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


Fun Holiday PE Activity
Science Atom Activity

Science Atom Activity

Proud to be a Knight!