January 8, 2018
Administrator's Corner

Happy New Year and welcome back, Spartans! 

As we get started with a new semester please remember that strong attendance is the key to academic success. Don't forget to also take advantage of the additional academic supports available through the after school tutoring program and office hours.  

Stay tuned to the newsletter and the TJ App for information on upcoming school events!

Feliz año nuevo y bienvenidos, Spartans! 

Al comenzar con un nuevo semestre, recuerde que una buena asistencia es la clave del éxito académico. No olvide aprovechar también los apoyos académicos adicionales disponibles a través del programa de tutoría después de la escuela y el horario de oficina. 

¡Manténgase en sintonía con el boletín informativo y la aplicación TJ para obtener información sobre próximos eventos escolares!

Andrew Skari
Assistant Principal
Quick Links
Week at a Glance - Week of 1/8-1/12
  • Please click here (or see the above "Athletics Schedule" quick link) to see athletic events for the week
  • CSC Meeting: 4:00 p.m.
  • PTO meeting: 6:00 p.m. in room 111
  • Office Hours: 2:14-2:55 p.m.
Thursday -

Kudos Korner
Adopt-A-Family Recap
Thank you to everyone who donated gifts and their time to making the TJ Annual Adopt-A-Family Program a huge success. This past season we assisted 9 families with gifts, food, and holiday cheer. We raised over $3,000.00 in donations, gift cards, & food for our families in need. We have a great group of volunteers and staff that help wrap, deliver, shop, and organize the gifts for our families and it really does make a difference for those families in need. I am very proud of you Spartans!
A very special thank you to Mrs. Davis for organizing the families and Sign-Up Genie each year, we couldn't do this without you! Thank you to DECA & Skills USA for coordinating the wrapping party, gift cards, and food donations. Thank you to Danny Showers for allowing us to use your room and for setting up the organizing tables for food and gift donations. Thank you to Mr. Fabian and his group for donating gift cards, you make a HUGE impact on this program and we thank you!
Finally, a very heartfelt thank you to everyone who donated to our program to help our families in need! We could not do this without your generosity and it absolutely warms my soul to know that as a group we can come together to make this stressful time of year enjoyable for so many people.
On behalf of DECA, SkillsUSA, Mrs. Davis, & Mr. Showers, thank you TJ Community, you make a difference and we are all proud to say we are Spartans United!

-Matt Nicolo
Challenge Day for Juniors - Jan. 17-18
TJ Parents,

We are proud to offer The Challenge Day Program on Wednesday January 17th and Thursday January 18th to the Junior class. 

What is Challenge Day?
Challenge day is 7-hour engaging kick-off event serving as the catalyst for change in a school community and the foundation to year-long programming. Challenge Day engages the entire community - parents, teachers, administrators and community leaders - in a multi-generational approach that builds connection, trust, healthy relationships, and social emotional skills in students and their networks of support to ensure long-term, sustainable impact. It has been premiered on Oprah, Chicken Soup for the Souls and MTV.  For more information, please check out Challengeday.org

What this means to you:
  • If you have a junior expect them to miss one full day of school on January 17th OR 18th, unless they opt out of the event
  • You can be an adult volunteer in the room.  It is a 1 full day commitment and I can vouch it will be one of best experiences you have ever had as a volunteer.
  • You can donate money to the event.  To bring the program to TJHS, it sots money.  Instead of charging the students to participate, we open it up to donations.  As a frame of reference, it averages to about $20 per student to participate.  
Please contact Samanda Davis, school social worker, with any questions.  Samanda_Davis@DPSK12.org or 720-423-7072.  Donations checks can be dropped off to treasure written out to TJHS-Challenge Day.
Students Save the Date: Friday, January 19th 7:00 p.m.  
Spartan Splash Beach Bash!

Grab your swimsuit & towel and plan to go to the All-School TJ Pool party!  

Wanna be in the Big Splash Contest?  Think you can beat the teachers? Put together a fast, fun relay team of 4! Each person swims just one lap (25 yards!) 

