Emerson News

June/Mid-summer Edition

Emerson Summer Office Hours

Beginning on Monday, June 15th, all PESD front offices including the Emerson School Office began summer office hours from 9:00 AM until 3:00 PM daily, Monday through Friday.

For best service, and to promote safe health practices, please call the front office and schedule an appointment - (602) 257-3853. We will limit the number of people in the waiting area in order to adhere to the CDC’s social distancing guidelines and to keep you and everyone as safe as possible.

For walk-in visits, please call the front office when you arrive in the parking lot and Fabiola or Monica, our office manager and assistant office manager, will invite you in when it is your turn to enter. The number is (602) 257-3853. Walk-in visitors without an appointment will be seen in the order in which they arrive. If the phone line is busy, please leave a message and you will be called back promptly and maintain your place in line.

Thank you in advance for your support with this adjusted practice and for helping all to stay safe as we offer the best possible customer service at Emerson.

To Make an Appointment

Please call (602) 257-3853

For New Enrollees: Visit www.phxschools.org/enroll

Or Call (602) 523-5757

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A Promotion Less Ordinary

By Nick Lodato

As COVID-19 school closures made traditional promotion ceremonies unviable for schools and families, the middle school teachers at Emerson got straight to work. They considered a variety of plans, consulted health guidelines, and got input from students and families. Their idea - a promotion parade.

On Wednesday, May 20th, a Phoenix Elementary School District bus led a parade of cars driven by their middle school teachers - Patricia Miller (Social Studies), Melissa Mancilla (Science), GiHwa Hughes (Math), Zein Sy (ELA), and Adam Lovelady (Autism), as well as Bernadette Duguay (social worker), Dana Ramos (IEIS), and I. Other Emerson staff, many of whom taught these students formerly, watched parade updates via Remind as we moved about the city.

We drove to the homes of 44 students, from Litchfield Park to South Phoenix to Central Phoenix and Midtown, and hand-delivered promotion certificates, scholarships, and yard signs displaying student photos and “Congratulations!”

As we approached, eighth-graders and their families greeted us in their front yards, standing with mylar balloons and signs in hand. Together we celebrated our students and closed this extraordinary chapter in their lives, effectively sending them off to high school. We are proud of our eighth-grade students and, when conditions improve, we invite them back to Emerson, a place they can always call home. Congratulations, Eagles!

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Congratulations Eagles!

Emerson Beautification Plans Unfold

By Nick Lodato, Principal

More than a year ago, parent and community members began voicing their interest in beautifying the Emerson campus to ensure it remains alluring to current and prospective families. They worked together with Emerson staff and leadership to initiate design plans for a new facade and new ironworks to adorn the large gates along Palm Lane and the courtyard gates adjacent to the front office. Local artist, Dan Moore, owner of the Oxide Studio, submitted design plans. Those plans were activated in the 2019-20 school year and the district funded this capital project in support of our school and community.

On June 11th, Dan and his assistant (also his daughter) began painting the tree branches across the north-facing wall near the office (shown in photo). As the wall surface is coarse, they are still perfecting their technique, but they will spend a little more than two weeks in the month of June completing the work of art. When they are done, there will be iron leaves in relief that stand out from the wall and there will be ironworks in the design of trees -- the branches extended as open arms and the message of “Come Grow with Us!” echoed visually.

In continuation of our School Improvement Plans, we have more work to do in the realm of beautification. Our plans for an Emerson Mural Fest are on hold due to COVID-19 and school closures, but six local artists have been identified and plans are forthcoming. We are just waiting for a time to be able to bring people together to realize the vision. It may not be until next spring, but it will happen. Additionally, two prospective designers have been identified and have taken tours of our campus and comparative campuses to begin brainstorming plans for a Garden Party, which is to say, plans for a variety of gardens and green spaces to be launched when conditions make it possible to bring people together once again. When done, our vision is for Emerson’s curb appeal and external ambience to be as warm and inviting as the children and community that inhabit its walls within.

If you or your business are interested in sponsoring a mural or a garden, please contact me at (602) 376-8243. If you are interested in being involved in painting or planting at a later date, stay tuned to school communication and our monthly newsletter.

Update on Re-opening Schools

By Nick Lodato, Principal

This summer, teams of administrators, principals, teachers, and staff have been working diligently and thoughtfully to determine how we will provide education and services to our students and families when school resumes on August 6th. It is unclear at this point in time what the format and options may be, although four scenarios were considered and plans are being made for all four:

  1. Full return to school

  2. Partial return to school with some days on site and some at home

  3. Full distance learning with all children continuing to learn at home

  4. Intermittent start/stop plans

The teams have considered gen ed implications, things pertaining to all students, and special education implications and needs. They have also consulted the CDC guidelines and those of the state and county health departments as they have made their recommendations to district administration. Additionally, a parent survey was issued to ensure parent voice was solicited, heard, and incorporated in the plans. On Thursday, June 11, an update was issued from the district office announcing that Back-to-School Plans will be shared on Tuesday, June 30th. Please stay tuned on that date for important information.

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Caring Coalition continues to work diligently to bring food to neighborhood families including our students. If you would like to help please take a look at their newsletter:


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Keogh Health Connection is extremely excited to announce it is Telecommuting and providing phone appointments to assist with applications for AHCCCS (medical assistance), SNAP (food stamps), TANF (cash assistance) during the pandemic COVID-19 crisis. Clients will not need to leave the comfort and safety of their homes.

One of our Emerson parents, Addie Martinez, is available to assist clients in need of services, or to provide flyers upon request, or to host a virtual meeting with parents. If you have any questions or need assistance navigating the social services available to you, please feel free to call her directly at (602) 710-0335. Her business card is provided above.

Yearbook Sales Continue!

2019-20 Yearbook Orders are still available at the links below. As the shipment has arrived, you can pay online and then pick up the copy of your yearbook in the Emerson front office, M-F from 9:00-3:00 PM beginning June 15th.

Please follow the link. https://commpe.pictavo.com/PictavoSchool/FindSchool

*Note: Be sure to select the state, city, and school (under Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary School)