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Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
6560 Braddock Road

Coordinates38°49′06″N 77°10′07″W / 38.81833°N 77.16861°W / 38.81833; -77.16861
School typePublic, magnet high school
School districtFairfax County Public Schools
PrincipalAnn Bonitatibus
Teaching staff103.27 (on a FTE basis)[1]
Enrollment1,809[1] (2020-21)
Student to teacher ratio17.52[1]
Color(s)Red, white, and navy
Athletics conferenceGunston District
Region 6C
Team nameColonials
AccreditationSACS CASI[2]
USNWR ranking1 (2021)[4]
Communities servedNorthern Virginia
Feeder schoolsNorthern Virginia schools

Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology (also known as TJHSST, TJ, or Jefferson) is a Virginia state-chartered magnet school in Fairfax County, Virginia. It is a regional high school operated by Fairfax County Public Schools.

The selective admissions program was initiated in 1985 through the cooperation of state and county governments, as well as corporate sponsorship from the defense and technology industries. The school occupies the building of the previous Thomas Jefferson High School (constructed in 1965). It is one of 18 Virginia Governor's Schools, and a founding member of the National Consortium for Specialized Secondary Schools of Mathematics, Science and Technology. In 2016, the school placed first in Newsweek's annual "America's Top High Schools" rankings[5] for the third consecutive year and fifth in US News & World Report's 2016 High School Rankings.[6]

Attendance at the school is open to students in six local jurisdictions based on prior academic achievement, recommendations, and essays. TJ removed the application fee and admissions exam from its selection process in October 2020.[7][8]


The school is part of the Fairfax County Public Schools system of Fairfax County, Virginia. Students from Fairfax, Arlington, Loudoun, and Prince William counties and from the City of Falls Church are also eligible for admission.[9]

In 2015 and 2016, the ratio of acceptances to applications was 17% and 17.9%, respectively.[10] The ethnic demographics of the students admitted in the graduating class of 2022 was 65.2% Asian/Asian American, 22.9% Caucasian/white American, 5.1% other (including people of Native American, Pacific Islander, and multiple racial backgrounds), 4.7% Hispanic or Latino American, and 2.1% African American or Black.[11] Hispanic and Black students make up less than seven percent of student body, while the same groups constitute about thirty percent of the student population in the area.[12]

In 2012, a civil rights complaint against the school was filed with the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights by Coalition of the Silence, an advocacy group led by former county School Board member Tina Hone, and the Fairfax chapter of the NAACP.[13][14] In response, the Office of Civil Rights, in September 2012, opened an investigation.[15][16]


TJ3Sat project

The Systems Engineering Course designed and built a CubeSat which was launched on November 19, 2013, from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. Orbital Sciences Corporation donated the CubeSat Kit to the school on December 6, 2006 and provided the launch for the satellite. After a successful launch at 8:15PM, TJ3SAT became the first satellite launched into space that was built by high school students.[17] The launched satellite contained a 4-watt transmitter operating on amateur radio frequencies, and a text-to-speech module to allow it to broadcast ASCII-encoded messages sent to it from Jefferson.

Computer Systems Lab

Logo used by the CSL, incorporating the Linux mascot.The above file's purpose is being discussed and/or is being considered for deletion. See files for discussion to help reach a consensus on what to do.
Logo used by the CSL, incorporating the Linux mascot.

The above file's purpose is being discussed and/or is being considered for deletion. See files for discussion to help reach a consensus on what to do.

