Principal's Message

Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST Families:

I hope this message finds you well. The past week has been filled with an ever-changing landscape.that spawns more questions than answers. I would like to first commend our superintendent Dr. Brabrand and his leadership team for the amazing work they have done in response to disruptions caused by the global health emergency. 

Their focus, and ours as a TJ community, has been on safety, shelter, health, and nutrition. Think of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We must tend to life's essentials for living before we can progress to self actualization.

Therefore, as families adjust to new routines, we have been engaged in a Continuity of Learning mode. Please visit the FCPS webpage for all updates. In our current phase, TJ teachers have been reaching out to students in Blackboard and Google Classroom. I couldn't be prouder of our caring and dedicated faculty! Teachers are maintaining connections and giving suggestions for optional activities that keep students engaged and curious to learn. There is no instruction occurring, nothing is required, and nothing is graded. These steps are necessary to provide equity across FCPS, particularly for students with special needs who cannot otherwise access learning due to personal circumstances.

We look forward to resuming instruction in the coming weeks, whether schools open as scheduled on April 14 or we launch Distance Learning practices at that time. All TJ staff members have had an opportunity this week to participate in various virtual environments, honing skills or learning new ones. One fact is indisputable- TJ teachers always rise to the occasion!

And let's not forget our amazing students. During this time they are creating their own TJ Renaissance Movement. They are always plunging into anything STEM. What's even more remarkable, though, is how they are exploring the arts, music, fitness, cooking, inventing, community outreach, and so much more.

I would also like to acknowledge our parents, PTSA and the TJ Partnership Fund. Parents are busy balancing Continuity of Learning with PDF (Playtime, Downtime, Family time). PTSA and the TJPF have individually or collectively created parent outlets such as virtual book clubs, fitness classes or support groups. Alumni have mobilized, too, to support our community. Please visit the PTSA and TJPF web pages to learn more about how you can access resources for yourself or volunteer to assist their efforts.

We still do not know some details such as if or when students and staff may visit buildings to retrieve items. Additionally, I'd like to recognize the many unknowns for a special group of students, the Class of 2020. What I do know is that our accelerated and high-level programs will continue to prepare students for graduation. Also, Dr. Brabrand and his team have assured high school principals they are looking at every year-end event. While the optimistic view is to think athletics, prom and graduation will occur as intended, we will have to wait for decisions to be made. This is not how any of our students, particularly our seniors, envisioned their spring semester. No matter what, we will still honor and celebrate all the achievements of our students and staff, perhaps in new and creative ways. 

Our TJ community never ceases to amaze with its high caliber character, caring spirit, and service to those in need. I am blessed and proud to be among the many leaders across our community.

In the weeks that lie ahead, we will stay united, connected and healthy. FCPS leadership will send ongoing updates and I will continue to limit written communication, unless it is TJ specific, in order to make space for important messages FCPS sends.

Yours in health...mind, body and spirit,

Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus


Advanced Placement Testing Update

Today the College Board released new information about spring testing, all of which is referenced on the FCPS web page  What follows is a handy summary from our assessment coach, Ms. Leslie Barnhart:

  1. NO face to face testing. 45-minute online exams will occur at home on whichever device the student chooses to use 
  2. Limited information tested. Only material typically completed by early March will be assessed. (Colleges and Universities have agreed to this).  Teachers will contact you to explain what that looks like for your class.
  3. TWO test date options, exact dates will be announced April 3rd.  Students will be allowed to select their preferred test date. 
  4. NO exam drop fee. If a student chooses not to take an exam this year, they may drop the exam at no charge by contacting Leslie Barnhart, the AP Testing Coordinator (
  5. FREE review material resources from College Board  will be available on March 25th.  These will be conducted by AP teachers across the nation and available to everyone on YouTube for ongoing retrieval.
  6. Free AP resources from FCPS.: Found on Blackboard: AP &IBDP resources.  Students are encouraged to use these resources until direct teacher instruction can be person or via Distance Learning.
  7. Online MyAP resources unlocked by College Board.  AP Classroom will unlock all free-response questions for students’ review.
  8. ALL portfolios have a deadline now of May 26th, 11:59 PM.  This applies to all AP Art courses and Computer Science Principles.  No other exam will be administered for these courses.
  9. Difficulty with online device connectivity at home?  Students who will have issues with connectivity should contact Leslie Barnhart, our testing coordinator.  She will reach out to College Board for a solution.

Message to Students from TJHSST Administrators

The following letter was posted to all TJ students in Google Classroom at the beginning of this week.


Dear TJ Students:

Whew! The past week has been a whirlwind of activity where we all have felt like we have been living almost minute-by-minute to find out what might happen next. Even though we can’t be together in person as a TJ family, we are checking in with you to let you know that we are thinking of you. 

We know this is a difficult time and uncertainty is a challenge.  We also know there is no better group of students in the world at turning challenges into opportunities.  Use this time as an opportunity to connect with your family, catch up on some sleep, and take care of your body, mind and soul.

During this time, it may prove difficult for you to concentrate or you may welcome something else that captures your attention.  It’s okay to keep your mind active by checking out an exercise posted by one of your teachers, starting a book you have wanted to read for a while, or accessing resources provided by the county via Blackboard or Channel 99.  However, it is important to remember that during the next two weeks there will be no required or graded assignments.  Do things at your own pace and take care of yourself and your family.

Above all, you are special. You are more than a GPA. And right now, we are a GPS for you to guide you through this time of uncertainty. All of us like to achieve our goals, and with research and IBET projects left abandoned, long-term due dates in limbo, and instruments and athletic gear left in the building, you might feel a sense of loss or lack of closure. This is normal. Set small personal goals each day to give yourself a sense of achievement. If you need to reach out to a counselor, teacher or administrator, most of us are periodically checking messages. However, if you are in crisis or know someone who is, please consider contacting Crisis Link (703-527-4077) or Crisis Text (text NEEDHELP to 85511).

As a reminder, there are food distribution centers providing grab and go meals from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for FCPS families who are in need.  The complete list of locations is available on the FCPS website.

We want you to know that we are here for you.  We are looking forward to keeping connected to you during this time and we miss you already :-)  !

Be well,

TJ Administration Team - Dr. Bonitatibus, Mr. Frank, Ms. Hawkins, Mr. Hodges, Mr. Kosatka, Mr. Resquin, Ms. Russell, Mr. Yohe