Principal's Back to School Letter

Welcome to the New School Year!

Dear TJHSST Colonials Families:

On behalf of the entire Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology faculty and staff, I enthusiastically welcome you to the 2019-2020 school year! TJHSST is a premier educational setting where teachers provide students a challenging and supportive learning environment that inspires joy at the prospect of discovery. Non-teaching staff work earnestly to make each day exceptional, and our parents, non-profit groups, and business partners are the arms that wrap around our school community.

Last school year TJ joined the Challenge Success network of schools as we studied areas that could enhance student experiences and reduce stress. Through a series of surveys, conversations and research guided through Stanford University, we are targeting three focus areas this year: decoupling rigor and workload, managing expectations, and emphasizing the importance of sleep.

We are excited to launch our efforts with the help of Jon Kleiman, a School Program Director with Challenge Success. On Monday, August 19, he will host a parent forum entitled The Well-Balanced Student. When we are too focused on grades and performance, we deny our children the time and energy they need to tackle the demanding work of growing up. He will coach our community on how to maximize a healthy home environment, reduce academic stress without sacrificing achievement, and increase our children's resiliency, creativity and well-being. He will also speak to the June 2019 survey results from nearly 800 of our parents. Please join this forum August 19 beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the auditorium.

Among the many local supports for families are our parent and community organizations. Our PTSA, Academic Boosters, Band Boosters, Colonials Athletics Boosters, Crew Boosters, Orchestra Boosters, and Theater Boosters support our students, teachers, activities' advisors and coaches in a myriad of ways. Also, the TJ Partnership Fund (TJPF) is a non-profit charitable organization that raises funds to meet TJ’s unique needs. 

A special invitation is going out to freshman parents this year. Following the New Student Orientation session on Thursday morning, August 22, the TJPF will provide a light lunch and a space for new TJ parents to network and begin building community. Representatives from all of the organizations mentioned above will be on hand to discuss their goals, facilitate membership drives, and answer your questions. This reception is a great way to learn about our supportive community.

And, finally, exciting news for students and families: all TJ students this year will be issued their own FCPS laptop on the opening days of school as part of the FCPSOn initiative. These devices will fully support TJ instructional programs. Complete information was sent to families in our June bulletin.

Please continue reading below for important information to start the school year.

We look forward to making your child’s experience with us a rewarding and memorable one. Go Colonials!



Ann N. Bonitatibus, Ed.D.



Calendar Events

Prior to the first day of school, please visit the Opening of School announcement on the TJ website to get a complete overview and access to all resources. The announcement on our website will contain the most up-to-date information. Please make sure to refresh the page each time you visit it.


The information below is the same as on our website and is published here for your convenience. Again, our website will continue to have the most current information.



New Student Orientation

If your child is new to TJ, whether as a freshman or upperclassman, you are invited to attend New Student Orientation:

  • When:     Thursday, August 22, 2019
  • Where:    Gymnasium (signage will direct you for parking and entrances)
  • Early Bird Special:  8:00 a.m. new student schedules will be ready for pick up, so come early!
  • Program Time:    9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Following the program, new students will have lunch and then network with BigSibs and other student leaders. More information to follow.
  • While parents are waiting for their children participating with BigSibs, the TJPF will host a networking and community-building luncheon with representatives from PTSA and Booster organizations present. 

First Day of School

Students report to school Monday, August 26. Remember schools are closed August 30 and September 2 for Labor Day weekend.

Back to School Nights

  • September 5: Freshmen and Senior Classes from 5:00-7:00 p.m.
  • September 11: Sophomore and Junior Classes from 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Back to School Bash

All parents and students are invited to our annual Back to School Bash sponsored by the PTSA, SGA and TJ Student Activities Office.

  • When:      Friday, September 13
  • Where:     TJ Athletic Fields
  • Time:        4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m
  • What: Games, prizes, live music, food, home football game at 7:00 p.m.

Homecoming Weekend

Come support our school and soak in nostalgia the weekend of September 27.


Logistics and Communication

Student Schedules

Student schedules will be available in SIS StudentVUE and SIS ParentVUE on Thursday, August 22, at 6:00 a.m.

  • Access SIS StudentVUE using your FCPS network credentials.
  • If you have not created a SIS Parent Account, watch a video. Account activation information will be mailed home between August 13-16.
  • If you need assistance navigating the system, watch a video.

Parking Tags

From Tuesday, August 20, through Thursday, August 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., you may pick up tags in the Nobel Commons located just inside the main entrance at the Dome. Students should bring their driver’s license and a $200 check payable to TJHSST.

Safely Arriving at School

Doors open to our TJ students at 7:30 a.m. Student drop-off is located behind the school. Parents, please drop off your child at the Kiss and Ride by coming in the school’s entrance off Braddock Road and following signs to the left.  

All visitors must enter through the Dome (Door 1) and sign in at the Main Office. A camera/buzzer system at the main entrance enhances and ensures safe entry for our guests. Also, Officer Steve Richards, our School Resource Officer, will be on site regularly and his vehicle will be parked at the front of the school.


FCPS continues its online payment system, My School Bucks.  Expenses that include fees, meals, and certain classroom costs are managed via MySchoolBucks.

Staying in Touch

TJHSST uses News You Choose for regular communication with parents and you are automatically subscribed with the email on file with TJ. You may tailor your preferences. Emergency communications from the school and FCPS are delivered via e-Notify to your email.


Transportation information has been sent by FCPS via email and text. Bus assignments are also found on FCPS 24/7 under "Bus Stop Information." Here Comes The Bus mobile app will be available starting Monday, August 26.


Required Forms Due September 6

Thank you for completing forms in a timely manner. Students can begin turning in forms to their homeroom teacher on the first day of school. The required forms are linked below so you may print and complete the forms: