May 1, 2017
Administrator's Corner

Hello Spartans!
This summer TJ will be hosting a 241 Denver elementary sports camp!  The camp is open for kids entering grades 3-9, and TJ will be partnering with South HS to reach as many kids in south Denver at possible!  The camp is a great blend of instruction and FUN, so sign up soon before space runs out!
Where: Thomas Jefferson HS
When: July 17th - 21st
More info on 241 Denver:
¡Hola Spartans!
¡Este verano TJ será anfitrión de un campamento de deportes, 241 Denver! ¡El campamento está abierto para los niños que entran a los grados 3-9, y TJ se asociará con la escuela South para alcanzar a los más niños posibles en Denver! ¡El campamento es una gran mezcla de instrucción y diversión, así que regístrese pronto antes de que el espacio se acabe!
Dónde: Thomas Jefferson HS
Cuando: 17 al 21 de julio
¡Regístrese aquí!
Más información sobre 241 Denver: 

Anne Rice
Athletic Director
Quick Links
TJ's Tardy/Truancy Policy
Thank you for your su pport in keeping our attendance at its best!
New Graduation Requirements for the Class of 2021
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!
Week at a Glance - Week of 5/1-5/5
  • CSC - 4:00 p.m.
  • Please click here (or see the above "Athletics Schedule" quick link) to see athletic events for the week
  • Senior Awards dinner at the Radisson (by invitation only) - (appetizers 5:00 p.m., dinner at 5:45 p.m.) 
  • Challenge Denver dinner (at TJ) - 6:00 p.m.
  • Office Hours/early release
  • All class t-shirts (as well as other gear) for sale during 8th period and after school (during Office Hours) in the lobby.

  • Talent Show - 6:00 p.m.
  • Night Out - 7:00 p.m.
Kudos Korner
  • Congrats to TJHS! We have been ranked #28 in Best High Schools by U.S. News & World Report. (We're ranked higher than East, George, Arapahoe, Littleton, and many others!) Click here to read more.
  • A huge thank you to everyone who was involved in the TJ inaugural online auction - from behind the scenes work to those who donated items and of course those who bid on the items. We were able to raise over $9,000 that will go right back into TJ classrooms! Start thinking ahead about how you can be involved next year - look for more info in the fall. Let's shoot for $20,000 next year!
  • A shout out to the 14 faculty members who participated in the second ping pong tournament! This time Paul Croom and Sean Silvers made it to the finals, and the winner was Sean Silvers! Thanks to Brittany Nicolo who organized the brackets and kept everyone informed.
Important Attendance Reminders
Parents and Guardians,
As a reminder, the key to your student's academic success is coming to school on time and attending every class. Please note that we will not be accepting excused absences for students who are in school and want to miss one class to study or hang out. This is not acceptable. Also, we will require that all seniors have a 92% attendance rate to attend prom and participate in commencement ceremonies. (Seniors can connect with Mr. Skari for how to fix their attendance.) 

Please click here for a copy of our 
attendance policy.
If your student is struggling and needing academic support, please remember that we have tutoring after school in the library on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Office hours on Wednesday is from 2:15pm-3pm and every student should be connecting with at least one teacher during that time.
It's Not Too Late to Buy a Yearbook!

Act Now!
Although the guaranteed deadline to buy a book before the signing party has passed, it's not too late to buy a yearbook. Purchases can be made until our inventory runs out, so act fast to ensure you get a copy of this year's book. In order to buy a book, click on this link . If you are unsure about whether or not you already bought a book, login into the same site to find out. Thanks!
Challenge Denver's Be the Change Dinner
Tuesday May 2, 2017
Thomas Jefferson High School
3950 S. Holly, Denver, CO, 80237

Challenge Denver's 2017 "Be the Change" dinner celebrates powerful programs that transform school communities through authentic connections and empathy for self, peers and community. Through thoughtfully crafted experiences and curriculum, we inspire students to be agents of change in their own lives and to foster positive environments in their schools and communities.   

