Staff Ed: There must be effective cooperation between new pricipal and students

   Whether they’ve been here for one year or six, students at the school have only known one principal for the entirety of their time here. Although it will be hard to imagine another person taking the place of Dan Meier, April will be here sooner than we expect. Before this short window of time closes, students and staff must be able to take full advantage of the opportunity to help choose the new face of Robinson.

   The process of choosing a new principal is long and complex, but with each of the countless steps is a chance for outside input. The first step, the panel interviews, tests the candidates’ ability to meet the criterion submitted by members of the community. With this initial opportunity, an entire panel of community members – including students and teachers – will have to approve the candidates moving forward in the selection process. While this is only the first of many parts to the selection process, it is worrisome that the deadline passed without much awareness. Students have already missed a major opportunity to be directly involved in the process to choose their principal.

   An informational clip has been running on Good Morning Robinson for the past few weeks asking for students to email their input to Beth Boivin, the FCPS Administrative Employment Specialist. Unfortunately, a majority of the student body pays little attention to the morning announcements and the quiet notice is easily missed in the morning rush. Although active students have and should take the initiative to reach out, in the midst of the busiest part of the school year it is unreasonable to expect them to maneuver this new territory on their own.

   The administrative bureaucracy is difficult enough for teachers and adult members of the community to understand, but for students it is written in an entirely different language. Students will be left in the dark about a matter which directly concerns their well being and education if they are not well-advised and informed about the process to hire a new principal. A visit from counselors or their sub-school administrators to inform students about the process and the ways in which they can participate would be an effective way of remediating this problem before it is too late.

   It is just as important for students to remember their responsibilities as members of the community and keep their eyes and ears out for announcements and updates during the next few months. The appointment of a new principal is not to be taken lightly and if students want to be heard they must speak up.