Emerson Cheetah Check-In!

Emerson Parent Newsletter: August 7th, 2020


Emerson prepares students for lifelong success by embracing and nurturing the whole child. We create learning environments centered around students, facilitated by teachers, and supported by families and our community, so that every child grows and succeeds.


We are a relationship-centered school:

  • students are known, valued and celebrated.

We support all students:

  • academic and social emotional programs meet students where they are and accelerate them forward.

We are committed to equity:

  • we eliminate racial, socioeconomic and gender inequities through culturally relevant learning experiences.

We are a learning community:

  • with a learning stance, we use inquiry and reflection to improve our practice.

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Black Lives Matter Protests Around the World

Food Distribution Changes!

Beginning on August 10th families will need to show proof of enrolled students in order to pick up food. This can be done through school ID’s with a barcode, family letter sent by Nutrition Services, or on the spot look up.

Hello Emerson Families!

Welcome back! We are so excited to welcome you to this school year. Our community at Emerson is inspired, mobilized and committed to taking action in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. We are a school that is and has been committed to eliminating racial inequities, building student-centered learning environments, and building community always. We are more centered now in this Vision than ever, as a result of the social uprising this summer, and the Movement for Black Lives.

Here's what to know and expect from us as educators:

  • We are talking about what it means to be anti-racist in our professional learning gatherings. We are considering the implications for our children, and our classrooms, and adjusting teaching accordingly.
  • We will continue to talk together with families, to build community.
  • We will be talking about race regularly in our community spaces, while building intentional within and across race spaces for open and honest dialogue to learn and better ourselves.

We look forward to learning together with you!

This Year!

We have never seen a start to the school year like this one. We are beginning school in our homes, via our computers instead of in person welcoming each other with hugs and high fives. I'm sure like me, this is not anyone's preference, and yet I know that WE are collectively working to make the absolute best of a truly hard situation. Simultaneously our unions are vigorously working to insure strong working conditions for our educators. Please know that our team is doing everything we can to insure a strong foundation for the year. We know the information from us and OUSD is sometimes not as fast as you may like. We are working to get our systems strong, for the duration of the year, so that they last, they serve us and you, and we can best reach and support our students/families academic, and social-emotional needs.

Some of the information in the Newsletter below is repeated (from last week), to insure new families have access to information. Some information has been revised.


Talking Points

We will be using “Talking Points,” as our main communication to our families. This will be used both school wide and for individual classes. You can download the free Talking Points app or use it through your text messages. Your child's teachers will be contacting you via Talking Points! Talking Points will also be used to share "Cheetah Check-In Newsletter."

Note: If you'd like to add a parent/guardian to Talking Points Communications, just respond to a TP message with the guardians, name & number, and we will add them. ALSO - many of you reached out already about adding a contact, thank you!... but when the Talking Points system reset for the new class lists, we lost all that info! Apologies. You will need to communicate with us, about adding additional contacts again.

School Messenger

School Messenger is an email based system that will be used to send school-wide communication, like "Cheetah Check-In Newsletter" as well.

Google Classroom

3rd-5th grade classes will be using google classroom to organize their work for students, post announcements, and receive student work and take daily attendance. Google Classroom will be accessible through Clever. Your child’s teacher will reach out through Talking Points to help get your student connected to their new online classroom.


TK-2nd grade classes will be using the platform SeeSaw for students to access their work. SeeSaw will allow students to send their teachers work in a format that is accessible for younger students. Your child’s teacher will reach out through Talking Points to help get your student connected to their new online classroom.


The first two weeks will be focused on supporting our students and families to get adjusted to distance learning.


This year teachers will be taking daily attendance to track student’s engagement in distance learning. This is required for all California students, per state law (AB 77 / SB 98). Examples of “engaging/participating in distance learning” are logging into a live on-line class, logging into google classroom, platforms or apps, responding to an email, text (to the teacher of record), or completing an assignment for the day.

Home Visits

Teachers will be making one-on-one contact with each family from their classroom during the first two weeks of school, for a virtual home visit! This will be an opportunity to discuss your student’s strengths, challenges during distance learning and your concerns/questions around distance learning. Teachers will also provide a checklist with expectations for their students and parents can use this as a way to support your child during the school day.

Morning Meetings

Starting on Monday, August 10, teachers will be hosting morning meetings, immediately following our whole school Welcome Back Kick-Off! These morning meetings will be a space where students can get to know their new teacher and peers, teachers can set norms around distance learning, and start to create daily routines around the first two weeks of school. We hope all of our students will participate in these meetings especially since it will be our way of creating community for our students and class.


During the first two weeks of school, student work will be posted on Clever, for all Emerson students. Teachers will be sharing with you and your child the information for how to access Clever. Assignments will have a variety of work students can do at home, independently, while teachers and families work together creating systems for successful distance learning.


In the first two weeks of school, teachers will be in contact with parents regarding plans to pick up materials (notebooks, books, instructional materials, etc).

Please reach out with questions.

Much appreciation,

Heather Palin

Principal @ Emerson

Cheetah Scholar Challenge!

We invite all Emerson students to our Cheetah Scholar Challenge!

Students can take a picture or a video doing the dance that Ms. Kemp-Sellers is doing!

The challenge will be in effect from August 10th-September 1st!

We are asking that students upload a picture or the dance on Instagram tagging our:

  • Emerson's Cheetah Squad Instagram @emersoncheetahsquad and
  • hashtagging #emersonscholarchallenge

If students can't upload picture or video to Instagram - they should send it to their teachers!

Scholar Challenge!
Understanding Attendance During Distance Learning

Daily attendance during Distance Learning is required this year, per state law. Teachers will be taking attendance based on engagement in distance learning activities EVERY Day! Please take a minute to review this information.

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Coffee Chat with the Principal

Friday, Aug. 14th, 9am

This is an online event.

Bring your coffee for a virtual chat with Principal Palin.

Join Zoom Meeting https://ousd.zoom.us/j/82255793832 Meeting ID: 822 5579 3832 One tap mobile +16699009128,,82255793832# US (San Jose) +12532158782,,82255793832# US (Tacoma)

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Registration Shout-Out!

Huge Shout-Out to all the families that completed Registration! Huge Shout-Out to Ms. Champion, Ms. Sandra and Ms. Antionette for calling families individually to support with this process. We know that moving registration online to Aeries presented challenges. We appreciate you working with us to navigate this new process to OUSD, for the safety and health of all our community members.

If you have not yet completed registration, we will be reaching out to you individually to support.

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