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

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.


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.  

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 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!!!