Checking in as We Get Ready for 2023-24 School Year! - TJHSST Summer Update

Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST Families:

Summer is in full swing with many families reconnecting and soaking up vacation time together. Enjoy!

We also have hundreds of TJ students enthusiastically engaged in summer school. Some students are attending in-person classes for credit at TJ while others are earning credit in FCPS or VA online courses. Dozens of students also are participating in non-credit enrichment opportunities on topics of interest such as Genealogy, Linguistics, Geography and Sports Diplomacy. Other enterprising students are working summer jobs, conducting independent research, or assisting mentors at internship sites. Of course, we also promote relaxation and down-time during the summer; therefore, we do not require or assign summer homework for fall courses. 

Read further in this bulletin for important updates as we plan for the upcoming school year. We are in the final stages of getting the Class of 2027 enrolled and scheduled, as well as a few new classmates for the Class of 2026. Most of all, we are excited to welcome all of our amazing TJ students back to school on Monday, August 21!


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus 

TJHSST Proud Principal

TJHSST Communications Specialist Mike Roth's Welcome

TJ Families,

Welcome everyone to our News You Choose newsletter. I hope you are enjoying your summer. A special welcome to our newest families here at TJ, both the freshmen of the Class of 2027 and the new sophomores joining us in the Class of 2026! My name is Mike Roth and I am the Communications Specialist here at TJ. One of my jobs is to make sure parents/guardians are informed of everything that is going on at TJ.

One of the ways I do that is through monthly News You Choose newsletters. You can expect a newsletter just like this one to be deposited in your inbox the first Friday of every month during the school year. The only exception to that is if there is no school for students on that date. For example, in September, school will be closed on Friday, Sept. 1 for the Labor Day holiday. In that case, the September newsletter will be published on Friday, Sept. 8.

New families have been signed up for either the Class of 2027 or Class of 2026 distribution lists depending on their child's grade level. I have included the emails that you provided to TJ Admissions.

If you would like the newsletter to be delivered to other email addresses (or you wish to no longer receive these newsletters), you can do so at our News You Choose signup page here. When you sign up, be sure to sign up for the TJHSST News and Announcements topic. You can also sign for the TJHSST Athletics, Performances, and Activities topic if interested, as well as a class specific topic (News You Choose newsletters to specific classes are very rare, however).

If you ever have any questions about events going on at TJ, please feel free to reach out to me at I will answer your question, or I will put you in contact with the person who has the answer. 


Mike Roth

TJHSST Communications Specialist

Save the Dates

Here are some important dates from the first couple months of the school year for you to put on your calendar. Please notice that some are marked tentative and are subject to change. More information about these events will be forthcoming.

Thursday, August 17 - New Student Orientation (Class of 2027, plus new students from the Class of 2026 joining as sophomores) - in the morning

Monday, August 21 - First day of school for students.

Tuesday, August 29 (tentative)In-Person Back to School Night for Class of 2024 and 2027  - in the evening

Thursday, August 31 - Back-to-School Bash - after school

Friday, Sept. 1 and Monday, Sept. 4 - Labor Day, no school for students and staff.

Wednesday, September 6 (tentative) - In-Person Back to School Night for Class of 2025 and 2026  - in the evening

Sept. 18-22 - Homecoming Week

Monday, September 25 - Religious Observance Day (Yom Kippur) - No school for students or staff  

Staff Updates

During the last week of school for staff this past June, we honored valued colleagues leaving TJ this next year for professional or personal reasons: Mary Susan Burnett, Mian Chen, Ryan Elder, Erinn Harris, Jen Hitchcock Jennie Lee, Quinn McFee, Koji Otani, Sofhia Qamar and Betsy Sandstrom.

We also congratulated and bid adieu to retiree Myra Spoden. She has been invaluable to TJ and the education profession!

Finally, we recognized temporary employees who supported us throughout our COVID response protocols: Tahira Batool, Saba Javed, and Latisha Williams.

We look forward to welcoming several new staff members this year:

  • Student Services: Dr. Sharmane Delgado-Payne (Counselor, started this spring), Erik Hansen (Counselor)
  • Mathematics/Computer Science: Elizabeth HighsmithGina Tallon 
  • Science: Margarita Kelly (Physics), Elissa Levy (Physics), Dr. William Linch (Physics), Jim Bob Crockett (Biology), Aaron Green (Biology), Samantha Hale (Biology)
  • Humanities: Ashley Craft (Social Studies), Lisa Hampton (English), 
  • Art: Alexandra Feliciano 
  • World Languages: Karen Wolpert (German), Ekaterina Zharkova (Russian)

News from Student Services

The counselors and many of the Department of Student Services (DSS) staff are taking advantage of the opportunity to relax and recharge to get ready for another exciting start to the school year.

