March 2021

Principally Speaking...

Herget Happenings March 2021


As you might recall, all West Aurora School District educators and support staff were offered the ModernaⓇ COVID-19 vaccine due to their critical role in getting students back to school. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the Kane County Health Department, the Kane County Regional Office of Education, and the Visiting Nurses Association, approximately 1,400 staff members received their first dose of the vaccine the week of February 8th.

The second round of vaccinations will take place between Tuesday, March 9th, and Monday, March 15th. The process could take as long as one hour per staff member per shot. Additionally, we have heard that there is the potential for a more adverse reaction to the second vaccination.

While SD129 will make every effort to prioritize instructional time, please understand that some classroom disruptions are inevitable. If your child has one or multiple substitute teachers next week, it is most likely due to this process. We appreciate your patience and continued support of School District 129!

Social Studies

The Social Studies teachers at Herget are excited about our recent professional development opportunity. At the end of February, the social studies teachers at Herget Middle school attended the Dupage County Social Studies conference. These professional learning days always give us an opportunity to learn new engaging strategies for our students. Teachers are students also and we are thankful to have professional development opportunities to help make us even better teachers! We also love the opportunity to work together with other teachers from our surrounding districts.

During our PLC Fridays, we continue to work on our curriculum alignment within our district. Our focus is to align our curriculum and develop assessments that directly relate to the standards. Teachers are also working to integrate more critical thinking questions into the Social Studies curriculum. The Social Studies department views this skill as an essential skill for our students in this fast-paced technological world.


Math classes have been hard at work as we continue making our way through our respective course curriculums. We love seeing the students' efforts pay off and are amazed by the growth and progress of all of our students. We continue to emphasize the importance of attendance and hard work in order to become the best version of ourselves. We can all be great math students - we just have to persevere.

As parents or guardians you might have your children coming to you seeking guidance on different assignments from math class. When this happens, do you find yourself unable to help your child and do you find yourself thinking, “What do I tell my child when I don’t remember ever seeing this type of mathematics when I was a student?” or “I was never good at math, how can I possibly help my child?” If so, here are a few helpful tips, taken from this NCTM blog written by NCTM President J. Michael Shaughnessy, that might make the next time you sit down to work with your child more successful:

  • Work together as a team with your child. It is important to ask your child to share what they know and to explain how they are thinking about the question. This approach might help you as the parent remember a strategy but it might also get your child realizing they know more than they thought they did!

  • Be creative in finding resources that will help you - you can Google a topic, you can browse the NCTM website for helpful resources, or you can watch helpful videos you find on YouTube.

  • Remember everyone can be good at math! There is no math gene, no one was born being bad at math...it just takes perseverance and a positive attitude!

  • Be positive! Thank your child for taking the time to ask for help and encourage them to keep working hard and seeking help when they need it.

Additionally here is a nice layout of six questions and answers provided by Denis Sheeran from @MathDenisNJ, you can go through yourself or with your child when they come to you asking for help on math homework. Please just remember, stay positive and encourage your child to continue reaching out for help.


6th grade students will be finishing learning about structure and function of organisms the first week of March. They will then begin their unit on Weather. In this unit they will investigate air pressure, wind, convection, heat transfer, air flow, and climate over time. They will take part in experiments, simulations, and research. They will be interpreting pressure maps and describing relationships between weather and climate. Students will also learn about convection in liquids and gases as a mechanism for heat transfer. 6th graders will end with exploring how solar angles affect temperatures on Earth.

7th grade will be learning about light waves and the electromagnetic spectrum. We will continue to discuss how waves travel and the differences between transverse, compressional, and electromagnetic waves. Students will research how waves are used in their everyday life with devices such as cell phones, televisions, and microwaves.

8th graders are wrapping up our unit on Genetics and getting ready to jump into our unit on natural selection and animal adaptations. During this unit they will be creating an animal that is strong and resilient enough to survive in their assigned environment. Students will consider how this animal is going to stay warm, what it is going to eat, and how it is going to get food and water. Students will also be battling it out in March Mammal Madness!

Project Lead The Way (PLTW)

This month in PLTW: Computer Science we are celebrating American computer scientist and United States Navy Rear Admiral, Grace Hopper, PhD (1906-1992). Hopper is credited with developing the first computer compiler which eventually lead to the first computer programming language, COBOL. It is because of programming language that our Project Lead The Way students are learning to write code of their own!

