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 (gigi.statler@kaneland.org).  


PTO
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.

Athletics
  • 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


Activities
  • 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. 


Attendance
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.

i-Ready
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 -  brian.faulkner@kaneland.org
Mrs. Nicole Bakalis - Assistant Principal (special education)  nicole.bakalis@kaneland.org
Ms. Kris Weiss - Assistant Principal  kris.weiss@kaneland.org
Mrs. Samantha Aversa - Dean of Students (discipline) - samantha.aversa@kaneland.org
Mrs. Denise Michels - 6th Grade Counselor - denise.michels@kaneland.org
Mrs. Marci Lapinskas - 7th Grade Counselor - marci.lapinskas@kaneland.org
Mrs. Jodette Wheat - 8th Grade Counselor - jodette.wheat@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. Jenifer Mahon - Receptionist - jenifer.mahon@kaneland.org
Mrs. Lisa Pitstick - Attendance - lisa.pitstick@kaneland.org
Mrs. Joan Rule - Principal's Secretary - joan.rule@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 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!!!




Friday, April 28, 2017

May 2017

From the Desk of the Principal...
It's hard to believe we are a month away from the end of the school year.  May is always busy, but it's also an exciting time.  We are looking forward to ending the year on a strong note.

As I reflect on another year, I am proud of the growth we have made as a school.  Our growth as a staff directly impacts student growth.  The greatest aspect to this is that our staff realizes how important their growth is when it comes to providing our students with what they need to be successful.  We aren't always perfect, but we constantly push ourselves to ensure a quality, well-rounded education for our students.  Each day brings an opportunity to make a difference in a child's life.  We believe all students can and will learn under our guidance.  I am extremely excited for what the future holds.  Whether it is our focus on personalized learning or using our Schools to Watch re-designation as a guide for continuous improvement, the future looks bright.    

With that being said, Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1st through the 5th.  Our staff here is amazing and we have plans to celebrate and honor them the entire week for all that they do to support, challenge, and empower our students.  I am appreciative of our PTO and all of the parent support to make Teacher Appreciation Week a special week.  If you haven't done so already, I encourage you to send our staff a quick e-mail to show your appreciation for what they do.    

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal


After-School Pickup
If you are picking up your child from an after-school event in the back parking lot, please drive slowly and look for pedestrians.  We've had a few close calls with drivers speeding away after picking up their child.  The safety of our students and staff is extremely important.  Your cooperation is appreciated.


Teacher Appreciation Week
Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1st - 5th.  The dedicated staff here at Harter will be honored each day for their efforts and commitment to our students and school.  Feel free to send an e-mail or letter to show your support of our fabulous staff.


6th Grade State Writing Award
Mrs. Ritchie recently entered 6th grade students in a state letter writing competition sponsored by Secretary of State Jesse White and the Illinois Center of the Book.  We are proud to announce that Veronica Regelbrugge has been named the Illinois state winner for the grade 4-6 division.  On Monday, May 1st, Veronica and her family, along with Mrs. Ritchie, will visit the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Museum in Springfield for a special tour and then have lunch with Jesse White.  Harter's library will also receive $100 to spend on books.  Mrs. Ramos has asked Veronica to choose the books for the Harter library.  We are so proud of Veronica!!!  


8th Grade Promotion
The promotion ceremony will be held on Thursday, June 1st at 6:30 p.m. in the Harter gymnasium.  Students will be expected to arrive by 6:20 p.m.  The gym will not open until 5:45 p.m. so please do not arrive before this time.

Following the ceremony, at 7:30 p.m., the 8th Grade Dance will be held in our cafeteria.  The dance will end at 9:30 p.m.  Since the ceremony and dance are special events, we ask that the students are dressed nicely for this occasion.


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


PTO Family Knight Out
Please find the May 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.

On Wednesday, May 24th at the Elburn McDonald's, we are hosting a McTeacher Night.  26 staff members from Harter will be working various jobs at McDonald's to help raise money for our PTO.  Please come and support us anytime from 5:00-8:00 pm.  This will be a fun event and we hope to see you on May 24th.

