February 2021

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CTE 6th

6th Grade CTE/Tech students have been killing it during remote learning! They have not let remote learning stop them from completing every step of our design process project: Balsa Wood Bridges. 6th graders learned about the forces that act on materials, experimented with ways to manipulate the materials to improve work efficiency and they used best practices to create practical designs. Building materials were sent home and students have been working very hard to build their truss bridge designs using balsa wood, structure glue, cutting tools, and sandpaper. These industrious 6th graders have had to problem-solve every step of the way. Next week, they will test their bridge structures to load failure as we wrap up this successful remote learning unit. Great job, 6th graders! You should be proud of your efforts!
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The CTE department is happy to see students back in the building. Mrs. Frances’ 7th and 8th grade CTE class has been learning about safety and sanitation practices in the kitchen environment and focusing on the proper way to measure various cooking ingredients.

The students in Project Lead the Way (PLTW) are demonstrating their skills with 3-dimensional precision drawings and 3D modeling on the computer. With the use of dial calipers, they are able to measure down to one-thousandth of an inch.

Reminder: Mrs. Metallo’s 7th/8th grade CTE classes will be in the woodshop. Please remember to wear appropriate/protective shoes each day!


Every year, English Learners take the ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State to State). This assessment is for English learners to test the overall growth of English over time. The English proficiency areas tested are social and academic language divided into four separate tests- Listening, reading, writing, and speaking. This year, the ACCESS test will take place during the month of March.

As we return to the classroom and continue learning online, please encourage your child to utilize zooming with teachers from 8:40-9:10. All teachers are available to answer questions. This will also help students feel more comfortable speaking online and will help prepare them for the speaking portion of the test.

Herget February Newsletter


Eighth Grade Language Arts has just wrapped up their second unit of The Outsiders. We are beginning the third unit which is on “Upstanders.” Some classes will be reading the memoir Night by Elie Wiesel, while other classes will focus on a variety of short stories and articles on young upstanders that have made a difference throughout history. The memoir and short story unit will focus on what it means to be an Upstander and how it relates to students’ lives today. Students were also recently recommended to their high school English classes. Eighth Grade Language Arts teachers have recommended either Freshman English or Honors Freshman English to students as their classes for next year.


February. Ahhh, the season of love! Love is in the air this February and there certainly is not a shortage of it here at Herget. This month the Social Studies teachers wanted to share with you what we LOVE the most about teaching Social Studies. Mrs. Curgino and Mrs. Olsen love having students back in the classroom. Students are able to explore past and present events through the use of technology and in-person conversations! Watching students make connections between cultures and traditions, both past and present, is incredible!

Seventh-grade students are wrapping up their study of developed and developing countries. They have analyzed data and examined standards of living in various countries throughout the world. In addition, they have worked on problem-solving current issues that would help people around the world raise their standard of living. For the remainder of the third quarter, we will bring a novel study to our classes while we focus on conflict and how conflict affects all parties involved. Our novel The Other Side of the Sky focuses on a young girl growing up in war-torn Afghanistan, but we will discuss other conflicts as well.

Eighth-grade teachers love that the kids at Herget Middle School are AMAZING! The eighth-grade teachers also love that “there is always something interesting going on in the world!” Worldly events make for numerous teachable moments! 8th-grade students have been focusing on the causes of the Civil War and how the war impacted American society and government.

As you can see, it doesn’t matter the grade level or the content, Social Studies teachers at Herget LOVE what they do each and every day!


Sixth graders are finishing up their study of the Structure and Function of Organisms where they are learning all about cells and how they come together to form organisms. Students are also exploring the characteristics of all living things!

In the month of February, 7th graders will learn how sound and light waves travel. To begin the unit, students will learn the difference between a transverse wave and a longitudinal wave. They will also understand the difference between frequency and amplitude. Students will model the various waves in class with materials and create drawings.

For the month of February eighth grade science, students will continue their exploration into genetics and inheritance of traits. They will use Punnett squares to determine the probability offsprings will inherit certain traits. Students will also explore asexual and sexual reproduction and they will get a chance to watch a planarian regeneration through asexual reproduction.


World Language classes have been really trying to focus on engaging students through both written and spoken language through the use of technology, but also without using their Chromebooks.

Eighth grade Spanish & French classes are currently learning how to give the weather and talk about clothes in the target language. Seventh graders are studying family and how to describe people. Both 7th and 8th grade students are completing weekly speaking activities using Flipgrid.

