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BearFacts News                 
January 30, 2020

Message from the Principal

Dear Emerson Community,

As the month of January closes out, it is a good time to plan for the second half of the school year.  Registration for the PTA After School Spring Enrichment closes this Friday at 5 pm.  These classes will run from Monday, February 24th through Friday, May 22nd.  If you are 5th grade parent, please don’t forget to submit your Middle School preference form and provide proof of Berkeley residency by February 7th, 2020.  If you need the Parent Preference Form for Middle School please let us know if the main office. 
Please commit to helping Emerson improve our attendance during the second part of the school year. Research has shown that when students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating. Missing just two days a month has been shown to negatively affect a student’s academic performance.  Emerson’s current attendance data reflects a truancy rate of 13%, which is a large increase from prior years.  We know we can do better- one of our school's goals is to cut down on student late arrivals and absences.  Please plan vacations and trips for non- school days.  If your child is absent due to illness, please call or email Ms. Gaby, School Secretary within 3 days to clear it.  Ms. Holmes and Ms. Lily, Family Outreach and Equity Coordinator, will continue to reach out to families to explore ways to work together to support daily attendance.  If you have any questions, please be sure to contact the office for clarification.  Let’s ensure our children are in school on a regular basis.  
This Friday, as in years past, Kindergartens, 2nd grade, 5th grade, and Students with Individual Education Plans will participate in a hearing screening.  Results will be communicated by the district nurse. On February 4th, students in the third grade will participate in a dental health screening sponsored by Alameda County Public Health Department.  
Let’s head into February healthy, with good attendance and ready to learn!
Jana Holmes


Upcoming Events & Key Dates

•    Fri, Jan 31: Registration for Spring Enrichment classes Ends (5pm)
•    Fri, Feb 7: Free Coffee & Baked Goods on the Yard, 8am and All School Meeting, 8:30am
•    Fri, Feb 7: Payment Deadline Enrichment classes 
•    Sat, Feb 8: Pancake Breakfast, 8:30am-10:30am at Emerson
•    Fri, Feb 14: NO SCHOOL (Lincoln’s birthday)
•    Mon, Feb 17: NO SCHOOL (Presidents’ day)
•    Wed, Feb 19: School Site Council, 5:30pm
•    Fri, Feb 21: Free Coffee & Baked Goods on Yard, 8am,
•    Mon, Feb 24: Spring Enrichment classes begin
•    Fri, Feb 28: Family Art Night

Find more dates/details:

Family Literacy Night Thanks!
We had a blast at Family Literacy Night last week with approximately 65 enthusiastic adults and children attending.

Thank you to Ms. Barnes for a wonderful parent presentation.

A giant thank you to the PTA and Mrs. Holmes for supporting this event. Can't wait for next year!

Ms. Jeannie
EQUITY LENS: Sign Up for the Spring 2020 Racial Equity Circle, which starts on Saturday Feb 22!
WHAT: Convening of Emerson parents/guardians and staff to engage in “real talk” about diversity and inclusion, improving student achievement, and increasing family engagement from diverse backgrounds.

WHEN: One Saturday + five evening sessions. Kick-off is Saturday, February 22, 9:00am-1:00pm, Tuesdays 2/25, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24 from 6:00pm-8:00pm. Childcare by Mr. John & food provided. A minimum 12-hour commitment is required.

HOW: The circle will be facilitated by education equity expert, Pamela Harrison-Small and is generously supported by the Emerson PTA.

WHO: ALL parents/guardians and staff who are committed to increasing education equity, engaging in authentic (and sometimes difficult) conversations, exploring their own implicit biases, and envisioning solutions.