Monday, May 8th @ Wendy's (1260 N Orchard Rd, Aurora)  5:00-8:00 pm
Wednesday, May 24th @ McDonald's in Elburn (931 Center Ave, Elburn)  5:00-8:00 pm


i-Ready
Beginning next 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 in 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 extension or enrichment activities.  More information will be shared next year 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.


Last Day of School
The last day of school for students will be Friday, June 2nd.


4th Term Report Cards
4th term report cards will be e-mailed home no later than Tuesday, June 6th.


Student Schedules for the 2017-2018 School Year
Schedules for students entering 6th, 7th, and 8th grade will be available in the beginning of August.  More information will be shared in the August newsletter, which will be sent the last week of July.


Pictures From Harter (click on pictures to enlarge)

7th Grade Science Collaboration


5th Grade Tour

Breakout EDU Fun


Talent Show

Talent Show

Faculty Drumming Circle @ Talent Show

Talent Show

Fine Arts Fest

Fine Arts Fest

6 White Fundraising Drive

Thank You 8th Grade For Our Beautiful Flowers

Student Collaboration in Social Studies

Students Spreading Positivity 

Students Spreading Positivity 

State Writing Winner Presenting To Our BOE

Rosedale Student Leadership Team Presenting at BOE Meeting

Students Helped Build the Set For the Musical


Thanks PTO For Our Dry-Erase Collaborative Tables

3rd Term Incentive Minute To Win It




Proud to be a Knight!!!



Monday, April 3, 2017

April 2017

From the Desk of the Principal...
Now that we are back from spring break, I'm looking forward to the last two months of school.  Although this is a busy time of the year, it is an exciting time because we have so many great things taking place in our building.  We already hosted one of our 5th grade tours and will welcome three more 5th grade classes this month.  Some of our Harter students served as ambassadors and provided tours of the building for the 5th graders and took the time to answer questions.  Watching our students take on these roles puts a smile on my face.  

As you may be aware, one of our goals in the Kaneland 2020 Strategic Plan is to create a personalized learning environment for our students.  This entails a bit of change on how things are done in comparison to how things have been done in the past.  Learning is always the priority and that will not change.  You may find your child talking about different seating arrangements in their class, different assignments for students in the same class, and/or more student-led initiatives (i.e., Socratic Seminars where students lead the discussion).  I am excited to see where personalized learning will take us, but more importantly, where it will take your child.  As we continue to explore what this looks like at Harter, we will provide updates as needed.  You may remember that we had a handful of teams conduct Student-Led Conferences during Parent-Teacher Conferences.  This is a great example of how we are implementing a more personalized learning environment and will continue to do so.  I'm honored to work with a staff that is committed to continuous improvement to ensure all of our students' needs are met and their hard work and dedication should not go unnoticed.

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal


Yearbooks
Parents can order their child a yearbook by clicking on the link below.  When you are on the website, click on the "Buy a Yearbook" icon to complete the process of purchasing a yearbook.

https://www.yearbookordercenter.com/index.cfm/job/14512


Rosedale Project
The students met the challenge and donated 3,380 books and $1,000 and because they met these goals, some staff members were pied in the face (see pictures below).  Mr. Hagan also had his beard shaved in front of the 6th grade class.  Great job to all!

Members from the Rosedale Freedom Project visited Harter Middle School on March 14th.  We had a fantastic day of welcoming the Rosedale students.  We provided them with our donated books, money, and homemade chairs that will be placed in their outdoor reading garden.  The day ended with our students offering tours of the building and observing various classrooms in action.  There were a handful of newspaper articles written and they are linked below.

Daily Herald article

Kane County Chronicle article

The Beacon News article 



PARCC
As a reminder, our PARCC testing dates are as follows:

Week of April 10th - 7th and 8th grade students will take the required ELA and Math assessments
Week of April 17th - 6th grade students will take the required ELA and Math assessments

Our 8th grade students will also complete the required State Science Assessment on Tuesday, April 25th.


PTO Family Knight Out
Please find the April 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.

Tuesday, April 11th @ Open Range Grill (1 Golfview Ln., Sugar Grove) 4:00-9:00 pm
Thursday, April 20th @ Genoa Pizza (44 Cross St., Sugar Grove) 4:00-10:00 pm


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


Pictures From Harter























Proud to be a Knight!!!