Connecting with the Counselors

A Communication from Robinson Elementary's Counseling Team

October 10, 2021

Good Evening,

We hope your first week of October was a wonderful one. Tonight we want to start with a more serious message about students in crisis and mental health support.

We were very busy at Robinson this week. We are working diligently to support all students needs in our learning environment. Some needs are bigger than others-- not always more important, just bigger or ones that require more adult time from our team to ensure the safety and learning for everyone.

As counselors, we are part of our Robinson crisis team. This team is called on when a student is dysregulated in a way that is unsafe for them or others. This can look different for different kiddos. Some of our kids are not always able to express big emotions safely. We see a lot of emotional outbursts-- whether it is from anger, frustration, anxiety, or grief, to name a few-- and this may look like throwing items, hitting, kicking, spitting, screaming, or eloping from the learning space they are supposed to be in. Other times this can be a student making suicidal statements or doing self-harming actions. We realize, for some of you, that this is really hard to believe or hear about-- especially when speaking about elementary kiddos, but it is our reality.

Last month was Suicide Awareness Month. The information shared in our weekly communication in September may have seemed, to some, that it did not apply to our elementary students, but it does. Over the past 5 years we have seen an increase in suicidal thoughts and comments from our students at Robinson. This trend is not unique to our school or district, and it is the reason we are sharing this information. Since the beginning of the school year, we have performed Suicide Risk Assessments every week.

Please take any suicidal comments and/or actions your child says seriously and follow up with an agency (list provided below) or a professional if needed. Some comments we hear are, "I don't want to be here anymore," "I want to be in heaven," and "I want to die." Many times an adult's first idea is to respond to that with, "you don't mean that." We ask you to please pause and, instead ask, "tell me more about that?" This one question can provide you with knowledge of what is behind the statement-- if there a serious threat with a plan, or if this was a poor choice of words to express some other idea. If you are still unsure, please err on the side of caution and call one of the 24 hour/7 day a week hotlines listed below.

Please continue to reach out if we can be helpful. All of our contact information can be found at the end of this communication. If you feel our response time has been slower this week, it may have been. We are all doing our very best to answer all needs in our building. If you have reached out without an answer, please send us another email to remind us. We appreciate all you do each day for your children and reminding us of what they may need is a part of that. Thank you.

If you missed last week's communication, you can access it from this link:

RESOURCES to Use if Your Child is Making Suicidal Statements

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2021 Children’s Mental Health Report

Even before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, mental health professionals were struggling to meet the needs of the 1 in 5 children with a mental health or learning disorder. This Child Mind Institute report shares how our children are doing.


Students in grades 3-5 are invited to read Stamped (For Kids), by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, with their caregivers and join us in discussions led by Robinson educators.

Every other Wednesday

Nov. 3 - Apr. 13

6:30-7:30 pm on Zoom

Books will be lent to families forthe duration of the book club!





Kirkwood United Methodist Hosting a Panel on Race & Education TONIGHT!

Kirkwood United Methodist will host a free panel discussion tonight at 7pm at their church, 201 W. Adams Avenue.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

Other discussions to be held at the church are:

*Racial Justice Panel: Growing up Black in St. Louis-- Sunday, October 24th

*Race, Taxation, and Legislation Panel Discussion-- Sunday, November 7th


Friday, October 21st is our next open night for our Food Pantry.

All donations are welcome-- we are in need of canned fruit, canned vegetables, feminine hygiene products and easy dinner prep-kits for families.

Thank you for considering!

BooSt Leadership Update

A quick note for our fifth grade parents:

Our BooSt Leadership training is at a place where students are ready for job placement. We have matched all students who wanted a job with their first or second choice. We are now working out the schedule logistics, and your 5th grader will be receiving notice of their job match this week! Jobs available at this time are:

Yearbook Photographer

Therapy Dog Escort and Assistant

Classroom Helper

Robinson Food Pantry Crew Member

New to Robinson Student Mentor

Preschool Lunch Deliverer

Daily Announcements Crew Member

*Photo at right shows some 5th graders who go to "try out" a BooSt job last month. They stocked and organized our food pantry!


What Does it Mean When Kids Say I'm Bored at School?

Boredom can be a temporary emotion or a sign of a deeper issue, says a school psychologist.

29 Picture Books to Celebrate the Latinx Experience

These stories illuminate the uniqueness and universality of the Latinx experience. Shine a light on them during Latinx Heritage Month, September 15–October 15, and beyond.

Contact Information for 2021-22 School Year


Indria Harris

School Counselor, preK-2nd grade

314-213-6100, ext. 4061

Julie Cohen

School Counselor, 3rd-5th grade

314-213-6100, ext. 4470

Tonya Ampey-Elong

Social Worker, KSD

314-213-6100, ext. 4042

*At Robinson on Mondays and Wednesdays

Ana Shields

Educational Support Counselor

314-213-6100, ext. 4065

*At Robinson all day Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday's until noon