It's GO Time! Reminders for School on Monday!

Principal's Message

Dear TJHSST Families,

We are ready to open our doors to nearly 2,020 students for the 2023-2024 school year! Our students were born in 65 different countries and our households speak 61 different languages from Albanian, Amharic, Chinese, English, and Hindi, to Korean, Russian, Spanish, Twi, and Yoruba. As a regional magnet school, our Northern Virginia enrollment territory encompasses more than 1,300 square miles! And our students hail from over 100 different public, private, independent, and home school settings. There is no doubt we are a wonderfully diverse community, and when we walk through The Dome, we unite as One TJ!

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.

Our TJ mission is to provide students with a challenging learning environment focused on math, science, and technology, to inspire joy at the prospect of discovery, and to foster a culture of innovation based on ethical behavior and the shared interests of humanity. Our work is inspirational!

To reach our mission, we are ever mindful of student health and overall wellness. Several years ago we joined the Challenge Success network of schools and have remained focused on key wellness initiatives that support a rigorous academic environment. Remember, more does not equal better. We will manage workload expectations aligned with FCPS policies such as no more than 30 minutes of homework per class per day for a total of 2 hours on average. Of course, students who self-select to take more than a few Advanced Placement courses at one time may experience a higher volume. Most importantly, 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 tap into personal inspiration to facilitate our journey as leaders in innovation.  On our opening day with staff, each professional identified a source of inspiration that they will harness in order to bring our practices and programs to the next level.

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 

TJHSST Introduces New Assistant Principal and Director of Student Services

TJ has a pair of changes to the administration team that we are excited to announce to families. Please read on to learn about new Assistant Principal Yaara Crane and Acting Director of Student Services Sara Genetin.


Headshot of Yaara Crane

With former TJHSST Assistant Principal Cynthia Hawkins transferring to Chantilly High School this past summer, we welcome Yaara Crane to our administration team.

Ms. Crane brings 17 years of experience within Fairfax County Public Schools, all in the STEM arena. She began her FCPS career as a chemistry teacher at Justice and Annadale High Schools. Her most recent roles in FCPS include serving as the Acting K-12 Science Coordinator, High School Science Specialist, and an interim Assistant Principal.

As part of her role in the Instructional Services Department, Yaara led the implementation of new state science standards, was responsible for semi-annual professional development for all high school science staff, and served as the Director for the Fairfax County Regional Science Fair and Engineering Fair.

Ms. Crane values inquiry-based approaches that foster creative and critical thinking. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry and Secondary Science Education from the University of Maryland, and an M.Ed. in Education Leadership from George Mason University.

In her free time, Yaara can be found baking delicious and beautiful treats, leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, and soaking up the sun with her dog and a good book.

Ms. Crane will supervise the TJ Science and Technology Division. She will also be the administrator supporting our sophomore class.

Congratulations and welcome, Ms. Crane!

Sara Genetin Headshot

With Mr. Kosatka’s transition to another role in FCPS, Sara Genetin has been named Acting Director of Student Services. Ms. Genetin is eager  to serve the TJHSST community in this capacity. The transition will be seamless as this is a role she previously held during the 2021-2022 school year.

This past year Ms. Genetin served as our school’s Associate Principal. Prior to coming to TJ, Ms. Genetin was an Assistant Principal at Robinson Secondary School, following the same role at John Champe High School in Loudoun County Public Schools.

Alongside her administrative experiences, Ms. Genetin has taught high school English in Illinois and Michigan, her home state.

She is inspired daily by TJ students and shared, “For me, TJ is a community where students and staff alike thrive in their learning. This is a special place where curiosity is celebrated, risks are encouraged, and uniqueness is embraced. I am humbled to be a leader to so many future leaders and innovators.”

Ms. Genetin will supervise all counselors and other professionals who provide special services to students and families.

Congratulations, Ms. Genetin!

Who's Who of TJHSST Administration Team

Since there have been a few changes to the TJ Administration since the end of the last school year, here is a handy summary that names each member of the team and what their main roles are.


