Herget Happenings

November, 2020

Dear Herget Families,

All we can say is wow! What a fantastic day we had today! We completed our first day of blended learning and our students and staff did awesome! We are really impressed at how our students are following procedures relating to wearing their masks, navigating the hallway, social distancing, asking questions, using water refill stations, utilizing bathrooms, using the sanitizing stations, and adjusting to in-person learning. A question asked by a student made our heart smile...when do we get to come back every day?

We know there may still be a couple of hiccups but we will work diligently to address the needs of our students and families. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to balance teaching both in-person students and online students. We are confident that it will just get better each week as everyone adjusts to the new routines!

We know that these past few weeks have involved changes for us all, please continue to reach out to your child’s teacher our Office Professionals, and our School Administrators with any questions or ways we can help. We appreciate you, we are proud to be Huskies! Elbow bump!

Herget Administration

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Dear parents and families,

We are excited to welcome our students back to the building! In-person learning for the middle school age group does seem to be more engaging and effective. With a new situation comes a new need to get reorganized and readjusted. These suggestions are true for math but likely will help in all the classes:

  • Make sure your contact information is up to date:

    • A lot of teachers send out email updates and reach out via phone. If it has been a while since you have updated your information, it is time to recheck so you don’t miss out on news to use.

  • Have students check their Schoology messages at least once a day:

    • Many teachers use Schoology to communicate with students to share updates, helpful information, or reach out for a specific reason. It is critical that students check their Schoology messages often… once a day is just a minimum.

  • Decide on a day to check all class grades together:

    • Pick a day any day. I would choose Friday. Have your student open their Schoology and go through all the classes briefly to see how they are doing in real-time and also keep them accountable if they are missing work. By consistently looking at grades together, it will serve as a motivator to do well because a check from you is always coming.

  • Help your child figure out a routine for synchronous and asynchronous days:

    • It will be different for every student but a lot of kids struggle when they have a lot of unstructured time. Help them come up with a routine for what to do on the days they attend school and on the days they don’t. Invest in an organizer. It could be something online or a physical one. An organizer is only great when you use it. Practice with your child writing down due dates and other important information. Ask to see the planner often.

  • Check-in with your child and their teachers early and often:

    • At the first sign of trouble or even better before any trouble, reach out to your child’s teachers and ask us about our classroom expectations, how much time is expected to be spent on homework per week, and useful tips. Also, ask your child what they are learning about in school. Being able to explain what they are learning helps them make sense of their studies. Don’t take “I don’t know” for an answer, instead ask about another one of their other subjects.


One of the great things about math is that it can help you solve real-life problems. Space exploration is in our not so distant future. Imagine the following scenario: You are on an away mission and accidentally fly through a time sinkhole in your shuttle. You can’t escape the time sinkhole on your own… but have no fear! The main ship was able to send you a transmission saying they can transport you up but only from a specific set of coordinates and all you have to do is show up on time. The only problem is the time on the main ship and sinkhole time is moving at different rates. The captain did mention in the message that for every one of their minutes only 0.4744 seconds passes for you. They will start the transport in 30 of their minutes, how much time do you have to get to the transport site?

Estimating is a fair strategy. Try to solve as close as possible to the actual time to the second, so you don’t miss your extraction. The answer will be available in the next Math Newsletter.


The Herget Math Department

(Banks, Brayton, English, Hebden, Kerfoot, Krull, Linneman, Miller, Nadherny, O’Connell, and Sikorski)


6th 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!

7th graders just concluded their study of Potential and Kinetic Energy and created a Google slide presentation to show their understanding of the material. They will now begin to explore the importance of renewable and non-renewable resources and how humans rely on these natural resources in our daily life. We will investigate the advantages and disadvantages of using each type of energy and explore how humans can reduce their energy use.

8th graders will continue their ecology unit and learn how living things can influence and affect one another in an environment. Students will learn about predator and prey relationships and the feeding habits of carnivores. They will be continuing with their Ecosystem Arena Project, where they are designing a Hunger Games Style arena based on a real-life ecosystem.

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Lots of great things are happening at Herget in the Social Studies department!

Sixth-grade students have just concluded their study on early people, migration, and Ancient Mesopotamia. Students are constantly analyzing the questions of why and how early humans moved. Throughout Mesopotamia, students analyzed maps and land features to determine why civilization was able to develop in Mesopotamia. Understanding these traits of civilization are the key to sixth-grade world history. All sixth-grade students have been actively logging in to their Schoology accounts to participate in discussions, take quizzes, and monitor their grades online. We are looking forward to beginning our unit on Ancient Egypt in Quarter 2.

Seventh-grade students in Social Studies are wrapping up their studies about culture and religion. We are continuing to work on our country project and complete the thematic information as it is covered in class. In our new unit, we will learn about different government structures around the world. We will also learn some basic fundamentals of economics and the influence economics has on different societies. Students will explore real-world issues and build background knowledge to pave the way for our unit on developing and developed countries.

