First Day of School Reminders! - August TJHSST Update

Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST  Families,

We are ready to open our doors to students for the 2022-2023 school year! Our teachers have been working tirelessly all week to ready their classrooms and curriculum. We will start with relationship building as we transition back to classrooms from our summertime rest and relaxation.

For the first time since the fall of 2019, we are re-opening as close to normal as possible. Social distancing and many of the other COVID protocols such as contact tracing and daily notifications have fallen by the wayside. Masks are optional while community transmission rates remain low or medium. If rates reach a high category, FCPS will mandate masks and parents will still have the option to opt out of the mandate. We will continue to sanitize our building daily and emphasize other hygiene measures that are good practices for healthy bodies. Most of all, we will respect the choices staff and students will make regarding masks. No questions asked, no assumptions made, no judgment.

In addition to keeping our children healthy in body, we will keep their minds healthy. We will manage workload expectations continuing with FCPS policies such as no more than 30 minutes of homework per class per day for a total of 2 hours for an average student. We encourage students to have downtime at home each evening and to get plenty of sleep, ideally 8 hours.

Finally, we want our students to explore their passions through the many student activities, athletics and clubs we have. Beyond the rigors of the classroom, the soul is fed with creative, physical, and social outlets. A child with a healthy body, mind, and spirit is a fulfilled child. 

Remember that your child is more than a GPA to us, and we are a GPS for students- we help them navigate many routes to their desired destination. And parents, you may be interested in reading several books that have framed our work the past several years:

  • How to Raise an Adult (Julia Lythcott-Haims)
  • Overloaded and Underprepared (Pope, Brown, and Miles)
  • Why We Sleep (Matthew Walker)
  • Belonging Through a Culture of Dignity (Cobb and Krownapple)

The opening days will be filled with excitement and joyful inquiry. I am especially excited to see how our school community will begin to innovate. During the pandemic we were surviving, and with our renewed spirits, we are ready to start thriving. On our opening day with staff, each professional identified ways to innovate, and we are looking forward to unleashing the energy harnessed at the beginning of the year!

We look forward to seeing you at our Back to School Bash, Back to School Nights, and many other community-building activities this fall! Thank you for choosing TJ and supporting the unparalleled work of our amazing faculty and staff!


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus

Proud Principal, TJHSST 

Arriving at TJ - General Instructions on Student Drop-off

Safely Arriving at School - Get Here Early!

The school day begins at 8:40 a.m. However, traffic can (and definitely will!) get backed up on Braddock Road. Doors open to our TJ students at 7:45 a.m. We highly recommend if students are driving or being dropped off by parents to arrive no later than 8:15 a.m. to avoid getting caught in the backups.

Drop-Off Instructions

Student drop-off is located behind the school. Parents, please drop off your child at the Kiss and Ride by coming in the school’s entrance off Braddock Road and following signs to the left. Pull up all the way to Door 9 before letting your child out.

Student Driving Instructions

Seniors and juniors who are driving to TJ can park in the following locations: The back parking lot (just past the speed bumps at door 6), and all of the access road (the street that leads out to the Little River Turnpike exit) except for the spots immediately adjacent to the bus depot on the left of that road. 

Students will not need a parking permit during first two weeks of school, but must obtain one to continue parking at TJ beginning on Sept. 6. See Monday's News You Choose newsletter for parking permit information.

Pick-Up Instructions

Enter from Braddock Rd., turn left when you drive onto campus, and follow signs and staff directions to line up, park and drive off campus once you pick up your child. You will have a 10-minute window from 4:00-4:10 p.m. to exit. Then, at approximately 4:10 p.m., the buses depart, so you will need to wait until all buses exit campus before car traffic resumes. Thank you for your patience as we keep our campus safe.

Visitors to TJ

All visitors must enter through the Dome (Door 1) and sign in at the Main Office. A camera/buzzer system at the main entrance enhances and ensures safe entry for our guests. Also, Officer Steve Richards, our School Resource Officer, will be on site regularly and his vehicle will be parked at the front of the school. Note: masks are optional when on TJ's campus.

Student Schedules Now Available

All student schedules are now available on SIS ParentVUE (also known as SIS Parent Account) and SIS StudentVUE

  • Families new to FCPS should have received instructions in the mail on how to activate their SIS ParentVUE account. These instructions, which include your activation key, come from FCPS and not TJ.
  • Students can access SIS StudentVUE using their FCPS network credentials. New students will have these activated on first day of school.
  • If you need assistance navigating the SIS ParentVUEsystem, watch this video.
  • If you need assistance navigating the SIS StudentVUEsystem, watch this video.

Our counselors are currently working on student schedules that have conflicts or that are incomplete. We are not able to accommodate requests where students have changed their mind about what course to take. Counselors will quickly address obvious errors. The opening weeks will be a time we verify students are leveled appropriately.

Thank you in advance for understanding the complexity of staffing a school, building a master schedule, and meeting a wide variety of student interests.

