May 2014

May 15, 2014 by ·  

morris-shererDear Spartan parents and students:

We have a lot of gains to celebrate as we wrap up the year!

-Our overall attendance is 89.4%, which is a 1.2% increase from last year
-Our tardies are down 1.9% from last year
-Our student suspensions are down 143 from last year

It is evident that our students are really living the Spartan values that we’ve emphasized all year long. We are looking forward to even more gains and celebrations in the coming years as we continue to improve this community of learners and leaders.

Stay tuned for information regarding the 9th Grade Academy, which will be held Aug. 11-15, as well as the Freshman BBQ and other fun kickoff events in the fall.

Thanks for your commitment to making TJ great! Have a fun and safe summer, Spartans.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Morris-Sherer
Principal

 

April 2014

April 15, 2014 by ·  

morris-shererDear Spartan parents and students:

We are very saddened to learn that one of our students, Xavier Nolasco-Ramirez, passed away over the weekend. Xavier was a 10th grader at our school this year. We have been in touch with his family to offer support and condolences and to let them know that they are in our thoughts and prayers.

Because some of our students may be deeply saddened by this news, I wanted to let you know that we have a grief counseling team available to assist students in coping with their feelings and concerns.

You may wish to discuss further with your son or daughter about death and grief. The following signs may indicate that your son or daughter is having difficulty, but with time they should decrease. Signs of stress:

• Most importantly, marked changes in usual ways of behaving, including decline in school productivity or mood changes
• Changes in sleeping or eating problems
• Disorganization
• Withdrawing behaviors
• Easily distracted
• Physical symptoms
• Acting out behavior, including aggression
• Passivity or listlessness• Tearfulness
Our school’s Psychologist, Natalie Koncz, Social Worker, Samanda Davis, and School Nurse, Betty Richmeier are also available for support and may be contacted at 720-423-7000. Please do not hesitate to contact us if needed.

Our thoughts are with the family at this time.

Sincerely,

Suzanne Morris-Sherer
Principal

 

February 2014

February 26, 2014 by ·  

morris_shererDear Spartan Families,

In Denver Public Schools, we believe that every child has a bright future within their reach, and that we need to do everything we can to ensure all students realize that incredible potential. That’s why we need all members of the DPS community—parents, community members, students and staff—to get involved and share their ideas about the Denver Plan, a roadmap to success that will outline our goals and how best to achieve them. Updating the Denver Plan will provide additional clarity related to our vision of Every Child Succeeds, define key goals that form the foundation of this vision and identify key strategies that will ensure we achieve those goals. Let your voice be heard! Click here to get involved in the Denver Plan update process.

Sincerely,
Suzanne Morris-Sherer, Principal
Thomas Jefferson High School

January, 2014

January 16, 2014 by ·  

morris_shererHappy New Year! I hope that all students had a chance to rest and reflect on the first semester.  As we move forward it is always good to see where we started this year and where we are headed, so here are some updates:

Attendance- I told the students that the District’s expectation is for all high schools to have 92% average daily attendance. I am very competitive and students know that I want TJ to be better than the other high schools, so we are working on getting 92% or better!

Overall attendance is way up! 1.2% increased from this time last year. December was the 5th month in a row where our attendance surpassed that of last year. In fact, our attendance was 3% higher this past December than it was a year ago! That’s amazing work! We are getting extremely close to our goal of 92%. As many of you know, research has shown time and time again that a student’s attendance during the first 20 days of a semester is one of the largest predictors of whether or not that student passes a course. Please continue to notify Jenny Humphrey about your student’s attendance.

Discipline- TJ’s numbers are way down from last year. I really attribute this to setting high expectations for students, being transparent about those expectation and necessary consequences and holding students accountable.

Academic Success: We are very encouraged about the semester finals!  We were at or above District average in all areas. In Geometry, TJ had the highest scores out of all DPS traditional high schools!

Additionally, there were 416 students on the Honor Roll first semester. That means that 40% of our Spartans have a 3.0 GPA or higher!

