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					                                                                    Emerson Eagle
                                                                  A monthly publication of the Ralph Waldo Emerson
                                                                                   Junior High PTA

                                                              APRIL 2010

                                                             Inside This Issue:

       Principal’s Message, pg 2                         PTA Committee Updates, pg 6 & 7                         PTA President’s Report, pg 11
       Emerson Fundraiser, pg 3                          Emerson Team Spirit, pg 8                               Hal Reid Memorial Award, pg 12
       Letter From The Vice Principal, pg 4              Student Activities, pg 8                                In The Community, pg 13
       Teacher Spotlight                                 Family Resource Center, pg 9 & 10                       News From The DJUSD, pg 14
       Counselors’ Note, pg 5
                                                     
                                                          CALENDAR OF EVENTS
        Sun                    Mon                  Tue                    Wed                      Thu                        Fri               Sat
                                                                                           1                          2                  3
                                                                                           DHS Choral Groups          DHS Dance Team
                                                                                           Auditions                  tryout—3:30 pm
                                                                                           DHS Dance Team tryouts
                                                                                           3:30 pm
                                                                                           Emerson Clean-up—4-6 pm
                                                                                           Green Committee Mtg
                                                                                           7 pm

4                       5                  6                       7                       8                          9                  10
                                                                                           Emerson Carnival           Emerson Carnival   Emerson Carnival
                                                                                           4—10 pm                    4—11 pm            11 am to 11 pm

                                                                  Spring Break

11                      12                 13                      14                      15                         16                 17
Emerson Carnival                           Emerson Jr. High PTA    Hal Reid Award          Green Committee Mtg
Noon to 10 pm                              Mtg—7:30 pm             nominations due         7 pm
                                                                   Parent Ed Night—        Parent Information
                                                                   Community College       Night—incoming 7th
                                                                   Options—7:30 pm         grade parents—7 pm

18                      19                 20                      21                      22                         23                 24
                                           Adv Band—Secondary      DHS Cheer Team parent   Junior High Parent Ed                         Int/Adv Bands—Music
                                           Band Concert—7:30 pm    info night—7 pm         Nights #4 7 pm                                in the Parks
                                                                                           DHSCheer Team parent                          Emerson Rummage
                                                                                           info night—7 pm                               Sale—8 am

25                      26                 27                      28                      29                         30
                                                                   Climate Mtg

                   Click on the following link for the complete 2009-2010 Emerson PTA calendar
Page 2                                                     Emerson Eagle                                                   April, 2010

                                               PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE

Spring is here!! The mornings are cool and the day warms up nicely. Emerson is truly ―green‖ and beautiful
and we owe some of that to Anna Amsler and the seventh graders. Here’s some background to all that.
This year because of so many 7th graders taking cluster we added an extra section. Anna Amsler took on
this class with excitement and focus. She wanted to help the students learn more about ―going green‖ and
she wanted to help the school. The students wanted the same things and have really worked hard to make
things happen. They have been collecting box tops, cell phones, shoes, and tons of other things. They have
taken on the entire school’s recycling and are pushing all of us to do better with that. They have earned
$926.61 for the school due to their hard work.
They also came up with the idea that every person on our campus should plant a bulb. So in the fall, each of
us planted a daffodil bulb. If you look around, you will see lots of flowers around our campus. They are along the fence by
football field, by the entrance to the parking lot, and in lots of interior spots. Their bright yellow and white heads make us smile
when we see them.
Another off shoot of the class was starting the ―Green Committee‖ comprised of parents, teachers, and students. PTA has
been very supportive and helpful with the committee. After Spring Break we will unveil one of our most exciting endeavors.
Due to PTA’s strong donations, we have leased a water machine which will have three fountains and will allow all students and
staff to fill their water bottles with fresh clean water at no expense to them. We also had a drive to have students commit to use
a stainless steel water bottle to hold their water. We held a competition for designs for the water bottle and picked three top
designs for the water bottle. Every person who signed the pledge will receive their free bottle during the week after Spring
Break. They will sell for only $5 and come in three vibrant colors, purple, blue and green.
The green committee is also selling t-shirts made from 100% recycled fabric. The group picked one of the designs that
students entered for the water bottle contest to put on the back of these t-shirts. They will sell for $12. It is the committee’s
hope that in the fall we will have a committee sponsored student store that will sell many ―green‖ items, including school
supplies that our teachers recommend for their students.
The week after Spring Break is also Earth Week. We have activities planned for each day including an Earth Expo on
Wednesday at lunch which will include the Air Resources Board, Water Resources Board, Davis Food Co-op, Ace Hardware,
California Fuel Cell Partnership, and City Public Works. You can see how this small idea has lead to huge changes in our
school climate, our attitudes, and our ways of making positive change. Thanks for all you do to support our wonderful school!!
Thanks, Anna, and all the students who participate to reduce our carbon footprint!!

