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BearFacts News                 
September 20, 2018

Message from the Principal

Dear Families,

Two important announcements. 
First, PLEASE complete your school lunch application at no later than Friday, September 28th. For my entire career as the principal of Emerson we have qualified for Title I funds. We qualify for Title I funding by having a good percentage, over 36% of our students, qualifying for Free or Reduced price meals. This year, I am worried we will not reach our target benchmark of at least 36%. Our qualifying numbers have been declining over the last few years.  I use the funds for a variety of purposes, primarily to provide additional support services for students in a variety of ways. Having these funds for that purpose allows me to use our other source of funds from our local BSEP tax measure in conjunction with the PTA to provide additional enrichment opportunities to students, such as Art and PE, and all supplies for classrooms as well as professional development and planning time for teachers. If we lose Title I funds, our program would most certainly experience a negative impact. Please complete your application today!
Second, Picture Day with Roots & Shoots Photography is coming! We are excited to announce that Roots & Shoots Photography will be taking individual and class portraits again this fall! Save the dates:
  • Wednesday, September 26th: Grades K-2
  • Friday, September 28th: Grades 3-5
  • Make-up day is scheduled for Thursday, November 15th
To be environmentally conscious, we are offering electronic order forms this year. HERE IS THE LINK TO ORDER PORTRAITS: form must be submitted on or before Picture Day. If you prefer to use a paper order form, some will be available in the main office.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY! If you want to help out on Picture Day and receive a complimentary “gardener” package, please contact Nikki at First come, first served.
Susan Hodge
Upcoming Events & Important Dates
  • Fri., Sept. 21: Free coffee and pastries on the yard at 8:10am
  • Wed., Sept. 26: School Picture Day, Grades K-2
  • Fri., Sept. 28: School Picture Day, Grades 3-5 & Free coffee and pastries on the yard at 8:10am
  • Mon., Oct. 1: Enrichment classes begin
  • Weds., Oct 3, Equity Speaker Event 6-8pm, childcare and dinner provided
  • Fri., Oct 5 : Free coffee and pastries on the yard at 8:10am; All School Meeting 8:30am
PTA Afterschool Enrichment

Classes will begin October 1. Rosters are posted in the main hallway on 9/24. Questions?
PTA-Sponsored Speaker Presentation
~All welcome October 3rd for "Empowering Parents for Social Change:
~Tools to help our children flourish during these uncertain times".
~Presented by equity expert Pamela Harrison Small.
~6:00pm - 8:00pm. Child Care and Dinner Provided.

Emerson's Creepy Conga Walkathon 2018

A few important notes:

1. Join fellow Emerson students to walk October 21st, from 11-3.

2. Walkathon t-shirt designs are due by September 25th. A form should have gone home in your child's look folder. There are extras in the office as well!

3. Registration packets and pledge envelopes will come home in this week's look folders. Make sure to return your completed registration form and check by Thursday, September 27th.

4. If you would like to help volunteer to help with this awesome Emerson tradition, please email

Join the Emerson Racial Equity Circle
We invite ALL Parents/Guardians and Staff committed to increasing education equity, engaging in authentic (and sometimes difficult) conversations, exploring their own implicit biases and envisioning solutions to participate in the Fall 2018 Equity Circle.

We will engage in "real talk" about diversity and inclusion, improving student achievement and increasing parent engagement. 

The kick-off is Saturday, October 13th 9:00am-2:00pm, then the group will meet on Thursdays 10/18, 10/25, 11/1, 11/8 and 11/15 from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

Childcare and food provided.

There is a minimum 12-hour time commitment required.

Interest forms are available in the Emerson office or email any of the Equity Liaisons: Katy Davis (, Mary Gilg (, Mia Villanueva ( or Emily Nathan ( The deadline to submit an interest form is OCTOBER 5th.

Welcome to the Emerson Green Team

Are you an eco-conscious parent interested in advising Student Green Leaders meetings on campus during lunch on a regular basis? Contact Michelle at  if so.

Emerson joins BUSD in its commitment to reduce our school and district’s environmental footprint by emphasizing the 4 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover.

Everyone at Emerson can pitch in to help cut down our use of resources and waste output. For example, in the cafetorium each day, we ask students to sort their waste responsibly into recyclables, landfill, and compost.

Make it easier on our students (and Mr. Rafael!) by following these tips for a Zero Waste Lunch ( reminding students at home what can be composted and recycled.
News from the Emerson Library

Did you know Berkeley School Libraries have no overdue or late fees?

But we still want all those library books back to share with other students.

Please take a moment to search through your home. ANY library books that you find can be returned to Emerson library.

The library staff will make sure it gets back to the right school or public library.

Thanks for helping us provide books for our students! Ms. Zoe, Library Media Specialist
Donate to the Heart of Emerson!
Please be on the look out for the red "Heart of Emerson" donation forms coming in the look folders next week. 

Our goal this year is to raise $550 per child and we can't do it without you.

If you are a new parent, hopefully you are feeling how special our community is. 

If you are returning parent, you know how lucky we are to be a part of this incredible school. 

Help us foster and grow Emerson's culture by donating to the Heart of Emerson.  No donation too small.

We are accepting donations now, see the link at the bottom of this newsletter. If you need more information about this  fundraiser, please contact


Shop for Emerson!
Click below to raise money for Emerson when you shop at Amazon

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. 

If you have a news item or announcement to include in the BearFacts News, please send an email to Please keep your message brief and include all the pertinent details including dates, times, locations and contact information. The deadline is each Monday at 6 p.m.

Copyright © 2018. 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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