September 8, 2016
Administrator's Corner

Hello Spartans!

We recently celebrated the academic accomplishments of our students during our fall Honor Roll Assembly. Nearly 30% of our students qualified for the Honor Roll and a key factor contributing to their success is strong attendance. We are currently offering an incentive for all of our students with good attendance through a buy one get one free offer from Chipotle. Students with perfect attendance (no unexcused tardies or absences) since the start of school can stop by my office to receive their coupon. Additional opportunities will happen throughout the fall semester so those who don't qualify this month have the incentive to put together two weeks of perfect attendance to receive their coupon next month. It's also important to hold students accountable for poor attendance which we do through our after school and lunch detention program. Those who fail to serve detention will be required to attend Saturday school, held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month. The first Saturday school session of the year will be on September 10th from 8 to 11. Students who are required to attend will be notified along with their parents or guardians. We appreciate your support in helping ensure all of our students are successful by making sure attendance remains a priority  and we hope to see more kids on the honor roll next semester! 
Thanks TJ!

Hola Spartans!

Recientemente celebramos los logros académicos de nuestros estudiantes de la primavera durante nuestra asamblea de Lista de Honor.  Casi el 30% de nuestros estudiantes calificaron para la Lista de Honor y un factor clave de su éxito fue teniendo una asistencia fuerte. Actualmente estamos ofreciendo un incentivo para todos nuestros estudiantes con buena asistencia a través de una compra y recibiendo otra compra gratis de Chipotle. Los estudiantes con asistencia perfecta (sin tardanzas o ausencias) desde el principio de la escuela pueden pasar por mi oficina para recibir su cupón. Oportunidades adicionales sucederán a lo largo del semestre de otoño para que aquellos que no cumplan los requisitos de este mes tienen el incentivo para juntar dos semanas de asistencia perfecta para recibir su cupón el próximo mes. Es también importante que los estudiantes sean responsables por su mala asistencia a través de nuestro programa de detención después de escuela y durante el almuerzo. Los que no pueden servir la detención estarán obligados a ir a la escuela el Sábado, el 2do y 4to sábado de cada mes. La primera sesión de clases de los sábados del año será el 10 de septiembre de 8 a 11 de la mañana. Los estudiantes que están obligados a asistir serán notificado junto con sus padres o tutores. Agradecemos su apoyo para ayudar asegurar que todos nuestros estudiantes tengan éxito al asegurarse que la asistencia siga siendo una prioridad y esperamos ver más niños en la Lista de Honor el próximo semestre! 
Gracias TJ!

Andrew Skari
Assistant Principal
Quick Links
Saturday School
The first Saturday School session will be this Saturday, 9/10 from 8-11:00 a.m. Students expected to attend will be notified in advance.
DPS Lead Testing
Denver Public Schools and Denver Water are partnering in a proactive effort to sample drinking water in all DPS buildings to ensure it meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines for schools. In recent months, there have been a number of news stories about high lead levels in school drinking water. Lead isn't present in the water Denver Water sends to our schools, but lead can get into water as it moves through lead-containing plumbing and fixtures.  While we do not have the evidence at this time that our schools have elevated levels of lead in their water supply, the safety of our students and staff is our top priority.  Click here to read more. 
Kudos Korner
  • Kudos to the Spartan community for strong attendance to kick off the year! 
Keep up the good work, Spartans!
Ladies Of ValuE (LOVE)
Hello Parents, 

If you have not already heard, we would like to introduce you to a new organization called Ladies Of Value (LOVE) that will be meeting weekly at Thomas Jefferson High. The mission is to illuminate the value that is hidden within our young ladies through authentic life skills, one on one mentoring and programs designed to prepare young women for the real world. The objective is to have well rounded women in education, finances, appearances and life experiences, in addition to having a genuine love for self. Self-value, the power of words, perception, and dating are just some of the topics we will be covering. 