Sign ups and $3 entrance tickets go on sale after break! More info to come! 
Denver Public Health Recommendation: Letters to Families about the Flu
Winter is here and so are winter colds and other illnesses.We do not want children to miss school. Neither do we want our families sending a sick child to school to expose others to possible illness.
Due to the increase in influenza cases in the school district, Denver Public Health has recommended that school leaders send a letter to all DPS families about the flu. Public health officials have shared there is a significant increase in reported cases this year.
I am providing a letter from DPS Nursing & Student Health Services in  English and  Spanish and request that you distribute this letter to your families. This valuable information will help them navigate through flu season.
PTO News
  • Want to help make your students high school experience the best it can be?  
  • Want to support the staff at TJ? 
  • Want to get to know some parents at TJ?                                    
      Come to a PTO meeting!

We meet monthly and have 1-2 events each month that we support. You can help out as your schedule permits.   Email  tjhspto@gmail.com  with any questions.
2nd Annual TJ Auction
Planning for the 2nd Annual TJ Auction is underway and we NEED YOU! It is time to start reaching out to businesses in the community for end-of-year, tax-deductible donations to TJ's online auction, scheduled for  March 11-15 . Last year we raised $10,000 for our classroom grant program. This year, our goal is to raise $20,000 to have an even greater impact on all our students. 
Do you own a business or provide a valuable service?  Donate an item, goods, or services. We're looking for shopping, dining, entertainment, home/yard/vehicle goods and services, travel and getaways, treats, beauty/spas and health services, professional services and more. Simply go to  https://tjhs.ptapal.com  to enter your donation and follow the instructions!
Do you love to shop, dine and explore the Denver-Metro area?
Collect donations from the places you already frequent. Most businesses are excited to have an opportunity to support public schools and earn new customers. Don't be shy! If they advertise, they want business, and school auctions are a great opportunity to get in front of new people. If they're on Living Social, Travel Zoo or Groupon, they're probably great candidates to donate to TJ.  
Do you enjoy theme parties and social gatherings? 
Gather a couple TJ families to co-host a themed party. Get our your neon 80s wear, old college sweatshirts, or check Pinterest for the craziest new ideas for themed parties. Some we love: tacky party, murder mystery, painting and sipping, yoga n mimosas, mamas and margaritas, 80s prom, dads and drafts, pedal push party... the possibilities are endless, fun, and build the TJ community. We'll consult with you to make it a huge success and market your party on the auction site and all proceeds will go to TJ.  
We NEED YOU and helping is EASY!
1.  Use this form to share with businesses. Email it or share it in person. We're not kidding--it's that simple. It has all the necessary details plus PTO's tax ID number and instructions on how to submit donations. 
2. Collect as many donations as possible while you're out and about. Companies value the opportunity to earn the business of TJ parents and support public education. And the tax write-off is pretty great, too.  
Again, some of the categories of business we need include:
  • stores of all kinds
  • dining
  • entertainment, sports events and recreation (concerts, movie passes, memberships)
  • home & vehicle goods and services (interior design, roofs, painting, fences, landscape design, architecture, auto maintenance or repairs)
  • professional services (taxes, accounting, home organizing, marketing, graphic design, consulting, etc.)
  • travel and getaways 
  • treats of all varieties
  • beauty/spas and health services (hair, nail, body, relaxation, wellness, gyms, yoga, pilates, massage, acupuncture, etc.)
  • student services (tutoring, test prep, college admissions support, voice or music lessons)
  • athletic services (camps, strength and agility training, etc.)
  • parent parties
  • and just about anything else you or your families buy/use!
If you have any questions reach out to Auction Chair Megan Perkins: 
Yearbook News 

The yearbook is still at a discounted price! It is now $55, but will eventually go up to $65, so act now! The $55 discount will last until 1-19-18.

To see if we received your senior portrait, please go to the yearbook website or check the poster on the office window.

Anything that you would need to know about the yearbook can be found on the yearbook website   here!

Spirit Store Hours
The TJ Spartan Spirit Store is a virtual store which is online. The store is also set up at some school events such as athletic events, concerts, plays and conference nights. Click here for more information!
We will be opening the spirit store:
  • Tuesdays at lunch: 11:15 -12:00 
  • Wednesdays after school - 2:15 - 3:00 
  • Thursday mornings before school 6:45 - 8:30
  • Fridays at lunch: 11:15 - 12:00 
  • At all home Volleyball Games, Basketball games & JV Football Games
We take Cash and Credit Cards!
New PopSockets are in for $9 each or buy with a friend and save, 2 for $16.

