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Family Handbook 2010-2011
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
III. IMPORTANT DETAILS AND PROCEDURES
A. SCHOOL HOURS
D. FOOD ALLERGY POLICYE. COMMUNICATION
F. EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSINGS
G. FIRE, SHELTER-IN-PLACE, AND TORNADO DRILLS
H. PERSONAL PROPERTY/LOST AND FOUND
I. PET VISITS
J. BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
K. CELL PHONES
L. ELECTRONIC DEVICES
N. USE OF STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHS AND STUDENT WORK
O. GUIDELINES FOR COMPUTER USAGE AT EMERSON SCHOOL
Q. USE OF THE BUILDING AND GROUNDS BY EMERSON AND NON-EMERSON GROUPS
R. FACULTY GIFTS
A. THE HEAD OF SCHOOL, MR. JERRY LOEWEN
B. ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL, MS. PEGGY WILSON
C. THE SCHOOL COORDINATORS AND DEAN OF STUDENTS
D. HOMEROOM TEACHERS
E. MIDDLE SCHOOL ADVISORS
F. THE FACULTY AND STAFF
G. THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE
H. THE BUSINESS OFFICE
I. THE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE
V. PARENT INVOLVEMENT
A. THE EMERSON SCHOOL PARENT ORGANIZATION – ESPO
B. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
VI. WHAT AND WHERE
C. LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER (LMC)
E. FIELD TRIPS
VII. HOW THE DAY GOES
A. CURBSIDE DROP-OFF/PICK-UP
B. EARLY ARRIVAL – BEFORE SCHOOL CARE
C. THE SCHOOL DAY
E. AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
F. ENRICHMENT CLASSES AND MUSIC LESSONS
VIII. ACADEMIC INFORMATION
C. STUDENT PERFORMANCE
E. MIDDLE SCHOOL ELECTIVES
IX. SPECIAL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
X. SUMMER AT EMERSON
XII. INDEPENDENT SCHOOL FINANCES
Attachment - Emerson Technology Acceptable Use Policy
I. EMERSON SCHOOL MISSION AND PHILOSOPHY
A. EDUCATIONAL MISSION
The mission of Emerson School is to provide a whole child, multiple method approach to instruction for gifted and for academically talented students. Emerson School encourages creativity, problem solving, and the development of basic skills, while providing a warm, supportive environment that promotes responsibility for oneself and others.
Children learn best in a caring environment in which each child’s unique gifts and talents are celebrated. People learn with different styles and at different rates. Teachers work to accommodate individual needs, and to foster positive, realistic self-concepts. They work to promote self-reliance and self-discipline in students. In our school, cognitive and creative risk-taking become safe and valued. Our atmosphere encourages mutual respect. Children learn by doing, by being listened to, by participating, and by working together.
In working with gifted and academically talented students, Emerson seeks to teach basic skills, encourage higher-level thinking, and to nurture creativity. We address the needs of the whole child, and recognize the need for children to develop intellectually, artistically, physically, socially, and emotionally. The school endeavors to instill important values, including respect, responsibility, compassion, and honesty. In doing so, we promote the importance of contributing to the Emerson School community and the larger communities in which we live.
C. STATEMENT ON GIFTEDNESS
The term “gifted” describes children who possess one or more unusually heightened abilities: excellent academic aptitude; sophisticated abstract, creative, or divergent thinking; an extensive vocabulary; a penetrating sense of perception, strong powers of observation, and/or a keen sense of humor; distinct emotional sensitivity and/or intensity; extraordinary memory; outstanding talent in music and/or other arts. The distinctive qualities which gifted students exhibit in some areas may exist in combination with average aptitude or relative weakness in others. Perhaps not surprisingly, since these students’ gifts place them so far ahead of the “norm” in significant ways, uneven (asynchronous) patterns of development tend to characterize this population, and gifted students tend not to conform to any one stereotype or checklist of traits.
D. ROLE OF GIFTED EDUCATION
Exceptional in their gifts, gifted students, like all children, may also be affected by learning differences, attention issues, or emotional difficulties which can interfere with self-expression and performance. These children can be susceptible to heightened levels of anxiety because they are often highly aware both of their gifts and of discrepancies between their strengths and their weaknesses. They may expect themselves or may be expected by others to achieve perfection. By providing appropriately challenging curricula, enlightened guidance, and an atmosphere of ongoing caring, support, and encouragement, educational programs can lead gifted children into balanced development, helping them to make maximum use of their potential, to lead happy, engaged, rich lives, and to make significant contributions to society.
E. STUDENT DIVERSITY
Emerson School provides a sanctuary in which all students, faculty, administrators, and parents are safe, respected, and valued. Emerson School strives to create a diverse learning environment that will best prepare students to thrive in a global, multicultural, and interconnected society. According to ISACS definitions, diversity reflects “quantifiable differences embodied in age, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, and family status,” while multiculturalism is “a quality of life characterized by acceptance and inclusion, and is manifested in the school’s climate, curriculum, and shared common values.”
F. THE EMERSON SCHOOL PARTNERSHIP
Emerson School is accredited by ISACS (Independent School Association of the Central States). Criteria for accreditation include an adherence to a model of decision making that is outlined in Attachment A. This model outlines how the Board of Trustees, the faculty, parents, and the Head of School work together to assure that an efficient and responsive educational environment is maintained.
The best education occurs in a community in which the student, the teacher, and the parent/guardian work in partnership. Such partnerships involve trust, mutual respect, and common understanding. Positive connections between home and school have a direct benefit on every student’s learning. Even though different perspectives are understandable when educating a student, and while conflicts are sometimes inevitable, communication and cooperation are essential in helping that student succeed.
As a school responsive to the needs of each child, Emerson School is a community that requires the resources and commitment of everyone involved. The school offers a challenging and creative curriculum, and also strives to understand and appreciate each student and his/her educational needs. Ongoing communication about how to provide quality education is essential.
Students as Partners
The students who attend Emerson School possess a range of gifts and talents. The Admissions Committee seeks students who would benefit from the kind of education the school offers. The child who gains the most from Emerson has many of the following attributes:
- Respectful of self and others
- Academically capable
- Strong character and integrity
- Actively engaged in learning
- Self-confident but not arrogant
- Eager to learn
- Able to make good judgments
- Positive contributor to the life of the school
- Independent, analytical, and reflective thinker
- Able to manage his/her own time
- Able to make decisions and solve problems
- Interested in a variety of activities and issues
- Effective communicator
The School as a Partner
Professional educators are attracted to Emerson primarily because of their desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children. The faculty, staff, and administration strive to remain current with educational practices. The school seeks talented and student-centered individuals who hold themselves to the highest standards.
It is Emerson’s responsibility to determine curriculum, discipline, and general standards and procedures concerning the functioning and direction of the school. The character of the institution is expressed through many forms, including academics, fine arts, and athletic programs, as well as through community service, health and wellness, and numerous other curricular and extracurricular activities.
The faculty evaluates student progress frequently, and communicates that progress to parents regularly. Teachers strive to understand the whole child, and offer appropriate support to students needing help or enrichment. Such support is most successful when the home and the school are in partnership.
Emerson staff members, no matter what their role, strive to maintain a personable and professional relationship with all of the school’s constituents. The resulting community is a dynamic and complex one meant to serve the students’ education well.
Parents as Partners
Parents rightly hold high expectations of Emerson School, just as the school holds itself to high standards. They are also typically proud of the school and of their child’s successes. A positive relationship with school strengthens the educational partnership, which strengthens students’ learning. Parents appreciate the school’s belief that education is a high priority in a family’s life, which can involve sacrifice as well as gain.
Just as teachers, staff, and administrators strive to be professional, Emerson School parents are expected to maintain a good relationship with the school. They recognize that the more positively they represent Emerson to the community at large, the stronger Emerson becomes for them and their children. They support their children and the school, knowing that the building and maintaining of a community requires resources of many types.
Understandably, there are occasional conflicts and problems, and the faculty and administration want to know when an issue requires attention. Working toward an acceptable resolution with the student’s best interest at heart is everyone’s goal.
Please know it is your prerogative and duty to call the school to report any and all situations that you believe are concerning, inappropriate, or dangerous. Rest assured that the school would investigate vigorously any reports, since we prize and value the reputation of our school as being a safe, secure, and welcoming environment. At the same time, be prepared to discount rumors: Remember the old adage, “If you only believe half of what your child tells you about school, we’ll only believe half of what they tell us about home.”
Parents often serve as volunteers at the school and attend a number of their children’s activities. They also attend parent-teacher conferences, meet when necessary with faculty and administrators, and participate in a variety of events. Emerson is a small school, and the role that parents play is valued and appreciated.
In Emerson’s caring community, we hope that students will develop self esteem, respect for others, and a cooperative attitude. We live in an environment of strong trust, with high expectations and few rules. We believe that respect for the rights, feelings, belongings, and safety of others should guide the attitudes and behavior of students in all areas of school life. As students prove themselves trustworthy, the school offers them increasing freedom and responsibility.
B. CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITES OF EACH STUDENT AND FAMILY
Our actions, our language, our attire, what we do, what we say and how we appear to others are all a part of what is meant by conduct. The following responsibilities are more than a list of rules; they embody an attitude drawn from the philosophy and approach of Emerson School.
