Harper Happenings

August 24th

What's Happening

Tuesday, August 28th

  • Harper New 1st-4th Grade Family Night, Auditorium, 6:30pm

Thursday, August 30th

  • First day of school! Half day attendance grades 1-4 (8:35-11:55am); Kindergarten has an altered schedule (See Dr. Kick's note below for specific info)
  • PTO Parents Opening Day Coffee in Harper Cafeteria, 8:35am

Friday, August 31st

  • First full school day, regular schedule

Dr. Kick's Corner

WELCOME BACK! I hope you all had a wonderful summer! Harper staff are SO excited to see OUR students! We are beginning the year with approximately 435 students!

  • Teacher names were emailed on Monday, August 21st. They go out in batches, so everyone did not receive their email at the same time. If you have not received an email, please call Harper’s office (ext. 6200) and they can assist you.

  • Don’t forget to go to Harper’s homepage to view/print ALL of the VERY important back-to-school information!! It is located under “parents” and then “back to school”. http://harper.wilmette39.org/

  • Our school hours are:
  • 1st-4th 8:35-3:15 Monday-Thursday and 8:35-2:15 Friday

  • Kindergarten AM 8:35-11:10, PM 12:40-3:15 (Monday-Friday)

  • Before school supervision will begin at 8:20 and the first bell rings at 8:30.

  • August 30th is an early release day of school (8:35-11:55) for 1st-4th graders; parents may walk their child to class and then proceed to the cafeteria for coffee and multiple PTO sign-ups!

  • Kindergarten students attend with a parent/adult using the following August 30th schedule:
  • 8:40-9:25 Morning kindergarten students with the last names A-K
  • 10:25-11:10 Morning kindergarten students with the last names L-Z
  • 1:00-1:45 Afternoon kindergarten students with the last names A-K
  • 2:15-3:00 Afternoon kindergarten students with the last names A-K

  • August 31st is a regular attendance day for ALL grades.

  • New lunch times: 3rd/4th 11:10-11:35 (lunch), 11:35-12:00 (recess); 1st/2nd 11:35-12:00 (lunch), 12:00-12:25 (recess)

  • Curriculum Nights:
  • 9/5 First Grade 6:30-7:15 PM, Second Grade 7:15-8:00 PM
  • 9/12 Third Grade 6:30-7:15 PM, Fourth Grade 7:15-8:00 PM

  • 9/20 AM/PM Kindergarten 6:30-7:15 PM

  • Our visitor sign-in practices have slightly changed. All visitors will continue to present a driver’s license, which will be scanned using our Raptor system. The license will then be kept in the office and each visitor will be given a colored lanyard with a visitor badge. The driver’s license will be returned at the conclusion of the visit. Please know that a driver’s license is required for every visit. Thank you for helping us keep our kids safe!


  • Stefanie Klein (nurse) will be spending more time with her family, accepting a part-time position closer to home.
  • Laura Resis (special education para.) will be a part-time LBS at WJHS.
  • Ben Baird (special education coordinator) accepted a new position in Glencoe.
  • Erin Medsker will be our new Social Worker. Erin completed her year-long internship at McKenzie Elementary.
  • Valerie Morse will be our new nurse. Valerie comes to us with a vast background in nursing.
  • Lauren Levinson will be a full-time kindergarten teacher this year.
  • Colleen Chick will also be a full-time kindergarten teacher this year. Previously, Colleen taught kindergarten at McKenzie Elementary.
  • Rose Heredia will be our substitute Occupational Therapist. Nicole Shamis will return after her maternity leave.
  • Amy Freese will be our Special Education Coordinator.
  • Allison Radin will be a part-time special education para. Allison is returning to Harper. She was previously the school psychologist and then building para.
  • Annie Hughes will be a special education para.
  • Sarah Pavlik (3rd grade) is now Sarah Boeckman! Sarah was married in July.
  • Kathleen Creevy (LBS) is now Kathleen Enright! Kathleen was married in March.
  • Natalie Hass (ELL) is now Natalie Farley! Natalie was married in May.
  • Michelle Mkrdichian (School Psychologist) is now Michelle Youkana! Michelle was married in December.

