Harper Happenings

October 29th - November 2nd

What's Happening

Monday, October 29th

  • PASS39 Evening Education at MEC, 7pm-8:30pm
  • Topic: ADHD

Tuesday, October 30th

  • Kindergarten Halloween Parade
  • AM Kindergarten - 8:50am; PM Kindergarten - 12:55pm

Wednesday, October 31st

  • 1st-4th Halloween parade 9:00 am
  • Early release grades 1-4: 8:35-11:55 am
  • No afternoon kindergarten
  • AM kindergarten 8:35am - 10:00am

Friday, November 2nd

  • Annual PTO Parent Party, A. Perry Homes Event Space, 7pm

Dr. Kick's Corner

  • Thank you to Eagle Scout, Connor Pochetti, for painting the bike racks and installing the bike air station!
  • Book Fair-THANK YOU to all of the parents that volunteered their time to make Harper's Book Fair a success! Watching students get so excited about purchasing a book made me smile from ear-to-ear!!

D39 is dedicated to the continued growth and development of our teaching team, and allocated professional development, is a time for collaboration and learning that will directly support our students’ learning and skills.

One of the focused training areas is writing instruction. Two years ago, we began using a new instructional writing format, the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop model. As a result of the workshop model, you might have noticed some changes in your child’s writing. Thus, I wanted to share some key “takeaways” so that you can support your young writer(s) at home:

  • Focus on the writing process, not the final product. The goal is to write more because research tells us that increased opportunities for writing improve skills! Focus on your child’s efforts, and on the vivid use of details, and figurative language that your child is using. Spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes are part of this process, but not the main focus. The goal is to help your child get his/her ideas in writing.

  • Every piece of writing will not be turned into a polished final product. That’s okay! We hope to gradually increase your child’s comfort and ability to embrace the editing process, and that’s quite an accomplishment!

  • Children love to write for a specific purpose and for a real audience! If you want to encourage writing at home, try having your child write about a specific experience in a letter to grandma or a blog that other family members can follow. As an extra bonus, it is highly motivating if family members can write back to your young writer.

  • Storytelling is a big part of writing. Encourage your child to tell you stories, even if they aren’t ready to write them down yet. If your child draws a picture to tell their story, ask him/her to describe it. This is how we all started as writers! Becoming a writer takes time.

  • Students should write as often as possible. The suggested amount of time for students to write outside of school is 20 minutes per day.

  • I would suggest alternating the writing and reading suggested times. So, M-W-F read for 20 minutes. T-Th write for 20 minutes.

The home-school partnership is vital to student academic success. We are excited to share this information with you so that you can support our efforts at school. We are growing inquisitive and articulate writers through the Lucy Calkins Writing Workshop model. It is a writing journey that we are excited to take with each child.

  • Halloween Parade-The outdoor parade for students in grades 1-4 will be held on October 31st at 9:00 am. A viewing map will be sent next week. The outdoor kindergarten parades will be held on October 30th at 8:50 am for AM kindergarten and 12:55 pm for PM kindergarten.

  • The temperature has become cold. Please make sure that your child is dressed for the weather. A warm coat, hat and mittens are needed for outdoor recess.

Coming Up/Reminders

Wednesday, November 7th

  • D39 Education Foundation Attire to Aspire Fashion Show, 7-9pm

Wednesday, October 31st to November 9th

  • Donate any extra Halloween candy. Bins are located in the Harper Lobby and donations benefit Connections for the Homeless

Thursday, November 8th and Friday, November 9th

  • No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences

Wednesday, November 14th

  • General PTO Meeting, 9am. Guest Speaker: District 39 Superintendent, Dr. Ray Lechner

Monday, November 19th - Friday, November 23rd

  • No School, Thanksgiving Break

Friday, November 30th

  • Harper PTO Movie Night


  • The Harper Learning Commons Book Character Pumpkin Contest
  • Decorate a pumpkin as your favorite book character! All pumpkins (real or artificial) will be displayed in the Learning Commons and students will vote for their favorite pumpkin character on Halloween! Download the pumpkin flyer PDF below for rules and information.
  • Purchase your 2019 Harper Yearbook now at the lowest price of the year!

    Order a yearbook by Wednesday, October 31, 2018 to get it for $23.00. Prices only go up from here! Go to www.jostensyearbooks.com

  • Final week to purchase tickets to the 2018 Parent Social. A big thank you to all that has already purchased tickets! We look forward to many more RSVP's coming in! The party starts at 7 PM and features a full bar, appetizers, and a fun DJ! This year's party is being held at A. Perry Homes Special Event Space in downtown Wilmette - did you know Harper is the only Wilmette school that hasn't held a party there yet? Click here to purchase tickets or the button below!