Eighth-grade students are continuing our semester-long unit focused on civics. We just wrapped up our third unit on Constitutional Amendments and will now start our unit on political parties and elections. Being able to evaluate the outcomes and issues of the upcoming congressional and presidential elections will provide excellent current examples to accompany our curriculum. We will then shift the focus from government structures to civil rights issues. This unit helps students understand and connect with the government and its effect on society and how to effectively promote positive social change.


Level A classes finished the first quarter by writing an email in the target language introducing themselves. Students also recorded information about themselves using all of the vocabulary in Unit 1. Teachers are very excited about meeting students for the first time in November!

Level B classes have completed the novel called Poor Anne (in their respective languages). The final writing project was to create an Instagram page of Anne's adventures in a foreign country. Teachers are very excited about seeing students again in November!

Heritage Spanish A will be studying youth in quarter 2. Teachers are very excited about meeting students for the first time in November!

Heritage Spanish B will be studying family and different types of family and family relationships in quarter 2. Teachers are very excited about seeing students again in November!


Eighth grade ELA will be starting the novel The Outsiders and will be working on Socratic seminars, with a focus on how a person does not need to be defined by labels and how life circumstances can steal your innocence. Books will be distributed prior to our eighth graders returning to the building.

Quarter 2, in seventh grade ELA classes, begins with a theme of tolerance. We will be using two novels, The Cay and Return to Sender, to discuss the ideas of systemic injustice. Teachers will be doing background building between November 2 and November 16. Novels will be handed out when students return to class.

Sixth grade ELA is beginning quarter 2 with writing a personal narrative in ELA. We are sure they have lots of stories to share.

All grades continue to work on vocabulary development and grammar components.

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1st Quarter Health was awesome!!! First-quarter health classes stayed busy during remote learning. We were able to cover all of our topics and have some fun in the process. Kahoots and BrainPop were a huge part of our learning during the 1st quarter. I'm very thankful to all of my students who worked hard and stayed focused during remote learning. I'm looking forward to working with 2nd quarter students very soon!

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With the growing emphasis on standardized testing and the necessity for more skill-focused curricula, we must not forget about perhaps the most important trait that all good readers share—we read because we enjoy it! We read to learn new and fascinating things about our lives, world, and society. We read to experience lives that we will never lead and explore worlds that we will never set foot on. We read to feel connected to complete strangers who share our perspectives on life and sometimes challenge them. We read to grow, to laugh, to cry, to be frightened, to be intrigued, to be informed, and even to escape the stresses of our busy lives if only for a few pages. This is the joy and true power of reading, and it’s a feeling we want all of our students to share.

Herget provides many opportunities for students to find and fall in love with books, but we may need a bit of help from you at home. We are highly recommending that our students read books of their own choosing for at least 20-30 minutes a night to continue practicing the skills they are learning about in the classroom and exploring their personal interests. The ideal setting for this reading would be a comfortable space in your home, free of distractions that take students out of the reading zone.

Beyond providing that critical time and space, the only other suggestion we could make to improve our students’ motivation to read is to show that you’re interested in their reading too. Ask questions like, What is your book about? Where does the story take place? Do you have a favorite character? What problems are the characters dealing with? Have you felt connected to any of the characters or anything that has happened to them? What is the coolest thing about your book so far? Have you learned anything new from reading your book? Who is the author? Have you or would you read more books by that author? Are you enjoying your book?

A simple gesture, like asking about the books our students read lets them know that what they read and how they feel about reading are important to us. And if you aren’t convinced by this feel-good approach to improving reading skills, then you may take comfort in knowing that students who read an average of 20 minutes a day outside of school typically score better than 90% of their peers on standardized tests.

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Physical exams and updated health information continue to be reviewed for safe school participation including in-person extra-curricular activities and sports. New this year is the daily self-check. This is a thank you to all of our families for complying with our District 129 safe and healthy habit of self-check prior to coming to school. This has been an extraordinary year and I applaud our community efforts as we strive to keep our school environment safe. Please do not forget to get your flu shot this year.

With the safety of all in mind, this is an extra note to everyone that we have students with severe food allergies in our school and other students with specific dietary restrictions. Please remind students not to share food or open lunches on the bus. It is always a good practice to remind your student to inform others if they have an allergy such as peanut, nuts, shellfish, wheat, eggs, or such. We encourage our students to be good neighbors and look out for each other. Some students carry emergency medications and all students are expected to respect the property of others.


Elizabeth Silva RN, Certified School Nurse



Bring on the kids!! We are so excited to welcome our students back to school this month! The LMC is getting ready for their return. Book check out will look a little different this year. Students will be placing books on hold in Destiny, and every week, we will be delivering the books to the students’ language arts class. Once the books are returned, they will sit for 4 days, and then they will be wiped down with Clorox wipes before being circulated again.

There is still time to join Book Club which meets every other Wednesday on Zoom; all books are provided! Our next book is A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, click on the link to preview the book. We currently have 24 students in the book club, but we’re always looking for more! Schoology message Mrs. Dieken if you are interested in joining!