Dr. Ann Bonitatibus Head Shot

Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus - Principal

  • Establishes TJ Vision and implementation of TJ Mission
  • Aligns TJ program with VA Governor's School Program
  • Partners with parent and student advisory groups
  • Serves on local and national STEM boards
  • Oversees Administrative Team 


Chrystal Benson Headshot

Chrystal Benson - Assistant Principal

  • Grade-level administrator for the Class of 2027
  • Oversees the Math and Computer Science Department


Headshot of Yaara Crane

Yaara Crane - Assistant Principal

  • Grade-level administrator for the Class of 2026
  • Oversees the Science and Technology Department



Shawn Frank headshot

Shawn Frank - Assistant Principal

  • Grade-level administrator for the Class of 2025
  • Oversees the World Language, Fine Arts, and Physical Education Department


Volita Russell Headshot

Volita Russell - Assistant Principal

  • Grade-level administrator for the Class of 2024
  • Oversees the Humanities Department



Sara Genetin Headshot

Sara Genetin - Director of Student Services

  • Oversees counselors, social worker, school psychologist, and other staff providing student support
  • Coordinates the school's master schedule


Dylan Forshay headshot

Dylan Forshay - Director of Student Activities

  • Oversees eighth period, all clubs and activities, and building security
  • Serves as TJ's Athletic Director



Leo Resquin headshot

Leo Requin - Technology Systems Manager

  • In charge of all technology at school, overseeing Technology Team
  • Leader for tjSTAR


Mike Roth headshot

Mike Roth - Communications Specialist

  • Handles all internal and external communications with TJ staff, families and members of the community
  • Liaison with FCPS Office of Communications 

Other Faculty and Staff Updates

Since the last staff update shared with our community in our July 7 News You Choose, we have thanked and bid adieu to Michael Auerbach (Math), Kristen Kucko (Robotics Engineering), Kaitlin Elliott (Office Assistant), and  Kate Knizner (Tech Support Specialist). 

We have since welcomed Ann Craven (Social Studies) and Joseph Kim (Tech Support Specialist).

On the administrative side, we said goodbye to Assistant Principal Cynthia Hawkins who transferred to Chantilly High School after serving four years at TJ supervising Humanities and the Class of 2026. 

Craig Lewis, a Career and Technology Education teacher, has been promoted to an FCPS administrative role as Manager for Trade and Industrial Education. Congratulations! He will remain at TJ until we are able to fill his position.

Finally, Director of Student Services Brandon Kosatka will transition to an administrative role within FCPS where he will join a new team dedicated to collaborative and integrated projects that support schools. He has helped lead TJ through enrollment growth points, several admissions changes, renovation, COVID, counselor and special needs supports, and the latest SEL initiatives for students. Mr. Kosatka's considerable contributions to the TJ community throughout the past twenty years are too numerous to list. Please join us in well wishes and thanking Mr. Kosatka for his valued dedication and leadership! 

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.

Be Sure to Check Last Monday's News You Choose for Important Information

On Monday (August 14), we sent out a News You Choose newsletter with a lot of important information as you prepare to send your child back to TJ for the 2023-24 school year. Some of the highlights included the following:

  • Back-to-School Night Dates
  • Bell Schedules
  • Arrival and Dismissal Instructions
  • Laptop Distribution
  • Bus Transportation information
  • Required and Optional forms to sign (repeated in this newsletter below)

Please make sure to check out that newsletter to make sure you have all the latest information.

Message from Communications Specialist

Dear TJHSST Families,

I hope everyone had a great summer break and is ready for an exciting 2023-24 school year! After our New Student Orientation on Thursday, I could sense the anticipation from the students as well.

As a reminder, my name is Mike Roth and I'm the Communications Specialist for TJ. We are the only school in Fairfax County Public Schools to have such a position. One of my jobs is to answer your questions, or to put you in contact with the person who has the answer.

About 75 percent of the time I will be able to answer your question myself. The other 25 percent of the time, I will be able to send it to the content expert who will be able to help you with finding the answer. Either way, you should have an answer within one business day of your inquiry. 

A couple of exceptions to note.

