Harper Happenings

November 4-8

What's Happening

Important Upcoming Dates-

  • NO SCHOOL: November 7th and 8th/Parent-Teacher Conferences

  • Thanksgiving Food Drive: November 4-15. See Community Service below for each grades designated item

  • PTO General Meeting at Harper: Thursday, November 14 at 9am, in the school auditorium. District 39 Superintendent Kari Cremascoli will be our guest speaker. If you would like to submit a question ahead of time please email jreynolds028@gmail.com All questions welcome.

  • 1st Grade Enrichment: November 21st
  • PASS39 Parent Education: Tuesday, November 19th. All Parents Welcome! Topic: Positive Behavior Management Strategies (9:15-10:15 AM at McKenzie School)
  • December 6th: Save The Date, Harper Movie Night, hosted by the PTO. Drop your child at school Friday, December 6, at 6pm. Support the school and take a little time to holiday shop. Registration will open mid-November.

Principal's Message

Hello Harper Parents/Guardians,

This week, the whole school participated in a Breakout EDU. Breakout EDU is a collaborative gaming experience designed to teach critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, and communication (the 4 C’s) and can be used in all content areas. Similar to the Escape Rooms that are making their way into popular culture, students are charged with the task of following highly-engaging, curriculum-related clues to unlock the Breakout box.

Each classroom participated in either an online or physical Breakout in which students used curriculum-related, Halloween-themed clues to open a series of virtual or real-life locks. Successful completion of each classroom Breakout allowed the classrooms to collaborate to unlock a Grade-Level box. Within that box, they found a clue that led to the entire school’s prize of Mrs. Ryan and myself getting “pied” in the face after the Halloween Parade yesterday. We are very proud of all the students for their efforts this week and for this shared experience together!

Throughout the year different classrooms and grades will participate in other Breakout EDU's, as a way to have some fun and work on their problem solving skills while strengthening the 4 Cs.

4th Grade Veteran Letter Writing Activity: NBC came to Harper this week to film a segment on the 4th Grade Veteran Letter Writing and how the students are taking their lessons on empathy and kindness and putting them into practice. It is a fantastic story on our school! HERE is the link.

Book Character Pumpkin Contest: Thank you to all the participants in this year's contest. We had our record number of pumpkins. Congratulations to Freddie for her pigeon that won. We can't wait to see all the pumpkins next year.

Halloween Parade: Even though the parade was indoors, it was a huge success. Thank you to all the teachers for helping to make it very fun for the students. We loved seeing all of the creative costumes and positive energy during the parade!

I hope you had a fun and safe Halloween! Have a great weekend.


Parent Planning Notes:

  • Fall Conferences Information: Sign-ups close Monday, November 4 at 11:59pm. We hope you are able to come to conferences as this is a great opportunity to partner with teachers and learn about how your child is doing. Please know that conferences cannot be scheduled outside of the D39 designated conference times.

  • Adult English Language Classes information HERE.


Thank you to all the students who participated in the Harper Garden's special native plant planting for Environmental Awareness Week. We had over 80 kids show up to learn about the importance of native plants. Each student decorated their own pot and then planted either oregano or Black-Eyed Susans to take home. (Remember to water your new plant once a week and keep it by a sunny window!) Huge shoutout to Greenwise Landscaping for donating the plants and handouts!


  • Yearbook! Did you volunteer at your class Halloween party? Please send a couple of photos to yearbook@harperpto.com. The yearbook committee appreciates your help in gather shots from each class!!!

  • Griffin's Tale Children's Repertory Theatre Company will be visiting and performing at Harper School on April 17, 2020! 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! 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 Student Story Identification Form. Please have your child return their story and form to their teacher no later than Thursday, November 21, 2019 (note: the submitted copy will not be returned).

  • Environmental Week: As part of Environmental Week at Harper, our students tracked the National Parks that they’ve been to. 13 Harper students have been to Yellowstone and 5 have been to the Grand Canyon! The 4th graders were excited to learn that families of 4th graders can download a free entrance pass to visit any National Park online at everykidoutdoors.gov

  • Birthday Books- October and November Birthdays will be celebrated in the Library on Friday, October 25! Forgot to sign up for your child's August or September birthday? 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/

  • Enrichment-Thursday, November 21st, the first graders will be clicking their heels and following the yellow brick road to Regina Dominican High School for their Fall 2019 production of The Wizard of Oz! Buses will depart Harper at 9AM and return for Harper at noon. Please pack a lunch for your child on November 21st. The kids will eat upon returning to Harper.

  • October Update from PASS39!

