Celebrating Jones Paideia

Jones Paideia Elementary: Cultivating Critical and Creative Thinking
Posted on 01/10/2022
Two Jones students at a computer

Jones Paideia Elementary Magnet is one of the most sought-after schools in our district. 

The school practices the Paideia philosophy, fostering critical and creative thinking through Socratic seminar, intellectual coaching, and mastery of information. Paideia is high-quality education that empowers students to live up to their full potential and teaches essential skills so students can earn a good living, contribute to our democracy, and pursue happiness. 

The school’s trajectory of excellence dates to more than 85 years ago, when R.W. Jones School was built as a tribute to professor Richard W. Jones. Jones served North Nashville for many years as principal of Elliott and Buena Vista schools. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Jones died in 1933 at the age of 84, ending a lifetime of 60 years of service to Nashville schools.   students working in science class

Miss Grace Rose was the first principal of Jones when it opened in 1936 with a faculty of 17 teachers and an enrollment of more than 600 students in grades 1-6.  

Jones Paideia’s current principal, Myra Taylor, feels very proud of the school’s many accomplishments, particularly in recent times.

“Jones Paideia today is the result of the consolidation of Buena Vista Elementary and Jones Paideia Elementary. We are rebuilding and rebranding our school, including our climate and culture. We expect every student to be known and every student to be challenged to be his/her best. Along with community partners, parents, and district staff, we work tirelessly to ensure equity for our students, as well as the best possible education every day,” Taylor said.    two women standing in front of mural

Every day, the school strives to equip students academically, socially, and emotionally by encouraging good character, developing courageous learners, and focusing on positively impacting the community. The school practices Every Student

Known by putting into practice the following initiatives: 

  • Each teacher has a small group of students they check on monthly. This is along with the weekly Navigator check-ins. The monthly check-ins connect students with a different adult than the Navigator checks, so each student should have at least two trusted adults in the building. 
  • The school purchased a student ID machine so that they can make IDs with pictures for every student. This helps everyone, including non-instructional staff (cafeteria workers, tutors, custodians, and so forth), know students by name. 
  • Every week the school celebrates the Students of the Week, and they are starting to recognize the Most Improved Students of the Week.   
  • The school celebrates students with perfect attendance as well as Lexia All-Stars who have completed the required lessons, and they produce videos for Awards Day. All of these celebrations occur each day during the school’s virtual morning meetings. Parents are encouraged to participate in these morning meetings via Teams. 

Fun Facts about Jones Paideia

  • The school has an outdoor classroom with a shade sail in front of the building.  
  •  A couple of days each month, Jones hosts experiential learning opportunities during the school day for students. During that time, teachers plan and practice upcoming lessons while students get to participate in activities such as yoga, swimming, and science experiments. 
  • The school has more than 15 after-school clubs, and over 100 students participate each week.  

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