Tuesday, October 1, 2019

October 2019

From the Desk of the Principal 
It's hard to believe that October is here and the 1st Term is almost over.  As always, our students and staff impress me with how amazing they are.  It is such a privilege to work in an awesome school.

I've had numerous conversations with parents regarding proficiency based progress/standards based grading/grades over the last month.  What I like to mention in each conversation is that the curriculum and teaching/learning activities have not changed and our students are still provided with highly engaging learning activities that are hands-on, problem-based, and unique to them.  Our students continue to talk about these learning experiences well beyond their years at Harter.  Essentially, grading hasn't changed either and the only true change is how we provide feedback.  This feedback has strengthened our efforts in supporting our students' learning.  The focus is more on the learning than a grade, which is why you will see fewer grades.  As we continue our journey, I'm finding it hard to contain my excitement because I'm seeing more and more students discussing where they are in the learning process citing specific evidence and creating artifacts.       

Have a wonderful month of October!  If I can ever be of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner

Bluestem and Caudill Nominee Author Dusti Bowling Coming to Harter
We are excited to announce that Dusti Bowling will be visiting Kaneland on Thursday, October 10th.  Dusti will be visiting KBK and KSS during the day and has agreed to present to all Kaneland families on October 10th at 7:00 pm in the Harter cafeteria.  Dusti will also be available to sign books. 

Dusti's book, Insignificant Event in the Life of a Cactus is on both the Bluestem and Caudill list for 2020. 

You can access the flyer here regarding Dusti Bowling's visit to Kaneland.

New York Times Bestselling Author Alan Gratz Coming to Harter
We are excited to announce another bestselling author that will be visiting Harter.  Alan Gratz is scheduled to present to our students and staff at an all-school assembly on Wednesday, October 16th.  Mr. Gratz's books are very popular with our students at Harter. 

Click here to access the flyer and order form to guarantee a personalized copy of his book, Allies.

Parents can order their child a yearbook by clicking on the link below.  After clicking on the link, enter our school code 14512.


Pay It Forward
Click here to access the most recent post on the Pay It Forward Blog.

Here is the new flyer that correlates with the most recent post.  If you know the answer, stop by SignFX.

Golf Team Success
Congratulations to Brad F and Wes H  on qualifying for the IESA State Golf Tournament that was held in Peoria.  Way to go!

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher Conferences are set for November 6th (3:00-7:00 p.m.) and November 7th (10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.).  We will be conducting student-led conferences.

What is a Student-Led Conference?
A student-led conference is a conference with parents led by the student.  The role of the teacher is a facilitator in the conference process.  Students lead parents through a discussion of their work and established goals.

For students to take ownership in their own learning, it is important that they are meaningfully engaged and student-led conferences is a powerful strategy to engage our students in the learning process.  Successful student-led conferences require changes in the roles that teacher, student, and parent have played in traditional parent conferencing.  Teachers become facilitators, students become leaders, and parents become active listeners and questioners.

Effectiveness of Student-Led Conferences
  • Students takes responsibility for reporting their learning to parents.
  • Students organize their work and prepare to share what they have learned with parents.  
  • Increases parent involvement and participation is schools.
  • Students engage in self-reflection of the learning process.  
  • Students develop self-evaluation and presentation skills.  

Each student will create their own student-led conference and we encourage all parents to attend.  We consider this a family event that highlights and celebrates our students and their learning.  Our staff and students begin working on student-led conferences months in advance.  Our teachers coach our students and prepare them to share detailed and specific information at the conference.  You may not see all of your child's teachers on this night, but please know that each teacher has worked with your child to help them share information the teacher would normally share in a traditional conference.  These reflection and advocacy skills are important in helping students become lifelong learners and if we truly want our students to drive their own education, student-led conferences is a great avenue in helping our students develop and strengthen the needed skills.

Your child's team will send out information to sign up for a conference.  There is no need to call to schedule a conference.  We prefer that all parents sign-up electronically.

Report Cards
The end of the 1st Term is October 11th and report cards will be e-mailed on Friday, October 18th.  If you have any questions or problems receiving your child's report card, please contact the main office.

