News & Blog

Family Newsletter – Jan. 15, 2016

A Celebration of Peace at Emerson

This morning was a celebration of peace in the Lower School. Students marched carrying posters they designed, sang together, and remembered the life of Martin Leuther King Jr. If that wasn’t beautiful enough, check out their artwork and posters on display in the main entrance hallway.
+ More photos


Letter from the Head of School

Dear Parents,

First, a short announcement: I encourage you to RSVP for this coming Tuesday’s talk with Ron Ritchhart. Ron serves as Senior Research Associate at Harvard Project Zero, part of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and he will be discussing how parents and teachers can best help our children become deep thinkers and learners. A number of our faculty members have already been utilizing the findings presented in his books, Creating Cultures of Thinking andMaking Thinking Visible. More information on Ron can be found here. I look forward to seeing you at his talk!

This past fall during my weekly coffees with parents, one of the questions that arose is, “How do we know that an Emerson education works?” One way a school can measure its worth is to survey young alumni (and their parents) to see how successfully they have entered secondary school. And so we did just that, surveying all freshman and sophomore families this past November, and I wish to share the overall results with you now.

  • 90.6% of respondents say that they were better prepared for high school than their non-Emerson peers.
  • 96.8% felt well or very well prepared in mathematics, and 98.4% felt well or very well prepared in writing skills. Overall, alumni and parents felt well prepared in all major academic areas. A few offered specific feedback about particular topics encountered in high school that would benefit from reflection on our part as we analyze and review our curriculum.
  • 100% stated that Emerson prepared students well or very well in research skills. Emerson also was credited positively for teaching leadership, note taking, organization, and study skills. Some respondents felt less prepared in public speaking.
  • 90.6% said that Emerson taught students independence. A strong majority also feel that the transition to high school was smooth, though a few noted in their comments that acclimating to more academically diverse environments took some adjustment.
  • 98.4% said that Emerson prepared students well for high school academics.

Mind you, there are some inherent limits to this information. As pleased as I am with the response rate (27% participation of alumni and their parents), a higher percentage would give greater significance to the information. Also, we don’t have comparative data from the previous year. But this is a start, and over time, we’ll be able to get an even stronger understanding of our strengths and areas of growth.

One particular parent comment caught my eye, and I will close my letter with it:

“We are very pleased with how Emerson prepared our kids, but it goes beyond academics. We appreciate that they are citizens of the world, know how to debate with respect, and are more mature than their peers. We thank the teachers at Emerson for their openness, drive for excellence in the students, and treating the students like young adults.”

Take care,

All School News and Info


Full Day Childcare Available Monday, Jan. 18,

Full day child care is available at Emerson from 8:00am–3:00pm for $55 each day, with aftercare available 3:00-6:00pm at $6/hour. Space is still available, though limited and registration is required.
+ Register by emailing Beth Muszkiewicz at

  • Snacks will be provided throughout the day, but please pack a lunch
  • A variety of activities are available throughout the day, including: time in the gym, supervised free time in the computer lab, outdoor recess (weather permitting), and inside games and crafts
  • All charges will be billed to your Emerson account at the end of January

Lunch Order Deadlines for 2nd Semester

Pizza Lunch Continues Unless Changes Made by Jan. 22

If you would like to make changes to your ESPO Pizza Lunch order, please do so by Friday, Jan. 22. Orders will continue as-is for the 2nd semester, starting Feb. 5, if no changes are made. A letter from ESPO with your child’s current order will be sent home by backpack on Jan. 11
+ Email by Jan. 22 to make changes

What’s Cooking Orders Must Be Placed by Jan. 22

School lunches can be ordered for students, delivered Monday through Thursday, from What’s Cooking! LLC. New orders must be placed by Jan. 22 for the 2nd semester; first semester orders do not carry over.
+ Place your 2nd semester order with What’s Cooking! by Jan. 22
+ Detailed ordering instructions

Ron Richhart Speaking at Emerson on Jan. 19

How to Support Your Child’s Development as a Thinker and Learner

Free | Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7:00pm, in the Arts and Innovation CenterRon will share his 25 years of research on how students learn, how to teach for understanding, and the cultural forces shaping how students think. Parents and educators will learn how we can work together to help children develop into thinkers and learners.
+ Learn more and register at

Financial Aid Applications Due by Feb. 15

Can Use 2014 W2 Information

All Financial Aid Applications for the 2016-2017 school year must be submitted by February 15, 2016. This allows your award to be included with your re-enrollment contract. You can use your 2014 W2 if your 2015 W2 information is not yet available.

Please submit your applications ASAP. Decisions about Financial Aid will be made immediately following the Feb. 15 deadline, and aid may not be available to late applicants.
+ More info about applying for Financial Aid
+ Apply for Financial Aid at

2016 Auction Dates and Deadlines

Friday, March 11, 2016 at Barton Hills Country Club

The Auction helps make Emerson an even better school community for our children by supporting academic enrichment, professional development, updated technology, financial aid, and more. Invitations mail in early February.
+ Learn more at

How You Can Support the Auction

Sponsor: Help defray auction expenses with your cash donation.
Invitation Inclusion Deadline: January 18th
Catalog Inclusion Deadline: February 22nd 

Advertise: Place an ad in the Auction catalog to promote your business.
Deadline: February 8th

Donate Items: Consider what you might enjoy winning
Forms Deadline: January 29th
Items Due: February 24th

+ Complete the donation form to donate an item


+ Class Baskets: Stephanie Zabinko
+ Donations, Volunteer, Ads & Sponsorships: Beth Anderson or 665-5662  x305.

