News & Blog

Family Newsletter – Mar. 13, 2016


Learning About Animals Up Close at The Creature Conservancy

Connie’s and Mrs. Chenier’s 5th grade classes visited the Creature Conservancy to see, touch, and learn about some fascinating creatures last week.
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Letter from the Head of School

John Huber Profile

Dear Parents,

The first time I ever talked about a presidential election in a school took place over 35 years ago. I was nine years old, and the conversation occurred in the boys’ bathroom of Richardson Elementary School in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

I was standing at a stall when another student walked in, stood beside me, and asked, “Who are you voting for, Reagan or Carter?” Having been raised by staunch conservatives, I quickly replied, “Reagan.” Never mind, of course, that I was much too young to vote, and that our school hadn’t even announced its mock election yet. I was firm in my support, based solely on my parents’ frequently stated preference.

My classmate looked at me, said, “You’re dumb,” and walked out the door.

His words stung. Why was I dumb for agreeing with my parents? His words ended up further reinforcing my stated opinion, if for no other reason than to assure me that he must be dumb for supporting the other side.

At its root, I believe there is a natural urge to pick a side. It helps us to feel a sense of alignment and belonging. For example, we cheer for the U of M, or we root for MSU. Automatic vs. manual, cats vs. dogs, Jets vs. Sharks, us vs. them…the list of rivalries goes on.

Therefore it’s no surprise that talk of presidential elections has permeated our classrooms, and our teachers have observed discussions among our students about the primary contenders. I’ve even heard that one three-year-old said he’d be voting for the “Duck.” (I believe he confused Donald Trump with Donald Duck.)

An additional challenge in this election cycle has been how to frame such discussions when the debates have veered into the inappropriate. A recent NPR article highlighted the difficulties facing parents and educators when those running for office use insults and bullying behavior.

Our teachers understand these challenges. We will seek to frame these discussions in positive and age-appropriate ways. We also know that a diversity of opinions supports deeper thinking, and there is little value in proselytizing. If we are to truly prepare our students for life outside of Emerson, we need to ensure that our students are on the path to becoming an educated electorate.

After all, it’s easy to pick sides in a rivalry. Much harder to think critically, weigh contrary views, and make informed decisions. I know that our students are ready for the task.

Take care,

John Huber

All School News and Info


Monday, Mar. 14; Childcare is Available

As a reminder, Monday will be a 9:00am late start. Childcare will be available beginning at the regular 7:30am start time.

Conference Dates and Sign-Up Info

  • Wednesday, March 23, 3:00pm – 8:00pm
    Child care available 2:45-6:00pm. Child care ends promptly at 6:00pm and the normal late fee of $4/minute applies. No child care available 6:00pm – 8:00pm.
  • Thursday, March 24, 8:00am – 3:00pm
    Full-day and drop-in child care available 8:00am – 6:00pm. Please email Beth Muszkiewicz to register.

Instructions for Scheduling Parent-Teacher Conferences:

The online scheduler is open through March 22nd at 9:00pm.
+ More information and grade-specific notes about registering

  1. Go to
  2. Sign up under “Returning Parents” or, if new, sign up under “First Time? Register Here.”
  3. Follow the prompts to select your teacher(s) and choose available conference times. If you run into trouble, please see the PTC Wizard Parent Guide for assistance.
  4. Confirm your conference schedule and print a copy for your reference (a copy will also be emailed to the address you provided).

Do Feed the Teachers: ESPO Conference Potluck

Food and Volunteers Needed Wednesday, Mar. 23

On Wednesday, March 23, Emerson teachers and staff follow up their busy school day with parent conferences until 8:00pm. Many teachers will only have a short break that doesn’t allow them to leave, so ESPO parents generously provide a potluck dinner to get them through to the end of the night.
+ Learn more and volunteer

Alum Chris Klein in NCAA Swim Finals

Maintaining 3.98 GPA in Mechanical Engineering

Congratulations to Emerson alum Chris Klein, who was part of U of M’s Big Ten Championship-winning swim team that’s now headed to the NCAA Finals—all while maintaining a 3.98 GPA in mechanical engineering!
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Pizza Volunteers Needed on Apr. 1, Apr. 29, May 6

Can you volunteer for a couple of hours on one of these days? It’s a great way to meet other parents, see kids during the school day, and to be a meaningful role in ESPO’s biggest fundraiser for the school
+ Sign up for a Pizza Lunch shift

New Roundabout at Scio Church and Wagner

Open House on Wednesday, Mar. 23, 5:30pm–7:30pm

The Washtenaw County Road Commission is building a compact urban roundabout at the intersection of Scio Church Rd. and Wagner Rd. to reduce congestion. Construction will begin in the summer of 2017. The public is invited to learn more about the project on Wednesday, March 23, 5:30pm to 7:30pm at an information open house. The meeting will be at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD).
+ Learn more

Community News and Events

Student Performing in The Tender Land Opera

March 13 at 2:30pm, March 19 at 7:30pm, March 20 at 2:30pm

Emerson 7th grader Lacey Cooper is performing in the Michigan Opera Theater’s production of The Tender Land. This is a professional production!
+ Learn more

Students and Alums in Melodies of the Sea

Presented by the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club

March 18 at 7:00pm, March 19 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Emerson students Janna Jacobson, Victoria Lee, Anna Michelle Nicklas, Asha Owens, Maggie Wancier, Audrey Weizer, and Violet Weizer, as well as alumnaeAlicia Bertsch, will be skating in the Ann Arbor Figure Skating Club’s 74th Annual Ice Show, Melodies of the Sea. Best of luck Emerson skaters!
+ Learn more

Middle School Learn to Row

First Full Week in April for All 6th – 8th Graders

Get on the water and try an incredible sport with the Washtenaw Rowing Center. Middle school students can 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!
+ Find more information and sign up, or contact Program Director Kit Bennett

Adolescent Depression and Resiliency:

What you need to know

Tuesday, Apr. 19, 7:00pm–8:00pm at Forsythe Media Center

In case you missed the opportunity to learn about this topic at Emerson, you can see the same experts from the University of Michigan Depression Center and for a presentation about depression and anxiety in adolescents.
+ Learn more