News & Blog

Family Newsletter – Feb. 28, 2014

Letter from Jerry

Jerry's Call to ParentsGRIT conjures up many thoughts, from the small voice in the back of our heads that keeps us striving forward, to the scrappy athlete who forever gets up after being knocked down.  But GRIT, as it was presented last night by Bully Nation author Susan Porter, is a pathway for all of us to help our children build the lifelong skills they need to become well rounded and resilient adults.


  • G is for Growth Mindset.  We can all be better at whatever we put our mind to.  This includes our human relation skills which feed our reservoir of resilience.
  • R is for Responding vs. Reacting.  Adults have the responsibility and greater ability to take a deep breath and think through various solution-oriented responses to our children’s challenges.
  • I is for Intervention and knowing when and how to best intervene that will bring about solutions which serve the long term growth of all our children.
  • T is for Teach our children well. We are all raising children who make mistakes and need to know what those are and how to improve.

Susan detailed the disservice being done to our children by much of the anti-bullying messaging, policies, and legislation.  Rather than being solution-oriented and recognizing the many shades of gray in children’s relations with those around them, efforts today cast a “crisis” in black and white terms that leave no room for deeper understanding and personal growth.  In stark terms, we adults are letting our kids down, too often reacting just as our children are reacting, rather than using our “adult brains” to respond more thoughtfully with our children’s long term development in mind.  Susan also went to great length to empathize with the tremendously challenging task of parenting in today’s world, which can so easily place us in the current anti-bullying frame of mind.

I look forward to continuing this rich conversation that will enable all our children to grow into the healthy and resilient young adults we all desire.

Thank you to ESPO for sponsoring another stimulating evening presentation!  We look forward to the next one.

Jerry Loewen
Head of School

All School News

Re-Enrollment Contracts Due Monday

Please return your re-enrollment contract by Monday, March 3 to ensure your child’s place at Emerson during the 2014-2015 school year.

Parent-Teacher Conference Sign-Ups

  • Thursday, March 20, 2014, 3 – 8pm (Childcare available 3 – 6pm)
  • Friday, March 21, 2014, 8am – 3pm (Childcare available 8am – 6pm)

Parents can sign up for conferences online starting this Sunday, March 2nd, at 6:00pm. Click here for detailed instructions that were emailed this week or contact Andy Zimmer (Middle School) or Kelly Vohland (Lower School) if you have any specific questions.

The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood

Presented by the Emerson Troupe Players
Emerson’s Black Box Theatre (middle school room #206)
Tickets are $8.00 for all ages for the following performances:

  • Thursday March 6 at 7pm
  • Friday March 7 at 7pm
  • Saturday March 8 at 2pm

To Order Tickets:

  1. Call the Emerson Ticket Hotline: (734) 665-9005, x.362 or
  2. Leave a message with your name, return phone number, how many tickets you need, and which performance date.
  3. Pick up tickets when you receive word by phone/email that your order is filled (usually takes about a week) at the Middle School Office with Deborah Hodges.
  4. Pay by cash or check made out to Emerson School. We prefer that you pick up your tickets prior to your performance night so that we can avoid congestion and long lines in the show lobby outside of Middle School room 206.

+ Learn more

2014 Auction: Celebrating 40 Years of Emerson

Friday, March 14, 2014 at Barton Hills Country Club

With the Auction just around the corner, here are a few reminders of upcoming deadlines:

RSVP by Monday, March 3
We hope you can come. RSVPs will be accepted through next week until we are sold out. The Auction has reached capacity every year. Don’t delay!
+ Download an RSVP card

Raffle Tickets Go On Sale Monday
Raffle tickets for the Restaurant Raffle (more than $1,100 of area restaurant gift certificates) and Teacher Experience raffles will be available for purchase starting Monday, March 3rd. Tickets are $20 and $10 respectively, and are available from Joan or Deborah in the lower and middle school offices (check, cash, or credit card; sorry no billing to your school account). You do not need to be present to win.

We are asking families to sell Restaurant Raffle tickets to friends & relatives. This is optional, of course, but contributes significantly to our Auction.  Be on the look out for tickets coming home with your youngest child on Monday.

If you wish your child to purchase raffle tickets on your behalf, please send along a signed note.

Volunteer Opportunities – We Need You! 

  • Favor Assembly: Friday, March 7, 10am-2pm in the Fish Bowl.
  • Wine Pull Wrapping: The week of March 10, time TBD.
  • Drivers to Barton: Thursday, March 13 at 11am, driving a load of Auction items over to Barton.
  • Auction Day Workers: Friday, March 14 at 10:00am. Several helpers are needed at Barton to get the Auction ready for the big night!
  • Miscellaneous Tasks: There are many jobs, large and small, like name tags, registration prep, sorting, assembling, moving… you name it. Any time, any day until March 14th.

To Volunteer or Ask Questions 
Please email Beth Anderson or call 734.665.9005, x.305.

Thank You ESPO Parents

Thank you for providing the resources to bring Dr. Susan Porter, author of Bully Nation, to the Emerson Community last night. It would not be possible without your support.

Middle School News

End of Second Trimester and Upcoming Items

As third trimester approaches, I wanted to keep you in the loop about a few “end of the trimester” and upcoming items:

  • Online gradebooks have been turned off while we work on placing students in their 3rd trimester classes.  We will be reopening gradebooks on Monday March 17th.  I apologize for the inconvenience; however, as always, if you have any questions about your child’s progress please contact those teachers directly.
  • The 2nd trimester will be ending on Friday March 14.  We pushed the end date one week from what is listed on the 2013-14 Academic Calendar due to the multiple snow days and time away from school.  This will give rotation and elective classes additional time to complete the curriculum for each grade level.
  • Third trimester schedules will be distributed to students on Monday, March 17, in their first period classes (first period from 2nd trimester).  These will include new rotation classes and elective placements.
  • Students will be viewing the Middle School performance of “The Somewhat True Tale of Robin Hood” on Thursday March 6 and Friday March 7 during the school day from 1:10 – 2:45 pm.
  • A reminder about parent teacher conferences scheduled for Thursday March 20 and Friday March 21.  For 6th and 7th grade conferences, we will once again be holding team conferences; however, we have re-organized the teams so that you will be guaranteed to meet with at least one of the teachers you didn’t see in the fall.

— Andy Zimmer, Middle School Director

Upcoming High School Information Meetings

  • Dexter: 8th Grade Information Meeting
    Wednesday, March 12, 7:00-8:00pm
    + Learn more
  • Father Gabriel Richard High School: Spring Open House
    Sunday, March 9, 1:00-3:00pm
    + Learn more

Other News & Events

Middle School Learn to Row with Washtenaw Rowing Center

Rowing (aka crew) is flourishing in our community, with nationally competitive boys and girls teams at all three Ann Arbor high schools, as well as top collegiate programs at universities throughout the state. Now middle school students also have the chance to give it a try, in a fun and relaxed atmosphere where they’ll learn basic technique and get on the water to experience what this exciting sport is all about!
Classes are open to all 6th, 7th and 8th graders and are held on the Huron River out of Concordia University’s campus in Ann Arbor.
+ Learn more