Friday, September 29, 2017

October 2017

From the Desk of the Principal...
Harter Middle School is full of life, and yes, I'm still witnessing students smiling all the time.  As I always say, the best part of my day is watching our students smile in the classrooms, hallways, cafeteria, and at extracurricular activities.  Learning is fun and Harter is an amazing place to learn and grow.     

The students have been working on their Learner Profiles as we continue our journey of personalized learning.  I am always impressed with our students and their ability to reflect on their learning.  If you haven't asked your child about their Learner Profile, I encourage you to do so.  Simply asking them to discuss some of their slides will be well worth your time.  I've had a few parents ask how they can support their child and their learner profile, and my answer is simple; have conversations about it.  Ask them to discuss who they are as a learner, reflect on their learning, and how this information is helping or will help them in the learning process.  Allowing our students to come to this understanding is powerful and it also promotes metacognition.  Metacognition is the goal and the more we guide this journey by asking them to continually reflect on their learning, the more they will get to know who they are as a learner.

The students will also begin working on their student-led conference presentations in order to be prepared by parent-teacher conferences.  There is more information regarding student-led conferences below.  Our personalized learning journey is getting stronger by the day.

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal 

The PTO Kolor Run is scheduled for Sunday, October 22nd at 1:00 p.m.  This is a great family activity.  You can access the flyer by clicking here.  It's never too late to sign-up.

Report Cards
The end of the 1st Term is October 20th and report cards will be e-mailed on Friday, October 27th.  If you have any questions or problems receiving your child's report card, please contact the main office.

An email was sent from Herff Jones regarding the purchasing of a yearbook.  In this email, there is a link for parents to order their child a yearbook.  In the near future, we will also provide this link on our KHMS website and in our monthly newsletter. 

Library Help Needed
Our library is in need of volunteers to help shelve books a couple of times a week. Any time of day would be appreciated! Other volunteer duties might include helping to check students in/out on busy days and laminating classroom materials.

 In addition to regular volunteers in the library, book fair help will be needed during the day October 25, 26, 27, 30, 31 and through end of parent conferences. Duties in the book fair would include checking for restock needs, handling a simple cash register, processing credit cards (during conferences only), assisting with setup on October 25 and tear down on November 2, in the evening.

If you are interested and available to help during the day or at book fair any time, please call
Rachel Ramos 630-466.8400 x77602 or email for more information.

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

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher Conferences are set for November 1st (3:00-7:00 p.m.) and November 2nd (10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.).  Teams will send out a Sign-Up Genius link for you to sign up for a conference.  There is no need to call in like you have in previous years.  Signing up for conferences will be done electronically.

Below is information regarding student-led conferences, which all teams and students will conduct.

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.  

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.  

i-Ready reports will be coming home soon.  Students will be given their math and reading reports to bring home and Harter will send an email informing the parents of this date. 

Please visit our athletics link on our website to find updated information regarding tryouts, sport-specific information, and athletic successes at Harter.

Golf Team Success
Congratulations to Katherine M., Cody G., and Josh P.  on qualifying for the IESA State Golf tournament that was held in Peoria.  Katherine placed 28th at the state meet while Cody placed 18th and Josh placed 4th.  Awesome job Katherine, Cody, and Josh!

Pictures From Harter (click on pictures to enlarge)

Cool New PE Activity

Our Student Do ROCK!

All-School Fundraiser Kick-Off
Awesome Science Project

Awesome Science Project

Artists of the Month
...And They're Off

KHS-KHMS Homecoming Assembly

KHS-KHMS Homecoming Assembly
Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade

Proud to be a Knight!

Friday, September 1, 2017

September 2017

From the Desk of the Principal...
The start of the school year has been fantastic.  I am impressed with our students and how well they have transitioned from summer break.  As I've shared many times before, I always see smiles on the faces of our students.  They are happy to be back and so is the Harter staff.

Curriculum Night was a great success.  Thank you for coming to the various sessions that we offered. We enjoy partnering with our parents and showcasing our learning community.  As I said last night, thank you for sending us awesome kids to work with everyday.

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal   

All students took the first i-Ready diagnostic assessments (reading and math).  The students were given a specific username and password that allows you and your child access to the assessment report as well as complete any online instruction.  Please remember that students are not required to complete any online instruction.  If you haven't visited the parent information folder that was created to help you navigate i-Ready, please do so by clicking here.  As we continue to implement i-Ready, we will provide useful resources to help you navigate all of its features.    

