February 13, 2015
Principal's Corner

We continue to be proud of our Spartans and the hard work they're doing to keep TJ moving from Good to Great. In order to continue such positive trends school and district wide, participating in mandatory state testing is critical to our success.

Some of these tests are coming up during the week of March 9-13. We have created a block schedule that will accommodate both testing and regular classes during that week. Students will attend all classes and will test during their English and Math classes. See "It's Testing Time" below for the specific schedule.

Please do your best to avoid scheduling doctors appointments, college visits, etc. during this important time for the TJ community.

Thanks for your continued support!

Mrs. Suzanne Morris-Sherer

Choice of Studies for 2015-16 coming in March. Stay tuned!
Wanna Get Away?
Head to Costa Rica!
There is only 1 more week left to register and pay for our 2015 Community Service trip to Costa Rica.  If you want to plant trees on the west coast of Costa Rica, kayak below a volcano, swim in natural hot springs, walk to a huge natural waterfall...see Mrs Barber in room 10 ASAP! Click here to learn more.

Still want to travel with Mrs Barber to a Spanish-speaking country?  The 2016 trip is in the works!  We are planning a trip along the Mayan Trail in southeastern Mexico.  We will visit Mayan pyramids and ball fields.  We will stay 2 nights in a historic colonial city.  We will go to the beach.  We will swim in a crystal-clear fresh-water cenote (a sacred well formed at the end of the ice age).  We will learn traditional local dances.  WE WILL HAVE SO MUCH FUN!  Payment plans and financial assistance applications are available to make this trip more affordable.  Contact Mrs. Barber for more information. 
Gifted and Talented News
New This Year!
Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented has added a third age group to the CAGT Distinguished Student Awards Program for the school year 2014-2015.  This new division is age 13-18 which is called the Master Division.  The age refers to the age of the student on October 1, 2014.  This awards program is designed to recognize distinguished achievement in academics, leadership, or the arts. The winners will receive a CAGT Certificate of Excellence and a $500 master grant. To read more about this program or to download an application and a flyer to send to parents and teachers who know distinguished students visit coloradogifted.org and click on "What's New."
CAGT will accept self-nominations and nominations from parents, teachers, students, and community and civic groups. Postmark deadline is May 31, 2015.

Quick Links
Saturday School Update
Saturday school will be held on February 14th from 8am to noon in the TJ library. All students need to check the lists out in the hall to see if they are on the list. Seniors who have attendance rates under 92%, need to come in to Saturday school or AP study sessions so that they can make up time. Seniors will get 5 periods back for each full Saturday school or AP study session that they attend.

It's Testing Time!
Testing Dates!
We have important upcoming testing in March. Click here for the schedule: Testing Dates

Click here for PARCC Practice Tests
Attention Seniors!
Apply for the
Goodwill Summer Bridge Mentoring Program!  You will be connected with a mentor who can help support you through your first year of college.  Additionally, you will be connected to other students that will be attending your college.  There will be fun events such as Red Rocks Film on the Rocks, Rockies games, rock climbing, etc.   If you are interested, please see the links below.  There is no GPA or ACT requirement, but you need to apply before 3/20/15.
Click here for more info!
For a mentoring program application, click here.
FAFSA Workshop:

Applying for financial aid can be confusing.  Ms. Maez and the Denver Scholarship Foundation are here to help!  On February 24th, we will host a workshop for students and families needing help filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  The workshop will run from 2-5pm at Thomas Jefferson.  Because we want to eliminate long wait times, students are asked to arrive according to their last name:


If your last name starts with

A-G - 2-3pm

H- Q- 3-4 pm

R- Z- 4-5pm.


Of course, if you can't come during that time or you need your FAFSA completed earlier to meet your colleges' financial aid deadlines, please see Ms. Maez to schedule a different time.  Please see the attached checklist for what to prepare ahead of time.


Click here to see what you need to bring to complete the FAFSA. 

Click here to sign up.

