My son was bored in 7th grade and is as well in his current 8th grade year. Many of his friends say the same thing. It’s not a teen/pre-teen thing or academic issue. He’s getting great grades. He just finds Bill Roberts unfulfilling. He talks about the school not having a lot of variety and being a little tired of going to school at the same place for so long. He still stays in touch with friends at other middle schools and they seem to be more enthusiastic about their schools.
The teachers are good but the middle school just lacks an identity and spirit. I know Bill Roberts ranks well in the current school reports but I don’t think that really says much. I hope that is the case for every school in Stapleton given the privilege we have in this neighborhood! Bill Roberts is a safe and comfortable place to go to school which is perfectly fine for some people. I recommend casting a wider net and looking hard at the other options. Change is good.
I have been part of this school community for many years and have seen stable leadership in the principal position. It's rare to find a school who has a principal that's been in the position for 10 years. She is a wonderful lady who puts her students first all the time. The assistant principal position, naturally has higher turnover, as people in that position are usually moving up to a principal job at some point. I read a review recently that said some rather unkind things about the current middle school assistant principal. I'm not sure what that person sees, but from my perspective, and I've worked with other assistant principals at Roberts, he is outstanding. He knows every student, he takes the time to meet with any family who needs it, he has built up staff and student culture to be a fantastic place to work and learn, he has written grants and led the charge to bring a state of the art STEM lab to Roberts, and he has led the middle school to be the highest performing middle school in a competitive boundary, and puts the needs of his students and families first. If anything, I sincerely hope he sticks around for a long time because administrators like him don't come around very often. My kids absolutely love him and often come home and share things he is teaching (yes, he also teaches). I was tempted to leave Roberts for another middle school, just to get a change of scenery, but stayed for him. Together, he and the principal are a fantastic team, they work well together, and I couldn't be happier. My kids couldn't be happier, and in a time when they hate everything and are always bored (middle school years), they are happy too. That's priceless.
My family is now in our 4th year at Bill Roberts. What originally brought us here was the Advanced Kindergarten. Some may say that it isn't any different than regular kindergarten but (personally speaking) when my son was in the class, he was getting exposed to books, learnings and unique curriculum - (including architecture and building structures) that I didn't realize would be included at that level. While every child is different, my son was quoting and reading The Magic Treehouse series by the time he was finished with AK. What has kept us here is the Administration, Teachers and definitely the parent community. Going to school back in the 70s and 80's, school was a different experience. The relationships that our families made within the school community was never like it is today. And honestly, it never had to be like this. Whether it's a business relationship, personal relationship or school relationship - what keeps us in it is trust, involvement, personal and intellectual growth (and clearly academic - as it relates to school) and commitment. This school community works together in continuous mission. I live near other great schools here in Stapleton, with Bill Roberts being one of the furthest from our home. However, I can't imagine leaving this fantastic K-8.
FYI, there are always fundraisers but that is the state of education. The government doesn't fund schools with what they really need. In order for a school to run efficiently and provide enough of the REAL resources and teachers that make a school positively competitive, fundraising must happen. Many are not aware of this. So many think our tax dollars get delivered directly to our public school. It doesn't. As parents, it's important for us to continually educate ourselves on the different amendments and bills that affect the HEALTH of our public schools. Our kids are there at least 8 hours per day, 5 days a week. We need their 40 hour weeks to be great and well supported. There are always going to be those parents who have something to complain about ... But those are also the parents who don't do anything to help the school in any manner. That in itself is a character flaw which is everywhere - sadly. But for all of you parents in it for the long run (and want a solid school for their kids), check out Bill Roberts.
What's sad about this comment board is that there were several negative reviews / comments posted about the school and the leadership...or lack therof. They were not offensive and provided a point of view some may not like or want to hear. However, they have been deleted. While I will check my doubts and skepticism, it seems they've been pulled and replaced with several fluff reviews. This isn't a balanced source of information. Sad day for a source that is supposedly "a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad." I'm sure this will be pulled down as well in order to make sure BR looks as good as possible! Sorry folks if you cannot handle criticism.
So, in an attempt to be even more politically correct, here's my Bill Robert's assessment. Teachers are mostly great. The administration is not. Grade school is good. Look really hard at other options for middle school. Your child will thank you for it.
Bill Roberts from E-8 places a large emphasis on whole child education including character development, anti-bullying, respect and the PROUD behavior model implemented at all DPS schools. I am very pleased with the values being taught and their application with all students.
Character development is an essential part of the PROUD model used by the Administration, Staff and students at Roberts. Prepared, Respect, Outstanding Effort, United Community, Determined - these are not just words. They are the foundation of the culture.
I have 2 daughters at Bill Roberts in 1st and 4th grade, and I fully plan on sending my 3rd there as well. They have been there since ECE and we have had nothing but amazing teachers. The school has great leadership, evidenced by the teachers' professional development opportunities, their latitude to adapt the curricula based on their own style and expertise, and by so many other factors. Teachers are award winning and quite simply, they care. My 4th grader loves school. She told someone yesterday when asked if she was looking forward to summer, "not so much." When asked why, she said "my teachers are awesome." Beyond the amazing educators and administrators, the family involvement is amazing. I feel very fortunate to be able to send my daughters to this school!
Bill Roberts provides a safe, happy and academically rigorous education ECE-8th grade. We are pleased that our 5th grader will continue into middle school in a school that nurtures the whole child and builds an intentional culture of learning.
We are pleased that Roberts offers homework from the younger years all the way through 8th grade. We feel it is essential to developing personal responsibility and time management in preparation for the rigorous workload that students experience in high school.
Here's the pros/cons of Bill Roberts
- Generally good teachers across the board with several rock stars.
- If you have two or more children, BR is a convenient option to have all your kids on in one place - ECE through 8th grade.
- Active parent participation whether it is volunteering or fundraising.
- The middle school is an afterthought. BR is and always will be a grade school first . That is where the resources go.
- The middle school curriculum is "meh." BR is trying to make some changes by adding more extracurriculars and a STEAM lab but they are a "me too" proposition.
- The middle school is small and there's not a lot of variety.
- The middle school lacks a defined culture.
- There's a lot to be desired in the assistant principal in charge of the middle school. His predecessor was fantastic. He left big shoes to fill and the current asst principal hasn't done it yet. Odd fit and kind of weak.
Net/net, BR is a good school for the grade school years. However, they will always chase the other middle schools like DSST, McAuliffe, and DDS who have better defined programs and are focused on one thing only - the middle school experience. Leadership is lacking too. The school needs a person with real experience, not a person whose claim to fame is an academic credential (PhD).