Tuesday, August 30, 2016

From the desk of the Principal...

The start of the 2016-2017 school year has been outstanding.  The transition was smooth and the year is off and running.  I could not be more pleased with our students and the great job they have done getting back into the swing of things.  Their focus has been excellent.

I enjoyed meeting our 6th grade students at Jump Start.  We had over 170 students attend this year.  Our staff did a great job preparing the students for the transition into middle school.  Our Open House was also successful.  It's always fun seeing the building full of life after being empty all summer.

The staff is working diligently teaching our students how to become better learners inside and outside of the classroom.  We want to help 100% of our students be successful and success only happens when we focus on teaching and learning.  On top of academics, our staff teaches formal social/emotional lessons twice a month, which includes helping our students in non-classroom settings.

I hope you have found the beginning of the school year to be as smooth as it has been on our end.  If you ever need anything, our staff is here to help.  You can contact us by phone or e-mail; however, the quickest response usually comes through e-mail.  The Harter staff understands the importance of communication and working together to provide our students with a challenging, engaging, and enriched education.

Proud to be a Knight,

Brian Faulkner, Principal

Curriculum Night
A Curriculum Night letter was e-mailed home.  In case you missed it, you can find the letter here.  Please note that our Curriculum Night is for parents only.  We will not have enough seating if students are also here.  

Picture Day
Picture Day is September 1st.  Students will take their school picture during PE.  Forms have gone home and students need to simply hand the photographer their order form just before taking their picture.

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.  Our buses drop-off and pick-up in the back/south parking lot.

New Staff
Since the last newsletter, we were fortunate to hire Wendy Peck, School Social Worker.  We are excited to have her join our family at Harter and contribute to our tradition of excellence.

The Kolor Run is the PTO's fall fundraising event that you don't want to miss.  The Kolor Run is set for Sunday, October 16th.  To see a fun video from two years ago, click here.  More information will be coming soon, but save the date for our 3rd annual Kolor Run.     

Our PTO is always looking for volunteers.  If you are interested in helping out in any way, please visit their Facebook page and drop them a message.  The PTO will also have a table set up at our Curriculum Night.  Make sure you stop by and see all the great things our PTO does for our staff , students, and Harter Middle School. 

The next PTO meeting will be held on Monday, September 12th, at 7:00 p.m. in the main office conference room.  

On September 15th, your child will bring home their 2015-2016 PARCC scores.  Below are resources to help better understand the results and answer questions you may have.


Understand the Score - Illinois

PARCC Score Results page

Sample individual student score report

Fall Fundraiser
All students at Harter will bring home information on September 19th regarding our fall fundraiser.  The first turn-in will be Friday, September 30th.  More information will be coming home soon.

Art After School
If your child is interested in Art After School, you can sign up at: sgparks.org

Progress Reports
As we did last year, progress reports will be sent home through e-mail on September 23rd.  Please make sure your e-mail in Tyler is up to date to ensure you receive your child's progress report.  

Principal's Coffee
Principal's Coffees are held once a quarter and our first Coffee is set for September 16th at 9:00 a.m.  Principal's Coffees are an opportunity to meet and speak with the Principal face to face in a relaxed environment.  Topics for discussion will be led by the principal and we also include time for topics our parents would like to discuss.

Pictures From Harter


We are one big family at Harter

Proud to be a Knight! 

Monday, August 1, 2016

From the desk of the principal...

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that I write my first newsletter/blog of the 2016-2017 school year.  I am excited to begin another year and continue spending time with the Harter Middle School learning community.  As I always say, it's truly a privilege to serve as the principal of HMS.

I hope your family was able to spend time together this summer and enjoy the many offerings summer brings.  The months away from school allow us to relax, rejuvenate, and prepare ourselves for another successful school year.  The hardest part of summer coming to a close is getting back into a routine.  I have already started preparing my three daughters for the upcoming school year so it's not a huge shock when they have to wake up earlier and get to school.

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.

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

The Harter Middle School staff is looking forward to welcoming your child to school and providing the top-notch education upon which we have built our tradition of excellence.

Here's to a great 2016-2017 school year!

