Homecoming Season is Upon Us! TJHSST September Update

Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST  Families,

It's been a wonderful first three weeks of school! We have already held several successful community-building events such as the Back-to-School Bash and two Back-to-School Nights. We are thankful for all the positive feedback we have received. Next up is Homecoming Week which will take place from Sept. 19-23. Our Class Councils have been hard at work planning several activities for the week. 

September is the month where schools get back into the swing of things so that they can settle into their routines. That includes resuming our monthly newsletter. This month we have several important updates from our Administrative Team, as well as the Department of Student Services. There are exciting volunteer opportunities, as well. And enjoy photos from some of the adventures TJ has had!

This is also the time of year that families are settling into back to school routines. Continue to assist your child with time management, create spaces conducive to learning, and make eight hours of sleep a goal each night. Think about productive academic conversations with open-ended questions. Rather than asking your child, "What did you get on your test?" or "How are you doing in class?" ask, "What excited you today? What did you learn that you didn't know before?" If you get the sense that your child is falling behind or struggling academically or emotionally, please reach out to the teacher, counselor, or administrator early and often. It's important to us that your children have proactive plans in place that support their success and well-being.

Finally, I cannot overstate the joy I've personally experienced returning to many of our traditional in-person events. The positivity and sense of community is boundless for our TJ family! I look forward to a fantastic year together.


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus

Proud Principal, TJHSST 

Back to School Bash Brings TJ Together

On September 1, TJ held its annual Back-to-School Bash after school. With food, music, games, and inflatables, students, staff, and their families were able to get together and enjoy each other's company while celebrating a successful start to the school year!

Here are some photos from the event.

Back to School Bash photo collage

Updates from Department of Student Services

The following contains important information and deadlines from our Department of Student Services. If you have any questions, please contact your child's counselor. Contact information is below.

Important Deadlines

Greetings and welcome back to school!  Also a warm welcome to our new students, both the froshmores and the class of 2026!

The Student Services team is looking forward to providing information to the TJ community this school year!  Look for information and updates from the Student Services Department in each News You Choose newsletter. In the meantime, please make note of the following upcoming deadlines:

  • Wednesday, Sept. 21 – Pass or fail for a full year course deadline.
    • The deadline to request a pass or fail option for a full year course is Sept. 21. The pass or fail deadline for a semester class has already expired.
    • Use this form to request pass/fail status for a class.
  • Thursday, Oct. 6 – World Language Credit Exam registration ends.
    • Information on World Language Credit Exam
    • Registration has begun.  Last day for registration is Oct. 6 at 4:00 p.m.   LATE REGISTRATION WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
      • The Exam will be administered on November 3, 9, and 10, 2022 at Centreville H.S., Edison H.S. and West Springfield H.S.
      • Contact your child’s counselor for more information and to register for the exam. 

Request to Expunge High School Courses Taken in Middle School

  • Applies to freshman only.
  • Students who take credit-bearing high school courses in middle school can request that the grade be omitted from the high school transcript.
  • Parents must make this request no later than the end of the first nine weeks of the school year following completion of the course. Note: The end of the first quarter is Oct. 28.
  • Use this form to make request.

From the College and Career Center:

As a member of the National Consortium of Secondary STEM Schools (NCSSS) ,TJHSST  is pleased to invite our students and their parents to the NCSSS Virtual College Fair. 

Thursday, October 13 | 5pm to 7pm

Registration is required. Please use this link to register.


Student Services Department Contact Information:

If you need to contact a member of our Student Services staff please visit this page and click on the name of the person you need to contact. You can fill out a form that will send a message straight to their email.

TJ Space Delivers Satellite to NASA and Speaks at Conference over Summer

We are excited to give a big update on TheCubeSat team! We have rebranded it as TJ Space to better represent its broad project goals!

The team had a busy summer delivering TJ’s second satellite, TJ REVERB, to Nanoracks near Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Senior Alan Hsu and Junior Khoi Dinh integrated the satellite into a Nanoracks Dispenser while team sponsor Kristen Kucko looked on. The integrated satellite is waiting for its ride on the SpaceX-26 mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on November 15, 2022 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Deployment from the ISS is scheduled for November 21, 2022. The team is now working on the ground station in order to receive the data from the satellite. Look for more information about the Launch Party later this fall!

