Dear ROBS families,
The week before school starts is always an exciting time on campus—teachers decorating their classrooms, volunteers organizing back-to-school events, custodians polishing the floors, everyone buzzing in preparation of the students’ arrival. This year, as we know, is different. Virtual orientations replaced Get the Scoop Day. Classrooms have been reconfigured for half the number of students. And the facilities crew has added more than a dozen cleaning protocols and environmental enhancements to their preparation checklist. But the biggest difference about this year is: our excitement is through the roof! Here’s why:
Reason #1: School is happening
I will never take this for granted again. We are always eager to welcome our students at the end of a summer. The prolonged time away after last spring’s closure has amplified the enthusiasm exponentially. And it could have been even longer, but for the Herculean effort to open ROBS safely. Scheduling wizardry, Swivl cameras, staff reassignments, health screening software, specially fabricated plexiglass dividers, 10,000+ pounds of sanitizer, coordinated supply pickups – it’s not easy, or even ideal, but it is happening. For this, I am truly grateful.
Reason #2: A completely new campus
Even before the pandemic, we knew it was going to be a busy summer. Construction crews have been working at breakneck speed to complete the new Mosing Middle School building and Sarofim Leadership Center. Amazingly our dream of finishing the project for the 2020-21 school year is unfolding before our eyes. Despite some initial technical difficulties with the new classroom equipment that postponed the Mosing building’s full opening one week, it will be ready for students’ arrival this month!
Upon seeing the Mosing building this week, a mom who works at the school said it brought tears to her eyes knowing that her child will experience middle school here. It wasn’t until standing in the sixth grade community commons area that she fully realized the potential of an environment on a child’s academic experience. I cannot wait to see the faces of our Middle School students when they walk through the doors of their new school. You can see them too! Follow @robshouston on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter.
So many of you contributed to the realization of this vision, and I’m heartbroken we cannot celebrate together in the new space. Please know that we are eager to unveil the finished project in person as soon as we are safely able. In the meantime, be on the lookout for an invitation to our virtual ribbon cutting.
Reason #3: A spiritually rooted community
Before the campus closed last March, I met with our faculty and staff for what would be our final time in the sanctuary together. Anxious about the news of a looming pandemic and uncertain of when we would return to campus, my message was blunt: Yes this is hard, but you have something others don’t. You are part of a school grounded in faith. What a privilege it is to lean on God TOGETHER.
One of the ways we connect to each other spiritually is through our character theme. This year, our theme is Simple Moments Change the World, drawn from Galatians 6:10a: “So seize any opportunity the LORD gives you to do good things and be a blessing to everyone.”
This year especially, we must honor each other at every opportunity. Simple, personal decisions every day impact everyone around you. Wearing a mask, keeping a child with a tummy ache home when seemingly unnecessary (and inconvenient), requesting a friend wear a mask... what you do echoes. I empower you to demonstrate habits that safeguard each one of us. Post your simple moments in action on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter with the hashtag #changetheworld2021. Let’s BE THE EXAMPLE and change the world.
Not According to Plan
As excited as we are to start the school year, we know many things will not go according to plan. Already, we have had to adjust programming for Middle School students the first week of school and change our mask policy three times. I assure you there will be many more changes over the course of this year. We have prepared for every contingency, and yet we know God has plans for us beyond our imagination.
God is good. It’s going to be an amazing year, no matter what happens.