In order for all students at Emerson School to receive an equal opportunity for quality education and social development, the following expectations for behavior have been established. Students shall follow these basic guidelines in their daily attendance and when representing Emerson during off-campus activities. Behavioral expectations are the same for the After School Program as they are during the school day.
1. All students should come to school prepared to be involved directly in their personal, academic, and social development, as well as that of their classmates.
2. Demonstration of respect for oneself and others is a primary and fundamental requirement of each student’s participation in an Emerson classroom. Verbal, physical, or other outward demonstrations of disrespect for others are not acceptable and may result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
3. Use of inappropriate language, whether written or spoken, is never acceptable at Emerson School.
4. Respect for the personal property of others and of the school is expected. Cleanliness of hallways, restrooms, and classrooms is the responsibility of all members of the student body. Running in the halls, playing ball inside the building, and general roughness are inappropriate and are not permitted.
5. In the classroom, students must show respect for other students’ desire to learn and participate, as well as respect the teacher who leads the class. Disruption of lessons is unacceptable and the student will be asked to leave the room if such behavior is exhibited.
6. Emerson School is a closed campus for the entire school day. Students may only leave the grounds with permission of, or in the company of, an authorized adult.
7. Honesty and integrity are central to Emerson School. Lying, cheating, stealing, vandalism, or plagiarism are considered serious offenses and will result in disciplinary action up to and including expulsion.
8. All students are expected to arrive on time and to be prepared with all necessary assignments and materials.
9. The use or possession of drugs (controlled substances) by a student at Emerson School is forbidden and will result in consequences up to and including expulsion. Being under the influence or in the presence of alcohol or tobacco is also a violation of school policy and will result in immediate action by the school. The administration of prescribed medication must be done in accordance with Emerson policy.
10. The possession or use of weapons by a student at Emerson School is forbidden and will result in consequences up to and including expulsion.
11. Students, parents, teachers and staff alike are to treat each other with the respect that underlies the list of behavioral expectations above.
Emerson School’s Honor Code states that each student should be honest, respectful, and responsible. Students deserve to be in a school environment in which their peers follow this code.
Honesty means being truthful to other people and to oneself.
Respect includes a regard for other people’s belongings and feelings, including respect for school property.
Responsibility for one’s actions involves being dependable. Students at Emerson are expected to follow through with what they say they will do.
Conclusion: In order for this Code to be successful, we must all agree to be honest, respectful, and responsible. If we follow this Honor Code, Emerson will be the kind of place we want it to be.
Honor Code Violations
Honor Code violations are some of the most serious offenses at Emerson School. If students have questions about whether something they want to do or something they have seen others doing is dishonest or a potential Honor Code violation, they should always consult with a teacher, advisor, or other staff member. The following examples do not comprise an exhaustive list, but they should serve to illustrate the principles of the Honor Code.
- Cheating or plagiarism on any work is an Honor Code violation because it is dishonest. Cheating can be defined to include seeking, accepting, giving, or using unauthorized assistance or unfair advantage on any assignment.
- Looking at someone else’s paper during a test or quiz is dishonest.
- Using someone else’s homework as one’s own is dishonest.
- Copying a homework assignment, workbook page, or map is considered cheating.
- Giving or getting information about a test or quiz before or while taking it is dishonest.
- Collaborating with someone on an assignment or project can be considered cheating unless the assignment calls for collaboration.
- Copying paragraphs, sentences, or parts of sentences from someone else’s writing without giving proper credit is plagiarism.
- Forging a signature is an Honor Code violation because it is dishonest.
- Destruction of school property is an Honor Code violation because it is disrespectful and irresponsible.
- Inappropriate language (be it vulgar, profane or rude) is an Honor Code violation because it is disrespectful.
- Fighting, hitting, bullying, and teasing are considered serious violations of the Honor Code.
- Any kind of theft is considered an Honor Code violation.
- Failure to follow the Technology Acceptable Use Policy is an Honor Code violation.
- C. DRESS CODE
Each student should dress in a neat, clean, and appropriate manner for the school day and for after school activities. Spaghetti straps, clothing revealing undergarments, or excessively short skirts or shorts should not be worn to school. Skirts and shorts should be mid-thigh when standing. Tops may be sleeveless and without collars, but may not be cut too low in front, back, or sides, and must not expose the midriff or cleavage. No undergarments may show under tops or pants and shorts. Students who are dressed inappropriately will be asked to change clothes or will be sent home.
Graduation Dress Code:
For girls: no strapless/backless dresses, spaghetti straps, or low-neck lines. If you have a question about a dress, it’s best to have your daughter bring the dress to the Middle School Office Manager, Mrs. Hodges, for approval. Since the graduates will be sitting in front of a large group of guests, it is important that skirt and dress lengths allow for discreet coverage. No tennis shoes or jeans should be worn, but dress pants are fine.
For boys: no jeans, tennis shoes, sandals, t-shirts, hats, shorts, or sweats. In the past, most boys have worn suits, but a dress shirt, tie, belt, and dress shoes will be fine.
Statement of Purpose and Scope
Emerson School is firmly committed to a campus free from bullying, sexual harassment, or harassment due to sexual orientation. The purpose of this policy is to promote respectful interaction between the members of our community. This policy applies to sexual harassment only and not sexual assault or abuse. The Head of School or Dean of Students will handle cases of assault or abuse immediately.
Harassment of any kind, including by electronic means, directed at any member of the school community, is prohibited. This policy includes conduct on campus or at any activity connected with the school, including athletic contests, concerts, and social functions.
Definition of Harassment
Threats of violence, name-calling, put-downs, cruel rumors, social isolation, threatening looks, or other abusive behavior; or any intimidating, hostile, offensive, or inappropriate verbal or physical conduct may constitute harassment. Sexual harassment may include, but is not limited to the following: verbal harassment or abuse; oral or written, graphic communication of a sexual nature; pressure for sexual activity; repeated remarks to a person with sexual or demeaning implications; or unwelcome touching.
Electronic harassment includes the use of, but is not limited to the following: email, blogs, chat rooms, IM, or social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace, to carry out the aforementioned definitions of verbal and written harassment.
Responsibility of the School Community
All members of the school community are responsible for their conduct and should treat others with respect and dignity. Any individual who believes that he or she is the recipient of harassment or who witnesses harassment of any kind has a responsibility to the school community to take appropriate action. The recipient of any behavior that may constitute sexual harassment should make it known as soon as possible that the behavior is unwelcome. Behavior of a sexual nature that continues after identified as unwelcome should be reported to responsible school authorities. If the recipient chooses, he or she may ask a faculty member to speak to the instigators on his or her behalf. Any person who witnesses behavior that is not welcome should assist the recipient in his or her efforts to stop the possible harassment.
Efforts should include informing the offending person that his or her behavior is unwelcome and/or reporting the incident to responsible school authorities.
Reporting and Investigation Process
Reports of possible harassment of any kind should be made to the Dean of Students, School Counselor, advisor, or Head of School. Any report of harassment will be treated seriously. Investigations will be handled as confidentially as possible and with compassion toward all parties involved. There shall be no retaliation against any person for reporting possible harassment or participating in an investigation under this policy. If there is any retaliation or a false accusation made toward any person making a report or participating in an investigation, the person or persons responsible shall be subject to the consequences outlined below.
E. THE DISCIPLINE PROCESS
Any consequences assigned by Emerson will be educational as well as punitive, with the goal of guiding the student to learn from the experience. Each infraction will be handled on an individual basis, coordinated by the Dean of Students, or the student’s teacher or advisor. The seriousness of the behavior, the circumstances surrounding it, and whether or not it is a first or repeated offense will all be taken into consideration. Consequences may include the following: a project (for example, a research paper), attendance at an appropriate educational workshop, community service, the loss of certain school privileges, suspension, or expulsion.
The Head of School, and/or Dean of Students, will make a final decision about the consequences. When an infraction occurs, the following steps will be taken:
1. The student will talk to a staff member about what happened.
2. The staff member will decide whether to take immediate action and will notify the student’s advisor, teacher, After School Director, a coordinator, Dean of Students, or Head of School. Parents will be informed of the incident as soon as possible.
3. Depending on the seriousness of the incident, the advisor, teacher, coordinator, Dean of Students, and/or Head of School (and other appropriate staff members) will meet to determine a course of action.
4. The course of action will be communicated to the student, parents, and appropriate staff.
5. Consequences will be put into place.
Possible consequences include, but are not limited to:
- Writing a letter or apology
- Natural or appropriate consequences including restitution
- In-school suspension
- Suspension from school
- If suspended, the student will not be able to attend after-school activities on the day of the suspension (child care, practices, games, or dances)
- Suspension from after-school activities/child-care (on days when student is in attendance at school)
- Behavioral probation
- Conditional renewal of contract
- Non-renewal of contract
- Expulsion from school
- III. IMPORTANT DETAILS AND PROCEDURES
- A. SCHOOL HOURS
Lower School (Kindergarten) 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Lower School (Grades 1-5) 8:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Middle School 8:00 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.
Morning Child Care 7:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.