Later in the summer, TJ Space had the honor of presenting their paper “Identifying and Overcoming Challenges in High School CubeSat Programs” at the Small Satellite Conference in Logan, Utah, the premiere industry conference for Small Satellites. TJ Space was the only high school team to present their paper and have a booth. The team received an overwhelmingly positive response from Small Satellite industry. Students met and made connections with NASA and government officials, corporate representatives, and universities. When the students were not networking, they attended sessions and learned about commercial space opportunities.  

TJ Space looks forward to working on their next systems engineering project, the TJ Bus, a 3U CubeSat designed to deliver payloads.

Collage of TJ Space Trips

FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities Parent Signature Sheet Due Sept. 30

This is a reminder to Parents/Guardians, that they will need to sign the Student Rights & Responsibility acknowledgement sheet in ParentVue by Sept. 30. The following message with more information is from FCPS.

FCPS’ updated Student Rights & Responsibility booklet is now available online and in the ParentVue section of the Student Information System (SIS). The SR&R booklet explains expectations for student behavior, and adult responses to enhance school safety and to create a fair, equitable, and supportive school environment. 

Each year, we ask parents to review, sign, and return the SR&R to their child’s school. In ParentVue, you may now download and digitally sign the SR&R. Every parent/guardian with a ParentVUE account will see the SR&R upon login to ParentVUE until the SR&R acknowledgement has been completed.

Once you log on, you will see the following message:

Image you will see on computer screen in ParentVue for SR&R acknowledgement

Your name in the digital signature box must match the parent/guardian’s first and last name in SIS exactly before the signature will be accepted.

Please take a moment to log into ParentVue in your child’s SIS account to access the SR&R. Signatures are due by September 30, 2022.

If you have any questions regarding SR&R, please contact Assistant Principal Shawn Frank at sjfrank@fcps.edu

Reminder - Parents/Guardians Need to Provide Consent for Students to Use FCPS-Approved Online Tools

For teachers to have the resources they need to provide engaging instruction, we must have parental consent for your child to use FCPS-approved online tools listed as part of our instructional program. If you have not already done so, this consent must be provided ASAP. Please visit this link to review the list of resources and visit this link to provide your consent.

Learn more about Schoology

We are continuing to use Schoology this year as our learning management system here at TJ to support your child’s learning.  All of your student’s teachers will be using this to house important course information.  You can log-in to this platform using your same credentials as your SIS Parent VUE account. 

If you need assistance with creating a SIS Parent Vue account, please use this link.

For more information about Schoology, please use this link.

More information regarding using Schoology for parents and guardians new to the platform can be found here.

In early September, our school will be hosting three optional half-hour virtual sessions to learn more about how to access and navigate Schoology.  Each session will cover the same information.  The dates, times, and Zoom registration links are below.  We will also make a recording available if you are unable to attend.  If you have any questions you would like to make sure we cover, please share them in advance of our meetings using this form.  We look forward to continuing to partner together in support of your student’s learning.

Monday, September 12, 12noon – Zoom Link

Monday, September 12, 5pm – Zoom Link

Wednesday, September 14, 10am – Zoom Link

TJ's College and Career Center is an Important Resource for Students

The College and Career Center (CCC) in Student Services is a resource center for students in support of counseling goals and programs from ninth grade through their graduation. These goals and programs align with our Portrait of a Graduate profile that prioritizes the development of skills that will empower students to be productive citizens of a global community and successful in their post-secondary school future.

The CCC newsletter will be posted in Schoology in the All Parents/Guardians course regularly to update students and families about College and Career Center programs as well as to provide information on local college and career events and student opportunities. Here is September's newsletter.

While this newsletter is not all-inclusive, students and families do have access to all information regarding Scholarships and Enrichment Opportunities maintained by FCPS through Naviance Student. Grade specific information will be posted for students regularly in their Schoology Class Groups as well.

Questions? Contact Samantha Wolf, College and Career Specialist, sswolf@fcps.edu


Challenge Success Team Looking for Parents/Guardians to Get Involved

Challenge Success Logo

The TJ Challenge Success team is looking forward to the 2022-23 school year and bringing the TJ community more parent events focusing on the idea that improving student well-being increases engagement with learning and leads to success. 

We hope you’ll get involved in Challenge Success at TJ this year. If you would like to find out more or be part of our parent/guardian committee, please contact TJ Challenge Success parent reps Renee Rodriguez and Linda Winston at tjcsparentreps@gmail.com.

If you would like to find out more about Challenge Success and sign up for their newsletter, please check out their website at https://challengesuccess.org.