The KHMS PTO fundraiser is right around the corner.  On October 22nd, the 4th Annual Kolor Run will be held here at Harter.  The Kolor Run is less about running and more about having fun with friends and family.  The untimed course allows you to run or walk and participants are doused in different powdered colors along the route.  All proceeds benefit the KHMS PTO, which benefits our students.

Registration fees are as follows:

Before September 15th = $35 a person or $105 per family
After September 15th = $40 a person or $120 per family

If you have any questions, please email

Family Knight Out - PTO
Please find the September Family Knight Out events below.  When you eat at one of these restaurants, they will donate a portion of the proceeds to our PTO.  Our PTO is an amazing organization that supports our students in numerous ways.

  • Thursday, September 14th @ Genoa Pizza (44 Cross Street, Sugar Grove) - All Day - Click here for the flyer - Remember to mention the Harter PTO when placing your order.  

  • Thursday, September 21st @ Portillo's (531 N. Randall Rd., Batavia)  5:00-8:00 p.m. - Click here for the flyer that needs to be shown (printed out or on your phone)  

On September 1st, your child will bring home their 2016-2017 PARCC scores. Below is a link that provides you with resources to help better understand the results and answer questions you may have.

Drop-Off/Pick-Up Procedures
Please take a moment to read our drop-off/pick-up procedures by clicking here.  Please note that students should always be dropped off and picked up in the front/main office drive and not the back/south parking lot.  

Most Likely to Succeed 
The Kaneland Administration is hosting several screenings of the award winning film, Most Likely to Succeed, which is a story of how one high school's vision for personalized learning is impacting students.  The entire learning community is invited to view this film and three different showings have been established.

Thursday, September 7th at 1:00 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. at Meredith Middle School (next door to KHS)
Tuesday, September 12th at 6:30 p.m. at Harter Middle School

If you have any questions, please contact Dr. Sarah Mumm ( or Mr. Mike Rice (  

Harter Middle School Fall Fundraiser
All students at Harter will bring home information on September 18th regarding our fall fundraiser.  The first turn-in will be Friday, September 29th.  More information will be coming home soon.  

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

Principal's Coffee
For the 2017-2018 school year, Mrs. Jill Maras, Principal of Kaneland High School, and Mr. Faulkner will be hosting Principal's Coffees together.  They are combining the meetings to create more 6-12 educational dialogue and we believe you will find this set-up beneficial to your needs.

Principal's Coffees 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 Coffees:

  • Tuesday, October 10th @ Harter Middle School  3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 28th @ Kaneland High School  8:00-9:00 a.m. 
  • Tuesday, February 20th @ Harter Middle School  3:00-4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, April 17th @ Kaneland High School  3:00-4:00 p.m.

Progress Reports
Progress reports will be emailed home on Friday, September 22nd in the late afternoon.  If your email is not up to date in Tyler, we encourage you to update it.

Pictures From Harter (click on pictures to enlarge) 

Jump Start Success

Curriculum Night

Curriculum Night

Proud to be a Knight!!!

Friday, August 4, 2017

August 2017

From the Desk of the Principal
I always enjoy putting together the back to school newsletter.  The start of a school year still brings butterflies to my stomach as it did when I was a student myself.  Let me be the first to welcome you and your child to the 2017-2018 school year at Harter Middle School.

I am extremely excited to begin the new school year because it promises to be a great one.  For the September newsletter, I will highlight more of our goals regarding personalized learning, which aligns to our district's strategic plan, Kaneland 2020.  This newsletter focuses more on information that will help you and your child successfully transition into the 2017-2018 school year.

This is an important time for your child as he/she continues to take steps in his/her educational journey.  The success of this journey is directly correlated to the partnership that is developed between your home and our school.  Please help us develop that partnership by communicating with us and attending our school functions.  We are fortunate to have a learning community that puts education at the top of the priority list and we value the relationships that have been formed and will be formed over the course of the school year.  We are truly strong when we work together.

The Harter staff and I are looking forward to welcoming your child to the 2017-2018 school year.  We have an awesome school with awesome students, staff, and parents.  It is an absolute privilege to call myself the principal of this fine learning community.    

