Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 8 Issue 9
Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017
Students celebrated at Science Fair

District 58 hosted a very successful 36th Annual Science Fair on Saturday, Jan. 21 at O'Neill Middle School! More than 560 young scientists entered 356 creative projects into the fair and proudly shared their discoveries with the judges, their parents and friends. 

District 58 thanks everyone who helped make the Science Fair a success, especially the students, parents, judges and all other volunteers! Thanks to your efforts, our students can continue to explore different facets of science that interest them!

Join the new Superintendent's Community Advisory Council
Dear Parents,

I am pleased to announce a new opportunity for parents and community members to more directly connect with District 58 leadership.

Starting in late February 2017, District 58 will form a Superintendent's Community Advisory Council. The Council aims to offer another opportunity to foster strong and positive connections between the school district and the community. Led by the superintendent and comprised of parents and other community members, participants will serve as a key voice of the community, receiving and sharing information to build understanding and help all students succeed.

The Superintendent's Community Advisory Council will meet four times per year: in October, December, February and April. Council members will be asked to send community questions, compliments or concerns to me one week before the meeting, to allow time for my team to review the inquiry and research any needed background information. Each meeting will be structured and include a superintendent's update, a review of community submissions and occasional staff presentations. The first meeting will take place in February 2017.

This Council will comprise about 15-20 parents and community members who are committed to the District 58 mission. Our goal is to have equal representation from our north-side and south-side schools, with as many schools as possible represented.

If you are interested in applying to the Superintendent's Community Advisory Council, please complete this application by Friday, Feb. 3, 2017 . This application also includes available parent positions on Board of Educaton committees and the Education Foundation. Thank you for your interest in District 58!

Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Cheer on the Downers Grovetrotters at the Harlem Wizards game Feb. 12 

Support your District 58 schools and cheer on your teachers and principals at the Harlem Wizards vs. Downers Grovetrotters basketball game on Sunday, Feb. 12 at 6 p.m. at Downers Grove South! View this fun, custom video to see what you can expect!

Buy tickets online in advance for $10 or at the door for $12. Reserved seats are $20, and courtside seats are sold out! Children ages 3 and younger are free. All tickets will support the Education Foundation's programs, which include Teacher Grants, The Reading Games, Select 58, Distinguished Service Awards and more!

The Downers Grovetrotters team roster has been finalized! The team will be coached by O'Neill Principal Matt Durbala and managed by Herrick Teacher Dick Resh! Referees include Rep. David Olsen, Mayor Martin Tully and County Board Member/Former Mayor Brian Krajewski.

introducing your...

Erik Andrews, Hillcrest
Whitney Cavanaugh, Indian Trail
Nichole Calcagno, Kingsley
Asst. Principal Chris Clavenna, Hillcrest/Pierce Downer
Patrick Donnelly, Lester
Mary French, Belle Aire and Pierce Downer
Assistant Principal Amy Gray, Herrick
Barry Kincaid, O'Neill
Andrew Kupisch, Henry Puffer
Principal Jason Lynde, El Sierra
Liana Marino, Kingsley
Ted McGinness, El Sierra/Fairmount
Bobby Mueller, O'Neill
Principal Matt Neustadt, Herrick
Katie Padilla, Highland
Mallory Poe, Indian Trail
Assistant Principal Mel Sawisch, O'Neill
Rick Sible, Hillcrest
Taylor Sopron, Whittier
Jay Swanstrom, Herrick
Phil Szuck, Henry Puffer
Nicole Trezzo, Herrick
Brian Zak, El Sierra and Indian Trail

Will your child attend kindergarten next school year?

Calling all parents of incoming kindergarteners! District 58 invites you to two special events! 

First, the District's Grove Children's Preschool will host "Getting Ready for Kindergarten" on Monday, Feb. 6 from 6-7 p.m. at Henry Puffer School, 2220 Haddow Ave. This presentation will share the goals of kindergarten, how parents can help prepare their child for kindergarten, and what a typical day of kindergarten looks like in District 58. The presentation will also provide information on the District's Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program (OKEEP). As child care will not be provided, the District asks that only parents attend this event.

Next, every District 58 elementary school will host Kindergarten Roundup events in March and April! Kindergarten Roundup is an excellent opportunity for parents to  visit their child's future school, meet the principal and staff, and ask questions. The District's Kindergarten Roundup schedule will be posted on the District 58 homepage in early February.