Virtual Backpack
Our Virtual Backpack can be found on our website and it contains useful information related to our building.  The virtual backpack is updated often and bookmarking the page might be helpful.

Click here to access Harter's Virtual Backpack.

Middle Years
Click here to access the October edition of the Middle Years.

Awesomeness Around Harter

Artists of the Month

Kane County Judges Presentation

Created by Students

State Golf Qualifiers

School Fundraiser Assembly

7A VB Tournament Champs

Proud to be a Knight! 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

September 2019

From the Desk of the Principal 
In all my years working in a middle school, I have to say this has been the smoothest transition I have ever experienced.  The students and staff have continued to impress me with how awesome they are.  As I said at Curriculum Night, thank you for sending us such amazing kids each day.

As we continue to delve into personalized learning, which includes proficiency-based progress, patience is the key.  The work our teachers are doing with personalized learning is the right work.  It's definitely not easy and becomes extremely confusing to those that have never been a student in this type of environment, but in the end, we will meet our students' needs in ways we have never thought of before and in ways that are more meaningful than they thought possible. The learning that is taking place within our environment is focused more than ever on each student's skills, interests, and learning style, which assists in their success at school and beyond the walls of Kaneland.

The Taste of Kaneland was a fun event.  If you attended, I'm sure you also agree that this was a great family and community event that epitomizes a "family feel" in a school district.

If I can ever be of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal

Lunchroom Supervisor Needed
Harter Middle School is looking for a lunchroom supervisor.  It is a paid position and the hours are approximately 10:15-1:00.  Please contact Tim Swade if you are interested or would like to learn more about the position.  tim.swade@kaneland.org

Parents can order their child a yearbook by clicking on the link below.  After clicking on the link, enter our school code 14512.


Pay It Forward  - Pay It Forward Blog
Click here to access the Pay It Forward Blog

This blog is dedicated to a multi community-wide sharing of the book Pay It Forward.  Throughout the school year, Kaneland Staff will be posting videos and update on this blog sharing thoughts, ideas, and to connect to the community.  We encourage families to also post comments and videos  sharing the impact of the book and how you have chosen to Pay It Forward.  We look forward to sharing and growing as a Kaneland Knights Community.  To begin your family journey on how to Pay It Forward, start by reading pages 1-26 and watch our first video.  We are excited to work together on our community read!

Click here to access a Pay it Forward bookmark and QR code that brings you to the blog.

USAgain Partnership
Harter has partnered with USAgain and you will now see a bin outside of the the main office entrance.  Please click here to access a flyer regarding this partnership.

Quikrete Donation
We'd like to thank Quikrete for their generous donation of concrete mix that our students will use in our 8th Grade Construction classes.  We will share pictures in future newsletters. 

Middle Years
Click here for the September issue of the Middle Years.

The Middle Years publication is a monthly parent newsletter for middle school parents.  Harter Middle School subscribes to the electronic version of the Middle Years.  Every issue offers practical ideas for parents to help improve their child's school success, strengthen the home and school partnership, enhance parenting skills, and understand behaviors associated with this age group to help their child build positive character traits. 

The information in the Middle Years is offered as a resource for parents, and simply that.  We hope this information leads to healthy discussions of the challenges adolescents and middle school students encounter.  Please note that we are not endorsing this newsletter as the "end all,"  As parents, you have found numerous ways to help your child and the Middle Years hopefully becomes another resource to support your efforts.

Harter Middle School Fall Fundraiser
All students at Harter will bring home information on September 16th regarding our fall fundraiser. More information will be communicated through email in the near future.  

Principal's Chat
For the 2019-2020 school year, Mrs. Jill Maras, Principal of Kaneland High School, and Mr. Faulkner will be hosting Principal's Chats together.  These meetings are intended to create more 6-12 educational dialogue and we believe you will find this setup beneficial to your needs. 

Principal's Chats are an opportunity to meet and speak with the principals face to face in a relaxed environment.  Topics for discussion will be led by the principals and time is also included for topics our parents would like to discuss. 