Join educators, businesses, students, parents and community leaders from across the Denver-Metro area as we celebrate the impacts of connected school communities. We'll be welcoming extra special guests Rich and Yvonne Dutra-St. John, creators of the world-renowned Challenge Day workshop, once hailed by Oprah Winfrey as "the way we change the world".

Join us to:

  • Experience the work of Challenge Denver, led by Rich & Yvonne Dutra-St. John
  • Hear If You Really Knew Me student stories
  • Discover the impact of Challenge Denver
  • Celebrate Challenge Denver Champions
  • Get involved and and Be the Change!

This evening promises to be powerful and inspirational as we examine Challenge Denver's local impact and reflect on how we can work together as a community to ensure more students feel connected, supported, empowered, and prepared to realize their potential.

100% of proceeds help our programs to reach more students and schools. Join us to make a difference!

Superintendent Parent Forum - May 2
Parents - We Need Your Help for Upcoming Celebrations!
As the school year winds down, several fun traditions are back! 
Night Out and Back Yard Bash are coming up - see the sign up genius for the easy ways you can help make these events successful for TJ students! Thanks in advance for your support. 

Night Out
Night Out is Friday,  May 5 from 7-9 pm in the gym following the TJ Talent Show. Leadership has asked PTO to provide snacks and a few parent chaperones (just an extra set of eyes on the snack table and students; TJ staff will do any "bouncing").  Night Out is in its third year at TJ and includes a volleyball competition between student teams, great music and "club scene," and a fun way to socialize with friends and celebrate the end of the school year.

Backyard Bash
Leadership is also hosting the Backyard Bash on Friday, May 12 which will be full of fun, games/sports, and food for the whole school. PTO will again provide food including hot dogs, chips and bottled water.  

Please check the sign up for easy ways you can help support these events. You can also donate here and PTO will shop for you--even $5 helps!  
Dance to Your Future Powwow and College Fair

Students at several DPS schools are raising donations to put on their first interschool 2017 "Dance to Your Future" Powwow and College Fair. This event is a combined effort between several DPS Native American students, allies, and community members. Tallbull Memorial Grounds committee members asked DPS Native American Student Support Program (NASSP) if students were interested in hosting a powwow on the Tallbull Memorial Grounds at Daniels Park in Castle Pines, CO. When NASSP asked students, they were thrilled to have this opportunity to organize a powwow at this sacred space.
Powwows are a strong pillar of Native American culture, as it is a time when several tribes from several regions can celebrate their cultures through song and dance. It is a social gathering honoring traditions and the resiliency of Indigenous peoples. TJ Native American Student Alliance and Allies are helping organizing the "Dance to Your Future" Powwow/College Fair to bring together their Denver communities, schools, families, and friends to share their culture, shed light on the importance of education and career choices, and honor graduating students from their Native community. Please join them Saturday, May 6th, at Daniels Park.
CO Summer Program Lets Rising Sophomores & Juniors Get Early College Experience

The  Colorado Student Leaders Institute  (COSLI) is the newest member of the 25-state Governor's School network, an institution steeped in a rich 50+ year history and revered throughout the nation as a highly successful model for post-secondary preparedness. 

Students accepted into COSLI will be hosted for 28 days at CU-Denver this summer and earn 3 college credit hours. In its second year in CO, this program lets kids get a taste for the college experience while exploring topics important to the State of CO, potential career interests, and fun weekend excursions.