(Please note: Fees for the 2017-18 school year have not been set yet. The fee information in this brochure may not reflect next year's fees.)
Building Bridges welcomes guest speaker at Feb. 1 meeting

Building Bridges Parent/Teacher Group will welcome Karen Roach from the Inspire Family Wellness Center in Downers Grove at its Wednesday, Feb. 1 meeting at 7 p.m. at Hillcrest School. 

Roach is a licensed clinical social worker and functional medicine certified health coach. She works with families to resolve symptoms associated with ADHD, anxiety and autism.

The Feb. 1 Building Bridges meeting will include an educational workshop to educate parents on the root causes of these symptoms, as well as tangible, simple things that can be implemented at home. 

Visit Building Bridges' Facebook group for more information.
English-Language Arts Committee

The  English-Language Arts (ELA) Committee held several meetings in January 2017. Meeting highlights include:
  • During their Jan. 9 half-day meeting, the Committee discussed the future ELA blueprint. They considered constructing the ELA blueprint using standards rather than themes.
  • Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli joined the committee on Jan. 9 to gain their feedback regarding committee progress. The committee feels their work is heading in the right direction, and believes the blueprints will be easier to develop once a publisher is selected and a broader range of materials are in hand.
  • Dr. Cremascoli also asked the committee for the qualities, experiences and expertise they hoped the next assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction will possess. The District will begin interviewing potential candidates for this position in the coming weeks. The committee provided valuable feedback and is hoping that the new assistant superintendent will help to support and continue the good work that the committee has accomplished recently. This is a very important position within District 58, and the District looks forward to supporting a rigorous interview process that will help to identify an outstanding candidate for the position.
  • The ELA Committee also met on Jan. 23-24 to deeply review potential ELA publishers. The committee is preparing a report on their meeting discussions. The committee is expected to recommend two of the four publishers. Materials from the two selected publishers will be piloted in select classrooms in the coming months. The Committee will use staff feedback from the pilots to recommend a final ELA publisher for implementation.
  • Reading specialists and principals met Jan. 30 to prepare best practices for a reading block.
  • The ELA Committee will provide the Board of Education with a more in-depth progress update during the Board's Monday, Feb. 13 regular business meeting.
58 Doing Good
Belle Aire and Lester join the Great Kindness Challenge

Belle Aire students lead the Great Kindness Challenge assembly Jan. 23.

Belle Aire and Lester students and staff proudly committed to the Great Kindness Challenge last week. Throughout the week, they kept track of every kind act they committed, aiming to reach 50! Nice work! 

View this 1-minute video featuring Belle Aire's Great Kindness Challenge kickoff assembly.
In Our Schools
Kingsley teacher Deanna Jacobs nominated for a Golden Apple 

Deanna Jacobs, left, guides a student through an innovative unit that connects 3D printing with Newton's laws of gravity.

The Golden Apple Foundation recently announced that Kingsley Sixth Grade Teacher Deanna Jacobs received a nomination for the prestigious  Golden Apple Award

This recognition annually honors the top teachers in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.  Congratulations on the nomination!
Kingsley's Maria Ibarra Lorence wins mini-grant for five Osmos

Ibarra Lorence's first graders explore coding exercises using the Osmo.

The Illinois Computing Educators awarded Kingsley Kindergarten/First Grade Biliteracy Teacher Maria Ibarra Lorence with a mini-grant for five complete sets of Osmos, an educational tool that teaches students about coding in fun ways. 

Here's what some of Ibarra Lorence's kindergarteners had to say about the Osmos:

"It's like learning how to make your own robot!" - Anthony

"I like to play with the Osmo because it makes me learn." - Izel

"I like the Osmo because it lets me create stories about my favorite movie, Frozen!" - Yesenia

Illinois Computing Educators only  awarded 16 mini-grants out of about 100 grant applications received. Congrats!
Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo
District 58 emailed new community e-flyers to all parents on  Tuesday, Jan. 31. They are also posted on the  District 58 e-flyer page at and listed below.