Did you know that the term "debugging" a system to find the problem was actually because of an actual moth that found squished in a computer? It's true! PLTW students are currently learning different debugging strategies... a critical skill for successful coding!

Oh, by the way, that squished moth? It was Grace Hopper who found it!

Teaching & Learning

March Teaching_Learning Update 2021

English Language Arts

This quarter we as the 7th grade ELA department will be focusing on argumentative writing and CER format. With every argument, there are always two sides to every story, the students will have to choose a side and defend it. The students will be formulating and writing arguments based on researched based articles. The students will learn the importance of a good hook to grab the reader’s attention, as well as figuring out what information is important and crucial to developing a well written argument.

Along with argumentative writing, the students will be working on chapters 9- 13 in their Townsend Press vocabulary. The lessons are designed to teach students how to use context clues to help define words that they might not know.
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Reading Support

Game On – Growing Language is Fun

Test your wits! Challenge your student to a friendly game or wager some chores/favors on a lively match of the minds. Language-based games are a fantastic and fun workout for the brain. They strengthen synapses that increase our capacity for memory and learning, they give us a low-stakes opportunity to taste victory or experience failure and learn from both, and they open up conversations and avenues for communication that keep us intellectually and emotionally connected to one another. The following is a list of quick and lively games that require nothing more than a few pencils and paper, most requiring nothing more than your mind, to get your family rumble of wits underway:

Categories – One player chooses a “category” to start a round (fruits, Disney movies, etc.) and players take turns naming items that belong in that group (strawberries, bananas, etc.). Each round continues until one player either repeats an answer from the round or cannot think of a response in 7 seconds.

Loaded Questions – One player asks an open-ended question to start a round (What superpower would you like to have?) and all players, except for the questioner, write a response to the question. Players pass their responses to a person sitting next to the questioner who shuffles and reads through all of the responses WITHOUT reading which player wrote each. The questioner asks for each response to be read one at a time while they guess who wrote what.

One-Minute Speeches – One player challenges themselves or another player with a speaking topic. The speaker attempts to give an impromptu speech for one minute without stopping. Other players can give phrases to help a speaker who is stuck.

Forbidden Word – One player writes down a word and passes it to someone next to them. The person the word is passed to gives other words as clues for the remaining players to guess the forbidden word. The fewer the word clues given, the better.

20 Questions – One player thinks of an object (doesn’t have to be in your vicinity) and other players attempt to identify that object by asking a series of yes or no questions that the thinker must answer. If the questioning players can’t identify the object in 20 questions, then the round goes to the thinker.
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Library Media Center (LMC)

We’re having a Book Fair!!! We are working hard to keep kids reading and engaged through our Scholastic Online-Only Book Fair from March 8th - 21st. The fair will connect your kids to notable books and inspiring characters, helping them become lifelong readers.

  • Access to over 6,000 products

  • All orders ship direct to home

  • FREE shipping on book-only orders over $25

  • All purchases support our school and earn 25% in rewards

Visit our Book Fair homepage to learn more and get started with online shopping:

Spring Book Fair

Happy reading!

Did you know that the 2022 Rebecca Caudill list is out? These are books selected by a panel of teachers and librarians in the state of Illinois. Once the list is finalized, middle school students are encouraged to read at least three titles, and vote on their favorite book in March. The LMC will announce which book received the most votes and is named Herget’s favorite Caudill. Do you want to start reading them now? Click the link! Rebecca Caudill 2022 list

Student Services

As a reminder, students are required to wear a mask on the bus and while at school. They are doing a great job with wearing masks and social distancing. We encourage you to send an extra mask in a zip lock bag in case the one they have breaks or becomes dirty. We have masks in the event that your child needs one for any reason. Please reach out if you have any questions.
The following articles are helpful resources from the CDC and Mayo Clinic for parents about navigating conversations regarding the pandemic and information discussing “screen time.”

Please click on the links for more information.

Mayo Clinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health
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It’s time for the District 129 Fine Arts Festival!

