One Week Away! Back-to-School Information for Families

Message from Principal

Dear TJHSST Families,

Today has been exciting as we welcomed 120 teachers and dozens of other staff in student services, administration, and support roles. We look forward to opening our doors to over 2,030 TJ students!

Opening staff meetings help set the vision for the year, as well as give time to review required school and district-level updates. We continue to dedicate ourselves to engaging learning experiences that inspire joyful inquiry. Student wellness is paramount as we decouple workload and rigor (more does not mean better), manage expectations, and emphasize the importance of sleep. Our Collaborative Teams organized by curricular areas will analyze student performance to ensure we understand each child by name and by need. TJ will also be a leader in innovative practices as we draw inspiration from many sources. Above all, consistent with our TJ mission, we will build thriving learning communities that hold each other accountable for ethical behaviors that contribute to positive learning environments.

I will keep my remaining remarks brief so you can focus on all the information below. Please read carefully for Back to School Night info, bell schedules, how/when to arrive and depart from campus, bus transportation, laptop distribution, required forms and permissions, and so much more.

We appreciate this can be a busy time for parents, especially if you have children in several schools and across school divisions in Northern VA. We will be here each step of the way to help guide you and manage the processes. Continue to contact our Communication Specialist Mike Roth with basic questions that he can answer or route you to a person who can.

Thanks to all our families for being valued partners in the education of our talented students. We will send another bulletin this Friday, August 18, with reminders to ensure you and your child are ready for TJ from day one.


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus

Proud Principal, TJHSST 

Back-to-School Night Save the Date

TJ parents/guardians, save the date for our annual Back-to-School Nights! As we have done in the past for parking concerns, we will hold two events:

Tuesday, August 29 - 9th and 12th grades (Class of 2024 and Class of 2027)

Wednesday, September 6 - 10th and 11th grades (Class of 2025 and Class of 2026)

Both events will take place from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Parents/guardians will have the opportunity to meet with each of their child's teachers and learn more about their class and expectations for the 2023-24 school year. In addition, there will be booths to meet with the TJ PTSA, TJ Partnership Fund, and the Athletic Boosters before and after the event.

More information will come later this month.

TJHSST 2023-24 Bell Schedules

The school day at TJ begins at 8:40 a.m. and ends at 4:00 p.m. In general, Mondays are Anchor Days, where students attend all seven courses and an advisory at the beginning of the day. Tuesdays and Thursdays are Blue Days, in which students will attend periods 1-4. Wednesdays and Fridays are Red Days, in which students will attend periods 5-8. During the first two and a half weeks of school, eighth periods will be spent in the student's advisory room.

The five exceptions to this schedule in the first semester are:

Monday, August 28 - will be a Red Day

Tuesday, October 10 - will be an Anchor Day

Wednesday, October 11 - will be PSAT/SAT Day (more information to come next month)

Wednesday, November 8 - will be an Anchor Day

Monday, November 20 - will be a Red Day

The complete 2023-24 Anchor, Red, and Blue Schedule can be found on our website. Any non-emergency changes will be communicated well in advance. 

Regular Bell Schedule

Monday: Anchor Day
Period Start Time End Time
Advisory 8:40 a.m. 9:10 a.m.
1st Period 9:20 a.m. 10:00 a.m.
2nd Period 10:10 a.m. 10:50 a.m.
3rd Period 11:00 a.m. 11:40 a.m.
Lunch 11:40 a.m. 12:50 p.m.
JLC 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.


Tuesday/Thursday: Blue Day
Period Start Time End Time
1st Period 8:40 a.m. 10:15 a.m.
2nd Period 10:25 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Lunch 12:00 p.m. 12:40 p.m.
3rd Period 12:40 p.m. 2:15 p.m.
4th Period 2:25 p.m. 4:00 p.m.


Wednesday/Friday: Red Day
Period Start Time End Time
5th Period 8:40 a.m. 10:15 a.m.
6th Period 10:25 a.m. 12:00 p.m.
Lunch 12:00 p.m. 12:40 p.m.
7th Period 12:40 p.m. 2:15 p.m.
8A Period 2:25 p.m. 3:05 p.m.
8B Period 3:20 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 


Visit our website to see the two-hour early release and two-hour delayed opening schedules.