The school's computer systems lab is one of the few high school computing facilities with a supercomputer. In 1988, a team from the school won an ETA-10P supercomputer in the SuperQuest competition, a national science competition for high school students.[18] The ETA-10P was damaged by a roof leak in the 1990s. Cray Inc. donated a new SV1 supercomputer, known as Seymour, to the school on December 4, 2002, which is on display as of 2020.[19]

The lab also supported a number of Sun Microsystems thin clients for use by students enrolled in AP Computer Science. In 2008, the school received a grant from Sun Microsystems for $388,048, which was student-written.[20] The Syslab was given 7 Sun workstations, 12 Sun servers, and 145 Sun Rays for distribution throughout the school. These were placed in the existing AP Computer Science Lab and the science classrooms, support backend services, and serve as kiosks placed around the school for guests, students, and faculty. However, the Sun Rays were taken out of the AP Computer Science Lab due to teachers' objections. By 2014, the Sun Ray clients were decommissioned, and replaced with Linux-based thin clients running LTSP.[21][22][23][24]

Since 2000, students have built and maintained an Intranet application used to give students access to school resources remotely, and to manage the Eighth Period program. Three iterations of the application have been developed: the original system, built in 2000 as an early PHP application; Intranet2, known as Iodine, which used object-oriented PHP; and Ion, written in Python using the Django web framework.[25][26]


The school underwent renovation, completed in April 2017, for a cost of about $89 million, including $67.4 million for construction. A replica of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello dome graces the school's entrance, colloquially known as "The Dome" by students and staff.[citation needed] The renovation overhauled the school's aging facilities, many of which had not been updated since it was built in 1964.[27]

Awards and recognition

In its 2019 report evaluating almost 18,000 public high schools, U.S. News & World Report ranked TJ as the best overall high school in the United States.[28] In 2016, the school placed first in Newsweek's annual "America's Top High Schools" rankings for the third consecutive year. Previously, it ranked 8th in the 2013 rankings and 10th in the 2012 rankings, the first year it was included. It was ranked fourth in "America's Best High Schools" by U.S. News and World Report in 2019. In the same rankings, it placed third in 2018, sixth in 2017, fifth in 2016, third in 2015, fourth in 2014 and 2013, and second in 2012 and 2011.[29] The average SAT scores for various graduating classes has consistently been above 2150.[30][31]

The school had 14 Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalists in 2007,[32] 15 in 2009,[33] and 13 in 2010.[34]

In 2007, for schools with more than 800 students in grades 10–12, TJ was cited as having the highest-performing AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP French Language, AP Government and Politics, U.S., and AP U.S. History courses among all schools worldwide.[35] In 2014, 3864 AP Exams were taken by students; over 97% earned a score of 3, 4, or 5.

President Barack Obama signed the America Invents Act into law on September 16, 2011, at the school. The law was made to reform U.S. patent laws.[36]

In 1997, 2000, 2013, and 2017, the wind ensemble of the school was among fifteen high-school bands invited to the Music for All National Concert Band Festival in Indianapolis.[37]