  • The following paras will continue to be at Harper:
  • Topolinski (kindergarten), Elizabeth Ceisel (kindergarten), Polly Breen (reading), Lynn Mestanas (learning commons), Katie Clarke (building), Caroline Cerrone (special ed.), Shalla Lakhani (special ed.) and Donna Eckert (special ed.).

  • Math packets and reading logs are located on the Harper homepage under the heading “students” “summer learning”. All 1st-4th grade students who completed them will sign their name on large math/reading signs in the cafeteria.

  • During the first few weeks of school we will have multiple safety drills. They are required, routine and very important so students understand the procedures.

  • Again this year, only fruits and veggies will be allowed for snacks. This best practice truly protects the many students with food allergies and promotes healthy eating.

  • We continue to improve our nutrition practices in our cafeterias. Juice will no longer be served in the elementary schools.

Coming Up/Reminders

Monday, September 3rd

  • No School - Labor Day

Monday, September 10th

  • No School - Rosh Hashanah

Wednesday, September 12th

  • 3rd Grade Curriculum Night, 6:30pm
  • 4th Grade Curriculum Night, 7:15pm

Thursday, September 13th

  • Kindergarten PTO Meet and Greet, 8:30am
  • Destination Imagination Presentation in Harper Auditorium, 7pm

Wednesday, September 19th

  • No School - Yom Kippur

Thursday, September 20th

  • AM/PM Kindergarten Curriculum Night, 6:30pm

Wednesday, September 26th

  • PTO General Meeting, 9:00am

Sunday, September 30th

  • Harper Hoedown, 11:30-2:30pm

Friday, November 2nd - SAVE THE DATE

  • Annual PTO Parent Party; new location and more info coming soon!


  • From our Harper PTO President Carrie Diamond: Welcome Back to School from The Harper PTO!! We are looking forward to a fun and exciting 2018-2019 school year!

    Come join us for our annual Harper PTO Opening Day Coffee on August 30th. Parents, please come directly down to the cafeteria after student drop off on the first day of school. Younger siblings are welcome, too! Enjoy a cup of coffee, meet and greet new parents, catch up with friends and most importantly, learn about all our PTO committees and sign up to volunteer! You can volunteer to be a Room Parent, Yearbook classroom photographer, Harper Hoedown Helper, Family to Family Committee, Book Fair Helper and much more. Come learn about our exciting clubs such as; Garden Club, Chess Club, Scouts, and NEW to Harper this year…Destination Imagination(DI)! Remember to bring your checkbook/credit card/cash so you can purchase your iGNITE Student Enrichment contribution and fab Harper Spirit Wear! Come get involved in Harper School! There is something for everyone! “For more school information, visit the Harper PTO website.”

  • SCHOOL KITS HAVE ARRIVED! For those who ordered a school supply kit from EduKit last spring, the kits have arrived and will be waiting near your child's classroom on the first day of school. Please note there are some items that will not be included in the kit that you will need to purchase separately, these items can be found in the first box on the school supply list, as well as any item listed on the supply list for your child's grade that has an asterisk next to it. The school supply committee will work directly with the Harper teachers if there are items missing in the kits however if you have questions or concerns please email schoolkits@harperpto.com.

  • New Harper Families in 1st - 4th Grade: Please join the Welcoming Committee at Harper New Family Night 6:30pm, Tuesday, August 28th in the auditorium. Receive all pertinent school information and participate in a grade level tour. Children are welcome. Please email: welcoming@harperpto.com with any questions.

  • Attention Kindergarten Families: The Harper PTO invites ALL Kindergarten parents to a meet and greet coffee, Thursday, September 13th from 8:30 - 10:30am.

    1018 Cherokee Road, home of Corey Guenin. Swing by after drop off or at your convenience. Hosted by Corey Guenin, Elizabeth Whittle, Tammy Muse. Email: welcoming@harperpto.com with any questions.

