TJ Gets in the Swing of Things with Homecoming Approching! TJHSST September Update

Message from the Principal

Dear TJHSST Families,

It's been a wonderful first three weeks of school! We have already held several successful community-building events such as the Back-to-School Bash and two Back-to-School Nights. We are thankful for all the positive feedback we have received. Next up is Homecoming Week which will take place from Sept. 18-22. Our Class Councils have been hard at work planning fun-filled and spirited events for the week.

September is the month where schools get back into the swing of things so that they can settle into their routines. That includes resuming our monthly newsletter. This month's edition has several important updates and reminders. And enjoy photos from some of the adventures TJ has had during our opening weeks!

This is also the time of year that families are settling into school routines. Continue to assist your child with time management, create spaces conducive to learning, and make eight hours of sleep a goal each night. Think about productive academic conversations with open-ended questions. Rather than asking your child, "What did you get on your test?" or "How are you doing in class?" ask, "What excited you today? What did you learn that you didn't know before?" If you get the sense that your child is falling behind or struggling academically or emotionally, please reach out to the teacher, counselor, or administrator early and often. It's important to us that your children have proactive plans in place that support their success and well-being.

Finally, I cannot overstate the joy I've personally experienced returning to the school year. The positivity and sense of community is boundless for our TJ family! I look forward to a fantastic year together.


Dr. Ann N. Bonitatibus

Proud Principal, TJHSST 

Need to Learn How to Use Schoology? Let Us Help!

We are continuing to use Schoology this year as our learning management system here at TJ to support your child’s learning.  All of your student’s teachers will be using this to house important course information.  You can log-in to this platform using your same credentials as your SIS Parent VUE account. 

In early September, TJ will be hosting two optional half-hour virtual sessions to learn more about how to access and navigate Schoology. Each session will cover the same information. These sessions are intended for ninth grade and new 10th grade families, but if you need a refresher then please feel free to join. The dates, times, and Zoom registration links are below.  We will also make a recording available if you are unable to attend. 

Monday, September 18, 12 p.m. – Zoom Link

Wednesday, September 20, 9 a.m. – Zoom Link

If you need assistance with creating a SIS Parent Vue account, please use this link.

For more information about Schoology, please use this link.

More information regarding using Schoology for parents and guardians new to the platform can be found here.

We look forward to continuing to partner together in support of your student’s learning.

Late Buses to Begin Running on Wednesday, Sept. 13

The TJ Late Bus is back for the 2023-24 school year! This service is run by FCPS two days a week, and is for Fairfax County students only. 

On every Wednesday and Thursday, TJ will have a bus depart at precisely 6:30 p.m. For security reasons we do not publish bus depot location stops, but students may take a photo of the drop locations for parents to review. The list is posted outside of the security office, Room 46.

National Honor Society: Service Hours Reminder for Current Members and Info for New Membership

National Honor Society Induction Ceremony


Fall is the time for juniors and seniors at TJ to think about National Honor Society! Information about the selection process for membership in this organization can be found here.

Last year TJ hosted two inductions, fall and spring, to honor those who may not have had an opportunity during COVID to earn service hours or otherwise work toward eligibility. 

Note that this year TJ will return to a single induction to be held in the fall.

In the coming weeks eligible students and their parents/guardians will receive an email notification regarding the process to apply.

Also, current members are reminded to keep their service hours active to remain eligible for National Honor Society.

Remember that September 11 is a National Day of Service and you can find plenty of opportunities to bank original service hours for NHS eligibility or log ongoing hours to remain active in NHS.


Self-Studying for AP Exams

Students, are you interested in registering to take an AP Exam for a course that you are not enrolled in?

Please complete this google form to indicate which exam(s) you would like to register for as a Non-Enrolled student. The non-refundable exam fee this year is $98 and should be paid in MySchoolBucks (AP Test Fee Home Schooled/Non-Enrolled). 

  • Students must use their account to complete the form.

As you consider self-studying for exams, please check the AP Exam schedule to ensure that you do not over-schedule or double book yourself. Exams will only be moved to the late testing schedule for extreme circumstances.

The deadline to complete the form and pay your fees is Friday, October 27. Requests for these exams will not be taken after that date.


Wednesday, September 20 and Thursday, September 21 we will be conducting our Vision and Hearing Screenings in the Wrestling Room near the Health Room. All 9th and 10th graders will be screened during their PE/Health Class (including online PE students).

It takes 2-3 minutes to be screened. Students who wear glasses/contacts need to bring/wear them on the day they will be screened.

Ninth Grade Parent Book Club to Hold Meeting Sept. 29

Picture of the How to Raise an Adult book


The following message is from our Family Liaison Ms. Lee-Lin Finkbeiner and is intended for our ninth grade (Class of 2027) families:

We had a wonderful first session of our book club on September 8. We are currently reading "How to Raise an Adult" by Julie Lythcott-Haims. It was rewarding for us to see freshman parents/guardians connecting with each other and participating in an engaging discussion.  

