TJHSST Preparing for the New Year

Happy Winter Break

Dear TJHSST Families:

On behalf of the entire administrative team, faculty, and staff, I wish you a holiday season filled with joy, health, and relaxation. 

We are closing the books on 2020, a year that has shown us how important human connections are. Some of us have lost loved ones and friends, and many of us have found new ways to connect and forge relationships.

Through it all, our TJ community has been resilient and shown grace. Teachers have risen to every challenge, developing new skills along the way. Students have grown by leaps and bounds. They understand the degree to which meaningful and just-in-time learning can happen beyond the brick and mortar of our building. Parents, more than ever, have become our partners in education. We'd like to extend special gratitude to many of our families who worked with students in our Keyettes Club to contribute lovely gifts to TJ staff. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity!

I look forward to our TJ family being whole again in 2021. We will emerge from the stressors of the pandemic and strife in the world to a bright new future brimming with possibilities. And when we can safely be back in school, we will enthusiastically embrace our TJ traditions, old and new.

Have a Happy New Year! 


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus


New Bell Schedule Coming Jan. 12 *

Beginning January 12 through the remainder of the school year, TJ will feature a new bell schedule. This is aligned with Groups 7 and 8 returning for in-person learning.

The instructional day at all high schools throughout FCPS have been shortened by 15 minutes to accommodate transportation needs during the Return to School process. For TJ, the school day will continue to begin at 8:40 a.m. However, dismissal will now take place at 3:45 p.m. daily. The complete bell schedule for individual class periods and lunches will be published when we return from Winter Break in January.

Dates/times subject to change based on health metrics, instructional needs, and systemic decisions by FCPS.

Phased-In Return to School

TJ is part of Group 8 in FCPS' Return to School plan. FCPS has announced Group 8 will have a staggered start, phasing-in different grade levels.

Those in grades 9 and 12 who have chosen to return to in-person learning will do so beginning the week of Jan. 26. Those in grades 10 and 11 who have chosen to return to in-person learning will do so beginning the week of Feb. 2, joining their peers who started the week before.

Remember, for those who have selected in-person instruction, last names beginning with A-K will be on campus Tuesday and Wednesday, and continue virtually on Thursday and Friday. Those whose last names begin with L-Z will attend virtually Tuesday and Wednesday, and be on campus Thursday and Friday. Students who chose fulltime online will continue to attend all four days virtually as they have been. Mondays will continue to be asynchronous learning days and students are required to complete attendance activities.

New FCPS Grading Policies Beginning January 4

Per FCPS, schools are instituting a new grading policy that is effective January 4, 2021 through the remainder of the school year. While FCPS is examining long-range plans for final exams this year, along with grading policies for next school year, the immediate changes are as follows:

  • Establish 50% as the lowest grade on a 100-point scale.
  • Allow late work (major assignments) to be turned in with minimal penalty, not to exceed a10% reduction.
  • Establish maximum weight of an assignment/assessment at 20%.
  • Reduce the minimum number of graded assignments required per quarter from 9 to 6.

Classroom Monitors Needed

TJ has a long tradition of parent volunteers helping with student supervision and activities. Are you interested in assisting TJ during its return to in-person learning during the Spring Semester? We are looking to hire several parents as classroom monitors to supervise in-person students whose teachers are not returning to the building and will be teaching virtually during the spring semester. Monitors will be compensated at a rate of $15.42 per hour.

Monitor duties include the following: 

  • Providing in-person classroom assistance to the school.
  • Working with individual and small groups of students.
  • Operating technology to include cameras, learning platforms, and learning tools.
  • Helping maintain order and discipline and assists in managing the behavior of students.
  • Providing supervision throughout the school day including in the classroom, halls, lunch, and specials
  • Performing administrative and non-instructional duties, such as keeping daily attendance
  • Ensuring all CDC/safety protocols and procedures are implemented and followed.

If interested please notify TJ directly by completing this form here. After completing the form, you can apply with FCPS here. A staff member from TJ will be in touch to set up interviews following the Winter Break.

Please be aware the FCPS application does not have you specify a school, which is why we are gathering info on the TJ interest form as you prepare to apply. You might be get contacted by other schools since your application will be in a general pool of candidate, but you can politely decline if you are only interested in TJ. Thank you for your interest and assistance!

Save the Date: January 13, 2021 TJHSST Curriculum Night for Parents. Academic Planning for 2021-2022.

We are pleased to announce that we will host our annual Curriculum Fair VIRTUALLY for Parents on Wednesday, January 13, from 6pm until 8pm.

Counselors and teachers will begin academic advising for students shortly after the start of the second semester. The Curriculum Fair for parents of current 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students is being provided to help parents become more familiar with the various course offerings at TJ.

Following Winter Break, the curricular departments will post a variety of resources on the TJ website and we will send more specific information about how the evening will be structured. Parents will be encouraged to review materials before the event so that the evening can focus on questions that parents may have. Students will participate in their own Curriculum Fair earlier that day during 8th period.

Class of 2021: Senior Dues

For the class of 2021, graduation will be upon us before you know it! There are some fees that we will need to collect. This will be accomplished in two tiers. All FCPS high schools are now collecting $50 from their senior class. These fees will go toward costs associated with the graduation ceremony (caps, gowns, programs, etc.). Once we get closer to June, we will likely have a second collection period to cover TJ-specific expenses such as transcripts, graduation venue, and prom.

Please log into MySchoolBucks and click on View Details below the Class of 2021 Senior Dues icon to submit payment.

TJHSST Employees of the Year

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations for our Employee of the Year awards! We will have a longer write up in a future News You Choose Newsletter, but we wanted to acknowledge this year's winners here!

Outstanding Teacher – Dan Tra, Computer Science Teacher
Outstanding New Teacher – Kelsey Stuart, Astronomy Teacher
Outstanding Professional Employee – Miruna Tecuci, School Based Technology Specialist
Outstanding Operational Employee – Margaret Wilson, front office administrative assistant

Congratulations and thank you for all that you do for our students!

January Calendar Reminders*

December 21-January 1: Winter Break. Schools closed for students and teachers. No new or short-term homework assigned after break and no major assessments upon first days of return.

January 4:  Welcome back to school. Asynchronous day; students must complete attendance activity

January 12: New bell schedule begins. TJ school day will now be from 8:40 a.m.-3:45 p.m.

January 13: Curriculum Fair for parents takes place 6-8 p.m.

January 19, 21: Asynchronous days for students. FCPS has reserved these days as teacher work days to prepare for concurrent instruction second semester.

January 20: Inauguration Day. Schools closed for students and staff.

January 22: Second Quarter/First Semester ends with 2-hour early release for students.

January 26: Third Quarter/Second Semester starts. In-person students in 9th and 12th grade report. Note: to prepare for concurrent instruction, teachers report to the building the week of January 19. Mondays for the two weeks leading up to January 26 are reserved for teacher work days with no required office hours.

February 2: In-person students in 10th and 11th grade report. 

* Dates/purposes subject to change based on health metrics, instructional needs, and systemic decisions by FCPS.


Helpful FCPS Resources

Instruction Update for Small Groups

Mental Health Resources and Emergency Services Information

Parent/Guardian Health Screening Commitment form


Return to School

Student Health and Safety Guidance Document

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Permission to Return to School/Child Care Form

Virginia Department of Health


Riding the Bus

Return to School Daily Procedures

If you or someone you know is struggling, contact CrisisLink (703-527-4077) or Crisis Text (text NEEDHELP to 85511)