While the Student Services department is not fully staffed during the summer, there are staff available to assist with general academic information and registration data, as well as the occasional schedule concern or question. All counselors report back to work with regular hours on Thursday, August 3.

As we finalize the upcoming year's master schedule with course offerings, counselors will reach out to students when there is a question or potential schedule conflict that needs attention to ensure that students have a full and accurate schedule before the start of school.

Please be aware the only schedule changes that will be accommodated in the opening weeks of school will be those that are incomplete, contain errors or incorrect sequencing, do not reflect updates from summer school, or otherwise need to address a senior's requirement for graduation. Merely changing one's mind is not a basis for a schedule change.

If you have a question or concern that cannot wait until all counselors return on August 3, please feel free to contact the Department of Student Services at 703-750-8340 or A DSS staff member will be as helpful as possible until an assigned counselor is able to respond.

PTSA to Host Regional Welcome Parties for New Families

The following message from the TJ PTSA is intended for Class of 2027 families, as well as families of the Class of 2026 who will be new to TJ this year.

Welcome to the TJ family!! 

In August, the TJ PTSA will host regional welcome parties for you to meet other incoming families who live near you and hear from current TJ students! Tentative information about each regional party is included below. To keep up-to-date as party plans evolve, please complete this form by July 31 to register for your regional party.

Please visit the PTSA webpage for more information here

Direct link to the form:

Look forward to seeing you there! Please email or with any questions.

Thank You Volunteers!

Part of what makes TJ so great are the wonderful volunteers we have year-in and year-out. The 2022-23 school year was no different. We had over 140 volunteers contribute over 2,000 hours of service during the school year!

From everyone at TJ, thank you to all of our volunteers for everything you to make our school run!

Parent Volunteers Requested for JLC Time on Mondays

TJ Parents and Guardians,

We appreciate your continued support during JLC. JLC (Jefferson Learning Community) is a time embedded in the school day for teachers and administrators to have meaningful conversations and develop plans to address our instructional needs.

In the past, parents have supported us by volunteering to monitor students during JLC. JLC is held on Mondays from 12:10pm to 12:50pm. If you are interested, please complete this formVolunteers must also complete all background check procedures through Fairfax County Public Schools.

TJ Summer Programming in Full Swing

Collage of photos from TJ Summer School 2023


Since late June, the TJ campus has been busy with summer programming, as rising 9th, 10th, and 11th graders have been able to take a class for an extra credit, or take an enrichment program for some extra knowledge.

In addition, the Middle School Technology Institute (MSTI) is in full swing. MSTI is a summer STEM program that engages young minds through a number of experiential workshop sessions. This summer, MSTI provided an opportunity for approximately 100 rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade middle school students to participate in courses on topics including the ecology, oceanography, CAD, astronomy, and JAVA.

We are thankful to teachers from around FCPS who lead our courses, and especially to the students for making this a great summer. 

A special thanks goes out to the TJ Partnership Fund for their help in sponsoring TJ MSTI ’23.

Check out the photo gallery of TJ students in Summer Programming above.



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

Collage of photos of TJ students at Cappie Awards


  • The CAPPIES is an award program that honors high school theatre arts programs for their work during the school year. At the award ceremony at the Kennedy Center on June 12, TJ was fortunate to win three CAPPIES - one for its spring musical Pippen, and two for their work as critics.
    • Best Lighting Design – Charles Bucher, Cullan Kelley, Ella Clarke

    • Bill Strauss Graduating Critic Award – Hannah Frieden

    • Cappies Critic Team – Hannah Frieden (lead critic), Inaayah Khan, Cullan Kelley, Mayuka Valluri, Ella Greene, Riva Jain, Asha Das, Mira Singh, Sri Vellakkat

       Congratulations to everyone on these spectacular honors!

Collage of photos from the IBEST Symposium


  • Closing out the 2022-23 school year, the Integrated Biology, English, Statistics, and Technology (IBEST) Program hosted their first ever IBEST Symposium on June 7. This event showcased the freshmen research projects in a professional poster presentation, which provided a valuable platform for students to receive  feedback on their work and gain public speaking experience. The photos above are from the event.
Team photos of TJ Quiz Bowl club in Atlanta and Chicago


  • Just prior to the school year ending, the TJ Quiz Bowl club sent a total of 21 students to two national competitions, one in Atlanta, and one in Chicago. 
    • In Atlanta at the HSNCT (High School National Competition Tournament) hosted by NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournaments), TJ sent four teams comprising of 16 students. All of the its teams made it to the playoffs. They placed fifth, 13th, and two teams placed 65th. TJ was the only school in the USA to have all four teams make it to the playoffs!
    • In Chicago at the Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence hosted by the National Scholastic Championship, one of TJ's four teams placed second overall in the Varsity competition, while another took second place in the Junior Varsity tournament. Way to go everyone!