The second session of our book club will be held on Friday September 29 from 9:00-10:30 a.m. here at TJ in Franklin Commons. We will cover Part 2 of the book, Chapter 6-11. You don't have to read the chapters in order to come.  We would just love to have you join us! 

The morning schedule will be:  

9:00-9:15 Coffee and Refreshments 

9:15-9:30 Ice Breaker Game 

9:30-10:40 Small group discussion  

Feel free to bring your questions with you for the discussion. 

If you are interested in attending the second session, please fill out the google form below so that we can adequately prepare for our next session.

JLC Volunteering Opportunity: A Little Bit of Time = A Large Impact

TJ Parents and Guardians - Looking for a flexible volunteering opportunity at TJ? Please consider being a Monday midday JLC Volunteer at your convenience. JLC (Jefferson Learning Community) is a dedicated time embedded in the school day for teachers and administrators to discuss and develop plans to address instructional needs.

From 12:10 pm to 12:50 pm, volunteers facilitate this essential meeting time by being present and aware of student behavior in hallways. Not only does this hour afford you a glimpse of the TJ community and daily student life, it is an invaluable gift of time to all TJ staff. Fall JLC dates are Mondays unless otherwise indicated. They are scheduled for Sept. 11, Sept. 18, Oct. 2, Oct. 10 (which is a Tuesday), Oct. 23, Oct. 30 , Nov. 13, Nov. 27, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11. Please register your interest here.

Celebrating the TJ Community with the Annual Back-to-School Bash

Collage of photos from Back to School Bash


After school on August 31, the TJ Community came together for its annual Back-to-School Bash. With the TJ PTSA providing funding for inflatables, food trucks, and field games, families had the opportunity to enjoy good times and get to know each other better.

After the Bash, people were able to move into the stadium to enjoy the TJ Football game. Thank you TJ PTSA for providing us with a fantastic evening! Enjoy the photo gallery of the event above.

TJ Educational Experience - English 10 Class Reviews Symbolism and Allegory

Collage of photos from Ms. Henry's Class


In the first couple of weeks of Ms. Suzette Henry's English 10 honors class, they spent time reviewing symbolism and allegory. To apply that understanding, they created stories using symbols about their base groups (they have a new group each quarter). 

Ms. Henry's goal for this project was for her students to learn about the universal nature of symbols and storytelling. It is a skill that they can apply not only to their study of World Literature, but other disciplines as well.

Thank you to Ms. Henry for providing the photos for the photo gallery above! 

New Students Learn How Much Eighth Period has to Offer at Activities Fair

Eighth Period Activities Fair Collage


Eighth Period has been a fundamental part of the TJ experience since the late 1980s. With students coming from such great distances to attend the school, it is important to move the traditional afterschool clubs to during the school day so that everyone has a chance to participate.

Over the years eighth period has expanded to include over 200 clubs featuring a wide variety of interests. For new students, all of those choices can sometimes be overwhelming. So each year before the first eighth period session of the year, returning students hold the Eighth Period Activities Fair in order to introduce the newcomers to their clubs.

Above is a photo gallery of the Class of 2027 (and new sophomores) visiting the Eighth Period Activities Fair.


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

  • Congratulations to the staff of tjTODAY for being named a Pacemaker Finalist for 2023 by the National Scholastic Press Association! Winners will be announced at the national convention in Boston during the first weekend in November.

Group Shot of German Exchange Students


  • Ms. Szilvia Oszko and the TJ German program were thrilled to welcome a group of German exchange students on Sept. 7. The students will spend the next week and a half learning what it is like to attend TJ, practicing their English speaking skills, and sightseeing throughout D.C. A group of TJ students will return the trip to Germany next June after the school year concludes.

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.

Request from Finance Office

Overdue TJ Textbooks (Class of 2024, 2025, and 2026)

Please remind your child to return any TJ textbooks/paperbacks from last year that they may still have at home. Our teachers need these books in order to re-issue them to this year's classes.    

All outstanding books are placed on your child's individual obligation account and will have to be paid for if not returned. Help your child clear their account today! Overdue books should be returned to the Finance Office (Room 105.) 

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

TJ Band Highlights

Collage of Band photos


TJ Bands is a wonderful community for young musicians and their families. Our music program has nine ensembles: four curricular and five extracurricular. Click this link if you want to learn more about or join TJ Bands! Please enjoy the photos above courtesy of some TJ Band Parents!

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

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

Oct. 18: Fall Band Concert - 7 p.m. in TJ Auditorium

Oct. 25: Fall Orchestra Concert - 7 p.m. in TJ Auditorium

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.