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BearFacts News                 
September 12, 2019

Message from the Principal

Dear Emerson Families,
Thank you for the great turn out to Back to School Night last week.  As mentioned, this year, my top priority as a new leader is to get to know the community, students, programs and procedures. I recognize how fortunate I am to be here. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions and concerns, but allow at least 24 hours response time during the week. During the weekend I will be reconnecting with my family - I am a mother to an active sixth-grade boy.  I also have two fun dogs and a supportive husband at home.  Therefore, I will respond to emails sent during the weekend during the business week.  
My vision for the school is to build upon Emerson’s strong foundation as an outstanding learning community, which emphasizes equity, inclusion and high standards for all.  This weekend, I will participate in an Equity retreat with the PTA.  I look forward to continuing this important work with our parent volunteers.  As mentioned at Back to School Night, our next Equity Circles sign-ups are open until September 27th.  Please pick up a flyer in the main hallway or find more information at
We hope to see you at the PTA BBQ this Friday from 6- 8 pm on campus.  This is a free event for families and a great chance to reconnect and welcome new members of the Emerson community.  Come enjoy some great food and fun!

Jana Holmes, Principal 

Upcoming Events & Key Dates 

  • Friday, Sept. 13: Back-to-School BBQ - 6:00-8:00pm
  • Wednesday, Sept. 18: School Site Council Mtg - 5:30-7:00pm & PTA Enrichment Class Payments due by 6pm
  • Tuesday, Sept. 24: Equity Circle Fishbowl Event - 6:00pm
  • Monday, Sept. 30: PTA Enrichment Classes begin
  • Friday, Oct. 4: All School Meeting - 8:30am

Back to School BBQ is TOMORROW (Friday)
It’s time to kick off the 2019-2020 school year with Emerson’s annual Welcome Back BBQ.  The event takes place Friday, September 13th from 6:00 - 8:00pm on the yard. Free food and desserts will be served alongside friends and fun.
We still need volunteers! It takes a village to make these events happen so please sign up to volunteer at the BBQ (if you really love BBQ’s, feel free to sign up for more than one spot!)
Sign up to volunteer here:

P.S. The Emerson Green Team reminds you to Bring Your Own Mug and be sure to Know Where It Goes and Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle at the BBQ -- the Berkeley landfill will  appreciate that!

Equity Corner

Welcome to the Equity Corner! At Emerson, we have committed our time and resources to create — and sustain — a school community where adults take responsibility for ensuring that every student is treated equally; that each student receives an equitable education and that every culture and background is honored and connected to teaching and learning. The Equity Corner is one way we spread what is happening here at Emerson.
Read more about the ways we are working to reach our equity goals at:

Suggestions for topics? Please email

What is the Difference Between Equity and Equality?

Equity = the distribution of resources that takes into account past history and current position, so that future outcomes are fairly distributed.

Equality = the distribution of resources so that all receive the same amount regardless of past history, current position or future outcome.

Both approaches aim to promote fairness and justice, but equality only works when everyone is starting from the same point and needs the same things to success. 

                Equality                                                Equity                   
Enrichment classes: Payment due Wed., 9/18 by 6pm

Thanks for registering for Enrichment classes. Class admission is by lottery, and in the next few days you will receive an invoice via email for the class(es) your student received. Please check the accuracy of the invoice and pay using the link in the invoice. Enrichment classes are non-refundable so make sure your invoice is accurate. If classes are not listed you are probably on the waitlist.
The payment deadline for classes is Wed., September 18th at 6pm. After that, your spot may be given to a waitlisted student. If you pay with a check in the Enrichment box in the office, please email to let us know. 

Write with any questions: Classes start September 30. Thanks!

Elmwood Wine Walk – Buy your tickets now!

On Sunday, October 6th from 1-5pm, Emerson’s local neighborhood is doing two great things: 1) hosting a Sunday stroll with wine in The Elmwood and 2) supporting our very own Emerson!  50% of net proceeds will be donated to Emerson.  Join us for a fun afternoon out and about.  Advance tickets are $25 (online by 9/28 – or $35 after 9/28.
Invite your neighbors, friends, & family! 

