Herget Happenings

November 2021

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As the holiday season approaches, we give thanks to educators, students, families, and our school community friends who pour their hearts into doing for our children. We see you and we are grateful for you.

On behalf of the Herget Staff...Wishing You A Very Happy Thanksgiving!

Ms. Larry, Principal

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Happy November!

As we head into these late fall/early winter months, there are a few things to think about on the horizon (or to make you aware that is currently available)...

  1. We are already a quarter into school, and 1st quarter grades have been posted on Home Access Center.

  2. We are moving toward our second Performance Series testing window (December 13-22) - more information will be forthcoming closer to those dates.

  3. We will be doing Heritage Spanish Testing for students on November 18, 2021

  4. 8th graders will begin talking with their teachers about placements and courses for high school in the next few months. 6th and 7th graders will be introduced or reintroduced to what is available for electives.

After sharing in the last newsletter about our Status Walk,

I wanted to explain more about our focus for the building. At Herget, we have made a Commitment to Dialogue. What, you may ask, does that mean? Our district’s Vision is to provide/promote A Culture that Embraces CURIOSITY, COMPLEXITY and the JOY of Learning.

We, at Herget, have chosen to encourage and promote that culture by focusing on a Commitment to Dialogue. Our commitment to dialogue encompasses four tenets/indicators…

Commitment to Dialogue (Exploratory Talk)

  • Exploratory dialogue underpins collaboration between all learners. Talk is exploratory rather than cumulative or disputational

  • High-quality dialogue enables students to generate ideas and think more deeply

  • Everyone experiences deliberate opportunities of planned dialogue leading to meaningful learning

  • The learning environment and culture of each classroom enables students to take risks in their thinking and dialogue.

This year, we will be defining what dialogue means at Herget. We will know when we say “dialogue” what we mean, what that looks like, and what that sounds like. We also begin focusing on the bullet points of this commitment as we look to engage our students and encourage them to embrace curiosity, complexity and the joy of learning.

Dates, Events and Information to put on your radar…

  • Half Day: November 11, 2021 (Veteran’s Day)

  • No School for students - Non Attendance Day - 11/24/21, 11/25/21, 11/26/21 (Thanksgiving Break)

  • Second Quarter Midterm grades will be available on the Home Access Portal for parents and students - Tuesday, November 30, 2021.


At Herget Middle School, student safety is a priority for all of us. We continue to work with our students on student conflicts and bullying by utilizing conflict resolution and restorative justice techniques as a proactive approach to improving student conduct. We remind our students of the “Husky B.A.R.K.” (Be ready, Accept responsibility, Respect others, self and the environment, Keep hands and feet to yourself) every morning during announcements and to “THINK” (is it True?, is it Helpful?, is it Inspiring?, is it Necessary?, is it Kind?) before using social media. Students are expected to follow the academic and behavior guidelines as they are preparing for high school, college and their future careers.

As a reminder, please make sure the school contact list is updated and we have the correct e-mail to ensure information is being received from Herget MS. Notifications will also come from HERO, which sends an e-mail notification if a student is tardy to class and if they do not have their chromebook for class. Feel free to contact the Student Services Office at 630-301-5235 with any questions regarding the notifications. Lastly, as the weather changes, please make sure students have the appropriate clothing and prepared as winter approaches. It is getting colder. Thank you for your support.

*Message from the 2021-2022 PTA Board*

"Our vision for this year is to make it as enjoyable for the kids as possible. The Board is excited to work together as a cohesive team and incorporate new ideas into the PTA. In the end, it is all about the kids having fun, and returning to a sense of normalcy."

Questions? Comments? Ideas? Please contact us! HergetPTA@gmail.com. We look forward to working with you.

Join the PTA today and help us reach our goals!


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The electives department has a lot to be thankful for this month!

  • The World Language department is thankful that this month we can share culture from France & Mexico! Our students will get to learn about Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and la Toussaint (All Saints' Day) and how they are extremely important in their respective countries!

