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Emerson Eagle
A monthly publication of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Junior High PTA
September 2011
Welcome Back From Principal Cummings
Welcome back to a new school year and new PTA
newsletter! I feel that we are off to a very good start
and hope that all families have adjusted to the school
routine. Each month I will share with you reflections
and highlights on our various activities. Please feel free
to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.
Reflections and Highlights
Back to School Night Thanks to everyone who came
to Back to School Night. We felt it was very successful. I made it all the classrooms (some twice) and was
very pleased to see so many parents participating. It
is my hope you now have a baseline understanding of
your child’s teachers, program and curriculum for the
year. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have
individual questions.
Wednesday Collaboration This year we are continuing to focus on developing a school-wide grading and
late work policy in accordance with the district homework policy. Other key issues for staff discussion are
student engagement and parent communication and
developing “habits of mind” in our students which will
allow them to think critically about all they do.
ber 8th, at Back to School Night. Our new Site Council
parent is Mark Rowan. He joins our other parents Larry
McCoy and Gerri Brown. We had our first Site Council
meeting on September 9th and are ready to go! We
meet monthly on the first Friday from 9:00 to 10:30.
ELAC This is our English Language Advisory Committee and we will have our first meeting on October
10th. ELAC is a sounding board for our English Learner
population and works both with teachers and administration to support our EL students. If you are interested
in participating, please contact me or our secretary,
Nancy Cardinal, at (530) 757-5430. We will have bilingual (Spanish) support at these meetings. Our first
meeting will be a Welcome Potluck and families are
welcome to bring the kids!
That’s all for this edition! Until next month,
Alicia Cummings
Student Study Space (S3) It’s OPEN! S3 is meeting
in the library after school Monday through Thursdays.
This is a place for struggling students to get extra help
or for anyone to come and have a quiet place to complete homework.
Spanish Immersion A “Welcome Back” potluck is
scheduled for September 26th from 6:30 to 7:30 pm
for all Immersion families. We hope you will come and
join us (with your kids) for this informal social time. I
will be taking contact information for those interested
in the Spanish Immersion Parent Advisory Committee
meetings. The first one is November 14th—from 6:30
to 7:30 in the Emerson Library.
Site Council We had our parent elections on Septem-
Visit our new Emerson website at http://emersonjhs.chil-es.org
Student Activities
Costa Rica Trip
Ever wanted to visit a tropical rainforest or kayak next to
waterfalls? This summer, Mrs.
Amsler is planning a student/
parent trip to Costa Rica to
do just that plus much more
during a 9-day, 8-night trek
throughout the country. Zipline
through the rainforest and plant
a tree, visit an active volcano,
lay on the sandy beaches.
See Mrs. Amsler in room A-7,
pick up an informational brochure outside her door, or visit
the Educational Tours website
at www.emersongeography.
com and click on the Costa
Rica Trip link. There will also
be an informational meeting
on Wednesday, September 28
at 7 p.m. in room A-7 as well.
Don’t miss this chance of a lifetime to visit Central America!
Next Dance is December 9
Thanks to all the parents and
staff who chaperoned the back
to school dance! Our next
dance is December 9 from
7:30–10 p.m. We will need parent chaperones. Please contact
Anna Amsler if interested at
[email protected] Thank you!
Costa Rica:
A Touch of the Tropics
9 or 10 Days
PTA President: Ways to Connect
We invite all Emerson/DaVinci
parents to join us for a “coffee
morning” with our principals Mrs.
Cummings (Emerson) and Mr.
Boonchouy (DaVinci) on Monday,
September 26 from 8:30–9:30
a.m. in the teacher’s lounge. We
look forward to seeing you all.
Have you checked out Emerson’s
new website yet? Thanks to
Amanda Sharpe, Emerson’s Teacher Librarian, we have a brand-new
website. The new address is
Please bookmark the site and visit
often for updates.
