Friday, September 28, 2018

October 2018

From the Desk of the Principal...
The month of October is here and that means the end of the first term is right around the corner.  Our students have been impressive and continue to smile in our classrooms, hallways, and cafeteria. Thanks for sending us such great kids.

Personalized learning continues to develop and evolve here at Harter.  Our staff has explored the many components of personalized learning.  It's fun to observe our staff engage students in a variety of ways by helping them utilize their strengths.  These strengths can and are being applied in all subjects.  I know I share this all the time, but this is why I love personalized learning.  It focuses more on the individual student and helping them grow as a learner and as a person.  As we dive deeper into personalized learning, please keep in mind that assessments, projects, and work may look different or may be graded differently from years past.  It is much different from my school experience as a child and I wish I had teachers like we have at Harter that focus on personalizing the learning process.  If you ever have questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.

As we wrap up the first quarter of the school year, I always like to remind our parents of how hard it is to be a middle schooler.  The challenges they face during these years can lead to frustration and confusion.  In most cases, our students possess the ability to solve their problems, but they need us to help guide them to the solution.  When we help them determine next steps and a course of action, we are coaching them on how to overcome some of the obstacles all adolescents face.  Our patience and constant guidance will provide our children with the necessary skills needed during their adolescent, teenage, and adult years. 

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal

Report Cards
The end of the 1st Term is October 19th and report cards will be e-mailed on Friday, October 26th.  If you have any questions or problems receiving your child's report card, please contact the main office.

Veterans Day Speakers
We are in the process of planning our annual Veterans Day Assembly, which will be held on Monday, November 12th from 7:25-8:10 a.m.  We are looking for one or two veterans (or currently serving) to speak at our assembly.  If you or someone you know would be interested, please contact Tim Swade  through email at or by phone at 630-466-8400.

Also, if you or someone you know is a Veteran and would like to attend our assembly, we'd love to have you.  Please click here for the flyer that contains the RSVP information.  

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Parent-Teacher Conferences are set for November 7th (3:00-7:00 p.m.) and November 8th (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 a link to Sign-Up Genius.  This link will help you register for a conference.  There is no need to call to schedule a conference.  We prefer that all parents use the Sign-Up Genius link, which will be emailed in the near future.

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.  

Golf Team Success
Congratulations to Katherine M., Wes H., and Bradley F. on qualifying for the IESA State Golf Tournament that was held in Peoria.  Katherine placed 17th in State.  Congrats to our golfers!

Middle Years
Click here for the October edition of the Middle Years.  

Pictures From Harter (click on pictures to enlarge)

IESA State Golf Walk of Champions

IESA State Golf Walk of Champions

Our Supply Store is Open
Multi-Class Collaboration Activity

Homecoming Assembly

Homecoming Assembly

Fundraising Fun

Homecoming Parade
Homecoming Parade

Homecoming Parade

ABC7 Flyover 

Fundraiser Winner
Schoolyard Science

Guest Speaker Mr. Ariola

Science in our Own Backyard


Proud to be a Knight! 

Friday, August 31, 2018

September 2018

From the Desk of the Principal...
We've had an amazing start to the school year.  Our 6th graders have transitioned well and our 7th and 8th graders haven't missed a beat.  It's always the highlight of my day to walk around the building and see students smiling in classrooms, the cafeteria, and our hallways.  What makes my day even better is when students go out of their way to say hello to me.  Thank you for sending us such great kids.

I enjoyed our Curriculum Night and speaking with so many of you.  I'm still excited about personalized learning like I was last year.  Honestly, I am even more excited this year.  What I love about personalized learning is that it asks students to become metacognitive and utilize their strengths to be successful here at Harter and well beyond the walls of Kaneland.  We are helping our students become life-long learners.

Thank you for a great start to the 2018-2019 school year.  If I can ever be of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner   

The students are wrapping up Fall i-Ready testing.  Students will be given their math and reading reports to bring home in the near future.  Harter will send out an email informing parents of this date.

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 18th regarding our fall fundraiser. More information will be communicated through email in the near future.  

Progress Reports
1st Term Progress Reports will be emailed home on Friday, September 21st after 3:00 pm.

Principal's Chat
For the 2018-2019 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:
  • October 9th - 3:00-4:00 pm @ Harter
  • December 14th - 8:00-9:00 am @ KHS
  • March 5th - 3:00-4:00 pm @ Harter
  • May 3rd - 8:00-9:00 am @ KHS

Pictures From Harter (click on pictures to enlarge)

Jump Start Success

Proud to be a Knight!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August 2018

From the Desk of the Principal
I hope your summer was restful and relaxing.  I am always excited to start a new school year, and this year is no different.  I believe our learning community is second to none.  The academic, social, emotional, and extra-curricular opportunities we provide our students sets the stage for success here at Harter and well-beyond our walls.     

The information below will help you and your child successfully transition into the 2018-2019 school year.  Our staff is eager to welcome your child on August 22nd and we are looking forward to partnering with you to ensure your child's success.  What makes Kaneland great is that we are one big family.

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner

Important Dates & Information to Kick-Start the 2018-2019 School Year 

***Schedules will be available on Tyler August 9th after 3:30 p.m.  Bus routes will be available on Tyler beginning August 15th.

***Please note that schedule requests 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 13-17 - Jump Start (6th Grade)
If you registered your child for Jump Start, it will take place from August 13-17 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 16  - 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 16th 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 16 - Open House
Open House will take place on Thursday, August 16th from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and then 4:00-7:00 p.m. Students are able to tour the building, find their classes, and put supplies in their locker.  Open House is an informal event designed for students to prepare themselves for the upcoming school year.  There are no presentations.  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. 

August 22 - First Day of School
The day we've all been waiting for.  The Harter staff is excited to officially welcome your child to the 2018-2019 school year.

August 30 - Picture Day
Students will bring home order forms before the 30th.

August 30 - 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:

Jordan Mahara (6 Blue ELA), Lori Hamblen (Physical Education), Kerri Jass (6 White ELA), Abbie Wy (7 Blue Special Education), Zachary Munro (6 Blue Special Education), and Zachary Martinelli (6 White ELA).  We are in the process of hiring a couple of more teachers and when we do, we'll be sure to share this information with our learning community.

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 16th, 2018, 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 online, 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 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.  
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
  • 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 (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 2018-2019 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 

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
Mr. Tim Swade - Dean of Students (discipline) -
Mrs. Jodette Wheat - 6th Grade Counselor -
Mrs. Denise Michels - 7th Grade Counselor -
Mrs. Marci Lapinskas - 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 (click to enlarge)
Pictures from May

Proud to be a Knight!!!