When the store is open we will be in front of the physical store by the auditorium. For games, we will be in front of the gym in the lobby.

Call or email Laura Whalen if you have questions.
Laura Whalen
cell: 303-681-7226
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
Did You Know...?

During the winter months the accessibility of natural sunlight exposure is limited due to a decreased number of daylight hours and inclement weather. This reduced exposure to sunlight can cause physical changes to the body, which can have negative effects on a person's mental health. This phenomenon is also referred to as the "winter blues."
Winter Blues: Warning Signs 
Depression: feelings of misery, guilt, loss of self-esteem, hopelessness, diminished interest in activities, despair, and apathy. 

Anxiety: tension and inability to tolerate stress 

Mood changes: extremes of mood shift that depart from normal. 

Sleep problems: desire to oversleep and difficulty staying awake or, sometimes, disturbed sleep and early morning waking 

Lethargy: feeling of fatigue and inability to carry out normal routine 

Overeating: craving for starchy and sweet foods resulting in weight gain 

Social problems: irritability and desire to avoid social contact 

What causes these effects? 
Specifically, sunlight can impact the normal production and re-uptake of serotonin, as well as the production of melatonin. 

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that effects an individual's mood; lower levels of serotonin have been linked to depression. Sunlight can impact the production and use of serotonin; exposure to sunlight increases the production of serotonin, producing feelings of warmth and happiness. Due to the decreased exposure to sunlight, some individuals may begin to have mood changes, feelings of depression, over eating, and lethargy.  

Melatonin is a hormone, produced in the brain, that helps regulate sleep patterns and mood. Melatonin is produced at increased level in the dark, as a way of preparing the brain for sleep. During the winter months, the days are shorter and darker, leading to an increased production of this hormone. Melatonin is also important in helping humans regulate their sleep and wake cycles, also referred to as the circadian rhythm.

Ways to Combat the Winter Blues
  1. Exercise!
  • Intense exercise can help with healthy brain functioning, as increased blood flow brings oxygen to the brain.

2.  Lighting!

  • Increase the amount of light at home; consider buying a light therapy lamp.

3.  Get outside!

  • While it may be cold, any opportunity for exposure to direct sunlight and fresh air should be taken advantage of.

4.  Stay Social!

  • Quality time spent building positive social relationships can alleviate stress and its negative effects on mental health.

5.  Get Up! 

  • Due to the lack of sunlight and shortened days, the opportunity for natural light exposure is limited. It can be beneficial to get up before sunrise in order to increase exposure to natural light.
Mental Health and Social Emotional "Did You Know": Compiled by TJHS Mental Health Team. 
Class News You Can Use
All Classes 
  • Great news! All Class T-Shirts are now available (as wells as other TJ gear) in the Spartan Store!

  • Supporting our TJ students, classrooms and teacher is as simple as a click of a button. Visit the online store to donate to TJ PTO today: Online Spartan Spirit Store for TJ Gear
Class of 2018 - Seniors
  • Please look for more opportunities this school year for parents to socialize, get connected and contribute to the Class of 2018 fundraising efforts. Please email karycramer@msn.com if you're interested in helping out at any point this year. We need you!
Class of 2019 - Juniors
The Class of '19 is raising money for senior year activities including After Prom.

How you can support:
Class of 2020 - Sophomores
  • Thank you to Megan Perkins and Lisa LoJacono, the parent representatives for the Class of 2020. Please look for important information to come.  If you are interested in getting involved please email Megan at:   megandperkins@gmail.com  or Lisa at:   lisalojacono@gmail.com .
Class of 2021 - Freshmen
  • New Graduation Requirements! DPS has adopted new, evidence-based graduation requirements that will go into effect this year for the graduating class of 2021. Click here
    to read more!
News from the Future Center
Meetings with Ms. MaezSeniors are encouraged to stop by the Future Center to set up a time to discuss their plans for next year.  A calendar of her availability is posted on the door.
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
Download the new TJHS Mobile App today!
We encourage you to download the app from the App Store or Google Play at no cost (scan the QR codes below or simply search for "TJHS"). We will be finalizing formatting and loading new content in the coming weeks, so please be patient and check the app frequently for new information! Our hope is that this will be yet another way to strengthen communication for our community. 

Helpful hint: make sure your push notifications are on, 
so that you can get  updated info and event reminders!