After School Program 2:45 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The policy of Emerson School is that academic work comes first. We expect students to be in the classroom on time. We understand that there may be occasions where students may miss class, such as a pre-arranged appointment or obligation, funeral, or other family emergency.
DO NOT SEND SICK CHILDREN TO SCHOOL. A child who is not feeling well will have difficulty learning. Keeping sick children at home helps prevent the spread of contagious diseases.
Any child who is not well enough to go outside for recess is not well enough to be in school. A note from a physician is needed to exempt a student from recess or physical education.
Please keep your child home for the entire school day if he/she is sick the night before or in the morning, if he/she has had a fever of 100 degrees or more, or if he/she has vomited within the past 24 hours. Children may not stay at school with a fever or vomiting.
Unexpected absences due to illness or other emergencies should be dealt with in the following way:
- Notify the office by 8:30 a.m. for middle school and 9:00 a.m. for the lower school each day your child will be absent.
- If notification is not received, the absence will be marked “unexcused.” After 24 hours, the absence and/or tardy will not be changed in the recording system.
- All absences and tardies appear on the student’s transcript.
- In Middle School, it is the student’s responsibility to find out what work has been missed and to make arrangements to complete the work in a timely manner.
- If chronic absenteeism is determined to be a problem, a meeting will be scheduled to discuss goals and potential consequences. Notes from the meeting will be kept in the student’s file.
- If a student needs to leave the school for a portion of the school day, he/she must bring a note from a parent/guardian and sign out in the office. Students must wait inside the building until a parent or guardian arrives to pick them up.
- We expect students to attend school on all scheduled days. If a student is planning to be away for more than a portion of a school day, please refer to the section on pre-arranged absences.
- Students must attend a full day of school to be eligible to participate in after school activities including athletics, drama, band and orchestra assemblies and concerts, and social events.
- Late Arrival
All students are expected to be in the classroom, ready to begin the day’s lessons at the appropriate starting time. Excessive tardiness will result in review of the student’s performance, discussion with the student’s family, and consideration about whether advancement to the next grade is possible.
Late students need to sign in at the appropriate office BEFORE going to their classroom.
- Tardies will be “excused” for medical or dental appointments, family emergency, or weather related problems ONLY.
Unexcused tardies appear on the student’s transcript.
- Missed work may or may not be made up at the discretion of the teacher.
- A meeting will take place if missed classes or late arrival continues to be a problem. Goals and potential consequences will be outlined and kept in the student’s file.
- Pre-Arranged Absence
If a student must miss school for reasons other than illness or a family emergency, you must:
- Notify the school at least a week before the scheduled absence.
- Complete a “Pre-arranged Absence Form” which requires signatures from all of the student’s teachers (available in the office).
- Return the form to the appropriate office for photocopying.
- Ensure that missed work be made up in a timely manner.
- C. MEDICATION
Medication should be administered during school hours ONLY when an alternative solution does not exist. Students cannot keep medication on their persons or in their lockers. Students should never take medication that the office is not aware of. An “Authorization for the Administration of Medication During School Hours Form” must be completed (available in the office). IT IS THE STUDENT’S RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT TO THE OFFICE AT THE TIME MEDICATION IS TO BE GIVEN.
Prescription medication forms must be completed and signed by the prescribing physician.
- Non-prescription medication forms must be completed and signed by the parent/guardian. (The dose may not exceed the package recommendation without a doctor’s note).
- All medication must be in the original container.
- Medication is stored in the office where it is not accessible to children.
- Refrigerated medication is stored in the staff refrigerator.
- Required medications will be taken on field trips.
- A physician’s order stating that a medication must remain in the child’s possession at all times just be provided to the school by the parent/guardian.
- Designated Emerson staff will administer medication according to physician/parent instructions.
- Medication administration is documented.
- School staff will administer an injectable medication such as epinephrine, only in a life-threatening situation. 911 will be called immediately.
- Unused medication will be released to parent/guardian only.
- Unclaimed medication will be destroyed at the end of the school year.
- D. FOOD ALLERGY POLICY
Emerson School recognizes that the number of our students who have potentially life-threatening food allergies is growing. We acknowledge our responsibility to develop a plan for these students which both details emergency treatment and also proactively addresses conditions to prevent exposure to specific allergens. We believe that school and family should act as a team to protect these children, while also thoughtfully encouraging their independence.
We also take seriously our responsibility to educate our families, teachers, and students about life-threatening food allergies, hoping to create a community that sensitively differentiates strategies for food allergies in the same spirit as we support different learning styles and other health- related student needs.
Emerson School offers the following guidelines and expectations with regard to students with food allergies:
1. Students with food allergies will eat only what parents/guardians provide from home, including food for lunches, snacks, birthdays, or other celebrations. If a student does not bring a snack or lunch, he/ she may call home to request that a parent or guardian bring in food. When food is not available from home, the school will not provide substitute food.
2. Health plans for some students will dictate that they need to eat lunch at a table designated as not allowing their food allergen. Students who need to eat at such a table due to nut allergies may ask other students without allergies to sit with them only if the other students are eating a lunch that is free of nut products.
3. The Ann Arbor Public Schools (our bus provider) has a policy of no eating or open food on school buses. However, AAPS wants to make parents/guardians aware that while the bus driver is driving and keeping his/her eyes on the road, the no food policy is difficult to enforce. Students and parents/guardians need to be aware that buses are an area of higher risk for students with food allergies. The buses are used for many different purposes and events. Buses are periodically cleaned; however, cleaning is not scheduled prior to every use.
4. Emerson School typically does not allow food to be taken out on the playground during school hour however, the school cannot guarantee that food will never be brought to the playground by a student without a supervisor’s knowledge.. On the rare and special occasions when food is prepared, serviced, and /or eaten on the playground as part of a pre-planned school event, efforts will be made to restrict the food to an identified area. Parents/ guardians will be notified in advance. Because of the nature of such events, Emerson wants to make parents/guardians aware that playgrounds are an area of higher risk for students with food allergies.
5. Emerson School emphasizes that all children, including those with life-threatening food allergies, are welcome to participate in all school activities. However, parents/guardians of children with these serious allergies should be aware that circumstances may occasionally occur during school events which present a higher than usual risk level. If possible, parents/guardians should provide supervision during these events to keep the risk level as low as possible. These include, but are not limited to: bake sales, events with international foods, potluck meals, catered meals, and all-school social events. The school strongly encourages parents to attach a list of ingredients to food they bring to these events.
6. Substitute teachers will be informed of any students with life-threatening food allergies. Lower School and/or Middle School office managers will present each substitute teacher upon arrival with a copy of the “Potentially Life Threatening Asthma/Allergy List.”
7. Emerson School recommends that parents of students with food allergies carefully educate their children about the ways that he/she can contribute to protecting himself/herself from exposure.
Emerson School is unable to guarantee that your student with life-threatening allergies will not be exposed accidentally to his/her allergens in the school environment. However, Emerson will undertake reasonable efforts to keep his/her risks as minimal as possible. Thank you for sharing information about your child to support us in our efforts. Please contact the school immediately if you have any questions or concerns about plans to accommodate your child’s needs.
*Emerson School thanks the Ann Arbor Public School task force for allowing Emerson to adopt several of AAPS’ written food allergy guidelines and practices.
The staff, parents, and students of the Emerson community are united by the common desire to create and maintain open, direct, and efficient channels of communication between home and school. However, achieving common objectives is a complex task in a school of our size and requires both a set of formal procedures and informal protocols to work well.
During the first few weeks of the school year, parents are invited to attend Curriculum Night to meet their child’s teachers and to learn about a typical day.
Parent teacher conferences are held in the fall. These conferences give parents a chance to hear about their child’s progress and raise specific questions that may have arisen. Parents should feel comfortable contacting their child’s teacher or Middle School advisor any time they have a question or concern about school. Please do not enter the classrooms after the school day has begun. If you wish to see a teacher, please call or email to set up an appointment
During the school year, Emerson School produces an electronic newsletter most weeks. These are distributed electronically on the last school day of each week. The newsletter is posted on the Emerson School website and contains calendar information, notice of upcoming meetings, descriptions of upcoming classes and activities, ESPO information, etc. You can find the newsletter at www.emerson-school.org. Questions about the Newsletter and Website should be directed to our Director of Marketing and Communications, Jorie Clark. Weekly newsletter submissions should be sent to the Assistant to the Head of School, Lisa Psarouthakis.
Emerson School uses RenWeb as its Student Information System (SIS). RenWeb is a web-based application that gives parents online access to school forms, their student and family information, notices, school calendar and other school information. School forms and student and family information will be available via RenWeb initially.
The Emerson directory is available through ParentWeb, a limited number of printed copies are available in the Lower School Office ($8 each). This directory is intended to be used only for school-related communication by Emerson School students, parents, faculty, and staff.
Parents are welcome at school any time. However, appointments should be made ahead of time if you desire a conference with a particular faculty member. All visitors are required to check in at the Middle School office.
The phones in the offices and classrooms are for school use only. Teachers and office staff will make sensible exceptions if a child is distressed or has a compelling need to communicate with home. The office will call parents if a child is sick or injured. Students who miss the bus will be sent to childcare and then assisted in calling home.
