Sunday, September 16, 2018

Thanks for a great start!

Greetings Stone-Robinson families and thank you for a great start to the school year.  By now, I hope you have all had the opportunity to connect with your child's classroom teacher and have taken part in a listening conference.  The purpose of these conferences, whether by phone or in person, is for parents and teachers to connect and for teachers to learn all they can about their students as they begin to establish new relationships and plan for a successful school year!

Creating a safe, inclusive, kind place for all children to come to each day is very important to us.  We want our students to be excited about coming to school everyday and to know that they are valued and respected members of our school community.  Your child's happiness and success is no doubt, a shared responsibility and partnership between home and school.  We promise to keep the lines of communication open and ask that you not hesitate to reach out to us should your child be experiencing any difficulties at school. Together, we can make school a positive and productive experience for all.

One of the ways we will be building upon our positive school climate this year is through a focus on  the development of social and emotional competencies and our role in explicitly teaching and modeling these competencies for our students.  Teachers have begun taking part in professional development and our goal is to engage families in this work as well.

This year, connected to our regularly scheduled PTO meetings, we plan to host a series of conversations connected to our school's goals. We hope you will join us for our first conversation at the September 27th PTO meeting at 6:00pm in the SRE library.  Carolyn Schuyler, an SRE parent and the Executive Director of Wildrock,  will be joining us to facilitate a conversation around the importance of play, the purpose and intentional design of the updates made to our PK-2 playground, and how all of this is connected to the social and emotional learning of our students.  Hope to see you there!


"Child-initiated play lays a foundation for learning and academic success. Through play, children learn to interact with others, develop language skills, recognize and solve problems, and discover their human potential. In short, play helps children make sense of and find their place in the world."   Carolyn Schuyler, SRE Parent and Executive Director of Wildrock




Sunday, August 19, 2018

Welcome to the 2018-2019 School Year!

Greetings Stone-Robinson families and welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!  We are very excited to welcome back all of our current families and to meet and greet the newest members of our Stone-Robinson Community!  We hope that everyone has enjoyed the summer break and feeling refreshed and ready to go for the new school year.

You may think that all is quiet at the school during the summer months, but in reality, it's a hustle and bustle of activity. Lots of planning, cleaning, and updating have taken place. Here are just a few of the highlights... 

New Members of Our School Community
Aside from the new staff members mentioned in our previous blog post, please join us in welcoming the latest new members to our team:
  • Michelle Brown - New Cafeteria Manager - Michelle worked side-by-side with Ms. Wanda, who recently retired, and is very excited about the opportunity to serve your children.
  • Dana Keck - Long-Term Substitute Teacher, 2nd Grade 
New PTO President
Please join us in welcoming Mary Ellen Elias as our new PTO President.  Mary Ellen, a former Albemarle County teacher herself, is very excited to meet all of you and to serve our school in this way.  Thank you, Mary Ellen!  Please be sure to sign up for the SRE Online Newsletter.  The PTO will send this correspondence out twice monthly, which will include important information about upcoming events, school priorities and procedures, and other information for both parents and students.  Even if you've signed up in the past, please sign up again as we are rebooting the distribution list.

Priorities for the New School Year
This summer, we put together two new teacher leadership teams who focused on ways we can build upon our positive school climate.  You will be hearing more about these priorities as our goal is to engage staff, students, parents and the greater school community in this work together to help us accomplish these goals.  The two teams formed are:
  1. The Social & Emotional Leadership Team - This team will lead the work on strengthening our understanding of SEL. As defined by the  CASEL organization,
 "Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions."

     2. The Digital Citizenship Leadership Team - As a start, this team will lead the work on developing vertically aligned lessons that will help students learn to appropriately and safely interact with technology, in order to promote respect towards peers, tools, and to make safe decisions.

New Car Pick-Up Procedures
We will be implementing a new strategy at car pick-up this year to increase the efficiency and safety of this process. You'll learn more about this at our Open House.

Teacher Professional Development
As true lifelong learners themselves, teachers have been participating in professional development throughout the summer.  Seven of our staff members attended the division's Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction Institute to further their understanding about project based learning. The entire staff participated in learning around social and emotional competencies and digital citizenship for all students.  And all teachers opted into a variety of offerings by the school division that were aligned to both their interests as well as the division's strategic goals.

Facility Updates
  • The PK-2 playground has been updated to include a nature playscape.  Thank you to the PTO, Mark Lieberth, Chris Higgins, and Carolyn Schuyler for their dedication and commitment to this project!  We cannot wait to see the students enjoying this new space!
  • We have begun conversations with Quickstart Tennis to potentially add tennis courts to our school grounds.  We will be sharing more about this project in the near future.
  • All of our kindergarten classrooms have been modernized with new furniture to create new learning spaces for our students.  Teachers received professional development on how to best set up their new classrooms in order to maximize student engagement.
  • LED lighting has been installed throughout the school (In fact, they may still be working on it when you visit during the Open House).  :)
  • Mr. Chuck and our custodial crew have waxed all of the floors and cleaned every nook & cranny in the building. 
  • The front of our school as well as many areas within the building, have been repainted. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Meet Our New Staff Members for the 2018-2019 School Year!

Welcome!

Please join us in welcoming our newest staff members to the Stone-Robinson School Community.  Along with several new teaching assistants and a new front office associate, we are also welcoming a new 1st and 2nd grade teacher.  Some of you may recognize our new 1st grade teacher as she is a returning member of our school community.  Below is a brief bio introducing each of our new folks.  I know they look forward to meeting you all in person soon!