The following dates have been established for the Principal's Chats:
  • Thursday, November 21st @ Harter Middle School - 8:00 am
  • Thursday, April 23rd @ Kaneland High School - 8:00 am

Pictures From Harter 
Jump Start

Student-Built & Delivered to KST

Taste of Kaneland

Taste of Kaneland
Taste of Kaneland

Proud to be a Knight!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

August 2019

From the Desk of the Principal...
Summer break is coming to an end and I can't wait to welcome over a thousand students and over 100 staff to Harter Middle School for the 2019-2020 school year.  Summer break is always a great time to relax and rejuvenate and I hope everyone was able to enjoy all the fun summer brings. 

I'll keep my message brief because this newsletter contains a plethora of information you will find beneficial.  I'm entering my 5th year as principal at Harter and time has flown by.  As the old saying goes, "time flies when you're having fun."  Harter is a wonderful place to learn, grow, and develop.  I'm thankful for the opportunity to lead this fabulous learning community and I look forward to our continued partnership in education.   

If I can ever be of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal 

Important Dates & Information to Kick-Start the 2019-2020 School Year 

***Schedules will be available on Tyler SIS August 1st after 1:00 p.m.  Bus routes will be available on Tyler after August 9th . 

***Please note that schedule requests or schedule changes cannot be accommodated.  The scheduling process takes time and involves numerous variables and our team has worked hard to provide each student an individualized schedule based on student need and data.         

August 5-9 - Jump Start (6th Grade)
If you registered your child for Jump Start, it will take place from August 5-9 from 8:00-10:00 a.m.  Jump Start is for incoming 6th grade students to ensure a smooth transition into middle school.  Students should report to the cafeteria.

August 8  - 7th & 8th Grade New Student Orientation
All incoming 7th and 8th grade students that are new to Harter will be given a chance to come in on Thursday, August 8th from 10:30-11:30 a.m.  Tours of the building will be given and questions will be answered to help ensure a smooth transition into KHMS.  A counselor will lead the new student orientation.  Students should report to the cafeteria.

August 8 - Open House
Open House will take place on Thursday, August 8th from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and then 4:00-7:00 p.m. Students are able to find their classes and put supplies in their locker.  We ask that all students put their items in their locker before the first day of school.

Open House is an informal event designed for students to prepare themselves for the upcoming school year.  There are no presentations and teachers will not be present.  Please print your child's schedule from Tyler or have it available on your device.  Unlike in years past, we will not have printed schedules for students.  Click here to watch a brief video on how to find your child's schedule, locker information, and bus information on Tyler.  Click here to watch a brief video on how to find the same information through the Tyler App on your phone or device (click the download button).  You will know your child's team by the letter after the number (i.e., 6R is 6 Red).

Our PTO will have an informational table at our Open House.  Please stop by to see and hear about all the wonderful things they do to help our students and teachers.

Also, there will be drop-boxes for you to turn in physicals and registration fees.  Please remember that registration fees can be taken care of through our webstore.

Lastly, PE uniforms will not be available for purchase at our Open House.  You can purchase your child a PE uniform through our webstore.  PE locks can also be purchased online and each student must have a district issued PE lock.  No outside locks are permitted.  Your child will receive their PE uniform and PE lock during PE class the first few days of the school year.

August 14 - First Day of School
The day we've all been waiting for.  The staff is excited to officially welcome your child to the 2019-2020 school year at Harter Middle School.

August 20 - Picture Day
Students will bring home order forms before the 20th.

August 27 - Curriculum Night
Please note that more information will be provided in the near future regarding our Curriculum Night.

New Staff at Harter
Please help me welcome our new staff members at Harter:

Kate Atkins (6 Blue ELA), Taylor Lehmann (6 White Special Education), Penny Bergstrom (6 White ELA), Morgan Grillo (7 Red Special Education), Kelsey Miller (7 White ELA), Alyssa Galvan (8 Red Math), Jennifer Margalus (Physical Education), Carissa Mingo (8 Red Special Education), Josephine Moran (Receptionist), and Rachel Rebsom (Physical Education),

We are excited to have these fine individuals join our family as they will all contribute to our tradition of excellence.