When parents need to contact their children at school, the office staff in both the Lower and Middle School will attempt to deliver the message as promptly as possible. Middle school messages are taped to the student’s locker. In case of serious emergencies, students can be pulled from classes to come to the phone. Please do not call or text your child during school hours.
Messages received in the office after 2:00 p.m. are often difficult to deliver before dismissal. Please try to get messages into the office earlier in the day.
F. EMERGENCY SCHOOL CLOSINGS
School closings will be announced on WXYZ-TV (Channel 7 NEWS), WDIV-TV (Channel 4 NEWS), and FOX-TV (Channel 2). WAAM (1600a.m.) in Ann Arbor will also carry closing information. Emerson utilizes a service called SchoolReach to make automated phone calls to all Emerson families in the case of a school closing. Please be sure your contact phone numbers are up-to-date in ParentsWeb. In general, a decision to close school is made by 6:00 a.m. on those days when inclement weather exists. The decision to close is made solely at the discretion of the Head of School. If Ann Arbor Public Schools are closed, Emerson will also be closed, although the Head of School may close school for other reasons as well.
In the case of an emergency, specific plans will enable us to enact a “Shelter-in- Place,” which involves moving to designated locations within the school. We have also prepared a School Evacuation Plan, which outlines procedures to take all children off campus to a safe location near the school. These plans, along with steps to be taken in case of fire or tornado, will be practiced regularly by all members of the school community.
If it ever becomes necessary to implement any aspect of these plans, parents will be notified through the email communication system, and an automated emergency phone system. The children’s safety is our most important concern at all times and there are a few ways in which you can help.
Be sure that the school has current contact information and email addresses for each Emerson family.
- Make certain that all information in your child’s emergency contact list is accurate.
- Make sure that your child always has appropriate outdoor clothing, in case it becomes necessary to leave the building.
- G. FIRE, SHELTER-IN-PLACE, AND TORNADO DRILLS
Periodically the school conducts fire, tornado, and Shelter-in-Place drills. When the fire alarm sounds, teachers will escort their classes outside and away from the building using the nearest exit. Visiting parents, siblings, guests, or other non-Emerson staff or students must also immediately leave the building through the nearest exit. Office staff will verify that the building is empty. A staff member will be available to direct the fire department to the scene.
Once it has been determined that the building is safe, the office staff will inform all that they may return to the building. No one should re-enter the building until the all clear has been issued.
The Shelter-in-Place procedure would be used if a threatening person has entered the building. When this drill is initiated, teachers will do a sweep of the hallway immediately outside of their classrooms and bring any students found in the vicinity into their rooms. They will lock their doors and gather their students in the least visible place in the classroom. Then, with door locked, they will stay quiet and in place until another communication indicates otherwise.
When a tornado warning is issued, teachers will escort their classes to the safest designated inner building locations. Visiting parents, siblings, guests, or other non-Emerson staff will also be escorted to these designated areas.
H. PERSONAL PROPERTY/LOST AND FOUND
The School cannot accept responsibility for missing items. All clothing and school supplies should be labeled clearly. Lost and Found bins are located near the Lower School entrance. Items not claimed will periodically be donated to a local charity.
I. PET VISITS
Emerson has always been, and will continue to be, a community that enjoys family pets. To ensure the safety of all members of the school community, we have established “pet-visit guidelines.” All animals should be leashed or contained at all times and under the direct control of an adult. Animal visits should be pre-arranged, and pets should not be brought into the building on a daily basis out of consideration for those community members with animal allergies and to avoid potential liability issues for the school. We do, however, recognize that there may be special circumstances surrounding a pet visit, and we will make every effort to accommodate those situations.
J. BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
Birthday parties and private parties are to be guided by a spirit of inclusion and sensitivity to the feelings of everyone. A simple celebration in the classroom is fine. Check with your child’s teacher about possible birthday treats and a convenient time to celebrate. Please do not distribute private party invitations at school. In the case of slumber parties, please drop off gear at the home of the host; it should not accompany the child to school.
Students may wish to donate books to the Emerson library in honor of their birthdays. Books will receive a special bookplate inscribed with the student’s name. For the timing and selection of books, please see the librarian.
K. CELL PHONES
Cell phones brought to school must remain “off” and not used during school hours. Cell phones may only be used between 2:45 p.m. and 3:05 p.m. to contact parents. Student using cell phones during school hours will be taken away and given to the Dean of Students. Please do not call or text your child on his/her cell phone during school hours.
L. ELECTRONIC DEVICES
Emerson School does not allow students to use electronic devices at school. Items that students may not use include, but are not limited to, iPods, MP3 Players, and portable game devices. Students will not be permitted to use these items during the school day or during morning or afternoon childcare. It is important to the learning environment of the school and the success of each child that students participate fully in school, and we feel that the use of these items is distracting. All items of this nature that are found in school will be kept in the Lower or Middle School Office until retrieved by the student’s parent or guardian.
Emerson School is partnering with MBS Direct to provide textbook services. This program provides convenient online ordering, accurate and timely fulfillment, and overall service for our parents and students. Directions for purchasing textbooks can be found at www.emerson-school.org under the Parent Resources link. The school will notify parents of opportunities to resell their Middle School student’s books through MBS Direct at the end of the school year.
All Middle School Students are required to purchase an Emerson planner. The planner will be billed to your student account and passed out the first day of school.
All 6th graders will use the same LA/SS and Math books. Every student received his/her first foreign language choice, so please purchase books for that class. Science materials will be distributed the first week of school.
All 7th graders will use the same LA/SS, Science, and Algebra books. Algebra 1 and Algebra 1-2 classes will use the same books.
All 8th graders will use the same LA/SS and Science books. If your child is moving into Geometry, you will need to purchase a geometry book; otherwise, he/she will use the same Algebra book.
Student schedules for 2010-2011 will be on the top shelf of students’ lockers the first day of school. A list of locker assignments will be posted on the glass doors of the Middle School entrance on the first day of school. All enrollment paperwork, including the green health form, must be completed and turned in to the office before Middle School students will receive their schedules.
Most books for Lower School students are provided as needed by Lower School teachers.
N. USE OF STUDENT PHOTOGRAPHS AND STUDENT WORK
In the normal course of the school year, photographs of students will be taken by the Development Office for use in both in-house and external publications and advertisements.
Parents who do not wish photographs or student work of their children used this way should contact the Development Office, in writing, unless they have indicated their wishes on the online release form filled out during enrollment.
Occasionally, representatives of local print and electronic media photograph or tape school activities. They generally do not seek permission to use pictures of student participating in newsworthy events. The school does not have the ability to censor such press reporting. However, we will make every effort to protect all our students from exploitation by the media.
O. GUIDELINES FOR COMPUTER USAGE AT EMERSON SCHOOL
Students are granted access to Emerson’s computer labs, laptop carts, digital cameras and camcorders, and other digital learning tools. Students are also granted access to Emerson’s wired and wireless data network, student web, file and multimedia servers, and licensed application software.
Having access to Emerson’s technology resources greatly benefits the student’s learning experience. It is important to understand that the use of Emerson’s technology resources is a privilege. Unauthorized use and/or access of the school’s computer hardware, data network, and/or any illegal use of software will not be tolerated.
A complete description of the rights and responsibilities of both the school and the student with regard to computer usage, including disciplinary action for violations, is contained in the Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for Technology which is attached to this handbook and included in the on-line re-enrollment process.
Technology Program Mission
The mission of the Emerson School Technology program is to enhance learning and teaching through increased access to information, communications, teacher training, collaboration, and dissemination of successful educational practices, methods, and resources. Each year, Emerson students have increased access to computers on campus. This access to computers and the latest technology benefits students, faculty, and parents throughout the School. Everyone in the Emerson community will have the opportunity to add to his/her own education and share information with others around the globe.
It is important to realize that the use of computers on the Emerson campus is a privilege. Unauthorized use and/or access of the school’s computer hardware and the Emerson network, or any illegal use of software will not be tolerated. While using the Internet through Emerson’s connection, you do so as a representative of Emerson School.
It is expected that all students will come to class prepared for the day’s work. If that work involves photocopies, the student should have all required copies made at a convenient copy center prior to coming to school. The photocopiers at school are not intended for student use.
All students who are using computers at home for their assignments should print that work at home. If a school computer is used, the printer at that location should be used. No printing is available for students at any other location. We ask that parents or students not use the school photocopiers.
Q. USE OF THE BUILDING AND GROUNDS BY EMERSON AND NON-EMERSON GROUPS
Only Emerson-sponsored events may be held in the building or on the grounds. This policy is necessary to ensure the security of our building and grounds.
Those who wish to use Emerson facilities for school-related activities must complete a “Room, Equipment and Event Reservations” form and submit it to the office at least two weeks prior to the planned event. A form is available in either school office.
R. FACULTY GIFTS
Emerson teachers appreciate the support extended to them by ESPO, classroom representatives, and individual parents. Buying modest gifts for teachers is allowed but not expected. Some classes choose to purchase a group gift for a teacher, at the option of the students and parents.
