News & Blog

Family Newsletter – Mar. 4, 2016

2016 Emerson Play Opens Tonight

The Murder Mystery at the Murder Mystery

Friday, March 4 at 7:00pm and Saturday, March 5 at 2:00pm

Get your tickets today for this limited-seating performance by an all-star cast of Emerson Middle School students. Tickets are available online and at the door.
+ Get your tickets
+ More photos of the preview performance


Letter from the Head of School

John Huber Profile9 Things I Learned at the NAIS Conference Last Week

(#4, #6, and #7 Will Shock You)

Dear Parents,

This past week, I took part in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Annual Conference, a gathering of more than 5,500 educators, trustees, and school leaders. Space doesn’t permit me the ability to relate to you the true essence of the sessions and workshops. Probably for the better, though—one speaker made the strong argument that the most effective way to engage readers in a school newsletter is with that most ubiquitous online viral clickbait—the listicle. And so boldly I share with you, in short-form style, some takeaways of the NAIS Annual Conference.

#1 – Randi Zuckerberg, author of Dot Complicated, said that when she began her career in marketing, she was upset to be assigned to the digital and interactive marketing department, because she thought it would be a “dead-end career”.

#2 – Kevin Carey, author of The End of College, warned us that student loan debt in America has reached $1.3 trillion.

#3 – I had the pleasure of speaking with nine other heads of school in a talk titled “Ten Heads, Ten Years, Ten Lessons”. We lamented that we didn’t have a picture of us from ten years ago, and the likely reason was that none of us would have had an iPhone in our pockets…because there weren’t any iPhones ten years ago.

#4 – Brian Stevenson, lawyer and social justice activist, shared that there are 3.2 million people in prison today. This number has climbed from 370,000 in 1972.

#5 – Google’s Chief Education Evangelist Jaime Casap recalled the days in which we used to dial up the Internet at home, and if it was busy, we were okay with that. Now, he says, if the Wi-Fi is slow at an educational conference, he’s seen “teachers turn into a mob.”

#6 – One head of school related a story in which her school suffered from a lice infestation (students and teachers), cars stuck on a muddy field, and an emergency evacuation of the building due to a gas odor—all within one school day.

#7 – In 2003, 6% of high-income families requested financial aid. In 2015, the percentage had climbed to 24%.

#8 – One speaker shared research that the four key success factors for teachers are (a) strong relationships with students, (b) a strong pedagogy, (c) cultural fit with the school, and (d) growth mindset.

#9 – The faculty and administration of Fenn School in Massachusetts retold their 20-year path toward diversity, inclusivity, and justice—all achieved with 300-plus elementary and middle school boys.

All School News and Info

Student Book Award Winners
2016 Student Book Award Winners

Every year, Emerson 4th and 5th grade students become literary critics. Each class chooses a category for their award, designs a medal, nominates books, and narrows down their final selections for a final vote by all students in grades K – 8. Below are the six winners of the 2016 Emerson Book Awards, along with the honorable mentions.
+ See the winners and the student-designed awards

2016 Auction Items

One Week Until the Emerson Auction

Friday, March 11, 2016 at Barton Hills Country Club

Online reservations have ended, but you can still register to attend until we reach capacity by contacting Beth Anderson, 734.665.9005, x.305. You can browse thecatalog online now, and look for it in backpacks on Tuesday.

Raffle Tickets Are On Sale Now

You Don’t Need to be Present to Enter or Win
Teacher Experience and Restaurant Raffle tickets can now be purchased in Emerson’s offices, at After Care, or you can complete the order form sent home in backpacks on Monday. Tickets will also be on sale at morning curbside next Tuesday and Thursday.
+ Download a raffle ticket order form
+ About the Teacher Experience Raffle (Tickets: $10/each)
+ About the Restaurant Raffle (Tickets: $20/each)

Volunteers Are Needed Next Week

  • Tuesday and Thursday during curbside drop-off/pick-up: Raffle ticket sales
  • Tuesday Mar. 8, 11:30am–1:30pm: Help distribute Auction catalogs
  • Tuesday Mar. 8, 7:30pm: Wine Pull wrapping in the Fish Bowl
  • Thursday Mar. 10, 11:30am: Drive auction items to Barton
  • Friday Mar. 11, 10:00am-2:00pm: Auction set up at Barton

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 will be open Sunday, March 6, at 9:00pm 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).

ESPO’s Conference Potluck for Teachers

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

New Roundabout at Scio Church and Wagner

Community 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

Admissions Dir. and Development Dir. Posted

Please Share Openings With Anyone Who May Be Interested

Brief job descriptions for Emerson’s Director of Development (currently open) and Director of Admissions (beginning for 2016-2017 school year) are now available on Emerson School’s website. Please share these openings with anyone you think might be interested..
+ Learn more

New Competition Math Club for Grades 5–8

A Continuation of MathCounts Practice

Although MathCounts has ended, students in grades 5–8 can continue their work on Fridays, 3:00pm–4:00pm, as part of a Competition Math Club. This club will prepare them for future math competitions, and will continue to be led by Emerson alum and MathCounts coach Hojin Han. The level of mathematics will range from algebra through higher level (high school and beyond) mathematics. Students should be self-directed and focused, motivated to attempt challenging math problems, and have a love of math. Cost is free, and the club will meet in room 205 beginning this Friday, Feb. 26.

Middle School News

High School Information

Father Gabriel Richard High School Open House

Thursday, Mar. 10, 6:30pm–8:30pm
Visit the school, meet the teachers, and talk with sports coaches and student clubs. For more information please contact Colleen Bailey at 734-662-0496 ext. 249
+ Learn more

Community News and Events

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