ensure that your student will be safe and with the least amount of impact to the learning environment as possible. 

Thank you for your continued support and we hope that a resolution is reached in the very near future.

Seguiremos monitoreando todas las noticias potenciales de la huelga de DPS. Por favor, haga clic aquí­  para los recursos familiares.  Mientras tanto, estamos trabajando con DPS en planes de contingencia para asegurarnos de que su estudiante estará seguro y con la menor cantidad de impacto en el ambiente de aprendizaje como sea posible. 

Gracias por su apoyo continuado y esperamos que se alcance una resolución en un futuro muy próximo.

Mike Christoff
Quick Links
Week at a Glance - Week of 1/28-2/1
  • Please click here (or see the above "Athletics Schedule" quick link) to see athletic events for the week
  • Listen and Learn Community meeting at Joe Shoemaker (details below): 6:00 p.m.
Wednesday -
  • Challenge Day (juniors, K-Z; details below)
  • Office Hours: 2:14-2:55 p.m.
  • Challenge Day (juniors, A-J; details below)
  • No school for students - Planning/Professional Day
Kudos Korner
  • Kudos to Carla Allen, Matt Nicolo, and Grant Laman for spending their afternoons and evenings on the hiring committee for our new football coach.
  • Kudos to Paula Hammel, Andrew Skari, Anne Rice, and Jon Poole for all of the their help in proctoring the tests so that teachers were not needed to be pulled.  Shout out to Suzanne Morris-Sherer's team: Jean, Lyndsey, and Jacquelyn for their help as well.
  • Kudos to Rossanda Jackson for all of the time and energy she has put in to scheduling and ensuring that all of our students take the ACCESS test.
  • A huge thank you to Mr. Godoy for supporting our English Language Learners and their families. He has advocated for resources and supports for his and other students. Additionally he has sacrificed his planning time to support our Administration with translation and family communication. Thank you Mr. Godoy!
The Colorado SAT is April 9. 11 th -graders, are you ready? Do you have a plan?
Here's your opportunity to participate in the DPS 2018-19 SAT Preparation Program, but you must apply TODAY by noon!!
DPS is providing 11th-graders with a free SAT Preparation Program Pilot in partnership with Kaplan Test Prep. The SAT Preparation Program will run from Feb. 9-April 6 at John F. Kennedy High School, Abraham Lincoln High School, Manual High School and DCIS at Montbello.

Across eight Saturdays, students will have access to a total 25 hours of SAT preparation and unlimited access to the Kaplan SAT Channel. The pilot program is limited to 50 students per site. Students from all DPS high schools are invited to apply and will be considered based on available space.

Students will be notified of this opportunity via Schoology and other DPS communication networks. Students submitting applications and participant contracts must agree and commit to attend all eight sessions.
Students must submit the Online Application by 12:00 p.m. (Noon) Monday, January 28th, 2019.

Please visit the Student Program Outline for more information.
Challenge Day 
Hello TJ parents,
TJ is getting geared up for challenge day on January 30th and  31st. It is a one day event specifically for the Junior class. There has been a change to the schedule for Challenge Day. Juniors with the last name starting with
K-Z will be attending Wednesday, January 30th, and students with the last name starting with 
A-J will be attending Thursday, January 31.