Infinite Campus Access
Want to check your student's grades and attendance? You need access to Infinite Campus! In order to create a Parent Portal account, follow these instructions:


Go to https://myportal.dpsk12.org for information and sign up instructions for the Parent Portal.


There are several tabs across the top starting with "About The Portal" where the parent can find out the uses for the portal.


The fifth tab, "Getting Started," has an online application that can be submitted to the Portal Team who will create the account.


Questions about creating the Parent Portal account can be emailed to dps_portalteam@dpsk12.org or called in to 720-423-3164.


If you already have a Parent Portal account but have forgotten your password, please call Marshall Hanks at Thomas Jefferson High School, 720-423-7064, for a password reset.


Opportunity Rolled into a Test Booklet
As AP test dates approach, it's important for Spartans to start studying up.
As Spring approaches, many teenagers picture blooming flowers and warmer weather, and feel one season closer to summer vacation. However, as any Advanced Placement (AP) student knows, the springtime can also be stressful. AP tests usually begin in May, and the tests determine whether or not a student will receive a college credit for a particular class. At Thomas Jefferson High School, administrators and faculty are doing all that they can to ensure that TJ students are ready for those tests. Read more

News from the Future Center
Seniors and families! 
Dear Seniors and Families,
I hope last week has went well for each of you and this week is even better.  I enjoyed meeting parents at our parent/teacher conferences last week.  Based upon many conversations that I have had with seniors recently, I want to share the following priorities:
1.       Remember to breathe!  Often when we're stressed, our flight or fight instincts kick in and we forget to breathe.  Breathing is essential to reducing stress.  I'd also like to remind seniors that they can only do one thing at a time and should not obsess about everything they need to do at once.  Be kind to yourself with getting rest, eating breakfast, going to class, and pacing yourself.  This time of year can be challenging, but it won't last forever.  The high school finish line is just a few months away.  Well, okay, it's four months, exactly from last Friday, but think about all the months you've been in school since kindergarten.  You're almost done with K-12 education!
2.       Complete 2014 taxes-  If you are interested in receiving financial support from a college to help pay expenses, the first step is to complete 2014 taxes.  If your family makes less than $52,000 a year, several locations will complete taxes for free.  Check out the Denver Asset Building Coalition or the Piton Foundation for locations.  Colleges generally will not award financial aid without the most current tax information. 
3.       Find colleges' financial aid deadlines-  To be considered for priority financial aid, students should apply for financial aid before their colleges' priority financial aid deadlines.  To find these deadlines, Google the name of the university along with "financial aid deadline."  I have found this to be a much faster way to locate deadline information than trying to look for it on college websites.
4.       Complete financial aid applications-  All colleges require students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).  Some might also require the CSS Profile.  I am hosting a FAFSA workshop on 2/24/15, from 2-5pm (see attached flyer).  If you need to complete the FAFSA earlier, please contact me.  I am happy to set a time to help you and/or give you resources if you'd like to work on it independently.  Additionally, Denver Public Schools and the University of Denver are partnering to hold a workshop to help families complete the CSS Profile.  Details are on the attached flyer.  Let me know if you plan to attend either workshop.
5.       Apply for scholarships. Research and apply for scholarships.  Click this link to access scholarship resources. By reading my emails, you will access helpful links to help you connect to scholarship opportunities (check out information below on current scholarship opportunities).

Important College Events:

All events in the Future Center, unless otherwise noted.

2/18/15-  10:00-11:00am- Colorado Mesa College Visit

2/18/15- 12:00pm-12:45pm- University of Northern Colorado, admitted students only; 12:45-1pm- Juniors only

2/24/15- 2:00pm-5:00pm, FAFSA Workshop, click here to sign up.

3/2/15- 10:00am-10:45am- Colorado State University, admitted students only; 10:45-11:30- Juniors only

3/6/15- HBCU College Fair at Thomas Jefferson (more details to come). 

3/7/15- 8:00am-3:00pm, HBCU College Fair, East High School,  registration by 2/27= $5 or pay $7 at the door.  Click here to register. Please see the attached flyer for more details.



