Robinson Elementary School

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Message From the Principal

I think I may be facing what I hope is a temporary shortage of wisdom to share with you this week.  So I will resort to some random bullet points, each of which, if implemented faithfully, will improve the quality of life at Robinson.
 
Donate to MBEF – Please take advantage of this last opportunity to make your donation for 2017-18 to our Education Foundation.  They literally change our students’ educational experience for the better every day.  Last day is Feb. 9. $1,750 per child or whatever your family can comfortably afford.  Thank you!!
 
Checking In At School – In the interest of safety, we need every visitor to Robinson to check in through the office first, sign in, and slap on a visitor badge.  This includes parents who spend more time here than they do at home.  If our staff notices an adult on campus without a visitor badge, I have instructed them to ask that person to go to the office and check in properly.  Please do not be insulted.  We are relatively sure you’re not a terrorist, but this system depends on the good faith participation of everyone in our school community.  Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
 
Classroom Interruptions – After you bring your tardy child to the office to check in, please let them walk to class without you.  When a student comes in late, it is a minor interruption for the class.  When a parent comes in with them and starts taking off the child’s coat and putting away his/her backpack, it’s a much bigger interruption.  The kids are quite capable of walking to their classrooms.
 
Respect Teachers’ Time – If you need to meet with your child’s teacher, please make an appointment.  They want to work together with you, they want to meet with you whenever necessary, and they strongly believe that collaboration with each student’s family is a critical element in the success of their students. But. . . the pressure on a teacher’s time runs from very high to overwhelming.  If you catch them eating lunch, that means they stole 10 or 15 minutes from preparing lessons, grading, talking to colleagues, reading e-mails, counseling individual students, solving problems, or clearing a jam in their printer.  This is not a good time for you to drop by and ask for just two minutes of their time.  You wouldn’t do that with your doctor, lawyer, hair stylist, or therapist.  Thank you for your consideration.
 
Children’s Names On Outer Clothing – Have you seen our Lost and Found?  It looks like the sale rack at H & M.  There is quite a collection of very nice items.  We ask our Student Council to periodically look through all of the jackets, sweaters, and lunch boxes, hoping to find some ID.  We are all thrilled when we can return something to its rightful owner.  I am thinking about sending up a puff of white smoke for each returned item.  So please write your child’s name on the tag and give us a chance to feel good about ourselves.
 
Kindness Assembly – I was very happy to see the large group of parents who found time to attend our Kindness Assembly.  When you can attend a school event, you are sending a strong message to your children that what happens at Robinson doesn’t stay at Robinson.  It matters at home, too.  Our students can see that a Kindness Assembly, an Authors’ Celebration, or a Super Bowl Party is important to their parents along with every aspect of their education.  And it gives you something to talk about at home besides homework.
 
Absences Cost the District Money – How many of you know that every absence, excused or otherwise, costs MBUSD $45 per child per day?  If your child stays home with the flu, which we wholeheartedly endorse, we lose $45.  If your child goes skiing, which is an unexcused absence, we lose $45.  No difference except that one represents a choice.  Parents around the district are joining the movement toward donating the lost funds to the district, especially when they have taken an unexcused time off.  Please consider joining this trend.  Not only will you be supporting the district’s budget, it may help to assuage your guilt for going off to Disney World while the rest are here slaving away. Thanks!
 
Thank You For Your Support – I am very appreciative of the way you and your very delightful children have responded to our safety concerns regarding skateboards, bicycles, and dogs on campus.  There has been no push back from the pro skating, riding, or doggy lobbies.  Our staff and I feel like these simple rules have made our campus calmer and safer.  And there’s less poop to clean up as well.  That’s a win-win for sure!
 
Special Activities – I saw the Run Club and after school chess class in action this week.  Both were beautiful sights!  How would you this to be your day: An early morning run in a bucolic setting, time for writing in your journal and reading a good book, lunch with some friends, quiet time for deep breathing and meditation, a square dance lesson, a session playing in your orchestra, some time for studying interesting subjects with a known expert, and one last opportunity to exercise your mind by improving your chess playing skills?  If your investments work out, this could be your retirement.  Meanwhile, your kids are living the life!