Principal's Corner

There's No Place Like Jones!

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Happy Autumn Jones Families!

Dear Parents:

Welcome to November and Happy Autumn to you and your family!

If you are like me, you are surprised by how fast October has flown by! We have certainly had a fantastic month here…it’s been incredibly busy, and the progress the students have made in just a few short months since the school year first started has been astounding! By now, everyone has settled in well to their new classrooms, their new routines, and getting down to the business of learning. I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and your students. Jones Elementary is a great community that supports learning and growing for all of our students.

I look forward to a productive partnership with you to ensure our children can achieve their highest potential. We recognize that to be successful in school, our children need support from both the home and school. We know a strong partnership with you will make a significant difference in your child’s education. As partners, we share the responsibility for our children’s success and want you to know that we will do our very best to carry out our responsibilities. We ask that you guide and support your child’s learning by ensuring that he/she:

  1. Attends school daily and arrives on time, ready for the day’s learning experience;

  2. Completes all homework assignments given by teachers;

  3. Reads daily to develop a love for reading and to improve literacy skills;

  4. Shares school experiences with you so that you are aware of his/her school life;

  5. Informs you if he/she needs additional support in any area or subject; and

  6. Knows that you expect him/her to succeed in school and go on to college

Now that November is here, we have noticed a dip in the temperatures. Please remember that our students go outside year round, and now is the time to bring sweaters or jackets for recess time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. I am always here to help.

May this Autumn be a harvest of happy times for you and your family! We are looking forward to a great November.


Ruafika Cobb, Interim Principal

New Addition to 3rd Grade!

3rd grade Parents,

Did you know we know we added a new 3rd-grade Instructional Assistant to support the students and teachers? We now have two assistants that are split by four teachers at this grade level.

Meet Ms. Rachel Brownlee (former Jones Elementary Media Assistant):

Rachel has enjoyed the opportunity to work in various fields since making Asheville home in 2004. A background in botany and sustainable agriculture lead to the study of nutrition in 2009. A career in writing soon followed, covering topics from local agriculture to the history of food culture in Western North Carolina. After working for several years with the students from Evergreen Community Charter School on their annual Appalachian Food Journey Storybank Project, Rachel discovered a joy for working with students of all ages. As a parent of a student within the Ira B Jones community since 2016, it is a true pleasure to work full-time as an Asheville City Schools staff member and to be part of the Ira B Jones team. Current goals include a desire to work with kids in developmentally significant environments, and to support those who are leading children every day. Rachel lives in North Asheville with her husband, daughter, and floppy basset hound, Bella.

Welcome, Ms. Brownlee, to your new role in our school. You have been a great addition to 3rd grade!

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Health Benefits of Gratitude

When was the last time you stopped to really acknowledge the things you’re thankful for? There’s a whole host of reasons why we should make gratitude a daily practice — research has shown that being thankful confers a whole host of health benefits, from improved immune systems, to feelings of connectedness, even higher team morale.

1. Good for the heart. A 1995 study in the American Journal of Cardiology showed that appreciation and positive emotions are linked with changes in heart rate variability.

2. Good for the immune system. Gratefulness is linked with optimism, which in turn is linked with better immune health WebMD reported.

3. Reduces stress. WebMD reported that negative events can boost gratitude and that gratitude can help to boost feelings of belonging and decrease feelings of stress. For example, a survey showed that feelings of gratitude were at high levels after 9/11, according to WebMD.

4. Strengthens relationships. Being thankful for the little things your partner does could make your relationship stronger, according to a study in the journal Personal Relationships. The Telegraph reported on the study, which showed that journaling about the thoughtful things your partner did was linked with a beneficial outcome on the relationship.

5. Improves sleep. Writing down what you’re thankful for as you drift off to sleep can help you get better ZZs, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being.

6. Higher Grades. Grateful students have higher GPA's— as well as better social integration and satisfaction with life — than their not-grateful counterparts, according to a 2010 study in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

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November's Character Trait is Citizenship/Community Service

This month all of our students will learn how they can make their home, school, community, and the greater world a better place. Some of the ways include getting involved in community affairs, staying informed, being a good neighbor, obeying laws and rules, respecting authority, protecting the environment, and volunteering.