Our meetings are held in room 11 during the office hour on Wednesdays. Students that have a grade below a C in any class will be asked to see their teacher during the office hour instead of our meeting. Our purpose is to help your young ladies grow into women that will become contributors not only to the TJ community but to society as a whole. Your support and help is welcomed and needed. Please encourage your daughters to attend our meetings regularly. If you happen to be free on any of the listed dates, please feel free to drop in on a meeting. Also, word of mouth goes really far. If you know of any other DPS schools grades 6-12 that you feel may benefit from our program please be sure to mention LOVE as well as providing school names and if possible, contact information. 

If you have any questions, please contact us. Thank you in advance for all of your support. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. 

Anette Bowser 720-470-6699 
Natasha Vasquez 720-557-2811 
Like us on Facebook.
First PTO Meeting of the Year - Save the Date!
Dear TJ Families, 
Want this to be among the greatest years in your student's life? We do, too!
Whether you're new to TJ or have been around awhile, PTO invites you to learn how to make a difference in the high school experience for every Spartan student by joining us for our first PTO meeting of the year on: 
Tuesday, September 13th
6:00 pm in Room 111

High school is a pivotal time on many levels. And we believe it should be full of challenge, opportunity and fun! Whether you have ideas, resources or talents, we promise there is something for everyone who wishes to contribute some extra hours or minutes. It all adds up to a better TJ experience. 
"I always wondered why somebody doesn't do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody."     ~Lily Tomlin
Hope to see you there!
Get Geared Up
TJ Spartan Spirit Store
Get all your TJ Spirit gear at the Spirit Store!  New this year: PopSockets, stadium chairs, blankets, hats, zip hoodies, Ladies Capri pants, Under Armour 1/4 zip and UA sweatpants.
Let's fill the stands at the Homecoming game on 9/23 with GOLD! Gold T-shirts and pull-over hoodies in all sizes, $15.00 and $30.00.

Visit the online store, order online and pickup up at school.
visit the TJ HS Class of 2017 online store:
visit the TJHS Spartan Store online:
Town Hall & Visioning Meeting and Workshop
Get involved!
Join Councilwoman Kendra Black this fall to learn how Denver is changing and share your ideas at her office's interactive Town Hall and Visioning meeting! We will discuss restaurants, retail, walkability, safety, public art, streetscaping, and how to maintain our strong, stable neighborhoods and parks. Using your vision, the councilwoman will develop a work plan to implement your ideas in the follow­-up workshop.
Town Hall & Visioning: Sept. 20, 6-7:30 pm 
OR  Sept. 24, 12:30-2 pm at Thomas Jefferson High School (3950 S Holly St)

Follow-­up Workshop: Oct. 25 6-7:30 pm 
OR  Oct. 29, 12:30-2 pm at TJ
Please  take 2 minutes  to fill out the visioning survey by clicking here.   Our work will help inform the citywide Denveright  effort.
Parent Engagement Panel
Parent/Student Portal - Please Sign Up!
If you haven't signed up for the Parent/Student Portal, please do so ASAP!
2. Click the "getting started" tab on the top
3. Fill out the form on the left with your name, e-mail address, phone number, student name, school ID number (lunch number) and student's 8 digit date of birth. Click "submit."
4. Create your username and password. Click "submit."
5. You will receive an e-mail immediately from the DPS Portal Team with a link to activate your account.
TJ's Tardy/Truancy Policy
Thank you for your support in keeping our attendance at its best!
Stay Connected with TeamApp
Class of 2017 and Spartan Football have setup teams on the free app called "TeamApp." Stay connected with News, Events, Photos, Chats, Newsletters, Live Football game scores and more through this very easy to use phone app.  Download TeamApp to your phone or connect on a computer, become a member and login. Search for  TJ Class of 2017  and/or  TJHS Football  and join these teams to keep updated throughout the year, share photos and stay connected.
Clothes to Kids Donations
Denver Classroom Teachers Association is pairing with Clothes to Kids, an organization that gives free clothes to students in Denver on Free and Reduced Lunch. TJ is stepping up to help DCTA in this effort! Clothes to kids has certain "high needs" items that they never get enough of in donations. Unused socks and underwear are some of these high needs items. Through September TJ will be supporting the DCTA clothing drive by collecting unused socks and underwear to donate. Collection boxes will be placed in classrooms through September.Please bring some unused socks and underwear with you to donate to Denver students! Clothes to kids donates clothes to school children, so bring clothes for kids between the ages of 5 and 18. Stay tuned as the TJ Leadership students roll out their plan gather donations. For more information visit the websites below or contact Elizabeth McMahon in the math department.
Grief and Loss Support Group for Students
Thomas Jefferson High School  is hoping to  offer a grief and loss support group for students who are grieving the death of a loved one. The group will be facilitated by a counselor from Judi's House. Judi's House is an organization that specializes in the healing process for children and families. If your student is interested in participating in this group, please call the school social work office at:  Samanda Davis  (720)-423-7072
For more information about Judi's House, please visit: 
Mental Health and Social/Emotional Tips
Greetings, TJ Community!

