The students of Thomas Jefferson high school are ready for what this school year has in store.
The start of any school year is highly anticipated by students, staff, and administration. This year was no exception. The Spartan community welcomed the new class of 2026 with the class of 2023 as the new leadership of the school. This is the first year since 2020 that school is all in person with no mask mandate. Sophomore Kayleen Millard said “It’s nice to finally see everybody’s face, it makes it easier to connect to my classmates.”
After a tough couple of years, the Spartans are happy to share some good news about recent test scores and overall performance. The School Performance Framework, otherwise known as SPF, is measured by how much students have improved their scores on state tests from year to year. TJ has reached a “Green – performance plan” school rating, which is the highest rating a school can achieve. Principal Mike Christoff is very proud of this achievement and noted that “it’s nice to get affirmation that we are on the same level with all of the other highest performing highschools in the state.”
The start of the year has been extremely positive, and all of the school events so far have had great turnouts. Assistant Principal Jon Poole believes that people want to go out and experience “normal high school events,” so he is expecting increased attendance at many school functions. Students are ready to be so-called “normal high schoolers” because students lost many experiences of their first years of high school due to COVID. Millard said, “I’m happy I can finally experience all the high school events we missed out on these last couple of years.”
Along with the beginning of classes, fall sports have had a great start, including girls’ volleyball, football, boys’ soccer, boys’ golf, gymnastics, cross country and the new girls’ flag football team. The TJ student body is excited for all of the upcoming home games with fun themes and rowdy student sections supporting TJ athletes. This support and crowd noise is especially appreciated by many, as student fans have been restricted recently due to COVID.
Homecoming and spirit week just passed which included many fun events, such as the bonfire, the pep rally, and the dance, with more to come. This year should be about building relationships and hopefully that will come more easily than it did in recent years. Poole has noticed – especially during Homecoming week – a difference in the atmosphere of TJ, “People seem happier and seem to be building more relationships with each other.”
For the first time in a while everyone is hoping that this school year will be ordinary. After a long “spring break” and many months of online school, Spartans are excited to get back to work and get things back to normal. Things are looking good so far for the school year of 2022-2023. Poole said it best: “Let’s hope it sticks,” while knocking on some wood.