Monday, March 4, 2019

March 2019


From the Desk of the Principal
Spring Break is around the corner and our hard working learning community deserves the break coming our way.  Our staff and students have been impressive since winter break and I'm proud of the efforts by all.

Continuing with the theme from the last couple of months of writing about personalized learning, I would like to write a little about the "learner" versus "learning."  For years, our sole focus was on learning.  We set up our classrooms in order for all students to succeed, but they all needed to learn the same way.  Desks were in rows, every student received the same assignments or learning activities, grades were averaged, and you only had one chance to perform well on an assessment.  When we focus on the "learner," the exact opposite takes place; classrooms utilize flexible seating options (comfy chairs, collaboration stations, library/media center, standing desks, etc.), assignments and learning activities are catered to the specific student, which plays on their strengths as a learner, homework and work during class is "practice" and is not always graded or graded for correctness, and students are given multiple opportunities to re-assess to demonstrate their understanding of a standard.  When you focus on the learner, school looks much different from what we've ever known, but the "learning" that takes place is much deeper and more successful than ever before.  In order for learning to take place, which is important, we need to focus on the learner and how they learn best.  The Learner Profile our students have in Kaneland 302 does this.  It allows our students to better understand who they are as a learner, become metacognitive, and utilize their strengths during the learning process.  This will help our students be successful at Harter, but also well beyond their years here in Kaneland.  Continuing to ask our students what is in the Learner Profile and how it assists them in learning is a must.

Finally, I shared some statistics regarding social media last year around this time and I thought it would be a good idea to share this information again.  You'll find the information below in this newsletter.  The number of students across the nation that report higher levels of anxiety and depression is alarming and the research is telling us that social media is playing a large role in the increase of mental health concerns.  I'm not advocating to get rid of social media because there are numerous benefits to having a presence online; however, we need to better understand how the recent research is causing problems with our youth.  Like anything we do, the guidance we as adults provide is needed and our efforts in helping children process information found on social media is essential in helping them navigate online resources in healthy ways.     

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal


District Safety Forum 
On Tuesday, March 5th at 7:00 p.m., Kaneland School District is hosting a School Safety Forum for parents.  The Forum will be hosted in the Kaneland High School Auditorium.  At the Forum, district-wide and building-level safety protocols will be discussed along with the ALICE training philosophy.  Parents will have the opportunity to ask questions of their grade-level administrators.  Parents are welcome to bring their students.


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


IAR (Illinois Assessment of Readiness) 
The Illinois Assessment of Readiness (formally PARCC) will be taken by all students during the testing window of April 9th through April 20th.  More specific information will be emailed in the near future.  In the meantime, you can access more information regarding IAR by clicking here


Teen Social Media Statistics (Smartsocial.com) 
  • Social media use is linked with increased rates of anxiety, depression, and poor sleep
  • Social media has been described as more addictive than cigarettes and alcohol  
Best Social Media Apps
Youtube
Twitter
Facebook

Worst Social Media Apps
Instagram
Snapchat 


Negative Effects of Social Media
  • Anxiety & Depression
    • Research suggests that young people who spend more than 2 hours per day on social media are more likely to report poor mental health, including psychological distress (symptoms of anxiety and depression).
  • Sleep
    • Numerous studies have shown that increased social media use has a significant association with poor sleep quality in young people.  Using phones, laptops, and tablets at night before bed is also linked with poor quality sleep.  
  • Body Image
    • Body image is an issue for many young people, both male and female.  Studies have shown that when women in their teens and early twenties view Facebook for only a short period of time, body image concerns are high compared to non-users.  
  • Cyberbullying
    • Bullying during childhood is a major risk factor for a number of issues including mental health, education and social relationships, with long-lasting effects often carried right through to adulthood.
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
    • FOMO has been linked to higher levels of social media engagement, meaning that the more an individual uses social media, the more likely they are to experience FOMO.  

