Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 8 Issue 10
Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017
District appoints two new principals

District 58 is very pleased to announce the appointment of Lisa Niforatos as the principal of Fairmount School and Bridget Moore as the principal of Highland School. Both candidates will begin their new roles at District 58 on July 1, 2017. 

Lisa Niforatos
Bridget Moore

"We are confident that Bridget and Lisa will bring a wealth of knowledge and leadership experience to their new positions, and that each will prove to make significant contributions within our schools and the district as well," said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli.

Niforatos currently serves as an assistant principal and Title I director for Brookfield-LaGrange Park District 95. She previously worked 11 years for Medinah School District 11 as an assistant principal, literacy team leader, reading specialist, reading interventionist and middle school teacher. 

Moore has worked for Community Unit School District 200 in Wheaton, Illinois, throughout her entire career. She currently serves as the district's director of elementary instruction. Prior to this position, Moore has served as District 200's K-12 curriculum coordinator and as an elementary school teacher. 

The new principals will replace retiring principals Tony Coglianese of Fairmount School and Dr. Judy Kmak of Highland School. Both have made substantial contributions to their schools and communities, and will retire on June 30, 2017. District 58 thanks them both for their outstanding service!

English-Language Arts Committee will pilot new materials this spring

books-apple-sm.jpg Teachers and administrators representing the  English-Language Arts (ELA) Committee shared very positive news regarding their progress during the Feb. 13 Board of Education meeting.

The elementary ELA team completed months of research and selected two sets of new Common Core-aligned publisher materials to pilot in select classrooms this spring. Elementary teachers who sit on the ELA Committee will pilot the new publisher materials in their classrooms, along with their grade level teaching partners at their school. The middle school ELA team completed extensive work building their draft ELA blueprint, and they plan to begin considering publisher materials this month and piloting them this spring.

The ELA Committee aims to recommend a set of new curriculum resources to the Board by October 2017. Teachers will receive extensive professional development starting in November 2017 and throughout the rest of the 2017-18 school year. The Committee aims to fully implement the new ELA resources and ELA blueprint by the 2018-19 school year.

Thank you for supporting the
Harlem Wizards fundraiser Feb. 12!

Families flocked to Downers Grove South on Feb. 12 to witness an incredible feat: a group of District 58 teachers, principals and staff bravely challenging the mighty Harlem Wizards to a basketball game! 

The Harlem Wizards showed off their impressive athleticism and amazing basketball tricks, but the true stars of the evening were the District 58 Downers Grovetrotters team. While they didn't quite defeat the Harlem Wizards, they still played their hardest as their students and families cheered them on!

This Education Foundation-sponsored basketball fundraiser also featured comedy, music, entertainment, raffles and concessions. Thank you, everyone who attended and supported this fundraiser! All proceeds will directly benefit District 58 students through the Education Foundation's programs, including Select 58 and the Distinguished Service Awards.

Calling all eighth graders: Apply for the Select 58 award by March 10 

Select 58 cakeThe Education Foundation invites eighth graders to apply for Select 58. This annual award recognizes 58 eighth graders from Herrick and O'Neill who exhibit outstanding service and citizenry to their school and community. To apply, fill out the Select 58 application and submit it to the school office by Friday, March 10. Award recipients will be notified in April. The Education Foundation will host a special Select 58 Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 10 for award recipients and their parents. 

Nominate a District 58 employee for a Distinguished Service Award

Do you know a District 58 employee who truly goes above and beyond? Please consider nominating that individual for a Distinguished Service Award! The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 annually hosts the free Distinguished Service Awards program to recognize the remarkable contributions of District 58 employees. 

Applications are due Friday, March 17 at 4 p.m. To nominate an employee, please visit to access the application and frequently asked questions. All nominees and nominators will be invited to an awards reception on Tuesday, May 16.

Getting ready for kindergarten!
District announces kindergarten roundup schedule, releases new kindergarten readiness video

Will your child enter kindergarten soon? Do you know a family whose son or daughter will enter kindergarten in District 58 this fall? District 58 recently published " Getting Ready for Kindergarten," an 8-minute video that provides new kindergarten parents with a variety of helpful information! 

For parents interested in viewing a shorter video on kindergarten, the District also published three related mini-videos, each covering a different element of the kindergarten experience: Part 1 features kindergarten and preschool goals; part 2 shares tips to prepare your child for kindergarten; and part 3 covers what a typical day of kindergarten looks like in District 58. Please view and share these videos with anyone who may find them helpful! 

District 58 also recently published its Kindergarten Roundup schedule. Every elementary school hosts a Kindergarten Roundup event in March or April. This event provides parents the opportunity to visit their child's future school, meet the principal and ask questions. 

