New Emerson News

New Emerson School •  Newsletter Issue 1 • September, 2022

New Emerson Selected for District Bus Tour

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Superintendent Dr. Brian Hill, along with other members of the district leadership team, as well as representatives from the school board, arrived the second week of school to tour New Emerson — one of four elementary schools selected for the tour. Three fifth graders led our visitors around the campus.

Welcome Back to Another Great Year at NE

Hello, New Emerson Families.

First of all, thank you for all you have been doing to make this another great school year. To begin our school year, we celebrated our playground ribbon cutting with Dr. Hill, School Board members, Andrea Haitz and Will Jones. In addition, New Emerson was selected for the School Bus Tour which is one of Dr. Hill’s 100-Day plans to visit all schools in District 51. Board members and the D51 Administration toured our school with three fifth grade students leading the way.

In addition to a busy beginning, The Imaginarium— the new Orchard Mesa STEAM playground housed on our campus — is almost complete. I would like to extend a shout-out to all of the New Emerson families that came to our May working weekends removing pea gravel, digging out old equipment, and removing the fence.

Thank you, Adam Schuler, for helping with the engineering phase of the project. Thank you, Roman Fulgenzi and family, for removing the playground and swings. Thank you, Araan Schmidt and family for cutting and removing the metal bars. Thank you, Jesse Zacher, for supplying your skid steer. Kudos to the following contractors: M&M Concrete Construction Inc., K & B Construction and Excavation, and DunRT Landscaping. The Imaginarium could not have been completed without everyone’s help!

Signage, more crushed granite, a new surface for the basketball court, new basketball hoops, and the art project are still outstanding projects we need to complete. Without the funding from New Emerson families, community businesses, and the Colorado Health Foundation, we would not have been able to provide this amazing play space for our learners and the Orchard Mesa Community.

Lastly, thank you for your patience and flexibility as we navigate the end-of-day pickup line after school.

Thankfully, our car line is being reduced by learners attending Eureka's after-school program here on campus, and more students are also riding the bus. Our bus driver, Frank, is doing his best to meet the scheduled times at each bus hub. I highly encourage families to give the bus and Eureka a try. Carpooling is also another option. Thank you for your continued support as our small staff works hard to try and meet the district's safety requirements and the needs of our campus.

Please feel free to contact me anytime this year during Early Bird Reading, through email,, or make an appointment. I look forward to another great year with you all.

After-School Pickup Line Do's and Don'ts

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1. Please have your child/ren enter your vehicle from the passenger side.

2. Do not get out of your vehicle.

3. Pull forward as far as you can— please, do not stop at the gate unless your vehicle is second behind the orange cone.

3. If you need to assist in buckling your child up, please let them get in and then pull forward to the cone. Once your vehicle has pulled all the way up to the cone, then it is appropriate to exit and safely buckle your child.

Thank you for your help to make the pickup process go as quickly as possible.

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Meet our New Teachers — Mr. Matthew & Ms. Omelia

From the Office

Welcome back New Emerson Families. And a HUGE welcome to our new families. It is so wonderful to see you all and especially awesome to hear the buzz of all the students in the building. This is going to be a great year.

Remember do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all. Also, please call or email me ( if your child will be absent from school or needs to leave for an appointment. I will contact the teachers so that they are aware. It is my responsibility to maintain the attendance records. You must sign your student out if they are leaving during the school day. Your student is tardy at 8:01. Please make sure your learners are here by 8:00.

Each student needs to have a water bottle at school each day. In the past we had extra water bottles for those students that forgot them. We do not have those at this time. Please consider having an extra water bottle that your learner will leave at school for those days when their primary water bottle is left at home. This will assure that they continue to drink plenty of water.

An FYI for those of you that may not be aware: You may come to school and have lunch with your child. You must sign in at the office and you will be given a “visitor” sticker to wear while you are on campus.

I heard a rumor from a Giant that a tree may start growing soon in the outer office. Stay tuned for more information…

Again, welcome back families.

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Special Services Offered at New Emerson

By Shannon Pitton

Special Education Teacher

The start of the school year is a chaotic and emotional time for us all, but it can be especially challenging for students who are struggling to keep up with the pace and demands of school. Parents and caregivers may notice little quirks or struggles in our children and wonder if it is a phase, or if there really is an issue that needs to be addressed. Parents know their children best and are their best advocates. If you are noticing differences in your child’s developmental milestones, academics, language, sensory processing, executive function, or social-emotional skills, I encourage you to speak up. Early intervention matters tremendously with learning and self-worth.

By definition, learning disabilities are not the same as learning challenges. A learning challenge may be caused by problems with vision, hearing, or movement. Learning disabilities are disorders that affect the ability to use and understand spoken or written language, do mathematical calculations, coordinate movements, or direct attention.

Learning disabilities and learning challenges are not linked to emotional or mental health problems or to your culture or environment. But many children with learning disabilities have other problems that make school hard including ADHD, executive function deficits, and challenges with behavior, emotional regulation or working memory.

Much of the time a learning disability does not have a cause but research has proven that learning disabilities do tend to run in families—much like brown eyes or another genetic trait. Experts believe that some children have learning disabilities because their brain uses and processes information in a different way than other children's do. We refer to this as neurodiversity. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a child’s brain, it simply receives, stores and retrieves information differently.

So what do you do if you suspect a learning challenge or learning disability in your child? The first step would be to talk to your child’s teacher and see if they are noticing the same concerns. You can also reach out to me anytime! I would love to help answer questions or to brainstorm some support we can get into place for your learner and family. I also want to remind you that each child walks, talks, and develops at their own pace—this includes learning as well. We need to support each child as best as we can as they grow and learn throughout their school career.

At New Emerson we have dynamic and experienced General Education and Special Education teams. Services that we provide include Social-Emotional Learning, Executive Function support, Occupational Therapy, Speech Language Services, Moderate Needs Academic support and services, Enrichment, Mental Health Services, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse learner support. In addition to Special Education services provided through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), we also develop 504 Plans for students who do not need academic services but may need certain support and accommodations in their learning environment. If you would like to talk about any concerns or questions you may have, I would enjoy connecting with you.

Shannon Pitton

M. Ed, Special Education

970-254-6500 x 53109

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Campus Life

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(Top) First graders are having fun in music class with Mr. Matthew. (Above) Fifth graders partner up with first graders to do some "Buddy Reading" together. (Below) The first weeks of school presented our learners with some interesting ENGINEERING STEAM challenges in the Libratory.

Setting Up Classroom Norms & Learning Agreements

Every teacher at New Emerson spends a lot of time the first month of school setting up Classroom Norms/Expectations, Standard Operating Procedures (S.O.P.'s) and a Classroom Code of Collaboration with student input (below). Here is a fun video (bottom) of a few of our fourth and fifth graders acting out some of these Class Norms in the Libratory last week.
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New Emerson Libratory Rules in Action! 2022 23

Keep up with what's going on at New Emerson!

About Us

We are a small, public K-5 magnet school at Mesa County Valley School District #51 in Grand Junction, Colorado. Students are chosen at random through a lottery system every January/February. Our school's magnet focus is currently S.T.E.A.M. education.