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. 5. Parking permit information can be found later on in this newsletter.

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 Benji Main, our School Resource Officer, will be on site regularly and his vehicle will be parked at the front of the school. 

Dismissal at TJ – General Instructions on Student Pick-Up

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.
  • Students being picked up will exit out of doors 7, 8, and 9.
  • Our speed limit driving on school grounds is 15 MPH.
  • There are traffic signs posted around the building for student and staff safety. Crosswalks and stop signs have been established at very strategic areas around the school to insure everyone’s safety. Please observe ALL traffic signs.
  • Finally, parking at dismissal. There are 2 areas available to parents picking up students at dismissal. Both are available at anytime prior to 3:55pm.
    • The REAR PARKING area is past the yellow speed bump at Door 7 and ends at Door 9.
    • The parking area on Minor lane (the driveway between our athletic fields), to include the football stadium area.
    • The visitors lot, all staff parking areas, and our bus depot are NOT available for parking at dismissal.

PLEASE, you may ONLY park in the 2 areas we have developed for you in the afternoon at dismissal, for YOUR students’ safety! Thank you for your cooperation.

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:

FCPSOn Laptop Distribution Information

Students will need a fully charged device at school daily whether it is their personally owned or school issued device.

  • FCPS Department of Information Technology conducted significant market research and determined that many school divisions are migrating to Chromebooks.
  • All students will receive a HP Fortis 14 Chromebook 8 for the 2023-2024 school year, via their Advisory period, on the first day of school.
    • Exception - returning students who have not returned their laptop from the previous year will not receive a Chromebook until it is returned.
  • These devices are preassigned at TJ. There is no need to take action on email notices students received from FCPS to their accounts.
  • If a student retained their device over the summer, they need to bring it to school with them on the first day of school (August 21) in order to access instruction.

Parents/Guardian 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/guardian consent for your child to use FCPS-approved online tools listed as part of our instructional program.

Visit the FCPS Digital Consent Website for more information on the tools that need your approval and to provide that consent.

Required Forms

Here are some required forms that parents/guardians will need to fill out at the beginning of the school year.

  • Online Verification Update and Emergency Care Form (Online Submission)
    • FCPS is offering a new online option where parents can easily update their child’s information!  The Online Verification Update packet or OVU will allow parents to review and update phone numbers, emergency contacts and health information (such as health conditions and immunizations) for students in grades PS/HS  and kindergarten through 12th grade.   Enrolling parents will be able to access OVU through their SIS ParentVUE account.  If you need help with the Online Verification/Update packet or for technical support, create a Parent Support Request ticket for support with the application (select Online Registration in the Application dropdown menu) or call the Parent Technology Help Desk at 833-921-3277 (833-921-FCPS).
  • The Residency Verification Form (Online Submission)
    • This online Google Form needs to be filled out at the beginning of the year. It is the confirmation that you remain a resident in one of TJHSST’s participating jurisdictions (FCPS, Prince William, Loudoun, Falls Church, Arlington)
  • FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities Guide (In-Person or Online Submission in ParentVue)
    • All students will receive a hard copy of this guide by the beginning of September. You can also download the full guide at the link above. Please review with your child and fill out the parent signature sheet in ParentVue. You can also return a hard copy of the Parent Signature Sheet to our main office. The parent signature sheet is due September 29.
  • TJ Honor Code Acknowledgement (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