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
Students celebrated at Science Fair
News from Dr. Cremascoli: Join the new Superintendent's Community Advisory Council
Cheer on the Downers Grovetrotters at the Harlem Wizards game Feb. 12
Will your child attend kindergarten next school year?
Building Bridges welcomes guest speaker at Feb. 1 meeting
ELA Committee update
Belle Aire and Lester join the Great Kindness Challenge
Kingsley teacher Deanna Jacobs nominated for a Golden Apple
Kingsley's Maria Ibarra Lorence wins mini-grant for five Osmos
Community e-flyers
Register for Grove Children's Preschool
Congrats, Green Apple recipients!
Sign up for a parent-teacher conference
Report cards will go home Friday.
Apply to be a sub at District 58
Upcoming events
District 58 on social media

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Register for Grove Children's Preschool

District 58's Grove Children's Preschool opened its registration for the 2017-18 school year on Friday, Jan. 27.

Grove Children's Preschool is one of only two preschools in Downers Grove to earn a Gold Rating from the State. This is the highest honor a preschool can receive, and it signifies that the preschool adheres to the highest academic standards and provides exceptional instruction!

To participate, children must be 3 years old by Sept. 1, 2017 and live within District 58 boundaries.

Congrats, Green Apple recipients!

Congratulations to the 25 teachers and staff who were honored with a Green Apple from the Education Foundation's Green Apple Teacher/Staff Recognition Program! 

All Green Apple recipients listed below received the award during the holiday campaign, which ran from December 2016 through early January 2017. 

Holiday 2016-17 Green Apple Recipients:

Perry Allen , Pierce Downer kindergarten teacher

Ashley Austin , Indian Trail fourth grade teacher

Meghan Barclay , Hillcrest kindergarten teacher

Ashley Bidlencik , Kingsley sixth grade teacher

Catherine Boyce , Pierce Downer first grade teacher

Joanna Carney , Fairmount reading specialist

Whitney Cavanagh , Indian Trail sixth grade teacher

Janice Conboy , Indian Trail sixth grade teacher

Jennifer Conyac , Lester second grade teacher

Kelly DeMarco , Pierce Downer fifth grade teacher

Christina Forzley , Indian Trail second grade teacher

Amy Freitag , Lester third grade teacher

Deanna Jacobs , Kingsley sixth grade teacher

Elizabeth Kamano , Pierce Downer reading specialist

Jamie Lindberg (2 awards), Pierce Downer second grade teacher

Cheryl Lyons , Whittier fifth grade teacher

Katie Main (3 awards), Fairmount kindergarten teacher

Katherine Matson , Fairmount fifth grade teacher

Tracy Moriarty , Pierce Downer resource teacher

Laura Novotny , Lester first grade teacher

Carrie Redpath , Hillcrest second grade teacher

Lindsay Roman , Hillcrest kindergarten teacher

Brittany Sanfillippo , Highland kindergarten teacher

Colleen Sullivan , Whittier second grade teacher

Christina Wallace , Highland first grade teacher
Sign up for a parent-teacher conference

Winter parent-teacher conferences will take place the evenings of Feb. 8-9 at your child's school. 

Conference signup opened on Jan. 25. If you have not yet registered for a parent-teacher conference, please view this handy document to learn how! 

Don't delay! Online parent-teacher conference registration ends on Feb. 3.

Report cards will go home Friday

District 58 schools will send second quarter report cards, MAP scores and AIMSweb scores home on Friday, Feb. 3. 
Apply to be a sub at District 58

Are you looking for a job with a flexible schedule? Please consider applying to be a substitute teacher for District 58!

The District has a large need for qualified substitutes. 

Upcoming events:

- BOE Meet & Confer Strategic Plan Committee Meeting
Thursday, Feb. 2
7 a.m.
Longfellow Center

- Parent-teacher Conferences
Feb. 8-9
4:45-8 p.m. (elem)
4:50-8 p.m. (middle)
All Schools

- Education Foundation presents The Harlem Wizards
Sunday, Feb. 12
6 p.m.
Downers Grove South

- Regular BOE Meeting
Monday, Feb. 13
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center
Spotlight: Strategic Goals Action Plan Mid-Year Review

- South Side Band and Orchestra Solo Night
Wednesday, Feb. 15
5-9 p.m.

- BOE Coffee with the Staff
Thursday, Feb. 16
7:30-8 a.m.

- Presidents Day - No School
Monday, Feb. 20

- BOE Curriculum Workshop
Monday, Feb. 27
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center