News & Blog

Family Newsletter – Oct. 23, 2015

Building Community

These students are only in 2nd grade but already learning about how communities work. Now they are working together and thinking like engineers to build their own rural, suburban, and urban communities


Letter from the Head of School

John HuberDear Parents,

Well done!
Good job!

We use these words of praise to congratulate our children on their achievements, and we feel good in providing positive reinforcement to them for their successes. But consider for a moment – is this the best way to encourage and nurture growth?

At the AIMS Conference this past Monday, I attended a workshop on growth mindset led by Stacy Rivard and Dr. Linda Flaga of Cranbrook Schools. They shared that the development of a growth mindset in students can lead to both greater success and greater self-fulfillment.

Author Carol Dweck, in her book Mindset, describes a growth mindset as one that assumes that “brains” and talent are only the starting points to success, and that abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. A growth mindset is especially critical for gifted and academically talented students (and girls in particular), who often believe that intelligence is innate, and that concepts must be understood quickly. A fixed mindset, however, can instill a fear of failure and a readiness to give up too easily.

One key way to develop a growth mindset (and this is where you come in, parents!), is to be thoughtful about how we praise students. The best sort of praise, the kind that can motivate students as well as adults, is authentic, specific, and focused on effort and process. For example, a perfunctory “good job!” can actually demotivate, while thoughtful comments such as “I like the way you worked hard to complete that project” or “it looks like you’ve mastered that…what’s your next challenge?” will spur on further effort. Please take a moment to see this short video that handily summarizes the effective use of praise.

Coincidentally, this very week, I am receiving feedback from the Board on my first 100 days at Emerson.  It’s hard to believe how quickly 100 days have passed by! I look forward to this feedback, not just because I’m eager to hear where the fit is strong, but I’m also looking for specific areas in how best to improve. After all, if we’re looking to foster growth mindsets in our young learners, we need to be ready to model growth mindsets ourselves.

Be well,

All School News and Info

Volunteers needed for Halloween Carnival

Halloween Parade and Carnival is next Friday

The Halloween is fast approaching, there is just 1 week left! Thank you to all who have helped decorate the lower school. Help is needed to decorate on Thursday evening (Oct 29) or Friday morning (Oct 31). The Halloween Carnival is such a fun event for the little ones, but it requires MANY parent volunteers. Please consider staying after the carnival to help take down the decorations.
+ Contact Jamie Sinha with questions
+ Sign Up to help!

Check the Lost and Found

Items will be donated after Friday, October 30

Please check the Lost and Found, located in the Fish Bowl near the After care entry doors. Items remaining after next Friday will be donated.

Unwanted or Leftover Halloween Candy?

Contribute unwanted candy to Operation Gratitude

Don’t throw away your unwanted or leftover Halloween candy. Instead, give it to Operation Gratitude.  The candy will be used for care packages for military troops. Lucas and Lance Caswell are putting out boxes to collect the candy.  The boxes will be in the Fishbowl beginning on Friday, October 30th until Friday, November 6th.  Ask Lucas or Lance if you have any questions.

Announcing This Year’s Emerson Science Fair: Hydrofest 2015!

The Science Fair will be held on November 18

The Emerson Science Department is pleased to announce that this year we will be presenting a science fair of incredible hydrological proportions– a virtual festival of H2O–something we call…HYDROFEST 2015!
+ More Info and How to Sign-Up

Pledge Your Support

New this Year: Our Fall Pledge Focus

Every member (100%) of Emerson’s Faculty & Staff and every Emerson Trustee has already made their gift or pledge to the 2015-2016 Annual Fund. But we still need the support of 100% of Emerson families because tuition revenue does not cover the full cost of your child’s Emerson education.

  • NEW – Fall Pledges: Make your commitment today and fulfill your pledge before June 15. Call,  or use the pledge card received in your first day packet or pick one up at the office.
  • Give Online: Check it off your list by giving at

+ Questions? Contact Beth Anderson, (734)665-5662 x305

Auction 2016 is Now Underway

Save the Date: Friday, Mar. 11, 2016

Thank you to all of the parents who attended this week’s Auction Kick-Off meeting. Many have already stepped up to fill important roles, but volunteers are still needed to chair committees, serve as a leaders, or to be Auction Ambassadors. Please get involved and join the fun.
+ Learn more and volunteer

2016 Auction Leadership

  • Parent Director:  Barbara Hoffman
  • Acquisitions Chair:  Shannon Stewart
  • Class Baskets Chair:  Stephanie Zabinko
  • Data Team:  Caroline Begola, Dana DeBord, Suzan Duenyas
  • Decorations Co-Chairs:  Christine Kim and Diana Rooks
  • Displays & Packaging Chair:  Open
  • Donation Pick up Chair:  Open
  • Raffles & Classroom Offerings Chair:  Elizabeth Caswell
  • Wine Pull Chair: Open

Middle School News and Info

2nd Trimester Elective Sign-Up

Elective Sign-up opens today at 3:00pm

The second trimester electives will open today, Friday, October 23 at 3:00 PM.   The elective forms will close at noon on Monday, November 2nd.
+ Directions on how to Sign-Up


Students in 5th through 8th grade interested in being a part of the MathCounts team can join coach Hojin Han in MS Room 205 for the first practice session on Friday Nov. 6th from 3:00-4:00 PM. This group is for any mathletes who are interested in working together to develop their math skills in preparation for the Regional (and potentially State) tournament in mid-February. There is no cost to join and no season-long commitment required.
+ For more information, contact Andy Zimmer

Spotlight on Saline High School

Information session scheduled for November 19

Saline High School is hosting an information session where families can learn more about Saline High School as an option for high school.  This event is geared towards students from middle schools that do not have a high school attached to it.

Washtenaw International High School Information

First Information session scheduled for November 10

WIHI will be having information sessions for parents and students on Tuesday November 10, 2015, Wednesday November 18, 2015, Thursday January 7, 2016, and Monday January 11, 2016, all starting at 7:00pm. Application and shadowing opportunities begin in early November. If you would like more information please contact Admissions Coordinator Cherrell Wilson at 734-994-8145 opt. 2 or by email:
+ Visit the WIHI website for more infromation

Community News and Events

Giving: Learning by Teaching in Sri Lanka

Emerson parent Naresh Gunaratham and Emerson students traveled to Sri Lanka to support the Grade Care Center.
+ Read all about it in the feature story in October’s issue of The Ann

Special Screening of “Beyond Measure”

Presented by The Clonlara School on Oct 24 at 1pm

Be one of the first to view this film. Beyond Measure, What Counts Can’t Be Counted, a film about transforming our educational system from the ground up! There will be a facilitated discussion afterwards. Film will run until 3:30 and be followed by a discussion group.
+ More Info on the film
+ Purchase Tickets

Helping Your Anxious Child: A Group for Parents

4-Week Group Starting Soon

This is a four-week group for parents of children dealing with anxiety and stress at the start of the school year. Dr. Beth Pearson will be teaching parents practical strategies from evidence-based approaches, including what to say, tips, exercises, and how to avoid accidentally increasing fears.
+ Learn more

Fall Auditions Open for the Boychoir of Ann Arbor

Boys aged 7 1/2 to 17 are eligible, auditions are by appointment

The Boychoir of Ann Arbor announces Fall Auditions for all three of its choirs. The Boychoir’s training programs enhance the musical education boys are already receiving through school or private lessons. We focus on competency in sight-singing (reading music) as well as vocal training through semi-private voice lessons.
+ Learn More