Emerson Middle School Newsletter

February 3rd

Emerson Families,

Please read below for the latest news, reminders and updates from Emerson Middle School and School District 64.

Stay warm and be safe. Enjoy the weekend!


Dr. Samantha Alaimo

8th Grade Promotion Dates

Promotion: Tuesday, June 6th at 6:30pm on the Maine South Football Field

Rain Date: Thursday, June 8th at 6:30pm on the Maine South Football Field

Lunchroom Behaviors

As we approach the middle of the school year, I wanted to touch based about expected lunchroom behaviors.

Students are expected to:

  • Remain at their table
  • Keep their areas clean
  • Not throw food
  • Not scream/yell at others
  • Use appropriate language
  • Follow lunch supervisor's directions
  • Dress appropriately for recess
  • Not roughhouse or touch others at recess
  • Keep their cell phones in their lockers

The basis of the expected behavior directly relates to our SOARS behavior matrix, which focuses on respect, empathy, safety, responsibility, and self-regulation. Our expectations are that compliance will remain high, however, it is sometimes necessary to remind students that certain lunchroom behaviors will not be tolerated and will result in the consequences.

Also, as the colder weather approaches, please remind your students to bring a coat and even a hat and gloves to school for recess. Students need to be appropriately dressed for the cold weather as we go outside for the recess period.

Thank you for your partnership!

Spring Conferences

Spring conferences are on February 28th from 3:30-7:30pm. These conferences are by request only. If a conference is needed, a teacher will reach out to you in the next two weeks.

St. Baldrick's Charity Event

This week your child participated in the St. Baldrick's kick-off assembly. You can learn more about this organization by reading this brief introduction or by visiting the Baldricks website.

Now it is time to fundraise! Here are a few routes you can take with your child to help raise money for pediatric cancer research:

  1. Sign up to be a volunteer. All your child has to do is find ways to raise money for the account they create. Remember once your child raises $75, they automatically get a Baldrick's t-shirt.
  2. Sign up to be a shavee. Raise $150 and on March 08 your child, along with your child's peers, will get to shave their head to show their support to those battling cancer. Your child will also receive a free shavee t-shirt.
  3. If your child would like to donate their hair, specifically 8- inches of their hair, sign up as a shavee. Raise $150 and on March 08 your child will get a haircut. The hair will be donated to Locks of Love and they will receive a Baldrick's t-shirt as well.
  4. Share the Lincoln/Emerson Baldies link with your family, friends, etc. Use your circle of influence to your advantage.

If you have any questions reach out to either Ms. Dobrydnio (edobrydnio@d64.org) or Mr. Lawson (elawson@d64.org).

The deadline to sign up is February 17th!

St. Baldrick's Barbers Needed

If you are a licensed barber or stylist in the state of Illinois, Emerson needs your help!

Our St. Baldrick's event is on Wednesday, March 8th from 11:30am-2:00pm. Barbers will be provided a light lunch before spending time shaving heads or cutting off ponytails for donations. Please consider donating your time and talent to helping our students and staff "Brave The Shave" and helping in the fight against childhood cancer!

If you're interested in being a part of this AWESOME event, please contact our Barber Coordinator, Jess Caplis, at jcaplis@d64.org.

Emerson Green Team

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!

~Your Emerson Green Team

Emerson's News Broadcast: WEMS

Each Friday Emerson airs WEMS, our local news broadcast, to all students in homeroom. Check out this week's edition HERE.

Vocal Notes Newsletter

Please see the the Vocal Music Notes Newsletter #18 from Mrs. Broeker.


During the month of February, Emerson will participate in a school wide service project where we collect ALL shoes (any size, any condition) for the SneakerHeartz organization. We will collect shoes at the Ts on all three floors and outside the gym. Previously, we did this as a grade level competition, but due to timing we are going to make it a building wide effort and try to collect 500 pairs of shoes this year!

On Friday during homeroom, students watched this presentation to kick start the event It's about 5 minutes in length. This collection will run from February 1st- February 24th. If you have any questions, please call the main office.

SOARS Advisory Update

During the month of January, Emerson has been learning about and completing activities pertaining to Social-Emotional Learning through our curriculum, Second Step. This learning happens during our Wednesday advisory program. Please click here to read all about this!

4pm Bus: Please Read!

The 4pm bus is available to students who stay at Emerson for after-school activities. Students who leave our property are not allowed to return at 4pm to take this bus. Recently, students have been leaving Emerson and returning to take the bus. This is not allowed. Thank you for understanding.

Teen Leisure Clubs at Emerson

Check out the TLC Website for more information on how to start a TLC, descriptions of available clubs, and the calendar of when you can join in the fun!

Email Mrs. Contreras or the TLC sponsor(s) with any questions.

