Harper Happenings

December 9-13

What's Happening

Important Upcoming Dates-

  • 4th Grade parents- please see the announcement about yearbook below!
  • 4th Grade enrichment: December 18th
  • Winter Break: December 23-January 6
  • Kindergarten Registration Dates at Harper: January 13 & 14

Principal's Message

Hello Harper Parents/Guardians,

I hope you have had a great week back after Thanksgiving Break! It was fun to connect with so many and hear about relaxing and exciting Thanksgivings. In the spirit of being thankful and the season of giving, I am thankful for how our students and community give back to so many. Most notably, our annual Toy Drive led by Student Council and the Community Service Committee ended today with SO many toys being donated to the UI Health Craniofacial Center. The unofficial count is over 250 toys, which is our record! Thank you to all that donated. In school over the past 2 weeks, conversations around this toy drive were thorough and meaningful, centered around the students at the Craniofacial Center and the importance of giving back. I hope these conversations continue both in and out of school.

I am excited to announce our new secretary started this week, Shelley Miller. We welcome her to our team! Here is a small blurb from Shelley… I am so excited to be part of the Harper Elementary community! I grew up in South Carolina and moved to the midwest for college (Go Buckeyes!). I have been married for 23 years and I am a mom to five amazing teenage boys! I have a set of triplets that are seniors at Maine East High School in Park Ridge and a set of twin boys that are juniors at Maine East. Our newest addition is our dog named Winston. He brings more excitement to our busy household! For the past four years, I was a school secretary at Washington Elementary School in Glenview (District 63). I am looking forward to getting to know you and your child(ren). Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything. I'm happy to assist in any way I can.

Have a fantastic weekend,


Parent Planning Notes:

  • Allyship in the Face of Hate: Join District 39 and ADL for an engaging conversation about how to help our children promote allyship when confronted by hate in our community. December 18, 2019 at 7:30 PM in the Wilmette Junior High Auditorium. RSVP HERE. A flyer with information HERE.

  • The Illinois 5Essentials Student Survey: The 5Essentials Survey provides school districts with detailed data on school culture and climate. Students in grades 4 - 8 will participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey during the week of December 9th, 2019. Students’ identities will be completely confidential. Please be aware that you have the right to review a copy of the student questions which can be found on the Illinois 5Essentials website. If you have questions or concerns, please contact 5Essentials Client Services at 1-866-440-1874. If you do not want your child to participate, please email your child’s classroom teacher.

  • Kindergarten and KEEP39 (Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program) Registration is in January. HERE is an informational flyer that explains more about this half day enrichment program. Save the dates of January 13 and 14 for Kindergarten registration open house at Harper where we will be happy to assist you in the registration process. January 13: 9:00am - 7:00pm or January 14: 8:00am - 3:30pm. The deadline to register is January 31. For more information or questions, please email Aaron Dubnow at dubnowa@wilmette39.org.

  • After school clubs registration is open. See the attachment for information about clubs and sign-ups.

  • NEW - HARPER IS ON INSTAGRAM: One way to increase your connection to the school is through social media. This is a great way to see pictures, get updates, and understand more about the Harper school community. Follow us on instagram with our username of HarperDolphins. We also continue to use twitter so please consider following us there @HarperDolphins. Thank you for your support and Go Dolphins!


  • Yearbook: Thank you to all the wonderful entries into the (4th grade only) Cover Competition. We have a lot of wonderful artists at Harper. The winner and finalists will be notified before the Winter Break. Thank you for taking the time to get your creative on and enter!! And FOURTH GRADE PARENTS: PLEASE get your baby photo in to yearbook@harperpto.com . The deadline is 3 weeks away and we have only about 50% of fourth grade represented!! We may have to eliminate the page if we don't get all our 4th graders represented.

  • Cafeteria Volunteering- Have you wanted to come volunteer in the Harper cafeteria, but haven't been able to sign up this year? Please let Shefali know with an email to cafeteria@harperpto.com and she will work with you to find a spot in January, February, or March.

  • Coming to our Fourth Graders on 12/18! SCARCE: an award winning environmental non-profit dedicated to creating sustainable communities is coming to Harper. Our kids will have an interactive educational experience covering their Watershed program. Brought to them by iGNITE!

  • Birthday books: Calling all December birthdays! We will be celebrating in the Library next Wednesday, December 11. Forgot to sign up for your child's birthday earlier in this school year? No problems - register at the link below and we will include them this month! Commemorate your child's birthday by donating a book to the Harper Library. The average cost of a new library book is $20 - after your payment has been received, your child will be able to select his / her book during Library time. A personalized bookplate placed inside the book will show everyone that your child has added this special book to the Harper library! Sign up here http://harperpto.com/birthday-books/

  • Amazon Smile- This holiday gift-giving season, please consider shopping on smile.amazon.com and choose Harper PTO for your charity. 0.5% of your total order will benefit Harper School. #twicethegiving

Community Service Corner


This holiday, one of the best things you can do is pick out a toy for a child in need. Take your child to help choose, and have older children earn part of the money or donate some of their allowance to help pay for the toy. Then go together to place your gift(s) in the collection bin. As you’re picking out the new toy, ask your little ones to put themselves in the shoes of the child who will receive it, and imagine how they will feel.

Talk to your child: Was it hard to pick out a toy to give away? What would it be like to not get any gifts for the holidays?

Book to share: Great Joy by Kate DiCamillo. This sweet, elegant book tells the tale of an organ grinder, his monkey, and the little girl who worries over whether he has a place to go in the storm

Thank you,

Your Harper Community Service Committee


Donate now to iGNITE! and help your children have a fun-filled year of enrichment opportunities! The suggested donation of $125.00 per child (tax-deductible) enables iGNITE the opportunity to bring in speakers, scientists, and programs along with taking children on field trips. In addition, this pays for our amazing crossing guards that keep your kids safe and secure! We ask that you donate early so we can begin these programs at the beginning of the year! Thank you so much to those of you who have already donated to iGNITE! We are currently at 60% (250 students) participation. If you have not donated, it is not too late. There are 2 ways to donate:
1. Click on link: http://harperpto.com/ignite-donation/
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.

If you have any questions or can’t remember if you made a donation, please reach out to Jill Huebsch. jillhuebsch@gmail.com

Community News

LINK: http://www.wilmette39.org/news/community_events.

  • Sunday Youth Basketball for boys & girls grades 1-3. Contact Sara Hilby for information at shilby@wilpark.org
  • Gingerbread House Workshops for ages 3 + up December 7-11
  • Center Fitness Club presents the YETI CHALLENGE Nov. 18 - Dec. 31
  • The Center for Gifted hosts Fall, Winter and Summer programs. View flyers for details.
  • Girl Scouts host Discovery Night for all D39 girls on Wednesday, January 15th, 6:30 - 7:30 pm at McKenzie Elementary School.
  • Loyola Ramblerettes host Santa’s Dance Workshop on Friday, December 13th for 1st-6th grade girls.
  • Wilmette Food Pantry is open every Tuesday 10:30-11:30 am at Trinity United Methodist Church.

All announcements to be included in the Harper Happenings should be sent to Kelly Maggio 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 kwmaggio@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