Unique Educational Experience - Bending Glass in AP Chemistry

AP Chemistry students in Ms. Robin Taylor's class got the unique opportunity to learn more about the properties of glass as they experimented with heating it over a flame in order to be able to bend it. The purpose of this project was for students to practice safe procedures for handling hot glass and using Bunsen burners.  

Here is a photo gallery of the students hard at work!

Collage of students working on glass bending experiment

Self-Studying for AP Exams

Students, are you interested in registering to take an AP Exam for a course that you are not enrolled in?

Please complete this google form to indicate which exam(s) you would like to register for as a Non-Enrolled student. The non-refundable exam fee this year is $96 and should be paid in MySchoolBucks.

As you consider self-studying for exams, please check the AP Exam schedule to ensure that you do not over-schedule yourself. Exams will only be moved to the late testing schedule for extreme circumstances.

The deadline to complete the form and pay your fees is Friday, October 28. 

PTSA Diversity Committee Looking for Volunteers for Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration

The following request comes from the PTSA Diversity Committee. They are looking for volunteers to assist them for the Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration that will be taking place at TJ on Friday, Sept. 30 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. in the Nobel Commons and Courtyard.

If interested in assisting, please contact Michele Hyde at diversity.chair@tjptsa.org.

Ninth Grade Parent Book Club to Hold Meeting Sept. 16

The following message is from the Department of Student Services and is intended for our ninth grade (Class of 2026) families.

Dear 9th Grade Parents/Guardians,

Greetings!  It is not too late to sign up for our first session of the “How to Raise an Adult” book club.  It will be held in Franklin Commons at TJHSST on Friday, September 16, from 9-10:30am

Our school social worker Ms. Armstrong, school counselor Mrs. Hamblin, and family liaison Ms. Finkbeiner, will facilitate the meeting.  Some of the administrators will be present for the first session also. You don’t have to read the book in order to join the meeting, but reading will, of course, enrich your experience.  The goal is to create a space where 9th grade parents can connect with each other and establish their place of belonging within the TJ community. This book will also provide you with parenting strategies for highly stressed (involved) teens. We are planning to have 3 sessions this fall. 

To create a meaningful and engaged experience, our first session will be held in person (the PTSA Health and Wellness Committee will provide coffee and light refreshments). You may arrive at 8:45 to enjoy the refreshments and socialize with other freshman parents.  Session 1 will cover chapter 1-5 of the book.  If you are interested, please sign up here

We are looking forward to meeting you!


How to Raise an Adult Book Cover


Wednesday, September 21 and Thursday, September 22 we will be conducting our Vision and Hearing Screenings in the Wrestling Room near the Health Room. All 10th graders will be screened during their PE/Health Class (including online PE students) and any new to FCPS students in 9th grade* will also be screened.   

*New to FCPS students do not have to wait for the screening dates and may stop by the health room anytime during their lunch or between classes to be screened. It takes 2-3 minutes to be screened. Students who wear glasses/contacts need to bring/wear them on the day they will be screened.

Late Buses to Begin Running on Wednesday, Sept. 14

The TJ Late Bus is back for the 2022-23 school year! This service is run by FCPS two days a week, and is for Fairfax County students only. 

On every Wednesday and Thursday, TJ will have a bus depart at precisely 6:30 p.m. For security reasons we do not publish bus depot location stops, but students may take a photo of the drop locations for parents to review. The list is posted outside of the security office, Room 46.

TJ is On Twitter!

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is on Twitter! Visit @TJHSST_Official  for news, upcoming events, reminders of important deadlines, and updates of all the fun activities going on at the school.

Be sure to give us a follow!

Important Calendar Reminders

Sept. 19-23: TJ's annual homecoming week.

Sept. 23: Homecoming Football game vs. Mountain View, 7:00 p.m.

Sept. 24: Homecoming Dance at TJ, 7:00 p.m.

Sept. 26: No school, teacher workday.

Oct. 5: No school for students or staff - Yom Kippur holiday

Oct. 10: No school, staff development day.

Oct. 12: PSAT (10th and 11th grade) SAT (12th grade) 

Oct. 19: Fall Orchestra Concert - Auditorium 7 p.m.

Oct. 24: No school for students or staff - Diwali holiday

Oct. 26: Fall Band Concert - Auditorium 7 p.m.

Oct. 28: End of first quarter - Modified Red Day with 2 hour early release