Home Stretch! - TJHSST May Update

Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST Families:

We are entering the last few weeks of a school year that has been unique in so many ways. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and we are rapidly approaching it. Just in the past few weeks, despite the exhaustion that comes at the end of a school year, there's been a renewed energy as we've returned to many of our traditions. 

This past week we celebrated Teacher and Staff Appreciation Week. Thanks to PTSA for sponsoring a delicious luncheon Wednesday, along with supplying snacks and treats yesterday. Today, our staff received new TJ t-shirts and a donut breakfast compliments of school administration. Students have offered small tokens of appreciation and written notes. Parents have sent lovely messages, as well. We feel the love!

The month of May is filled with other recognitions of each other. All over the United States we celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Jewish Heritage Month. Students deserve meaningful, sustained opportunities to learn about the diverse perspectives, experiences, and contributions of Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and Jewish Americans. The learning opportunities are throughout the year but highlighted in special ways by teachers this month.

We also have recognized our many parent volunteers. We sent a thank you card to nearly 170 parent volunteers and invited them to pick up TJ swag and treats for contributing thousands of hours to TJ. We give our deepest gratitude! Speaking of parents, liaisons for the Class of 2025 are celebrating their children's amazing first-year journey at TJ. A picnic is planned at Laurel Hill Park Shelter D on May 15th at 1pm. Liaisons asked I share this information for the class along with the RSVP link: https://tinyurl.com/2m5rnayr

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for information on textbook and laptop collection from students in grades 9-11. For our Class of 2022, our graduation website is posted and the details are below. We are so excited to bring our seniors together and honor graduates at Eagle Bank Arena for our first time since 2019!

Speaking of seniors, they have completed their research capstone experiences and will be showcased in our annual tjSTAR research symposium on May 16. This will be a blend of in-person and recorded presentations. We are creating a video library of their research and underclass students will have access to see research modeled for them in future years. We're also thrilled to have TJ alum Kavya Kopparapu ('18) and Katherine Sizov ('16) as guest speakers livestreaming their message to students.

I look forward to bringing our school year to a successful close. Just today a teacher said to me, "We need to celebrate! We didn't know what we were facing in the fall and we've come so far together." Indeed, it is time to celebrate our many accomplishments as we reflect on our perseverance, unity and success as a school community. 



Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus 

TJHSST Proud Principal

Twitter @TJAnnB 

SOL Testing Reminder

As a reminder we will be administering SOL tests the week of May 16-20 for those students who are required to take them. The SOL schedule is as follows:

  • Tuesday, May 17 - SOL Biology done through students' biology classes.
  • Wednesday, May 18 - SOL Biology done through students' biology classes.
  • Thursday, May 19 - Algebra 2 and World History 1 SOL occurring throughout day (some testing in morning, some in the afternoon); World History 2 SOL done through students' history classes.
  • Friday, May 20 - World History 2 SOL done through students' history classes.

If you have any questions about SOL testing, please contact our testing coordinator Lisa Broadhead at LKBroadhead@fcps.edu.


Class of 2022 - Graduation Website Now Available

Class of 2022, can you believe that graduation is less than one month away? We are looking forward to celebrating you on Saturday, June 4 at 7:30 p.m. in Eagle Bank Arena!

We have created a website which answers several frequently asked questions about graduation

If you have a question that is not answered on the site, please contact Senior Class Administrator Cynthia Hawkins at CAHawkins1@fcps.edu.

Underclassman Final Exam Schedule

Below is the final exam schedule for our underclassmen this year. Each day will be a half day that lasts from 8:40-11:55 a.m. (except Friday, see below)

Monday, June 6 – Periods 1 and 2 

Tuesday, June 7 – Periods 3 and 4

Wednesday, June 8 – Periods 5 and 6

Thursday, June 9 – Periods 7 and makeups 

Friday, June 10 – 2 hour day (class time - 8:40-10:40 a.m.)

TJ Physical Event Registration is Now Open!

QR Code for Physical Registration

Every athlete needs a new athletic physical every school year so save some time and come out to TJ on June 1, 2022 and support the TJ Athletic Training Program. Need a BOY SCOUT or CAMP PHYSICAL at the same time?  No problem, just make sure you bring all the forms with you on June 1. 

Registration is now open here. You can also access the link at the QR Code pictured in this article.

Heather Murphy & Caroline Taylor are coordinating this popular at-school event with the Lewis Athletic Training Program to ensure that our athletes are ready for the 2022-23 seasons.  Medical professionals will perform the comprehensive physicals. The screening will check height, weight, vision, vital signs, whole body flexibility, strength, posture and see the medical professional.   ALL PHYSICALS MUST BE COMPLETED ON THE JANUARY 2021 version!  You can download one from the www.tjsports.org website under FORMS.