Early Entry Passes

Early Entry into Emerson begins at 7:35am. ONLY students who have a signed pass from a teacher or parent may enter the building early. Students may enter through the main entrance by the office and will be let in once the door supervisor opens the door to check passes. Entry BEFORE 7:35 will not be allowed unless there is extreme weather or a situation approved by the school. Please use this link to find extra passes for home use.


Young Authors' Contest

The Young Authors Contest is here! This is students' chance to turn their creative ideas into a published piece of writing. Submission guidelines can be viewed electronically (see link below), and students can also find them around school (near water fountains and in LA classes).

Although this is an independent project, we’re always happy to support students in the LRC. For example, do they need:

  • a quiet space to write?

  • a resource for choosing just the right word?

  • examples of story hooks to inspire your introduction?

We can’t wait to read submissions. Best of luck to everyone in writing the winning manuscript!

Young Author Guidelines 2023

Winter Illness Update

We’ve seen an uptick in all illnesses these last few months, and an uptick in COVID cases since we returned from Thanksgiving. Although Cook County transmission remains in the medium range, this is something we want to keep an eye on. There are several ways we can mitigate transmission, and this note is a quick reminder of some of those steps.

Please click HERE to read more from the District 64 Nursing Department.

Winter Weather Guidelines

As we turn to winter, it’s time to share with everyone what our weather guidelines are for potentially closing schools. These are the guidelines we would follow if we had to close school due to weather conditions.

In the event we need to close due to weather, students and staff will not attend school that day, and should we need to make up days during the school year, we will adjust the calendar accordingly. While it's never ideal to have to interrupt learning, I appreciate your understanding and cooperation when we are concerned about student and staff safety at school.

Opt-In D64 Text Alerts

District 64 continues to utilize many different platforms to ensure you have important information delivered to you in the most convenient way. One of those ways is through our SMS Text Messaging Service.

Getting messages delivered to your mobile device is a helpful tool, and District 64 is reenergizing our efforts to bring this to you.

These alerts will be info about events, school closings, safety, and more. That said, our SMS Text Messaging Service will be used supplementally in our communication efforts and does not replace any school emails or calls you are receiving.

How to receive text messages:

  • You must opt-in to receive text messages. To do so, you will need to text “Y” or “Yes” to 67587.

  • If you’d like to no longer receive District 64 text messages, you have to send “Stop” to 67587.

If you have any questions regarding the use of text messages to communicate District/School messages, please email Christopher Lilly at clilly@d64.org.


We are seeking student photos from any and all school events. If you have any pictures that you would like to share, you can send them over through either of the following options:

Thank you in advance for all your help.

News from PTO

St. Baldrick’s

Emerson and Lincoln PTO’s are partnering with schools to fundraise for St. Baldricks.

We need licensed stylists to come and volunteer their time to shave heads for the event. March 8th; Approximately 11:30am - 2:30pm

We are also looking for volunteers to assist in a variety of roles to make this event a success.

Please reach out if you’re able to help or have questions. ems.pto.64@gmail.com

Pizza Wars

We are hoping to bring back this fun Emerson tradition this spring. If you’d be interested in helping please email: ems.pto.64@gmail.com


PTO membership is the main fundraiser for the Emerson PTO. It helps fund our whole yearly budget for student events, support staff and all the other little things. If you have not yet joined, please do today!


Next PTO Meeting

Wednesday, February 15th@ 6:30p.

If you would be interested in joining PTO board for upcoming year please email: ems.pto.64@gmail.com

Lunch Reminders

The cafeteria will not be accepting cash to purchase lunch items. Students must use their MySchoolBucks account to purchase any food. Please see this flyer for more information from Quest, our food service company. You can also get a food service overview by clicking HERE.

Unlike elementary school, you do not need to pre-order meals or beverages. Students may select from daily offerings in the Emerson cafeteria. More information about our school lunch offerings and payment can be found here on the D64 Middle School Lunch webpage.

Though we have many food choices in our cafeteria, most Emerson students bring their lunch to school. We strongly encourage this during the first weeks of school while we get our cafeteria systems and procedures up and running.

We highly encourage waste-free lunches. To help reduce waste, please consider using reusable containers for your child’s food and drink, rather than disposable bags and bottles. Emerson is committed to green efforts in the lunchroom. The cafeteria also has a lunch waste sort station for students to empty their lunch waste into recycling, compost and trash. We encourage all students to do so every lunch period.


If students forget something at home or are being brought a lunch, items may be dropped off at the Emerson Office. We instruct students to check in with the office during passing periods to pick up these items. We will not interrupt class to notify students of items/lunches delivered to the office. As noted in our district student/parent handbook, parents are discouraged from delivering lunch to the office from local restaurants; lunches brought to the office should be reserved for emergency situations, such as a forgotten lunch.

