Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST Families:

By now you have had time to read and digest recent messages from FCPS leadership regarding preparation plans for the impact of COVID-19. I encourage you to regularly visit the FCPS webpage for updates and Frequently Asked Questions.

Each day FCPS leadership is in touch with principals to give guidance and seek feedback. The educational landscape is fluid right now; we are remaining flexible and responsive, evaluating each circumstance with the information we have available in the moment.

Currently at TJ, we have followed FCPS directives and canceled all international travel through June 30, 2020, along with trips to New York and overnight field trips scheduled through April 12, 2020. Instruction proceeds normally and most extracurricular events and athletics are moving forward as scheduled unless another party's decision prompts us to cancel or if a known lack of participation arises. We continue to encourage hand washing and ask students and staff to stay home if they have a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Per Dr. Brabrand's student holiday message yesterday, schools will be closed to students on Monday, March 16, so staff may prepare for the possibility of distance learning in the event of a school closure.  Our teachers will remain flexible and creative in the days and weeks that lie ahead. 

For consistency and clarity in messaging, we will stay focused on what FCPS sends to families. This will eliminate multiple messages and decrease chances of error or causing confusion. If there is something particularly unique to the entire TJHSST community, I will keep you informed.

Below is a message I shared on our morning announcements today prior to our daily moment of silence. Thank you in advance for supporting how we are leading with our hearts.


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus


March 11 Morning Announcement to Students and Staff

Good morning, TJ. This is Dr. Bonitatibus and I’d like to take a moment to help our community calibrate as we move into uncertain times.

By now you have become aware of the worldwide health epidemic and how our local community is a microcosm of the macrocosm. We are to be vigilant with our hand washing, staying home if we feel sick with a fever and cough, particularly if we do not have a diagnosis, avoid touching our faces and even incidental touching of each other with a high five, hug or handshake. Non-essential international travel is discouraged.

You may also start to hear advice about social distancing. This means remaining out of congregated settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance from others when possible. While this measure is intended for infected individuals or areas with widespread health impact, it is being considered locally by workplaces, schools, and social venues.

For this reason, FCPS is closed to students on Monday, March 16, so staff will have time to learn about digital contingencies if school operations are impacted for a significant period of time. This is a preparation measure and part or our new reality.

In the midst of uncertainty by world and community leaders, medical experts and industries, I remind you of a quote from poet John Donne:

“No man is an Island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the Continent, a part of the main.”

Remember, we are human. We are inextricably linked to each other. While society is hearing about social distancing, this does not mean we are heart distancing. COVID-19 does not know race, gender, or personal circumstance. COVID-19 is not an Asian contagion. Someone with a cough or sneeze may merely have a cold or allergy. It is important we do not discriminate, shun or make assumptions about others. Start each day with positive intent. Be prepared to respond to health emergency measures, and come from a place of trust and compassion with each other.

There may be a decision in our future that impacts our day-to-day operations. Alternatively, there may not and we may proceed as scheduled. Either way, this joint experience will teach us what is truly important. Completion of a certain test or a due date for a project is not the most important event in our lives right now. We are working together as a community. If any school in the nation can rise above concerns about not being able to accomplish something, it is TJ. We continually support each other with positive, can-do dispositions framed around “How can we” accomplish what seems impossible.

Most of all, I ask everyone to be a little more human. Give someone a smile, a pleasant nod of the head, a thumbs up, a bow with a hand over your heart, offer a greeting of Namaste. I have every confidence we will lead and support each other in the days and weeks that lie ahead. I am proud of you and what you have yet to accomplish.

Please take this moment of silence to consider how you will lead and support others, and how in the face of a humanity that is uncertain, we may be a little more human.