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Brought to you by Friends of Jones

January 10, 2021

Inside: Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Invites You to a Discussion; Freshmen Describe Joining Jones Virtually—and more

From the Desk of Dr. Powers

Dear Jones Family, 

Happy New Year! In schools, we get to celebrate not one, not two, but THREE "New Years."  Of course, there is January 1, the one everyone celebrates. But we also get to celebrate the new school year every fall, and the second semester mid-way through the school year. 

Each of these "New Years" provides us with both cause to celebrate and a symbolic opportunity to refresh our mindsets or rev up our efforts, both in school and in our personal lives. Imagine, three opportunities to make New Year's resolutions! Of course, we can resolve to make changes in our lives at any time, regardless of the date. But, isn't it nice to have these reminders scattered through the calendar? And, given the challenges of the year we just finished, we have even more reasons to seek ways we can improve our own lives and the lives of those near and dear to us. 

Our third "New Year" (second semester) begins Monday, February 8.  Good luck to our students on their first semester exams, February 1-4.


P. Joseph Powers, Ph.D.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at any time at or 773-534-8606.
For news about JCP, follow me on Twitter @PJOSEPHPOWERS 

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee Invites You to a Book Discussion
Please join JCP's librarian, Fran Feeley, and the Friends of Jones Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee for our first book club. Mr. Feeley suggested "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo. "White Fragility" focuses on creating meaningful discussions about racism.  

We will meet via Zoom to discuss the book on Thursday, February 4th at 6:30 PM. If you have questions, please contact Latrice McArthur at


Annual Fund 

Thank you SO much for your support! The teachers and students appreciate you! 
Thank you very much to all of the parents, guardians and FOJ supporters who have already given so generously to the Annual Fund this year. We appreciate your continued support. Reminder to  check if your employer offers a matching option for your gift! Taking just a few minutes could double your donation! 

Be on the lookout for our Annual Fund letter coming in the mail! It will highlight even more of the ways the Annual Fund helps our students and teachers.  

How Can You Contribute?
With these options, it’s easy to make your annual fund gift today!
1. Donate Online 
2. Contribute by cash or check. Download the FOJ Annual Fund Donation Form in EnglishEspañol, or  and mail your donation to the school.
3. Participate with stock or charitable trust.


Jones Restorative Justice Committee at Work
Students Training to Become Peer Conference Leaders

 The Jones Administration has enlisted the services of Alternatives, Inc, an agency that supports and empowers Chicago youth to build safer and more vibrant communities. Beginning this month, a representative of Alternatives will train approximately 15 sophomores and juniors (supported by Mr. Heselton and Mr. Feeley) to become Peer Conference Leaders who will introduce student-led restorative justice practices to the Jones community. The RJ Foundations of Peer Conference Program includes building relationships and community, facilitating conversations with students to repair and prevent harm, creating agreements, facilitating talking circles and other foundational restorative practices.


Help Make the Spring Benefit Auction a Success
Happy New Year! We hope you are all well and staying safe in these challenging times. The Jones Spring Benefit will be virtual again this year on Friday, March 19, 2021. We hope to reach our fundraising goals again with the amazing Jones community's support.  

There are several ways you can help make a difference now:
—Share any connection you have to a donation—experiences, vacation homes, sporting events and services are all big hits.
—Purchase and donate a gift card to your favorite small business or chain that can be sold in March at the online auction

Attached is the Jones auction letter and donation form for you to use with any donations.
We hope you and your family are hanging in there and appreciate any help you can provide!  Please contact Rita Parida or Tracy Portnoy with any questions.
Thank you!

Free Art Classes at Columbia

For more details on classes, and to register, go to:
Questions? Email:

Banners Raised 

Some Shining Examples of Banner Art

See Them On Lamp Posts Near School

Keep an eye out for our new banners, just put up around Jones College Prep! This year we are also including Jones College Prep Banners for sports, academics and clubs.  These Jones Banners will rotate and change as we continue to add corporate sponsors!  

Is your company or business interested in supporting one of the best schools in the state? Friends of Jones is selling 31 light post banners around our school on State, Harrison, Dearborn and Polk Streets.

The banners are available to businesses for $2000, $3000 and $5000 sponsorships, depending on location plus other benefits offered, and each will include the sponsor's name/logo along with a Jones College Prep mission message.