    PASS39 stands for The Parent Association for Student Services in District 39. It’s a district-wide parent organization that works in collaboration with Administration to help provide education and support for families who have children with learning, behavioral, emotional and developmental challenges. This year marks PASS39's 19th year in existence and we continue to benefit from a strong and cooperative relationship with D39's Student Services Department. It is a wonderful group and we are fortunate to have this available in the District.

    For the October Newsletter, visit:


    PASS39 Email List

    Join our email list to receive information on area and district events related to children with learning disabilities and/or special needs. Email us at pass39@wilmette39.org to be added to the PASS39 group e-mail. All addresses are blind copied for confidentiality.

    PASS39 on the Web

    The PASS39 website provides more information about Wilmette D39 Student Services and contains educational, therapeutic and recreational resources for parents with children with specialized needs.


  • FREE MONEY for Harper!!! Do you order from Amazon? Please read link to learn about Amazon Smile. If you make a small change to how you order, Harper PTO will receive 0.5% back from Amazon. Remember, only purchases at smile.amazon.com (NOT www.amazon.com or the mobile app) support charity. Be sure when you register your charity to search for Harper PTO. The Amazon Smile "App": You cannot use Amazon Smile with the Amazon App on the iPhone. However, the good news is that you can set up a shortcut to the Amazon Smile website which gives a near-identical experience to the app. It’s very quick and easy to do.
  • 1. If you have the Amazon App installed you should remove it. To do this, tap and hold the app icon until it starts to jiggle. Tap the cross at the top left of the icon and confirm that you want to delete it. Don’t worry, this will not delete your Amazon account or any of your settings.

    2. Now load Safari (the iPhone internet browser) and go to smile.amazon.com

    3. Tap the ‘share’ button (looks like a square with an arrow pointing up) on the bottom of the screen.

    4. Tap the ‘Add to Home Screen’ icon. You may need to swipe to the left to see this.

    5. You will now have an Amazon Smile icon on your home screen which you can use in exactly the same way you used the Amazon App.

    Remember to select Harper PTO for your Amazon Smile charity.

Community Service Corner

Harper will NOT be collecting Halloween

candy this year! Here is a list of places that will take your candy donations:

  • Grins on Green Bay is paying $1/pound of candy to be donated to Operation Gratitude. The candy will be sent to US troops! operationgratitude.com Nov 1-6
  • Pediatric Association of the North Shore 1144 Wilmette Ave. Wilmette
  • Dr. Richard A. Schmidt 4709 Golf Rd. Skokie
  • Apple Dental Association, LTD 712 Lee, DesPlaines
  • Green Dental, Glenview
  • Treats for Troops
  • Operation Shoebox
  • Operation Trick or Treating for the Troops
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities
  • Halloween Candy Drive For Charity (Nov 1-8)
  • McClellan & Sagun Orthodontics- November 4th - 7th only! $1.00 per pound For Schools that bring in candy they will receive $1.00 per pound PLUS $750.00 for 1st place, $500.00 2nd place, $250.00 3rd place For individuals who bring in their candy to sell they will receive 1 raffle ticket for each 3lbs of candy for the chance to win a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card.

Thanksgiving Volunteer event for Connections for the Homeless on Saturday, Nov 9

It’s a great way for the entire family to help together!

Link: https://connect2home.volunteerhub.com/lp/tg19?format=List&filter=All

Harper School will be collecting donations for a thanksgiving food drive benefiting Connections for the Homeless from November 4-15. Donations are assigned by grade:
Kindergarten: Cornbread/Bisquick
1st grade: Boxed Stuffing/Box Mashed Potatoes
2nd grade: Canned Vegetables
3rd grade: Gravy/Broth/Soup
4th grade: graham crackers/pie filling
Thank you in advance for your generosity!


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 56% (236 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

Scouts BSA Troop 5 of Wilmette hosts annual Fundraising Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, November 2nd, 7:00 am - 1:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Wilmette. Tickets are $6.

Family Action Network (FAN) presents presents Adam Waytz, PH.D., "The Power of Human: How Our Shared Humanity Can Help Us Create a Better World” Monday, November 4th, 7:00 pm at the North Shore Country Day School Auditorium,310 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka

PEDAL POWER wants your used bicycles! Please donate bicycles at various locations TOMORROW, Saturday, November 2nd, 9:00 am - 12:00 noon. Bicycles are renovated and awarded to CPS honor roll students.

Rotary Club of Wilmette is hosting its annual BIG BOOK DRIVE October 1st - November 16th at all D39 schools. Please donate your gently used books.

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