News & Blog

Family Newsletter – Mar. 18, 2016

Backstage at the All School Band and Orchestra Concert

Last Wednesday, Emerson musicians came together for the biggest performance of the year, and they were brilliant! Special thank you to David Ammer for taking these photos and sharing them with our community.
+ More photos


Letter from the Head of School

John Huber Profile

Dear Parents,

Each year, students in grades 4-8 complete the Comprehensive Testing Program (CTP) assessment, published by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB). Your child’s assessment results will be coming to you today, and I encourage you to read the accompanying letter and explore the resources available for parents.

I pledged to myself that I’d also write about the CTP in this week’s newsletter, but I must admit that I’m feeling conflicted about it. On the one hand, parents should have a measure of Emerson students’ overall achievement, as well as a clear picture of their own child’s academic strengths and areas of growth, as assessed by a neutral outside party. The CTP is a useful diagnostic tool for charting students’ progress and providing feedback to teachers and administrators.

On the other hand, we are not a school that puts primacy on standardized test-taking, nor do we seek to teach to the test. I imagine that some of you have enrolled your children at Emerson specifically to avoid a narrow test-focused culture present in public schools. Also, as it’s an admission requirement for applicants to perform well on intelligence tests, it should not surprise us that students will continue to perform well on the CTP. Additionally, one test result is only a snapshot, and there is more value to be gained in analyzing your child’s trends over multiple assessments.

This aggregate information, though, does help to present a picture to you of our student population. Our mission is to provide instruction for gifted and for academically talented students. This independent assessment confirms that our students are high-achieving, and they perform well on standardized testing with our enriched curriculum and whole-child approach.

OK, enough handwringing. Here are the results for our school as a whole (average of all grade level scores):

I am pleased to share that the strong overall performance shown above also translates to each grade level. In all grades, Emerson School medians are at or above both independent school norms and top-performing public/suburban school norms. This is true for all subtests completed.

I hope that this information helps to present an overview of our students’ performance, without overemphasizing the weight of the CTP. After all, to paraphrase the old emergency announcement they used to broadcast on the TV—this is only a test.

Take care,

John Huber

All School News and Info

Emerson Students 2nd in State for Quiz Bowl

Only 2nd Year of Competing in Quiz Bowl

Thirteen Emerson students participated in the Quiz Bowl Middle School State Championships last Saturday. Impressively, the team comprised of Kendra Wolter, Brian Hussey, Anders Ruiter-Feenstra, and Zach Halberstam finished 2nd! In doing so, they qualified for the Middle School National Championships, which will take place May 6–8 in Atlanta, Georgia. CONGRATULATIONS QUIZ BOWLERS!

Lead-Free Drinking Water at Emerson

Emerson School’s water is regularly and independently tested by Washtenaw County, and it continues to be within normal drinking water standards. To note:

  • No traces of lead have been found during independent testing.
  • Emerson is not on any municipal water system. The school maintains two independent wells that provide water for the entire school.

Child Care is Available During Conferences


  • Regular child care is available from 2:45 – 6:00pm at the normal rates.
  • All students in the building must sign into the after school program in the library while parents attend conferences.
  • Child care ends at 6:00pm on Wednesday, even though conferences run until 8:00pm. Normal late fees of $4/minute apply.


  • Full day child care is available from 8:00am – 3:00pm at $55/day.
  • After care is available from 3:00pm – 6:00pm at $6/hour.
  • Hourly child care during conferences is available at $10/hour. Reservations required.
  • All students in the building must sign into the after school program in the library while parents attend conferences.
  • Send your child with a lunch if he/she will be with us from 12:00pm – 12:30pm.
  • Please reserve your space by emailing Beth Muszkiewicz.


  • No child care available on March 25th.

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).

Thank You Auction Supporters!

Oh, what a night! Thank you to all of the volunteers, sponsors, donors, faculty, and staff who made this fantastic school event possible. Auction purchases will be charged to credit cards next week, and receipts will follow.

Featured Auction Items

Onling Auction Live with More Than 80 Items

Closes Tuesday, Mar. 22 at 10:00pm

The Online Auction is now live, and there are 83 incredible items available, including hotel stays, jewelry, food deals, a year of unlimited carwashes, and much more. Please take a look at the items and remember that every bid supports students at Emerson School.
+ Visit the Online Auction at

Order Kindergarten and 3rd Grade Projects

Order Now Until March 30

Two adorable Auction class projects can now be ordered: The kindergarten photo memory game ($30) and 3rd grade still life photo book ($40). Email Beth Andersonto order (school accounts cannot be billed).
+ Learn more

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

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

Perform at Family-Friendly Open Mic Night

Next One: Wednesday, Mar. 30 at 6:00pm

The Family-Friendly Open Mic Nights just keep getting better. Check out this video from the last one with Mrs. B explaining how they work, and sign up to perform.
+ Watch Feb. Open Mic Night video
+ Learn more and sign up at

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

9 Alums in The Addams Family Musical

March 18–20 at Greenhills School

Emerson alums performing in The Addams Family Musical at Greenhills include Jacob Berger, Hannah Bloomfield, Alexis Burke, Riley Pohlman, Molly Rose Powers, Isabelle Ross and Will Urquhart, and crew members include Annika Morrison and Allison Pinto
+ 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

U of M Living Lab Symposium

Saturday, Mar. 19, 2016 at East Hall

U of M child development researchers working in the Living Lab Program will be presenting exciting findings from its latest studies. There will be lots of room for discussion about child development, with a great mix of parents, teachers, researchers, and students in the room.
+ Learn more

TEDxYouth@AnnArbor 2016

Saturday, Apr. 23, 8am – 4pm at Skyline High

The 2016 theme is Taking the World by Storm. This is the third annual TEDxYouth@AnnArbor event, where high school aged students share their ideas, vision, and innovation to contribute to and influence the future of Ann Arbor.
+ 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