  • NEW HARPER SPIRIT WEAR IS HERE! Stock up early on this year’s exciting new lineup of Harper t-shirts, hats, and more. Kids love wearing their gear for Spirit Day every Friday, and all proceeds go to support the PTO. Pre-sale will be Monday, August 27, 2:00-4:00PM, at Marni Sheehan’s house, 2414 Greenwood Ave. Items will also be for sale at the Harper PTO Opening Day Coffee and Curriculum nights. Check, cash, and credit cards all accepted.

  • The 2018-19 Harper AtoZ Online Directory will be available on Friday, August 23, 2018! AtoZ is a benefit of PTO membership, providing class lists and parent contact information. When you receive the "Go Live" email on Friday, all you have to do is following the instructions to become a member and access the Harper directory. If you have other children in District 39, each school will send a separate email with a unique user name and password. Accounts can be linked after completing verification for each school. You will also have the option to purchase a print version of the Directory, as well as contribute to teacher gifts and donate to IGNITE!. The A to Z Directory is a great resource when setting up play dates and communicating with your fellow Harper parents!

  • Chess Club is starting soon! Chess is a sport of the mind that will exercise your child's brain and build life skills. Professional instruction from basics to competitive will be provided. If interested, register through the Wilmette Park District. Fall session runs Mondays, September 17- December 17 from 3:30- 4:30 in the Harper Cafeteria.

  • Purchase your 2019 Harper Yearbook now at the lowest prices of the year! Click here to order your yearbook. Or use your ReplayIt app and order it from your phone. From now through 10/31, yearbooks are $23. Add customization for $6. Make sure you receive a confirmation email from Josten’s so you know you completed your order.
  • Attention 4th Graders! Submit your artwork for the 2019 Yearbook Cover Contest! Download the attached rules PDF, print out the template and follow the rules closely. Turn in your cover art to the front office by 10/5/18. The winner not only gets their design featured on the cover, he or she also wins a free yearbook! Second place gets to be on the back cover.

  • Download the ReplayIt app for Yearbook access! Use ReplayIt to upload your photos to the yearbook gallery and/or to order your 2019 Yearbook. Learn more at www.replayit.com, or use the handy Replay It instructions in the attached PDF. The first time you log in the password is HarperRocks. After that you’ll set your own password. Your login remains the same year-to-year. Please send us your First Day of School photos! If you’re not a tech person, you can email photos to Yearbook@HarperPTO.com

  • Attention shutterbugs, we’re looking for volunteers to be classroom photographers! We’d like to have two photographers per classroom to be sure your child’s classroom is properly featured in the yearbook. It’s easy and fun and you get to attend the best events. You’ll share the duties with another photographer and other parents. Sign up at the Yearbook table at the Opening Day Coffee, or email us at Yearbook@HarperPTO.com
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  • Harper Hoedown Tickets On Sale Now!

    Gather your friends and family for the 15th Annual Harper Hoedown, Sunday 9/30/18, 11:30AM–2:30PM at Harper. All are welcome so spread the word to your non-Harper friends. Come hungry—there’ll be tasty treats for sale. SAVE $5 PER TICKET with our new lower pre-sale prices when you purchase by 9/21. For more information or to purchase tickets, see order form PDF below or visit the HoedownPage. Or swing by the Hoedown table at the Opening Day Coffee. Yeehaw!

  • Wanted: Deputies & Donations for the Hoedown. We’re in need of some kind-hearted parents to help out at the Hoedown. This year parent volunteers get in free! Click here to register for a time slot. We’re also looking to hire 12 teens at $10/hr to work on the games. If you have a teen/alumni interested in working a 3-hr game shift, please contact Hoedown@HarperPTO.com. We also need new/gently-used stuffed animals (no rips or stains, please) and goody bag-type items for our prize tent. Please place them in the donation bin in the Harper lobby.

  • New This Year at the Hoedown!