Positive Effects of Social Media 
  • Access to expert health info
    • Social networking offers young people who may be suffering from mental health issues an opportunity to read, watch or listen to and understand the health experiences of others - relating them back to their own reality.  
  • Emotional Supports
    • Conversations on social media can emerge and provide young people with essential interaction to overcome difficult health issues, particularly when they may not have access to that support face-to-face.  
  • Community Building
    • The community building aspect of social media is also distinctly positive for many young people.  By joining groups or pages young people can surround themselves with like-minded people and share their thoughts or concerns.  
  • Self-expression
    • Self-expression and self-identity are important aspects of development throughout the teen years.  Social media can act as an effective platform for positive self-expression, letting teens put forward their best self.  
  • Building upon relationships
    • There is evidence to suggest that strong adolescent friendships can be enhanced by social media interaction, allowing young people to create stronger bonds with people they already know.  

What Can Parents do to Keep Their Children Safe From the Negative Effects of Social Media?
  • Teach students that social media can and should be utilized as a tool for good
  • Ensure your children are equipped with the relevant skills to be able to navigate social media
  • Remind students that they can always come to you or a trusted adult if they ever need help
  • When a child is ready to be an online citizen, read the Parent App Guide to learn how teens can use social media safely


Pictures & Awesomeness From Harter 
8th Grade Girls Basketball







KHMS & KHS Choirs
Winter Student Recognition Assembly



7th Grade Girls Basketball



Animation Expert Visits KHMS


Feed My Starving Children

Feed My Starving Children



Pop Tabs Competition Winner - 6 White




Proud to be a Knight! 


Friday, February 1, 2019

February 2019


From the Desk of the Principal 
I hope everyone is staying warm.  This weather has provided some challenges we rarely encounter.  If you are ever in need of anything, Harter can help.  Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. 

Last month, I provided information regarding standards based grading and I encourage you to read it if you haven't.  Simply scroll down to the January newsletter or click here.  I believe it's extremely important that we continue updating parents on how school has dramatically changed since we were students.  The amount of research in education has doubled over the years and the evidence being produced through this research is something we should take note of.   As one of my favorite educators, Doug Reeves, says, "we need to accept the fact that today's evidence trumps yesterday's experience." It's always easy to resort back to the experiences we had as students, and this is why I am continuing to share information on personalized learning and how school looks different nowadays.  It's not as common anymore to see desks in rows, teachers lecturing, and gobs of work or homework being given. The amount of work given to students isn't the mark of a rigorous education. The depth and quality of work given to the students is a true testament of a rigorous education. I feel 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. Patience is the key here as we continue our journey with personalized learning. It's not easy on anyone's part, but if it were easy I'd be questioning why we are allowing "easy" to be the norm at Harter.  Growth only happens when we are challenged and step outside the comfort zone of what we've always known or done.

I am working on putting together a personalized learning folder that I will link to this newsletter. Once I have completed the folder, I will let everyone know. My hope is that this folder can serve as a resource that showcases how Harter is continuing to become a future ready school.   

Let's hope that winter slows down and warmer weather is here sooner rather than later.  If I can ever be of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal       



Yearbook Orders
If you haven't ordered your child a yearbook yet, February 8th is the deadline.  There will be a limited amount of yearbooks for purchase in May and the number of extra yearbooks is unknown.  There may not be many, so your best bet is to order now to ensure you child receives a yearbook.  Over the years, we've had numerous conversations with parents who told us their child said they didn't want a yearbook.  Once they see their friends with a yearbook in May, they want one.  By this time, it may be too late.

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/display to complete the process of purchasing a yearbook.

Yearbook Order Link 


2019-2020 Course Registration Forms
All 6th and 7th grade students were given the 2019-2020 Course Registration Form.  Please take a moment and review the form with your child.  The form is due to your child's homeroom teacher by Tuesday, February 6th.  There is also important information on the second page of the form that we believe you will find beneficial.

2019-2020 7th Grade Registration Form (to be filled out by current 6th grade students)

2019-2020 8th Grade Registration Form (to be filled out by current 7th grade students)


Progress Reports
Progress reports will be emailed on Friday, February 22nd.  Please let us know if you have any questions.  



