Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 8 Issue 1
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016
Welcome to the new school year!
 Students returned Monday, Aug. 29
Curriculum Night offers parents overview of school year

Curriculum Night is right around the corner! Curriculum Night offers parents an opportunity to meet their child's teacher and learn about the curriculum, instruction, resources and technology planned for the year. 

Middle School Curriculum Night Schedule:
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6: Herrick Eighth Grade
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13: O'Neill
  • Wednesday, Sept. 14: Herrick Seventh Grade
    Note: Herrick recently changed its seventh grade Curriculum Night from Sept. 7 to Sept. 14 due to a scheduling conflict.
 Elementary School Curriculum Night Schedule:
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6: El Sierra, Fairmount, Hillcrest, Indian Trail and Kingsley
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13: Belle Aire, Highland, Henry Puffer, Lester, Pierce Downer and Whittier  
Grove Children's Preschool Curriculum Night Schedule:
  • Tuesday, Sept. 6: Grove - Henry Puffer location
  • Tuesday, Sept. 13: Grove - Indian Trail location
Please note a correction: Dr. Cremascoli's recent welcome letter listed times associated with each Curriculum Night. Depending on your child's grade level and school, those times might not be accurate! Principals will email parents their school's precise Curriculum Night schedule soon, if they haven't already. 
District focuses its strategic goals

The District 58 Board of Education developed a district-wide Strategic Plan in 2000 and revised it in 2011 with input from parents, staff and community focus groups. The plan identifies the District 58 mission, core beliefs and focus areas for future planning.
Each summer, District 58 leaders review the Strategic Plan and its progress toward each of the focus areas and goals in order to develop annual goals that align with it. 

The District provides progress updates to the Board throughout the school year during the Board's regular meetings, curriculum workshops, budget workshops and other ongoing review opportunities.  At the middle and end of the school year, the District also  provides performance updates to the Board regarding progress toward each goal.
This summer, the District created highly focused annual goals that will help teachers, administrators and staff continue to fulfill the District's mission, as well as the Strategic Plan's vision.
During last week's teacher institute day, all staff reviewed the 2016-17 strategic goals in groups and shared how the goals fit into their daily work.
Throughout the school year, this newsletter will share some of the District's strategic goals, along with the progress currently being made to achieve them.  For more information, please view the Board's Strategic Plan web page.
District 58's Math Committee makes summer progress
people_social_icons.jpg District 58 leads many curricular committees that meet throughout the year. The committees comprise teachers and administrators, with representation from all schools, grade levels and specialties. Throughout the school year, this newsletter will provide committee updates as they meet, consider and make recommendations for ongoing curricular improvements. Committees will also present occasional updates at Board of Education meetings and Curriculum Workshops.
Over the summer, the Math Committee worked hard to complete the District's new Math Blueprint. The Math Blueprint is a comprehensive yet easy-to-use teacher guide to District 58's math curriculum. The blueprint presents weekly skills and lesson plans for teachers by topic with aligned resources, essential questions, textbook correlations and more, along with a flexible timeline. Parents will learn more about the Math Blueprint during Curriculum Night.
The Math Committee will meet next in September to discuss middle school math acceleration.  Learn more about District 58's curriculum.
Welcome, new District 58 staff!
District 58 welcomes new teachers and staff for the 2016-17 school year! 
District 58 central office administrators and principals greet District 58's new teachers.

Perry Allen, Pie rce Downer kindergarten teacher
Jessica Atkins, Herrick science teacher
Ashley Austin, Indian Trail fourth grade teacher
David Bein, District assistant superintendent for business
Lauren Braverman, Hillcrest DLP teacher

