First Week Complete! TJHSST Mini News You Choose Update

Message from the Communications Specialist

Dear TJHSST Families,

Thank you for a great first week of school! Students seem to be settling into their new routines and building new communities. I wanted to send one final Back-to-School News You Choose newsletter before we settle into the once-a-month routine (News You Choose newsletters will come out the first Friday of the month that school is in session - September's edition will be September 8).

Please be sure to see below for a few important updates including information on:

  • Back-to-School Night
  • FCPS Grading Policy
  • TJ's Meditation and Reflection Room
  • Lockdown Drills
  • 9th, 10th, and 11th grade student photo days

As always, please feel to reach out to me if you have any questions.


Mike Roth

TJHSST Communication Specialist

Back to School Night Information

Back-to-School Night for parents/guardians of the class of 2024 (12th grade) and class of 2027 (9th grade) is this Tuesday, Aug. 29 from 6-8 p.m. Back to School Night for parents/guardians of the class of the 2025 (11th grade) and class of 2026 (10th grade) is on Wednesday, Sept. 6 from 6-8 p.m. 

In preparation for this event, 9th and 12th grade families will receive the following email from us later today:

  • An E-Notify from Communications Specialist Mike Roth - This will come later on Friday, Aug. 25 from the email address It will contain all the logistical information about Back-to-School Night, including the full schedule of events, parking, and all the different informational booths that will be available.

For our 10th and 11th grade families - you will receive this email next week in preparation for the Sept. 6 Back-to-School night.

Make Sure You Can Access SIS ParentVue

This is a friendly reminder about your SIS ParentVUE account. SIS ParentVUE allows you to view attendance, class schedules, discipline, health, report cards, and school informationWe hope that you will use this tool to help facilitate your child's education. If you have not already activated your parent account, please do so as soon as possible. If you need an activation key to create the account or have forgotten your username, please create a Parent Support Request

How to Reset Your SIS ParentVUE Password

If you have forgotten your password, use the following link. On the login page, click More Options and Forgot Password:

FCPS Grading Policy Update

FCPS’ Grading Policy was updated for the 2023-24 school year. The following changes were based on input from students, teachers, parents/caregivers, principals, and staff:

  • FCPS will maintain the current late work Teachers must accept major assignments up to two weeks late. The maximum deduction for that time period is 10%. The current policy, when applied correctly, balances accountability and flexibility.
  • A rolling gradebook gives students more chances to show they understand material. Teachers must use the rolling gradebook along with reassessment policies. These policies let students improve grades on major assessments across quarters. Replacement policies allow later assessments to replace the scores of earlier assessments.
  • Teachers may now give zeroes for assignments that are not turned in. Students who make a reasonable effort to finish an assignment will get a minimum grade of 50. 

For teachers using a traditional gradebook, the minimum quarter grade that can be issued is 50%. Teachers on a rolling gradebook must use reassessment practices.

In the 2024-25 school year, all grades will be on a 100-point scale, with 50% as the lowest passing grade for submitted assignments. All high school credit-bearing classes will use the new scale next school year.

Monday, August 28 is a Red Day

This coming Monday, August 28, 2023 will be a Red Day, periods 5, 6, 7, and advisory will be held. The reason for this is there is no school on Friday, Sept. 1 as we begin the four-day Labor Day weekend holiday.

Information on TJ's Meditation and Silent Reflection Space

All Fairfax County Public Schools have a designated Meditation and Reflection Space within school premises that is available for individuals to engage in prayer, meditation, or silent reflection, irrespective of their religious or non-religious beliefs.

TJ has one Meditation and Silent Reflection Space that is easily accessible to accommodate the needs of students and staff. The space we have designated is room 104, located right next to our Health Clinic.

This space is available to all students and staff during regular school hours. If the dedicated space in room 104 needs to change because of other needs at the school, we will inform everyone accordingly.

If a student needs to use the room during a specific time that coincides with instructional time, then they will need a parent or guardians written permission to do so. If your child needs this accommodation, please reach out to their grade level administrator to make arrangements. 

Lockdown Drill Will Be Scheduled in Next Two Weeks

Keeping students and staff safe is a priority for all of us. At TJ, we have a crisis management and emergency preparedness plan for our school that is reviewed and updated regularly. Our plan includes procedures on how to respond to incidents such as fires and tornadoes. Students and staff regularly practice these drills every school year. We also practice lockdown drills.

We will conduct a lockdown drill at TJ sometime in the next two weeks.

A Virginia Law (22.1-137.2) requires schools to notify parents at least 24 hours before a school practices a lockdown drill. However, we are not required to share the exact date and time of the drill. We are required to practice lockdown drills two times a year. FCPS lockdown drills do not include any type of active shooter scenario training, they are instruction and classroom based.

Additional information on our lockdown drill program to include parent tips and FAQs can be found on the Emergency Planning and Crisis Response web page. After reviewing this content, you should discuss the value of these safety drills with your child.

Keeping TJ safe and secure for all students and staff involves the participation of the entire school community, and we thank you for your help to keep our school safe

Underclassman School Photos Sept. 7-8

Underclassman Photos advertisement


Parents/Guardians of 9th, 10th, and 11th graders - Underclassman picture days will take place on September 7-8 through English classes. If you are interested in purchasing photos you can visit our vendor at shop.legacystudios.comThe online order code is 4551F24.

Parents/Guardians will be prompted to pre-order online, and all packages will be shipped directly to students’ homes. Parents/Guardians will also be able to order online after picture day as well. More information can be found in the flyer above.

Successful Opening Week in the Books for TJ!

Collage of Photos from First Week of School


There is always excitement and some jitters during the first week of school. Luckily, TJ had a great week of welcoming the new students, saying hi to our returning students and everyone getting used to their new routines.

A lot of time was spent during the first week building relationships and a sense of TJ community. Above is a photo gallery of some of the highlights!

Reminder - 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/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 a final reminder, 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

Reminder that we also 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.

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. 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's 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.