Principals Message


Principal’s Message

Welcome Back to School Thomas Jefferson Families!

Whether you are new or you have been at TJ for years, we are so happy to have your child on campus next week. August 11th is the first day of school and the gates open at 7:30am. School starts at 7:40am each morning for most students. Please see the attached schedule for details.

As your new site leader, I am excited to get to know all of you over the course of the year. Come introduce yourself if you see me on campus or in the drop-off/pick-up line. My name is Mrs. Jennifer Deslaurier. I have been in education for 22 years and I am eager to support you and your students. We hope the following information helps you get started off on the right foot this fall. 

Communication will be presented in many forms this year to allow each of you to access all that you need from our site. From emails to our school website to social media we will ensure you are in the know. This email is the first from me this fall, so by receiving it, you are on the list in PowerSchool!

TJ is proud to present our new blacktop for students to use; complete with kickball, sock out, tether balls, a sensory course and revitalized running path! Classrooms have also been deep cleaned and teachers are busily setting up everything needed for the success of your children.

Please refer to the email from RCSD for details from the district. Topics include: School meals, safety, student/family resources and Covid protocols. We encourage you to read our Superintendent’s message as answers to many questions can be found there. Thank you Mr. Garcia.We’re looking forward to a great year working with you and your child at Thomas Jefferson Elementary.

How Can You Help?
First off, thank you to our wonderful PTC and volunteers for all the support they have given to Thomas Jefferson. From the fireworks booth this summer to the newly installed funnel ball games, we appreciate you. We still desperately need your help. We are looking for two more team members to join us at lunch. Daily Meal Duty Supervisors shifts for about an hour from 11am-12:30pm are open. Apply using this link and then email me to let us know you want to be at TJ!

Class Lists
The name of your child’s teacher will be emailed home early next week. Unfortunately we can not guarantee placement in a specific teacher’s classroom.

Back to School Night
These events are an opportunity for parents/guardians to meet the teacher and learn all about the upcoming school year. This is a parent/guardian-only event.

TK/Kindergarten August 10th 5:30 – 6:30
1st-5th Grades August 16th 5:30 – 6:30 (two 30-minute sessions so you can visit more than one room)

Meet the Teacher and Supply Delivery
This optional event to come meet your child’s teacher will happen on August 10th from 11:15-11:45am. Due to district meetings and our earlier start time, this late afternoon event has been moved up to lunch. We hope to catch many parents with this new time, perhaps on a break from work, and to also allow teachers to have time with their families the night before school starts. The campus will be closed again at 11:45am.

If you have purchased school supplies online, they will be delivered to the classroom. If you choose to bring them in, we encourage you to do so at this lunchtime slot so your child’s backpack is lighter on the first day. Thank you in advance for your donations!

Bell Schedule
Due to a change in state legislation, Thomas Jefferson’s school day starting and ending times for the 2022-23 school year have changed. RCSD has also changed our PLC early release day to Wednesdays. We participate in Professional Learning Communities (PLC). School-wide our teachers work collaboratively to meet the needs of the students they serve. To provide time for this collaboration, our school schedule is different on Wednesdays.

First Day of School
Again, our first day of school is Thursday, August 11th, and it is a regular schedule day. The campus gates will be opened at 7:30. For the first day of school, parents are welcome to walk students to their classrooms. Starting Friday, August 12th, parents will be asked to please drop students off at the gates. If you plan to come on campus, please park in a designated space. Overflow parking can be found at the tennis courts or other nearby lots.

Parking Lot and Traffic
Our highest priority is to ensure the safety of our students. Jefferson is a wonderful campus with a significant amount of traffic before and after school, but we are fortunate to have many high volume spaces to drop off and pick up children. Staff will be on duty before and after school to help direct traffic and ensure the safety of our students. Please be patient and allow a few extra minutes, especially during the first few days of school as everyone is learning the routine.

Kinder will enter and exit at the front of the school on the left side. Their classrooms have exterior facing doors. All Kinders are on the early schedule for the first two days and will do early/late starting on Monday. On a typical week, Kinder uses AM/PM schedules on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. On Wednesday/Friday, all Kinders come at the AM time slot.

Third, fourth and fifth grade students will enter through the pedestrian gate nearest the Kinder building on the left side of the school as you face the office. TK will enter through the center gate, between the office and MPR doors. First and second graders will enter on the right pedestrian gate, closest to the tennis courts and river rocks.

Cars are welcome in the side loops, but not in the bus semi-circle out front. No students will be allowed to cross Central Park Drive unless using the crosswalk. Please pull all the way forward and do not cut through the middle of the lot. Park only in designated spaces. This is for the safety of the students.

Additionally, students that walk have a duo of school crossing guards to help them navigate Central Park Drive. Other students use the tennis court area or business side of the school to meet their families. Please use these options if you find yourself unable to wait patiently in line.

Breakfast and Lunch
Any student desiring breakfast can enter the cafeteria each morning at 7:20am. They will be dismissed when finished, anytime after 7:30am, when the remaining gates also open. Lunch is also free of charge for all students.

Team Spirit
We love our Rising Stars! Come to school in red on Fridays to show your love for your school. PTC will be selling spirit wear this fall.

Thomas Jefferson is a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports school. PBIS is an evidence-based three-tiered framework to improve and integrate all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. Throughout the school year we will teach students procedures and expectations for each area of the campus so that they may understand how to get the most out of each learning opportunity. Embedded in our PBIS lessons are the RISE expectations for the students. TJ students will learn character traits that will carry them through life. We are proud of our RISING Stars as they navigate their childhood and grow to become successful adults.

Thanks again for being a part of our campus and we will see you soon!

Jennifer Deslaurier and on behalf of the entire Thomas Jefferson Team