  • The Herget Choir classes are thankful that we started working on holiday music for the next concert Monday, December 20th at 7:00PM. In addition, on October 27th all 7th and 8th grade choir students from all four middle schools participated in a choir festival. They learned what it is like to be in choir at the high school and sang four songs with the west high a-cappella choir. They also performed later that night in a concert for the public. Photos from the festival: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1cq7_bGiBD1XwgzAi9RvOpUkXMwsLmSQV?usp=sharing

  • The ukulele classes are thankful to have the opportunity to check-out and take home an instrument to practice playing.

  • A handful of CTE students that were ahead of schedule on their woods projects were given the chance to work on an extra project. Using scrap wood from the current project, they are creating a turkey head and feathers that will attach to a pumpkin for a fun festive fall decoration. Students will paint their turkeys next week and take them home just in time for Thanksgiving. (pictured above)

  • The PLTW - Design and Modeling students had the opportunity to be creative by designing a 3D pumpkin, as an extension project. Students just started learning how to navigate and create in the Tinkercad software program.

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Recently, our Heritage Spanish classes at the four middle schools studied the effects of humans on the environment. In order to fully understand the concept, they learned how different groups of people around the world repurpose items most would consider waste. The classes created works of art out of recycled materials and now they are hosting a competition that showcases their final products.

All are invited to vote for their favorite project on or before November 5th, at 3:30 PM. Simply click on the button below, view the students’ work, and vote!


Fall Choir Concert 2021

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All math classrooms at Herget are working hard to incorporate opportunities for dialogue into our daily routines. Having students be able to discuss their strategies to approach problems, their thinking in solving problems, and asking questions when they need more information helps to reinforce their math learning.

Students can learn as much or more from talking with each other about their thinking as they can from their teachers or whole group instruction. Sometimes students can have a difficult time verbalizing what they are thinking though. Talking with siblings or parents about math at home can help give students some practice and confidence using this skill at school.

Many teachers encourage students to use question stems or sentence starters such as these to get the conversations rolling:

  • Can you explain how you got that solution?
  • Can you prove that your answer is correct?
  • I’m confused about…
  • Can you show that in a different way?
  • How did you figure that out?
  • Why are our answers different?
  • Another strategy to use is…
  • The keywords that helped me figure this out are….
  • I noticed that…
  • I know the answer is reasonable because…
  • What will you do next?
  • Why did you decide to do it that way?
  • Can you draw a picture or diagram to help me understand?
  • I got a different answer because....
  • I agree or disagree because….


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The Herget Social Studies department continues to find ways to engage the curiosity, joy, and complexity of learning. As we begin Quarter 2, please take time to look over your student’s Quarter 1 report card grades with them. Take time to ask your student what they are proud of and what they are going to focus on for Quarter 2. Remind students that it is important to check Schoology grades daily in each of their courses. Teachers will continue to update Schoology course pages on a regular basis. Most often the answers to you, or your students' questions can be found on our Schoology course page.

Routines that help your student to be successful:

  1. Log into Schoology daily

  2. Check each teacher’s course page for agenda and upcoming assignments

  3. Check the “Grades” tab on the left side of each course page

○ Contact teacher if you have questions

  1. Check Inbox on Schoology

○ Stay caught up on messages and tasks

We appreciate everything you do to help make sure that your child is successful!

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Happy November!

We can hardly believe that the 1st quarter has come and gone. Here are a few things that have been happening in ELA this year. We continue to develop the curiosity, complexity, and joy of learning. The students have been engaging in meaningful dialogue about various vocabulary words, different writing styles, and different parts of speech. The students have really enjoyed the dialogue activities. We continue to learn and apply our vocabulary words in a variety of ways. We continue to work on grammar rules, and how to use the different parts of speech in our writing. The sixth graders will be working specifically on using different parts of speech in our Narrative Unit this quarter. As always, we like to remind the students that “Reading is like breathing in. Writing is like breathing out.”

