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!!!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

March 2017

From the desk of the principal...
It was nice to have such beautiful weather during the month of February.  Now that March is here, we are staring down the end of the 3rd quarter and this is always the busiest time of the year.

Some of the information in this newsletter is being shared based on feedback given to us at Principal's Coffee meetings, parent meetings, and day-to-day conversations.  If you ever have any questions regarding the information in the Registration and Accelerated/Challenged sections, please don't hesitate to contact me.

After a extensive process, I am pleased to inform our learning community that Harter Middle School has been named a School to Watch in Illinois.  More information can be found below regarding this honor.  As I always say, it is truly a privilege to call myself the principal of such a fine school and receiving this award makes me proud to be a Knight!

As the 3rd quarter comes to an end, I look forward to closing it out on a positive note.  Spring break is just around the corner and it will give all of us an opportunity to recharge our batteries before the 4th quarter home stretch.  I hope you are able to spend time with family and friends over spring break and enjoy a little down time.

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 or purchasing a yearbook.

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


Schools to Watch
Three years ago, Harter Middle School was designated as a School to Watch in Illinois by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform.  The Schools to Watch Program focuses on school improvement efforts characterized by a continuous trajectory towards success.  Schools to Watch also serves as a model to help learning communities provide an excellent middle school education that focuses on educating the whole child.

Every three years, a School to Watch needs to be re-designated, which entailed an extensive review process for Harter this year.  It is with great pleasure that we announce Harter Middle School was re-designated as an Illinois School to Watch.  Harter has been invited to The National Forum to Accelerate Middle Grades Reform National Conference and Celebration in Washington D.C. in June.

We are excited to be awarded this honor, but we couldn't have accomplished this achievement without our outstanding learning community.  Our students, staff, and parents are second to none when it comes to providing a top-notch education for all of our students.  Job well done to the entire learning community!!!

Rosedale Project
Students from Rosedale, Mississippi will visit Harter on Tuesday, March 14th and will be presenting their Rosedale living history to our 6th grade students.  This will also be a community event and we are hoping that parents can join us in welcoming the Rosedale students.  The presentation will take place in the Harter cafeteria at 9:15 a.m.  

Registration
We are beginning the scheduling process for the 2017-2018 school year.  All 6th and 7th grade students will receive a registration form on March 9th.  We are asking that the form be filled out by the students and a parent at home.  This form should be brought back to school with your child and given to their homeroom teacher by March 17th.  It is imperative that we have all registration forms by March 17th so we can begin constructing student schedules.

On the reverse side of the registration form will be information we feel is important to communicate based on the questions we typically field from students and parents.  The information can also be found below for your convenience.

Information on Reverse Side of Registration Form
Registering for middle school exploratories is, for many, the first time students and parents have to make choices about coursework they will and will not take.  In effect, one must select two options from four possible pathways. Many students and parents worry that choices made now will have irreversible consequences when it comes time to register for high school. This can be a difficult decision for many, but  the core of the process should be selecting options that are best for students, their interests, and their post-high school goals.  Below are some points to consider when registering.
“The Wheel”
  • “The Wheel” (industrial arts, computers, general music, & art) is a year-long commitment at the 6th and 7th grade level; each component of the wheel is one quarter.
  • “The Wheel” at the middle school is developed with the goal of exposing students to several content areas and enabling them to ultimately select pathways that are most appealing to them.  As they progress through the grade levels into the high school level, these pathways become more detailed and allow students to pursue very specific career pathways.
  • Students who enroll in “The Wheel” must complete all parts of “The Wheel”; they cannot elect to drop out of “The Wheel” or any classes within “The Wheel” during the school year.
  • Students who do not take this option at Harter can enroll in beginning coursework at the high school level.  However, course offerings are more specified and, in general, tailored to a specific pathway.


Spanish
  • Spanish is a year-long commitment at both the 7th and 8th grade levels.
  • Students do not earn high school credit for coursework completed at Harter Middle School; instead they are able to enroll directly into Spanish II at the 9th grade level.
  • Students who complete both years of Spanish at Harter and enter KHS in Spanish II can complete the Spanish pathway with AP Spanish IV their Senior Year.
  • Currently, students who begin Spanish I in 9th grade do have the opportunity to reach AP Spanish IV by taking accelerated coursework their junior year, but this pathway is meant for the most successful Spanish students.

Band & Choir
  • Band and Choir are a year-long commitment at the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade levels.
  • Students can enroll in year-long band, year-long choir, or a combination of the two that still only takes up one of their exploratory options.
  • Students who do not enroll in Band or Choir at the middle school level can enroll in beginning band or choir classes at the high school level.


Study Hall
  • For most students, a study hall is not needed in middle school.  There are some students that are placed in study halls as a support. However, the goal is for students to explore our exploratory classes.
  • This exposure to our exploratory classes will help our students find the correct pathway in the future and utilize and enhance skills that are important in their academic and social emotional maturation process.

  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Mr. Faulkner.  


Accelerated and Challenged Courses
We often have conversations with parents regarding accelerated and challenged courses at Harter and we would like to provide all of our parents with the following information.  

Our staff carefully reviews multiple forms of data to place students in classes that will meet their needs.  This is especially true for Math and English/Language Arts (ELA).  The goal is to find the most appropriate setting to challenge students and help them develop their abilities in the best way possible.  Our staff works hard to ensure we support all of our students through proper placement in Math and ELA classes.  Please note the following:
  • Students entering high school in Algebra will progress to Pre-Calculus if they follow a typical pathway; however, students desiring to accelerate to AP Calculus can do so by taking multiple math courses in the same year.  If your child is not in an accelerated math course in middle school, he/she can still reach AP Calculus.   
  • Students entering the high school in English 9 still have the opportunity to take Enhanced and AP coursework sophomore through senior year.  These course selections are driven by a student's performance in their English class their freshman year.  If your child is not in Challenge ELA in middle school, he/she can still take Enhanced or AP English in high school.
  • Harter does not offer any classes that will provide a student with high school credit.

PTO Family Knight Out
Please find the March 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 and supporting our Family Knight Out events supports our students.
  • Tuesday, March 9th - Potbelly's in Geneva (Geneva Commons)
  • Thursday, March 23rd - Chik-Fil-A in Batavia on Randal Road
If you would like to review the remaining PTO Family Knight Out dates for the school year, please click here.  



PARCC Testing
We have specifically narrowed down PARCC testing dates and they can be found below.

Week of April 10th - 7th & 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

More specific information will be sent home in the near future.


8th Grade Science Assessment
In order for our parents to have the information now, all 8th grade students will complete the required State Science Assessment on Tuesday, April 25th.  More information will be shared as the testing date approaches.  


Middle Years
Click here to access the March Middle Years edition.



Pictures From Harter (click on pictures to enlarge them)

Harter Invitational 3-Point Champion
6th Grade Band
KHMS & KHS Choirs Combined








Winter Assembly



BOE Gallery Walk





       Proud to be a Knight!!!