A helpful decoder for the terms Harper families, faculty and students use when referring to the fun and important Harper programs and events!
Afterschool Programs (ASP)
Harper offers a fabulous array of afterschool programs during an 8-week period starting in January. In the past, students have enjoyed activities such as fencing, yoga, cooking, newspaper, cartooning, basketball and more. It is a great way to do something different once a week during the long winter months. Registration occurs in November and space fills up quickly!
Bike Safety Training
In 2nd and 4th grades, students are given hands-on bike safety instruction so they can safely ride to Harper (2nd graders) and to Highcrest (4th graders).
Commemorate your child’s birthday by purchasing a book for 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 will show everyone that your child has added this special book to the Harper library.
The book fair offers parents a great selection of Scholastic books and gifts conveniently ready for purchase at school. Children create their own wish lists for parents to reference while shopping. This is an important school fundraiser each fall. Funds raised are used for the Harper library and PTO sponsored activities.
Box Tops for Education
This easy fundraiser provides Harper with 10 cents/label. Parents simply clip the “Box Tops For Education” from a wide variety of household products (General Mills, Betty Crocker, Kleenex, Pillsbury, etc.) and drop them in the school lobby Box Tops container.
Here’s a great way to volunteer at Harper while seeing your child/ren and all of their friends. You serve lunch to 1st – 4th grade students. Cafeteria Duty runs from 11:15am to 12:20pm. Sign-up here.
Harper strives to be “paperless” so school-wide communication will be provided through the weekly Harper Happenings, emails from Dr. Kick, teachers and room parents. You can also check out http://www.HarperPTO.com for the most current Harper news.
District 39 Educational Foundation
The D39 Foundation is a non-profit organization run by volunteers that acquires and grants resources to expand, enrich, and complement educational opportunities for the students, staff and D39 community. The group administers Gripp Grants. For more information, visit d39foundation.org
Chess club is a popular after-school activity for beginners and experts to learn chess rules and strategy. The club meets after school during Fall, Winter and Spring sessions.
If your child likes to sing and wants to join other 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade students on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 8:10 before school, then Harper Chorus is the place to be. The Chorus performs a Winter and a Spring concert.
The end of the year brings class picnic time so students and teachers can enjoy a lunch/snack together outside.
Community Service Committee (CSC)
The CSC is focused on making community service part of our children’s educational experience. Various fun service opportunities are provided throughout the year within the community and with our sister school, Andrew Cooke Magnet School.
This parent-only evening is a prime opportunity to hear directly from your child’s teacher about the class course of study, expectations and objectives. Have your questions answered before the year gets going. It is also your chance to sign up to be a classroom volunteer.
Early Release Days
Throughout the year there are several early release days that enable teachers and staff to meet together and with others within the district for discussions and training. Parent/Teacher conferences also create a need for early release days. The typical early dismissal schedule is: Grades 1 – 4 at 12:15PM, Kindergarten at 10:20 with an AM rotation for AM/PM kindergarten.
Earth Week/Environmental Week
Each Spring Harper does more than acknowledge Earth Day. We have an entire week celebrating the earth and ways to protect and care for it. Fun daily activities get kids involved and educate them all at once.
Harper students enjoy a broad array of enrichment programs that augment their classroom learning. These range from field trips to unique learning experiences in-class, to school-wide assemblies. The Harper PTO funds all of these programs.
A Harper PTO sponsored committee that provides support for Harper families in need (carpool, meal preparation, etc.). To join the PTO committee, please email email@example.com.
Family Awareness Network (FAN)
FAN is a 30-year old all-parent, volunteer non-profit organization that helps parents by connecting them with other parents, their children and the school-wide community. FAN sponsors a variety of well-regarded parent education programs featuring top researchers and professionals from around the country. The organization also is a conduit for parent networks and other parenting resources. More info is available online.
Field Day/Olympic Day
Each May/June brings the traditional Harper Field Day with an afternoon of running around and outdoor games for 3rd and 4th graders and the Tug-of-War competitions among each class in all five grades. Olympic Day takes place every four years and is a school-wide event. Everyone is a winner when the PTO distributes popsicles to all.
Fourth Grade Bike to Highcrest
This annual after school event typically occurs at the end of May. The purpose of the event is to review the preferred bike route to Highcrest, to encourage helmet use and teach proper fitting technique, and to teach important bike safety information.
The Harper Fun Fair is held in May/June on the North Field. The Fun Fair is sponsored by the Student Council and all proceeds typically benefitting benefit a new cause each year. The entrance fee gives students unlimited game playing at various games of chance and skill.
Harper is very lucky to have wonderful gardens at the school. The Garden Club has Fall and Spring after school sessions that meet in the spectacular gardens to enjoy lessons about gardening and nature.
Harper’s Halloween festivities include a costume parade out the front of the school and around the playgrounds to the blacktop area. Families and friends line the parade route for memorable photos and a chance to “ooh” and “ahh” at clever and cute costumes. In rainy weather, the parade weaves through the school hallways.