This year, we are excited to announce that the mental health staff at Thomas Jefferson High School will be issuing Mental Health and Social Emotional Tips through the TJ Journal Newsletter!

The intention of these tips is to help our entire community support academic, social and emotional growth and achievement. We are their village, and together we can make significant and positive impacts on their overall well-being.

If you have a topic you would like to suggest for us to cover or would like to know more about a specific topic, please feel free to contact us.  We look forward to a great year.

~ Natalie Koncz, Ed.S., NCSP - School Psychologist and Samanda Davis, LCSW, MSW- Social Worker

Mental Health & Social Emotional Tip #3
~ Attendance ~
Greater learning, a brighter future, less delinquency, and more funds for schools -- there are countless benefits to increased student attendance.

Parent/guardian involvement, or whole family involvement. Over 30 years of research documents that when parents are involved in their child's education that child is more likely to succeed in school. 

A continuum of supports, including meaningful incentives for good attendance and consequences for poor attendance. 

Collaboration among community actors such as law enforcement, mental health workers, mentors, and social service providers, in addition to educators.
Some ideas to help with your student's attendance:
  1. Develop regular communication with teachers. A single contact is not enough to establish meaningful communication between your child's teacher and yourself. Instead, make a habit of communicating when necessary or call during the teacher's conference hour and ask how your child is doing.
  2. Attending school conferences.  By attending all conferences, you increase the effectiveness of the meetings and always have a voice in the discussion. In addition, teachers and administrators will view your involvement as a sure sign that you are involved in the educational process with your child and that you are taking an active role in his academic progress.
  3. Encourage your child verbally and with rewards or incentives when he/she does well. Positive rewards often help kids remain excited about reaching higher goals. If certain rewards motivate your child, continue to use them when teachers send home improved grades.
  4. Set reasonable goals for improvement and announce the expectations to your child. Don't set the goals too high for your child to achieve. Instead, set realistic ones that will be good benchmarks to track her progress over time
  5. Set a schedule/time frame for completion of daily homework. One of the problems in completing homework in a timely manner is that kids tend to waste time when they get home. Consider a break from school for 30 minutes or so and then instruct your child to get back to studies before dinnertime. One other way you can control the amount of time involved is to put a timer on each separate homework task until she has completed each one. Consider rewarding with short 5-10 minutes breaks after the completion of each task.
  6. Teach kids to set their own priorities. Children should learn that it is important to put certain tasks before others an early age. By practicing this with homework and chores, you reinforce an important life skill will follow him throughout life.
Mental Health and Social Emotional Tip#2: Compiled by Samanda Davis, LCSW, MSW and Natalie Koncz, Ed.S., NCSP
References: Center for Disease Control and Prevention ( ); National Association of School Psychologists (
Senior Fundraisers
The Senior class is holding several fundraisers this year to pay for an After-Prom event and to help fund the Senior Prom.  So please be on the lookout for these fun events and exclusive offers throughout the year and support Class of 2017.
Senior Photos - Professional photographer, Gina Theilmann, has offered to donate $50 to the Class of 2017 fund for each Senior portrait session booked with her. Pictures are due for Seniors by Oct 9th. A $350 Session Includes: Time and travel to photo shoot
Creating your images and transferring to a flash drive, Yearbook image for senior book 
Authorization and release to print any/all images.