This is a great event…and remember 50% of proceeds will come to Emerson!

Walkathon T-shirt Contest: The Halloween Submarine

The 2019 Walkathon T-shirt Design Contest starts now! Find an entry form in your child's Look Folder, or pick one up in the main office. We’re looking for underwater Halloween sea creatures—silly squid, spooky sea cucumbers, scary starfish—kids should invent their own! Winners chosen from all grades. Submissions due 9/24. See form for more details.

AND mark your calendars for the Emerson Walkathon: Sunday, October 20th. More on that to follow!


Art News

We are back to our creative endeavors in the Art room. I hope you noticed all of our dots on display in the hallways. They are inspired by Peter H. Reynold's book, The Dot. In fact, Sept. 15th has been declared International Dot Day in honor of all the creativity that children (and adults!) around the world express. As we like to say in the Art Room, "We each get to do art in our own unique way!"

Please try to remember not to send your children to school in their best clothes on the day that they have art.  Here’s Emerson’s Art Schedule:
* Monday mornings:  2nd grade
* Monday late mornings and afternoons: 1st grade
* Wednesday mornings: 3rd grade
* Wednesday afternoons:  K
* Thursday mornings: 5th grade
* Thursday afternoons: 4th grade

If you are interested in volunteering during your child’s art class (either occasionally or regularly) please let me know. Thank you. Lucy Ames
Lots of Fun Events at the Berkeley Public Library, Claremont Branch

* Family Yoga at Claremont, the first Saturday of the month at 10:30am, for parents/caregivers and their children preschool- first grade. There is no signup, and we have some yoga mats, to share, but bring your own if you prefer. Next one is on Saturday, October 5 at 10:30.

* New series: first Saturday of the month for four months: Brainstorm @ Claremont at 4pm. Learn more about your brain in this four-part, interactive series led by neurobiology students at UC Berkeley. For kids seven and up. Please call for more information: 510-981-6280. Next one is Saturday, October 5 at 4pm

* New series: Cartooning with Aaron Southerland, a marvelous, local, graphic artist and drawing teacher you won’t want to miss. Join us for four classes in September on Mondays at 3:30pm. Next one is Monday, September 16.

* Saturday, September 14, Chess 10:30-11:30p. Each month on the second Saturday of the month Larry Snyder leads a chess club at Claremont that is open to all ages and abilities.

* Saturday, September 14, 1:00pm- Maker Lab-Open Lab- This is a hands-on program for preschool through 5th grade children and their families. Make buttons, hand felt, collaborate on puzzles or be surprised by what we have to tinker around with.

* Saturday, September 21 at 4pm ¡Viva Mexico! From the Aztecs to Cinco de Mayo, come along as children's musician and educator Juan L. Sanchez takes us on a musical journey that celebrates the beauty of Mexican Heritage. Ages 4 and up.

More information about each event can be found at

Claremont Branch, Berkeley Public Library
2940 Benvenue Avenue, Berkeley CA 94705
Join the PTA Today!

The Emerson Parent-Teacher Association works for a positive school experience for all Emerson students. As a member, you can vote on programming and spending decisions. Parents, guardians, extended family or friends of Emerson students are invited to join.

Please renew membership every year.

You can sign up ONLINE at A donation of $10/person is suggested but NOT required.

For questions, contact

WHERE’S WALDO - Please Submit Contact Info

“Where’s Waldo” is Emerson’s school directory listing contact info for  families, teachers and administrators.

To have your family’s information included, please complete the online submission form at:

Find Emerson Online


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About BearFacts News:
BearFacts News is a weekly publication created by parent volunteers. It is distributed each Thursday in students' Look Folders and via email. 

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Copyright © 2019. Emerson Elementary PTA. All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
2800 Forest Ave.
Berkeley, CA  94705

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Emerson PTA · 2800 Forest Ave · Berkeley, CA 94705 · USA

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