All my best,

Brian Faulkner, Principal
Kaneland Harter Middle School

New Immunization Requirements 
Please click here to read about the new immunization requirements in the State of Illinois.

Supply Lists
Supply lists for each grade can be found here.

Important Dates & Information to Kick-Start the 2016-2017 School Year
August 15-19 - Jump Start
Jump Start will take place from August 15-19 from 8:00-10:00 a.m.  Jump Start is for incoming 6th grade students to ensure a smooth transition into middle school.  The cost is $75 and your child can be registered by clicking here.  If your child plans on attending Jump Start, have them bring their school supplies on Thursday, August 18th.

August 18th - 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 August 18h 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 HMS.  A counselor will lead the new student orientation.

August 18th - Open House - 7:00-11:30 & 2:30-7:00 p.m.
Students will be able to pick up their schedules, locker assignments, find their classes, purchase a PE uniform, and tour the building.  During Open House, students are encouraged to bring their school supplies to store in their locker.  

August 24th - First Day of School

September 1 - Curriculum Night
Please note that more information will be provided in the near future regarding our Curriculum Night.

New Staff
Please help us welcome our new staff members at Harter:

Jennifer Hola (6 Blue Special Education), Katie Richardson (6 Blue Science), Katelynn Giordano (6 Blue ELA), Megan Slawek (6th Grade Special Education), Rachael Walker (7 White ELA), Rachel Hall (7 Red ELA), Josephine Anderson (8 Blue ELA), Samantha Gonzalez (Spanish), Kyle Miller (8 Blue Special Education), Jill Jeppesen (Physical Education), and Nicole Bakalis (Assistant Principal).    

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

Our PTO is always looking for volunteers.  If you are interested in helping out in any way, please visit their Facebook page and drop them a message.  The PTO will also have a table set up at our Open House and Curriculum Night.  Make sure you stop by and see all the great things our PTO does for our staff , students, and Harter Middle School.

Athletics - Physical
Please keep in mind that state law specifically states that all students are required 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.  A physical form can be found here.  

Extra-Curricular Offerings
At Harter, we offer numerous extra-curricular offerings and have listed them below.  Other offerings may be included during the school year.  Please note that some athletic teams and after school offerings require a student to tryout and make the team/activity.  All athletics/activities that require an try-out/audition have an asterisk next to it.    
  • Cross Country - August 
  • Girls Volleyball * - August 
  • Football - August 
  • Girls Basketball * - January 
  • Wrestling - October 
  • Boys Basketball * - October
  • Track & Field - March
  • Fitness Club - Winter
  • School Play * - Fall
  • School Musical * - Spring
  • Jazz Band * - All Year
  • Mid-Knight Special * - All Year
  • Art Club - All Year
  • Knight Writers (School Newspaper) - All Year
  • Student Council - All Year
  • Yearbook - All Year
  • IMSA Fusion - All Year

Fall Sports Information
Our Fall sports information (Football, Volleyball, Cross Country) can be found on our athletic website or by clicking here.  

Lunch Guidelines
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, we will still prohibit anyone bringing in lunch for any child other than their own.

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.

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 (building O&M, technology, ) kris.weiss@kaneland.org
Mr. Tim Swade - Dean of Students (discipline) - tim.swade@kaneland.org
Mrs. Marci Lapinskas - 6th Grade Counselor - marci.lapinskas@kaneland.org
Mrs. Jodette Wheat - 7th Grade Counselor - jodette.wheat@kaneland.org
Mrs. Denise Michels - 8th Grade Counselor - denise.michels@kaneland.org
Mrs. Lisa Campise - Social Worker - lisa.campise@kaneland.org
Kelly Gavin - School Psychologist - kelly.gavin@kaneland.org
Hilary Swett - Receptionist - hillary.swett@kaneland.org
Lisa Pitstick - Attendance - lisa.pitstick@kaneland.org
Joan Rule - Principal's Secretary - joan.rule@kaneland.org
Sheri Jenny - Registrar - sheri.jenny@kaneland.org
Laurie Villalobos - RTI Coordinator - laurie.villalobos@kaneland.org