FCPSOn Laptop Distribution During First Week of School

If your laptop was returned over the summer or if you are a new student to TJHSST, you will receive a laptop during the first week of school. Distribution will take place during the advisory periods on Monday (8:40-9:40 a.m.) and Wednesday (2:25-4 p.m.). Students who kept their laptops should bring them for the first day of school – we will be unable to accommodate requests for loaners unless they are inoperable. Please check the Technology Support guides that can assist with troubleshooting common issues.  For further assistance with your FCPSOn laptop, please submit a Student Support Request. Students should bring a fully charged laptop to school every day to access the instructional curriculum.

Parents/Guardians Need to Provide Consent for Students to Use FCPS-Approved Online Tools

For teachers to have the resources they need to provide engaging instruction, we must have parental consent for your child to use FCPS-approved online tools listed as part of our instructional program. This consent must be provided before the start of the school year on August 22. Please visit this link to review the list of resources and visit this link to provide your consent.

Required Forms

At the beginning of each school year there are some required forms that parents/guardians will need to fill out. 

  • Health Information Form and Emergency Care Form (Online Submission)
    • These are required and provide us with necessary health and emergency contact information for your child. The forms can be filled out via weCare@School, which can found in SIS ParentVUE. Instructions on how to fill them out can be found at the link above. If you need a hard copy of either form please contact Communications Specialist Mike Roth at
  • The Residency Verification Form (Online Submission)
    • This online Google Form needs to be filled out at beginning of the year. You will need to use your student's account to access the form.
  • FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities Guide (Hard Copy or Online Submission in ParentVue)
    • All students will receive a hard copy of this guide by the beginning of September. Please review with your child who will return the parent signature sheet once you receive the hard copy.  The parent signature sheet will be due Sept. 30.
  • TJ Honor Code (Online Submission)
    • Once the school year has begun, students need to fill out the above Google Form acknowledging they have read and understood the TJ Honor Code.

Optional Forms

There are also some optional forms that parents/guardians can choose to fill out at the beginning of the school year.

  • Medication Authorization Form (Hard Copy)
    • Does your child need to take medications during the school day? This form needs to be completed and dropped off at our clinic. If you have any questions about this, please contact our public health nurse Sui Spade at
  • FLE Opt Out Forms (Hard Copy)
    • These are optional if you want your child to opt out of Family Life Education. Go to the link above and print out the form for your child's grade level. A hard copy of this form must be returned to the main office.
  • The 2022-23 Annual Notice of Survey, Records, Curriculum, Privacy, and Related Rights and Opt-Out Forms (Hard Copy)
    • These are various forms related to your child's records and privacy that are located on the main FCPS website.
    • The link above provides instruction on how to access and fill out these forms.
    • These forms are good for the 2022-23 school year only. If you filled out these forms in a previous year, you will need to resubmit.
  • Free/Reduced Application information and forms for qualified families (Online Submission)
    • Meals at all FCPS schools do have a cost this year. If you have a need, please fill out the Free/Reduced Lunch application. It will also make you eligible for other reduced fee programs.
  • Identification of Military Connected Students form (Hard Copy)
    • Please print and turn in a hard copy to the front office if your child has a parent/guardian in the United States uniformed services.
    • Scroll to bottom of form for more resources for military families.As

Student Monitor Positions available!

TJ Parents/Guardians - We are looking to fill our Student Monitor vacancies. Student Monitors provide supervision of students throughout the school day to include but not limited to the classroom, hallways, lunch, and at arrival/dismissal. They also perform administrative and non-instructional duties, ensure all layered prevention/safety protocols and procedures are implemented and followed, and work with individual and small groups of students. A high school diploma is required to be qualified for the position.  The hourly rate is $16.36.

We had a lot of success last year finding Student Monitors from within our TJ Families. If you are interested in the position, please complete this form and a staff member will be in touch with you.  You may direct any specific questions about the position to Mrs. Fortier at

Immunization Reminder

Certain immunizations are required for public school entry, including here at TJ. Many children missed their well check-ups and their recommended childhood immunizations during recent years of disruptions from COVID-19. It is critical to catch up now to keep children healthy and protect them from serious diseases.

A key one to be aware of is that all 12th grade students are required to have been immunized with one dose of the Meningococcal Vaccine given to at the age of 16 or older.

Students who are not properly immunized can be excluded from school until all vaccinations are up to date.

Please visit this site which lists all of FCPS' immunization requirements for various grade levels. We encourage you to check with your healthcare provider to make sure your child is up to date on required immunizations for the 2022-23 school year as soon as possible. If your child needs a vaccine to complete their records, you can make an appointment with your healthcare provider or visit the Fairfax County Health Department website for a schedule of child immunization clinics. 