The physical is $50 for pre-registered students. All money from TJ students goes to support TJ Athletic Training & Lewis students will support Lewis ATP!  FCPS Athletic Trainers get $0 from the county for supplies. We have not been able to hold this event at TJ or earn any money since 2019.

Volunteers (MD, DO, PAC, NP, RN, PT) are still needed to run physicals.  We need parents to help make the sports physicals a successful event. Your expertise and a few hours of your time will greatly benefit our TJ athletes.  Students are also encouraged to sign up and get community service hours! Dinner will be provided for the volunteers. Sign up to volunteer at https://forms.gle/6kDLrNAWKpbaZa9Z7

Email Heather.Murphy@fcps.edu if you can volunteer or have any questions.

Thank you for all your support. See you on the sidelines. 

Heather Murphy, ATC and Caroline Taylor, ATC

IG: @TJ_AthleticTrainers Twitter: TJHSST_AT

TJ PTSA and TJ Administration Hosts Teacher/Staff Appreciation Events

May 2-6 was Teacher Appreciation Week throughout the United States. The TJ PTSA and TJ Administration made sure throughout the week to show teachers and staff how much their hard work means to our students. On Wednesday, the PTSA held a staff luncheon that was basically a full-on feast! On Thursday, the PTSA dropped a selection of snacks and goodies in each of TJ's eight faculty workrooms. Finally, on Friday, the Administration provided donuts and coffee in the morning for a final pick-me-up.

Collage of Photos from Teacher Appreciation Week

I-Nite Returns and is Rousing Success

On April 25, I-Nite made its triumphant return! Organized by the Namaste Club, I-Nite allows TJ's many cultural clubs the opportunity to showcase the richness of their culture through a night of dancing and music. Here are some photos from that event. 

Collage of photos from April 25 I-Nite performance

Class of 2023 Meningococcal Vaccine Reminder

This message is for families of the Class of 2023, who will be seniors at TJ during the 2022-23 school year.

The Code of Virginia requires all students to be immunized against certain communicable diseases prior to entrance into one of its schools. All 12th grade students are required to have been immunized with one dose of the Meningococcal Vaccine given at the age of 16 or older.

Please review the immunization requirements here.  

Proof of immunization must be submitted to the school. If you have not already submitted your documentation, you may do so by fax: 703-750-5057, email: rekobren@fcps.edu or by mail to the school (please put attn: Student Services on envelope). These documents need to be returned prior to the start of the 2022-23 school year, preferably by July 1.

For more information on this requirement, visit this FCPS website.

Educational Experience - Making Soap in AP Chemistry

With their AP Tests completed, the Ms. Robin Taylor's AP Chemistry classes got the chance to use some of the knowledge they learned in a practical way as they made soap. Following some specific instructions, they made careful measurements and created real soap out of molds of some fun shapes. A photo gallery of the students hard at work is below.

Collage of photos of AP Chemistry class making soap


In each newsletter we want to give some quick shout outs to TJ staff, students, teams, and alumni:

  • Several TJHSST students recently competed at the Virginia State Science and Engineering Fair, after placing highly at the Fairfax County Regional Science and Engineering Fair. Congratulations to VSSEF Grand Prize winner and International Science and Engineering Fair qualifier Suraj Vaddi for his project, “Tar Print: Novel Convolutional Remote Sensing Techniques to Quantify Urbanization and Study Water Quality.” Thirteen other TJHSST students placed in the top three in their category, while nine students earned special awards for excellence. They were:
    • First Place in their Category: Vinay Ayala, Alvan Arulandu

    • Second Place in their Category: Sara Elanchezhian, Grace Huang, Eugene Choi, Raffu Khondaker, Irfan Nafi, Lillian Sun, Seoyoung Jun, Lynn Tao

    • Third Place in their Category: Sohini Banerjee, Tanish Jain, Richa Misra

    • Special Award Winners: Sohini Banerjee, Irfan Nafi, Raffu Khondaker, Eugene Choi, Richa Misra, Ron Nachum, Lynn Tao, Grace Huang, Amrita Sahu 

