Wednesday, May 2, 2018

May 2018

From the Desk of the Principal...
As we embark on our last month of the 2017-2018 school year, I am proud of what we have accomplished in our learning community.  It's hard to believe that the end of the school year is weeks away.  I have thoroughly enjoyed watching our students grow.  Whether they have grown academically, socially/emotionally, or in an extra-curricular area, it is an absolute privilege to experience and see our students flourish as individuals.  I have the best job in the world and I wish everyone had an opportunity to experience what I do.  The positives keep me smiling all summer long. 

If I don't see you in the coming weeks, have a wonderful summer.  If I can ever be of assistance, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal

Teacher Appreciation Week
Teacher Appreciation Week will be celebrated across the country from May 7th-11th.  We encourage you to send a positive note or email to a staff member that has positively impacted your child.  We are grateful to have a dedicated staff that deeply cares about each student, their well-being, and overall success.

Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher
Congratulations to Sarah Linden (6 Red Math) and Kevin Hagan (6th Red Social Studies) who were chosen as the Kaneland winners of the Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher competition.  Alexandra W wrote an amazing essay about Mr. Hagan and Grace V wrote a tear jerker essay about Mrs. Linden.  We were told by the Barnes & Noble Judging Panel that both essays were beautifully written and brought the judges to tears.

Mr. Hagan has been selected as the overall store winner (Geneva Commons Barnes & Noble) and has been entered into the national competition.  The national winner will be announced in June.  Congratulations Mrs. Linden, Mr. Hagan, Alexandra W., and Grace V.  We'd also like to thank Mrs. Rachel Ramos (librarian) at Harter for promoting this essay competition with our students.

After-School Pickup (Extra-Curricular Pick-Up)
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.

8th Grade Promotion
The promotion ceremony will be held on Tuesday, May 29th 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.

PTO Family Knight Out
On Wednesday, May 23rd at the Sugar Grove McDonald's, we are hosting a McTeacher Night.  37 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.  Our own Mid-Knight Special will be singing at 5:30 p.m.  This will be a fun event and we hope to see you on May 23rd.

Lunch Account Information 
Effective May 18, 2018 all lunch accounts must be brought to a positive balance.
*Note – any remaining balance will roll over into the next years account.

Effective May 29th, 2018 no student will be allowed to purchase food if they do not have enough cash or money in their account to cover.  

Last Day of School
The last day of school for students will be Thursday, May 31st.

4th Term Report Cards
4th term report cards will be e-mailed home no later than Monday, June 4th.

Student Schedules for the 2018-2019 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 to all parents the first week of August.

Pictures From Harter (click on picture to enlarge) 

My Favorite Teacher BOE Recognition

BOE Recognition - 8th Gr Girls Basketball Champs

3rd Term Incentive
3rd Term Incentive

IESA Bowling State Qualifiers

IESA Bowling State Qualifiers

Talent Show
Talent Show

Talent Show

Talent Show

Washington D.C. Trip 

Washington D.C. Trip
Barnes & Noble My Favorite Teacher

Anne Frank Museum Exhibits

Anne Frank Museum Exhibit
Washington D.C. Trip
Washington D.C. Trip

Proud to be a Knight!

Monday, April 2, 2018

April 2018

From the Desk of the Principal...
I hope you and your family had a relaxing spring break.  It's hard to believe we are in the home stretch of the school year.  I am looking forward to ending the school year on a positive note.

We are hosting and providing building tours with 5th grade students April 3-6.  We have a number of Harter students that are serving as ambassadors and will lead the tours.  This is a great leadership opportunity for our students.  After our week of building tours, we are hosting a parent night for the parents of 5th grade students.  I always look forward to welcoming new parents and students to the Harter family.

Our Kaneland 2020 Strategic Plan continues to be implemented across the district.  Here at Harter, we have had students help us with building a candidate profile that will assist us in hiring staff that understand the middle school child.  On top of the candidate profile, students are providing us feedback as we continue to explore personalized learning.  I have been thoroughly impressed with our students and staff as they have embraced personalized learning, which helps us better meet the needs of all students.  Whether it is updating students' Learner Profile, having choice in how they demonstrate understanding, or choosing flexible seating arrangements, Harter Middle School is providing learning opportunities for students that are second to none.

Have a wonderful month.  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, April 3rd from 7:00-8:30 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.

The agenda is below:

  • Superintendent Welcome
  • District Safety Practice Overview
  • ALICE Overview
  • ALICE Implementation Timeline by Level
  • Proactive Practices by Level
  • Q & A by Level 
    • Early Childhood -5th Grade - KHS Auditorium
    • Grades 6-8 - KHS Cafeteria
    • Grades 9-12 - KHS East Gym

As a reminder, our PARCC testing dates are as follows:

Week of April 9th - 6th and 8th grade students will take the required ELA and Math assessments.  Our 8th grade students will also complete the required State Science Assessment during PARCC testing.