A. THE HEAD OF SCHOOL, MR. JERRY LOEWEN
Jerry Loewen is ultimately responsible for every aspect of the operation and management of the school, and acts as liaison among Board, faculty, and parents. He meets with teachers to discuss matters of curriculum and discipline, as well as the progress of individual students. Parents are encouraged to direct concerns to the faculty and staff first before contacting Jerry Loewen or Emerson’s Assistant Head of School, Ms. Peggy Wilson. However, they are happy to address issues that cannot be answered by the faculty and staff. To schedule an appointment with Jerry, contact Lisa Psarouthakis, Assistant to the Head of School, at 665-9005 ext. 303. To schedule an appointment with Peggy Wilson, contact Deborah Hodges, Middle School Office Manager, at 665-9005 ext. 301.
B. ASSISTANT HEAD OF SCHOOL, MS. PEGGY WILSON
Peggy Wilson’s responsibilities include the following: connecting with and supporting teachers (around issues such as student concerns, classroom management, assessment, and communications with parents), coordinating professional development for faculty and staff, interviewing substitutes, assisting with faculty evaluation, and following up on ISACS requirements and recommendations. She serves on the Admissions and Marketing Committees and assists with day-to-day operations of the school.
C. THE SCHOOL COORDINATORS AND DEAN OF STUDENTS
Kelly Vohland (Grades 3-5) and Sigrid Bower (K-2) are the Lower School Coordinators , Nancy Dever is the Middle School Coordinator, and Bill Schrock is the Dean of Students. They work closely with Jerry Loewen and the faculty, facilitate Middle School and Lower School staff meetings, and serve as resources to the faculty. They are often involved in disciplinary matters. The coordinators are part of a school calendar committee, which is responsible for coordinating all Emerson events and activities. In order to schedule ANY event, the appropriate form must be submitted to Bill Schrock for calendar committee review and action.
D. HOMEROOM TEACHERS
Lower School students are assigned a homeroom teacher who is responsible for teaching the core subjects and is each student’s primary contact. During the course of the day, students leave their homeroom classes to visit the various Specials teachers.
E. MIDDLE SCHOOL ADVISORS
Each student in the Middle School is assigned to an advisor. Advisors serve a number of important functions. They provide informal and personal guidance for students about all areas of school life. They serve as an advocate for students with other members of the faculty and administration. They collect and receive pertinent information from the faculty about their advisees and serve as a liaison for the parent with the school.
Students check in with their advisors and meet with them in groups on a regular basis throughout the school week. Advisory groups also discuss and engage in a variety of age-appropriate activities designed to meet the social, emotional, and physical needs to Middle School students. . Advisors often problem-solve with students about school issues, social issues, study strategies, etc. This informal guidance system does not preclude a student forming close attachments with other faculty, nor does it prohibit parents from dealing directly with the faculty or calling other school staff who might be helpful. It is a system that is designed to help support students and parents.
F. THE FACULTY AND STAFF (Email addresses are listed in the Faculty/Staff Directory)
Kindergarten Sigrid Bower, Marcia Keys
Grade 1 Jennifer Conn, Jill Nolan
Grade 2 Barb Grabbe, Ruth Wilson
Grade 3 Gillian Ferrington, Sarah Swiss, Jennifer Kime
Grade 4 Rob Bauman, Marchell Burgess, Sue Addy
Grade 5 Joyce Gerber, and Connie Weber
Lower School Science Kathy Salley (K-3), KellyVohland (4-5)
Lower School Art Jennifer Tanau
Lower School Music Michelle Borton (K-1), Judith Barthwell (2-5)
Lower School P.E. Bill Schrock, Lenny Dale
Lower School Technology Jan Walker
Lower School Spanish Miriam Del Valle
Lower School French Sarah Longcore
Lower School Japanese Kayo Nakamura
Language Arts Nancy Dever
Social Studies Kit Bennett
Science Tim Wilson
Math Dr. Mary Ellen Flaherty
Language Arts Beth Nazario
Social Studies Andy Zimmer
Science Pat Petiet
Math Sam Hirschman, Mary Spaller
Language Arts and Social Studies Victoria Rondeau,
Science Tim Wilson,
Math Sam Hirschman, Mary Spaller, Pat Petiet
French Jeri Elie
Latin Victoria Rondeau
Spanish Coral Lopez-Gomez
Japanese Kayo Nakamura
Drama Julie Moon
P.E. Bill Schrock
Health Dr. Mary Ellen Flaherty
Art Debbie Lamson
Strings Leslie Capozzoli
Band Michelle Borton
Librarian Linda Lakshminarayanan
Learning Specialists Cynthia Annchild
School Counselor Carrie Berkley
Head of School Jerry Loewen
Assistant Head Peggy Wilson
Assistant to Head of School Lisa Psarouthakis
Lower School Office Manager Joan Gregorka
Middle School Office Manager Deborah Hodges
Business Manager Carrie Holt
Assistant to Business Manager Robin Joye
Business Office Asst. Tammy Wakevainen
Director of Admissions Jackie Ebels
Director of Marketing and
Communications Jorie Clark
Director of Development Sue Johnson
Director of Technology Steve Wu
K-8 Technologist Renee Durrant
Curriculum Coordinator Andy Zimmer
Buildings & Grounds Supervisor Lee Horvath
Buildings & Grounds Asst. David Moon
Building & Grounds Asst. and
Equipment Technician Rolf Wucherer
Director of After School and
Summer Program Rose Hacker
Assitant to ASP/Summer Program Beth Muszkiewicz
G. THE ADMISSIONS OFFICE
The Director of Admissions, Jackie Ebels, is responsible for coordinating the testing and screening of student candidates. She can arrange tours for interested visitors. If you have any questions about admissions or financial aid, she can answer them. Contact Jackie at 665-5662 ext. 306 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Our greatest resource for new students is current families. If you know someone who might be interested in applying to Emerson, let her know and recommend that the prospective family contact her as well
H. THE BUSINESS OFFICE
The Business Manager, Carrie Holt, is responsible for the financial and risk management of the school. She meets with parents to arrange financial aid packages and payment plans during times of financial hardship. Carrie also manages the online and automatic payments. Parents are encouraged to contact Robin Joye, Assistant to the Business Manager, regarding specific billing concerns. To schedule an appointment with Carrie, contact Robin Joye, at 665-9005 ext. 118.
I. THE DEVELOPMENT OFFICE
The Director of Marketing and Communications, Jorie Clark, and The Director of Development, Sue Johnson, comprise our Development Team. They may be reached at (734) 665-5662 x 305 (Jorie) and x 312 (Sue). At Emerson, as at virtually all independent schools, tuition and academic fees cover only about 90% of expenses. The balance of the revenues comes from our fund-raising efforts. This approach enables the Board of Trustees to hold tuition costs down while giving families the flexibility and tax benefits of contributing to the best of their ability.
1. Each year, the Development Office, with the help of parent volunteers, organizes and coordinates two fund-raising efforts: the Annual Fund and the Auction. These are managed by the Director of Development. Emerson School’s first major Capital Campaign was successfully completed in March 2009 and funded the new K-2 classroom wing and the renovated Library Media Center. Additional Capital Campaigns, though currently not scheduled, will be conducted in the future to raise funds for major facility improvements, new facilities, or endowment.
2. As a condition of membership in the Emerson community, it is our hope that every parent will contribute some personal time, expertise, and effort to the welfare of the school, in addition to financial support. It is this extra element of involvement that makes Emerson truly a family school.
A list of ESPO events and volunteer opportunities can be viewed on the Emerson website at www.emerson-school.org.
All fundraising activities at Emerson School are coordinated by the Development Office.
Competition is high for our donors’ philanthropic dollars. Sensitivity to our donors’ needs, attention to timing of projects and solicitations, and care in setting projects and individual solicitation goals will maximize the success of the projects and preserve the good will of our constituents. The following procedures contain essential steps to assure coordination and communication between all interested parties.
Any school-sponsored event or activity held on or off campus to raise money or gather donations for any purpose should meet the criteria established by the Development Office. Examples of fundraising events are: ESPO events, Walkathon, ad solicitations for the yearbook and auction catalog, canned food drives, used clothing collections, and individual classroom projects, etc. The following are the criteria and procedures for gaining approval for a fundraising activity.
Whether a fundraising project involves a single solicitation for a small gift, or is a complicated proposal involving a large number of individuals, project design needs to begin with a conversation with the Development Office.
A Request for Fundraising Event form for the project or event should be prepared with the assistance of the Development Office. The timing of the event or activity should not conflict with other similar activities that are already on the school calendar, including planned solicitations.
The number of people solicited for a specific project should, in all cases, be limited to those people with a specific interest in that program, activity, or idea. Additionally, the frequency with which these individuals are asked to donate time, money, goods, or services to the school should not place undue burden on them or detract from other priorities of the school.
- No individual, company, or foundation should be approached for a donation to the school without the express consent of the Development Office
- Any written materials created for a fundraising project must be approved by the Development Office before being mailed or posted, to ensure that no conflict of effort or tax/legal difficulty occurs. Copies will be kept in the Development Office for future reference.
- All members of the Emerson community are encouraged to contact the Development Office at any time to ask questions or to explore ideas.
- Gifts should be made payable to “Emerson School” and should include a note or check memo to indicate the specific activity to which the gift will be contributed.
