To improve the quality of our schools, we ask that all Harvard CUSD 50 students, staff, and families complete the 5Essentials Survey. As we implement our Strategic Plan, it is essential that we gather feedback from all members of the district.
For parents, the survey should not take more than ten minutes of your time. You will need a working email address to fill out the survey. The survey closes on January 31, 2018.
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The Harvard CUSD 50 Board of Education recognized five students for achievement at yesterday's meeting. Harvard High School's Catherine Austin, Gabrielle Crone, Avery Harvey, Holly Kruckenberg, and Shaila Ortiz were named 2018-19 State Scholars for outstanding academic achievement by the llinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) .
The Harvard CUSD 50 Board of Education recognized students and staff for notable achievements at this week's public meeting.
Third grader Noah Urbano and his teacher Yolanda Roldan received recognition for Noah's short story selection for the Woodstock Fine Arts Association's "Novel Ideas" program.
WHIW Harvard Community Radio's Athletes of the Month Keenan Brummett (wrestling) and Haily Hill (basketball) were recognized. Both athletes received a gift certificate for First Place Promotions.
Harvard High School's Girls Golf Sectional Qualifiers Emma Ackland, Jennah Brookner, and Joelle McMillan were recognized. Boys Golf Sectional Qualifier Austin Gratz was also recognized.
Girls Cross Country Sectional Qualifiers Catherine Austin, Kayla Austin, Cassandra Bruha, Leslie Castaneda, Julisa Catalan, Sarah Logan, and Maria Mercado-Juarez were recognized.
Harvard Junior High's Cross Country team was recognized with Coach Jeff Koza. The junior high's cross country team had their most successful year to date. The boys' team went undefeated in the conference and won first place in the Mid-Northern Conference Championship. The girls' team had their best runs at sectionals.
Finally, the board recognized Harvard Junior High's Co-Ed Soccer team along with Coach Jairo Alvarez. The team went undefeated in the regular season and were conference tournament champions.
Superintendent Dr. Corey Tafoya talks with Harvard Rotary Club member Mike Morris about the club's mobile food pantry. The pantry is available during the winter months to all members of the community. The next scheduled dates are January 22 and February 26 at 1 p.m. at Brown Bear Daycare located at 21007 McGuire Rd in Harvard, Illinois. The mobile pantry is operated through the cooperation of the Illinois Northern Food Bank. You can learn more at www.SolveHungerToday.org. Funding for the pantry is provided through a grant by the McHenry County Community Foundation.
The Kishwaukee Region Illinois Principal Association has selected Harvard High School’s Michael Patterson as their Dean of the Year.
Patterson has served as dean for the last six years at Harvard High School. When asked about his role, Patterson said, "Attendance, tardies, negative behavior, and grades are only part of the story when working with our students and their families. You find these are symptoms of bigger challenges outside of school. Assisting to alleviate these hurdles in conjunction with the families and staff at Harvard High School and seeing a student come out the other side of those challenges is why I love my job. Those moments where students can know success and overcome adversity. That's where real learning is. I'm blessed to work with Harvard's students, families, and staff."
Describing Patterson’s work, Principal Carl Hobbs said, “He’s made a concerted effort to recognize positive behavior in our students, rather than only focusing on negative conduct.” This change in focus and expectations has directly resulted in higher attendance numbers and reduced tardiness at the high school.
Assistant Principal John Hollingsworth added, “Mike has been a champion for increasing our daily attendance rate, focusing on our '95 in Hive' and '8 is Great' programs.” These programs target attendance and ensure students arrive on time to school. Hollingsworth explained, “If you’re not in school, you’re not learning. Timeliness and accountability is a life skill we want our students to have and continue into their adult lives.”
Patterson will be recognized at a formal ceremony in February.
Harvard CUSD 50 went live last night on the district's Facebook page for a discussion of Harvard Junior High's 8th Grade "Contract for Success." Introduced for the 2017-2018 school year the contract raises expectations and requirements for promotion. Superintendent Dr. Corey Tafoya was joined by Co-Principals Maura Bridges and Nancy Reczek to explain the agreement. The development of the contract is part of the district's Strategic Plan Goal 1 which is intended to maximize the academic achievement and personal growth of every student.
You can watch the broadcast below or on the district's YouTube channel.
As part of Computer Science Education Week, students at Jefferson Elementary built and programmed robots to understand real-world science applications.
Using grant money provided by the Harvard Community Education Foundation along with funds from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Partnerships Program, extended curriculum instructor Amy Handley purchased LEGO Education WeDo sets for Jefferson’s STEM lab. The sets enable students to build, engineer, problem solve, and program with robotics while also learning Next Generation Science Standards.
4th graders built an earthquake simulator and created bar graphs to illustrate which buildings could withstand earthquakes. 5th graders are currently building and programming rovers as they study space exploration and the unique engineering challenges scientists face. The classic ABS plastic bricks create immediate student engagement while also encouraging collaboration and communication.
Proving that science can appeal to all learners, there’s not one student in Ms. Handley’s class that’s ready to leave their work when the class period ends.
Classrooms throughout Jefferson are participating in the Hour of Code this week.
5th graders build rovers for planetary exploration
Over the last month, extended curriculum students at Harvard Junior High School performed audits during lunch periods in the hope of improving food services and reducing overall food waste.
Under the guidance of teacher Amanda Thompson, students surveyed lunch periods and collected data on food waste in the junior high’s cafeteria. The students, who self-titled themselves “Fambassdors” (food ambassadors) found in their first audit that the school wasted 90 pounds of food during lunch. According to the GRACE Communications Foundation’s Water Calculator, this food equates to 39,000 gallons of water wasted. Over the course of a school year, the waste would equal nearly 7,000,000 gallons of water.
Students also met with Aramark Food Service Director Brittany Marsden to develop changes to reduce the waste: offering different culinary choices, ensuring students know what is available ahead of time, and making sure students know they are not required to take food they do not wish to eat.
Ultimately students are working to inform the school community about water waste so that students can make smarter lunch choices. Thanks to the students’ work, the junior high has reduced the average waste down to 33.5 pounds per day.
On Saturday, students will share their research and compete in Woodstock’s First Lego League Tournament held at Northwood Middle School.