The coronavirus pandemic has upended classes and other school activities. Teens are mourning the loss of missed milestones and experiences that mark the beginning of the school year. There are also sporting games, music recitals and school play students looked forward to participating in, with their families present to support them. Their new reality is to participate in the school year in some fashion, practice physical distancing and connect with peers virtually. It may now be challenging to go on a family vacation or celebrate Thanksgiving. These other fun activities may be put off indefinitely. Our teens need extra support to manage their feelings and find alternative ways to connect with their friends and the school community.

Here’s our advice on how teens can deal with the unexpected losses of these missed milestones and other life events. Acknowledge their feelings; teens may express feelings of frustration, sadness, or disappointment regarding how they are returning to school. Acknowledge their feelings and reassure them that it’s OK to feel sad about this situation. Allow them time to grieve the missed milestones and celebrations. At the same time, recognize that some teens—such as those who are more introverted or experience anxiety—may not be affected by the changes. Be honest This is a time where everyone is experiencing collective loss and disruption of one’s sense of safety. This is a time of great uncertainty, so it’s important to talk with your teens.

Start by asking them how they are feeling today or if they need help with their schoolwork. They may be looking for answers that you don’t have and it’s OK to tell them that you are unsure. Ask your teen to help you search online for information about COVID-19 or fun family activities. Sharing your feelings and the steps you take to cope can help bring some normalcy to the current situation. Be cautious of oversharing, as your teen may worry if they sense that you are stressing about the current situation. Building resilience Teens are resilient and can build upon past adverse experiences to help them cope. The losses and missed milestones from COVID-19 can build their resilience and their ability to cope with future challenges. Talk with teens about past challenging experiences and how they overcame them. Encourage them to apply those steps now.

Building resilience may not be easy, but it can help you move forward during times of adversity. Promote social connectedness Encourage teens to connect with their peers and use social tools such as FaceTime or Zoom. Teens may find talking with friends, a school counselor or a coach can help them cope and manage their feelings. You can also game night or a time where you can cook a meal together. Social connectedness can reduce feelings of isolation and stress. Be patient You may be eager to talk with your teen and provide a solution, but give them space to process their feelings at their own pace. Teens may not want to talk at a time that’s convenient for you. At the same time, it’s important for parents to be there when they’re ready to talk. If they don’t want to talk, suggest journaling as a way to help them put their feelings into words.

Celebrate achievements You can still honor and commemorate your child’s achievements and important milestones. Brainstorm with your teen creative ways to celebrate missed events or participate in the school activity. It may be that you stage an at home graduation with family over Zoom. You can also have them perform their part in the school play with other classmates. While these activities won’t replace a missed event, finding ways to honor their accomplishments can help them cope. This resource is made possible through a partnership between the American Psychological Association and National PTA to educate parents and teachers about behavioral health and emotional well-being.

School District 129 - Boys Basketball/Cheerleading 2020

As a result of the updated guidelines from the IHSA/ISBE, our middle school sports have transitioned from a competitive to an intramural model. We will have a “no-cut” policy for cheerleading and basketball. We are not competing against any schools.

Here are the details for each sport:

6th/7th/8th Grade Cheerleading: Practice daily from November 9th (Monday) to December 11th (Friday) from 3:45 to 5:15 PM. No practice on November 23rd (Monday), or November 24th (Tuesday).

Cheerleading will practice in the MPR and/or cafeteria. You will only practice on your A/B days. For instance, Monday and Wednesday are A Days. Tuesday and Thursday are B Days. Friday will alternate. This year cheerleading will be a bit different due to COVID restrictions. We will not be able to compete, stunt, or have basketball games where there will be an audience to cheer for. However, cheerleading will focus on learning a variety of sideline cheers, half-time performances, tumbling, and jumps. We will also emphasize team building and more of a SEL approach.

***For the 2020 season, 6th graders will be allowed to participate in this no-cut activity.

7th/8th Grade Boys Basketball: Practice daily from November 9th (Monday) to December 11th (Friday) from 3:45 to 5:15 PM. No practice on November 23rd (Monday), or November 24th (Tuesday). Basketball will practice in the gymnasium.

You will only practice on your A/B days. For instance, Monday and Wednesday are A Days. Tuesday and Thursday are B Days. Friday will alternate.

6th Grade Boys Basketball: 6th graders will only practice on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday during the weeks of November 9th, November 16th, November 30th, and December 7th. Practice is from 3:45 to 5:15. Basketball will practice in the gymnasium.

You will only practice on your A/B days. For instance, Monday and Wednesday are A Days. Tuesday and Thursday are B Days. Friday will alternate.

Important Information:

All students must register on our 8to18 website.

No user-fee will be paid.

No-cut policy for the 2020-2021 boys basketball and cheer season.

Each athlete must have a current physical on file with the school.

Masks must be worn on the bus and at practice.

Based on participation numbers and facility constraints, athletes might only be able to attend certain days of the week.

An activity bus will provide transportation from school. The activity bus will drop off at central locations. Any questions, please reach out to Mr. White at awhite@sd129.org or (630) 301-5755. If you have sports physicals, they can be scanned to me via email. You can register online at this link: https://il.8to18.com/herget

Dr. Max, Director of Secondary Education visits and observes.

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