Heritage Spanish classes are currently studying pastimes and immigration. Both levels of Heritage Spanish are working on improving their writing in addition to analyzing fiction and non-fiction texts.


The Herget athletic website can be found by visiting https://il.8to18.com/herget. This is where you can register for sports, check for any announcements, and by scrolling down you can find resources in on the left-hand side of the website. When there is important information to be sent out it will be posted on the athletic website, emailed to the email you registered with, and posted on Schoology.

You can also follow Herget Athletics on Twitter @athleticsherget. Any updated information for athletics in the 2020/2021 school year will be announced through the athletic website and Schoology. If you have any questions please email the athletic director, Mr. White, at awhite@sd129.org.


It’s great to have the Herget students back in person. We are continuing with working on the components of fitness (flexibility, muscular and cardiovascular endurance). Students are participating in fitness exercises, working in the fitness center, performing yoga and mindfulness. Later in the quarter, students will be engaged in sport skills and activity stations.

On asynchronous days at home, students are assigned one PLT4M program fitness assignment. The kids have a week to complete the assignment and is due on the Friday of that week. Feel free to contact your student’s teacher at any time.

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Welcome back Herget families!

As we continue our transition back into the building, some students may be experiencing anxiety related to math, specifically when preparing for or taking quizzes and tests, more than usual. Here are some tips to help recognize and combat such anxiety for your child.

Tips for Overcoming Mathematics Test Anxiety

By C.D. Crowder


You may be blaming your study skills for bad math test results, when the real problem may be anxiety. You may experience insomnia, nausea, severe nervousness and irritability as just a few of the symptoms before or during a math test.

Another major symptom is a sudden inability to concentrate. These symptoms occur no matter how hard you study for your math test and are not a result of bad study skills. The good news is, mathematics test anxiety can be conquered with a little work!

Cause of Anxiety

Discover the reason for your anxiety. Maybe it was a test that went wrong due to a bad day or lack of study. Maybe you misread the directions and performed the wrong calculations. The answer may even be a horrible experience with a math teacher. Talk out your problems with a school counselor, friend or family member. This will help you work past the initial cause. Once you conquer the cause, the anxiety gradually lessens until a math test is just any other type of test.

Find Something You Remember

Sometimes the easiest way to overcome mathematics test anxiety is by finding a problem you can solve. Once you move past the mental block, your confidence starts to build. You do not have to do the math test problems in any type of order. Even if you only start by remembering one formula, it will help clear the fog in your mind and reduce many anxiety symptoms.

Take a Break

When you have problems with mathematics test anxiety, you may over study to compensate. This is the worst thing you can do. The longer you study, the more nervous you become. Not to mention, your mind can only handle so much. Take breaks.

The best advice is to learn the math concepts slowly. That way, when test day arrives, you know which formula to use when. Memorize and practice the formulas a little at a time for best results. To become more confident in your math skills, practice and ask questions.

The best method to do this is to have a set routine. Study for an hour and take a stretch or snack break. Give your mind a chance to absorb the material. The more you cram, the harder it is to retain information and the more nervous you will become.

Test Exercises

When test time comes, calm your mind. Instead of trying to immediately start a math test, take calming breaths, visualizing how well you will do on the test and remembering how confident you were after your study session. Also, do small stretches in your seat. This may be bending your fingers and stretching your hands for relaxation.

Source for the entire article: https://www.brighthubeducation.com/test-taking-tips/101369-overcoming-math-anxiety/


Hey Huskies,

Do you need a calculator? Wonder what y=3x +4looks like on a graph or even y=x2 ?

Well, I have the perfect solution and it’s free. The next math resource I want to introduce to you is called Desmos. Here are some features that I think will be great for your student. Click here to try it out: www.desmos.com

  1. Graphing Calculator: Helps you graph any equation. See example A

  2. Scientific Calculator: Need a calculator, well here is your solution. See example B & C


Mental Health Resources for PTAs, Leaders and Families

Access National PTA’s curated library of essential mental health resources for PTAs and families. These resources will help you learn about mental health and some of the most pressing issues and approaches, access tools to help you and your families or school community cope, and find the information to effectively advocate for better mental health services in your school community.

Whether you are a parent or caregiver or a PTA leader or member, these resources are meant for you! Check out the tools below to learn more about mental health and what you can do to improve it in your family, school and community.

What You Need to Know

These articles and videos will help you learn more about mental health issues. Share your favorites to educate your family, school and community.

Teens & Suicide: What Parents Should Know

This section of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website provides facts about teen suicide and offers guidance on protecting your teens and tweens from suicide risk.

