In the independent school world, fall is also called admission season. We host tours, open houses, receptions in homes, and interviews for hundreds of prospective students and their families. The question at the heart of these events is “Why ROBS?”

A thank-you note from a student to River Oaks Baptist School

We tell them about our dual mission and why our student-centered, skills-driven, project-based approach to learning works best. We tell them even the U.S. Department of Education has identified ROBS as a model of best practices in education, distinguishing us as a 2019 National Blue Ribbon School in the exemplary category. We project animated renderings of our soon-to-open, state-of-the-art Middle School designed around how adolescents learn best. We display banners featuring our students – award-winning poets, chess prodigies, quiz bowl champions, and computer science whizzes, to name a few. We tell them how prepared our graduates are to be leaders of tomorrow’s world. After all, the valedictorians in the 2019 graduating classes at Episcopal, Kinkaid, and Strake Jesuit are all former ROBS students!

As impressive as these accolades are, families consistently report back to us that the best part of their visit is hearing from our students. Here are some of their unscripted comments.

  • Yes, we do have a lot of homework in seventh grade. I was overwhelmed at first, but I learned how to organize my time better and I’m glad I know how to manage it now.
  • My favorite subject is maker space because we get to create and code.
  • No, I’ve never been bullied or even seen bullying at ROBS. I’ve had my feelings hurt but we talked about it and she didn’t realize she had done anything. We’re like best friends now.
  • Spanish is the hardest subject for me but my teacher doesn’t let me get frustrated. She spends extra time helping me and now I’m learning a new language.
  • P.E. is my favorite subject because I’m really fast!
  • This is my first year and I already have tons of friends. On the first day, you know, people always ask you to sit with them at lunch.
  • My favorite thing about ROBS is my teachers. You know they really care about you and even if you’re having a bad day, when you walk into a room they make you feel better.

We share the students’ candid reflections in this report on philanthropy because they demonstrate the true value of a ROBS education: bright kids with strong characters. Parents, grandparents, teachers, past parents—everyone listed on these pages contributed to the formation of these students. Above is a note that a Kindergarten mom recently received from her son. We share it here because it is also for you.

Why ROBS? It’s a place where kids learn to write and use their knowledge to say thank you. A place that expands their minds AND their hearts. In the words of Benjamin Franklin, an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. Thank you for your investment in these kids. They are going to do great things.

With sincere gratitude,


Article first appeared in the 2018-19 Report of Appreciation published November 2019

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