Katherine Campagna, Henry Puffer/Whittier resource teacher
Gabrielle Cardenaz, Lester kindergarten teacher
Sarah Chervinko, Highland kindergarten teacher
Mia Churma, Hillcrest clerk
Shannon Cohoon, Henry Puffer kindergarten teacher
DeAnn Conklin, Herrick/O'Neill math teacher
Victoria Cosmos, Belle Aire kindergarten teacher
Lisa Czeszewski, Whittier kindergarten teacher
Nicole DeMaine, Henry Puffer third grade teacher
Carly Deubel, Kingsley BEST Program instructional assistant
Ariana Drews, O'Neill resource teacher
Rachel Edwards, Indian Trail RISE Program instructional assistant
Madelyn Fiene, Herrick orchestra teacher
Christina Gamboa, Kingsley resource teacher
Karen Grant, Belle Aire LRC instructional assistant
Marjorie Haseley, Lester/Whittier nurse
Gail Heitz, Whittier gifted teacher
Alyssa Holbrook, Belle Aire third grade teacher
Taylor Holmes, Indian Trail second grade teacher
Randi Johnson, Herrick science teacher
Kayla Kinder, O'Neill BEST Program teacher
Anthony Manata, Pierce Downer classroom instructional assistant
Jenna Maziur, Lester resource teacher
Judith McAnally, Henry Puffer LRC instructional assistant
Erica Moran, Indian Trail RISE Program instructional assistant
Robert Mueller, O'Neill science teacher
Sandra Newell, Indian Trail special education instructional assistant
Katie Novosel, Lester assistant principal
Robyn Panico, O'Neill resource instructional assistant
Valerie Pater, Indian Trail RISE Program preschool teacher
Abigail Peters, Indian Trail RISE Program instructional assistant
Ay Peters, O'Neill clerk
Janette Richelia, Pierce Downer social worker
Lindsay Roman, Hillcrest kindergarten teacher
Karen Ann Rush, El Sierra combo instructional assistant
Elizabeth Semple, Highland speech therapist
Michelle Shannon, Herrick/Pierce Downer nurse
Taylor Sopron, Whittier PE teacher
Julie Spring, O'Neill/Fairmount/Hillcrest/Indian Trail orchestra teacher
Brooke Taylor, Lester speech therapist
Amanda Vander Pluym, Henry Puffer nurse
Anna Wanderer, Indian Trail RISE Program instructional assistant
Danielle Williams, Indian Trail RISE Program K-2 teacher
Amanda Woo, Belle Aire kindergarten teacher
Stephanie Worobey, Grove Children's Preschool parent facilitator

In Our Schools
Hillcrest opens Owen's Playground
It's the county's first all-accessible public school playground!

Hillcrest School achieved a major feat this summer: It became the first public school in DuPage County to build an all-accessible playground! Called Owen's Playground, children of all abilities can enjoy the new playground for years to come.

The playground was supported by the District 58 Board of Education and entirely funded by private donors. Hillcrest Parent Peg Chaidez led the major, two-year community crowdfunding effort, with help from fiscal partner Abide In Me, primary donors Ronald L. McDaniel and Barbara Gulick and hundreds of other local contributors. 

The playground officially opened on Aug. 17 during a downpour. The weather didn't deter the children, who still clamored to play on the new equipment. When the weather cleared, a beautiful rainbow shone above the newly dedicated playground! 

Students practice being middle schoolers at Sneak Preview

The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 h osted its annual Sneak Preview event at Herrick and O'Neill middle schools last week! Incoming seventh graders enjoyed the opportunity to learn about middle school life, practice opening lockers and navigate the hallways before the "official" start of the school year. They also met new friends and future teachers. 

The mini-lessons were led by middle school teachers, with help from incoming eighth grade volunteers, who served as friendly ambassadors and guides.

View more photos from this year's Sneak Preview event.
District hosts End-of-Summer Book Club celebration
This summer, 270 students participated in 35 Summer Book Clubs. District 58 hosted an end-of-summer book club celebration on Thursday, Aug. 18 at McCollum Park.

Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli and LRC Teacher Gwen Box distributed personalized certificates to each book club member. Students and their families also enjoyed freeze pops and fun in the park. 
District 58's Summer Book Club Program began in 2015 as a way to encourage students to continue reading all throughout the summer. The book clubs are led by parents and organized by District 58. Each spring, District 58 assembles book club themes, such as "Sports and Adventure" and "Fun with Friends." Each theme comes with a recommended reading list for each grade level. Parents can form their book club and select a theme. District 58 then provides each club with books for each member.
As students gathered in McCollum Park, they eagerly shared their favorite books with each other.
"My favorite book was 'Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library!" said one girl. "Me too," said her friend. "I liked 'Savvy,'" said another. 
Community Partners
Enjoy Oktoberfest on Sept 17-18: All proceeds will benefit District 58!

Enjoy entertainment, games, music, authentic German fare and much more at the third annual Oktoberfest in downtown Downers Grove. Due to popularity, the event has expanded to two days and will take place Saturday, Sept. 17 from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 18 from noon to 8 p.m. Hosted by the Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58, ALL event proceeds will directly support District 58 students and schools! 

Also new this year, admission is only $5 per adult and FREE for children 13 and under attending with an adult! Come to the fest on Saturday and receive a FREE re-entry ticket for Sunday. In the military? Bring your ID card, and you will receive free admission as well!

Enter the Oktoberfest raffle for a chance to win $500. Raffle tickets are $10 and all proceeds will support District 58.

