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2015-2016 One Question

"How can we foster a sense of community in our inherently competitive TJ environment?"

Submitted by Audrey Huang, Class of 2017

Flow Day 2016

WHEN: April 6th, Wednesday – 2:30-4:00pm (Arrival time: between 2:00-2:15pm)

WHERE: Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
6560 Braddock Road   Alexandria, Virginia 22312

Dear TJ Staff, Students, Alums, Community, and Friends:

For the past 8 years our students at TJHSST have proposed and voted on an overarching question that they want the school to discuss during the year. We call this our “One Question” Initiative and over the years it has led to some really fruitful discussion. As part of the initiative we invite speakers to come to TJ to share their life experiences and discuss the question with us. This year our One Question is:

" How can we foster a sense of community in our inherently competitive TJ environment?"

On April 6th, at TJ, we will be sponsoring a day wherein visiting speakers can share their thoughts on this question.  Approximately 1 ½ hours at the end of the school day on April 6th will be devoted to giving students and speakers a chance to share how a sense of community can be fostered in a competitive world.

There will be three 20 minute sessions in which the speakers will talk.  You may structure your sessions any way you like.  If you want to share physical examples of what you do, show a slide show, run an activity, or just sit in a circle and share stories – that is great.
Students will be moving through the school between sessions, choosing the talks they want to attend.  You may have an audience of four, or you may have an audience of 34. 

After each 20 minute talk, the students will leave your room and have five minutes to move to their next chosen talk.  You will have that time to regroup and prepare for the next session.

The first annual FLOW Day took place two years ago at TJ and was very popular. It was a fun and engaging activity, one that brings the students and community (you) together to share what brings us JOY.

THANK YOU for considering taking part in FLOW DAY.  If you would like to participate, please RSVP by going to and filling out the form found here:

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to send me an email:  ecsandstrom@fcps.edu

All the best,
Betsy Sandstrom
FLOW DAY Coordinator


2014-2015 One Question

“How can we strive to discover and pursue our own passions despite societal norms and external pressures that would compromise our aspirations and dissuade us from pursuing them?”

Submitted by Brandon Kim, Class of 2015

2013-2014 One Question

How can we maintain a passion for learning in a school system where a pronounced emphasis on achieving good grades has a tendency to reduce genuine interest in gaining a deeper understanding of subject material?

-submitted by Emily Rogers, Class of 2015

2012-2013 One Question

How does one balance the pressures of achieving personal academic success with the necessity of recognizing the fleeting nature of life and acting accordingly?

-submitted by David Rice, Class of 2013

picture of book cover "This I Believe"

The One Book selection for the 2012-2013 school year is: This I Believe: the Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and Women edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman. Read the rationale statement supporting the One Question.


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