Post Secondary Readiness- We continue to offer a large number of rigorous classes. We are making sure that all seniors are college ready by offering 090 and 099 classes as preparation for college. We continue to deepen our relationship with Metropolitan State College by increasing the college classes for this year and into next year. We continue to have one of the highest numbers of students concurrently enrolled in both TJ and colleges. Concurrent enrollment provides students the opportunity to receive college elective credit at the expense of DPS. This is a huge savings for our families! Read more

November, 2013

October 31, 2013 by ·  

morris_shererDear Spartan Families,

Well it is now November and we are about seven weeks from the 1st semester being completed and we have lots to celebrate! As you know we have been working on decreasing our daily tardies and increasing our daily attendance. I want to thank you for supporting your student in getting to school on time-every day. I also want to thank the students for really valuing their education and exhibiting our Spartan value of “Academic Accountability”. Way to Spartan Up!

Attendance Challenge:
With Halloween this year, the Leadership Class thought that having an attendance challenge would be a great incentive for the students and a different and fun way to celebrate Halloween at TJ. The Leadership Class hosted an attendance celebration rewarding those who had 95% attendance or higher for the month of October. This year the celebration took place at lunch on Thursday the 31st of October-Halloween. This event was by invitation only and hosted 505 students, which is about 400 more than last year or almost half of our students!  Our tardy rate has dropped from 2.5% from this time last year to 1.0% to date. Read more

October, 2013

October 4, 2013 by ·  

morris_shererDear Spartan Families,

We have just ended the first six weeks of school and wonderful things are really happening at TJ! I thought that this would be a good time to update you on our progress as we move TJ from a good school to a great school!
College Readiness:
• We have over 400 students taking AP (Advanced Placement) courses. AP courses are comparable to college courses.
• TJ now offers 16 different AP courses; one of the largest offerings in DPS! All 9th graders are taking AP or Honors classes.
• We have 130 11th graders signed up for ACT prep sessions.
• We are 30+ students over our projection, which has provided us the ability to increase the teaching time of two of our Social Studies teachers, which equals five additional sections for our students.
General:
• We have decreased the amount of tardies to the lowest it has been in years!
• Our daily average attendance is between 92-94%; one of the highest of any DPS high school!
• 656 students are taking a World Language class.
Sports:
• Many of our sports teams are having incredible seasons:

  • Girls’ Volleyball – Undefeated entering week six; rated 5th in the state
  • Girls’ Softball – 17 and 1 season; have received votes for the Top Ten!
  • Boys’ Tennis – Competed well in regionals, also beat a team (Valor) and just missed qualifying for state #2. Doubles ranked 3rd!
  • Our Unified teams – We have added kickball and football as new offerings this year!

JROTC:
Our JROTC is looking great!

  • They had their first shooting competition and we are looking good!
  • We have had three so far and we are tied for 1st and we have the #1 shooter in the city at TJ!
  • We also had the highest scores for any team in the city, so far!

We are also generating a lot of interest from area K-8 & middle schools for tours and shadowing. We just hosted about 50 students from Slavens K-8, and continue to get calls daily to request time to visit TJ!

The students and staff are the reasons that make a school great; and will move TJ from good to great!

Happy Fall

Suzanne Morris-Sherer, Principal
Thomas Jefferson High School

 

September 19, 2013

September 19, 2013 by ·  

TJ Assistant Principal Andrew Skari

TJ Assistant Principal Andrew Skari

Dear Spartan Alumni,

I am writing to you on behalf of Thomas Jefferson High School and the Alumni Association to extend an invitation to attend our first annual Thomas Jefferson Hall of Fame reception to be held on Friday, September 27th. It will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Crystal Rose Event Center located at 9755 E. Hampden Avenue in Denver. We would be honored if you could join us to celebrate the induction of the Hall of Fame Class of 2013. This year’s inductees include: Len Ashford, Carla Stearns, John Stearns, Ken Hughes, and Dave Grannell.

The celebration continues the next morning as the Spartan Football team takes the field for their Homecoming contest against Mitchell High School. Kickoff is at 10 a.m. at All City Field and we will be honoring this year’s Hall of Fame Inductees at halftime. We hope to make the Hall of Fame Reception an annual event that provides TJ Alumni the opportunity to celebrate the rich history and storied past of Thomas Jefferson. Thank you for your consideration and we hope to see you on the 27th!