FCPS Immunization Flyer

Monday, August 22 - Opening Day with Extended Advisory Schedule

In Monday's News You Choose newsletter we gave you our general bell schedule. For opening day, August 22, we will be running a modified Anchor Day schedule with extended advisory. The reason we will be holding a 60-minute advisory is for students to get the opportunity to know their advisory teacher, as well as to distribute FCPSOn laptops. Here is the schedule for Monday, August 22. 

Modified Anchor Day with Extended Advisory
Period Start Time End Time
Advisory 8:40 a.m. 9:40 a.m.
1st Period 9:50 a.m. 10:30 a.m.
2nd Period 10:40 a.m. 11:20 a.m.
3rd Period 11:30 a.m. 12:10 p.m.
Lunch 12:10 p.m. 12:50 p.m.
4th Period 12:50 p.m. 1:30 p.m.
5th Period 1:40 p.m. 2:20 p.m.
6th Period 2:30 p.m. 3:10 p.m.
7th Period 3:20 p.m. 4:00 p.m.


Bus Transportation - FCPS Families

Please note: This information is for our families who are residents of Fairfax County. Information for out-of-county residents is in the next article below.

One of the most important things for your child to know is their bus route, not their bus number (which can change from day-to-day). 

Bus stops and route information is available via the ParentVue accounts. For more information about bus transportation, including how to access the Bus Delay Notification System, visit the Transportation page.

Please note that FCPS is dealing with a bus driver shortage at this time. All routes are being covered and we have been told that this should minimally (if at all) affect TJ's bus transportation. However, future consolidation of bus routes is possible, which could potentially result in the change of depot locations and longer commutes.

If your bus is delayed, the information will be posted on the bus delay notification system. Please still arrive at your scheduled depot and be patient; the bus will get there. 

Bus Transportation - Out of County Families

Transportation to and from TJ for our out-of-county students is taken care of by their resident school district. Families in Arlington, Loudoun, and Prince William Counties should contact those school transportation departments directly for transportation questions/concerns. Here is their contact information:

FCPS Cell Phone Policy Reminder

You are probably aware that one important update that was made to the Student Rights & Responsibilities document (SR&R) for the coming school year is the regulation to prohibit cell phone use in classrooms. This is a policy that is being enforced for all FCPS schools. 

Students will not be permitted to use their cell phones during class unless permitted by the teacher for instructional purposes. We acknowledge this new policy will be a shift for many students and families this year, but research shows that managing phone use during class time will support students’ attention and ability to fully engage in their learning. Schools are partnering with parents to have students understand the importance of putting their phones away to minimize distractions during class. Please talk to your child before the start of the school year about these expectations for this upcoming school year. 

If you have an emergency and need to be in touch with your child, please contact the front office.

School Meals- MySchoolBucks Encouraged for All

As a reminder, students will need to pay for meals during the 2022-23 school year. The best way to purchase items this year is to use MySchoolBucks. Set up your student’s MySchoolBucks account and help them memorize their pin. Students need to know their pin in order to purchase their lunch. If you have questions about MySchoolBucks, contact Mary Handlon in TJ's finance department at

Your child may choose to bring their meals and snacks to school this year. TJ encourages this practice for students who have specific dietary requirements or are particularly picky. Bringing food from home ensures your child will have the meals and snacks they enjoy to fuel their day of learning.

Be ready on day one by setting up your child’s MySchoolBucks account and looking over the menus here.

Reminder - Superintendent Dr. Michelle Reid to Hold Community Conversation at TJ on Aug. 23

Dr. Michelle Reid headshot

We want to remind all TJ families that Dr. Michelle Reid, our new FCPS superintendent, will host a Community Conversation at TJ on Tuesday, August 23, from 6:30-7:30 p.m. This event will be a unique opportunity to help Dr. Reid get to know our school community and learn more about her vision for our district. 

Language interpretation will be provided, as available, as well as childcare and light refreshments. You do need to register in advance to attend. Here is the link to register.

TJ is On Twitter!

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology is 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

Aug. 22: First day of the 2022-23 school year. It will be a Modified Anchor Day with one hour advisory and no JLC.

Aug. 23 - Community Conversation with Dr. Michelle Reid from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in cafeteria.

Aug. 29: This Monday will be a Red Day - periods 5, 6, 7, and advisory will be held.

Aug. 30: Back to School Night will be held in-person at TJ for the Class of 2023 and the Class of 2026 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Sept. 1: Back to School Bash held after school at TJ Athletic Fields.

Sept. 2-5: Labor Day Holiday. No school on Friday, Sept. 2 or Monday, Sept. 5.

Sept. 8: Back to School Night will be held in-person at TJ for the Class of 2024 and the Class of 2025 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Sept. 19-23: TJ's annual homecoming week.

Sept. 26: No school, teacher workday.

Oct. 5: No school for students or staff - Yom Kippur holiday

Oct. 10: No school, staff development day.

Oct. 12: PSAT (10th and 11th grade) SAT (12th grade) 

Oct. 24: No school for students or staff - Diwali holiday

Oct. 28: End of first quarter - Modified Red Day with 2 hour early release