News & Blog

Family Newsletter – Mar. 6, 2015

The 2015 Band and Orchestra Retreat

The 2015 Band and Orchestra Frankenmuth Retreat

The MS Band and Orchestra participated in their annual Recognition Retreat in Frankenmuth last weekend. The students had a few intense and productive rehearsals, with a special guest speaker… (read more below).
+ See more photos


Letter from Jerry

Jerry the SluggerHello Parents,

Not only is it finally the month when the sun crosses the equator into the northern hemisphere, but today marks the end of our second trimester. With two-thirds of the school year behind us, ERB test results coming out next week, and parent conferences coming one week later, you have a great deal of feedback on how and what your child is learning this year. In the same spirit, I think it is just as informative to reflect on what the teachers and staff are learning this year.

In all the schools in which I have worked and visited, I have never been surrounded by as many teachers dedicated to learning more about children, how they learn, the next best teaching technique, or new knowledge in their field of expertise. Not only do we improve the educational experience at Emerson as a result of these experiences, it is also evidence of the preponderance of lifelong learners who teach and lead at Emerson School. We call this “Professional Development,” which is overseen by Peggy Wilson.

As a sampling and a quick glimpse into the variety of experiences our faculty and staff have enjoyed recently, here is the lineup of topics and experiences we will be sharing with one another at our Monday faculty meeting:

  • Annual Learning and the Brain Conference
  • ISACS Diversity Summit
  • Institute for Educational Development’s Digital Storytelling Conference
  • ISACS Writing Conference
  • ISACS Division Heads’ Conference
  • Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) – National Association of Independent Schools Annual Conference
  • ISACS Heads of School Conference

This list is just the tip of the iceberg on all that we have learned and studied this year, and all this is done on a mere one percent of our budget!

Enjoy the 40 degree weather that is coming!

Jerry Loewen
Head of School


All School News

Update on Faculty and Staff Changes

Pat Petiet, Middle School Science, to Retire

After more than two decades of teaching science at Emerson, Pat Petiet has decided to retire at the end of the 2014-2015 school year. Pat has helped shape Emerson’s science curriculum and inspired countless students to delve even deeper into understanding how our world works.

Mary Spaller Transitioning from Math to Science

Filling Pat Petiet’s shoes will be current Middle School math teacher, advisor, and learning support coach Mary Spaller. Mary has always been a science lover and has the education and passion to be a great fit in this new position.

Director of Business Operations Interviews Continue

Finalists have been identified and will be meet with faculty and staff in the coming weeks.

One Week Until the Emerson Auction

Friday, March 13, 2015 at Barton Hills Country Club

+ Download an RSVP card

Some of the incredible items to be auctioned off on Friday, March 13

Incredible Items Only Available at the Auction

+ Download the 2015 Auction Catalog
Favorites like Bourbon, Blues and Brews at the Stotlars and a week vacation in Belize will be back by popular demand, and we’ll also have some incredible new additions, including:

  • Dozens of classroom projects
  • Dinner in your home for 8, prepared by Emerson parent, Allison Zeglis
  • One week stay at Snowmass Club in Colorado

Raffle Tickets On Sale

Teacher Experience and Restaurant Raffle tickets can still be purchased in Emerson’s offices, or you can complete the order form sent home in backpacks on Monday. You don’t need to be present at the Auction to win.
+ See all Teacher Experience descriptions
+ Restaurant Raffle information
+ Download a raffle ticket order form

Can You Help Us?

We could really use your help preparing for the big night.

  • Tuesday Mar. 10, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm:  Help distribute Auction catalogs
  • Tuesday Mar. 10, 6:00pm: Wine Pull wrapping in the Fish Bowl
  • Thursday Mar. 12, 11:30am:  Drive auction items to Barton
  • Friday Mar. 13, 10:30am – 2:00pm:  Auction set up at Barton

+ To volunteer or ask questions, contact Beth Anderson, 734.665.9005, x.305

Conference Sign-Ups Now Open

Sign up for conferences online or make changes until March 15th at 9:00pm.
+ More info, instructions, and child care 

Lower School

  • Tuesday, March 17th, from 3:30 – 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, March 18th, from 3:30pm – 6:00pm
  • Thursday, March 19th, from 8:00am – 2:00pm

Middle School

  • Wednesday, March 18th, from 3:00pm – 8:00pm
  • Thursday, March 19th, from 8:00am – 3:00pm 

Child Care Available During Conferences

The After School Program will once again provide child care during conferences and full day child care on the days with no school (Thursday, March 19th and Friday, March 20th). Registration is required for full day child care. 
+ See times, costs, and details

ESPO’s Spring 2015 Teacher Conference Dinner

Food and Volunteers Needed Wednesday, March 18

On Wednesday, March 18, Emerson teachers and staff follow up their busy school day with parent conferences. Most teachers will only have a short break until the end of the evening.  As a way of showing our appreciation, parents will provide a potluck dinner for the staff (approximately 40 people).
+ Learn more and volunteer

Order Emerson Apparel by Sunday

Online Store Closes Sunday, Mar. 8

Place your order now for shirts, hoodies, hats, jackets, and more, and items will be ready for you to pick-up at Emerson by March 23.