Executive Director Celeste Archer and team have structured an exciting itinerary for this summer: 
  • July 9 - August 5, 2017
  • Live on CU-Denver campus in dorms for 28 days (great food, workout area, living quads and quarters, and more)
  • Explore different career fields
  • Create and execute a business plan
  • Meet other rising sophomores and juniors, make friends from across CO
  • Gain unique perspectives on critical issues in CO and U.S.
  • Learn from top speakers and via cool field trips
  • Weekend adventure in Buena Vista
  • Parent weekend at Rockies game
  • Sports and arts weekend
  • Choose a focus in either STEAM or international studies ("majors")
  • Complete two high school capstones
  • A day at the Anschutz campus
  • Meet legislators at Capitol who make this program possible
  • Create a community for CO's and America's future leaders
  • Earn 3 college credit hours!!!
Two Spartan students are on the COSLI Student Board--Ge'Swan Swanson and Avery Hericks--and reported an incredible experience last summer, and continue their involvement as current board members. 
DEADLINE: The program is in its third and final round of applications. All applications must be turned in by May 12. Please note: the application includes two teacher/admin recommendation forms so please don't delay!   Click here to apply!
Summer Job Postings for Students
Hey students, looking for a great summer job? Interested in learning more about the hospitality industry?
Embassy Suites on Hampden has a few positions right in TJ's neighborhood they're looking to fill:
  • Restaurant Bus Person - set up and clear tables, stock all service stations and assist food servers with table service to ensure total guest satisfaction.  Must be at least 16 years of age.  Weekend evenings, starting pay $9.00/hour plus tips
  • Housekeeping Houseman - assure cleanliness of guest floor corridors, foyers, stairwells and public vending areas, folding of linens and assist with delivery of amenities to guest suites in order to maintain high standards of quality.  Must be at least 16 years of age.  Weekend evenings, starting pay $10.50/hour
  • Restaurant Servers - provide food and beverages in a friendly, professional and efficient manner to the guest ensuring a positive dining experience.  Must be at least 18 years of age. Weekend evenings, starting pay $8.23/hour plus tips. 
If interested, please contact Coral Bachusz,  Director of Operations/HR
Embassy Suites Denver Southeast
7525 E. Hampden Avenue
Denver, CO  80231
Direct Line:  303-923-4051
Fax: 303-337-6202
The DPS Language Arts Department is hosting a Student Summer Writing camp
Student Opportunity : The Denver Writing Project is offering a writing camp for 9 th  -12 th  graders at the Auraria Campus.  The camp is for students interested in writing for civic action and social justice.  The camp will be held Monday through Thursday from June 12 th -22 nd  (with no meeting on Friday, June 16 th ).  This is a grant funded camp and registration is free - however, students must apply and be accepted.  The camp will be capped at 30 to 40 participants and, as now, there is still space available.  For more information,  click here  or contact  Sarah Woodard  (thanks for sharing, Sarah!).
Peru Trip - Act Soon!
Look Enticing?????? Join us! PERU 2018!!!! (room 217) for details!

Click here for more details about the trip.  We will have an informational meeting in the near future!
Interested in Being a Host Family?
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
~ Why We Need to Talk About 13 Reasons Why  ~

Dear parents and guardians,

School halls across the country are likely buzzing with students discussing the most recent Netflix series hit, 13 Reasons Why, based on the popular book by Jay Asher. The series follows a group of high school students as they piece together a story left behind for them by their classmate Hannah Baker, who died by suicide. 

While this popular series sheds light on important topics, there are some shortcomings in its execution. Without mention of mental illness, which affects one in five adolescents, and coming dangerously close to romanticizing suicide, this show is missing a crucial opportunity to discuss an issue that is affecting so many teenagers. Additionally, there is no example of successful help-seeking with a theme of silence throughout the story. As Hannah's classmates struggle with the aftermath of her suicide, there are no scenes highlighting her peers reaching out to talk with their parents, teachers, or coaches despite having a difficult time coping. Without showing how to ask for help, or that treatment and counseling are available, the show is only depicting what not to do without giving an example of what to do. 

In addition, there is an unfortunate scene in which Hannah visits a counselor at school and discloses that she has been raped and is struggling. The counselor not only doesn't offer hope, compassion, or resources, but blames her for the rape and lets her leave while she is clearly distressed. Schools need to be aware that teens are getting this message and make sure students know that their counselors are responsive.