  • The Technology Student Association (TSA) competed at the Technosphere, a statewide competition over the weekend of April 30-May 1 down in Hampton, Virginia. The group competed in 29 different competitions, earning first place in eight of them, second place in three, and third place in seven more. TJHSST's TSA Club won the prestigious Arvid W. Van Dyke award for outstanding high school. Great job everyone!
  • Congratulations to the TJ Bioinformatics Society for hosting their annual BioCode event on April 23 in TJ's cafeteria. It marked the club's first in-person competition since 2019. Over 140 middle school and high school students from across Northern Virginia participated in an algorithmic programming competition, participated in workshops, and attended a guest lecture by Virginia Commonwealth University associate professor Dr. Peter Uetz. In addition to the programming competition, the club expanded the scope of BioCode to include a research-based component. Top contestants were awarded the Vishnu Murthy Creativity Award in honor of former Bioinformatics Society President Vishnu Murthy who tragically passed away (sponsored by the Vishnu Foundation). The competition was also sponsored by Synergetic Information Systems. The Bioinformatics Society is actively working on expanding the scope of the competition to make it more accessible for all ages next year. 
  • TJ advanced three teams in this year's Economics Challenge Competition, Adam Smith division, for the students currently taking AP Economics classes. Nearly 20,000 students registered to compete at the State level. Our teams took the top 3 places in the State. The winning team will now move on to the National level. Congrats and good luck!  
  • Teacher Kristen Kucko is proud to share the Cube Sat Team had their paper accepted to the Small Sat Conference at Utah State in Logan, Utah! They will be presenting alongside industry leaders such as Northrup Grumman and Space X as well as prestigious academic institutions such as the Service academies and MIT. They are the only high school team to have earned the right to present at this conference. The team will have a booth, and 5 minutes to share their findings with the Cube Sat community.
  • Educate Fairfax just  just inducted its first class into its brand new FCPS Hall of Fame. We were thrilled to have two people with TJHSST ties join this prestigious group! Les Williams Jr. is a 1996 TJ Graduate, while Paul Misener is the parent of both a current TJ student, as well as a TJ graduate. Click here for more information on the entire class, and congrats to everyone!

Remember to Clear Student Obligations

TJ Students - do you still have TJ textbooks/paperbacks from last year (or prior) sitting at home? Please turn them in to the Finance Office (Room 105) to clear your student account of any outstanding obligations. Be on the lookout for individual student email reminders regarding any outstanding books, field trips and activity fees. Fees can be paid on MySchoolBucks. Feel free to stop by the Finance Office (Room 105) with any questions.

Reminder for Seniors: You will not receive your cap and gown until all outstanding obligations (books, materials, field trips or activity fees) have been cleared from your account.  

COVID Wellness Reminder

Being vaccinated and fully boosted, along with wearing masks when indoors with large groups, are among the best ways to combat the spread of recent virus variants. Across FCPS schools, TJ included, there has been an uptick in adults and students reporting positive results from COVID tests. Fortunately, symptoms tend to be mild and the quarantine period is now reduced to 5 days.

When feeling a little under the weather, please stay home, monitor, and test for the virus. Teachers will work with students who miss school during illness. Thank you to everyone as we continue to keep our community healthy.

TJ to Host Techstravaganza on May 14

TJ's very own Techstravaganza is back and in-person this year! The event will be hosted on May 14th, 2022 from 10:00am - 4:00pm at TJ. We invite all students K-8 to come and experience this free, hands-on, and fun STEM activity fair. Families will be able to come and go as they please, so we encourage you to come and make this event your own! 

In previous years, we had over 5000 visitors from over 192 different schools. Each year, we have over 300 TJ student volunteers and over a dozen exhibiting companies who help us make this event possible.

To register, please use this eventbrite link: https://tinyurl.com/techstrav2022tix. We hope to see you there!

For any questions or concerns, please email twistcoordinators@gmail.com 

TJ is Now On Twitter!

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is now on Twitter! Visit @TJHSST_Official  for news, upcoming events, reminders of important deadlines, and updates of all the fun activities going on at the school.

Be sure to give us a follow!

Important Calendar Reminders

May 9-13: AP Testing During School Day (Schedule here)

May 16: Annual tjSTAR event (during school day)

May 17-20: AP Makeup Testing During School Day (Schedule here)

May 18: Spring Band Concert - TJ Auditorium, 7 p.m.

May 21: Senior Prom - 8-11 p.m. at Wolf Trap

May 25: Spring Orchestra Concert - TJ Auditorium, 7 p.m.

May 25-31: Senior Final Exams

May 31: Last Day for Seniors

June 2: Graduation Rehearsal for Class of 2022

June 3: J-Day (during school day)

June 3: Final News You Choose of the 2021-22 School Year released.

June 4: Class of 2022 Graduation - Eagle Bank Arena, 7:30 p.m.

June 6-9: Underclassman Final Exams (half day, students released at 11:55 a.m.)

June 10: Last Day of School (2-hour day, students released at 10:40 a.m.)