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Thomas Jefferson High for Science and Technology5
Posted March 01, 2015
- a parent
TJ is a great school if your kid is a certain type. No, I don't mean an off-the-charts math whiz, though that helps. Or the kind of kid who would get a swirly from the school bully. TJ kids have inner drive. If they don't know something, they go look it up without being told, because it bugs them they they don't know. They also have excellent time management skills. If your kid is the kind of child that loves STEM -- and I mean loves it innately, and not just because Mommy and Daddy think they should and gives them a science kit for Christmas--, they will have a wonderful experience at TJ. The teachers range from mediocre to excellent but the kids are friendly, the administration is efficient and the facilities are excellent.
This school is not for everyone, but those who go here love it. It's mostly what you make of it really, but with the plethora of sports and 8th period clubs it's not hard to find something you enjoy. Get involved in clubs. I tried two new sports my freshmen year and it's one of the best decisions I've ever made. Join 8th period clubs, don't be that kid who only goes to study halls. Don't be afraid of being judged, because the environment here at TJ is one of the best parts about the school. There is almost no clique problem or drama because of the great environment, but I guess that can change person to person. If you're curious about the social life at tj: people there do have time for friends, but often they just hang out at sports or clubs (see above comment). You get used to it. It's mostly just the seniors who party and drink, unless you're in the party scene. However, there's far less pressure for that sort of thing. People respect you and your choices and your background. DEFINITELY DO INITE. Try at least one of the "cult" clubs to see how you like it (crew, swim and dive, Latin, marching band, namaste, track & field, etc.) PARENTS: DO NOT FORCE YOUR KID HERE
I find it hard to imagine a better High School experience for my now-graduated daughter, who attends Cornell. TJ had wonderful teachers, overall, and a student body comprised of very mature, honest, articulate, motivated, but fun loving students. That said, I really believe that this school is not for every student, but that the self motivated students will thrive. TJ offers not only a vastly superior academic environment but also truly good sports teams, as well as theater and music and MANY other club opportunities. During my daughter's time there I only recall one incident of theft, and NO incidents of bullying. If your student has the opportunity to attend, and really loves to learn, by all means attend this school.
Amazing. The Only problem is that taxes are high because of materials the school buys every week to support your child. It is very time consuming and it is very hard to get in. But, it's a WONDERFUL, OUTSTANDING school
[cont'd student body] No, most people don't have the time to hang out each weekend or to run by Moe's for a burrito after class (my twin went to base school and in a well-intentioned effort to draw me out of studying, my base school friends would often take me along, textbooks in tow, for just that very thing). Oh yes, it is QUITE a dedication of time and effort. I don't think that it's for everybody and I know a lot of bright individuals who, because they weren't ready for that kind of work at 14-18 years of age, would have loathed TJ. However, if you think you can manage it-- go for it. What all of that said: It is NOT a big deal if you don't get into TJ. One of my closest friends didn't manage to get into Jefferson. This shocked all of us in middle school-- the girl has serious brains! But the beauty of self-determination is that it's not a one-shot effort. She went to base school, did well, loved her high school career and bam! Now she's at, I kid you not, MIT. For the record, the base school in question was barely in the bronze medal category of the U.S. News & World Report rankings.
The principal is a tool. My D was bullied by a teacher. Even another teacher in the room admitted the first one lost it. No apology and it took moving heaven and earth to have my D moved to a new class.
TJ is not all that it's hyped up to be. Sure the "academics" are great, but SAT scores don't tell the whole story. The environment here is toxic. The VAST majority of students care little about "STEM" and learning, most are here for one of 4 reasons: 1.Their parents are forcing them to attend 2.They would be bullied at other schools 3.Their lives consist entirely of studying 4.To get into a good college Speaking of schoolwork: the amount of cheating here is RIDICULOUS. Kids care more about getting into college than learning, and this shows in the amount of rampant cheating we have at TJ. TJ robs kids of a high school experience. TJ pulls from all over NOVA, but geographic distances make good friendships impossible until kids can drive. Sports are fun, but the time commitment can kill grades. Many parents mistakenly think TJ will protect their kids from Drugs/Alcohol. Sorry to disappoint, but at TJ drug use is just as common at other schools. The workload is insane. Many of my friends get 2-5 hours of sleep on an average night. In conclusion, TJ is an ok school if all you care about is learning, and don't intend on doing anything fun outside of it. Otherwise, don't come.
I think that this is a great school because of the exceptionally talented kids that attend and the amount and variety of the extra-curricular activities. Most of the teachers are amazing. TJHSST is one of the finest schools in the nation.
The students here are accomplished, the teachers are good for the high-level classes but generally awful for the lower-level ones. The academic culture here is toxic; everyone is focused on college and almost nobody cares about learning for its own sake. It's a safe environment for children who would be stuffed into trashcans at any other high school.