Mission, Philosophy, and Values

MISSION STATEMENT: Thomas Jefferson School engages its students in the education necessary to live as responsible citizens of the world. Through the strongest possible college-preparatory program and within a nurturing community, students develop a responsibility for their own learning and a desire to lift up the world with beauty and intellect.

DIVERSITY STATEMENT: Thomas Jefferson School is committed to building and sustaining a community rooted in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. These values, which are central to our mission, fundamentally inform and shape student learning, achievement, and preparedness for life. Our school seeks to provide the strongest possible college-preparatory program within an international, multicultural community. We strive to embrace multiple perspectives, encourage critical thinking, and develop and nurture courageous, empathetic individuals at all levels. A TJ education aims to provide students with resources and inspiration to better their communities and the world.

Our Philosophy

To accomplish its mission, the school adheres to the following principles:

List of 5 items.

  • 1. Thinking Critically and Creatively

    Guided by the belief that motivated students with high ability are best served by an excellent liberal-arts program, we will engage students in the process of developing a truly educated mind, one that comprehends clearly and assesses critically the conventions and customs that make up their world.
  • 2. Ensuring Success at TJ and Beyond

    We will help develop in students the qualities that will allow them to succeed at TJ, at the next level of their education, and as adults—independence, honesty, courage, leadership, kindness, the habit of hard work, delight in learning, and a sense of responsibility for themselves and for others.
  • 3. Fostering Community

    Our students will engage in study and community building with adults and peers who model these qualities both in and out of the classroom.
  • 4. Cultivating Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Our students will live and work with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, learning to respect feelings, beliefs, and customs that are different from their own.
  • 5. Modeling Engagement and Growth

    Honoring our founders’ vision that a learning community is strengthened by the continuous engagement and development of all its members, our faculty and staff will continue to grow as professionals and to participate in the decisions that affect them.

Our Values

Many years ago, TJ selected the Greek word ὴ ἀρετή ("excellence") as its motto. The standard of excellence that shaped TJ in its infancy continues to guide the school today. Our primary goal is to prepare all students for the best possible college experience.

Since the beginning, the school has benefitted from an extraordinary level of commitment on the part of its multi-talented faculty. Teachers laid the school’s foundation and have been a integral part of charting the school’s course ever since. They carry on the work of the founders by expecting ὴ ἀρετή of themselves and of their students. With an emphasis on hard work and individual responsibility, TJ’s intense approach to foundational education fosters a level of initiative and self-reliance that is not often seen in middle and high school students. This serves our students extremely well as they move into college. A statement made by a recent graduate captures this well. When asked, “How is college?” he replied, quite simply, “TJ 2.0."

Start Your TJ Journey

The best way to get to know TJ is by spending time on campus, meeting our students and experiencing our classes. See our community for yourself at one of our open houses, shadow days, or let us create the perfect visit just for you.

Thomas Jefferson School

4100 S. Lindbergh Boulevard
Saint Louis, MO 63127
P. (314) 843-4151
F. (314) 843-3527