We also have two familiar names that are taking on new responsibilities: Pattie Pattermann (Computers and Athletic Director) and Kerri Jass (8 Blue ELA).

1:1 Chromebooks
All students at Harter Middle School will receive a Chromebook on the first day of school.  More information will be sent home in the near future.

Taste of Kaneland
The Taste of Kaneland is right around the corner and will be held on Sunday, August 25th from 3:00-7:00 pm at Kaneland High School.  It is going to be a great time for your family.

Click here to access the flyer from our website.

Supply Lists
Supply lists can be found by clicking here.

Immunization Requirements
All incoming 6th grade students are required to present a school health physical and proof of having received at least one dose of the Meningococcal Conjugate Vaccine (MCV 4).  The school health physical must be on the State form.  The immunization section or immunization printout accompanying the school health physical must be signed by the health care provider.  A sports physical does not meet the requirement for a school health physical; however, the school health physical will double as a sports physical.

If you haven't done so already, please turn in your child's school health physical on the State form by the first day of school.  If this requirement is not met by October 16th, 2019, your child will be excluded from school until the documents are received.  You may submit any physical or health form through email, fax (630-466-1999), mail, or it can be brought in with your child.

If you are looking for more information or health forms, please click here.

For a complete listing of health requirements, please click here.

Lunch Guidelines - Bringing in Lunch For Your Child
Parents are permitted to bring outside lunches for their child ONLY, not for other students.  This rule is strictly enforced due to food allergies and the potential disruption it will cause in our cafeteria.  Even if you know the other students (even with parent permission), we will still prohibit anyone bringing in lunch for any child other than their own.

We also do not allow students to bring in treats for other students to be shared for the same reasons as above.  Your cooperation is appreciated.

Lunch Accounts
Below is information regarding lunch accounts at Harter that you may find beneficial:
  • Once you make a payment online to add funds to your child's account, the account will update within a few minutes.   
  • Once you make a payment through the online service, you will automatically be alerted when your child's account is below $5.  
  • Once a student's account falls below $5, the student is alerted by our staff in the cafeteria.  
  • Cash or checks can always be sent with your child.  Please note that change will not be given when using cash.  The change is applied to your child's account.  
  • You can now see what your child purchases from our cafeteria.  
If you ever have any questions, please contact Gigi Statler by e-mailing her (gigi.statler@kaneland.org).  

Our PTO is always looking for volunteers.  Information on how you can support our PTO will be housed at tables during our Open House and Curriculum Night.  Make sure you stop by and check out all the wonderful things the PTO does for the students and staff at Harter.

Athletics - Physical
Please keep in mind that state law requires a student/athlete to have a current sports physical on file at school before they can tryout or participate in any interscholastic sports.  The physical must remain "current" during the entire sports season, meaning that is has been completed within the past 12 months of the participation date.  If your child is an incoming 6th grader, the required physical needed to begin middle school also doubles as a physical for athletics.  A physical form can be found here.

Extra-Curricular Offerings 
At Harter, we offer numerous extra-curricular offerings and they are listed below.  Other offerings may be included during the school year so be on the lookout for these offerings.  Please note that some athletic teams and after-school offerings require a student to tryout or audition to make the team/activity.  All athletics/activities that require a tryout or audition have an asterisk next to it.

  • Cross Country (Grades 6-8) - August
  • Girls Volleyball * (Grades 7 & 8) - August
  • Boys & Girls Golf (Grades 6-8) - September (See Fall Sports Information below)
  • Boys Basketball * (Grades 7 & 8) - October
  • Wrestling (Grades 6-8) - October
  • Girls Basketball * (Grades 7-8) - January
  • Bowling (Grades 6-8) - Winter 
  • Track & Field (Grades 6-8) - March
* Tryout required

  • School Play * - Fall
  • School Musical * - Spring
  • Fitness Club - Winter
  • Jazz Band * - All Year
  • KHMS Acapella Choir * - All Year
  • Art Club - All Year
  • Snowflake - All Year
  • Knight Writers (Student Newspaper) - All Year
  • Student Council - All Year
  • Yearbook - All Year
  • IMSA Fusion - All Year
* Audition required

Fall Sports Information
Our Fall sports information (Volleyball, Cross Country, & Golf) can be found on our athletic website or by clicking here.

