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 (  

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.

  • 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

  • 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. 

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.

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 -
Mrs. Nicole Bakalis - Assistant Principal (special education)
Ms. Kris Weiss - Assistant Principal
Mrs. Samantha Aversa - Dean of Students (discipline) -
Mrs. Denise Michels - 6th Grade Counselor -
Mrs. Marci Lapinskas - 7th Grade Counselor -
Mrs. Jodette Wheat - 8th Grade Counselor -
Mrs. Lisa Campise - Social Worker -
Mrs. Wendy Peck - Social Worker -
Miss Kelly Gavin - School Psychologist -
Mrs. Jenifer Mahon - Receptionist -
Mrs. Lisa Pitstick - Attendance -
Mrs. Joan Rule - Principal's Secretary -
Mrs. Sheri Jenny - Registrar -
Mrs. Laurie Villalobos - RTI Coordinator -
Mrs. Vicki Molander - School Nurse -
Mrs. Gigi Statler - Food Service Manager -

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!!!