Marcus C. Robinson, Superintendent of Schools

  • Marcus Robinson comes to Normandy from The Opportunity Trust, where he served as the group’s Executive in Residence. In this role, Robinson worked as the systems-level education administration fellow, responsible for district and school support in urban education innovation. A St. Louis native, Mr. Robinson is a veteran educator who has earned a reputation as a turnaround specialist in urban school districts. His prior experience includes his role as the Chief Executive Officer for the Memphis Education Fund, and Chancellor & CEO for the Tindley Accelerated Schools in Indianapolis, Indiana. His teaching experience includes roles at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, and Jennings Junior High School in St. Louis County.

    A native St. Louisan, Robinson earned his bachelor’s degree in English from DePauw University. He has master’s degrees in Educational Administration from Butler University (Indiana) and Columbia University in New York. Robinson is scheduled to complete his doctorate in Educational Leadership, also from Columbia University, in December.

    While Robinson is a graduate of Pattonville High School, his first home was in Velda City and he attended McKinley Elementary within the Normandy School District. Robinson has earned several accolades for his work in education. He is the recipient of the Effective Practices Incentive Community (EPIC) Award for his work at Tindley Accelerated Schools. Under Robinson’s leadership, Tindley also received the U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon Schools Award in 2010, and the Title I Distinguished School Award for closing the achievement gap.

    Community involvement is important to Robinson. He is a member of several organizations including the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, National Council on Educating Black Children, the NAACP, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and the St. Louis Public Schools Consortium Partnership Network.

marcus robinson
  • Together, We Will Get Through This

    Posted by Dr. Charles J. Pearson on 4/13/2020

    To the Normandy Schools Staff, Families, and Community,

    The last four weeks have been some of the most difficult times that we have ever experienced. It feels as if we watched a storm sweep in capturing many of us off guard, taking lives, causing pain, separating us for safety’s sake, while at the same time causing families to hold each other tighter. It has been challenging on so many levels.

    Our school buildings went from being closed for 10 days to being closed for the remainder of the school year. Many families are now wrestling with the emotional stress of supporting children who are not in school, securing food for families, grappling with what the future of employment will be — all while serving as caregivers for family members who are ill, or recovering from illness ourselves. Our community is one of the hardest hit with the coronavirus.

    It is hard — for all of us.

    And yet, we are resilient. #NORMANDYSTRONG is more than something we just say. It is more than a slogan on a shirt. It is an attitude. It is a statement of faith. It is a statement about resilience in the face of adversity. Because we are #NORMANDYSTRONG, our leaders, teachers and staff are committed to three specific actions:

    1. We will provide the highest quality remote learning experience to our children that we can. We, too, are learning how to teach in new ways, and we had to learn these new methods in days, not years. From lesson planning to distribution of Chromebooks and printed packets, to regular communication with families, we are committed to serving our children.
    2. We will provide meals to the families we serve as safely as possible for both our staff and the families we touch weekly. This means evaluating what changes we need to make, what community partners we can work with, what other resources exist that we can access on a daily basis.
    3. We will continue to connect families to the supports needed to keep all of us emotionally and mentally safe. Mental and emotional health are necessary if any true learning will take place.

    As Superintendent, I am committed to finishing this year with an eye to excellence as we learn something new each day. We have a new normal. The goal to serve our children has not changed, however. Teaching and learning will continue until the last day of school, May 29, 2020. Meals and other services will continue to be served in some capacity until then as well. Plans are now being made about what summer will look like, both in terms of summer schools and continued services. As these plans are finalized, you will be notified. Please continue to visit our website and follow us on social media for the latest updates as we continue to serve.

    I learned a poem while in college, “See It Through!” by Edgar A. Guest. The first stanza is below…

    When you’re up against a trouble,

    Meet it squarely, face to face;

    Lift your chin and set your shoulders,

    Plant your feet and take a brace.

    When it’s vain to try to dodge it,

    Do the best that you can do;

    You may fail, but you may conquer,

    See it through!

     

    We will see it through!

     

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Charles J. Pearson
    Superintendent of Schools

     

    #NORMANDYSTRONG #RidingTheNextWave

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  • Ready to Serve

    Posted by Dr. Charles J. Pearson on 3/22/2020

    To the Normandy Community,

         Ten days ago, we began having conversations about how school districts would respond to school being out an additional week after spring break. At that time, it was only a thought.

         Within 72 hours that thought became a reality -- school was to be out until April 3, 2020. NSC leadership had four days to redesign our instructional model to become a virtual school. The situation continued to deteriorate and our plans kept adjusting. On Monday, March 23, 2020, we begin a combination of strategies to educate our children in a distance learning model. There is online learning and there are families accessing instruction through packets. The teaching and learning in this new model must continue. The longer we use this model, the better we will get at it.

         We are following all of the safety guidelines while completing our functions as a school district. Providing an education is an “essential function.” This means that we work in alternate ways to meet the educational needs, while practicing “social distancing.” We are working to be sure that our children and families have access to opportunities to learn while school buildings are closed.

         I am placing four guiding principles before us that will drive the work we are doing in this changing environment.

    1. Be safe. We are following all guidelines so that staff are safe as we perform duties.
    2. Support teaching and learning. We are quickly learning how to teach virtually. During the next 10 days, teachers will take professional development online to equip themselves to teach children virtually (technology and packets).
    3. Meet unmet needs. We are collaborating with community partners—Operation Food Search, Beyond Housing, Wyman and others to meet the need for families in receiving food. Many of our children have two of the three meals they eat each day to come from the school. That need must be met. Grab and Go meals are available throughout the district to meet that need. In addition, Wyman continues to work with our service providers so that students may still access mental, emotional, and behavioral support during the pandemic.
    4. Deepen school/families relationships. Our schools and families have an unprecedented opportunity to work more closely in the education of children. Teachers will be proactive in communicating with families and students regularly so parents are equipped to support learning at home. I envision this as a true opportunity. We are being compelled to be in touch to support our children.

         I refer to myself as the “Lead Learner” in Normandy. This means that I will be studying as well. Our Leadership Team and Joint Executive Governing Board join me as learners. We will do more than just get through this. We will be become better.

         And together, those of us in the 24:1, will continue to be #NORMANDYSTRONG.

    Sincerely,

    Dr. Charles J. Pearson

     

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