School Safety
Please see District #302's information regarding school safety by clicking here.  From time to time, each of our schools experience some type of unusual event or incident.  The purpose of sharing this information with our parents is to provide the basic structure of our emergency plans and procedures.

Spirit Day Fridays
Every Friday has been designated as a school spirit day.  We encourage the staff and students to wear Kaneland Knights gear to show pride and let everyone know we are Proud to be a Knight. 

Research indicates that regular attendance is a big factor in academic and social success in school.  It is understood that some absences are unavoidable due to illness or family emergencies; however, every effort should be made to keep the absences at a minimum.  We want all of our students to be successful and a student’s attendance record plays an important role with this success. 

Please be aware of a few items regarding absences and tardiness to school:
·       State law considers a student truant if the total amount of absences exceeds 5% of the total days in attendance for the school year.
·       Once a student has been tardy four times to school, a detention is given.  Consequences become more severe as the tardies accumulate. 
·       We highly recommend that you do not take your child out of school for extended periods of time (three days or beyond); however, we realize that emergencies happen.  In a case of an extended absence, please inform our front office and the team leader of your child’s team.  We will disseminate any information to other teachers as needed.   

During the 2019-2020 school year, Harter Middle School will continue to utilize i-Ready, which combines a valid and reliable growth measure (assessment) with opportunities for individualized instruction all in an online environment.  The assessment feature measures a student's progress in reading and math, but the data can and will be used for all subjects to assist a student's success.  There are also options for students to receive individualized instruction based on the assessment data.  Not only will it assist students in areas where further development is needed, it will also provide students with extensions or enrichment activities.

More information regarding i-Ready can be found by accessing their website (please click here).  Our first round of testing will take place the first few weeks of school.  Along with other data, the i-Ready assessments will help us strengthen our efforts in meeting the needs of all students, which includes scheduling appropriate courses/classes.

Social Media
Follow us on social media:
Twitter - @kanelandharter 

School Help
Please feel free to contact the following individuals on top of your team of teachers and team leader:
Mr. Brian Faulkner - Principal -  brian.faulkner@kaneland.org
Mrs. Nicole Bakalis - Assistant Principal (special education)  nicole.bakalis@kaneland.org
Ms. Kris Weiss - Assistant Principal  kris.weiss@kaneland.org
Mr. Tim Swade - Dean of Students (discipline) - tim.swade@kaneland.org
Mrs. Marci Lapinskas - 6th Grade Counselor - marci.lapinskas@kaneland.org
Mrs. Jodette Wheat - 7th Grade Counselor - jodette.wheat@kaneland.org
Mrs. Denise Michels - 8th Grade Counselor - denise.michels@kaneland.org
Mrs. Lisa Campise - Social Worker - lisa.campise@kaneland.org
Mrs. Wendy Peck - Social Worker - wendy.peck@kaneland.org
Miss Kelly Gavin - School Psychologist - kelly.gavin@kaneland.org
Mrs. Josephine Moran - Receptionist - josephine.moran@kaneland.org
Mrs. Lisa Pitstick - Attendance - lisa.pitstick@kaneland.org
Mrs. Jen Mahon - Principal's Secretary - jenifer.mahon@kaneland.org
Mrs. Sheri Jenny - Registrar - sheri.jenny@kaneland.org
Mrs. Laurie Villalobos - RTI Coordinator - laurie.villalobos@kaneland.org
Mrs. Vicki Molander - School Nurse - vicki.molander@kaneland.org
Mrs. Gigi Statler - Food Service Manager - gigi.statler@kaneland.org

Pictures Around Harter (End of the 2018-2019 School Year)
Career Day
Kaneland Educators of the Year

School Musical

IESA State Track Send-Off

Letters About Literature Semi-Finalists
Student-Made Outdoor Furniture for McDole

McTeacher Night

McTeacher Night
McTeacher Night

Personalized Learning
Amazing Ind Arts Project

Personalized Learning

8th Grade Dance

Proud to be a Knight!