- Gifts, including Gifts-In-Kind, will be acknowledged officially with a letter and receipt by the Development Office. In addition, all gifts are recognized in the Annual Report published each fall.
- All discussion and decisions about restricted gifts, including acceptance, will reflect the perspective of other fundraising activities and the general needs of Emerson School, as determined by the Advancement Committee of the Board of Trustees.
Whenever non-cash gifts of property or professional time and talent are made to the school, contact the Development Office in order to determine the acceptability of the gift. For proper acknowledgment of your gift, please fill out a Gift-In-Kind Transmittal Form and return it to the Development Office. Your forms can be found online at the Emerson School website.
Media and Public Relations
To maintain the most consistent and positive public impression of Emerson, relations with the media and the public outside the school need to be coordinated throughout the school. Independent schools and colleges now describe such programs as part of “institutional advancement,” although that term also includes development and admissions functions.
The Director of Marketing and Communications coordinates public relations for the school. To help maintain a positive, accurate, and consistent public presentation of Emerson, all inquiries from the media should be referred to Jorie Clark. As needed, she will refer inquiries directly to the Head of School. When stories or publicity about Emerson students, employees, or programs are desired, please see Jorie Clark about making contact with the media.
In the Head of School’s absence, the Assistant Head of School is the spokesperson on behalf of the School. In times of crisis or emergency, the Head of School and the Assistant Head will coordinate communications with the media.
A. THE EMERSON SCHOOL PARENT ORGANIZATION – ESPO
At Emerson, we are fortunate to have a very active Parent Organization, which serves as a link between the parents and the school, in addition to sponsoring a number of important volunteer events and activities. As well as several social occasions, the Emerson School Parent Organization (ESPO) sponsors events each year that support curriculum enrichment, community building, and “friend raising” activities. Traditionally, ESPO has held a Thanksgiving bake sale, a Walkathon, book fair, and the pizza lunch program. The proceeds from these activities have provided our children with numerous cultural performances, resident artists, educational equipment, playground equipment, and library books.
Officers are elected each year at the annual meeting in May. This year’s ESPO Chair is Cathy Halloran. Please email ESPO if you would like to find out more about how you can get involved (ESPO@emerson-school.org).
B. VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Parents make many valuable contributions as volunteers in numerous areas in the school. Please see the Emerson School website for a complete listing of volunteer opportunities and grade-level parent coordinators.
Lower School classrooms are open from 8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Middle School, classrooms are open from 7:45 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Students are not allowed in classrooms without a faculty member present except by permission.
The gymnasium is used for physical education classes, certain athletic contests, and special events. Students should not enter without adult supervision. Students are required to keep a pair of rubber-soled gym shoes at school. No food or drink is permitted in the gym. A Room Reservation Form must be completed to reserve the gym for use outside of regular classes.
C. LIBRARY MEDIA CENTER (LMC)
Our LMC houses an outstanding collection of books and technological resources. Linda Lakshminarayanan is the librarian, and Jan Walker is the computer teacher. The LMC is open from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. daily. Students have regularly scheduled library times, but may also obtain permission from their teachers to visit the library during class. The school expects that students will handle library materials with appropriate care and return them when they are due. All students will be asked to pay for lost or damaged books.
- Please do not leave perishable food items in lockers overnight.
- Each student will be assigned one locker. You may not switch lockers with another student or use more than the one that is assigned to you.
- Do not put stickers on the inside or outside of your lockers. If you want to decorate the inside of a locker, you can use magnets, or hang a sheet of paper or cardboard on which to attach other items.
- Everything you bring to school on a regular basis must fit in your locker with the door shut. Do not kick doors shut. Backpacks that do not fit into the lockers are not permitted.
- Do not attach anything to the outside of your locker.
A locker cleaning charge will be assessed if a locker needs to be cleaned or is damaged at the end of the year.
- We strongly advise students not to bring valuables to school.
- If a Middle School student wishes, he/she can attach a combination lock to a locker, but must give the combination to the Middle School office. Only combination locks are permitted.
- Bathrooms may not be used to store personal belongings.
- Musical instruments must be stored in the music portable, not in the hallway. Instruments left in the hallway will be moved to the Dean of Student’s office and must be collected there by the student/owner.
- E. FIELD TRIPS
Field trips offer enrichment to students as well as a direct way for parents to get involved in their child’s school life. Teachers need parental help for transportation and supervision. To drive on a field trip, parents must have a completed Field Trip Driver Information Sheet on file in the office. A parent representative may work with the teacher to coordinate and organize drivers for all scheduled trips. If you are considering driving and bringing a younger child, ask if this is appropriate. If you can drive, the teacher or parent representative will give you the list of children you will be asked to take.
On the driver’s form you will agree to follow traffic laws and ensure that every passenger is secured in a seat belt or booster seat whenever the car is in motion. On any school trip, the school insurance policy provides liability coverage. We cannot cover drivers who are not the parent or legal guardian of an Emerson student. Grandparents, friends, or baby-sitters may not drive on field trips. The driver is responsible for supervising the students in the car and may convey personal expectations to his/her group about conduct in the car and during the field trip.
Before departure, find out what the teacher would like you to do at the field trip destination and make sure that this information is clear to the students in your car. If your students are carrying money or small personal objects, you may remind them to keep track of these things or advise them to give valuables to you or the teacher for safe keeping. Please do not stop for snacks or drinks on the way to or from a field trip destination. Anytime a parent is transporting students to a school-sponsored activity, the parent should agree to transport students directly to the game or event and back to school.
Middle School Trips
Emerson Middle School often takes off-campus trips to allow students to further investigate an area of study. These trips are made possible through the cooperation of many of our families, as they serve either as drivers or as chaperones on trips that rely on commercial transportation. Teachers will send home information about overnight trips and arrange a time to go over details with all parents. They will inform parents if students need to take particular clothing for planned activities. Separate forms are required for any medication to be given to students on each trip. All students are expected to follow Emerson’s behavioral guidelines when on school-sponsored trips. It is expected that any parent who has offered his/her services as a driver will be treated with the same respect that is afforded all students and staff. Each parent will serve as a supervisor during field trips.
Students are expected to participate in the trip’s organized activities just as they would at school. If for health or other reasons they are unable to do so, their parents should discuss this with the teacher before the trip. Field trips, especially those including an over-night stay, are scheduled well in advance and may require additional fees. Financial assistance may be available if the cost of the trip creates a hardship for the family. The school staff requests that parents and students alike regard the school field trip as an important component of the curriculum, and asks that they not pull a student out of the trips for athletic practices or games, extracurricular lessons, or vacations.
Please note that trips organized by Emerson faculty or staff outside of school are not endorsed by the school. This includes foreign language trips abroad during school breaks and summer months.
A. CURBSIDE DROP-OFF/PICK-UP
Curbside Service is offered as a convenient and efficient way for our parents to drop off and pick up their student(s). Parents are always welcome to park and come into the school. If you plan to come into the building, please use the large paved lot to the east side of the school. NO cars may park at the curb any time of the day.
A.M. Curbside Drop-off
- Please pull all the way forward in the curbside service lane.
- Staff members will assist K-5 students getting out of their cars.
- Middle School drivers are asked to remain in a single line and pull forward to drop off passengers in the same manner.
- DO NOT pull in and out of the drop-off lane as it is extremely dangerous for everyone.
- Each child will have time to exit the car in a timely and safe manner.
- P.M. Pick-up Curbside Service
- Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the Curbside Traffic Flow Map included in this handbook as Attachment B.
- Two visor signs (provided in the first day packet) must be displayed on the passenger side visor during afternoon curbside pick-up.
- Pull all the way forward in the Curbside Service lane – Once vehicles have stopped, children will be assisted into cars, and drivers will be directed to exit.
- Children will NOT be allowed to enter on the street side of the vehicle.
- Kindergarten students are dismissed at 2:30 p.m. and will be brought out to the curb and assisted into their vehicle by teachers.
- Drivers must remain in their car to facilitate traffic flow.
- If you pick up a kindergarten student and an older sibling, you will be directed to the holding pattern lanes after picking up your kindergartener.
- Drivers picking up older students should enter the parking lot and line up in the holding pattern lanes. When kindergarten students have finished loading, those in the holding lanes will be motioned to move around to the curbside lane.
- It is important to remember to follow those directing traffic to maintain traffic flow and safety.
- A bus parking/loading zone is located at the east end of the parking lot to provide a safer environment for our children.
- We have made every effort to be mindful of our neighbors on Scio Church Road, and the staff member posted at the entry drive will guide drivers either to the curbside lane or to the “holding pattern lanes.”
- We ask that all vehicles yield to buses entering and exiting the campus.
- B. EARLY ARRIVAL – BEFORE SCHOOL CARE
Morning Child Care is available from 7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Lower School students arriving before 8:15 a.m. must report to the Morning Child Care Program in the Library. Parents should not bring students to school before 7:30 a.m. Middle School students who arrive before 7:45 a.m. should sign in Room 202.
C. THE SCHOOL DAY
The Middle School day begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 2:45 p.m. Please make sure your child is on time so class can start promptly. The first Middle School bell rings at 7:55 a.m. Students are expected to be seated and ready for class by 8:00 a.m., when the second bell sounds.