                         Important Parent Meeting for Incoming 7th Grade Parents

This is a very important meeting where the administrators and counselors will talk about class offerings and school
expectations for the upcoming school year. This is the BEST opportunity for parents to hear about overall program planning
for the next school year. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend.
                                                 Incoming 7th Grade: April 15
                                                  7 pm at the Emerson Library

                                             Secondary Summer School 2010

 Applications for Secondary Summer School 2010 have been published and are available at school sites or on the District
 website . Due to significant budget reductions, our summer school program will only offer courses for
 students who receive a D or F or who need credit recovery to stay on track for graduation (Health 7 will be offered for students
 that did not complete Health in seventh grade). Students should consult with their counselors regarding placement in
 courses. For more specific information about Secondary Summer School, please review the application packet on our website.
 Clark Bryant, DJUSD
Page 3                                                   Emerson Eagle                                                April, 2010

                                             EMERSON FUNDRAISER

                Spend An Afternoon Singing And Performing With the DHS Madrigals!

 The DHS Madrigal Choir, an award winning chorus at Davis High School, will be presenting their annual Choral Workshop
 (for students in K-9) on Sunday, April 18 from 12:30-5PM. This year's lively theme is "Broadway Favorites," and each grade
 level group will work with a team of Madrigals to learn an age appropriate selection and a finale ("Climb Every Mountain") to
 perform in a concert with the Madrigals at 4:30P in the Richard Brunelle Concert Hall at Davis High School. Many current
 Madrigals participated in this workshop themselves when they were younger! Registration will begin at 12:30P, and snacks
 will be provided. Applications can be found in the school office, or call Mindy Manville at 753-2042. Student applications
 postmarked by April 9 will receive a Madrigal Workshop t-shirt. Registration cost for an afternoon of singing and fun is just
 $20, and a limited number of scholarships are available.               Please contact Mindy Manville at 753-2042 or
Page 4                                                      Emerson Eagle                                                  April, 2010

                                      LETTER FROM THE VICE PRINCIPAL

                                 Trying to Keep it Simple: “Not Here, Not Now”
What can I do at home? What can I do out in the park with friends? What can I do on my own time or on
vacation? Is there any difference between what I can do in these environments and what I can do at school
which represents my ―workplace‖ for the 7 or 8 hour day that I have classes?
The most difficult transition that junior high kids have to be able to make is to differentiate between what I can do
―here‖ versus what I can do ―there‖. This is a big struggle for some students. I hear from parents that they want
to help their kids in this transition!! As Vice Principal – you know, the one who daily gets to talk with kids about
their behaviors - I like to help them keep it simple: Not here, Not now. So how do I help them understand and
carryout behaviors ―here‖ versus ―there‖?
Students sent into my office on a behavioral referral can always answer me correctly when I ask them, ―Where would it be OK
to do the behavior you were just sent out of class for?‖ They comfortably and correctly tell me that they could yell out to a
friend in this circumstance or that - or even that they can yell out to their parent here or there. They tell me they could wrestle,
they can interrupt, they can use their cell phone or IPOD, wear certain items of clothing, get up from the dinner table without
even checking in with others, etc., but they do know that those comparable behaviors don’t work in school.
If a student is sent out on a referral or a teacher emails a parent to let them know that their child’s behavior was not acceptable
on a certain day, the most useful phrase for a parent to use when discussing the event with their child might be – ―Where can
you do this, although you know that it is not to be done in class.‖ To argue for the child that what they did really isn’t a big deal
or that their behavior was misunderstood, complicates or muddles the situation for the kid trying to learn how to move easily
and appropriately between situations or environments with different rules. Horseplay in the classroom is just that: horseplay!
One doesn’t need to understand it, one simply needs to reinforce, ―Not here, not now.‖ Disrupting others in the classroom is
just that: disruption! One doesn’t need to understand it, one simply needs to reinforce, ―Not here, not now.‖ And the list goes
on… no name calling, pushing, attention-getting behaviors, etc.
You can support your student by affirming with them, ―You’ll get it. Don’t worry. All of us figure out our way though the ―heres‖
versus the ―theres‖. As parents we want to help you get to it without added confusion.‖