Demonstrating good citizenship is being a person who is involved in trying to make the community, nation, or world a better place. Good citizens are people who are engaged, in big or small ways, in considering the needs of others in their community. Citizenship means more than knowing how the government functions. Good citizenship in practice is understanding, appreciating and doing things that make life better for yourself and for others. Citizenship is not passive. Citizenship demands participation, involvement, and contribution. Good citizens go beyond their own interests, demonstrate a concern for the needs of others and recognize their obligations to make their home, school, neighborhood, country, and the world the best they can be. Citizenship is a two-way relationship and includes both rights and duties. No one makes a difference without being involved.

Citizenship is not just doing the thing that looks good. It is doing the thing that helps someone else. Here are some activities to develop a sense of citizenship:

  • Get to know a police officer, firefighter, school administrator or road maintenance worker. Learn about their part in local government and how taxes support the work they do.

  • Prepare special treats for a person or a group of people who serve in your local government. Deliver the treats along with a special ―thank you for the service they provide.

  • Participate in community-building activities, such as cleaning up parks and assisting with school activities or organizing a special activity for the residents of a local nursing home. Being a good citizen means taking an active part in your community. It implies having ideals and a sense of values

  • Take your child with you when you vote. Talk to him/her about the candidates, the offices they aspire to hold and their positions on key issues.

Discuss citizenship with your child and find examples of what good citizens do for their communities.

Jones Advocates

We are 50% there! Please consider a gift to this school fundraising campaign - 100% goes directly to support our students. All gifts make a difference.

You can give online at or send in a check to the front office at school.

Friday, Nov 8 is the last day for business to be acknowledged in Wizard of Oz playbill.

NC Check-ins Testing for 3rd/4th/5th grades

NC Check-Ins are interim assessments developed by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) that are aligned to North Carolina grade-level content standards (for reading and mathematics) and North Carolina Essential Standards (for science).

The main purpose of NC Check-Ins is to provide students, teachers, and parents, with immediate in-depth action data and a reliable estimate of students’ current performance on the selected subtest of content standards. Both the end-of-grade (EOG tests and the end-of-course (EOC) tests share a common item bank with the NC Check-Ins, which then exposes NC Check-In students to similar item types and rigor found on the EOGs and EOCs.

The NC Chek-In administration dates are as follows:

NC Check-In 1 November 19-21

NC Check-In 2 February 17-28 (exact dates will be announced later)

NC Check-In 3 April 21-30 (exact dates will be announced later)

If you have questions or concerns about the NC Check-Ins, please contact Jo Landreth, Ira B. Jones Assistant Principal at 350-6700 or

Volunteer Training

Throughout the year there are different opportunities to volunteer throughout the school district and specifically at Ira B. Jones. From being a lunch buddy to chaperoning on a field trip to serving as a test proctor, we need you! When that just right volunteer opportunity comes your way, you will want to be prepared. Please consider going through the background check process and training so that you can help when the call comes.

There are two levels of volunteers. A level one volunteer does not have unsupervised contact with students. This would include helping with PTO fundraising activities or working on school beautification projects. To qualify as a level one volunteer you just need to complete the background check process found on the ACS website. A level two volunteer can have unsupervised contact with students or regularly volunteers. This would include helping with overnight field trips, tutoring/mentoring a student, or proctoring. To qualify as a level one volunteer you must complete the background check and attend one of the trainings.

Here is the schedule for upcoming volunteer trainings. The location for all of the trainings is in the ACS Board Room * 85 Mountain Street. You do not have to pre-register. Please consider putting one on your calendar:

  • Wednesday, December 11, 12 PM
  • Wednesday, February 2, 12 PM
  • Wednesday, February 12, 12 PM
  • Wednesday, February 12, 6 PM
  • Wednesday, March 11, 12 PM
  • Wednesday, April 22, 12 PM
  • Wednesday, May 6, 12 PM

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We Need a Custodian!

Do you know anyone who is responsible, dependable, trustworthy and looking for a job?! We are looking to hire an afternoon custodian. Interested candidates can contact Ruafika Cobb at or 828.350.6700.
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Dates to Remember

  • November 7: Fall Make-up Picture Day
  • November 11: Veterans Day Holiday - No School for Students or Staff
  • November 18: 2nd Quarter Progress Reports go Home
  • November 18 - 22: Book Fair
  • November 20: 3rd, 4th, & 5th grades Thanksgiving Holiday Meal
  • November 27 - 29: Thanksgiving Break