One of the best ways to learn
We still have two critical activity
chairs to fill: eScrip coordinator
and director of ad sales for the
student/family directory. We sell
ads in this printed directory as a
fundraiser. These are very important jobs, so please email PTA
volunteer coordinator Lynn Arner at
[email protected] if you can help.
—Kevin Smith, PTA President
Fundraising Events and Updates
Bring Your Box Tops in by
September 28th
Do you want to earn money for
your school and win a prize for
your homeroom? Bring us your box
tops! There are now envelopes in
each classroom so students can
drop them in there or in the front
office. Thanks for your support in
saving them for our school—every little bit helps! The top three
homerooms with the most box tops
turned in by September 28th will
win class prizes!
Join us for a Pancake Breakfast
on October 15
Our pancake breakfast and kids
activities fundraiser will benefit student activities. Come to Emerson
on Saturday, October 15, from 9
a.m. – 12 p.m. in the indoor commons. Come enjoy the pancakes
and fun!
what’s going on at Emerson is to attend PTA meetings. The PTA meets
the first Thursday of the month at
the Emerson Library. The Executive
Board meets at 6:30 and our general membership meeting is at 7:30.
Join us and give us your input!
Cookie Dough Deliveries
Cookie dough will be delivered to
the school at the end of September
and distributed after school in the
library. Look for the announcement
in the daily bulletin that will detail
the exact date. Thank you for your
Emerson Logo Wear
Want some fabulous new clothing
and gear? We’ve got clothing and
tote bags for sale!
Make sure to get your order in to
the office by September 30 for
your 2011/2012 logo wear. Our new
cute tote bags with the Emerson
logo are for sale for $10. If you
have any questions or are interested in an order form, please contact
Kristen Hill at [email protected]
Go Eagles!
News from the Vice Principal!
Thanks for reading our Emerson newsletter! When
your kids leave elementary school, the communication between school and home changes format and
families often feel that they are “out-of-the-loop.” At
Emerson, we try to put all new information in the daily
bulletin, send it home on the PTA list serv, and/or include it in the monthly PTA newsletter. If you are reading this, you are well on your way to keeping in touch
with what is going on at Emerson. Please check in with
your friends to remind them to scan the bulletin daily
and to take a moment to read our monthly newsletter.
These are our first lines of communication.
Bike care reminders Emerson has two bike storage
areas. One is at the back side of our campus on Humboldt and is the larger bike cage area. The other bike
storage area is closer to the blue picnic table area and
is much closer to supervision and farther away from
public access. Both are available to all students for their
daily bike storage. Our bike cages are not supervised
after 4:15 p.m. People from the greater community
have access to our exterior campus after school hours
and the bike cages can be a target. U-type locks are far
more difficult to break through than chain locks so for
students staying on into the later hours, this may be a
better choice of locks. Students staying on for drama
rehearsals, sports practices, or tutoring are encouraged
to bring their bikes closer onto the campus—the bike
cages nearer to our picnic tables are a good area!
Our dress code is still an issue, particularly for the female students. Our dress code is specific to the issue
of tops, dresses, etc. showing cleavage. Short shorts
are in fashion right now, but the clothing must still be
school appropriate. Families, please assist your child in
differentiating between school-appropriate clothes and
those your child may choose to wear after school or on
weekends. Many students have been sent to the office
for dress code violations and they have been required
to change.
First dance was a success! Great turnout!! Wonderful number of 7th graders attending! Thank you to all
parents and staff who gave their Friday night time and
energy to the dance. No problems re: drinking, drugs,
student conflicts. All in all, a great success thanks to all
of the WEB students and faculty advisors!
Daily planners—remember to check your student’s
planner AND/OR reinforce planner DAILY use. This is an
incredibly strong habit for all students to have in place.
PTA Leadership 2011–2012
Executive Board
President Kevin Smith
Vice Presidents
Pam Pacelli and Ahna Heller
Behaviors around campus have been very good since
the start-up of school in August. Referrals to the office
from classes and around campus have been minimal!
