Connecting with Mrs. Cohen

April 4, 2021

Good Evening,

Happy Easter to Robinson families who are celebrating today.

I hope that this first week back from Spring Break has been a good one for your student and your family. As with any transition back to school, our kids may need some structure put in place to help them be successful. Some helpful tips are listed below.

In the next 5 weeks I will provide a "SEL refresher" in my messages. SEL, as you may recall means Social Emotional Learning. The Kirkwood School District (KSD) has highlighted the importance of SEL this entire year. A great overview of SEL in the KSD can be found here:

As a reminder, we use the Second Step curriculum to teach SEL. Each day our teachers spend at least 30 minutes directly teaching SEL. This is the time set aside for SEL, but each day, all day long, SEL is taking place.

Our SEL programming aligns with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), a trusted source for high-quality, evidence-based SEL. The social and emotional competencies— the CASEL core competencies of social awareness, responsible decision making, self-awareness, self-management, and relationship skills—are what our children are developing and this is very much an ongoing, adaptive and dynamic process.

Here is a video about SEL and CASEL if you want to learn more:

This Friday, April 9th, our Robinson Cares Free Food Pantry will be open. More details can be found towards the end of this message. Our counseling team information is listed at the end of this message. Please reach out to any of us if we can be helpful with your child.

Take care and have a great week,


5 Tips to Help Get Back to a Routine

Our kids have had 10 days away from school. Maybe they've stayed up late, slept in, or they played games all day. Maybe your family had loose structure around what and when you ate.

So how do you help your student get back into a normal routine after spring break?

Here are five things to consider:

  • Re-establish and enforce bedtime. Our kids function better when they have enough sleep. This also helps them have the ability to wake up early enough to follow a morning routine before going to school.
  • Get back into your own routine. Children look at our adult behaviors much more than we realize. If you are following a regular bedtime and setting your alarm to wake up early each morning, chances are your child will fall back into their own routine easier.
  • Cut back on technology. This includes television, video games and computer usage. Have your kids off of screens and winding down about an hour before bedtime.
  • Encourage healthy eating with some consistent meal times. Eat together as a family at least once a day, if possible.
  • Show some extra love and care. Separation anxiety can often be the reason for your child’s dislike around returning to school. If you can, try to sure to spend a little extra time snuggling and loving on your child so they feel more secure.

FREE screening of the PUSHOUT documentary

PushOut: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools and Panel Discussion

Thursday, April 8th, 3:00 - 5:00
This is a great, free opportunity to view the documentary which reflects the most recent Kirkwood School District staff professional development. This is also the subject of the KSD summer staff book study, as we will be reading the book PushOut by Dr. Monique Morris.

Event information and sign up can be found here:

DO you have teens or tweens? Hear from some of the authors who speak to them!

St. Louis County Library, HEC Media and The Novel Neighbor bookstore present the St. Louis Teen Book Festival taking place online April 8-18, 2021. The event will feature 39 of the hottest writers in YA literature and 11 days of programming dedicated to teen readers. The festival’s mission is to support, promote and celebrate teen reading by connecting readers with a diverse group of popular writers.
New From Sesame Street: The ABC’s of Racial Literacy

Here are resources to develop children’s understanding, curiosity, resilience, and empathy—and to prepare for the task of building a better world by standing up, standing tall, and standing together.


Join the Sesame Community and sign up to receive texts each month about new specials, helpful resources, and more! Text SESAME to 833-541-0461

Let's Talk About Self-Awareness

A quick note about WHY self-awareness matters:

We often have students who just start crying, without explanation, in class. A child can become so upset that they can barely get a word out. No one has seen what precipitated this and no adult in the room understands what is happening. When the student eventually is able to point to the worksheet they were working on, it has answers scribbled out. When adults finally realize that the child was frustrated with the work and did not know how to solve the problems, it is already time to move onto the next subject. If a child has stronger skills for self-awareness, they could have asked for help, tried a new strategy, asked a peer, or taken a break if their frustrations were escalating.

Things to support your child's self-awareness:

  • Remember self-awareness skills don’t develop all at once. Learning them is a process that takes time and practice.
  • Encourage kids to use their strengths. If a student is strong with technology, let them be helpful to you or a grandparent for technology support. If your child loves music, let them help pick out some calming selections to play at home for your bedtime routine. The options are endless.
  • Teach skills for confidence. Confidence provides a great sense of self-understanding and self-awareness. Feeling confident doesn’t usually come on its own, though. Teach kids how to be confident by learning how to take risks, develop a growth mindset, and celebrate their wins.
  • Have kids compliment themselves. Encourage your child to write a “compliment list” about themselves. They can post this list somewhere at home to remind themselves of their strengths.
  • Try new things together. We are all works in progress! Kids need lots of opportunities to try different things and find out what they are most passionate about. Play different genres of music, read different types of texts, and encourage activities that they might not have tried before. Every new opportunity is a chance for our kids to learn about who they are.
Video about Self-Awareness

Parents can help children develop self awareness by being honest about their own emotions. Educators can help by teaching the vocabulary of emotions, modeling behavior, and supporting students as they grow in self-awareness.



When: Friday, April 9 with additional dates below

Time: 6pm - 7:30 pm

Where: Trinity Presbyterian Church

1110 S. Glenwood Lane, Kirkwood, MO 63122

(Please use the Sanctuary Entrance located in front of the circle drive -- this entrance is handicap accessible)


  • Doors will open at 6 PM, not before

  • Families will enter the Sanctuary room (please be mindful of other families who are present and distance when possible)

  • There is a pass-through window to the kitchen. Families can approach the window one at a time and Trinity Church volunteers will “shop” for the items you request (this will help limit exposure for everyone)

  • A “Menu” of available items will be posted near the window

  • Quantities for each family may be limited, items are subject to availability

  • Food items offered (meat, frozen meals, bread, breakfast cereal, and limited quantities of milk, eggs, fruits, and vegetables)

  • There will also be household cleaning items and personal care items.

  • If you are unable to make it to the pantry you may fill out this form and Robinson Cares volunteers will “shop” for you and deliver your items to your home (food and household items only)

  • Form will be available April 1 - April 8; Deliveries will be made on or after April 9

  • Please note that in-person shopping offers a wider variety of available items than requesting delivery does. Deliveries are limited to the items on the form since food and non-food inventory varies month-to-month.

  • Trinity Presbyterian members will be on hand to facilitate a feeling of community and possibly provide additional resources to our families.

  • Future Dates:

  • Friday, May 21, 2021

  • For additional help, please contact Mrs. Cohen (314)643-8890 or Ms. Harris (314)643-9115


Indria Harris

School Counselor, preK-2nd grade

314-213-6100, ext. 4061

Julie Cohen

School Counselor, 3rd-5th grade

314-213-6100, ext. 4040

Tonya Ampey-Elong

Social Worker, KSD

314-213-6100, ext. 8060

Ana Shields

Educational Support Counselor