News & Blog

Family Newsletter – June 6, 2014

See original email

Letter from Jerry

Jerry's Call to ParentsHello Families,

Lest you think that the 8th grade experience in these last weeks of school is a slide out the door, I wanted to highlight some of the science research and resulting presentations our 8th graders are invested in as we speak. The Independent Research Project (IRP) has become a perfect year-end event asking students to investigate the science behind a topic of high interest as they also utilize the knowledge of an outside expert. All the projects are then presented to their classmates. Here is a sampling of the topics students have explored this year:

  • introversion and extraversion
  • the engineering behind the failure of bridges
  • solar panels
  • how to train a dog – animal behavior
  • physics of a cruise ship
  • science of dreams and amounts of sleep teenagers need
  • nutrition of adolescents
  • physics of three point shooting
  • stem cells
  • science of animation

As if that were not enough great learning to end the year, the 4th and 8th graders are joining forces for a water bottle rocket launch next Tuesday, to honor Sue Addy’s retirement. Egg astronauts are being specially prepared with the likeness of each 4th grader and being carefully loaded into the cockpits of the rockets. The longest flight, along with the surviving pilot, will be determined the winner.

Enjoy this wonderful weekend.

Jerry Loewen
Head of School

All School News

The Search for Emerson’s Next Head of School

On Monday, Jan. 2, Jerry Loewen announced that 2014-2015 will be his last as Emerson’s Head of School: “Next year will be my sixth year at Emerson and my wife and I are ready to explore the variety of professional opportunities awaiting us…”
+ Read more of Jerry’s letter
+ Read Michelle Crumm’s letter from the Board of TrusteesAlthough Jerry will be at Emerson for another year, the Board has already initiated a national search for Emerson’s next Head. Please be part of the process. There are two upcoming opportunities for parents to provide their input.
+ See the invitation

  • Tuesday, June 10, 8:30am-9:30am, Library/Media Center, coffee and refreshments served
  • Tuesday, June 10, 5:00pm-6:00pm, Middle School Commons

A Search Committee has been appointed by Emerson’s Board of Trustees
+ See the announcement

Updated information about the search process will be available, and regularly updated, on Emerson’s website at

No Main Dish Lunch or Milk Next Week

Main Dish Lunch has ended. There will be no milk or Main Dish lunch any day next week. Pizza lunch will be provided on Wednesday, June11 for Field Day (with the usual cheese and no cheese options) but students should being a lunch all other days.

Pick Up Children’s Medication

Please stop by the office to pick up your child’s medication by Friday, June 13. Any medication left will be discarded.

Annual Fund Update: 33 Families to Go

Thank you to the 52% of families who have already made their Annual Fund contribution. Last year 62% of families gave to the Annual Fund. Please be one of the 33 families we still need to surpass that number by giving:
2014 Participation

Sophia Kunisaki Breaks Club Wolverine Swimming Record

Congratulations to Sophia for breaking the Club Wolverine girls 10 years-old and under record for the 200 meter breaststroke by 18 seconds with a time of 3:24. She also received the Club Wolverine D3 Award (“desire”, “dedication”, “determination”) for excellence in and out of the pool.

Building STEAM Campaign Update

Building progress
We’re watching the campus changing before our eyes, and we have made terrific progress toward our $500,000 campaign challenge.  BUT…. we are not yet done!

  • We have received commitments totaling $409,000.
  • We have $91,000 left to raise by June 30th.

Don’t Forget:

  • Pledges can be paid over a period of up to five years, and no payment is necessary by June 30th to meet our challenge- just your commitment.
  • If you’re ready to make your gift,  click here to print your pledge form
  • Questions can be directed to Sue Johnson

Final Week Schedule

+ See email with details for Middle School students

No Lunches
  • Main Dish Lunch ended Thursday, June 5. There will also be no milk the entire week.
  • Pizza lunch will be provided on Wednesday, June11 for Field Day (with the usual cheese and no cheese options) but students should being a lunch all other days.
Monday, June 9th
  • 12:00pm – World Language Soccer Tournament (parents welcome)
Tuesday, June 10th
  • Through June 12 – Food Gatherers Food Drive. Drop off non-perishable food items (no glass please) in bins throughout the school.
  • 1:30 – 2:45 – Emerson’s Got Talent talent show
Wednesday, June 11th
Thursday, June 12th
  • 9:45 – 10:30 – Annual Awards Ceremony (parents welcome)
  • 10:30 – Yearbook Signing
  • 12:30 – 2:45 – Middle School Dance
Friday, June 13th
  • 9:00 – Eighth graders arrive
  • 10:00 – Graduation Ceremony begins

Used Book Sale Raised Hundreds for Charity

This year’s used book sale was another great success. We collected $390.84 from our sales. Of this, $130.00 was sent to Reading Rainbow and the Kickstarter fund established by LaVar Burton, which aims to get new episodes of the popular show back on TV to encourage more young readers. The remainder was given to 826Michigan right here in Ann Arbor, where students of all ages can go for tutoring and writing classes…
+ Read more

Field Day Volunteers Needed

Wednesday, June 11th

The kids have a fun day of activities ahead of them and we could use volunteers to help make things run smoothly! We need:

  • Up to 25 volunteers from 8:45am – 10:45am to help Lower School students enjoy age appropriate challenge stations and relay events on the soccer fields.
  • Six volunteers from 1:00pm – 2:30pm to help supervise games and challenges the 6th and 7th grader created for the afternoon field events for the entire school to enjoy. As is tradition, the 8th graders will be in the dunk tanks and each student gets a chance to soak the graduates!

