Message from the Principal: TJ Town Hall and FCPS Updates

Dear TJHSST Families:

Today the Fairfax County School Board met in a work session to discuss their Return to School plan.  There were some significant decisions confirmed:

  • The TJHSST start time will be 8:10am, which is the same as all other high schools. TJ classes will end at 3:30pm for both online and in-person classes. All other high schools end at 2:55pm.
  • All high school students (online and in-person) will follow an A/B block schedule rather than 8 periods per day. Benefits include: 
    • reducing the amount of time in hallways;
    • increasing weekly instructional time;
    • creating opportunities for aligned in-person and online instruction;
    • providing greater flexibility for time to disinfect, plan mask breaks outdoors if needed, schedule lunch configurations, etc.; and,
    • allowing longer instructional time frames for courses with labs and to provide collaborative time for students in all courses.
  • In-person attendance is assigned as follows:
    • Last names beginning with A-K will attend Tuesday and Thursday
    • Last names beginning with L-Z attend Wednesday and Friday
  • The deadline for selecting online or in-person instruction is needed by July 15.  Parents can select the preferred option here.  Remember to use health concerns and personal circumstance to drive your decision making, not speculation about instructional design and teacher availability. Specific course offerings online and in-person will be dependent on student enrollment and ability to provide appropriate staffing in each setting for each course.

More definitive information about the TJ master schedule and course configurations will be available in mid to late August. Counselors will be in touch with individual students in the coming weeks if there are unavoidable conflicts in a schedule which would require an alternative choice. 

If you would like more updated information from FCPS about Health and Safety, A/B Block Scheduling, Course Offerings, Comparison of In-Person and Online Learning, and Sports and Activities, you may review the presentation from today's work session here. If it does not open directly, click on the agenda icon, and then on the menu on the left, select the Return to School Roundtable.

Finally, the TJ PTSA will sponsor a Principal's Town Hall tomorrow evening, Tuesday, July 14, beginning at 7:00pm. I would like to personally thank the PTSA for gathering questions from the community in advance via their recent survey and summarized here. I will address the most frequently raised questions and there will be some time for Q&A as moderated by the PTSA.

I highly encourage you to view the work session presentation as noted above. Many of the lingering questions have been addressed. Please be aware we are still unable to answer to answer specific questions about which courses will run in which setting. To the greatest degree possible, we will maximize opportunities. Also, we will not share trends regarding TJ student and teacher selections. The data will continue to be in flux through July 15 and teacher outcomes involve confidential processes with Human Resources and principals. Family decisions must be grounded in health considerations and personal circumstances. Think about what is best for your child's needs, not where others are trending.

The Principal's Town Hall will be streamed live on Twitch at A Twitch account is not required to view the live stream, but to ask questions in chat, you must create a free account. Instructions can be found here:

Thank you for your ongoing patience and support as we prepare the TJ community to return to learn. I am inspired by our teacher's enthusiasm for new and creative ways they are exploring to engage and challenge our students. I am confident that with compromise and ingenuity, we will successfully design a safe learning environment that delivers a quality educational experience.

We're TJ. We got this!


Ann N. Bonitatibus, Ed.D.

TJHSST Principal