March 11th

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Dates to Know

Monday, March 13th - IAR testing begins for 3rd-5th graders (One test a day for 6 days: 3 ELA/3 Math)

Thursday, March 16th - 4-7 Parent Teacher Conference (Teacher-Requested)

Thursday, March 16th - 7:00 pm Board Meeting with Carpenter Presentation at District Office

Monday, March 27 - Friday, March 31st - No school - Spring Break

Tuesday, April 4 - Teacher Institute Day - No students

Friday, April 7th - No school


Dear Parents and Guardians,

After spring break, the Carpenter faculty works together on a very difficult but important process. At this time, we begin to create class lists for the next school year. It is a very long process that has many stages.

Because the placing of students in classrooms for next year is such an important decision, we use a very specific and detailed process for all children. We consider six criteria in making our decisions, with no one being more important than another. The following criteria are considered together as a whole before placements are made:

• The total number of children in all grade-level classes needs to be equal.

• The ratio of girls and boys should be balanced in each grade level class.

• Ability levels of students need to be balanced in each grade level class.

• Leadership skills and other affective characteristics need to be balanced.

• Students’ learning styles should be matched appropriately with teachers’ instructional styles.

• Some student combinations should be split for social or academic reasons.

If you would like to provide specific information about your child to assist in the homeroom placement selection, please submit a letter/email by this Friday, March 24, 2023. That information might include the parents’ view of how the child learns best, the environment that seems to suit him or her best, peer social matches to possibly avoid (not always possible), and any other pertinent details. Such information will be considered as one component of our process, but the final decision about class assignments rests with the principal and the teachers. Even if you submitted a letter in the past, I'm asking if you'd like something to be considered for 2023-24, I would like a new letter/email as situations and individuals change.

Due to the nature and complexity of this task, we cannot reduce the process to simply accepting requests for specific teachers. PLEASE BE AWARE, LETTERS THAT CONTAIN TEACHERS’ NAMES WILL NOT BE GIVEN CONSIDERATION IN THE PROCESS. I ALSO ASK THAT YOU NOT PUT OUR TEACHERS IN AN AWKWARD POSITION BY ASKING THEM SPECIFICALLY FOR A HOMEROOM PLACEMENT. At times, they are not able to follow through on a request and I do not want them to feel responsible for not being able to follow through or for those requests to interfere with our other considerations.

Any letters received after Friday, March 24th will not be considered in the process. Please note that the teachers and I spend an inordinate amount of time on this particular process and we take it very seriously for all of our students.

Lastly, please note that once homeroom assignments are made and letters are sent in August, we do not accept requests for changes for all of the reasons stated above. So, please take the opportunity now to share your thoughts. If you have questions or feel you need to have a conversation with me that our letter method doesn't provide, please contact me as I'd rather have this conversation now than a complicated conversation in August.


Hello Future Emerson Families,

Welcome to Emerson Middle School! As part of your child’s transition to Emerson, we would like to know which world language, French or Spanish, you would like your child to take in sixth grade. Please click on this link to fill out a short form indicating your choice. Please fill out this form by March 16th. Thank you!

Please contact me at: salaimo@d64.org if you have any questions.


Dr. Samantha Alaimo
Emerson Middle School

Gr 3-8 IAR schedule - Help your child be ready

The Illinois Assessment of Readiness Test, an assessment for all students in Illinois in grades 3-8, will be administered in District 64 from March 13-March 24.

The best preparation for the IAR has been the quality instruction our teachers have provided this school year. However, there are things you can also do to promote your child’s success:

  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast before each day of testing.

  • Provide your child with words of encouragement. While we don’t want our students to feel anxious about any assessment, we do want them to do their best.

  • The IAR is an online assessment and students will be using their Chromebooks to complete these tests. Please make sure your child brings his or her Chromebook to school each day, fully charged.

Pictured below is our school’s tentative schedule for test administration.

If you would like to learn more about the IAR tests, sample tests are available for your review. Thank you for your support in helping your child be prepared for upcoming testing.

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Recycling Plastic Bags

Did you know? A plastic bag doesn’t degrade, it only breaks down into smaller pieces and has negative impacts on ecosystems and food chains if not contained. Only about 2% of bags are actually recycled. Support the Maine South Environmental Club by bringing in your plastic grocery, ziplock/sandwich, newspaper, bread and cereal bags. Their goal is to collect 500 pound of plastic bags to build a bench near their front pond. Send your child with clean plastic bags and will ensure your plastic bag goes to a good cause! ~ Carpenter Green Team.

CoVid Communicating

This year, instead of sending out an email for CoVid cases, we will be updating a slide on our website. Please bookmark this page if interested in keeping tabs of our current cases and associated homerooms. I'll leave this in my weekly updates as well, but I'll gradually move this towards the bottom of the reading material.