  • Thank you to all the Cafeteria Volunteers!!! We appreciate your help so much and love that the cafeteria is running at full speed! For those of you who have not had a chance to help out and want to, please email cafeteria@harperpto.com and we can get you in the January/February schedule.

  • Are your Box Tops laying around your house and spooking you out?!? We have our first submission on November 1st! Donations will be accepted through 10/31. This is a
    spook-tacular and easy way to give back to Harper!!

iGNITE! Enrichment Information

Thank you to iGNITE! for the following Enrichment Experiences!

  • Griffin's Tale Children's Repertory Theatre Company will be visiting and performing at Harper School on May 17, 2019. The company consists of 25 Northwestern undergrads who take stories written by local school children and turn them into songs, dances, scenes, raps, and games! https://northwestern.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/griffinstale

  • If your child is interested, K-4 students are being asked to write one story (short, long, wordy, picture-filled, serious, casual, etc.) to be used by the company when they perform here at Harper in the spring! Have your child write their story at home and then complete the Story-Identification Form (PDF linked below).

  • Please have your child return the forms to their teacher no later than Thursday, November 15, 2018 (note: the submitted copy will not be returned).

Harper's Green Corner

  • Join us after school on Thursday, November 15 for Gratitude in the Garden! As we prepare to close up the garden for winter, we'd love to hear what you are most grateful for. We will be serving hot cider and making a Thanksgiving craft. Siblings and parents are always welcome!

FAN (Family Action Network)

Upcoming dates...

  • Heather Havrilesky "Ask Polly" columnist, writer and author speaking about This Imperfect Moment: A Conversation with "Ask Polly" Interlocutors: Vivien Hanson, MSW and Maureen Kebo, MA on Mon, Oct. 29, 7 PM at North Shore Country Day School Auditorium 310 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, IL 60093 Free and open to the public. The event will not be recorded.

  • If you would like to sign up for the FAN newsletter, click here!

Community Service & News

Welcome to the Community Service Corner! Check here weekly for ideas on ways to incorporate community service at home and around town. If you have an organization or action to feature in this space please be in touch with Laura Geiger at ljbgeiger@gmail.com and we will work to include it!

Not sure what to do with all your extra Halloween candy?? Be sweet and share it with others! Harper will be collecting extra Halloween candy and delivering it to Connections for the Homeless. It is used to motivate and reward clients participating in social services programs. Boxes will be in the school lobby starting this week through Friday, November 9.

The Kindness Connection Events! The Kindness Connection is happy to announce two great opportunities to volunteer and have fun while helping others:

  • Pop Up For Veterans: Drop in an make a gift for a Veteran in celebration of Veteran's Day
  • Date: Friday, November 2nd, 4-6pm

  • Location: Board and Brush, 802 Dempster Street, Evanston

  • Cost is Free!

  • Play if Forward Playdate for Kindness at Little Beans Cafe
  • Date: November 11th, 4-6:30pm
  • Location: Little Beans Cafe, 430 Asbury, Evanston
  • Cost: $20 per ticket ($15 for additional sibling). Ticket prices include: hot dog, chips and juice

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

  • GO PEDAL POWER! Help a CPS honor student receive a bike! Donate a used bicycle to the 2018 Pedal Power Bike Drive Saturday, October 27th, 9:00 am - 12:00 pm at multiple locations.

  • The Volunteer Center of N. E. Metro CHicago hosts its annual Recyling Collection Drive Saturday, October 27th 9:00 am -12:00 pm at Indian Hill Train Station Parking Lot in Winnetka.

  • Go Green Wilmete is hosting a fall gathering “Sip Red, Go Green” Sunday, October 28th 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. at Wilmette Wine Cellar. Tickets are $35.

  • Wilmette Park District’s Saturday Basketball registration is open for boys & girls grades 4-8.

  • Wilmette Rotary Club is running its annual BIG BOOK DRIVE at all District 39 schools from October 1st through November 15th. Please donate any gently used books.

  • Wilmette Food Pantry is open every Tuesday 10:30-11:30 am at Trinity United Methodist Church.

  • Free adult English language classes are available at Highcrest Middle School through November 13.

All announcements to be included in the Harper Happenings should be sent to Liz Hayes directly elizabeth.hayes78@gmail.com via the Communications Request Form word document attached below by Mondays at 9 am. Thank you!

For more school information, visit the Harper PTO website.

For additional D39 community events, visit wilmette39.org