Notable alumni


  1. ^ a b c "Thomas Jefferson High for Science and Technology". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved July 28, 2021.
  2. ^ "Institution Summary". AdvancED. Advance Education, Inc. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  3. ^ "tjTODAY - The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology". 2017.
  4. ^ "Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology". U.S. News & World Report. 2021.
  5. ^ "America's Top High Schools".
  6. ^ "National Rankings Best High Schools". U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved December 3, 2016.
  7. ^ Natanson, Hannah (October 8, 2020). "Fairfax school board eliminates admissions test at Thomas Jefferson High School". The Washington Post.
  8. ^ "Lawsuit Challenges Admissions Changes at Elite Thomas Jefferson High School". WTOP News. November 5, 2020.
  9. ^ "TJHSST Eligibility Requirements". Fairfax County Public Schools. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  10. ^ Shapiro, T. Rees (March 31, 2015). "Asian students dominate admissions to elite Thomas Jefferson High School". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  11. ^ "TJHSST Offers Admission to 485 Students for the Class of 2022 | Fairfax County Public Schools". Retrieved 2019-11-20.
  12. ^ "Black, Hispanic students dwindle at elite Va. public school". October 30, 2010. Retrieved 2011-02-14.
  13. ^ "Thomas Jefferson High School For Science And Technology Hit With Civil Rights, Discrimination Suit". The Huffington Post. 24 July 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  14. ^ Turley, Jonathan. "Thomas Jefferson High School Sued Over Minority Admissions". Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  15. ^ Rhines, Dale (2012-09-25). "OCR Complaint No. 11-12-1503" (PDF) (typescript). Letter to Martina Hone, Coalition of the Silence, and Charisse Glassman, NAACP-Fairfax. Retrieved 2014-01-14.
  16. ^ Chen, Grace (May 30, 2016). "Prestigious High School in Virginia Faces Civil Rights Lawsuit". Public School Review. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  17. ^ Beneski, Barron; Alex Massie (October 8, 2006). "Thomas Jefferson High School and Orbital Establish Partnership". Retrieved October 8, 2006.
  18. ^ "Virginia School Finds 'Super' Prize's Uses Multiply". December 14, 1988.
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  23. ^ "Sun Microsystems Customer Snapshot: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology". Retrieved May 16, 2009.
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  26. ^ Team, The TJ Intranet Development. "TJ Intranet". TJ Intranet. Retrieved 2021-05-28.
  27. ^ Boland, Monica (26 September 2011). "TJHSST Plans for Major Expansion". Retrieved 2015-03-16. As of April 2017, renovations have completed, including the improvement of various science and technology laboratories.
  28. ^ "Virginia High Schools - US News Best High Schools".
  29. ^ "Best U.S. High Schools". U.S. News & World Report. 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2019.
  30. ^ "Shooting for the Academic Stars".
  31. ^ "2013 America's Best High Schools".
  32. ^ "Intel Science Talent Search" (PDF). Society for Science & the Public (was Science Service). Archived from the original (PDF) on January 21, 2007. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  33. ^ "2009 Intel Science Talent Search Semifinalists". Society for Science and the Public. Archived from the original on April 19, 2017. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
  34. ^ "2010 Semifinalists – Intel Science Talent Search". Society for Science and the Public. Retrieved April 17, 2017.
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  36. ^ Palfrey, Quentin (September 16, 2011). "The America Invents Act: Turning Ideas into Jobs". Retrieved July 4, 2015 – via National Archives.
  37. ^ "2013 Festival Ensembles". Music for All. Archived from the original on August 3, 2012.
  38. ^ "Chris Avellone may be teasing a new Fallout game". pcgamer. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  39. ^ "Alum Writes Another Bestseller | TJ Partnership Fund". Retrieved 2017-11-26.
  40. ^ "Orioles reportedly choose Astros executive Mike Elias as new general manager". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  41. ^ "Newsworthy" (PDF). Thomas Jefferson Partnership Fund. 2013.
  42. ^ "Rhodes Scholarships Go To Four With D.C. or VA. Ties". The Washington Post. December 11, 1995.
  43. ^ "Stephanie Hannon LinkedIn Profile". Archived from the original on 2015-08-14.
  44. ^ So, Adrienne (2016-01-26). ""The Oscar Wilde of Bots" Now Lives in Portland". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2018-02-02.
  45. ^ "What Makes You So Smart, Computer Programmer?". Pacific Standard. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  46. ^ "Ehren Kruger". IMDb. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
  47. ^ "Howard Lerman | Founder & CEO - Yext". Yext. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
  48. ^ "Jose Llana, an actor in a regal role who's whistling a happy tune".
  49. ^ "Comedian Aparna Nancherla Makes Light of the Heavy Stuff". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
  50. ^ "Aparna Nancherla's failed science career". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
  51. ^ Korea Times
  52. ^ Kunkle, Fredrick (November 24, 2013). "Four Virginian students among Rhodes Scholarship recipients". The Washington Post.
  53. ^ Schwartzman, Paul (2013-10-02). "Third option gains some traction in Va. governor's race". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2017-12-26.
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  57. ^ Times-Dispatch, SARAH KLEINER Richmond. "Richmond's Maggie Walker governor's school might produce an actual governor on Nov. 8 - just not in Virginia". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 2017-11-26.
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Further reading

This page was last edited on 4 August 2021, at 01:55
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