Week of April 16th - 7th grade students will take the required ELA and Math assessments

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

PTO Updates
We had a great turnout for the PTO Game Day in March.  Thank you to all of the students and parents for making it a fabulous event.

Thanks to the PTO, Harter is currently building outdoor furniture that can be used by teachers and students when the weather is nice.  A number of students have been volunteering their time after school to help build the furniture.  See the pictures below.  We will continue to update our learning community as we create our outdoor learning spaces.

Mark your calendars.  The McDonald's McTeacher Night will be held on Wednesday, May 23rd from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at the McDonald's in Sugar Grove (Route 47).  The Harter staff will be working various jobs (drive-thru, front counter, ice cream machine, greeting, etc.).  If you made it out last year, you know that this is an event you do not want to miss.

8th Grade Promotion
Please note that the 8th Grade Promotion will be held on Tuesday, May 29th at 6:30 p.m. in the gymnasium.  The 8th Grade Dance will be held from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.  More specific information will be sent to 8th grade families.

Pictures From Harter
Mrs. Schertzer's Genius Hour Presentations @ KST

Students Collaborating
SEL Lesson

Congrats Mr. Bower's Homeroom - PTO Box Top Winner

Harter Artists of the Month

Student Conductor @ Band Concert

Student Conductor @ Band Concert
Student Conductor @ Band Concert

PTO Gameday 

PTO Gameday

6th Grade Choir
Students Building Outdoor Furniture
7th Grade Choir

Students Building Outdoor Furniture

Student Built

Student Built

Student Built 

Proud to be a Knight!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

March 2018

From the Desk of the Principal...
We couldn't dodge a snow day this school year even though we did the last two years.  I guess it was bound to happen.  With that being said, our last day of school will now be Thursday, May 31st pending no other emergency/weather days are used.

Over the last few months, I've reflected quite a bit on technology.  I have pushed my own thinking in terms of how we can best manage technology here at school and in my own personal life.  Personally, I have challenged myself to read more books and journals/magazines than online articles.  I came across an article about making reading cool again (click here to read Let's Make Reading Cool Again).  It was an easy, quick read and I thought I'd share, not because I'm endorsing anything in this article, but because it made me reflect on how technology has taken me away from books since I tend to read everything online.  I want to get back to good ole' fashion reading and sometimes putting the electronic device down is okay.  I find it ironic that it took an online article to push my thinking about getting back to reading books instead of reading online articles/books.  😀

Spring break is right around the corner.  I hope you find time to relax with family and friends.

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

Proud to be a Knight!

Brian Faulkner, Principal

End of the Year 8th Grade Activities - Update
Due to the snow day we had in February, the last day of school has been pushed back to Thursday, May 31st.  8th Grade Promotion will now be held on Wednesday, May 30th at 6:30 p.m. pending no other emergency/weather days are used.  8th grade parents will receive more specific information regarding the 8th Grade Promotion and 8th Grade Dance after spring break.

We are beginning the scheduling process for the 2018-2019 school year.  All 6th and 7th grade students have received a registration form.  We are asking that the form be filled out by the students and parents at home.  This form should be brought back to school with your child and given to their homeroom teacher by March 5th.  It is imperative that we have all registration forms by March 5th so we can begin constructing student schedules.

On the reverse side of the registration form is important information that may help when choosing classes.  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 and the majority of our students do not find study hall useful.  There are some students that are placed in study halls as a support when it is in the student's best interest; 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.

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

Chicago Blackhawks G.O.A.L. Program
Early in February, the PE staff hosted the Chicago Blackhawks G.O.A.L. program.  Members from the Blackhawks G.O.A.L. program visited Harter to play floor hockey with our students and they also donated equipment, such as goals, indoor pucks, and hockey sticks.  It was an awesome experience for our students.  See pictures below.

Pictures From Harter
Chicago Blackhawks G.O.A.L.

Chicago Blackhawks G.O.A.L.

Chicago Blackhawks G.O.A.L.

Collaborating-Learning Together


8th Grade KHS Transition 

FVCC Fire Safety Program

Puff Car Science Lab

Social Studies Project

Tie-Dye Day

Graphic Design Class

Student Recognition Assembly

Student Recognition Assembly

Student-Made Charging Station

Kaneland 2020 Gallery Walk

WordMasters Challenge Recognition

SEL Activity 

Proud to be a Knight!