Welcome to Haven Middle School

A Special Newsletter from Principal Latting - January 2023

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Hello Rising 6th Grade Families!

I wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself, share a little about Haven Middle School, and what you can expect as we get closer to the transition from 5th Grade to Haven in August 2023!

My name is Chris Latting and I have been the principal at Haven Middle School since July of 2020. Before coming to D65 I worked as a guest educator, 8th grade science and social studies teacher, K-5 assistant principal and K-5 principal in Joliet Public School District #86. During my three years at Haven I have been able to learn and grow personally and professionally alongside the students, staff, and families in our community. I am excited to get to do the same with you and your students during our time as a Haven family. In fact we would like to start learning a little about you and your child now. We would appreciate you completing our brief survey by 2/28/23.

In this newsletter I have pulled together lots helpful information and links for you to read, reread, and read again at your leisure over the next few months. Please know that we will review all that is shared in this newsletter and more when we have a chance to meet in person later this spring. At this time there is nothing more for you to do other than absorb this information. We will be sharing important dates to add to your calendar later this spring.

Thank you!

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Bite Sized Information

  • There are 680 students that attend Haven Middle School
  • An assistant principal is assigned to each grade level. Grade level assistant principals serve as first points of contact and support for each grade's students, teachers, and families.
  • Assistant Principals "loop" with students each year. This means that your child's AP will be with them (and you) for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.
  • Each grade level has its own school counselor and social worker. These teammates also loop with students throughout their middle school experience.
  • Haven students have opportunities to engage in extracurricular D65 athletics, intramural sports, and clubs.
  • August 23 2023 – First Day of School for Students *SAVE THE DATE
  • School Calendar for the 2023-2024 School Year (Grades K-8) *BOOKMARK THIS LINK

Haven's Awesome Assistant Principals Ms. Lopez, Mr. Smith, and Dr. Gildon

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Healthy Reminders from the Haven Health Office

Proof of your child receiving the following is needed prior to the first day of school:

  • Physical exam performed on or after August 23, 2022

  • Tdap Shot

  • Meningitis Shot

  • Hepatitis B Shots (series of three shots)

  • Dental Exam performed on or after November 15, 2022

Students who have state insurance, can receive a physical exam and shots free of charge at the School Based Health Center located at ETHS. Physical exams are $12.00 for students who receive free or reduced lunch. Immunizations are $3.00 per shot. Students who have private insurance can receive a physical exam only at full price of $33.00. Please call 847-424-7265 to setup an appointment.

Please email all health documents directly to Ms. Dortch in PDF format to dortcha@district65.net.

Can We Tour the School?

The answer is YES! Later this spring we will host students and families for in-person transition information sessions and tours of Haven. We will share a great deal of information including preparing for the first day of middle school, student schedules, 6th grade curriculum, and how to help your student have the most successful middle school experience possible! Stay tuned for more information after spring break

Social-Emotional Learning = SEL

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We want each of our Northstars to be successful in school and that means supporting and encouraging their whole development. While excelling in academic classes is important, students also need skills to take on learning challenges, make good decisions, handle strong emotions, and get along with others.

The 23-24 school year will be the second year in a row for our utilization of Second Step® Middle School curriculum. This is a research-based social-emotional learning program designed to improve students’ social-emotional skills, such as emotion management, impulse control, problem solving, and empathy. Second Step skills and concepts are designed to help students both in and out of school. These include:

  • Mindsets and Goals: Students learn how to develop a growth mindset and apply research based goal-setting strategies to their social and academic lives.
  • Recognizing Bullying and Harassment: Students learn how to recognize bullying and harassment, stand up safely to bullying, and respond appropriately to harassment.
  • Thoughts, Emotions, and Decisions: Students learn how to recognize strong emotions and unhelpful thoughts, and apply strategies to manage their emotions and reduce stress.
  • Managing Relationships and Social Conflict: Students learn strategies for developing and maintaining healthy relationships, perspective-taking, and dealing with conflict.
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Student Ambassadors

The Student Ambassador role is a distinguished student leadership position within the Haven community. Ambassadors meet with the school leadership team biweekly to provide feedback and input about school life, culture and climate and be critical voices in new school initiatives and long lasting Haven traditions. There are approximately 30 Ambassadors serving in one of many leadership roles at Haven this year.
The Student Ambassadors above are a handful of those who have poured a great deal of positivity and productivity into our culture and climate this school year! Sixth grade students interested in becoming a Student Ambassador will have an opportunity to apply and interview for opportunities to represent their grade level in December 2023.
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SY 23-24 = Expanding the AVID program at HAVEN

In the summer of 2022 a team of Northstar educators attended the AVID conference in Seattle to bring this course offering to our student community! Since then an additional group attended the AVID conference in Orlando to do the same. This summer we will attend an additional conference to learn ways to enhance our support and offerings for this course!
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Alternate Placement Procedures

D65 Alternate Placement Procedures - Overview Link

Please take the time to read through these procedures if you would like to know more about the process for Evaluation for grade skipping. In our district there are five steps. From beginning to end, the process can take about four to five months. If you think your child’s academic needs are not met through grade level instruction, we encourage you to start the process earlier than later. In many cases, the process may lead to improved academic performance within the current grade level. This applies to rising 6th, 7th, and 8th graders for the 23-24 school year.

Summer Learning 2023

This summer D65 continues to be focused on providing high quality academic and social emotional learning spaces for students whose academic trajectory has been adversely effected by COVID. We are most focused on students that are not yet on grade level in reading or math and who quality for free or reduced lunch.

Application window for summer learning 2/13/23 through 3/3/23 - I recommend speaking with your child's 5th grade teacher during parent teacher conferences about their recommendations for various options for your child. Please look out for more information from D65 on the programs offered. Please stay tuned!

Resources for Parents

Morning Mug with Principal Latting - Virtual Parent Information Sessions designed to provide information to and absorb information from Haven families. This year I have hosted a few in the mornings when everyone is likely to have their coffee mug. Sessions are recorded and included in subsequent Haven Newsletters for families who were unable to attend synchronously. Below are a few from this school year.

Glenbard Parent Series - Navigating Healthy Families

The Glenbard Parent Series (GPS) presents distinguished speakers to inspire, connect and inform with research-based strategies that promote positive youth development. Programs are free and open to the public.

Click here to view the list of upcoming speakers.

Middle School Technology

District 65 provides its students with an iPad for school activities. We will help your 6th grader get set up with their iPad in the first week of school. Please plan to create a routine for your student to charge this device every evening at home. Most of your student's middle school learning will be done using google classroom, and other tech platforms not available to them if their iPad is not fully charged when they arrive at school. Your child is responsible for taking care of this iPad, and that it is at school with them every day.

Cell Phones

Cell phones are a leading cause of distraction to the learning process. Our aim is to reduce as many distractions as possible in order to enhance learning and academic progress. As a means to help this become a reality, be aware that cell phones are not allowed anywhere other than in student lockers. You can learn more about the district's cell phone policy by clicking this link. Thank you in advance for speaking to your child on this topic before the school year begins!

School Work Plan and School Improvement Goals for SY22-23

In June of 2022 I presented Haven's Goals for Improvement. If you missed this broadcast last spring you can catch up below. My presentation begins at about 37:00 and ends at 42:00.
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Haven Middle School

Haven Middle School serves approximately 680 students in sixth through eighth grade in Evanston/Skokie School District #65. Our neighborhood feeder elementary schools consist of Lincolnwood, Kingsley, Orrington, & Willard.