Despite some of its faults, 13 Reasons Why does provide insight into the cultural psyche of the 21st century American teen, and will certainly resonate with viewers. It is a good time to remind students of the messages of hope that we have instilled using the suicide prevention program here at TJ, Signs of Suicide, and stress that suicide is never the solution. Remind students that there is always something they can do if they are concerned about something someone has said or done in person or online:  ACT
  • Acknowledge that they are seeing warning signs and that it is serious
  • Care: show the person your concern
  • Tell a trusted adult  
If you know your child plans to watch or is watching this show, we recommend that you view the program together and have conversations about the situations and topics it presents. We know that these conversations are difficult to have, so we have attached a resource that can support you in that effort. 

For more discussion points about 13 Reasons Why, SAVE, in partnership with the Jed Foundation, drafted
talking points to assist parents, teachers, and other gatekeepers in talking to youth about suicide as it relates to the situational drama that unfolds in the series. Additional discussion resources include:
Resources for discussions about 13 Reasons Why:
* NASP (National Association of School Psychologists) 13 Reasons Why Netflix Series: Considerations for Educators 
Additional Mental Health and Safety Resources:
* Safe2Tell: Anonymous hotline  (877)542-7233
* Colorado Crisis Services: Mental Health supports (844-493-8255 
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the school mental health team:
Natalie Koncz, School Psychologist and Samanda Davis, Social Worker.
Mental Health and Social Emotional Tip: Compiled by Samanda Davis, LCSW, MSW and Natalie Koncz, Ed.S., NCSP  
Latin at TJ?
There is a possibility of offering of Latin as part of our World Languages offerings and Gifted and Talented programming during the course of the school day next year.

Latin is the crama of vocabulary development, and traditionally found in highest quality gifted programs.
Priority reservations are being held for rising sophomore, juniors and seniors.

If you are interested, email Mr. Weaver with "Latin 2017" in the subject line before Friday May 5 at 4:30 pm.  There are 7 spots left at the time of this publication and no guaranteed seats will be considered after this deadline.
Spirit Store Items
Get Your Gear On!
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.
Check out the new American Apparel soft 100% cotton v-neck t-shirts in dark gray or white with gold TJ on the front and Spartan on the back. Also, get a new gray fleece blanket with gold TJ embroidered in the corner to keep you warm while cheering on the Spartans this winter. 

New XXL and XL sizes in men's Under Armour ankle zip sweatpants and new inventory in the Under Armour 1/4 zip long sleeve pullovers in graphite gray stripe with embroidered TJ. XXL hoodies and T-shirts now available.
Youth LGBTQ Meet-Up Opportunities
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 and during 8th period and after school (during Office Hours) on Wednesdays in the lobby. (Pictures of 2018 and 2020 shirts coming soon!)
Class of 2017 - Seniors
SENIOR T-Shirts - Get Yours Now
We still have some of the original Class of 2017 T-Shirts available. Y ou can purchase online and pickup at school OR  see Julie Thibodeau in the office  to buy your shirt.  Profits from these shirts support After-Prom Event for 2017.  So please support our Seniors and a safe, fun Prom 2017.  Purchase online here!
Stay CONNECTED - TeamApp - TJ Class of 2017, Twitter @2017tjhs, facebook TJHS 2017 Spartan Support 

Thanks for helping to make TJ and the Class of 2017 Great!
Class of 2018 - Juniors
Parents of Class of 2018 and 2020--Fiesta Like There's No Mañana! 

Cinco de Mayo Party
Saturday, May 6th at 7pm
Hosted by the Leprys and Freedbergs
3788 S. Poplar Street
$30 per person (collected at the door) 
Open to all TJ's grown-up friends and families

Enjoy a fun evening and fundraising for the Class of 2018 and Class of 2020 senior year activities (traditions galore including Mr. TJ, Prom and After-Prom)!

Cost includes appetizers, desserts, margaritas, beer and wine plus a fun evening with a great community. This fiesta is going to be serious fun, so please bring your friends! Adults only, please. 
Please RSVP ASAP (and no later than May 1)

Can't attend? You can still make a donation toward senior year activities!
Class of 2018:
Class of 2020:

Please forward on to those we've missed. The more the merrier! 