Sixth grade and seventh grade will be reading various novels together over the 2nd quarter. Students will be discussing characterization as well as what we already learned about plot. All of our Language Arts students will be discussing themes and the universal lesson that authors are trying to have us learn. In addition, we will be learning about the connections between the theme and the characters, setting, and plot.

Please take a few minutes to share about what you are reading and ask questions about what is happening in the book. Dialoguing with your student about their reading will encourage them to continue and make it a priority. It also is a great way to check-in with what they are reading and make connections. Remember reading for pleasure is something that we want everyone to do. If you get a chance, sit down and read quietly with your student to show them that reading for fun is something we do even after we leave school.

Thanks for all your support, and effort to make this year as successful as possible. We look forward to continuing our work together!


Building Vocabulary

Vocabulary contributes greatly to a reader’s comprehension. Readers cannot understand a text without knowing what most of the words mean. Luckily for us, students learn the meaning of many words indirectly, through everyday experiences with oral and written language. However, learning and collecting other words to add to students’ speaking, listening, writing, and reading vocabularies requires careful instruction. Here’s what you can do at home to support and expand your students’ budding vocabularies:

  • Engage your student in conversation every day, challenging yourself to use new and interesting words

  • Read something you find interesting to your student each day, encouraging them to stop you and ask about any words that are unfamiliar

  • Talk about the steps you normally take when you encounter an unknown word like using context clues, other words around the unknown word, or a STUDENT dictionary (I highly recommend learnersdictionary.com)

  • Draw or search for pictures of unknown words so that your student can visualize their meaning

  • Play vocabulary-based games like password, charades, Pictionary, Catch Phrase, Scattergories, Scrabble, Boggle, Bananagrams, Balderdash, Taboo, Last Word, Electronic A to Z (you can play or create free versions of almost all these games!)

  • Be sure your student is reading independently EVERY DAY so that they can encounter and learn more words

Remember to have fun, be purposeful, and just keep the bottom line in mind: The more words a child knows, the more information that child has access to.


Sixth graders will be continuing to learn about physical and chemical reactions. Students will be able to explain each type and examples. They will also be able to describe how the total number of atoms does not change. Ask your student to tell you about some of the experiments that we have done in class so far!

Seventh graders have just concluded their study of Thermal Energy and Heat Transfer by creating a device that could keep water hot. They will now begin to explore Newton's Laws and the relationships between energy and forces.

Eighth graders will continue their ecology unit and learn how living things can influence and affect one another in an environment. Students will dissect owl pellets to learn about predator and prey relationships and the feeding habits of carnivores. Also, they will determine the population density of the prey based on the number and type of bones collected.

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The second quarter is just underway in PE class! We can't believe it is 2nd quarter already! Just a few reminders from the PE staff: 1) Please make sure your student is bringing home their PE clothes on Friday to be washed; 2) Students are to be changing out of their regular school day clothes into PE attire (red shirt and bottoms that were not worn to school) and 3) Crocs or slides are NOT to be worn in PE class; this is a safety issue and could result in an injury of your student. Please contact your student's PE teacher for more information.

Mrs. Eastlick has a new group of Health students and is looking forward to working with them. Please contact her if you have any questions regarding the Health curriculum.

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Our winter sports season has started up with 6th, 7th, and 8th-grade boys basketball, 6th-8th grade wrestling, and 7th/8th cheerleading. You can find our practice and game schedules on the athletic website at https://il.8to18.com/herget. Girls basketball and poms will have announcements towards the end of the 2021 year on when tryouts and practices will be. Please keep an eye out on Schoology, our Twitter account, and our Herget Athletic website for that announcement.

Congratulations to our 7th girl’s volleyball team on winning Herget’s first-ever City of Lights championship. They beat a tough Holy Angels team in three games in the championship and only lost one game all season! Congratulations also go out to our girls' and boys' cross country teams! They both finished in first place in the City of Lights cross country meet. After the city competition, both teams qualified for the IESA state competition. At state our boys' team finished in 6th place, and our girls' team finished in 19th place. Individually Nathan Gehrmann finished in 12th place and Ben Bohr finished in 29th place in the boys' competition. Abbey Hauser finished in 26th place in the girls' competition! Way to go Huskies!

