Harper Happenings

December 23- January 6

What's Happening

Important Upcoming Dates-

  • Winter Break: December 23-January 6
  • Kindergarten Registration Dates at Harper: January 13 & 14
  • Open Gym: Open Gym: January 13 through to Monday, March 16, 2020. Open Gym will be in the school gymnasium between 630-8 pm. All children must be accompanied by an adult. A change of shoes is a MUST for inclement weather. This event is funded by the PTO and open to ONLY Harper students.
  • PTO General Meeting: January 15, 9-10:30 am. We will host a Mindfulness Session to help you restore inner peace, following the winter break. ALL WELCOME.
  • PASS39 Parent Education Evening: Wednesday, January 15th, 7:00 - 8:30 PM (MEC). All Parents Welcome! Topic: Supporting your child's and your own mental health needs. *Parents Night Out to follow (Location TBD)

Principal's Message

Hello Harper Families,

What a great last week of school for 2019. I want to share some of our highlights from this week:

  • Thursday was our All School Maker Day. Students participated in different Novel Engineering challenges lead by our 4th grade students. Throughout the day students collaborated together and use their problem solving skills to complete these different challenges. We hope each student’s experience was fun and memorable.

  • Today was our all school winter holiday’s time sing. Bringing together different classes to all partake in the same assembly and sing together is a valuable experience. And we hope one (special) highlight was the surprise teacher song at the end of the assembly.

  • And throughout the week each class had their own special winter activities and/or class parties to culminate the end of 2019. Watching each class continue to build their community of individuals is always very special and very important! We look forward to continuing to build our communities in and out of the classroom in the new year.

Have a relaxing winter break, happy holidays, and a great new year! See you all in 2020…

- Aaron and Elena

Parent Planning Notes:

  • The Illinois 5Essentials Parent Survey

    The 5Essentials Survey provides school districts with detailed data on school culture and climate. As a parent, you have an opportunity to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness about your child’s school. Your identity and survey responses will be completely confidential. The Parent Survey Supplement will be open from December 16, 2019 through January 17, 2020.

  • Kindergarten and KEEP39 (Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program) Registration is in January. HERE is the KEEP39 website that has an informational flyer and 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.


  • Jr. Great Books: Does your child love to read or be read to? If so, consider signing them up for Junior Great Books! During the program which run from February 10 through March 20, students are asked to read a new story each week, and then discuss it with through group during the lunch hour. This program isn't possible without parent volunteers! Please let us know if you are interested in getting involved.https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0B44AEAE28A7FD0-junior

  • Chorus: Do you have a budding singer at home? If so, register for Harper Chorus today! Open to all 2nd, 3rd and 4th graders. Rehearsals are on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 7:50 am in the auditorium starting January 21. Sign up at the Harper PTO website: http://harperpto.com/harper-chorus/. “When in doubt, sing out loud!”

  • Girls on the Run: Harper will be participating in Girls on the Run this spring. The program is 10 weeks with practices twice a week after school leading up to a 5K run event. It is open to third and fourth-grade girls. Sign-up runs until 2/14 at the GOTR website (gotrchicago.org) Also, if you or someone you know is interested in volunteering to be one of the coaches for the team, you can sign up for that as well at gotrchicago.org.

  • 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

Another "Thank You" to all who participated in the Annual Toy drive benefiting the UI Health Craniofacial Center. The Center shared some of the happy moments the children experienced receiving their toys and wanted to share this thank you photo with us!


Action: Giving gifts can be a joyful thing. It gets us to think deeply about loved ones and consider their interests, personalities, and needs. We get to imagine what others might enjoy receiving. For kids, giving gifts is important for teaching generosity and empathy. But how do you offer children the undeniable pleasure of giving without encouraging consumerism?

  • Give mindfully. Choosing gifts is an ideal opportunity for children to practice empathy. Have them put themselves in another's shoes, reflecting on the receiver's passions or a problem you might solve for them. (What's your sister's favorite book or movie character? What's hard for Grandma that our gift might help her with? What does Grandpa like to do for fun?)
  • Give kindness. What could be better than a gift that's fun and also spreads compassion? DGT Shop Kind store.
  • Give a lesson in charity. When your family gives charity gift cards, you supply the funds and the person on your gift list chooses the charitable recipient. It's a great gift for kids because they learn to determine their charitable interests and evaluate charities.
  • Give experiences. Research shows that people prefer experience gifts. Your family could consider giving painting or cooking lessons; one or two pilates classes or a massage; or a trip with you to a zoo, museum, bowling alley, skating rink, or indoor playground.
  • Give back. If your budget allows, sponsoring a family or child for gift giving can be especially meaningful.
  • Give handmade gifts. Be assured that handmade gifts don't require artistic talent or oodles of time. Kids can make coupons to help with chores or babysitting. Write a heartfelt letter. Bake a favorite dessert. Frame a personalized word cloud, decorate a cloth shopping bag or potholders with fabric markers, or create watercolor bookmarks.
  • Give presence. Consider gifts of time and attention, especially during the hectic holidays. Small moments of kindness are what make people feel most loved and bond us more closely to one another. Have every family member create a "kindness list" alongside their wish list, outlining what they'll be doing for others during the holidays. This might include things like: inviting friends over to bake holiday cookies, leaving surprise notes in a friend's locker, reading with a younger sibling (or pet), doing extra chores around the house, or making a funny video to send to grandma and grandpa.
  • Give outside the toy box. Give your child memory-making gifts instead of toys, such as: a coupon offering a kindness date; a monthly subscription box; a framed photo of you and your child; or a calendar you've marked with special dates for celebrations and outings

Talk to your child:

  • What's nice about gift-giving? What's hard about it?
  • How would you feel if someone told you they didn't like a gift you gave them? How should you react if someone gives you a gift you don't especially like?
  • How can we make our gifts to friends and family special this year?

Book to share: The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell. Ages 4 to 8. What do you get for a friend who has everything? Nothing, of course! This light-hearted tale tells of one dog's quest to find just the right nothing to give his special friend.


Don't forget to donate to Ignite before the end of the year for your tax deductible contribution.

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

  • “Be a Hero” Blood Drive in honor of Mighty Matthew & Super Petey at the Wilmette Community Recreation Center on Friday, January 31, 2020 from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. Pediatric cancer patients rely on blood donations. Be a donor!
  • 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.
  • Wilmette Food Pantry is open every Tuesday 10:30-11:30 am at Trinity United Methodist Church.



  • Wilmette Park District Saturday Basketball is back! For boys & girls grades 4-8.

  • Sunday Youth Basketball for boys & girls grades 1-3. Contact Sara Hilby for information at shilby@wilpark.org

  • Center Fitness Club presents the YETI CHALLENGE Nov. 18 - Dec. 31

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