We hope you can find time to come and enjoy one of the best days of the year! Please contact Jen Pinto, Field Day Volunteer Coordinator, at 734-276-1031 if you have any questions.
+ Sign up online

Annual Food Gatherers Food Drive

Tuesday, June 10 to Thursday, June 12

Please drop off non-perishable food items (no glass please) in bins throughout the school.

Remember Your Student Account Payments

Please remember to pay your student balances.  Final report cards cannot not be released on accounts that have balances.  Thank you! —The Business Office

Congratulations on Reaching Box Tops Goal!

BTFEThank you to all who have submitted box tops. Together we collected 10,000 Box Tops for Education labels—earning $1,000 for Emerson School—and an additional 5,000 points for Labels for Education.

Please continue to collect your box tops and labels and return them to the collection container in the Fish Bowl. A special thank you to co-coordinator Dana DeBord for all of her hard work and diligence.

Summer Tutors Are Available

Emerson’s Learning Support staff has compiled a great list of tutors for students.
+ Emerson teachers available for tutoring
+ Other local tutors

Check the Lost and Found

The Lost and Found bins are overflowing. If you find yourself in the building, please come and browse. Any items left at the end of the year will be donated.

Middle School News

Graduation Ceremony Information

  • 9:00am – 8th graders arrive. Any students arriving before then should go directly to Victoria’s classroom.
  • 10:00am – Graduation Ceremony begins. A reception for 8th graders and their families will immediately follow in the Middle School Commons.


All Middle School Summer Read: Okay for Now

Okay for Now, by Gary Schmidt, is the story of an 8th grade boy named Doug Sweiteck, who moves to a new town during the Vietnam-war years.  His life changes when he is introduced to John Audubon’s Birds of America at the local library and learns many principles of art from the local librarian.  Doug also has to struggle with adjusting to a new school, teachers who label him as the “skinny thug” and the return of his brother from the war.  His story is one of perseverance, compassion, and strength.

Copies can be picked up in the Middle School office. Students should check their name off the sign-out list when they have collected their copy.

Community Service Day on Tuesday, June 10th

9:30am – 12:30pm at Barton Nature Area

Students will travel by bus to work on clearing invasive species and trail maintenance.  Students should plan to wear their orange Community Service Squad T-shirt, as well as closed toes shoes.  We will return to Emerson around 12:30 and have lunch all together.  Parents are welcome to join us at Barton Nature Area at 10:00 to help with our efforts (link with directions to the site is included above). Please contact Andy Zimmer for questions.

Middle School Book Buy Back

For your convenience, buyback will be offered online only at It’s simple and you can login anytime, 24/7, to MBS from your computer. No need to worry about dates or times for the books to be returned to the school.
+ See detailed instructions

6th grade books to keep

  • JAPANESE: Adventure in Japanese 1 – Textbook, Workbook and Flashcards
  • LATIN: Jenney’s First Year Latin – Textbook and Workbook
  • SOCIAL STUDIES: Creating America
  • SPANISH: Ven Conmigo! Level 1 – Textbook, Activity book and Grammar book

7th grade books to keep

  • ALGEBRA: Algebra 1 Concepts and Skills (Unless going into Geometry)
  • JAPANESE: Adventure in Japanese 2 – Textbook and Workbook
  • LATIN: Jenney’s First Year Latin – Textbook, Workbook and Bantam Latin/English Dictionary
  • SPANISH: Ven Conmigo! Level 2 – Textbook, Activity book, Grammar book

Note: The 2014/2015 Middle School Books will not post on the MBS website until July 1, 2014. Prior to July 1, 2014 the 2013/2014 Middle School Book list will still be posted.

Community News & Events

YA’SSOO Greek Festival

June 6 – 7, 11:00am – midnight; June 8, 12:00pm – 6:00pm

If you enjoyed the Greek dancers at Emerson’s Passport to the World event, then you should check out this annual event. Everyone is welcome and there will be Greek cuisine, homemade pastries, live music and entertainment, a marketplace and bookstore, tours, and more.
+ Learn more

Middle School Learn to Row

Starts Monday, June 23, for all 6th-8th graders

Get on the water this spring and try an incredible sport with the 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! Space is limited- sign up today to get your spot!
+ Find more information and sign up, or contact Program Director Kit Bennett

The Sound of Music

June 13, 14, and 20 at 7:00pm, June 14, 21, and 22 at 2:00pm

Emerson 4th grader Olivia Goosman will play Gretl von Trapp in the Arbor Opera Theater’s performance of The Sound of Music. It is the most popular movie musical of all time, and will appear at the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre in Ann Arbor. Tickets are available online.
+ Learn more