It is an all-day event, starting at 7:30 a.m. and ending at 2:45 pm and takes place in TJHS's gym.  Lunch will be provided. 
Click here for an OPT out form (only to be completed if you wish your child not to participate). Opt Out forms are due January 18th. 
If you wish to contribute financially to providing this program to the school, please click on this link.  Average cost per student to participate is around $20.   
Thomas Jefferson High School and our students have been fortunate to be able to provide Challenge Day to our students.  Challenge Day is a 20 year national program that has been proven to positively change the culture of a school in just one day.  It creates lasting and strong relationships among students and between adults and students.  These relationships often translate into greater student success.
What is Challenge Day?
  • It is a one day (seven hour), action-packed, interactive program held in the gym at TJ where students, teachers, administrators, parents and other adult volunteers participate together and connect on a very personal level in a safe environment.
  • Students, teachers, and parents own up to past behavior, apologize to each other, and make a pledge to "change their behavior. 
  • Students and adults participate equally and connect on a very personal level.
  • Through these personal connections, students are engaged and empowered, and are inspired to be successful.
  • Students' personal power and self esteem are elevated.
  • Dangerous peer pressure is transformed into positive peer support.
  • Teasing, violence and all forms of oppression are recognized and eliminated.
  • The aftermath of the school climate is remarkably noticeable. 
Challenge Day has been featured on OPRAH, MTV and on other national news programs.   The news stories show high school students "crossing the line" to show their experiences and share their differences.  You can see the story on oprah.com or on YouTube.  You can also check out this link and watch the video clip  http://www.challengeday.org/our_program/videos.html  or ask me for a DVD as I have them at my disposal.  Many other schools in Denver have participated in Challenge Day with great success.  Your child may have already experienced it in middle school or high school. 
Counseling News
This semester we will partnering with the END Violence project through the Center on Domestic Violence and CU Denver. They will be here once a week to support students and will be running the below programs:
Navigating Relationships is a lifelong process.  Teens are faced with finding ways to learn about healthy versus unhealthy dynamics in their friendships and dating relationships.  This class will allow youth to learn about the problem of dating violence, the warning signs of abuse, effective ways to communicate and ways in which one can address unhealthy or abusive relationships.
Many young people have been affected by relationship abuse or violence whether having been exposed to domestic violence at home or in their own relationships.  We aim to create a confidential and safe space for youth (girls this group) to learn more about how to choose safe relationships and explore and heal from harms they have experienced in the past.   All girls in this group are invited by school staff who are aware of their experiences and recognize that they might have something to offer and will benefit in some way from the support of those with similar experiences. 
Click here for more information about this program.

If you think your student would benefit from one of these groups, please e-mail Maggie Kennedy, School Counselor at margaret_kennedy@dpsk12.org.
Countdown to the Online Auction
Mark your calendars - TJ's 3 rd Annual Online Auction is just six weeks away! The auction opens on March 10 th and runs through March 14 th.  The auction, sponsored by the PTO, is the 2 nd largest fundraiser of the year. Proceeds from this event directly benefit our staff and students by providing classroom grants and much needed upgrades 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 teams?
  • 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. If you can help, please contact Auction Chair, Megan Perkins at megandperkins@gmail.com.
Denver Public Safety, Listen and Learn Public Community Meeting - Jan. 29
Parent Participation Requested
Colorado Department of Human Services is creating a video featuring real Colorado parents. If you'd like to be in it, the first step is to take this short survey about your thoughts on fostering, mentoring, parenting, and preventing/reporting abuse and neglect. The survey will only take a couple minutes and your answers will remain confidential. When you're finished, you may be asked to participate in our video. Click here for the survey!
PTO News
Our next meeting will be February 12, 2019 at 6 pm in Room 111.
Opportunity for Transitional Students and Parents
Project Independence provides  free  workshops to help  Denver  parents who have children with disabilities learn about options for their children once they leave high school.  The project also trains youth from ages 14-21 about their options after high school.  

A disability should not hamper a person to live their life to the fullest.  We share with participants how to obtain employment in the communityassist in applying for college and vocational school, as well as support with life skills.  Statistics shows that people with disabilities earn about two-thirds of the median earnings of people without disabilities.  They are less likely to attend higher learning, and more likely to live below the poverty line.  Project Independence wants to change that.

There will be 2 strands of workshops: One for parents and one for youth.  It will be for 5 Thursdays starting February 21st and ending March 21st.  There will also be a college tour one Saturday during that time. The time of the workshops will be 6:00 - 6:30 for dinner, and 6:30 - 8:30 for training.  Click here to learn more about the project
Click here to register online. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.

Families can contact us with any questions at 303-632-6840.
Yearbook News
Yearbook Announcements:
  • Please check to see if we received your senior quote and photo. There's a poster hanging on the office windows, or you can check the yearbook website to make sure.
  • PriceGet your book at the price of $60 until 2-22-19. The price will eventually increase to $65, so act fast!
All information about the yearbook can found on the journal under the News & Events tab or by clicking here.
Mini Cheer Clinic 

Click here for the registration form. Please contact tjspartancheer@gmail.com if you have any questions!
News from the Future Center
Financial Aid Support Day for 12th graders will be January 28th! 12th graders who haven't completed a FAFSA or Financial Aid Application need to come to the Future Center and bring their required identity documents and financial information. 12th graders who have already completed a Financial Aid application will be logging into college portals and completing Financial Aid requirements.
Week of 1/28 College Admissions Representatives visits:
Milwaukee Institute of Art Design on Tuesday, January 29th during 4th period (10:15-11:19)
Arapahoe Community College on Thursday, January 31st during 4th period (10:15-11:19)
12th graders can sign up in Naviance.