Each trimester, Middle School students have a series of core classes that include Language Arts, Social Studies, Math, and Science. They also have Foreign Languages & Enrichment classes (P.E., Health, Performing Arts, Visual Arts), that are taught on a rotation schedule. In addition, two electives of the student’s choice are offer each trimester
The Lower School day begins at 8:30 a.m., and ends at 2:45 p.m., with the exception of Kindergarten, which ends at 2:30 p.m. Each Lower School classroom has its own daily schedule of Language Arts, Social Studies, and Math, as well as Specials classes (including Science, Foreign Language, Art, Music, Library, P.E., and Computer). The school is organized into trimesters.
Students are required to bring lunch daily. Additionally, students may bring a morning snack. Milk is available for purchase ($.45 per carton) or you may pre-pay for the entire year ($53/year, available Monday – Thursday). Food must be eaten in designated areas, never in hallways, the gym, library, or computer rooms.
- Label lunch bags or boxes with student’s name
- Pizza lunch is offered by ESPO most Fridays (order forms online)
- Lunch may be available for purchase through other vendors that the school has made arrangements with. These options vary by class and grade. Information will be sent home at the beginning of each school year.
- School refrigerators are not available for student lunches
- Microwaves are not available for student use
- Do not leave perishable food in lockers overnight
- E. AFTER SCHOOL PROGRAM
Emerson’s After School Program is provided as an extra service of the school, independent of the school enrollment contract. The program provides a safe and resource-rich alternative “neighborhood” playground for Emerson students, as well as an array of adult–led, structured activities. Free play with friends, quiet time to read, reflect or study, supervised computer time, and snacks and games comprise the core of the program. The program runs from 2:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and adheres to the strict formal check-in and check-out procedures required by the State of Michigan Department of Human Services. There are general hourly rates and fees for childcare, with strict penalties for late pickup.
The After School Program staff also offers a number of special programs on various school vacation days. Details will be sent home prior to these days, along with registration information. All students not directly involved in after school sports, clubs, or other organized activities will be checked into the After School Program at 2:45 p.m. Students who have a game or other activities at times later than 2:45 p.m. will be checked into the program and then checked out at the time of their activity. Rose Hacker, the After School Program Director, can be reached at 665-4942 ext. 333.
F. ENRICHMENT CLASSES AND MUSIC LESSONS
Emerson offers a wide variety of optional after school classes, such as chess, art, science, sports, music lessons, etc. The school year is divided into three separate sessions, and classes vary according to each session. Pre-registration is required for all classes. Children are not charged the regular ASP fees while they attend classes. Instead, the fee for enrichment classes will be billed separately. Class offerings are sent home with students shortly before the session begins. Music lessons are available throughout the school year for the following instruments: piano, voice, recorder, flute, guitar, and saxophone. If you are interested in another instrument, please contact our After School Program Director.
The purposes of after school enrichment classes and music lessons are to provide opportunities for self-improvement and a convenient alternative to taking after school lessons off-site. These classes are scheduled by the After School Program but are not a part of the childcare agreement. Therefore, please keep in mind that a tax receipt for childcare services WILL NOT reflect times spent in these classes, nor their fees.
Emerson is fortunate to have the services of the Ann Arbor Public School (AAPS) buses for our students who live within the Ann Arbor Public School District limits. Buses are available for Emerson students’ use only on those days when AAPS are in session. It should be noted that when Emerson dismisses at noon, no buses are provided for the noon dismissal. The same parameters for pick-up and drop-off apply to all Emerson students as they do to students from the public schools. Designated morning pick-up and transfer locations are specified by AAPS and all after school drop-off/transfer locations will be used with the one and a half (1.5) mile walking radius (from the designated school) rule taken into consideration.
Students must ride their assigned bus to their assigned stop on a regular basis. No guest riders will be allowed to ride with a “regular” bus rider. It is the parents’ responsibility to inform students whether or not they are to take the bus. Parents should also inform teachers of routines and changes to routines. Avoid last minute calls to school, as these cause frustration for both students and staff.
Ann Arbor Public Schools – Transportation Department
Ann Arbor, MI
Emerson morning buses: Departure times follow:
Huron High Bus #124 @ 7:20 a.m.
Pioneer High Bus # 123 @ 7:20 a.m.
Lower School students must check into childcare immediately upon arrival at Emerson. Those students will not be charged for a.m. childcare on days when they ride the bus to school.
* It is advised that students arrive at the bus stop 10 minutes before scheduled departure times until the driver establishes a permanent schedule.
One AAPS bus (#146) departs from Emerson each day at approximately 2:50 p.m. making the following stops:
Bach Elementary 3:05 p.m.
Angel Elementary 3:10 p.m.
Tappan Middle School 3:15 p.m.
Burns Park Elementary 3:20 p.m.
Bus routes are printed in the AAPS Bus Schedule in late August. Contact the AAPS Transportation Department for a copy. Route change requests should also be directed to the Transportation Department. NO ROUTE CHANGES are made the first two (2) weeks of school. Buses may run late during this period as kinks are worked out of the system. If you have a bus problem, contact the Lower School Office at 665-5662 ext. 307.
Contact the Transportation Department with requests for route changes (994-2330). If a change can be made, it may take 2-5 working days to be put into effect.
Lower School students will be notified by email of classroom placement approximately two weeks prior to the start of school.
Middle School schedules and advisors will be given to the students on the first day of school.
In the Lower School, teachers begin assigning a reasonable, gradually increasing amount of formal homework in the middle to upper grades. Emerson’s goal is to teach students to assume full responsibility for having appropriate materials available and organized, and for completing their homework in a timely manner. Most Middle School students average approximately 1½ to 2 hours of homework each night, with additional time occasionally required for special projects. The school recommends that parents help their children with occasional reminders, but as much as possible, encourage independence in homework completion. Students are encouraged to identify a “homework buddy” who can answer questions about assignments or missed work when the student is absent.
C. STUDENT PERFORMANCE
Emerson teachers report on student progress at the end of each trimester. Lower School reports include detailed checklists assessing academic skills and social and learning behaviors, as well as personal comments about each child. Middle School teachers also assign students a grade for most classes. Teachers send home an interim report for any middle school student who is failing a class or who has a significant drop in his/her grade in the first half of the trimester.
- Emerson strives to support the academic and social/emotional growth of each student. When a child experiences difficulty in any aspect of his/her learning, teachers work both with the student and the family to sort out how best to help him/her succeed. The Academic Support Team or an administrator may contact parents to recommend that a student receive evaluation, either by a member of Emerson’s Academic Support Team (two learning specialists and a school counselor), or by an outside professional. Testing and diagnosis of a student’s individual learning challenge(s) may lead to one or more of the following outcomes:
A meeting between the parents and child’s teacher(s) to plan how best to work as a team to support the student.
- Recommendations to a teacher(s) about strategies/accommodations designed to help the child succeed in the classroom.
- Suggestions to parents for at-home support.
- Arrangements for extra coaching within the school day. Emerson’s two learning specialists meet once or twice a week (one-on-one, in pairs, or in small groups) with students who need tutoring in an area (or areas) of their learning. They coordinate closely with classroom teachers.
- Suggestions for support from outside tutors or professionals.
- At the Middle School level, a written agreement between a teacher, advisor, Dean of Students, and student (a “learning plan” or “contract”), to track and report on classroom accommodations, at-home support, student effort, and progress. (Copies of this agreement will be given to the student’s parents, the Middle School Coordinator, and the Head of School. A copy is also placed in the student’s file.)
- Graduation Requirements
Emerson’s middle students are expected to complete homework and put forth their best effort. In grades 6-8, a student must have an average of C or higher in year-long classes in order to move to the next level (unless special circumstances exist). In the 8th grade, if a student has not earned a C or higher in his/her year-long classes, the school will evaluate closely whether or not to grant a diploma.
If it seems at any point that even with considerable support a child is unable to experience success at Emerson, teachers and a member of the administration will meet with parents to evaluate the appropriateness of the school’s program for the student.
Awards are presented at the end of the school year during an all school Awards Assembly. Recognition is given for outstanding performance on National Latin, French, Japanese, and Spanish Exams, and various math and science contests. There are also awards for citizenship, athletic performance, and performing and visual arts.
E. MIDDLE SCHOOL ELECTIVES
Middle School students choose two afternoon electives each trimester. A variety of classes are offered, including Band, Orchestra, ceramics, jewelry making, study skills, outdoor education, drama, and many more. Some electives like Band and Orchestra are a full-year commitment, but most change every trimester. Students are encouraged to sample a wide variety of electives during their Middle School years.