Immunization Reminder

Immunization Reminder brochure from FCPS


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.

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 2023-24 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. 

TJ Students Have Access to Throughout Summer

TJ students will continue to have unlimited access to 24/7, on-demand, online tutoring support services through during summer 2023.  Students are able to use during the summer to review and/or practice in subject areas of interest or need. Students may also choose to access other tools and services such as practice quizzes in a variety of subject areas as well as self-paced study courses for SAT/ACT preparation. 

Detailed information and FAQs are available on the Online Tutoring Services website.

Students can access via a link in Schoology. Additional information about how to log in and access a tutor is provided to families via the following: Middle & High - How It Works.

Questions not answered in the posted resources may be sent to

FCPS Offers Summer Mental Wellness Consultations

The following message is from the FCPS Office of Intervention and Prevention Services.

The FCPS Office of Intervention and Prevention Services will offer Virtual Mental Wellness Consultations this summer from now through August 4. Any Fairfax County parent may schedule a 45-minute consultation by phone or video conferencing with a school psychologist or school social worker to get the support needed to help your child. 

Consultations are offered in two ways:

  1. Directly to parents of students in any grade level. This consultation provides an opportunity for parents to receive guidance on how to support their child’s social-emotional, behavioral, or academic functioning. Information about community resources will also be made available.
  2. Directly to students in middle or high school. This consultation provides support and strategies to students who may be experiencing difficulties with anxiety, mood, behavior, or peer or family interactions; as well as academic challenges such as organization, time-management, or transitions and changes related to school.

We encourage parents to take advantage of this service. Click here to request a consultation. You may also leave us a message at 703-503-2520.

Class of 2027, Looking to Get Involved Early? Join Froshcomm!

The following message is from our Student Government Association (SGA):

To any students interested in leadership and finding an avenue to meet like-minded peers, Froshcomm is the perfect opportunity for you! Go to for more information on how to apply!

Fall Sports Start July 27 and July 31!

Fall Sports begin in just 3 weeks. Please see the information below if your student has interest in joining any of our athletic programs this fall.

Any Questions? Please contact Director of Student Activities, Dylan Forshay –

Dr. Heather Murphy (Head Athletic Trainer) will be available at door 1 in the dome from 10:00am to 5:00pm on Thursday, July 28, to collect any VHSL physical forms and answer any questions. Forms can also be mailed to TJ at 6560 Braddock Rd, Alexandria VA, 22312, ATTN: Dr. Heather Murphy

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

2023 Fall Sports Try-out Information



July 31- 3:00-6:00pm

Gym 2


Join the BAND App


Head Coach: Mary Brunson


Instagram: @tjhsst.cheer




July 31 5:30-7:30pm

Stadium Field Track


2 mi Time Trials 8/2, 8/9, 8/16


Join BAND App:


Head Coach: Todd Withington


Instagram: @TJHSSTXCTF



July 31-Aug 12

8-10am Stadium


Join the BAND App


Head Coach: Clint Behling


Instagram: @TJFieldHockey


July 31

5-9pm Stadium

Join the band app 

Head Coach: Taylor Kramer


Instagram: @tjhsst_football



July 27 – 12:00 Pinecrest GC

8/1 - 12:00 Pinecrest GC

8/3 – 12:00 Pinecrest GC


Co-Ed Head Coach: John Myers


Girls Coach: Rick Whittenberger



July 31 Main Gym - Door 11

Freshman: 3-5 pm

JV: 5-7 pm

Varsity 7-9 pm


Head Coach: Alec Bradley


Instagram: @tjvball



Video Submission

Deadline July 15, 11:59pm


Head Coach: Caroline Johnson


Instagram: @tjhsstdanceteam


Any Questions?


Email Director of Student Activities

-Dylan Forshay

Stay in touch:


#1 Completed VHSL physical form

#2 Athlete Registration for SY 2023-2024

Follow TJ on Social Media!

Be sure to visit Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology On its official social media channels!

Visit our Twitter account @TJHSST_Official  for news, upcoming events, reminders of important deadlines, and updates of all the fun activities going on at the school.

Visit our Instagram account @OfficialTJHSST for pictures and highlights of those fun events!

Be sure to give us a follow!