Thank you!

Sophie Vogel
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
Spartan Spirit Store
The TJHS Spirit Store is stocked and ready to sell!  Show your TJ pride in style and comfort with hoodies, joggers, t-shirts, hats, blankets and stadium chairs. The Spirit Store is open every Friday at lunch time.  Great news: the SALE prices are extended through January, possibly longer!  2019 retro-Joe Spartan t-shirts are $5, all other short-sleeved t-shirts are $10, long-sleeved shirts are $20, and hoodies are $25. Also, the striped Under Armor quarter-zip shirts are now $35.  We also have beanies with pom poms for $20 and beanies without for $15, dry-fit long sleeved shirts for $20, and TJ joggers for $35.  We accept cash, credit cards and checks.

The store will be open during events like certain athletic games and other community events.  Or, make an appointment to shop with Carrie ( TJHS.Store@gmail.com ).   Julie Thibodeau in the front office can also help if you need the store at times other than Friday at lunch.  You can view several items  here , but we are not currently accepting online orders .

If you have any questions please email them to  tjhs.store@gmail.com.
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
Did You Know?

Some of our parenting behaviors, which may seem harmless, may in fact be keeping our children from being leaders? As parents, we do what we can to give our child the best opportunities, keep them healthy and thriving, and encourage them to develop and grow into independent young adults. Based on this article, " 7 Damaging Parenting Behaviors That Keep Children From Growing Into Leaders,"  here is a list of things to think about as we parent:

1) We Don't Let Our Children Experience Risk
We live in a world that warns us of danger at every turn. The "safety first" preoccupation enforces our fear of losing our kids, so we do everything we can to protect them. It's our job after all, but we have insulated them from healthy risk-taking behavior and it's had an adverse effect. Kids need to fall, and fail, a few times to know it is normal, and to learn how to deal with the hurt/disappointment.

2) We Rescue Too Quickly
Today's generation of young people has not developed some of the life skills kids did 30 years ago because adults swoop in and take care of problems for them. When we rescue too quickly and over-indulge our children with "assistance," we remove the need for them to navigate hardships and solve problems on their own. They need this skill!

3) We Rave Too Easily
This "everyone gets a trophy" mentality might make our kids feel special in the moment, but research is now indicating this method has unintended consequences. When we rave too easily and disregard poor behavior, children eventually learn to cheat, exaggerate and lie and to avoid difficult reality. They have not been conditioned to face it.

4) We Let Guilt Get In The Way Of Leading Well 
Your child does not have to love you every minute. Your kids will get over the disappointment, but they won't get over the effects of being spoiled. So tell them "no" or "not now," and let them fight for what they really value and need.

5) We Don't Share Our Past Mistakes
Healthy teens are going to want to spread their wings and they'll need to try things on their own. We as adults must let them, but that doesn't mean we can't help them navigate these waters. Share with them the relevant mistakes you made when you were their age in a way that helps them learn to make good choices. (But avoid negative "lessons learned" having to do with smoking, alcohol, illegal drugs , etc.). Share how you felt when you faced a similar experience, what drove your actions, and the resulting lessons learned.

6) We Mistake Intelligence, Giftedness and Influence for Maturity 
Intelligence is often used as a measurement of a child's maturity, and as a result parents assume an intelligent child is ready for the world. That's not the case. Some professional athletes and Hollywood starlets, for example, possess unimaginable talent, but still get caught in a public scandal. Just because giftedness is present in one aspect of a child's life, don't assume it pervades all areas.