Buy Oktoberfest admission and raffle tickets online here. Tickets may also be purchased at the door or at the Administrative Service Center, 1860 63rd St., on Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

The Education Foundation seeks Oktoberfest volunteers. All volunteers will receive free admission to the fest. Volunteers should be older than 14. Sign up to volunteer here!

The Education Foundation also welcomes Oktoberfest sponsors.  Learn more information about sponsorship benefits and opportunities here.
Thank you, local organizations,
for the school supply donations

Here are just some of the school supplies that the DG Roadrunners donated this year. Thank you!
District 58 thanks the Village of Downers Grove Employee Committee, the Downers Grove Roadrunners Soccer Club and District 58 Administrative Service Center staff for generously donating boxes of school supplies. Together, these groups donated supplies to help about 40-50 students in need.
 Thanks to their generosity, these children will start their school year on the right foot! 

Do you want to help this cause? District 58 still needs lunch boxes, backpacks and general school supplies for a few students in need. If you are able to help, please email Megan Hewitt at for more information.
Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo New community e-flyers were posted    Monday, Aug. 15  on the District 58 e-flyer page.     Click here to visit the page. Keep tuned: We will post another set of e-flyers late this afternoon!


The mission of District 58, in partnership with parents and community, is to challenge and engage each child by providing quality educational programs and support services in a safe, nurturing, and child-centered environment in order to prepare all students to be lifelong learners and contributing members of a global society.  
Communicate 58 shares timely, relevant information about District 58 with parents, community members and others who are interested in how we are living out our mission. If you have any questions/comments regarding Communicate 58, or have an article/photo idea for the publication, please contact Community Relations Coordinator Megan Hewitt at or 630-719-5805. 
In this issue
Welcome to the 2016-17 school year.
Curriculum Night offers parents overview of school year
District focuses its strategic goals
District 58's Math Committee makes summer progress
Welcome, new District 58 staff!
Hillcrest opens Owen's Playground
Students practice being middle schoolers at Sneak Preview
District hosts End-of-Summer Book Club celebration
Enjoy Oktoberfest on Sept 17-18: All proceeds will benefit District 58!
Thank you, local organizations, for the school supply donations
Community e-flyers
Board news
Schools of 58 Parent Handbook
Annual Report to the Community
A look at summer facilities projects

Board news
Over the summer, the District's Board of Education held regular meetings in June, July and August, as well as a Budget Workshop on Aug. 22. 

While District 58 has always published Board
 this school year the District will also email parents the Board Briefs directly. This change is being made to improve the Board's communication with the community and to increase transparency. 

Summer Board of Education Recap: 

The Board of Education will hold its next regular meeting on  Monday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Longfellow Center, 1435 Prairie Ave.

The meeting will include the 2016-17 budget hearing and a spotlight on the District's communications and recent community surveys. 

Schools of 58 Parent Handbook
Have you reviewed the 2016-17 Schools of 58 Parent Handbook with your family yet? 

The District made minor updates to the handbook this year to reflect new and updated Board policies. The handbook provides a handy overview of the District's services and expectations. 

During school registration, parents indicated whether they wanted an electronic or printed copy of the handbook. Parents who requested a print copy will receive it in backpack mail during the first week of school. 

Parents will be asked on Curriculum Night to confirm that they received the handbook, either in print or electronically.

Annual Report to the Community
District 58 recently mailed its 2016 Annual Report to the Community to all homes that reside within District 58 boundaries. The report includes highlights from the 2015-16 school year. 

A look at summer facilities projects
District 58's crews completed a variety of facilities maintenance projects this summer.

This summer's work included:

* Repave part of Herrick's parking lot and replace part of the Administrative Service Center's parking lot. 
Replace swingsets at Belle Aire, Indian Trail and Pierce Downer. 
* Excavate pea gravel and install wood chips in Fairmount's main playground area, Lester's east swings and Indian Trail's south swings. 
* Install a fire engine playground piece at Indian Trail's preschool playground, and add a tunnel playground piece and pole game at Lester.
* Paint various areas of all schools.
* Repair a boiler tube at Hillcrest and piping at Henry Puffer. 
* I nstall drinking water bottle fillers at Fairmount, Henry Puffer, Highland, Indian Trail, O'Neill and Whittier. 
* Repair a sewer line at Herrick.
* Install new battery-operated carbon monoxide detectors.
* Build and install shelving at Indian Trail and Highland. 
* Replace a section of floor tile at O'Neill.
*Move a room wall divider at Pierce Downer.

Learn more about how District 58 prioritizes its facilities projects, as well as an overview of recent facilities projects, on page 11 of the  2016 Annual Report to the Community.
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