Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Welcome from Principal Christoff

Posted 08/18/2016 by dpscms

Dear TJ Spartan students and families,

Welcome back! As your new principal, I am extremely excited to get this school year started! TJ had another great year with so many more accomplishments! We again set the bar very high for our students and they continue to rise to the challenges! We increased our overall daily attendance rate to 92% and our tardy rate continues to be one of the lowest amongst high schools in DPS. We’ve had promising finals scores and again increased the number of students taking AP classes AND increased the percentage of students passing their AP tests. We also had a tremendous increase on our average ACT scores.

The mission of TJ will not be changed. TJ is THE high school to go to if you want to go to college. We will not deviate from the efforts that we have been making over the course of the many years of this work. Our work moving forward is to relentlessly pursue opportunities for our students to ensure that they are prepared for college and career. College and career readiness is at the forefront of everything we do so that all students are prepared for the challenges of post-secondary education – be it community college, technical school or the most elite colleges and universities around the world. Over 94% of all TJ grads pursue a post-secondary education. This year our goal is for most TJ students to graduate with college credit as a result of concurrent enrollment, Advance placement (AP) courses, ASCENT, or CLEP. We offer 12 concurrent enrollment courses through our Center for Communication Technology Magnet and Business/Marketing partnerships with Arapahoe Community College (ACC). We also offer on-and-off-campus, concurrent enrollment opportunities through CU Denver, Metro and ACC. We also offer Development Education classes in Math and English with Western State University. We’re proud to offer 13 different AP courses for students in all grade levels.

As a school we will be in the 4th year of a 5 year grant that aligns with TJ becoming an Early College high school. Over the course of this grant our teachers have focused on Write to Learn strategies, Classroom Talk, Small Group Collaboration and Scaffolding of Instruction. As we intentionally move forward in creating a college going culture, we will continue to have the Honor Roll and Academic Letterman assemblies during the school day. It was incredible to see how proud students were when their name was called, out in front of the entire school, to honor their academic achievements! These assemblies are also the time that we provide students with their current GPA, and we explain how to read the documents to determine if they are on track to attend an in-state college, if they choose. These assemblies have really gotten students excited about their achievement and their futures! Our counselors will also be pushing into classrooms throughout the year to discuss how students can best prepare themselves for college and career no matter what their age.

Continued expectations for this year are:

  1. All students must wear their IDs at all times; no student will be issued either an excused or unexcused pass without an ID. Students have been told that wearing their ID is a way to make sure all teachers get to know all students, and is a safety measure, per our School Resource Officer (SRO) Tim Cueva. Replacement ID’s are $5, so please make sure that you keep track of them!
  2. All students are expected to use their planners as a way to be and keep them organized as we continue to create a college going culture at TJ.
  3. Seniors must have a 92% attendance rate in order to attend Senior Prom or the commencement ceremony. We all know that consistent attendance supports academic success.

We will continue with the systems that have been in place and have proven to be effective in maximizing time for instruction and providing the environments that are conducive to the success of our students. We will continue to enforce the following:

– Tardy policy*

– Attendance policy*

– Strict dress codes*

– Strict behavior expectations*

*These policies are clearly defined in the student handbook that is issued to each student, and also on the TJ Journal website.

Thanks for your ongoing support of TJ. We look forward to meeting and seeing you at the Back to School and Information night on September 7th, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. We will begin in the auditorium and there will be more on this as the date approaches.




Mike Christoff
Thomas Jefferson High School