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Principal Message

Hello First Street School families,

My name is Rey Cubias, and I am very proud and happy to be your First St. School principal. Professionally, I have been in education for over twenty five years, most of those as a middle school English, social studies, science, and PE teacher.  I earned my bachelor’s degree from UC Davis, my teaching credential from San Francisco State, and my Masters degree from Sac State. Ten years ago I made the switch into administration as the vice-principal at Glen Edwards Middle School.  Being a Lincoln resident for the past seventeen years, it was truly special to have an opportunity to work and contribute to my community.  I especially liked working in the original area of Lincoln with its diverse cultures and rich history.  After two years of working at GEMS, the principal position opened up at Twelve Bridges Elementary School.  I live in the Twelve Bridges area with my wife Joanie and our three children: Will - 17, Aleri - 15, and Gabby 13.  At the time, all of my three children were attending TBES.  It was just too good an opportunity to pass up, and I was fortunate to be hired as the principal there where I worked for five years.  I learned so much in those years about what it means to serve one’s community.  With Mr. Ayala retiring three years ago and no kids left at TBES, it felt like the right time for me to make a change and take on a new professional challenge.  Coming to First St. has been the best decision I have ever made, professionally speaking.  In the past, I have been fortunate to work in some amazing schools, with some fantastic teachers, students, and families.  At First St., however, I just feel a greater sense of purpose for my work, and I'm blown away by the commitment to our community by our families and staff!  I was born and raised in San Francisco but my parents emigrated from El Salvador, so coming back to a community rich in diversity where I could use my Spanish was a definite plus!

Instructionally speaking, I have high expectations for our students, and it is my commitment that they will receive the highest level of instruction from our amazing teachers and have every resource available to help them reach their full potential.  To do our work with commitment and conviction, we need a strong "Why" statement to get students and staff out of bed every morning to come to school - this is my "Why" statement for the work we do: "Because we care about our kids and their futures, we must do everything in our power to get them college and career ready so that all doors will be open to them when they graduate from high school."   We are on the path to becoming a school-wide AVID school.  What that means is we have made a commitment to educate our families and students about college and make sure our kids are on track for college readiness.  We will train our students on organizational and study skills; take field trips to local colleges and universities beginning in 2nd grade; and generally make sure our kids know that attending college does not have to be a dream but a choice.

Philosophically, I am not a believer in homework at the elementary level.  Aside from a few math problems necessary to reinforce new material; weekly i-Ready on-line practice in both math and ELA (much of which can/should be done at school); and reading for pleasure, no additional homework will be expected on a regular basis.  Time at home should be for family, extracurricular activities, and general play time.  While at school, you can expect your children to be treated with dignity and respect in a positive learning environment.  We are a PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports) school and we follow our BEEP expectations: Be Safe, Exercise Responsibility, Engage in Learning, & Practice Kindness.  It is also my plan to offer “Love & Logic” training for our staff and families as well.  Being able to have consistent practices and behavioral expectations for our students will make efforts at home and school more effective.  Lastly, it is my goal to continue to nurture and cultivate the great community we have here at First Street.  I want everyone to know that you are invited and welcome to volunteer at our school, and we certainly want you all to turn out for our various school events throughout the year.

I want all of you to know that I am available to talk either by email, phone, or in person anytime.  I pride myself on having an open-door policy for staff, students, and families alike.  It is my goal to keep everyone informed of school events and happenings on a weekly basis both through a Sunday newsletter called The Roadrunner Weekly as well as other regular updates through ParentSquare.  While I know some of you personally, I am eager to continue getting to know the rest of you and your wonderful children.  As I mentioned previously, I see my role as someone who is here to serve our community.  I believe in the saying, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and I look forward to our ongoing work together raising our incredible First Street students!  In addition, we continue to work with the school district and other local volunteer groups to make improvements to our school campus.  We want FSS to be a place where kids feel proud to attend and eager to learn!

Sincerely,
Rey Cubias 
First St. School Principal