Important Scholarship Information

FormSwift Scholarship for College Students
Check out FormSwift's new $1,000 College Scholarship Contest, which is now available for high school seniors and college students across the country. You can give it a look by clicking here.
Denver Scholarship Application Lunch:
If you have a 2.75 cumulative GPA, please bring your lunch to the Future Center this Wednesday to hear about how to apply for the Denver Scholarship Foundation scholarship.  Ms. Maez will cover what needs to be completed in order to apply!  For more details about the scholarship, read below:

Denver Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships accessible to DPS students interested in attending non-profit, Colorado colleges/universities.  Students must meet the following conditions to qualify:
  1. Must be a graduate of DPS and have attended DPS high school all four years
  2. Must have applied to three other scholarships
  3. Demonstrate financial need (DACA students will need to show proof of Free and Reduced Lunch status).
  4. Students who are ineligible for Federal Student Aid must be lawfully present in the United States or apply to be lawfully present in the United States.
This year, two tiers of the DSF scholarship exist:
Bachelor's/Associate's Degree Scholarship:
  1. Meet the above eligibility conditions.
  2. Have a 2.75 GPA at graduation
  3. If you receive this scholarship, you will have four years to complete a bachelor's degree or two years to complete an associate's degree.
Certificate/Trade Scholarship:
  1. Must meet the above eligibility conditions.
  2. Have between a 2.0-2.74 GPA at graduation.
  3. If you receive the scholarship, you will have one year to complete the certificate/trade program.
For students who would like to attend a bachelor's or associate's degree program and have below a 2.75 GPA, if you attend college for one year and finish with a 2.0 GPA or higher, you can become eligible for the DSF scholarship your second year of college.

See Ms. Maez in the Future Center for questions.     

Helpful Financial Aid Links:
 Colorado institutional scholarships- Includes helpful instructions on how to apply to scholarships at ALL Colorado colleges and universities.
Click here for a link to Denver Scholarship Foundation's scholarship directory. 
Hitting the Slopes with Style
Thomas Jefferson Ski and Snowboard Club looks to offer an unforgettable experience for all at TJ.

The Thomas Jefferson Ski Club offers Spartans the grand opportunity to experience the world class skiing offered in Colorado's backyard. The club is eager to gain new members, and looks forward to time well spent together on the slopes. Any student is welcome to join fellow Spartans during multiple action-packed trips this year. Read more

Student Shout-Out!

A big shout-out to two TJ students!  Herick Acosta and James Fisher.  As you know Herick created a website (click here to see it) for our district-wide 12th Grade Career Expo, coming up on Friday, March 6, 2015.  Danny Showers recommended Herick and I'm very thrilled he did.  I could have used a JFK student but the student didn't know the coding the way Herick knew it.  It's been a great pleasure working and knowing Herick. He did an exceptional job!  Herick has gone above and beyond the call of duty; by making himself available to update the website when needed.  He is prompt and reliable. He never complains and is respectful and accommodating and I'm quite impressed by his integrity.


Click here to see the business invitation flyer with the logo James Fisher designed. The flyer has reached over 150 companies and numerous counselors, staff and admin.  What is most admirable is both students traveled to JFK weekly by bus.  Herick and I met in September then later James joined us in November.  I didn't have the opportunity to work with James as much, but he also displayed a great deal of talent and noble character. There were two other students from JFK that met with your students and they all are worked nicely together!  Just thought you would like to know you're doing something good over there. 


Warm regards,


Anne Aragon

CTE Resource Specialist | Career Connection Experience Coordinator


Taking the Spartan Pride to India
Two super Spartans travel to India on a mission to help raise awareness about gendercide.
TJ is known for its involvement in the broader community, and now that involvement extends to the international community as well. Recently two seniors, Kellsie Forfar-Jones and Alisse Fullerton, travelled to India for seven days to raise awareness of gendercide, the systematic killing of women and children simply because they are female, and help orphaned girls. Read more