This weekly electronic newsletter is emailed to Harper families on Thursday/Friday. It includes the following week’s school events, important information and lunch menu as well as a short list of other upcoming events.
In September Harper families kick off the new school year at the Hoedown. There are rides, games, prizes, live music and food to entertain everyone. This is a great chance to see old friends and meet new ones.
Harper Logo Merchandise
A variety of really great Harper logo apparel is available for sale at the Opening Day Coffee and other school-wide events in the Fall. After that there aren’t typically opportunities to purchase gear again until next school year. So make sure to order some cool gear as soon as you can! Your kids will love it!
The Holiday Sing is during the school day and is a time when students gather in the auditorium to sing holiday songs together. It is not a performance, just for fun.
Harper handles its PTO fundraising primarily through iGNITE instead of running a slew of fundraisers such as a benefit or gift wrap or candle sales. The iGNITE campaign is the primary driver of funds for the many unique PTO programs that enrich our students’ learning experience. The campaign kicks off in Fall.
Illinois History Day (3rd Grade )
3rd graders at Harper have a study unit about Chicago and the State of Illinois. This fun family event celebrating Chicago and Illinois combines storytelling, music and folk dancing. At the end of the event, everyone has learned a lot and had loads of fun.
Junior Great Books Program
This reading program is for 1st – 4th graders at all reading levels. The program’s goal is to make literature fun and to provide children the opportunity to share their unique perspectives and interpretations of stories with their peers. Parent volunteers lead the groups that meet during lunch/recess once per week for 6 – 8 weeks. It is typically held in January and February — a great time of year to hunker down with a great book!
This is the place for Harper students to burn off some of their energy while the bleak winter months keep them inside more than we’d like. Open Gym is supervised by District 39 staff, however, parents are required to stay with their children. The session runs on Monday nights at 6:30PM from early January until Spring Break.
In Spring Harper is a bustle of activity when students escort their families to Open House. This evening is a chance for your child to give you a personal tour through his/her classroom, “specials” rooms and other areas of school. You will have a chance to see classwork, say hello to your child’s teachers and mingle with other families.
Opening Day Coffee
Don’t miss out on this busy morning event typically held in the cafeteria on the first half-day of school. It is your chance to learn about PTO committees and find the ones you want to help. Come with your calendar so you can check your schedule for open times to volunteer and your checkbook so you can order yearbooks and logo wear, buy Grocery Dollars, and donate to Advance to Go.
4th grade students have an amazing experience over three days and two nights in the Northern Illinois woods. Teachers and staff chaperone the event, which covers 4th grade science curriculum and is a memorable way to cap off the 4th grade year and students’ time together at Harper.
Parent Education Consortium
This is a consortium of a wide array of parenting programs presented throughout New Trier Township. For more info go to: http://www.peccalendar.org.
This low-key Fall event is a unique way for Harper parents to connect with old friends and make new ones. No silent auction pressure — this is just a party and not a fundraiser. Enjoy!
This District 39 program provides support and resources to all Harper families with typically or non-typically developing children. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the PASS39 group e-mail. All addresses are blind copied for confidentiality.
The Harper PTO’s goal is to enhance every Harper student’s educational experience. This is accomplished by offering an array of enrichment programs, supporting the faculty and staff, ensuring that the building and grounds are as beautiful, safe and well-equipped as necessary to make Harper a wonderful place for learning and growing. Please try to attend one of the PTO meetings held during the year to learn more.
The annual luncheon is held at a Harper parent’s house in May where wonderful conversation and delicious food are shared. Also, the PTO thanks all outgoing 4th grade parents for their years of service.
There are countless ways to get involved at Harper from PTO-sponsored events, to in-class participation, to carpool and cafeteria duties. The PTO is always looking for energetic people to help out in any way!
You’re already here! Find up-to-date information on all things Harper from calendars to PTO Volunteer information to signing up for programs/events/clubs/etc.
This annual fundraiser is a great opportunity to purchase the following year’s school supplies and have them waiting for your child in his/her classroom on the first day of school.
Throughout the year, the Student Council sponsors a variety of spirit days intended to be fun, voluntary events. Pajama day, crazy hair day, favorite sport team day, etc. are some favorites.
Student Council is comprised of 3rd and 4th grade volunteers who meet throughout the year to work on spirit day organization, school service projects (food drive, Giving Village Winter gear collection, Fun Fair, etc), and team-building activities. Students also help with displays, posters, and making announcements to classes about upcoming events.
Students Who Care
This is a month-long event that educates students about different types of disabilities through hands-on activities and other educational instruction.
Teacher Appreciation Week
Through this special week of activities (flowers, food, special class gifts), Harper families show staff and teachers how much they really care about them.
PTO hosts a new family orientation for all incoming student’s grades 1st – 4th before the beginning of school. Families are given a personal tour of the school from a Harper parent. The principal and Harper PTO President also attend.
Fun candid shots and formal class photos capture memories of the year at Harper. Not just a 4th grade keepsake. Yearbooks are great for children in all grades! Buy yours online at http://www.harperPTO.com. They are ONLY offered for purchase at the beginning of the school year!