                                    TEACHER SPOTLIGHT - JASON TEVES

Jason Teves received his BA in History in 1996 for UC Berkeley. After completing his BA, he attended Fordham University in
New York City where he completed an MA in Medieval Studies in 2000. When he returned to California he spent a semester
as faculty intern at American River College. A Teaching Credential in Social Studies from Sac State followed. Jason began his
teaching career here at Emerson in 2003. He has taught all of the Social Studies courses offered here at Emerson with the
exception of American Studies. In addition to social studies he has taught Reading and Learning Center classes as well.
In addition to teaching here at Emerson he has been involved with the WEB Orientation program for the past 4 years. He
began coaching the Emerson Boys Soccer team during his first year. He feels that these two activities allow him to see the
best in Emerson’s student body. They continue to amaze him with there selflessness, team spirit, compassion, drive,
perseverance, creativity and sincerity.
Jason is the father of two boys Daniel (age 4) and Peter (14 months) who keep him very busy. Mr. Teves’ life outside of
school is filled with history as well. For fun he is currently reading a biography of St. Bernard (who was the focus of his
Master’s Thesis) as well a translation of Xenophon’s Anabasis. He has also been practicing various forms of sword fighting for
20 years. He also likes to sew.
As a teacher Mr. Teves attempts to foster a curiosity in the ways in which societies function. He loves to hear about students
discussing Questions of the Day with their parents. Jason enjoys providing students with an opportunity to examine the past
by reading the primary source literature. Students in his 7 th grade World History class read passages from some of the great
works of the medieval world, including the Tales of the Heike, The Travels of Ibn Battuta, and The History of the Franks. He
feels that it helps students put the concepts into context. Jason feels that it is also important for students to understand the
past as a human situation. He enjoys using simulations in order allow students to experience the past in a more complex way.
He feels that it can be hard for students to understand the complaints of England under King John and the colonies under
George III if they don’t know what it is like to be taxed excessively. His solution is to place them in a mock economy with a
king who is struggling with crushing war debt.
When asked to share any successes (Personal or Profession) as they relate to Emerson, he was reminded of the motto on his
WEB shirt: ―Students helping Students Succeed.‖ He feels that he is merely providing students with the opportunity to
succeed. It isn’t his achievement it is theirs.
Page 5                                                     Emerson Eagle                                                 April, 2010

                                                 COUNSELORS’ NOTE

                                      The Wide World Web of Internet Safety

Technology can be a wonderful thing. As the world becomes more technologically advanced students can browse the Internet
to answer any questions they might have right at their             fingertips. With the development of social networking sites
like Facebook and Myspace, students can now instantly              send a message to their friends faster than it takes to make a
phone call. As wonderful as this can be to stay                     instantly connected to information, friends and family, there
is a tremendous amount of responsibility required to                use social networking sites.
The threat of cyber bullying is prevalent and bullying and      gossip is just as real online as it is in their daily lives. Some
would say bullying and the use of inappropriate and hurtful comments are a bigger issue online because of the lack of
immediate accountability. According to the National Crime Prevention Center, over 40% of all teenagers with Internet access
have reported being bullied online during the past year and only 10% of those kids told their parents about the incident.
Research suggests girls are about twice as likely as boys to be victims or perpetrators of cyber bullying. Of students who had
been cyber bullied relatively frequently (at least twice a month); 62% of students said that they had been cyber bullied by
another student at school and 46% had been cyber bullied by a friend.
On many of the social websites students can post pictures, make public comments, use their full names, addresses of the
school they attend and even phone numbers. Although the students’ intention is to only share this information with their
classmates and online ―friends‖, it can also unknowingly provide information for strangers. I have been told by students that
they feel their parents should ask permission to log onto their account because they feel it is an invasion of privacy. What I
find ironic is that anyone in the world can view their site, and this premise seems to escape them. Asking for your child’s
password is not inappropriate at all and I would encourage you to engage them in discussions on what kind of information is
appropriate in the cyber community.
The internet can be a tremendous resource for our kids if they have the knowledge to navigate it safely. Even older teens need
to know that adults will be aware of what they present online. Become familiar with the online world and ask to see your child’s
profiles and sites. This communication can only keep your child safe and it lets them know you care about them.
The following websites have been established to help parents gain an understanding of internet dangers and cyber bullying.
Provides information to parents, educators and children on how to use the Internet in a smart and savvy way. There is also
NetSmartz specifically for children 12 and under.
Online Safety Resources
The intent of this list of resources is to assist you as a child, teenager, parent, or teacher to increase your knowledge of online
safety and practices.
Facebook online safety for parents
Guide for internet safety
Guide to all kinds of internet Rules N Tools
It is a healthy practice to discuss online communication and the consequences. Even older teens need to know that adults will
be aware of what they present online, and the potential impact of this when it comes to applying for colleges and jobs. Your
online profile is an extension of who you are and needs to be well thought out. Being familiar with the online world and asking
to see your child’s profiles and sites is important. This communication can only keep your child safe and it lets them know you
care about them.

Stephanie Meyers Emerson 9th Grade Counselor/ DaVinci Counselor
Michael Leahy Emerson 7th and 8th Grade Counselor
Page 6                                                    Emerson Eagle                                             April, 2010

                                            PTA COMMITTEE UPDATES

                             April 12 Kicks Off Emerson Earth Week Celebration
                         By Anna Amsler and Jill Van Zanten, Emerson Green Committee Co-Chairs

