Dear ROCS Community,

We are writing with an unexpected announcement. On Friday, Principal Dawson received difficult health news and, in order to focus wholeheartedly on her health and family, resigned her position as leader of our school. We are devastated by both pieces of this news. Every one of us has benefited from her incredible leadership, in ways we know and also in ways that have been largely invisible to us. ROCS would not exist without her.

This is a loss, but also, we respect her decision and support her intention to focus on her own health and maximize time with her husband and children. We ask that you do the same. Keep her in your hearts, but also please respect her privacy.

We want to acknowledge that Principal Dawson’s departure comes in the midst of a challenging time for education. As your Board of Directors (a board of volunteers who are also all parents of ROCS students), we are dedicated to the long-term success of this school.

Right now, that means we must seek fresh perspective and outside guidance. To that end, we have engaged Dr. Tom Miller, founder of Leaders Building Leaders, and his team to assist us with addressing parent concerns, including those related to our exceptional children’s services. Leaders Building Leaders will also be helping us to find and hire a new Head of School.

In the meantime, Mr. Berry will serve as our Interim Director of Operations. We are deeply grateful for his willingness to lean in and step up.

The Board will begin its search process for a new Head of School in the next few weeks. As part of that process, we will hold listening sessions with the ROCS community. Expect more information soon.

As we move forward together without Principal Dawson at the helm, we want to start by saying thank you. We are so grateful that you took a chance on this school and continue to show up in support of it every day. We are endlessly proud to be part of this community, and we love seeing how ROCS grows and changes every year. Principal Dawson was a big part of that growth, and we will always be thankful for her contributions to establish our foundation for success.

If you are wondering what you can do to help in the next few weeks, here’s our biggest ask: Reach out to your child’s teachers (classroom teachers, instructional assistants, EC teachers, Specials teachers, and more) and support staff to ask what they need most to feel supported. Maybe they will point you to an Amazon wish list. Maybe they would enjoy a gift card for coffee. Maybe they’ll ask you to volunteer and help with carpool or cover lunch. Or maybe a smile and a wave is enough right now. Our teachers are true ROCStars. Let’s shower them with love.

And, let’s give each other grace as well. Remember to be kind and care for one another. We look forward to sharing more updates soon.

The ROCS Board of Directors