Treasurer Luke Watkins
Campus litter has dramatically improved! Most of
our Emerson staff have commented on this wonderful improvement…they cite the campus clean-up and
awareness programs run by Ms. Amsler, World Geography and Student Activities teacher, and the 7th grade
cluster program, “Cluster News” run by Michael Howell, as being at the core of a cleaner campus! Thanks to
all, students and staff!!
Auditor Open
Secretary Kathy Olmsted
Shoshana Zatz
Newsletter Editor
Eva O’Brien
Logowear Kristen Hill
Web Manager Larry McCoy
Listserv Administrator
Parent Education
Diana Zaragoza
Directory Open
Historian Diana Hoffman
Volunteer Coordinator
Lynn Arner
Committee Chairs
Green Committee
eScrip Open
Melody Geodde-Matthews
Rena Nayyar and Anna
Membership Kristen Hill
Counselor’s Corner
Your child’s first report card of the
school year will be mailed home
very soon and this is an important
time to take a close look with your
child at how they are doing. The
progress report is intended to give
your student feedback on how
the first five weeks of school have
gone and should inspire a home
conversation about each class. This
is an important time for families to
revisit school goals and in class and
after school routines. It’s important
for students to recognize what are
the numerous factors that are supporting them in their day and also
what are the possible barriers. Have
your child think about the norms of
the classroom. Are they participating in class? Have they connected
with the teacher? If a student is
receiving a grade that they are concerned about they should take the
grade apart, seek out the teacher
for more information and schedule
an after-school meeting. Your child’s
counselor can help facilitate this
conversation. We want to build a
skill set in your children that does
not only satisfy the short term, but
instills a lifelong process of learning
and problem solving.
If your student is in need of tutoring support, they could always visit
“Student Study Space.” This
after-school program meets in the
library, and is facilitated by Tina Otterson ([email protected]), one
of our remarkable paraeducators. It
runs Monday–Thursday from 3:30–
4:30 p.m. If your child is struggling
in Math, they could drop into math
tutoring Tuesdays and Thursdays,
3:30–4:30 p.m. The location rotates
depending on which math teacher
is hosting. Calendars of locations
are posted in the math classes and
available in the main office. This
year we also have a new club offered by our UC Davis AVID tutors.
The program is T.E.A.M (Together
Emerson Aggie Mentors). Information about meeting days and times
will be announced shortly in the bulletin. This is an opportunity for our
students to connect with college
students and give an early introduction and advice on what is required
to get to college and be a successful student.
Thank you for taking the time to
read the newsletter and being
an informed Junior High parent!
Please know that the Emerson/
DaVinci counseling staff is here to
support you and your child during
their junior high years. Get in touch
if you need any information or you
have questions about resources
and services.
Our Counselors are: Michael Leahy,
7th and 8th Grade Emerson Counselor; Cara Leppington, 8th and 9th
Grade DaVinci Counselor; and Stephanie McGrath, 7th Grade DaVinci and
9th Grade Emerson Counselor
Academic Updates
We will be featuring reports
from the different academic
departments throughout
the year.
Social Studies
Our 8th grade historians are
finishing up a unit on the
geography of the USA. As
September turns to October, students will remember back to 7th grade about the reasons for European
exploration and settlement. That will transition us into
looking at life in the 13 English Colonies. Beyond that
we will look at Colonial unrest and America’s Revolution. Along the way we will continue to pay close
attention to the world around us through our weekly
current events. In order to make a “better world,” stu-
dents can also be looking for ways in which they can
use their time and talents to help their neighborhood,
Emerson, and Davis community as a whole.
9th Grade Geography students have just wrapped up
the first unit reviewing and introducing basic geographic concepts and themes. Our next unit focuses on
climate and vegetation and how human settlement and
economies are affected specifically in North America.
Science—Our Garden Needs You!
Emerson science teachers will be applying some science concepts in the garden this year. We would love
to have help getting the garden ready and welcome
volunteers. Please contact Rena Nayyar at [email protected]
djusd.k12.ca.us (first letters are r n NOT m) or Michael
Howell at [email protected] if you are interested. Thank you.