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Battle of the Books has officially begun!!! Students are able to choose their team of four, and together they are required to read 12 predetermined Rebecca Caudill titles. Rebecca Caudill books are those chosen by teachers in Illinois and are regarded as must-reads for middle school students. If students read three or more titles, they can vote on their favorite one.

All middle schools in Illinois can participate and send their school’s vote in. Only ONE book will be awarded the Rebecca Caudill book of 2022. We chose those titles for Battle of the Books because we wanted to promote this student choice award. The students have from now until the middle of April to read their three books. We will then start “battling” in the LMC during lunchtime. Mrs. Dieken will ask the teams a series of questions about the 12 titles. For every correct answer, the teams will receive points. If an answer is incorrect, no points will be awarded. After three rounds, our top four teams will compete against each other, regardless of which grade level they are in. The winner of the final four competition will be our Herget champion! Teams must be registered by November 12th!

Phoebe Metz, the teen librarian from Aurora Public Library, will be visiting us the week of November 8th. She will be promoting some library resources, including the fact that they will have drop in tutoring once a week, and they are restarting the teen advisory board (no applications for now)! I hope our students will take advantage of all the APL has to offer!
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Support Services

School refusal: When a child won’t go to school

By Julia Martin Burch, PhD, Contributor

The transition back to school each fall is challenging for many families. But some children and teens feel so much emotional distress that they may repeatedly balk at attending school or staying there — a problem known as school refusal, or school avoidance if it occurs consistently. Ways to identify school refusal and tips on responding to it quickly are described below.

What is school refusal?

Shifting from a more relaxed summer routine to early wake-ups, hours in class, and dreaded homework makes many students feel mildly anxious or cranky during the early weeks of a new school year. For some students, however, school feels so difficult and overwhelming that they experience significant, distressing anxiety around attending and staying in school. To relieve this anxiety, a child or teen may begin to avoid school.

School refusal can take many forms. It can include behaviors like frequently struggling to arrive at school on time, leaving before the school day ends, or not attending school at all. Headaches, fatigue, stomachaches, and other physical symptoms of anxiety may make it hard to get off to school in the morning or make it feel necessary to leave early.

School avoidance allows a child or teen to escape distressing aspects of the school day, which provides immediate short-term relief. However, when a student continues to miss school, returning can feel harder and harder as she falls behind academically and starts to feel socially disconnected from classmates and teachers. Additionally, the child doesn’t get the chance to learn that it’s possible to handle school-related anxiety and cope with any challenges the school day brings. This can keep her stuck in a vicious cycle of school avoidance.

What can parents do to help stop the cycle of school refusal?

Step in quickly. Missed schoolwork and social experiences snowball, making school avoidance a problem that grows larger and more difficult to control as it rolls along. Be on the lookout for any difficulties your child might have around attending school on time and staying for the full day. If the problem lasts more than a day or two, step in.

Help identify issues. Try to find out why your child is avoiding school. Gently ask, “What is making school feel hard?” Is your child struggling socially or being bullied? Afraid of having a panic attack in the classroom? Worried about his academic performance or public speaking? Fearful of being separated from her parents for a full day?

Communicate and collaborate. Your child’s school is a key partner in combating school avoidance. Contact the school guidance counselor, psychologist, or social worker to share what you know about why your child is struggling to attend school. The more information the school has about why school avoidance is occurring, the better they will be able to help you. Collaboratively problem-solve with your child and the school by identifying small steps that can help your child gradually face what he is avoiding at school. Let’s say fear about speaking in front of the class is a problem. A child might be permitted to give speeches one-on-one to a teacher, then to his teacher and a few peers, and gradually work up to speaking in front of the class.