Asma Rekik - 2nd Grade Teacher

My name is Asma Rekik. I am originally from Tunisia, but have lived in Charlottesville for the 
past 8 years with my husband and two kids: Syrine is almost 3 years old, and Hedi is 10 months
old. This will be my  third year of teaching. I began my teaching career as an interventionist at Greer and taught Third grade last year. I am very excited to become part of the Stone-Robinson family.




Michelle Drago - 1st Grade Teacher



My name is Michelle Drago and I am thrilled to be joining the Stone Robinson team this year as a first grade teacher! This is my tenth year of teaching. I spent several of those years teaching kindergarten and first grade at Stone Robinson. I also spent two years as an elementary librarian. I graduated from UVA (go Hoos!) with a bachelor's degrees in history and a Master's in Elementary Education. My husband and I have two wonderful daughters and in our free time I love to read, play with my girls, and spend time outside. I am so looking forward to being back at Stone Robinson!


Jessica Davis - Functional Skills Teaching Assistant



Hello! My name is Jessica Davis. I just graduated from William & Mary this spring with my degree in Sociology and a minor in Hispanic Studies. While in college I was involved in music through my a cappella group, The Accidentals, and started an organization around the issue of human trafficking. Music and social work/volunteering have been my passions from a young age so it was great to continue both in college! Currently, I am living in a small town outside of Madrid and working as an au pair. I take care of two boys, 6 and 8 years old, and live with the family. It has been an amazing experience to practice my Spanish, meet new people and get to know Spanish culture! Now that I've graduated from college my dream is to become an elementary school teacher. I'm so excited to start working at Stone-Robinson this fall and to meet all of you! 


Susan Reuschling - Office Associate 














My name is Susan Reuschling and I am excited to join the Stone- Robinson community.  I have worked for Albemarle County for 10 years, all of which were at Woodbrook Elementary as the registrar and bookkeeper.  My husband and I live in Scottsville and  outside of work I love spending time with our grandchildren, reading and going to the beach.  I look forward to meeting the students and families at Stone-Robinson.

Madison Combs - Functional Skills Teaching Assistant











My name is Madison Combs and I am going to be the new assistant in the Autism Base Class! I am so excited to join the Stone-Robinson team! I grew up in Charlottesville and have lived here for the majority of my life. I even went to school at SRE! I attended college at the University of Mary Washington where I received my bachelors in psychology. After I graduated I moved out to California for a year and worked in an elementary school as a behavioral aide. I am most excited about joining the team because my sister Jordan works here as well! I look forward to meeting all of you! 




Sunday, July 29, 2018

Last Week's Updates

We have been busy getting the school ready for the new school year! Mr. Chuck, Mr. Tino, Mr. Kevin and Ms. Melinda have been working very hard making sure everything is ready for the new school year.  The main office team has been busy as well! We are all excited to have the students and staff back in a few short weeks.

This past week the weather slowed down the progress on the playground but our very dedicated contractors still "played in the mud" as much as they could!
Building a fun top for the tunnel!

Cutting the slab under the mulch.
Our SRES students are going to have so much fun!

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Playground update- Week 2

It has been exciting watching the playground transformation this week!  The top mulch was removed, and they added a tunnel and logs.  They also demolished a concrete pad to expand the playground area. The pictures below will tell you more!







Sunday, July 15, 2018

2018 Summer Playground Happenings!

Exciting news!  This Monday, July 15, we will finally begin the work of updating our PK-2 playground.  Through the generosity of our PTO, we will be adding new elements to the existing design that will incorporate nature play.  Mark Lieberth, a Stone-Robinson parent who is a landscape architect by trait with Land Planning & Design Associates, has given much of his time and energy and is taking the lead on this project.  For that, we are extremely appreciative!  Here are a few words from Mark about why nature play is important:


"In the last ten years, childhood has moved indoors.  An American child today spends an average of seven minutes in outdoor free play and seven hours connected to electronic devices.   This loss of nature connection contributes to epidemic rates of anxiety, depression, obesity, and attentional problems in childhood.  To counteract this societal trend, communities need to create engaging nature play spaces where families can reconnect with the wide range of health benefits associated with outdoor play.  Nature play has been found to have benefits for social and emotional well-being, brain development, and physical health."  
   
This past Friday, Mark met with Chris Higgins, also a Stone-Robinson parent, who will be doing much of the landscape contracted work.  Chris works for Messer Landscape and we are fortunate to have enlisted them as partners in this work.

This is a project that will involve many community and family partnerships.  I can't wait to see the joy on our students' faces when they first explore this new space.  If all goes as planned, we expect a fall 2018 completion.

On another note, we have also begun brainstorming ideas for potential summer 2019 updates to our 3-5 playground.  Most recently, we have begun conversation with Quickstart Tennis to potentially add tennis courts to our school grounds.  We will be sharing more about this project in the near future.


Stay tuned as we document the work in progress on our PK-2 Stone-Robinson playground!

Best,
Kristen Williams, Principal

 









Thursday, January 18, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  Today is Thursday, January 18th and we've just spent our 2nd day out of school due to inclement weather. While these unexpected days without students can be helpful in catching up on tasks that always seem to find their way to the bottom of the to-do-list (such as writing this blog)  :) -  We sure do miss seeing the students' smiling faces each morning.  These last two days have also given me the opportunity to peruse the many pictures I take each day of students learning and having fun at school!   I've shared a few of my favorites below!  Hope to see you all soon.  Keep calm and stay warm!

Your Principal,
Kristen Williams