Open Mic Night on Wednesday, Feb. 3

A stage for students, parents, and teachers to sing a song, play an instrument, read original poetry, perform a monologue, play as an ensemble, etc. Each performer has five minutes each to share your talents and passions in front of a laid-back and supportive audience of families from schools throughout the greater-Ann Arbor area.
+ Learn more and register at

Girls on the Run Registration Now Open

For Emerson Girls in Grades 3–5

Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. It is open to Emerson girls in grades 3–5, and will run on Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:00pm-4:30pm, March 7th – May 20th. A 5K celebration will also be held on Sunday, May 15 at the U of M North Campus. The cost is $150
+ Register online by Feb. 15

ERB Testing Starting Soon

Jan. 25 for Grades 6-8, Feb. 1 for Grades 4-5

During the weeks of Jan. 25–Feb. 5, 2015, all 4th-8th grade students will take the Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) standardized tests published by Educational Records Bureau (ERB). Makeup tests will be held Feb. 8-12 for any snow days, illness, or bereavement.
+ Please see this comprehensive FAQ for more information about ERB testing

2016 Auction Dates and Deadlines

Friday, March 11, 2016 at Barton Hills Country Club

Check the mail for your invitation in early February. If you would like to donate an item to the Auction, please complete the donation form online.
+ Donate an item for the Auction

  • Jan. 18: Deadline to be listed as a sponsor in the invitation
  • Feb. 22: Deadline to be listed as a sponsor in the catalog
  • Feb. 8: Deadline for catalog advertisements
  • Jan. 29: Deadline for donations to be in Auction catalog. Donation forms must be received.
  • Feb. 24: Donations must be delivered or picked up
  • Mar. 11: Party time at the Auction

+ Lean more, including how to sponsor, advertise, or donate an item
+ Questions? Email Beth Anderson or call 734-665-5662, ext. 305

Lower School News

5th Grade Up to the Future Day

Tuesday, Jan. 19, 9:00am–12:30pm in the Middle School

Emerson 5th graders will venture into the Middle School to get a taste of life as a 6th grader. Students will meet their future teachers, visit classes, spend time with current middle schoolers, participate in team-building games, and have opportunities to ask any questions they might have. It will be a fun and informative morning for all.
(Parents do not need to do anything, this is just an FYI)

ADMISSIONS: Brown Bag Lunches for Parents

Friday, Jan. 22, 11:30am–12:30pm, MS Room 218

Parents of current Emerson 4th and 5th graders are invited to sit down for lunch with Andy Zimmer, Emerson’s Middle School Director, and other teachers and staff. This very casual setting is the perfect opportunity to ask questions and learn more about Middle School at Emerson. Please bring your own lunch. 
+ Please email Andy Zimmer, Middle School Director, if you might attend


ADMISSIONS: Middle School Experience Tour

Thursday, Feb. 11, 9:00am–11:00am, Starting in Arts and Innovation Ctr.

To understand what makes Emerson’s Middle School so special, parents should experience it in action. This Information Meeting will be during the day so parents can tour the school while it’s abuzz, see learning happening in classes, and ask faculty and staff questions.
+ Please email Jackie Ebels, Admissions Director, if you might attend

How to Prepare for Middle School

Tuesday, Feb. 23, 8:30am–9:30pm, Arts and Innovation Ctr.

Middle school can be a big transition, and this is an opportunity for parents to learn about what to expect, regardless of where your child will be attending. Topics will include adolescent neuroscience and brain development, how to support adolescents through this transition, technology use in adolescence, and the transition from a single homeroom to multiple classes with multiple teachers.
+ Please email Andy Zimmer, Middle School Director, if you might attend

Middle School News

Intersession Week 2016

Monday, Jan. 25–Friday, Jan. 29; Parents Invited

New this year, Middle School students will be taking part in a week-long immersion experience where they can identify, explore, and share their individual passions. It’s being called Intersession Week 2016, and it will take place Monday, January 25 through Friday, January 29th (intentionally coinciding with ERB testing).
+ Learn more


High School Info and Events

Community High School Orientations

Families interested in applying for Community High School’s freshmen slots should attend one of the five scheduled orientations. Applications will be available Jan. 4 and the application deadline is Friday, Feb. 5 at 4:00pm.
+ Learn more

  • Tuesday, Jan. 19, 7:00-8:30pm at Clague MS
  • Sunday, Jan. 24, 2:00-3:30pm at Scarlett MS
  • Wednesday, Feb. 3, 7:00-8:30pm at Community HS

Skyline Curriculum Night

Wednesday, January 27 at 4:30om
Upperclassmen at Skyline will welcome incoming freshman and guide tours for parents and students. Families will learn about enrolling, core content, support services, graduation requirements, and more.
+ Learn more

Community News and Events

6th Annual A2 Dodgeball Tournament

Saturday, Jan. 16, 8:00am–6:00pm at Saline High School
The Skyline High School Crew Team is hosting the 6th Annual Ann Arbor City Dodgeball Tournament. Adults and students in grades 6 and up can register through Jan. 15th for $100 per team (7-10 people per team).
+ Learn more