Questions? Email,, or
Are you a pancake fanatic? Do you love flipping pancakes?  If so, volunteer for the Emerson PTA’s annual Pancake Breakfast! This event is on Saturday, February 8th from 8:30am - 10:30am in the cafetorium.  Free food will be served alongside friends and fun.  
It takes a village to make these events happen so please sign up to volunteer at the PTA Pancake Breakfast. Volunteer here:
OR contact Rob Kopf at 510.967.8443 or by email at 
Signing up for more than one time slot is of course optional but always appreciated!!!
Join PTA Nominations Sub-Committee

The 2020-2021 PTA Board will be elected at the next Association meeting on Mon April 6.  We are looking for four parents to be part of the nominations sub-committee to propose the roster for the PTA board for next year.  There will just be a few meetings and work will be done by the beginning of March.  To volunteer or get more information email Elif Lostuvali ( or the PTA (
PTA Enrichment Update
Thank you to all who participated in the Fall Enrichment classes and the Winter Enrichment Performance. We had an inspiring performance and art gallery last Friday. Fall classes have ended and make-up classes are in process.
Join us for Spring Enrichment classes! Registration is open at and will end on Friday January 31 at 5pm. Scholarships are available up to 2 per student. Indicate your scholarship request when you register online or use the paper registration form. Questions? Email or see Lily Howell. 
After you register, check your email after for the invoice. Click on link to confirm and/or pay for classes. 
Payment deadline: Friday February 7 5pm. Spring classes begin February 24. 
Announcing The Riffs. Emerson’s newest show choir for 4th and 5th graders! Directed by visiting artists from The Berkeley Playhouse, this program empowers students to perform music and dance that culminates in a final showcase May 13 accompanied by a 3 piece band. This free program is generously funded by the California Arts Council. Registration is via the Spring Enrichment registration. 3rd graders may be admitted on a space available basis. Classes will be on Mondays and Wednesdays after school. Register on
Small Donations wanted for CBG "Treasures"
Mrs. Holmes is starting a new incentive for students earning Caught Being Good (CBG) tickets at school. Each week students will be entered into a CBG drawing. Mrs. Holmes will draw names and those students will be called to the office to choose a small “treasure."  Any small donations are welcome. Please drop off donations with Ms. Gaby in the front office. Thank you!

Tuesday March 3, 2020 Election:
Measures for Berkeley Public Schools on the Ballot
Full text of the ballot measures available at:
  • Measure E - To increase our teacher and staff pay so we are no longer one of the lowest paid districts in the East Bay.
  • Measure H- To renew the property owner tax that funds school maintenance.
  • Measure G - To continue the bond program the school district uses to borrow money to fund school construction projects.
Deadline to Register to Vote is Feb. 18: forms available at public libraries, post offices, DMV and online: 
Use same website for address changes. 
Vote Tuesday, March 3.  Polls open 7 am to 8 pm.
Second Saturdays at BAMPFA – Free Events on February 8
Bite-Sized Universe of Color, Texture and Form
For ages 6-12 with accompanying adult(s); 11:30am or 1:00pm

Ron Nagle's unique small sculptures begin as drawing exploring color, texture and form as they assume their three-dimensional shape. After a tour of his exhibition, artist Jennie Smith will guide you in using gouache, pen, and a variety of tours to create surface texture as you make a painting inspired by Nagle's vibrant and fascinating art. 

Roundtable Reading: One-Third Nerd by Gennifer Choldenko 
Reading led by Jessica Lee, District Library Coordinator, BUSD
For ages 8 and up. Younger kids welcome as listeners  Starts at 3:00pm & take home a copy to finish reading at home.

Liam lives in the Bay Area with his mom and two younger sisters: Dakota, who is fascinated by science and has a big personality but struggles to make friends, and Izzy, a child with Down syndrome, who makes friends easily. Dad lives across town, but he’s over a lot. And then there’s Cupcake, their loveable German shepherd, who lately has a problem—she’s peeing in the house. Can the kids make enough money to take her to the vet before their landlord finds out and makes them get rid of her?

UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) is located at 2155 Center St. in Berkeley.
Find Emerson Online


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2800 Forest Ave.
Berkeley, CA  94705

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

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