Will My Child Bounce Back From the Coronavirus Crisis?

This article from Child Mind Institute shares important information on what trauma is and how it can look for your child. It also gives tips on what you can do to help your child navigate this traumatic time.

Is Your Child Stressed Out?

This resource from Mental Health America shares signs families should look out for and tips for how to help children manage stress.

Is Your Child Lonely?

This resource from Mental Health America outlines common causes of loneliness, the effects loneliness can have, the role the internet can play and what you can do to help.

It’s OK to Not Be OK (VIDEO)

This video from Active Minds offer the student perspective on the COVID-19 pandemic and mental health. Teens share how they've been feeling and what they miss most. *COVID-related Resource*

Child Mind Institute’s CrisisLogger

Hear parents’ firsthand experiences with the effects of COVID-19 and share your own. These videos demonstrate you’re not alone in your struggles and help you build empathy for the families in your community. *COVID-related Resource*


Last year, the Centers for Disease Control categorized educators and school support staff as part of phase 1B of the COVID-19 vaccination program because of their critical role in getting students back to school. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the Kane County Health Department and the Kane County Regional Office of Education, any requesting West Aurora School District 129 staff member will receive a free COVID-19 vaccine the week of Monday, February 8th.

The distributor of the vaccine will be the local health care provider, Visiting Nurses Association of Aurora and the manufacturer of this particular vaccine is Moderna.Ⓡ This version of the vaccine will require a second shot roughly a month after the first round. The process could take as long as one hour per staff member per shot.

As one might imagine, scheduling over 1,200 vaccines in a one week span is quite a task. SD129 has made every effort to prioritize instructional time, however, given the number of vaccines available in such a short period of time, some classroom disruptions are inevitable. Please understand that if your child has one or multiple substitute teachers next week, that it is most likely due to the fact that the classroom teacher is getting vaccinated. We appreciate your patience and continued support of School District 129!


We are happy to announce the 13th annual Fine Arts Festival will be published online at 129finearts.org during Illinois Arts Education Week, March 15-19, 2021. While this year's festival, like many things, will feel different, we can't wait to celebrate your work in your art, music, and theatre classes!

If you are interested in submitting a piece of art for the festival, please contact Mr. Skly and he can give you more information: pskly@sd129.org

Please do this by March 5.


The kids are back!! Woo hoo! It is so nice to have all three grade levels back in the building with us! All of our students were able to stop in the LMC during their ELA class, a couple at a time, to choose new books. Students are only touching the books that they are checking out. Also, there will only be one student per aisle of the LMC. Our library books are being quarantined for a week once they are returned.

There is still time to sign up for Battle of the Books! Students now have until April/May to read their 3 or 4 designated books. We will not start battling (asking them questions about the books) until May. Mark your calendars, the virtual book fair is coming! The fair will run from March 8th until the 21st. All proceeds go right back to Herget’s library. Stay safe and healthy!


Herget Huskies continue to promote healthy lifestyles. Masks continue to be worn, watching out for a safe distance of 6ft from others is encouraged and frequent handwashing and good hygiene are advised. A healthy mind and body are needed for productive learning. As we begin to look forward to COVID vaccines I want to remind families to talk to their doctor regarding personal concerns. This link has some good information regarding COVID Vaccines available in Kane County. COVID-Vaccine

Now that we have experienced more health office visits, students are encouraged to describe their symptoms clearly and explain their needs. We talk about “letting your doctor know” when necessary. This is an important skill for our middle schoolers to begin to learn. Unfortunately, what could have been a brief break, temp check, and back to class from the health office last year can now result in a ten-day stay home period. Please know that we continue to follow IDPH and Kane County guidelines. Thank you for helping us keep your students safe by completing the daily screeners and keeping students who feel ill at home.

Regarding doctor visits, health office staff are preparing letters to be mailed home with individualized notices for all eighth-grade students. All eighth-graders are required to have a complete physical exam prior to ninth grade entry. This is an early reminder to make those appointments. You will receive a copy of all vaccines on file in your student’s health record to date. Please take these notices with you when taking your student for his/her ninth-grade physical exam. Students at all levels are excited to prepare for sports participation. Remember that a valid school physical exam can be used for sports for one year from the date of the exam. Please do not hesitate to call the health office with questions.

On a personal level as your school nurse, I can report that I have chosen to receive the COVID vaccine and on February 5th I will receive the second dose. I can share that it is peace of mind for me to have this vaccine protection.

Take care,

Elizabeth Silva RN-CSN (630.301.5243)

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