  • If your child is going to be absent (that includes prearranged absences), please contact our Attendance Office at
  • If it is a specific academic issue regarding your child, please reach out to their teacher or counselor. I do not have access to individual student records beyond what courses they are taking. I can answer general academic questions. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me. I look forward to assisting you this school year!


Mike Roth

TJHSST Communications Specialist

Parking Reminders

In Monday's News You Choose newsletter we gave families both arrival and dismissal instructions when dropping off or picking up your child. Please be sure to follow those instructions as they are the only locations that are authorized for student pickup/drop off. 

Please do not use the following locations for pickup or drop off. That includes not parking and waiting for your child at the following locations:

  • Weyanoke Elementary School
  • Braddock Road in front of TJ
  • any neighborhood street in the vicinity of TJ

These are all private areas and not part of TJ's property. Thank you in advance for your cooperation as we value being good citizens to our residential neighbors.

Reminder - 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.

Reminder - Required Forms

As mentioned on Monday, FCPS requires certain forms to be signed by parents at the beginning of the school year. Here is that list. Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions about any of these forms.

  • 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.

Reminder - Optional Forms

Also mentioned on Monday, we have some optional forms that you may want to consider filling out. The descriptions are below. If you need more clarification, please feel free to reach out.

  • 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.

FCPS Cell Phone Policy Revision

FCPS has revised its cell phone policy and complete information can be found in the Student Rights & Responsibilities document.

Continuing from the previous policy, students will not be permitted to use their cell phones during class unless permitted by the teacher for instructional purposes. 

New this year: students are not permitted to have phones in hallways during class time and shall not use phones in bathrooms or locker room unless for medical emergencies. Cell phones can be used before school, after school, during class change, and during lunch. Also, students are not permitted to have air pods, ear phones, or other ancillary cell phone peripherals in use during class time unless permitted by a teacher.

If you have an emergency and need to be in touch with your child, please contact the front office. Be aware of when your child is permitted to check for messages. Thank you for your part in helping our students stay focused on learning throughout the school day.

FCPS Dress Code Revision

FCPS has completely revised its Dress Code policy. Complete information can be found in the Student Rights & Responsibilities document.

Students must wear a shirt and bottom or a one-piece garment, regardless of gender identity, that serves the same function as a shirt and bottom, and must wear shoes.

Prohibited clothing includes anything that depicts illegal, violent, or lewd conduct, or promotes the unlawful possession or use of weapons, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, paraphernalia, or other controlled substances. Also, students shall not expose underwear or undergarments, whether due to transparency, length, or have lack of coverage of genitalia, breast, or buttocks.

Thank you for reinforcing appropriate school attire with your child.

Monday, August 21 - Opening Day with Modified Advisory Schedule

In Monday's News You Choose newsletter we gave you our general bell schedule. For opening day, August 21, 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 the new Chromebooks. Here is the schedule for Monday, August 21. 

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.


Class of 2027 and New Sophomores Ready for TJ After Orientation

Collage of photos from New Student Orientation


On Thursday, August 17, TJ welcomed nearly 550 new members of the Class of 2027, as well as several incoming sophomores as part of its New Student Orientation.

The students met with their counselors, took a tour of the school, got to walk their schedule and heard from an upperclassman student panel.

The parents/guardians heard from administrators about how to navigate TJ, got the opportunity to network with each other, and also meet with their child's counselor. 

Please enjoy a photo gallery of the event above!

Save the Date - PTSA to Hold Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration Oct. 13

The following message is from the TJ PTSA

SAVE THE DATE! Join us in the Nobel Commons on Friday, October 13th from 4:30-6:30 p.m. for our 3rd annual Hispanic Heritage Month/Día de los Muertos Celebration!

Volunteers interested in helping to organize the event and students interested in performing at the event, please contact Michele Hyde at All TJ students, staff, and families are welcome!

More event details and a SignUp Genius for event day volunteers/donations will be coming soon!

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. 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. 8: September News You Choose newsletter released.

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. 6: October News You Choose newsletter released.

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

Nov. 3: November News You Choose newsletter released.