Emerson will be celebrating Earth Day a little early this year in a big way. The PTA Green Committee has worked hard to
bring a new water dispenser to school that takes local Davis water and refrigerates and filters it. The dispenser will be
unveiled at lunch on Monday, April 12 with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the school principal, Ms. Via and the PTA president,
Sarah Rock. April 12 kicks off our Earth Week celebration.
To encourage our school community to enjoy this new feature at Emerson and to reduce wasteful use
of plastic, Emerson students have designed a ―Green Emerson‖ stainless steel water bottle that will be
available for sale at the Emerson Carnival (April 8-11), in the Emerson Indoor Commons (April 12-16)
and at the first home track meet (TBA). Those students who turned in a signed pledge will receive a
free bottle at our ceremony on April 12.
The bottles will come in red, blue, green and purple and will feature three award-winning logos
designed by Emerson students Gwen Schuman, Anika Niva, and Holly Nuovo. They will sell for $5 at
the carnival (filled with ice water) and $4 at school and school functions. All profits go to the Emerson
Our talented Emerson students have also designed a new
Green Emerson T-shirt. The shirt has a white background with
stunning blue & green logos on front and back designed by
Kasey Carlson and Seunghyun Kim. In addition to looking
great, the shirt has received approval by the PE dept., so
students can get one now to wear this spring and then also use
it for PE next year if they wish. It is made from recycled cotton
and will cost $12, with the profits going back to Emerson to fund
the opening of the Green Student Store this coming fall. The
store will sell environmentally friendly school supplies on
campus, in addition to offering free reusables to students who
need a poster board, binder, etc. The shirts will go on sale at
the carnival and then be available at school and school events
starting April 12.
Also not to miss: Earth Expo on campus Wednesday, April
14th, from 12:30-1:00.
This is a great chance to learn in more depth WHY we need to
wean ourselves off of bottled water and other consumer habits,
and how to make environmentally conscious decisions now and
in the future. Several organizations will have displays:
            The California Fuel Cell Partnership and the Air
             Resources Board -- showcasing cars that run on
             clean energy.
            City of Davis, Public Works -- how to recycle
            California Department of Water Resources -- keeping water clean and conserving it.
            Emerson Earth Club Students – greening our own campus & recruiting new members.
            Emerson Science Department – solar ovens.
            Cluster NEWS students -- worm composting bin out for showcase and collection.
Check out for updates on who will be there.
We hope to have more exhibitions for the students. Please contact Anna Amsler at if you have any
interest in showcasing your organization or business and the positive environmental impact it provides.
Last but not least . . . Don't forget the Emerson Rummage Sale on Saturday, April 24, 8 am-12 noon in the front of the
school. We would like donations, so if you are doing some spring cleaning, please consider dropping some unwanted but
reusable items off in the front office. Thanks and remember to come to the rummage sale!
Check out for more information on how Emerson is greening up!
Page 7                                                     Emerson Eagle                                                April, 2010

                                            PTA COMMITTEE UPDATES

                                     Emerson Garden Is A-buzz with Activity
                                                        Deborah Ottman

Thanks to good weather and financial support from PTA, we can finally begin to get some of the garden repairs
done, and spring planting can proceed. Fresh veggies are growing: broccoli, onions, sorrel, potato plants, fava
beans, peas and herbs, among many other non-edibles. Interested teachers either have or will soon purchase
seeds for Spring planting, and post appropriate signage before the ―Garden Open House‖ in May.
Pat Dressendorfer has been weeding, tending the compost, seeking donors for wood chips and horse manure,
listing and pricing needed tools and materials, vying for funding to sustain our garden and passing on her vast
knowledge and experience to others who will continue to maintain our garden in the years to come.
Rena Nayar’s Science 7 class keyed out one flower using a dichotomous key and will be keying out more California native
wildflowers later this week as they talk about classification of living things (genus and species, etc.) A dichotomous key has
yes/no questions they go through to get to the name.
 Deborah Ottman’s 8th grade Spanish Immersion students have been stationed about the garden, reading and studying a play
about ―The Day They Stole All the Colors,‖ while she catches up on some weeding. Her students will soon be planting Jamaica
– for a delicious red drink typical of Mexico and the Caribbean, and Cempazuchiles – Marigolds for Day of the Dead Flowers.
Mrs. Ottman has also been maintaining the garden, class connections and green events at There is
a link to this site below the Emerson picture at Emerson’s web site. Thanks to PTA support, she was able to purchase a digital
camera with which she will be able to contribute actual pictures or our garden, rather than stock photos from the internet. Sra.
Ottman is requesting someone with a truck to transport six 6’, 4 x 4 posts, two 5’ x 16’ sheets of heavy-duty pig-pen wire and
three bags of gravel, plus individuals willing to loan two or three post-hole diggers and volunteers with muscle to dig them and
help build the arbor in the latter part of April, over which gourds will grow this summer.
Anna Amsler’s Earth Club will be adopting a garden plot in addition to their general school beautification.
Eric Jacobson’s Social Studies 7 will soon be harvesting grains, then planting for the Fall.
Robert Arosteguy’s 9th graders have been slowly working on a couple plots immediately next to the portables. They’d love to
have donations of seeds or plants - annuals or perennials - for them to plant. They’d even take cuttings or transplants that
parents or community members are willing to share. Just something for the kids to plant and create a landscape they can be
proud of.
Greg Brucker will arrange a quartet for the ―Open Garden‖ about a half an hour before Open House on May 7, so parents can
still hear what’s happening in the IDC and visit classrooms. The community will enjoy beautiful music and light refreshments
as they stroll through our garden, hopefully being inspired to volunteer. We can always use help, and are looking for
volunteers to weed, prune, help with small repairs and share in tending to the garden over the summer.
Maintaining and sustaining the Emerson Garden Program requires regular funding and year-long coordination. Plants need
attention over the summer; sprinklers need to be monitored and repaired, etc. Weeding and pruning needs don't stop
either. For the Emerson garden to remain a valuable asset, someone or a team of people need to step up to coordinate the
various aspects of our very successful program. Please help. You may contact any of us via email by typing the first initial of
our first name, followed by our last name, and ending with Thank you for your interest and support. We
hope to hear from you soon.