7) We Don't Practice What We Preach 
As the leaders of our homes, we can start by only speaking honest words - white lies will surface and slowly erode character. Watch yourself in the little ethical choices that others might notice, because your kids will notice too. If you don't cut corners, for example, they will know it's not acceptable for them to either.
Mental Health and Social Emotional "Did You Know":  Compiled by Samanda Davis, LCSW, MSW and Natalie Koncz, Ed.S., NCSP. Resources: https://thriveglobal.com/stories/7-damaging-parenting-behaviors-that-keep-children-from-growing-into-leaders/
Facilities Management Jobs Available
Denver Mayor's Youth Commission is now accepting applications for the 2019-2020 term!
The Mayor's Youth Commission provides youth the opportunity to develop leadership skills and advise the Mayor and the director of the Office of Children's Affairs on issues impacting youth living in the City and County of Denver. Youth commissioners work together with adult commissioners to make recommendations in the areas of:
  • Developing procedures and processes
  • Accessing and participating in citywide programs
  • Ensuring equal rights and opportunities through legislation or administrative action
  • Establishing goals and action plans
Applications for the 2019 - 2020 school year are open Jan. 1 - Mar. 8, 2019!
Selected commissioners can serve up to a three-year term limit.
Meetings are scheduled during the evening, the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month, during the school year.
Youth Apply Here: Must be a Denver resident or attending Denver Public Schools (high school) in 2019 - 2020.
Adults Apply Here: Must be employed with a youth-serving organization or the City and County of Denver.
How can YOU be the change? Click here for more information. 
Food and Nutrition Resources for Families
  • Click here for Food Resource Hotline information
Class News You Can Use
All Classes 
  • Great news! All Class T-Shirts are now available (as well as other TJ gear)  in the Spartan Store. If you would like to make a purchase, please contact tjhs.store@gmail.com.
Class of 2019 - Seniors
Attention Class of '19 Parents:

Join us for an informational meeting on January 15th at 6pm in room 111.  We'll cover important updates and have administration available to answer questions as we prepare for Graduation.  Contact Anne McCord if you have questions (armccord06@comcast.net). 

Cheers!  Class of '19 Parent Committee
TJ Class of '19 Parent Meeting
January 25, 2019
Volunteer Opportunities:
  • Mr. TJ is a fun senior tradition and we need 2 volunteers to head up the event!
  • After Prom Volunteers are vital to this event's success. Stay tuned for a volunteer sign-up in early March (set up, chaperones, tear down and clean up)
    • NOTE: This is a Senior Prom. An announcement was made in error that this year it is a Junior/Senior Prom. Sorry for the confusion.
  • Seniors must have a 93% attendance rate to attend Senior Prom and to walk at Graduation. If you're student is not compliant, have them connect with Mr. Skari for assistance.
  • Students must have a 93% attendance rate and a 3.0 GPA to participate in the Mr. TJ Event.
  • FAFSA applications are OPEN. Click here to start today.
  • If you would like to make a financial donation to the Class of '19 online, click here.  
  • Take a look at the 12th Grade Family Action Plan - this is a helpful guide for all families of 12th grade students.
Important dates to remember:
  • February 1:          No School for Students
  • February 18:        No School (President's Day)
  • April 19:               Mr. TJ
  • April 20:               Pick up Jostens orders (everything but cap and gown).
  • April 26:               Prom at Denver Athletic Club 8 pm to 11 pm. After prom at TJ 11 pm to 2 am.
  • May 7:                   Senior awards by invitation
  • May 17:                 Senior check out.
  • May 20:                 Mini graduation rehearsal at TJ. Pick up cap and gown.
  • May 29:                 Graduation rehearsal at Magness Arena 12 noon. Graduation at 2 pm.
Local University Application Deadlines:
  • Colorado State University: May 1st
  • Colorado School of Mines: March 1st
  • University of Northern Colorado: August 1st
  • Metro State University: July 1st
Other Post Graduation Resources and Opportunities
Please reach out if you have any questions ( armccord06@comcast.net).
The Class of '19 is raising money for senior year activities including After Prom.

How you can support:
  • Host an event
  • Make a tax deductible financial donation - Find out if your employer will match your donation!
  • Participate in Neighborhood Eats events
  • Buy a Class of '19 T-shirt via tjhs.store@gmail.com
  • For more information contact Anne McCord - armccord06@comcast.net
Class of 2020 - Juniors
TJ Students are planning a tailgate for the TJ/ East basketball double-header games on Friday, February 8th. The class of 2020 will be selling pizza, drinks and snacks for the tailgate from 4:30-5:30 pm, with all proceeds going toward the Class of 2020 Senior year activities. Please  sign up here  to help with food sales on February 8th, donating items for sale, or contributing toward the pizza purchase.  Contact Lisa LoJacono (lisalojacono@gmail.com) or Megan Perkins (megandperkins@gmail.com) with questions.
Class of 2021 - Sophomores
  • We're also 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 of 2022 - Freshmen
  • If you have any questions or interest in joining a team of parents to help coordinate fundraising efforts and community building, please email tjhspto@gmail.com for more information.