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Brought to you by Friends of Jones

December 6, 2020

Inside: Leadership Initiatives and Equity; Spring Auction Has Sprung; Board Secretary Profiled; Jones Law Club Takes the Gavel—and more

From the Desk of Dr. Powers

Dear Jones Family, 

In this holiday season, we have much to celebrate and to be thankful for.  Our students continue to excel academically under the guidance of their teachers and the support and encouragement of their families. Despite the ongoing challenges of a pandemic that has forced us into remote learning, we can be very proud of all the efforts our creative and dedicated staff have made to help our students remain engaged and moving forward with their learning.  

We face other challenges as well, challenges that require no less dedication and effort to address and overcome. Jones has historically been viewed as a school where all students feel welcome and supported in their personal journey of learning and growth. We have taken pride in our diversity and inclusion as vital components of our school's identity. Sadly, we as a community have not always lived up to those ideals in practice. This has been made clear in recent months as we have heard the voices of students and others expressing their concerns about their experiences at Jones, experiences that do not fully reflect our school's mission, vision, and ideals.   

The focus of our school leadership this year has been to develop and implement a framework of initiatives in line with CPS visions for equity in our schools.  For Jones, these include
  • equity of access to rigorous curricula and support for success
  • anti-racism professional development for faculty and staff
  • elevating student voice
  • developing culturally responsive curriculum and instruction
These initiatives are on-going, multi-year efforts to ensure that Jones is not just a school, but a home in which all students can thrive.

Racism and hate of any kind have no place at Jones, nor should they in any school. We have heard these voices and are committed to purposeful and focused actions to address concerns, redress the hurt, and make our school family whole. 

Thank you to everyone for all the support you have provided to make our school community the very best it can be.


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 
Condolences and Support

A Tragic Loss In Assistant Principal's Family

FOJ offers our heartfelt condolences to Assistant Principal Therese Plunkett and her family on the sudden passing of her dear husband Edward O'Brien on Dec 3. Dr. Plunkett and Ed have two daughters, Gabby, 14, and Madeline, 11.

Community members can show support for the family by contributing to a GoFundMe account for Madeline and Gabby's education or by signing up to provide food at Meal Train Plus for Therese, Gabby & Madeline O'Brien.


Meet Your FOJ Officers 

Vicki Crockett, Board Secretary

Children: Preston, 18, JCP Senior Class of 2021, Varsity Basketball player, and Maddie, 21, JCP Class of 2018, studying Pre-Med at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Why did you decide to volunteer with FOJ?
I enjoy volunteering and think it is important to be involved in the school community and set that example for my children.  I first got involved at Jones by volunteering for school events and quickly realized the essential role FOJ plays in supporting the school.  I then decided to join the Board as Treasurer to make the most impact with my accounting background.

What have you enjoyed about volunteering?
I have most enjoyed meeting the amazing Jones teachers, administrators and parents, several of whom I have become good friends with over the years.  I also find it very rewarding to use my skills in a way that helps the school community.

Hobbies: Sailing, fitness, traveling and wine tasting

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.


Help Make the Spring Benefit Auction a Success
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 are so grateful for the amazing support last year and 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!

Spotlight on School Activities

(Clockwise) Judy O'Brien, Jonah McArthur, and Jenna Issa at the helm 
Jones Law Club
Jonah McArthur, Chair and Founder of the Jones Law Club, Jenna Issa, and Judy O'Brien make up the club's executive board. The club was created last school year to provide a space for students to explore various areas of the legal field. It allows students to tap into their creativity and unleash their inner lawyer. As members of the Law Club, students participate in mock debates and trials related to current and past events, career panels with attorneys who practice in several different fields, and Q & A sessions with law school students from Northwestern and NYU. While meetings must be held virtually now, the club is planning to host several fun-filled and educational in-person events in the future.


Scholastic Bowl Keeps Rolling Virtually
Scholastic Bowl is an academic quiz bowl competition, a “team jeopardy,” with questions about typical academic topics (history, literature, math, science, geography) as well as current events and pop culture. During regular in-person competition, players “buzz in” with a buzzer system to answer individual tossup questions and teams work together to answer bonus questions. During competition, each team has 3-5 players at a time. Since school has gone remote in March, the Jones Scholastic Bowl team has been meeting via Google Meet on Wednesday afternoons to practice questions and hang out, using an online buzzer system to answer questions virtually. 

Last year, team members enjoyed a celebratory moment in person.

Although it was uncertain if the team would be able to compete this school year, a virtual competition did took place Nov 14 and 21. This tournament had 120 teams competing from all over the state of Illinois, and the Jones Varsity and JV teams competed. 

The varsity team had a 4-1 record after Week 1 and qualified for the playoff bracket, ultimately placing 12th out of 48 teams. The JV team had a 2-3 record after Week 1 and placed 2nd in their consolation bracket in Week 2, with an overall record of 6-4. Every player scored points in this tournament, which is impressive as this is the first tournament for some of our team!

The players have said that the tournament was more fun than expected, and it has been a great way to engage and participate in scholastic bowl even though we are missing the in-person nonverbal aspects of the competition. Additionally, some of our alumni participated in the tournament as moderators, including one of the founding members of the Jones Scholastic Bowl team who graduated in 2016. We are also hoping to compete in the Turnabout Tournament scheduled in Jan 2021 (which is likely to be virtual).

The team welcomes new players at any time! Our google classroom code is evdpebo ( and we regularly meet on Wednesday afternoons at 3:30 via Google Meet. The Jones Scholastic Bowl team has grown from 3 players when we started in 2014 to a consistent 10-12 players with both Varsity and JV teams.

FOJ support has been integral by funding t-shirts, buses to competitions  and a trip to Atlanta, GA for the National Academic Quiz Tournaments in the spring of 2019. We also qualified for nationals in the spring of 2020, and FOJ had approved a grant request to help fund that trip, but unfortunately the competition was cancelled due to the pandemic. Scholastic Bowl players have expressed how much they love the team and the community that we’ve built, and we’re thankful to FOJ and Jones to be given the resources to continue this space of learning and community.

Banners Support School and Business


Watch for New Banners Near Jones

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

Library News



O'Bama's New Book 
Penguin Random House, OverDrive and the Obama Foundation are providing simultaneous use access to President Barack Obama’s newly released eBook and eAudioBook A Promised Land/Una tierra prometida in English and Spanish through December 31, 2020. All CPS students and staff have access to all four formats at (the CPS Virtual Library). Click on the book cover or the READ NOW button; click on CPS STUDENTS; and then borrow the preferred format. To return to the book go to Urge your students to SEIZE THE MOMENT to download the SORA app on any computers or mobile devices to bring their eBooks with them everywhere! 

Brief Tutorial Video    Guide/Troubleshooting      CPS video featuring President Obama



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 
Dec 10: FOJ Virtual Board Meeting, 8:00 am, JCP Community Invited, email Jackie Papadopoulos for link

Happy Holidays! 
Dec 21 to Jan 4: Holiday Break, No Classes
Jan 10: Next Issue of FOJ Newsletter

Click HERE for the full calendar of JCP events.

You can access the Friends of Jones parent database anytime 
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2020 Jones College Prep High School
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700 S. State St., Chicago, IL 60605

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