Money raised will be used to support Jones College Prep, funding items the school needs that are not covered by the CPS budget.

Learn more about the various Sponsorship Levels. View the map of banner locations. 

Or Download a Corporate Banner Sponsorship form to send with your payment information or check. Want to make this a recurring sponsorship? Download the Recurring Payment form to send with your Corporate Sponsorship form.

Questions? Please contact

Freshmen Chat About Joining Jones Virtually

Maeve McGeehan

An Unusual First Year

While all Jones students are impacted by the pandemic and the move to a virtual school day, the freshmen students this year are trying to join a new community. Making friends, developing relationships with teachers, and deciding what extracurricular activities are meaningful are especially challenging for students entering a new school without the benefit of being in person. Two freshmen, Maeve McGeehan and Emmie Alexander chat here about what it’s like starting high school through a computer screen.
After finding out 9th grade would begin virtually, there was, for both students, disappointment. “I was incredibly excited for high school to begin to start a new chapter in my life. I’d dreamt about the first day for quite some time, and logging into Google Meet from my bedroom was not anywhere near my expectations,” Emmie said. Similarly, Maeve’s disappointment was partly related to missing out on the sense of community. “The main reason I actually put Jones first on my list [of schools applied to] was because of the amazing environment and feeling I got from the school tour. Obviously, that’s a lot different online, not being able to actually meet people face to face.”
Getting to know fellow students during virtual school is not easy. Students often don’t turn on their cameras and instead of talking into the microphone, they use the chat function. As Emmie commented, “The chat function can’t convey inflection, so it’s challenging to understand a student’s opinion.”
And the use of breakout rooms, where students are divided into smaller discussion groups, can be good and bad. As Maeve pointed out, she had mixed experiences with them, but thought they were successful in a class where the teacher made the rooms just two students. Emmie, a fan of breakout rooms, said they  fostered discussion and helped her get to know classmates. 
Although students may be broken into smaller groups, teachers are mainly in front of the whole class, and with some cameras and mics off, they have to find new ways to get to know their students. “I think the teachers get a vibe from each student,” said Maeve. “Most people have their cameras off, though, but lots of people participate.” And Emmie complimented the teachers’ efforts to get to know students. “It almost feels like we’re in a classroom when they’re communicating with us, because of how lively and animated they are,” she said.

Emmie Alexander

Sitting still all day and staring at a screen for 90 minutes at a stretch is difficult and both students wish the periods were shorter. “I have gotten headaches from screens,” said Maeve. “I’m super grateful for the Eagle Day, it really helps give time for homework and a bit of a break from screens.”  
While adding more screen time to the end of the school day might not seem desirable, Emmie has found that joining some virtual clubs has nurtured her sense of belonging. “… as I slowly start to become familiar with the individual groups, I’m able to make more friends and become familiar with upperclassmen who provide me with a sense of community and hospitality,” she commented. 
Continuing high school on a computer is not ideal, but these students try to maintain a good attitude. Maeve said for now she’s feeling ok about school.  And Emmie summarized, “As humans, we need to be around each other and this year has put an incomprehensible amount of pressure on people’s mental health. But everyone needs to have hope. …I’m optimistic that with a new year, comes a new start.”

Library News



Some Teen Reading
Urge your students to access and read some of these GREAT TEEN TITLES in various formats HERE. Click through the slides to easily link to eBooks provided by JCP, CPS, and Chicago Public Library. Examine this additional list of great titles HERE. Further eBook guidance here

Click to read current and past library newsletters on the Keeping Up With the Jones Library blog on the library website.

Fran Feeley, NBCT
School Librarian  (website) (blog)


Spruce up your 2020 wardrobe with Joneswear.
Be a Trendsetter in Your New Joneswear  
We have a lot of new merchandise in our store.
View Joneswear selections HERE

Looking to buy Joneswear? The demand is high and we're looking at ways to fulfill orders safely. We hope to have a plan soon.  Contact Niki Jungwirth.

FOJ Important Dates 
Jan 14: FOJ Virtual Board Meeting, 8:00 am 
JCP Community Invited, email Jackie Papadopoulos for link

Jan 24: Next Issue of Newsletter
Feb 4: Virtual Book Discussion of "White Fragility," 6:30 pm

hosted by Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee; Fran Feeley, moderator, email Chair Latrice McArthur for Zoom link

Click HERE for the full calendar of JCP events.

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