District #302 Gallery Walk
On Thursday, February 28th in the Kaneland High School cafeteria at 6:00 p.m.,  District #302 teachers and staff will share how Kaneland 2020 is being implemented throughout the district.  Staff will share their progress with personalized learning, student-choice learning, and other great innovations happening in the classroom.  Please stop by to see all the amazing learning activities provided to our students in Kaneland.  This informal setting allows you to see what you'd like and visit tables of your choice.  There are no formal presentations done as a big group.


Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) Testing Dates
The Illinois Assessment of Readiness (formerly PARCC) will be taken by all students in April.  Harter's testing dates will be April 9th through April 20th.  More specific information will be shared in the near future.  In the meantime, you can access more information regarding IAR by clicking here.   


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


8th Grade End-of-the-Year Activities
It's only February, but the end of the year will be here before you know it.  We would like for our 8th grade parents to have the following information regarding the promotion ceremony and the 8th Grade Dance.  More specific information will be shared with 8th grade students and parents in the coming months.  Please note that some of these dates may change if we have more emergency snow/cold days.  We will continue to update the parents of 8th grade students as necessary.

Promotion Ceremony
8th Grade Promotion is held the night before the last day of school.  As of right now,  the promotion ceremony will be held on Tuesday, June 4th .  If we need to use emergency days, the date will change.  We will keep parents updated with any changes.

8th Grade Dance
The 8th Grade Dance is held after the promotion ceremony in our cafeteria.  We typically start the dance thirty minutes after the conclusion of the promotion ceremony.  The dance is for 8th grade students only.



Pictures From Harter (click to enlarge)  


8th Gr KHS Exploration Day



8th Gr KHS Exploration Day






7th Gr Boys Basketball BOE Honoring
State Cross Country Qualifier BOE Honoring

State Golfers BOE Honoring


2018 Sports Illustrated Sports Kid of the Year




KHMS IESA Scholar Attitude Nominee



Chicago Blackhawks GOAL Program





Proud to be a Knight!

Monday, January 7, 2019

January 2019 

From the Desk of the Principal 
Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a fabulous winter break.  I'm looking forward to the second half of the school year.

As we continue our journey with personalized learning, I wanted to provide some information regarding standards based grading.  We have a number of teachers using a standards-based grading model and blending it with a traditional grading scale.  There is great article (How Football Can Explain Standards Based Learning) that provides great points in regards to standards based grading.  It's a quick and easy read that I think you'll find valuable.

I am providing a few FAQs.   Even though not all teachers are implementing standards based grading, I thought it was a good idea to share with all parents.

What is standards based grading?
In a standards-based system, teachers report what students know and are able to do in relation to the state and national standards. Our staff has worked to develop those state and national standards into student friendly language called learning targets (“I can” statements).

What is the goal of standards based grading?
The primary goal of standards-based grading is to improve student achievement by focusing instruction and the alignment of curriculum with the essential standards. Standards based grading and reporting provides better communication to students, parents, teachers and administrators on what each student knows and is able to demonstrate according to the identified standards.

How does standards based grading differ from traditional letter grades?
Standards-based grading informs us what students have actually learned and know. Standards-based grading measures students’ knowledge of grade-level content over time by reporting the most recent, consistent level of performance. So, a student might struggle in the beginning of a grading period with new content, but then learn and demonstrate proficient performance by the end of the grading period. In traditional grading, the student’s performance for the whole grading period would be averaged and early quiz scores that were low would be averaged together with proficient performance later in the course resulting in a lower grade. In standards-based grading, a student who reaches proficiency would be reported proficient and the grade would reflect his/her current performance level. In a traditional grading scale, students' attendance, effort, work habits, and attitude typically are factored in with letter grades whereas in a standards-based grading model, these are reported separately since the learning is the priority.

Standards based grading and learning at a glance...
  • It shifts conversations about grades to conversations about learning.  Instead of asking us how to raise their grade, students can ask us how they can improve their vocabulary or how to better organize their essay.  
  • It provides more specific feedback to students, helping them understand their strengths and weaknesses on individual skills.  A grade of 82% or a "B" does not communicate student progress as effectively.  
  • It focuses solely on knowledge and skills instead of behavioral issues like participation, work completion, and timeliness.  
  • It rewards growth, no matter how quickly or slowly a child learns.  The mantra given to students is "only the finish line matters."  Students have the opportunity to revise assignments and re-attempt learning goals as they build their skills.  Not all students will learn at the same pace. 