Be firm about school. Be empathetic but firm that your child or teen must attend school. Tell her you are confident she can face her fears. Let your child know that while physical symptoms of anxiety, such as stomachaches, headaches, and fatigue, are certainly unpleasant, they are not dangerous. Generally, children should only stay home from school for fever (at least 100.4° F), vomiting, or a few other reasons. It’s important for anxious children and teens to learn that they can persevere and do what they need to do even when experiencing physical anxiety, just as adults must in their own jobs. Physical symptoms often ease up as the school day progresses and children face their fears. Learning this firsthand can empower a child.

Make staying home boring. Is there anything about the out-of-school environment that makes it extra tempting to stay home? Make home as school-like as possible. No unfettered access to screens of any kind and no sleeping or lounging in bed unless genuinely sick. Be clear that if your child or teen does not attend school, you will be collecting all screens and/or turning off data and home wifi. Then follow through! Ask the school to send work for your child to complete during the day or to provide a tutor at home.


View Effective Writing for Health Care

School avoidance is a serious problem that can worsen rapidly. Work closely with your child’s school. It’s also a good idea to consult with a licensed mental health professional who specializes in child anxiety and can support you in helping your child or teen re-engage in school. Ask the school guidance counselor or your pediatrician to refer you to an expert. The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies and the American Psychological Association also have online search tools. Additionally, your pediatrician may want to schedule a visit to rule out health problems.

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Nurse Notes

We are approaching the Holiday Season which includes cherished family time and memory-making moments. This 2021 year we can celebrate a return to in-person learning. As our middle school students submit proof of the COVID vaccine our health office has been entering the dates of vaccines into our school health records. To learn more about the COVID vaccine please contact your student’s physician for individual guidance. Our Herget Health Office has been diligently monitoring student health and completing a return to school COVID testing for students when needed. This is a reminder that vaccinated students are not subject to quarantine. In general guidelines for quarantine if exposed are different per individual if exposed. Guidelines to return to school after illness for any student also varies.

Please know that our health office has been buzzing as Nurse Capp and Nurse Silva have been in contact with student families, staff, administrators, and the Kane County Health Department to keep up with ongoing changes. Some of the common questions we have addressed have been about signs and symptoms and when to stay home. The go-home steps are based on the current Illinois Department of Public Health Guidance. It is important to know that if a student is sent home from school with symptoms, all siblings (family members) must also be picked up from school to stay home from school until the symptomatic student meets specific criteria. Vaccinated siblings would not need to stay home.

Please limit your possible exposure to illness by maintaining your distance of at least six feet from others, washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds, and wearing your mask around your nose and under the chin. Flu season is nowhere to join the party therefore we must always continue to cover our cough or sneeze in our sleeves. Roll up those sleeves and get the flu vaccine. I had mine last month and it was quick and easy. Most of all, stay home if you are ill or if you have symptoms.

More information regarding COVID 19 through CDC resources can be found here:



Submitted by: Elizabeth Silva RN-CSN

Band students visit 5th graders at Hill & Schneider Elementary Schools

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Speaking of Gratitude...

Here's a 5-minute film festival for your students on the theme of giving thanks & being grateful.

Want to have your students do something for others?

Here's a very simple activity that works for any age group, and that will mean a lot to the folks who are on the receiving end.

Bringing a side dish to the meal?

Take a look at these! You're sure to find one that works for you.

Get Your Dance On

With this fun intergenerational playlist!

Natalie Merchant - Kind and Generous
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2021-2022 District 129 Profile

Each year, there is something new to be proud of in School District 129! For example, did you know that 72% of our teachers have a master’s degree or higher? Or, with nearly 1,100 school districts in Illinois, we rank number 73 among the best school districts for athletes? We invite you to view our latest district profile by clicking on the button below. Please join us in broadcasting the good news by sharing it with those who may be interested!


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11/08 - PTA meeting - 6:30PM; LMC

11/09 - Chipotle Fundraiser

11/11 - Veteran's Day - early dismissal; 12:00PM

11/23 - Band Day - 9:30AM; WAHS

11/24-11/26-Thanksgiving Break No School
11/30 - Holiday Band Concert - 7:00PM; WAHS