                                                   Submitted by Toni Terhaar

Once again our Emerson parents were very generous with providing food and beverage for the Career Day presenters, staff
and volunteers. I believe there were 54 speakers who came out to talk to the students. Thank you to Starbucks on Lyndell
Terrace for providing the coffee. The presenters had their choice of coffee, orange juice, other fruit juices, bagels and cream
cheese, muffins, fresh fruit and other breakfast items. I am always amazed at how much food and beverage a few email
requests can produce! Thank you to the Emerson students who helped with the tables and answered questions. Thank you
to the set up and clean up helpers: Susan Osfeld, Lori Hannagan, Lisa Babcock, Jesse Chabot, and Russ Kanz.
There will be another hospitality event in May and more details will come at a later date. Thanks again, parents, for all of your
Page 8                                                      Emerson Eagle                                             April, 2010

                                               EMERSON TEAM SPIRIT!

The Emerson Girl’s Soccer Program had over 30 girls sign up which allowed us to field both a 7 th grade team and an 8th grade
team. Each team (Gold and Black) got to play 5 games.              Considering that most other schools in the league had their
teams combined, we are proud to say that our                         combined regular season record was 6 wins, 3 losses, and
1 tie. This was a very solid season for our lady                     Eagles. As their coach I want to thank each athlete for
sharing their time and talents with their school. This               was a great group of girls with some serious soccer
skills! The season ending tournament is scheduled for               March 30 and 31st, and we will share the results in the May

Coach J

                                                       Emerson Track

Track and Field practice will begin for all 7th and 8th grade boys and girls who are interested in joining the
team on MONDAY MARCH 29th after school at 3:30. You must have a sports physical completed and
over a 2.0 GPA to participate. The coaches are Amanda Campbell and Matt Roberts, they are returning
for their 3rd year as Emerson Track and Fielded coaches. Thank you Amanda and Matt! You can reach
Coach Campbell at if you have questions or would like to help out and
volunteer with our track program. We are looking forward to another wonderful season.

Please see Mr. Leahy if you have immediate questions about joining the team.

                                                STUDENT ACTIVITIES

                                                  Earth Week Activities

                                                       Monday, April 12:
                                                      Shirt: Wear green
                      Lunch: Pick up/buy a water bottle and Earth shirt. Unveil water dispensing machine

                                                       Tuesday, April 13:
                                                      Shirt: Wear animals
                 Lunch: Make a tie dye shirt (bring your own shirt or Earth shirt), buy water bottle or Earth shirt

                                                   Wednesday, April 14:
                                                     Shirt: Wear flowers
                            Lunch: Earth Expo out by picnic tables, buy Earth shirts or water bottles

                                                       Thursday, April 15:
                                         Shirt: Spirit Day - Wear Emerson Earth Shirt
                                Lunch: Green Scavenger Hunt, buy Earth Shirts or water bottles

                                                        Friday, April 16:
                                                     Shirt: Wear Tie Dye
                             Lunch: Plant trees/shrubs in Indoor commons and Back office hallway
Page 9                                                    Emerson Eagle                                                April, 2010

                                          FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER

                                               Parent Education Nights

The Secondary Schools Parent Education Committee (a joint project of DaVinci Charter Academy, Davis High, Emerson
Junior High, Harper Junior High, and Holmes Junior High parent groups) have planned a full year of parent education nights.
Some of the information has changed since our last announcement, so be sure to mark your calendars for:
                                            Wednesday, April 7, 2010
                                           Community College Options
              Don Palm, Dean Sacramento City College Davis Campus, 7:30 p.m., Davis High School MPR
                                            315 W. 14th Street, Davis
Don Palm will give parents an overview of the opportunities community colleges offer students. His talk will cover how
community college certificates can lead students into certain career paths, as well as into other forms of higher education.
Questions? Please contact Davis High PTA coordinator, Eve Dunaway,

If you have any questions or would like to help organize these or future parent education events, please contact a committee
 Davis High PTA Parent Education Coordinator, Eve Dunaway,
 Emerson Junior High PTA Coordinator, Anne Happel,
 Holmes Junior High PTA Coordinator, Anne Finkelston,
 Harper Junior High PTO, Ann Moylan,

                                     Junior High School Parent Education Nights
                                            2009-2010 Davis PD Youth Services
                                                     Presentation #4
                       Dangers of Over-The-Counter Medications, Prescription Drugs and Ecstasy
                                      April 22, 2010, Harper Jr. High, 7:00-8:30 p.m.