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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal



Yearbook Orders
If you haven't ordered your child a yearbook yet, January is the deadline.  There will be a limited amount of yearbooks for purchase in May and the number of extra yearbooks is unknown.  There may not be many, so your best bet is to order now to ensure you child receives a yearbook.  Over the years, we've had numerous conversations with parents who told us their child said they didn't want a yearbook when it was time to order.  Once they see their friends with a yearbook in May, they want one.  By this time, it may be too late.

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/display to complete the process of purchasing a yearbook.

Yearbook Order Link 


5Essentials Survey
Our students will be completing the 5Essentials soon.  We would also like our parents to take the survey.  You can access the survey by clicking here.

The 5Essentials Survey provides school districts with detailed data on school culture and climate by inquiring into five leading areas for school development.  More information can be found here.


Staff Awards
We have an amazing staff here at Harter and recently, two staff members were chosen by our Nominating Committee for Kaneland District #302 as our educators of the year.  Tom Huels (Computers) was nominated for the Middle School Teacher Award and Cynthia Campisi (Special Education) was nominated for the Early Career Educator Award.

Congratulations to Ms. Campisi and Mr. Huels.  The Kane County Regional Office of Education will recognize our our two recipients at the 44th Annual Educator of the Year Awards, which will be held in May.  Both Ms. Campisi and Mr. Huels will also be considered for the Kane County Educator of the Year Award.

  
Parent Feedback Needed 
District 302 is asking for your feedback regarding the possibility of 1:1 chromebook implementation beginning the 2019-2020 school year.  Please click here to take the survey.  


Report Cards
The end of the 2nd term is January 18th and 2nd term report cards will be e-mailed on Friday, January 25th.  If you have any questions or problems receiving your child's report card, please contact the main office.  

i-Ready Winter Assessment Results
The winter i-Ready assessment results will be given to your child in January to bring home.  An email will be sent notifying parents of the exact date to expect the i-Ready results.  If you have any questions regarding the reports or your child's scores, please don't hesitate to contact us.


Early Release Days
As a reminder, students will be released an hour early (1:37 p.m.) on Thursday, January 17th and Friday, January 18th.  Students will arrive home one hour earlier than usual.


KHS 8th Grade Transitions
January 8th
8th Grade Orientation Night for incoming freshmen and their families will be held on Tuesday, January 8th from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at KHS.  On this night, a brief overview of all that Kaneland High School has to offer will be provided, which will include curriculum choices and sports/activity options.  You can access more information by clicking here.

January 9th-11th
8th grade students will spend a couple of hours at KHS (8 Red = Wednesday, Jan 9;  8 White = Thursday, Jan 10;  8 Blue = Friday, Jan 11).  The students will learn about how to develop their 4-year plan, discuss class choices, tour the Fox Valley Career Center, and will have an opportunity to ask questions regarding classes, academic options, and high school life in general.

January 16th & 17th 
The high school counselors will schedule all incoming 9th grade students based on the knowledge learned from the previous events.  Specific schedules will be developed.


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



Pictures From Harter 

8th Grade Champs 


Sugar Grove PD Speedometer Help w/CO2 Cars




Portillo's Fundraiser Lunch
Fundraiser Limo Lunch Ride

Portillo's Fundraiser Lunch



Fundraiser Dollar Machine
Fundraiser Dollar Machine


7th Gr Band & Choir Combined


7th Gr Champs
8th Gr Band & Choir Combined


Congrats Wrestlers 

KHMS Jazz Band
Mid-Knight Special


8th Gr KHS CTE Expo

Fundraiser Main Event Fun

Fundraiser Main Event Fun

Collaboration

Collaboration
Fun Holiday PE Activity
Science Atom Activity


Science Atom Activity


Proud to be a Knight!