It is the student’s responsibility to complete the elective request form online by the deadline. The faculty will choose electives for students who do not turn in a request form on time. The drop and add process is not available to students who do not submit their elective form on time
IX. SPECIAL EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES
Emerson faculty, staff, and ESPO volunteers provide a stimulating atmosphere for learning throughout the year through a variety of all-school and grade-specific events and activities. Examples include:
- Hosting visiting authors and musicians
- Annual Science Fair
- End-of-year Art and Music Nights
- Annual Alumni Concert and Dinner
- Geography Bee
- Turkey Trot 5K Walk/Run
- Field Day
- Middle School Fall Play and Spring Musical
- Middle School Dances
- X. SUMMER AT EMERSON
Each summer, Emerson School offers a comprehensive selection of half-day, week-long camps for children in grades K-8. Camps begin the last week in June and run for eight consecutive weeks. Morning camps run from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and afternoon camps run from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.. Extended childcare is offered before and after camp from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for an additional fee. Current Emerson families are given advance notice of summer programs, as well as advance registration opportunities. Emerson camp brochures are available at the beginning of February.
XII. INDEPENDENT SCHOOL FINANCES
At Emerson, as is true at virtually all independent schools, tuition and fees do not cover the complete cost of educating our children. In an effort to set our tuition at a level which is affordable to the greatest number of families, we face a gap between our expenses and our revenues. The balance of revenues for our annual budget and additional capital projects comes from our families, alumni parents, friends, local businesses and foundations through our fundraising efforts.
Emerson has a long tradition of giving. Contributions of time, talent, knowledge and resources are all valued gifts. Our community has been built on such contributions, and we rely on them for our current and future needs. In the coming months you will hear about ways you can contribute to our Annual Fund and our Auction.
Emerson Technology Acceptable Use Policy
The mission of the Emerson School Technology program is to enhance learning and teaching through increased access to information, communications, teacher training, collaboration, and dissemination of successful educational practices, methods, and resources.
- The school network and Internet access are provided for school-related purposes to staff, students, and parents who agree to act in a considerate and responsible manner. Access to technology resources, like other Emerson School resources, entails responsibility.
- Users are responsible for appropriate behavior on the network just as they are in a classroom or hallway. Users are expected to communicate electronically with others in a respectful and constructive manner, in keeping with the expectations for interpersonal conduct at Emerson. Users are expected to treat computer and network equipment with care, just as they would all Emerson school property.
- Emerson School strives to create an environment in which personal privacy is respected. Network storage should be treated like school lockers or school desks. Users should respect the privacy of others, and refrain from unauthorized intrusions into another’s files. At the same time, users should not assume that what they store on the network will remain private under all circumstances. Administrators and faculty reserve the right to review files and communications to evaluate work, to remove inappropriate files as necessary, to maintain system integrity and to ensure that users are using the system responsibly.
- Emerson is committed to maintaining an environment that protects personal privacy. Emerson School will not require that users reveal any personal information over the Internet. School activities will avoid the use of sites that require the submission of personal information and staff will monitor users to help prevent the inadvertent release of accurate personal information to such sites.
- Emerson School is committed to freedom of speech and access to information that meets the educational mission of the School. Freedom of speech and access to information will be honored within the guidelines set forth by school policies.
- Emerson School encourages the participation of its faculty, staff and students in educational communities through publication of work on the World Wide Web. At the same time, Emerson expects work published electronically (and in print) to meet high standards for quality, and to comply with copyright laws. Before any document is put on an Emerson Web server, it must meet certain content guidelines determined by the Technology Committee and Emerson’s administration.
Emerson School will strive to educate its community in the appropriate use of computer and Internet resources, and will do its best to provide error-free, dependable computer access. Each student will participate in a discussion about using school technology and the Internet, including network etiquette (“netiquette”) and copyrighted materials. Internet use should occur in supervised settings. Emerson faculty members are responsible for supervision of students in the computer labs, while homeroom teachers are responsible for the use of classroom computers. During school, teachers will guide students in finding appropriate material on the Internet. While every effort will be made to promote the proper use of the Internet and monitor student use, it is impossible for Emerson School to restrict access to all controversial materials. Outside of school, families bear the responsibility for setting and conveying the standards that their children should follow, just as they do with other information sources such as television and radio. Emerson School intends to provide information to its community to assist parents in understanding the issues and concerns regarding the Internet and its use.
Emerson School strongly encourages parents to discuss the rights and responsibilities and the spirit of this Acceptable Use Policy with their child, and to be involved with Internet use at home. Emerson administration, faculty, and community members are available to discuss any concerns that you or your child may have.
• Users have the right to use all computer equipment and software for which they have received training for school-related purposes and for recreation when appropriate.
• Users have the right to have a network account and access to the services that it provides (E-mail (if provided), network log-on, disk storage, etc.). This account is meant for school activities such as: educational research, communication, and production.
• Users have the right to access information from outside resources via the Internet that facilitates learning, personal academic growth, and educational information exchange. Internet use must occur in a supervised environment.
• Users have the conditional right to privacy within the guidelines set forth in this policy. This includes privacy of passwords and personal information.
• Users are responsible for maintaining the privacy of passwords. Users shall not attempt to learn another user’s password, or attempt to access another user’s account without authorization from a teacher. Users shall not circumvent or disable desktop or network security programs or measures.
• Each user is responsible for all material in his/her network account and accepts responsibility for preventing pornographic or obscene material from entering the school via the Internet or other sources.
• Users are responsible for using their network account space for school purposes. Files including, but not limited to, MP3 files, other music files, image files, video files, game programs, etc. should not be kept on network accounts unless part of a class project assigned and approved by a teacher. Inappropriate files may be deleted.
• Users must obtain permission from a technology facilitator before downloading executable programs, program installers, system extensions, plug-ins, or software upgrades, or before installing personal software on school equipment.
• Users are responsible for adhering to copyright guidelines in the use of hardware and software, and in the copying of text or files from the Internet and from other resources.
• Users are expected to use systems for interpersonal communication in a responsible manner, and should not send harassing or threatening e-mail, nor send e-mail under a forged name.
• Users will only use e-mail, Instant Messaging, chat, blogging, or other online services provided by the school for such purposes; these services may include Gaggle e-mail, Moodle, or other services or software.
• Users are allowed to access social networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace or Flickr for class-related use, however personal use is restricted unless authorized by faculty.
• Users will not reveal personal information about themselves or others over the Internet; this information includes, but may not be limited to: a first or last name, a home or other address, a telephone number, a social security number, a valid e-mail address (except for specific monitored class assignments), or other information which may be linked to a particular user. If needed, staff will register at specific educational sites used as part of the curriculum.
• Users have the responsibility to notify a system administrator of any hardware, software, or security problems on the Emerson network or the Internet.
• Users must respect the integrity of the Emerson computers and the network system and shall not intentionally take actions to infiltrate a computer or the network. Users shall not damage or alter the software components of a computer or the network, and must take prudent precautions to avoid introducing computer viruses into a computer or the network or face disciplinary action.
• Users will act in a manner consistent with the Emerson School Student Code of Conduct.
• Users are responsible for properly using and caring for the hardware and software for which they have been trained to use and refraining from using any technology for which they have not been trained.
• Users have the responsibility to conserve limited resources, including paper and other computer supplies, network storage space, and computer resources. Students should limit their network account disk usage to the maximum amount posted in classrooms and labs, unless current class work requires more storage. Old files should be removed from the system.
Non-School Computers and Personal Technology Devices
Use of computers, laptop computers, and any other portable computing devices or accessories such as handheld computers, cell phones, PDAs, digital cameras, music players, or flash drives and other storage devices not owned by Emerson School and brought in to the school by students, parents, visitors, or staff shall fall under the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy and the following guidelines and conditions:
• Personal use devices such as cell phones or flash drives are only to be used in a responsible, non-disruptive manner. If any misuse occurs that is not in accordance with the Emerson School Student Code of Conduct, said items may be temporarily confiscated by a faculty member.
• Usage of personal audio/visual devices such as MP3 players and video players is not allowed, unless otherwise authorized by a faculty member.
• Connectivity to the school network and resources, such as network storage, Internet access, and printer access cannot be guaranteed and school-owned connectivity equipment or wireless access points may not be available.
• Any repairs, installations, or software and connectivity support will be the responsibility of the computer owner. Emerson School shall not be liable for any damage, loss, or theft of personally owned computer equipment or data loss sustained while at school. Access to power outlets to power or recharge laptop computers or other devices may not be available.
• Any such computers must meet certain minimum requirements, including but not limited to: installation of functioning anti-virus software with current virus descriptions; and all installed software must be licensed to the owner.
• Non-school computers shall be registered with the Tech Team and will be subject to inspection for compliance with the terms of this Acceptable Use Policy.
All provisions regarding use and content contained in this Acceptable Use Policy shall apply to any computers brought into the school. Emerson School reserves the right to require the users of any such computers to sign an additional Acceptable Use Agreement before permitting connection to the school network or resources.
Users violating any of these Rights and Responsibilities will face disciplinary action. The specific action taken will be based on the severity and frequency of the offense. Possible courses of action to users violating this policy are as follows:
• Users may be restricted from using school equipment and/or software for a length of time ranging from one day to one year.
• Users may lose the right to log on to the network and/or have a network account.
• Users may be required to pay for any unauthorized expenses incurred or any damages caused.
• Users may be required to attend training sessions or perform research related to their inappropriate use of these technologies before being allowed to resume using computer equipment at Emerson School.
• Users may face additional disciplinary action deemed appropriate in keeping with the disciplinary policies and guidelines of Emerson School, including suspension or expulsion from Emerson School.