                     Sign Up To Be An Active PTA Board or Committee Contributor

It is not too late to join the PTA Executive Board or Committees. If you are interested in any job, or have an idea you want to
bring to the Emerson PTA, please contact Susan Osfeld at We have only heard from two people, and
we are losing at least four current members for the 2010/2011 school year.
                                                    March/April: Outreach
                                                April 13 meeting: Nominations
                                                       May 10: Elections

                                               Class of 2013 Listserve
Parents and guardians of 9th graders who will be attending Davis Senior High School next school year are invited to subscribe to
the Class of 2013 Parent Listserver. The purpose of this listserver to promote parent-to-parent communication on class-specific
issues, activities and concerns. It can also be used to facilitate Q&A with DSHS counselors and to disseminate information from
DSHS when requested. To subscribe, please visit this link:
This listserver is facilitated by parent volunteers and hosted by the DSHS PTA with technical assistance from Davis
Community Network.
Page 10                                                       Emerson Eagle                                             April, 2010

                                              FAMILY RESOURCE CENTER

                                               Strategies For A Sober Break

The parent groups at Davis high schools and junior highs have launched a parent information campaign, aimed at informing
the adult community of teen alcohol and drug use. Our hope is that as parents learn about the prevalence of substance/
alcohol use and the risks to teens who use alcohol and drugs, parents will take more active steps to prevent use by teens.
Many families have signed the Davis Parents Do pledge:
     ·    To host only alcohol-free, tobacco-free and drug-free parties for teens
     ·    To discourage teens from consuming alcohol, tobacco or other drugs in my home; and
     ·    To discourage my teen(s) from attending unsupervised parties.
We are looking for representatives to this joint parent group committee, especially from Harper and Holmes. We have an
updated website and are also looking for a webmaster. If you are interested in helping, contact committee chair Cathy Farman
at or 750-0321.
Our parent tip for the month comes from
   Spring Break is highly anticipated for most children, as they look forward to some time off school. But for many parents this
   means kids at home alone or kids hanging out with their friends. In either case, supervision is the "key" to keeping your child
   safe, as research shows that unsupervised tweens are three times more likely to engage in risky behaviors like smoking,
   drinking and using other drugs.
   For lots of tweens [and teens], spring break will be their first experience being without an adult for an extended period of
   time each day. Let's talk about some other "firsts.‖
          Everyday, 8,000 kids take their first drink of alcohol.
          Everyday, 8,000 kids use an illicit drug for the first time.
          Everyday, 6,000 kids smoke marijuana for the first time.
          Everyday, 2,000 kids try their first prescription painkiller (for non-medical purposes).
 To avoid these "firsts" for your child this spring break:
          ·   Safeguard all over-the-counter and prescription medications
          ·   Lock the liquor cabinet and make any other alcohol inaccessible
          ·   Make clear your expectations regarding smoking, drinking and using other drugs
          ·   Set rules as to which friends (if any) are allowed over while you're gone
          ·   Know where your child is and who he/she is with at all times
          ·   Check in with your child throughout the day with a quick call or text
Do your best to reserve some time with your child this break, even if it's just an evening at the movies or family game night at
home. The more involved you are, the closer your child will feel to you. And kids who are close with their parents are less likely
to engage in risky behaviors.


             Toni Terhaar for doing such a wonderful job with Career Day. Look for more from Toni in May.
             The Green Committee: for organizing a logo contest, ordering bottles and t-shirts, and bringing us
              the filtered water system.
             Frances McChesney for handling Hal Reid nominations.
             Mr. Carnival, Bob Lawson, for getting the carnival project done in record time.
             To Susan Osfeld for persevering to redesign the website so it is easier to manage and more accessi-
              ble to more people because of its simpler platform. If you are interested in web design and would
              be interested in helping on our PTA website, contact me at
Page 11                                                  Emerson Eagle                                                April, 2010

                                           PTA PRESIDENT’S REPORT

I don’t know about you, but from here on out there won’t be a dull moment at our house because of concerts,
athletic competitions, and sign ups for summer activities and next year’s schedules. Please consult the PYTA
calendar and website to keep up with the many opportunities and deadlines that are coming up. .

The PTA is already thinking about what big ideas we might want to implement next year. At our next meeting on
April 13, 7:30 – 9 pm, I am going to propose that we recommend a focus area for making a (relatively) substantial impact next
year. Although we can’t bind the PTA for next year by any decision we make now, we can start planning for promoting ideas
and activities through the summer.