Activity Bus

There will be three 4:00pm activity buses that will go to the Franklin, Carpenter, and Field areas. The buses will run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. These buses leave the the school around 4:15, giving students time to get from their activity to the bus. Please note: there is no 4pm bus on Wednesday or Fridays before long weekends/holidays.

Attendance Reminders


All students are expected to be seated in homeroom at 8:05 a.m. Students who arrive at school after the homeroom period (8:05 to 8:10 a.m.) must report directly to the office before proceeding to class. A doctor’s appointment or a bus problem are acceptable excused tardies. All other reasons will be considered unexcused. Exceptions must be approved by the principal. To assist students and parents in correcting this problem, a sequence of escalating interventions is followed after three unexcused tardies. These range from calls home, parent letters and conferences at school, detentions, tardy contract, and possible legal action against the parents.

Early Check-Out

If a student needs to leave the school before the end of the day, a parent note giving the reason, date and time of departure, and person picking up the student should be given to the teacher whose class the student is leaving. If you email this message to the teacher, please be sure to include the school secretary (em-office@d64.org) as a recipient. The student should report to the office at the time of departure. The parent or guardian must come into the office to sign out the student for the length of time the student will be away from school. If your child returns to school before the end of the day, please enter the school building and sign your child back in before he/she returns to class. Please note that students must arrive by 9:20 a.m. or be dismissed after 1:45 p.m. for their attendance to be counted as a full day.


For safety reasons and in compliance with state law, a parent is requested to notify the school office in writing or by phone within the first hour of school. If notice is not received, the school secretary will call parents at home or work to confirm the absence. To report an absence, please call the school office anytime, day or night, to access the voice mail system at 847-318-8110. When calling, please provide: student’s name; classroom/ homeroom; date of absence; and reason for absence. For illness, please share symptoms or diagnosis.

• EXCUSED: A valid cause for absence includes illness, observance of a religious holiday or religious instruction, death in the immediate family, family emergency, other situations beyond the control of the student, other circumstances that cause reasonable concern to the parent/guardian for the student’s safety or health, or other reason as approved by the Superintendent or designee. For a student to be released from school as an excused absence to observe a religious holiday or for religious instruction, parents should give written notice to the Building Principal at least five calendar days before the student's anticipated absence.

• UNEXCUSED: Absences due to vacations, travel, attendance at a cultural or sporting event, or participation in a team sport, acting or fine arts performance are considered unexcused. This also includes tiredness (unless your child is ill), oversleeping. If your child is NOT called in by 10am, they will be marked unexcused for the day, and parents will be contacted by the office to verify the absence.


Every school day is important, and the District strongly discourages scheduling family vacations on school days as these are considered unexcused absences. If your child will be absent from school for an extended period of time for a family trip, please inform the school office and your child’s teacher. Work will be given upon return for students leaving the country or immediate District area when your children RETURN to school. It must be completed at home under a parent’s supervision. Teachers are not expected to provide homework or assignments in advance for students who will be absent for an extended period of time for family vacation and other activities.

School and Office Hours

School hours for student classes are from 8:05 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. Please note that each Wednesday, students are dismissed at 2:10 p.m. for staff professional development activities.

Doors to the school open for students each morning at 7:58 a.m. Homeroom begins at 8:05 a.m. Students with an early entry pass will be permitted to enter the school between 7:35-7:45, but not before. There will be a teacher opening the door to permit entry at that time. We WILL allow students to enter before this if there is inclimate or cold weather.

School office hours are from 7:20 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Remember that our student absence line (847) 318-8110 is available 24 hours a day. Please let the Emerson Office know as soon as possible if your child will not be in attendance. Please do not rely on e-mail notification for reporting absences as it may not be seen until later in the day.

Portal Access

All Emerson students and parents are provided access to schedules via the PowerSchool parent and student portals. The PowerSchool Parent Portal allows you access to your student’s academic information, including student schedules and grades. If you have any questions on how to login, please contact the Emerson Main Office for assistance at (847) 318-8110.


Emerson Middle School, along with all District 64 schools, operates in accordance with policies and practices that have been reviewed and implemented by the District 64 Board of Education. Please review the D64 Student-Parent Handbook prior to the start of the school year to familiarize yourself with the information contained in it. We want to work in partnership with you to ensure a positive school year, and having an understanding of this information will help to promote a successful school year. This handbook is intended as a convenience for District 64 families and staff by summarizing selected information about procedures, services and programs. It also provides a quick reference for contact information and District timelines.

Emerson Website and Calendar

The Emerson website and Emerson school calendar are valuable resources to keep informed of important updates and events throughout the year. The calendar is kept up to date throughout the school year, and new information is posted regularly. We hope that these tools are helpful resources for keeping you and your student organized and informed as we progress through the year.
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