No minimum order of photos. See examples of her work here and contact Gina to schedule. See examples of her work here. Gina can be reached at 952-913-0906.
Class of 2017 T-Shirts - Don't miss out! Class shirts and stickers still available online at or contact Laura Whalen, 303-681-7226 or 
Class News You Can Use
All Classes 
Class of 2017 - Seniors
Parents of Seniors / Class of 2017 
Mix and Mingle: September 17, 2016
Spartan Sipporters  - 21 and up - come help us raise funds for Thomas Jefferson's senior class by raising a glass of delicious cocktail creations from local Colorado distilleries. There will be tasty hors d'oeuvres and treats to pair with the colorful Colorado concoctions. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased at or at the door. Please visit the invitation link for additional details.
Go Spartans!
Senior Photos for Yearbook  - Due by Oct 9th
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
  • Class of 2018 parents--this is the year we get big in our fundraising efforts so our kiddos have a big senior year. A planning meeting is being scheduled for the next week or two, so please email if you're interested in helping out at any point this year. We need you!
Class of 2019 - Sophomores
Class of 2020 - Freshmen
  • The class of 2020 is looking for parent liaisons to work with TJ on fundraising, community building, etc and to come to first PTO meeting on September 13 to find out more.
New TJ Pop Sockets are here!
Show your Spartan Pride with the new TJ PopSockets for your phone or tablet or any mobile device.

Buy individually or save by buying 2 for $16.00. Special Class of 2017 edition available too.
Add a single or pair to the back of almost any mobile device to transform its capabilities. PopSockets "pop" whenever you need a grip, a stand, an earbud-management system, or just something to play with.
Available at the Spartan Spirit Store online! 
TJ Food Pantry
Thomas Jefferson High School is proud and excited to inform you that we have a food pantry. The food pantry's purpose is to help students and their families have enough food over the weekends. If you receive reduced or free lunch, you and your family are eligible to receive food from the food pantry.  If you would like to enroll or have any further questions, please contact Samanda Davis at 720-423-7072 or .  You can also visit her in the special support office.   This program is confidential and the names of students and families will remain private.
Resources for Families
Clothing Resource: 
Clothes To Kids, a non-profit dedicated to getting school clothes to needy kids from pre-school through 12 th  grade - at no cost to the families.  They have an upbeat store in the south University Hills shopping area at Colorado Blvd and Amherst - next to Chez Artiste and under Tuesday Morning.  Students qualify if they qualify for FRL, if they have a referral letter from a school, social service agency, counseling center or church, and if they have a crisis such as homelessness or displacement
School Supplies:
Social Worker, Samanda Davis has school supplies in her office if a student is in need.  No appointment necessary however her days in the building are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday. 
Samanda Davis, LCSW MSW
Social Worker
Thomas Jefferson High School
News from the Future Center
Seniors and families!  The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will now open on October 1 st , a change from the January 1 st  date of prior years.  Students will now apply for financial aid concurrently with college applications.  To help support families through these changes, Denver Scholarship Foundation will be hosting two helpful events.  The first, a financial aid information night, will be held on September 15 th , from 6-8pm in room 111 at TJ.  This event will discuss how to apply for financial aid and how to find scholarships.  The second event will take place on October 11 th , from 3-7pm.  At this event, students and families will receive guided support in completing the FAFSA.  If you would like to sign up or would like more information, please contact Rena Maez at  or at 720-423-7134. 

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 |