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

  • FLE Opt Out Forms (In-Person Submission)
    • 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 2023-24 Annual Notice of Survey, Records, Curriculum, Privacy, and Related Rights and Opt-Out Forms (In-Person Submission)
    • These are various forms related to your child's records and privacy that are located on the main FCPS website.
    • Please Note: Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) screeners are included in the opt-out pack this year. There will not be a separate opt-out process for SEL screeners. If you do not wish for your child to participate in the SEL screeners, please visit page 10 in the link above for instructions on how to do so.
    • The link above provides instructions on how to access and fill out all of these forms.
    • These forms are good for the 2023-24 school year only. If you filled out these forms in a previous year, you will need to resubmit.
    • A hard copy of this form must be returned to the main office.
  • Free/Reduced Application information and forms for qualified families (Online Submission)
    • TJHSST provides breakfast and lunch for students each school day. For information on how to apply for Free and Reduced cost meals, please visit the link above. 
  • Identification of Military Connected Students Form (In-Person Submission)
    • 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 the bottom of form for more resources for military families.
    • A hard copy of this form must be returned to the main office.
  • Medication Authorization Form (In-Person Submission)
    • 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 Dee Wilkes at
    • A hard copy of this form must be returned to the main office.

Unofficial Transcripts Available in ParentVue and StudentVue

On Aug. 10, parents/guardians received an email from FCPS about some changes to course weighting and an ability to access their child's unofficial transcript on demand. 

Visit the FCPS website for more information on those changes.

Food and Nutrition Department Updates

Flyer introducing the new salad bar.

TJ's Food and Nutrition Department offers breakfast and lunch each school day. Here is the information that you need to know.

Obtaining Parking Permits

  • Seniors and juniors can acquire a parking pass during the first two weeks of school. 
  • Students and their parents need to fill out and sign this application form and return a hard copy to the security office. 
    • The parking fee is $200 for the school year and can be paid on MySchoolBucks . Search for a button labeled "Student Parking Pass Fee." Click on that and it will allow you to make the purchase.
  • Students with economic challenges supported through federal meal programs may speak to a security representative about reduced fees. 
  • There will be no tickets written for students parked in student approved areas during the first two weeks of school while everyone is still obtaining passes.

Immunization Reminder

Immunization Flyer with grade level information

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. 

Finance Update - Overdue Student Textbooks

The following message is from our finance office.

Returning TJ Students: As you prepare to return to school, please search at home for any TJ textbooks/paperbacks from last year (or prior.) 

All outstanding books should be returned to the Finance Office (Room 105) during the first week of school (8/21- 8/25).  Teachers need these books in order to re-issue them to this year's classes. 

Please don't wait! Clear your student obligations account right away! 

Questions? Email the TJ Finance Office at or call (703) 750-8336.

Athletics Update - TJ Football and Field Hockey are Still Looking for Interested Student-Athletes!

If you are interested in joining a fall sport, Field Hockey and Football are still looking to add to their rosters. Contact the head coaches if you have any questions.

Taylor Kramer - Football –

Clint Behling – Field Hockey –

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 X (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!

We'd love it if you give us a follow!

Important Calendar Reminders

Aug. 17 - Class of 2027 and Class of 2026 New Student Orientation, 8:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.

Aug. 21: First day of the 2022-23 school year. It will be a Modified Anchor Day with one hour advisory and no JLC.

Aug. 28: This Monday will be a Red Day - periods 5, 6, 7, and advisory will be held.

Aug. 29: Back to School Night will be held in-person at TJ for the Class of 2024 and the Class of 2027 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Aug. 31: Back to School Bash held after school at TJ Athletic Fields.

Sept. 1-4: Labor Day Holiday. No school on Friday, Sept. 1 or Monday, Sept. 4.

Sept. 6: Back to School Night will be held in-person at TJ for the Class of 2025 and the Class of 2026 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Sept. 15: Religious or Cultural Observance Day (Rosh Hashanah begins in evening) - school remains in session with normal hours.

Sept. 18-22: TJ's annual homecoming week.

Sept. 23 - TJ's Homecoming Dance in evening

Sept. 25: Religious or Cultural Observance Day (Yom Kippur) - no school for students or staff

Oct. 9: Staff Development Day - no school for students

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

Oct. 16: Modified Anchor Day with one hour advisory and no JLC

Nov. 1-2:Religious or Cultural Observance Day (Día de los Muertos) - school remains in session with normal hours.

Nov. 3: End of first quarter - Modified Red Day with 2-hour early release