One idea is that the PTA could spearhead a ―campus beautification‖ project. Anna Amsler, our PTA teacher representative,
the Green Committee, members of the PTA at large and others are interested in working with students, staff, the district, PTA
members and community entities to do what we can to improve the external appearance of our school. Emerson is here to
stay, and until the district has actual dollars to spend on facilities work, we need to do what we can to show the students who
attend Emerson and the teachers that work here that we value them. We can do a lot with gardening, paint and clean up
efforts. I am not sure what actual work parents can do, as there are union issues involved in doing the work of personnel, but
Ms. Amsler and her students can accomplish a lot with our support.

The district has approved a committee of parents from DHS to help increase our ―curb appeal‖ in preparation for Grad Night,
which, if you don’t know, is held at Emerson every year. The PTA will work with the committee to find volunteers and
resources to work with the committee to have a bigger impact. If you have resources you would love to apply to making our
school look better, please contact me. No offer refused!

Be sure to come to school on April 12 at noon for the big reveal of our new filtered drinking water system. Thanks to all the
members of the Green Committee and Ms. Via for working so hard to make this happen. Students will use their special new
Emerson water bottles…See the article by Ms. Amsler in this newsletter.

Sarah Rock
Emerson PTA, president

                                       Star Testing Window April 19-May 7
All public school districts in California have been mandated to participate each spring in the California Standardized Testing
and Reporting (Star) Program that assesses all students in grades 2 through 11. This year, the testing window for grade 2-11
students in core curricular areas is April 19-May 7. Your child’s school will notify you of any changes in the daily schedule.
Additionally, there will be a writing assessment for students in grade 7 on March 3 (with make-ups occurring March 4) and the
writing component of the Early Assessment Program will be offered on March 3 for high school juniors. As always, we ask
your assistance in making sure your children are in school, on time, rested and have eaten a good breakfast.

Excerpted from DJUSD Superintendent’s Message dated 3/2/10

                                                Every Little Bit Helps!

1. Keep Box Tops coming!!!!! Have your child drop them off in the front office. Also go to to learn
   how to earn money for Emerson!
2. We continue to ask for old cell phones, digital cameras, and ink jet cartridges so they can be recycled environmentally and
   raise money for Emerson. Go to to see what else you can donate. Items can be dropped off in
   the front office.
Page 12                                                   Emerson Eagle                                             April, 2010

                                         HAL REID MEMORIAL AWARD

                                   Opportunity to Nominate Emerson Faculty

Students, Teachers, Parents - You now have a great opportunity to honor your favorite teacher for a special award. Each
year, a committee that includes a PTA representative and last year's winners, chooses two faculty members to receive the "Hal
Reid Award" based on your nominations. This award is given in honor of Hal Reid, the first Principal of Emerson Jr. High. The
award includes placing the winners' names on a perpetual plaque and a cash award to the two teachers.
This award is presented to two members of the Emerson faculty who display the following qualities:
1.        Demonstrates strong commitment to the school.
2.        Demonstrates excellence in teaching.
3.        Demonstrates caring and concern for students.
4.        Demonstrates commitment and leadership over and above what is required.
5.        Communicates effectively with parents and colleagues.
Please submit your nominations using the nomination form below by April 14, 2010. The forms are also available in the School
office. Forms may be submitted by email to, directly to Jerri Ernstrom in the office, or mailed.
Please watch for the announcement about the award ceremony!!

                            Last year’s winners: Matthew Sonstein and Barbara Cannizzaro

                                            HAL REID MEMORIAL PTA AWARD
                                                  NOMINATION FORM

This annual award is presented to two members of the Emerson faculty who display the following qualities:
1.        Demonstrates strong commitment to the school.
2.        Demonstrates excellence in teaching.
3.        Demonstrates caring and concern for students.
4.        Demonstrates commitment and leadership over and above what is required.
5.        Communicates effectively with parents and colleagues.

Name of Nominee:
Paragraph describing why the nominee deserves this award:

Signature                                                                 Date
Forms may be submitted by email to, directly to Jerri Ernstrom in the office, or mailed to:
                                                Hal Reid Memorial PTA Award
                                                        Emerson PTA
                                                       2121 Calaveras
                                                      Davis, CA 95616

The deadline for nominations is April 14, 2010. Please direct any questions to Frances McChesney at
The presentation will be made during Emerson’s Celebration of Day of the Teacher May. Look for the announcements.
Page 13                                                     Emerson Eagle                                                April, 2010

                                                  IN THE COMMUNITY

                              2010 Street Smarts Teen Traffic Essay Contest
                                                         First Prize: $300
                                                       Second Prize: $200
                                                        Third Prize: $100

Open to: Davis residents in grades 7 through 12
Guidelines: Participants are asked to compose an original essay of at least 400 but no more than 600 words on one of the
three topics below. Essays must be typed and double-spaced, must include the attached entry form and may be submitted by
e-mail to: or hand-delivered or mailed to: Crystal O’Hara, City of Davis Public Works Department, 1717
Fifth St. Davis, CA, 95616. Entries must be received by April 16, 2010 at 5 p.m.
     ·    It’s called a crosswalk, not a cross wherever.
     Marked crosswalks and intersections are the safest place for a pedestrian to cross the street. Statistics* indicate that about
     three-quarters of the more than 600 pedestrians killed annually in California are hit by vehicles while crossing outside of
     intersections or marked crosswalks. Yet jaywalking abounds.