Our Herget students have prepared a wide variety of excellent performing ensembles and artwork for the Fine Arts Festival this year. It will be held virtually at 129finearts.org during Illinois Arts Education Week, March 15-19, 2021. Although this year’s festival will feel a bit different, we will continue to celebrate student work in art, band, choral music and theatre classes. Don’t miss it!
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Social Resources

Mindful March

For the month of March let’s take a pause, breathe and be mindful of our surroundings. Mindfulness means paying full attention to something. It means slowing down to really notice what you're currently doing. Being mindful is the opposite of rushing or multitasking. When you're mindful, you're taking your time. You're focusing in a relaxed, easy way. This helps us to tune into our feelings and stops us from dwelling on the past or worrying about the future so we can focus on our current day. It can also help us identify what we are grateful for; which, will boost our happiness levels. Some examples of practicing mindfulness are: noticing five things that are beautiful in the world outside, making efforts to slow down, listen to music without doing anything else, and take three deep breaths throughout your day. For more mindful actions—see the attached calendar for March 2021. Challenge yourself to one mindful task each day!

Adapted from: https://www.actionforhappiness.org/march

Calendar: https://www.actionforhappiness.org/media/980902/march_2021.jpg

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Health Office

Health Office Notes

  1. Spring is around the corner. The final days of school will be coming soon. Staying focused and paying attention is hard to do when the weather will soon be calling us outside to play. One nice weather-distracting culprit is allergies. Runny nose, watery or red eyes, stuffy ears, scratchy throats are all allergy symptoms that can be treated effectively. Don’t forget to seek guidance from your healthcare provider for your child if he/she has a history of seasonal allergies. Most preventative allergy medications are given at home before school. If your student has a doctor’s note or medical documentation, regarding allergies, please send a copy to Herget Health office to keep on file. Students with red eyes are sometimes sent to the health office for assessment. If there has been active drainage or the student has a fever we usually call the parent and refer to the doctor. Preventative care will be the most productive for your child. Know that student dismissals during the school day for illness need clearance from the school health office.

  2. Reminder regarding Dental Exams- All 6th grade students are required to submit proof of dental exam by May 15 2021. This dental exam could be the results of an exam completed as far back as November 15 2019. Please submit the completed dental exam form for your student to Herget Health office as soon as possible, if you have not already completed this requirement.

  3. We have had a few students recovering from injuries. The bones of our growing middle school students need vigilant care. Please remember that any student who requires a specific device such as crutches/ limb braces or any other physical limitation will need to provide a doctor note.

  4. All Herget eight grade students will have an opportunity for vision screening. The District Vision and Hearing screener is scheduled to be at Herget March 10th and March 11th. Please call 630-301-5243 for an appointment and for more information if you would like to schedule a screening for your virtual student.

Happy Spring!

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Physical Education

Health Students have been very busy learning about the Body Systems in 6th grade; Diseases, including Communicable Diseases

7th and 8th graders have been busy learning about Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs. We have worked very hard this quarter and I'm proud of everything the students have accomplished. They will return to PE class on March 22nd.

I wish them all of the best during the 4th quarter!


Middle School Football Update:
Below is this year’s Herget football information from Coach Shaw. There is no cost for this year’s season. Football this year is open to 6th-8th graders. To register please visit https://il.8to18.com/herget. To complete the survey for the activity bus please visit https://forms.gle/HiHcci9QM99PwHRUA.

The time has finally arrived for us to compete in Football again! Our season will run from March 1st-March 25th. Things will undoubtedly look different than in years passed. However, what I can guarantee is that we are going to compete in a Flag Football format on the days you are in school (A/B days, 3:45-5:15). We will run some plays similar to how they are run at West High, but in all honesty, I want us to have FUN and COMPETE on a daily basis. With guidance from myself and the rest of the coaching staff, we want to ensure each athlete has the opportunity to be active and involved in our football program at Herget. Each athlete will receive a T-Shirt, an opportunity to compete, and hands on coaching from some of the best coaches District 129 has to offer. I truly cannot wait to meet you all and get started on our Football season! Go Huskies!

Coach Shaw

Spring Season Update:
Be on the lookout for an update on spring sports (7th/8th girl’s soccer, 6th/7th/8th track, 7th /8th boy’s volleyball) sometime in mid-March. Updates will be posted on Schoology and the Herget athletic website (https://il.8to18.com/herget). Reminder that every athlete must have an up to date sports physical on file with the school and be registered online at the athletic website. If you have any questions please contact Mr. White (awhite@sd129.org or 630-301-5755).
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