Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans


As a classic, comprehensive high school experience, we are proud to offer a full range of dynamic, engaging and stimulating electives. This challenging lineup of elective classes incorporate traditional elements with modern technology to prepare students for 21st Century skills, learning and leadership.




During Ceramics class students work in clay to complete various projects.  In level 1 students focus on the hand building techniques and complete projects such as a functional tea pot set and various functional bowls and vases. Starting in level 2 students are introduced to the potters wheel.  Each advanced level projects become more difficult with new techniques introduced, with level 4 being an independent studio class where students complete a thesis.

Drawing & Painting:


The Drawing and Painting classes are structured by levels. Level I will focus on understanding the fundamentals of visual arts through the use of the art elements and principles of design. Level 2 will focus on art history and different cultures from around the world. Level 3 will focus on 3 – Dimensional design and mixed media. Level 4 will focus on pre – AP art skills and exhibitions. AP studio class will focus on meeting the requirements of the AP exam. Art literacy will be a component of every level. It will include art vocabulary, short constructed responses and art history activities.



Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) is a global nonprofit organization that operates with one guiding principle: Hold students accountable to the highest standards, provide academic and social support, and they will rise to the challenge. AVID’s kindergarten through Higher Education System brings research-based curriculum and strategies to students each day that develop critical thinking, literacy and math skills across all content areas. Learn more about the AVID SYSTEM.

Business & Technology and DECA:


DECA prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges around the globe. With over a 60 year history, DECA has touched the lives of more than ten million students, educators, school administrators and business professionals. Their strong connection with our organization has resonated into a brand that people identify as a remarkable experience in the preparation of emerging leaders and entrepreneurs.

Careers + Communication Technology


The Careers + Communication Technology (CCT) program is a four-year, comprehensive Career and Technical Education program at Thomas Jefferson High School, offering industry standard training in Audio Production, Business, Computer Science, Design, Journalism, Photography, Robotics and Video Production. The program provides students with the opportunity to enhance not only their computer, technical, and problem solving skills, but also their oral, written, and visual communication abilities. Many of the courses offer free college credit through the Concurrent Enrollment program and Arapahoe Community College. Students have the opportunity to work with professionals in their field of study and engage in Job Shadowing, Internships and Apprenticeships in order to be prepared for their dream careers!

Click here to learn more about the Careers + Communication Technology program at TJ



The mission of the JROTC is to motivate young people to be better citizens. Students will receive instruction in Leadership Theory and Application, Foundations for Success, Wellness, Fitness and First Aid, Geography and Earth Science, Citizenship, and American History, and Firearm Safety and Rifle Marksmanship. Students are required to wear a uniform once a week. JROTC provides students with opportunities to be members of competitive drill and rifle teams and to achieve success in various levels of leadership positions within the program. Completion of one semester fulfills a semester of PE requirements. JROTC Cadets are high school students. they are not trained as soldiers nor do they incur any military obligation by participating in JROTC.

Click here for more information about JROTC



Having produced and directed twenty-three shows at Denver high schools, I have picked up some valuable information and strategies to share with students in drama class. Students who use class time wisely and work hard in class and at home will experience the thrill of successful performing.


Instrumental Music:


The music instrumental music program at Thomas Jefferson High School strives to serve as a musical hub in southeast Denver, by fostering a program that offers a variety of musical experiences that engage and challenge students of all abilities, working to attracting over 85% of the student musicians within the school catchment area, and to serve as an ambassador for our school.


Vocal Music:


Students performing in the vocal music will be involved in several concerts and performances throughout the school year and it is vital that both student and parent understand that daily attendance and participation in ALL performances and rehearsals is required and that it is essential for each student to have the high level of commitment needed for excellence in the choir program.  The vocal music student will be exposed to and perform many styles and types of music from all over the world. Sight-reading, music theory, and literacy skills will also be stressed during daily rehearsals.

Physical Education:


Our emphasis in the Physical Education Department is on physical fitness, an acquisition of skills that will allow recreational participation in a variety of activities and sports and stressing competition with self rather than with others. It is our intent to help our students understand the benefits of an active, healthy lifestyle. Our policies, procedures and expectations have been set to optimize your student’s experience in Physical Education.

World Language:






TJ Volunteers, in partnership with EF Tours, plant trees and help restore the beachside environment on Costa Rica’s west coast, June 2015.

The World Language Department at Thomas Jefferson High School is proud to offer 3 languages, from level 1 to AP: Spanish, French and Japanese. We also offer Spanish for Heritage Speakers (SHS), levels 1 to AP. SHS is designed for our students who hear and understand Spanish at home, but are not able to speak, read or write in Spanish. This class works to improve literacy and communication skills in Spanish.

Using TPRS™ and Comprehensible Input methods in our classes maximizes student understanding, and helps students learn the new language in a comfortable, low-stress environment. We read, write, listen and speak in the new language. Studying a World Language is an academic elective that includes music, movement, acting, videos and more! TJ students also have the opportunity to travel to Japan or to Spanish-speaking countries.

Students who have studied Spanish or French in middle school should not enroll in a Level 1 class! Please enroll in level 2 or above. Students who speak Spanish at home or have family members who speak Spanish at home should enroll in SHS classes.