     So tell us: Is it really worth it to step out into the street mid block?
     ·    Use your head, use your helmet – correctly.
     Head injuries are the leading cause of death in bicycle crashes. Riders without helmets are 14 times more likely to be in-
     volved in a fatal crash than helmeted riders. Bicycle helmets have been shown to reduce the risk of head injury by as much
     as 85 percent and the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent**. For this reason, helmet use is the law for kids under
     age 18. But you’ve all seen it: unbuckled helmets, helmets in bike baskets, helmets dangling from handlebars, etc.

     So tell us: How would you convince your friends to wear a helmet properly when bicycling?
     ·    Thumbs are for steering.
     A survey conducted in the summer of 2009 by the Pew Research Center found that about 26 percent of teens ages 16-17
     admitted to texting while driving. California banned texting while driving in January 2008, but the practice continues, espe-
     cially among teen drivers. This despite studies*** that show that texting while driving is just as dangerous, or even more
     dangerous, than drunk driving.

     So tell us: What do you think should be done about texting and driving?

                                                   2009/2010 Yearbook
There are a limited number of yearbooks available, and once they’re gone…they’re gone! Don’t miss out on the opportunity to
reserve your copy! Place your order online at www.jostensyearbooks or by calling 1-866-282-1516. Checks or cash can also
be brought to Emerson, room A-1. The price is only $45.00 for a full color book of memories! ORDER NOW! Contact Jennifer
Wolfe at Emerson, or email
Page 14                                                            Emerson Eagle                                                         April, 2010

                                                    NEWS FROM THE DJUSD

                          Attendance Accounting: Is it New or Does It Just Seem So?

There has been a great deal of discussion in the media recently about attendance and truancy rates in our region highlighting
the negative effects on a child’s education as well as our district finances. We would like to offer some information that might
help students and their parents/guardians understand the obligations of the Davis Joint Unified School District related to school
attendance laws.
When students are absent from school, the State allows the absence to be excused for a medical illness, appointments related
to health, and other personal reasons listed at the end of this article.* Excused absences carry the right to make up work and a
period of time to do that with no penalty. That is why it is essential for parents to inform the school staff of absences. In turn we
try to keep parents well informed about their child’s attendance via personal calls, automated calling systems, and Parent Con-
Recently school office staff have received calls from parents who have been under the impression that calling in the absence
to the school automatically excuses the student. It certainly accounts for the student’s whereabouts which is paramount to
keeping him or her safe. However, it is the reason for the absence, not the parent call that determines if the absence is ex-
cused or unexcused. .
Absences are coded as ―unverified‖** until we hear from the parent/guardian. The parent or guardian has three school days to
call in the absence so it can be coded either ―unexcused‖ or ―excused.‖ Other than the specified reasons allowed by the State,
all absences are unexcused.*** This is not a district decision; it is Education Code and required attendance accounting. If no
call is received after three school days, then the ―unverified‖ code becomes permanent and the absence counts as unexcused
and cannot be changed thereafter
When students are unexcused, they do not have automatic rights to make up the missed work, and they may be subject to in-
tervention if they accumulate more than three days of unexcused absence. Education Code also requires that the District send
a formal letter after three days of unexcused/unverified absence and additional letters for any more absences of this type.
Therefore, it is also essential to avoid unexcused absences.
Please understand that this effort to determine the status of absences is unrelated to collecting school funding. The State
does not fund a single day of student absence for any reason, not even the excused days. Keeping track of the reasons for
absences is an Ed Code requirement related to compulsory education and the parent responsibility to make sure their child is
in school.
When children are ill, we all want them to recover sensibly, and also avoid infecting others. Likewise, extraordinary situations
may occur which require being out of school. However, in the case of an elective absence, we hope parents will weigh the lost
instructional time for their child as well as the lost funding to the school against the reason for the absence. The district offers
short-term independent study to students whose parents are removing them for five or more days. The missed days then be-
come instructional days, the absences are excused, and State funding is allotted for those days.
Please call your school if you have further questions or need more information. We want to work together for the benefit of all
our students.

*Excused absences: illness; quarantine; medical, dental, optometry, chiropractic service; funeral for immediate family member, limited to one
day in California, three days out of state; jury duty; medical appt for a child in the custody of the student; justifiable reason (court appearance,
religious holiday/ceremony, employment conference) with written request of parent/guardian and approved by the principal or designee. Ed
Code 48205:

** Unverified=no parent/guardian communication with the school

*** Unexcused= parent/guardian authorized absence but not for the Ed Code reasons stated above in *

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