Note: Youth t-shirts run small and we suggest ordering a size up. Youth and adult items are noted in the title. 
+ See items and place your order

Emerson School Apparel

TED2015 Live Simulcast: Truth and Dare

Mar. 17, 11:00am – 9:45pm in Four Sessions

Life from TED

Great TED Talks often do one or both of the following:
…They give you a new lens on the world as it is.
…They offer new possibilities for the world as it might be.
For TED2015, we’re on a quest to magnify both facets. We will seek to challenge and reshape our core beliefs about today’s reality. And at the same time celebrate the thinkers, dreamers and mavericks who offer bold new alternatives. Welcome to… Truth and Dare.

Sessions and Topics (See the speakers)

  • 11:30am – 1:15pm: What Are We Thinking
    The science of how children learn, seeing by sound, geometric art, how our brain works, how evolution and visual perception author our reality
  • 2:00pm – 3:45pm: Machines That Learn
    AI image and language recognition, making basketball smarter, self-driving cars, philanthropy, will our tech advances destroy or save us
  • 5:15pm – 7:00pm: Out of This World
    Skydiving from space, uncovering clues to the origin of life, the hunt for a twin Earth, exploring earth to plan for life on Mars, forecasting tech
  • 8:00pm – 9:45pm: Life Stories
    People and cultures amid the great forces of our time, an innovative workplace with mostly women, turning visionary ideas into commonplace tech, young pianist with gift for old jazz, story collecting

+ Register to attend (limited space)
+ See the speakers and topics
+ About TED2015
+ 11 Must-See TED Talks

Ring Found at Emerson School

Please contact Mrs. G in the Lower School Office to claim this ring.

Middle School News

First Inductees to National Junior Honor Society
First NJHS of Emerson School

Middle School Band and Orchestra Retreat

The MS Band and Orchestra participated in their annual Recognition Retreat in Frankenmuth last weekend. The students had a few intense and productive rehearsals, with a special guest speaker, Coach Kennedy! He spoke to the students about teamwork, trust, and responsibility. He drew many connections with examples of famous duos from the world of music, sports, science, and the arts.

The fun continued with a Recognition Banquet at Zehnder’s, where the crew had the world-famous chicken dinner! Every member of the band and orchestra was recognized with an award. Then the celebration continued with swimming at Splash Village Waterpark and shopping at River Place Shops.  It was a terrific trip, as always! Mrs. B and Ms. C would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the parents who helped make the trip possible!

Pioneer High 9th Grade ‘Meet and Greet’

Wednesday, Apr. 22, 11:15am – 2:30pm

Students will have a tour of the school and lunch with fellow 8th graders. There will be an extra curricular fair with representatives of several school clubs and athletic teams. Meet at the Clock Tower Entrance.
+ RSVP to Jen Kunec by April 10th

Community Events

Ermine at the Comic Opera Guild

Saturday, Feb. 28 at 8:00pm and Sunday, Mar. 1 at 3:00pm

Emerson science teacher Pat Petiet will perform in Ermine, which was a huge hit in its day and eclipsed the initial run of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mokado. As with so many light operas of the late 19th century, it fell from the repertory on the 1920’s, with the onset of the Jazz Age. It opened in 1885 and came to the US in 1886.
+ Learn more

Chinese American Teens and Family Study

Be a part of creating science! The University of Illinois Journeys In Adolescence (JIA 家) Study is looking for Chinese Americans families with teens aged 12-17 to participate in a new study. We want to understand how to better promote academic achievement and physical and emotional well-being in Chinese American teens. Participation is simple and takes place entirely in the convenience of your own home. Parents and a teen will complete questionnaires, brief daily checklists, and teens will provide small saliva samples. Families who complete the study will receive $50 and a chance to win a new iPad mini.
+ Contact Xin Yuen (734.249.8067) with questions or if you are interested in participating

Middle School Learn to Row

Starts April 13 for All 6th – 8th Graders

Get on the water 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 in Washtenaw County, 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!
+ Find more information and sign up, or contact Program Director Kit Bennett

MAGC Conference Catalog Cover Art Contest

Entry Deadline is Mar. 31

The Michigan Association for Gifted Children (MAGC) programs and conference planning board is looking for a gifted artist, aged 12 to 15, to create our next conference cover. The winner and finalist’s artwork
will be used in marketing and conference materials for 2015-2016.
+ Learn more

U of M Summer Engineering Academy

Applications Due Tuesday, Mar. 31

This program’s goal is to expose students to engineering and open to all students with an interest in engineering. The Center for Engineering Diversity and Outreach particularly encourages applications from students who are from underrepresented groups in engineering.
+ Learn more