    We’ve switched things up with new rides, games and attractions. Challenge your friends to a race on the Zip Line or Obstacle Course. Or get even with them with the Big Kahuna “dunk tank.” The younger ones can hop aboard the Choo-choo Train Play House. Earn prize tent tickets with all new games like Pig Races or Tip-a-Troll. Don’t forget to wear your Hoedown shirt! It earns you 5 prize tent tickets at the door.

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Give Your Child a Unique Enrichment Experience

iGNITE! is an initiative led by Harper’s PTO that is dedicated to finding and bringing our students exciting, multi-sensory programs and activities. It is the main PTO fundraiser, suggesting a donation of $125 per student at Harper, as the contributions go right back to the children. Activities have included but are not limited to, visits to a variety of museums including Adler’s Planetarium, Chicago Botanic Gardens and Shedd Aquarium, visits from from leading edge speakers including Ruby Bridges (first African American to attend an all-white school) and Mike Byster (a mathematical genius featured on 20/20), and visits from authors each year. Programs and activities are developed by grade level. There are three ways to donate:

  1. Donate Online Here
  2. Drop off a check in the iGNITE! folder in the Harper Lobby. Please make the check payable to Harper PTO and include your child’s name on the check.
  3. Pay with a Credit Card at the iGNITE! table present in the Harper Lobby during the Curriculum Nights.

Any questions? Please feel free to email Marni Sheehan at ignite@harperprto.com or marnihonaker@gmail.com

Get Involved at Harper!

  • Looking for a meaningful way to volunteer for the PTO? Have you heard of the Family to Family Committee? This committee helps if there is a sick child or parent or any other needs that may arise in the Harper community. Stop by the PTO opening day coffee to learn more and sign up to volunteer or email Yvonne Kelly at ptopresidentelect@harperpto.com.

  • Cafeteria Volunteers -- Sign Up Genius Link Below! A fun way to volunteer at Harper is to come down to the cafeteria! The cafeteria needs lunch volunteers every day to run smoothly. It is a small time commitment, and a great way to have lunch with your child. Come at 11am, help make the trays and serve for both lunch periods, and grab a lunch and sit with your child once the line has finished for either or both periods. You will be done by 12pm. Sign up here and thank you in advance for your help during lunch!

  • Interested in becoming a Room Parent? Please sign up at the Opening Day Coffee on Thursday, August 30th at 9am

  • DESTINATION IMAGINATION - Interested in Destination Imagination (DI)? DI is a team-based creative problem-solving competition for kids grades K-12. Teams work on science, fine arts, technology, engineering, improv, or community service. DI challenges are all about allowing kids to create on their own without any help from adults or non-team members. Harper will host its own pilot DI program this year. DI is completely volunteer driven. It requires the commitment of parents leaders from November through early March at least 1x a week outside of school. D39 is hosting several DI information sessions in September. If you are interested in learning more, please plan on attending one of the following sessions: Friday, September 7th, 9:00 AM @ McKenzie OR Thursday, September 13th, 7:00 PM @ Harper OR Monday, September 17th, 7:00 PM @ McKenzie. Questions? Email emilyparis@gmail.com.

  • Volunteer in the Harper Garden! Parents help students create garden-themed crafts, take care of plants, and learn about insects and other garden critters. The garden is open to students Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch recess (11:35am - 12:25pm), and we need at least one parent volunteer each day. Siblings are welcome to come and NO GARDENING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED! If you're interested, here's the link to the Sign Up Genius. We look forward to seeing you in the garden soon!

  • A big thank you to Deana Tolzien, Emily Primosch, and Beth Karnes for volunteering to water and weed in the Harper Garden over the summer! The garden is looking gorgeous thanks to their hard work!

All announcements to be included in the Harper Happenings should be sent to Liz Hayes via the Communication Request Form by Mondays at 9 am. If you do not receive an email response within 24hrs, please send an email to elizabeth.hayes78@gmail.com to confirm your Communication Request Form was received.

For more school information, visit the Harper PTO website.

For additional D39 community events, visit wilmette39.org