Thank you,  
The Freedbergs + Leprys
  • 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 if you're interested in helping out at any point this year. We need you!
Class of 2019 - Sophomores
  • We are excited to introduce the Class of '19 retro t-shirt for sale (picture above)!  T-shirts are $15 each and proceeds will help fund Class of '19 Senior Year activities, including After Prom.  Shirts can be purchased directly from Julie Thibodeau, online at the Spartan Store, during Office Hours in the lobby, or at various school events. Parents will be selling the t-shirts in the lobby on February 8th and 15th as well.  THANK YOU for supporting the Class of '19!
  • If you have an idea for fundraising, community building event or volunteer opportunity, please contact Jane Bulger:
Class of 2020 - Freshmen
Parents of Class of 2018 and 2020--Fiesta Like There's No Mañana! 

Cinco de Mayo Party
Saturday, May 6th at 7pm
Hosted by the Leprys and Freedbergs
3788 S. Poplar Street
$30 per person (collected at the door) 
Open to all TJ's grown-up friends and families

Enjoy a fun evening and fundraising for the Class of 2018 and Class of 2020 senior year activities (traditions galore including Mr. TJ, Prom and After-Prom)!

Cost includes appetizers, desserts, margaritas, beer and wine plus a fun evening with a great community. This fiesta is going to be serious fun, so please bring your friends! Adults only, please. 
Please RSVP ASAP (and no later than May 1)

Can't attend? You can still make a donation toward senior year activities!
Class of 2018:
Class of 2020:

Please forward on to those we've missed. The more the merrier! 

Thank you,  
The Freedbergs + Leprys
  • Thank-you to Megan Perkins and Lisa LoJacono who have agreed to be 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:  or Lisa at: .
News from the Future Center
Dear Seniors and Families,
We are reaching the end of the school year.  Please read the entire email for steps students need to take before leaving TJ.  This email also has information about lots of opportunities and scholarships.
College Acceptances
Congratulations to the 145 students who have shared that they've been accepted to college!  Not all seniors have shared where they've been admitted.  If you have not shared, you will not be part of the senior college acceptances presentation.  I will use the college acceptances and senior pictures for recognition in the main hallway and possibly during the graduation ceremony. 
Scholarship Acceptances
Congratulations to the 48 students who have received scholarships!  At this point, 80 students have applied to at least one scholarship.  If you have received a scholarship, please share a copy of your acceptance letter.  I would like to recognize you in the graduation program booklet.  If I don't hear from you, I will be unable to recognize you.  At this point, TJ seniors have raised $4,159,885 in scholarship money.  We are getting closer to our goal of $7 million! 
Steps to Enrollment
If you have been accepted to college, here are a list of steps to take to enroll in college:

1.      Open your student account on your college's website.  ASAP!
2.      Complete the financial aid process.  Information will be in your student account.  Do not put              down an enrollment deposit unless you know exactly what you'll have to pay.  I am happy to            breakdown financial aid award letters with you.
3.      Enrollment deposit: Assuming you can afford to attend the university, confirm your spot                    through paying an enrollment deposit.  If cost is an issue, contact the university to see about            deferring or waiving it.
4.      Housing: If you are going to live on campus, you need to put down a housing deposit.  If cost            is an issue, contact the university to see about deferring or waiving it.
5.      Testing: Some colleges will ask you to take the ACCUPLACER or their own academic                      placement testing before you are allowed to register.  Make sure you know what your                        requirements are.
6.      Orientation:  Colleges and universities expect students to attend orientation. 
7.      Health insurance:  If you have health insurance with your family, make sure you give proof to            the college.  If health insurance is required, you might automatically be enrolled for the                      university's insurance, which could be an extra $3000-$4000.  If you have Medicaid, check in          with the clinic to make sure that you have what you need for college.
8.      Vaccinations: Get a copy of your vaccinations before you leave TJ. 
9.      Meet with an academic advisor/register for classes
10.    Send transcripts from any college where you were concurrently enrolled to the                                  college/university that you will be attending.  Also send Advanced Placement test scores with          a three or higher.  I will send directions in my next email in May.
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 |