Sincerely Yours,

Andrew Skari
Assistant Principal / Athletic Director
720-423-7048
Andrew_skari@dpsk12.org

 

September 9, 2013

September 8, 2013 by ·  

morris_shererDear Spartans,
I am happy to report that the number of tardies has dropped dramatically since the first week of school. According to the teachers, students are on time and ready to learn before the bell rings to start class! The class with the best attendance last week was the junior class. For having an overall average daily attendance of 97.2 %, each student, who was at school every day – which was 150 students – received a signature on their Spartan Up cards. The week’s winning classes are both the Sophomore and Junior classes, each with 95%! They will get a signature when they present their card to Ms. Humphrey in her attendance office across from the auditorium, on Monday. DPS has set the goal for every school to have a daily average attendance rate of 92%. Way to Spartan Up!

Speaking of the Spartan Up cards, Mr. Skari, introduced the great rewards students can earn each time they earn a signature for being a good Spartan. Some ways students have earned signatures are: to tutor another student during an off period, help keep our grounds and lunchroom clean, holding the door for someone, and many other ways. Students are working on earning gift cards from Chipotle, free food from McDonalds and Burger King, and great TJ gear including an Under Armor TJ backpack.

In just a few weeks we will begin our District Assessments:

September 24, all freshman, sophomore and juniors will take the Plan, Explore and Kaplan ACT preparatory tests.  October 1st is the official count day for state, funding.  We would like to see 100% attendance for every grade on that day. Each student who is at school on October 1st, on time, will get two Spartan Up stamps.

Thanks TJ parents for all your support of our great school, have a great week!

August, 2013

June 28, 2013 by ·  

morris-shererDear TJ Spartan Students and Families,

Welcome back! I am very excited to be starting this year as your new principal. There are so many great things happening at TJ. Some highlights are: new staff members and also some new sports coaches; we are now offering five new AP courses; and with our highly competitive and successful Center for Communication Technology Magnet, we have the highest enrollment ever!

My mission is to take us to the next level of excellence! As we move into this year, the push will be to hold teachers and staff, as well as students to high levels of accountability. Teachers will be working on providing more rigorous and precise instruction, to better meet the needs of all of our students. TJ students will exemplify the definition of students who are college and workforce ready. TJ Students will be expected to come to school each day, on time and ready to learn. There will be a strong emphasis on eliminating tardies and promoting at least 90% average daily attendance from all. Students will be expected to be in class, each period, on time. We have installed a one-minute warning bell before each period, to better support students with this expectation. The security guards, my administrative team, and I will also be in the hallways helping to support students with on-time attendance in each class. Students who are unable to attend class on time and on a daily basis will have consequences.

TJ students will also be held to a high standard for dress and for appropriate conduct. We will provide models for the way that Spartans are expected to dress and behave when they “Spartan Up”. Students will be expected to dress for success as they would for the professional world. This means that a dress code must be adhered to:

* No sagging pants
* No excessive amounts of skin showing for both males and females
* No spaghetti strap tops/dresses
* No strapless tops/dresses
* No short skirts/shorts that are deemed inappropriate for school; this will be left up to the discretion of the TJ staff
* No tops/shirts with any logo that can be seen as offensive in nature relating to gender, sexuality, race, religion, drugs or alcohol promotion.
Read more

February 2013

February 20, 2013 by ·  

just2Dear Parents and Guardians,

Over the last eight years, I have served as the proud leader of the Thomas Jefferson High School Spartans. During this time, I have enjoyed working closely with TJ students, parents and teachers to create a supportive environment that welcomes and embraces all students.

It is with a heavy heart that I announce my plans to resign as principal of TJ at the end of the 2012-13 school year. I have accepted a new role with Denver Public Schools (DPS) working with the HR School Support Team as the Performance Management Advisor.

Having loved my time as principal of TJ, it was a very difficult decision to leave. However, I am excited for this new chapter in my career and having the opportunity to impact DPS students in a new and exciting way.

The TJ community will always be a special place to me, and I look forward to seeing continued progress on all of the wonderful initiatives in place to benefit TJ’s students and families.

DPS will launch an extensive principal search for my replacement. DPS will look locally and nationally to ensure the right candidate is selected to continue moving forward our mission of helping all students achieve their personal best. DPS will also be looking to the TJ community for input during the principal selection process. Additional information about this process, and how the community can get involved, will be shared soon.

I encourage you to call me or stop by my office if you have any questions about my transition. Thank you all for your incredible support over the last eight years. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for the TJ community.

Oprima aqui para leer esta carta en espanol (Click here to read this letter in Spanish)

Warm Regards,

Sandra Just
Principal
Thomas Jefferson High School

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