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal

Important Dates & Information to Kick-Start the 2017-2018 School Year

August 14-18 - Jump Start
If you registered your child for Jump Start, it will take place from August 14-18 from 8:00-10:00 a.m.  Jump Start is for incoming 6th grade students to ensure a smooth transition into middle school.

August 17  - 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 17th 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.

August 17th - Open House
Open House will take place on Thursday, August 17th from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and then 4:00-7:00 p.m.  Students will be able to pick up their schedules, locker assignments, find their classes, and tour the building.  Students are encouraged to bring their school supplies to store in their locker on this day.

August 23rd - First Day of School
The day we've all been waiting for.  The Harter staff is excited to officially welcome your child to the 2017-2018 school year.

August 31st - Picture Day
Students will bring home order forms before the 31st.

August 31st - 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:

Kendell Garth (8 White Math), Sarah Linden (6 Red Math), Shanna Piccony (8 Blue ELA), Marisa Nichols (8 Red ELA), Jenifer Mahon (receptionist), and Samantha Aversa (Dean of Students).

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

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 15th, 2017, 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:
  • If you are putting money on your child's account through revtrak, please know that payments should be made before 8:00 p.m. the night before in order for the money to be posted to your child's account the next day. 
  • Once you make a payment through revtrak, 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.  
If you ever have any questions, please contact Gigi Statler by e-mailing her (  

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 * (Grade 7 & 8) - August
  • Football (Grade 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
  • Mid-Knight Special * - 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 (Football, 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.   

Dress Code
It's always a good idea to review our dress code at Harter.  We ask that a student's dress and grooming does not disrupt the educational process, interfere with the maintenance of a positive teaching and learning climate, or compromise reasonable standards of health, safety, and decency.  Please refer to the student handbook for more specific information.  We appreciate your understanding and support.

During the 2017-2018 school year, Harter Middle School will implement 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 will be shared in the coming weeks as we implement i-Ready.  We are excited to utilize and infuse its features within our curriculums, which will be another avenue in helping us personalize the learning experience for all of our students.

In the meantime, if you are interested in learning more about i-Ready on your own, please click here to access their website.  Our first round of testing will take place August 29 - September 1.  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.

Middle Years
For a special edition of the Middle Years, please click here.

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.

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

HMS Parent Guide
Click here to access the HMS Parent Guide, which may help answer questions you have regarding Harter Middle School.

School Help
Please feel free to contact the following individuals on top of your team of teachers and team leader:
Mr. Brian Faulkner - Principal -
Mrs. Nicole Bakalis - Assistant Principal (special education)
Ms. Kris Weiss - Assistant Principal
Mrs. Samantha Aversa - Dean of Students (discipline) -
Mrs. Denise Michels - 6th Grade Counselor -
Mrs. Marci Lapinskas - 7th Grade Counselor -
Mrs. Jodette Wheat - 8th Grade Counselor -
Mrs. Lisa Campise - Social Worker -
Mrs. Wendy Peck - Social Worker -
Miss Kelly Gavin - School Psychologist -
Mrs. Jenifer Mahon - Receptionist -
Mrs. Lisa Pitstick - Attendance -
Mrs. Joan Rule - Principal's Secretary -
Mrs. Sheri Jenny - Registrar -
Mrs. Laurie Villalobos - RTI Coordinator -
Mrs. Vicki Molander - School Nurse -
Mrs. Gigi Statler - Food Service Manager -

Pictures From Harter
  • Some pictures from May and the summer
  • Click on the pictures to enlarge them 
Spring Musical
7 Blue Spring Student-Led Conferences
Step-Up Knight
7 Blue Spring Student-Led Conferences

Spring Student Recognition Assembly
7th Grade Career Fair

Our Students Reading to Elementary Students

McTeacher Night

McTeacher Night

McTeacher Night

McTeacher Night

McTeacher Night

Our Students Reading to Elementary Students
Everyone Loves the New Go Knights Backdrop

Our State Qualifying Track Athletes

Congrats!  Letters About Literature 

Illinois Center of the Book State Winner

Everyone Loves the New Go Knights Backdrop

Hands-on Learning in Science

Congratulations Mrs. Landis - Retirement

6 Blue Living Museum

Power Shower Fun - The Students Drenched Mr. Bellino

Power Shower Fun

State Rep Pritchard with Zoie Cooley

Washington D.C. Schools to Watch Recognition

What An Honor!

Have a Terrific Start to the School Year!
Proud to be a Knight!!!