Middle School Letter from Principal Lea

October 29, 2014

Dear Fifth Grade Parents:

I think you would agree that today you have considerable say about where your children go to school. The right school is a place where your child feels accepted and supported, can excel, and invites parents in as partners to help guide that success.  That equates to regular communication, early notification whenever there is an issue, one on one communication with teachers and administrators as warranted, positive student-teacher relationships, an environment where higher order thinking is valued and creativity is fundamental.  Welcome to Bill Roberts!

RISE at Roberts is a simple way to explain who and what we are about.  It is what defines us!

R   Rigorous and Responsive Academic Curriculum

I   Innovative Instruction

S  Small Community

E  Encouraging and Supportive

There is no doubt that Middle School can be very challenging.  Bill Roberts’ small school offers an environment in which students are more visible to the staff.  Because of our low numbers, students are never “just a number” as they can be in bigger schools, and the smaller size helps in holding our students accountable to the expectations of the rigorous curriculum.  Because of our unique size, student-teacher relationships are always present, allowing teachers to be more responsive to identify individual talents and unique needs of each and every student, which offers a more personalized, innovative, educational experience.  Student needs will not get lost.  In many traditional Middle Schools, a teacher can see 150- 180 students every day. In this model, where kids rotate through core classes and a teacher sees 150 kids, it is challenging for teachers to get to know their students, academically as well as emotionally, thus relationships are difficult to grow and there are fewer opportunities for teachers to develop the whole child. The time and size of our school allows teachers to share information about their students and to collaborate with other staff members to solve problems.

The middle years are a time for young adults when moral development is most influenced by others, a period where partnerships between school and families is so essential, and certainly a time to be academically challenged, but also a phase where adolescent students can stray and be led off-course.  This is the opportune time for a small community. It is a fundamental period where teachers must know what their students are doing, who they are, and be able to influence and have an impact on these young people.

While you shop schools during the next few weeks, I recommend that you make Bill Roberts your number one choice.  I speak to you as a parent first, wishing my own children had the opportunity to attend a school like Roberts, a small community where teachers know each and every student, where structure and defined limits are part of the culture, where academics are rigorous yet supported by areas of exploration, and where independence and freedom are complemented to create an innovative environment.  It sounds like the place to be!

Thanks for your support,

Trich Lea