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Kerin Kelleher

Semester Two is Well Underway

February and March 2019

Hello to our Harper Community,


    Our second semester is well underway.  Congratulations to our students for successfully finishing the first half of the school year.  Ms. Katie Sluis, our vice principal, and myself, just finished visiting all of our students' classes to thank them for remembering how important safety is, and we wished them well during these next last months of the school year.   


     Years ago, as a teacher, I recall that the winter months were critical learning opportunities for students.   Recently when in classrooms I have often seen and heard fascinating lessons happening.  Students are thinking, engaged and learning to navigate educational challenges.  As you know, school can be very confusing at times, especially when you add in the desire for social connections.   The adolescent journey is filled with curves, and roadblocks.   Your children generally show tremendous resilience when things become difficult.  Please know that we are here at Harper to help guide them, and want to partner with you to be positive role models.       Some students are already well beyond where we all hoped they would be by this time in the school year, and most are making better than average progress.  


     I'd like to mention a recent professional development presented to our whole staff by our stellar teachers Nick  Gallaudet, Jennifer Fung and Pernia Hassan.  They reminded the staff about previous adult lessons that they taught us during the last three years.  At Harper we are all literacy instructors.  These teachers taught us key literacy strategies that we can teach our students, across subject areas.  Last week they gave an impressive lesson on teaching note-taking strategies.  This was another example that the staff at Harper is always learning, and learning how to be the best teachers they can be for their students.  


     During February and March those of us in counseling and administration often feel as if we are living in one school year and planning for the next one.  In March we have our incoming parent information nights and Open House.  Please check our DAILY BULLETIN and WEBSITE for details.  Soon students will choose classes for 2019-20.  Hard to believe,  but true.  


    This time of the year is also very special because many field trips are happening.  Just a few highlights include the following:   Our whole 8th grade class will go with the Science Department to the Exploratorium in San Francisco.  Our English Language learners are visiting the Mondavi Center to see a performance and have lunch in the student dining commons, our music students will visit local elementary schools to invite younger students to take music at Harper when they matriculate to us, and our AVID students are heading to Oakland to see an A's game in the springtime.  Thank you to the busy staff members that plan these learning experiences and to you, our parents, who support your children by being chaperones and donating funds to pay for the cost of the trips.  


      Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns about the day to day operations of our school.  I have an open door and am happy to have an opportunity to get to know you better.  Enjoy the ending of winter and let's keep hoping for as much spring rain as possible.  


      Take good care!



Kerin Kelleher


530 757-5330 x105