No Place Like Jones

Parent Updates for the Week of September 20, 2021

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Principal Corner

Versión en español


Dear Ira B. Jones Families:

As we head into the final weeks of September, I want to take some time to share some important information about how COVID quarantines work. Please take a moment to read this message so that we all understand how everything plays out when a student tests positive for COVID at our school.

If a student tests positive for COVID, and he/she/they attended school or rode the bus when they were contagious, our admin team and school nurse look closely at all students who had the potential to be a close contact. The contagious period for COVID starts 48 hours before symptoms appear. For example, if a student shows symptoms on Friday, we look all the way back to Wednesday.

Our first step is to talk to the teacher and other staff about whether or not there are students in the class who would have been within six feet of the positive student for more than 15 cumulative minutes when they were contagious. We then ask whether the students who fall into this category and were near the positive student were wearing their mask correctly and consistently. We look at bus videos to make sure students were wearing their masks and within six feet of the positive student during the bus ride. We ask if students were wearing their masks at recess/outside and within six feet of the positive student during lunch when masks are not worn. There is so much to consider and investigate. Honestly, wearing the mask makes the most significant impact on whether or not a student will need to quarantine.

We have safety protocols in place, but they hinge on some critical rules: staying six feet from others at lunch when not wearing a mask AND wearing the mask correctly and consistently during the school day. We consider all of this, and we determine if a student is a close contact. If a student is considered a close contact, they must quarantine for 14 days. These phone calls are hard to make, as you can imagine.

I’m sharing this with you because, in the past few weeks, we have had to determine that some students are close contacts because they do not wear their mask correctly or consistently, OR they sit too close to others at lunch with their mask down. Additionally, when students ride the bus, we need them to independently wear their masks correctly as the driver cannot closely supervise their mask-wearing. We are constantly supervising at lunch, separating students and asking them to move further away from each other. I have seen teachers and staff doing this every single day. This is not an easy task, but we know it’s essential. I truly believe our staff is doing their best.

Additionally, masks are not technically required outside at recess. However, if a student has their mask off and a student in the class is positive, we will more than likely identify them as a close contact and ask that they quarantine for 14 days. We need your help with this part. Talk to your child about wearing their mask correctly and consistently throughout the day. We do encourage wearing masks at recess because it helps keep kids in school! Help them understand how important it is to wear their mask and to stay 6 feet away at lunch. We do this at school, but hearing it from you, as well, will go a long way in helping them understand the “why.”

In partnership,

Ruafika Cobb


Ira B. Jones Elementary School

Don't Forget about Our Ice Cream Social!

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IBJ Families,

Please join us this Thursday, September 23, from 5:30 - 7:00 for an ice cream social. This will be an outdoor, informal event to give our school community a chance to come together and an opportunity to welcome new families to our school.

Everyone MUST wear a mask!

Kindergarten Parking Lot - Kindergarten Parents Reminder

Arrival Procedures

K Car Riders: Families with kindergarten students will be able to drop them off in the kindergarten parking lot starting at 7:15 AM. Older siblings will also exit the car and enter the building at the kindergarten/auditorium entrance. Drivers will need to approach the school on Kimberly Avenue coming from Beaverdam to avoid crossing the traffic on Kimberly to enter the parking lot. When entering the parking lot, drivers will turn right and follow the roadway in a counterclockwise direction. The parking lot is one way. Please make a loop in the parking lot to help ensure a safe arrival for our students.

Bus Ridership 2021

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Upcoming Important Dates

August 30 - September 20: mClass Testing Window (K - 3rd students)

September 1 - October 8: NC ENSI Math Testing Window (K - 5th students)

September 20: ACS Regular Board Meeting (5:00 pm - 7:00 pm)

September 23: IBJ/PTO Ice Cream Social (5:30 pm - 7:00 pm)

September 24: Early Release Day (12:00 pm)

October 7: No school for students - Parent/Teacher Conferences (Teachers will reach out to schedule a time with you).

October 13: Student Picture Day!

Title I Home/School Compact & Parent Family Engagement Plan

Please check your students' home-to-school folder Monday evening for our Title I Home/School Compact and Family Engagement Plan.

The compact is an agreement between the school, students, and parents/caregivers that outlines how we work together to ensure all students are exposed to high-quality curriculum and instruction and receive the individual support they need to reach and exceed grade-level standards.

After you read it, please sign and return the Parent Signature Page to your child's teacher. We need 100% of the forms returned! Click below for a digital copy of the document.

IBJ Holiday B.A.Gs

Dear Ira B. Jones Elementary Parents/ Guardians:

It is time to plan for our annual B.A.Gs gift giving. We work with community groups and volunteers to supply students with items to have a great break, with many resources to keep them engaged over the holidays. Each child who receives a Holiday B.A.G will get books, art supplies, and games to add to their collection. Everything in the B.A.Gs will be age-appropriate and tailored to each student based on the information provided below.

We are making our list and checking it twice, so please complete and return the form by Monday, October 18, 2021. All information will be kept CONFIDENTIAL

We will send a copy of the letter home. You may also click below for the letter and the link to complete the form online.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to get in touch with Abby Owolabi, School Social Worker ( ).

Ira B. Jones Elementary School

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Ruafika A. Cobb, Principal

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