In Our Schools
46 students selected for ILMEA's All-State Elementary Chorus 

Some of the singers selected for the ILMEA All-State Elementary Chorus

District 58 congratulates the 46 fifth and sixth graders selected to participate in the recent Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) All-State Elementary Chorus in Peoria. Only 300 students statewide were selected for this honor. 

"Every District 58 elementary school was represented at this year's ILMEA All-State Elementary Chorus," said Pierce Downer Principal Justin Sisul, who also serves on the ILMEA Board of Directors. "These students had an opportunity to rehearse and perform under nationally renowned conductors and they took full advantage of the experience with their focused, attentive work and expressive, committed performance! We are incredibly proud of these students who represented our district's commitment to excellence at the state level!"

Pierce Downer receives $500 donation in honor of Mary French

Mrs. French teaches a circuit unit.
The Meredith Williams Foundation awarded Pierce Downer School a $500 donation in honor of PE Teacher Mary French. Congratulations, Mrs. French!

"For years, we have been impressed by the energy and enthusiasm that Mary French has shared with her PE students and the entire community," the award letter said. "We embrace and commend the concepts of fitness and health that she provides to the children." 

The Meredith Williams Foundation is a non-profit organization led by retired District 58 teachers Jim and Pam Williams. The group is named in loving memory of their daughter, Meredith, and supports causes that benefit children in Downers Grove and beyond .

Pierce Downer and Mrs. French plan to use the award donation to make improvements to PE materials at the school. 

Young musicians perform solo
band and orchestra pieces

Each year, the District 58 band and orchestra program offers a unit on the preparation and performance of solo literature. Students are assigned a solo piece, and they spend 10 weeks working to carefully prepare. In February, professional adjudicators are brought in to listen to each student's performance and provide constructive feedback.
"This is an excellent opportunity for our students to improve their individual musical skills, to take ownership of their learning and to build confidence!"
Colin and parents
said Elementary Band Teacher Christine Kaminski.
This solo music experience took place on Saturday, Feb. 4 for northside students and Wednesday, Feb. 15 for southsiders.
"I'm kind of excited to perform, but I'm not sure what to expect," said Riley, an Indian Trail sixth grader who plays percussion. Riley added this was her first time participating in Solo Night.
"I'm really nervous, but excited!" confessed Colin, a Kingsley sixth grader who plays the trombone, as he eagerly awaited his turn to perform.

For the first time, the solo program included a short intermission, during which District 58's music teachers performed! View District 58's Facebook page (Video tab) to view the teachers in action!

Fairmount greets special guests during One Book, One School

Mayor Martin Tully, a guest reader, sits surrounded by students Feb. 16.

Fairmount School has united to read "Pie" by Sarah Weeks for their annual One Book, One School project. A couple times per week, a special guest reader comes and reads one chapter of the book to students from all grades during lunchtime. Guests have included Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli, Mayor Martin Tully, a former White Sox player, an Armed Forces serviceman and Mr. Lemon Head! 

Students greeted each guest reader enthusiastically, asking a variety of questions about the guest's career. For example, first grade questions directed to Mayor Tully ranged from "What is it like to be a mayor?" to "Are you rich?" (Downers Grove mayors receive a salary of $4,800, we learned.)

After the brief Q&A period, the guests read a chapter of "Pie." Students sat quietly,  eager and engaged in the book. The book has 13 chapters, and students are currently on chapter 11. With the conclusion looming, anticipation centered on the book is increasing! In honor of the book, many Fairmount students colored pieces of pie and hung them throughout the perimeter of the school. 

"'Pie' is the kind of book that can be enjoyed by children of all ages," said Samantha Dulles, Fairmount PTA president. "The children really love reading the book and discussing it with other students in their class and in different grades." 

58 Doing Good
Pierce Downer families team up with Blessings in a Backpack

A group of Pierce Downer students and parents recently gathered for an after-school meal packing event, benefiting the non-profit, Blessings in a Backpack. This organization helps District 58 students in need by providing them with meals for the weekend. Thanks to their time and effort, these families packed 300 meals! 

In addition, Blessings in a Backpack will host a District 58 fundraiser on Wednesday, March 8 from 6-9 p.m. The event will include appetizers, raffles and a cash bar. All proceeds will be donated to the District 58 chapter of Blessings in a Backpack.
Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo
District 58 emailed new community e-flyers to all parents on  Wednesday, Feb. 15. 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
District appoints two new principals
English-Language Arts Committee will pilot new materials this spring
Education Foundations news: Harlem Wizards, Select 58 and Distinguished Service Awards
Getting ready for kindergarten!
46 students selected for ILMEA's All-State Elementary Chorus
Pierce Downer receives $500 donation in honor of Mary French
Young musicians perform solo band and orchestra pieces
Fairmount greets special guests during One Book, One School
Pierce Downer families team up with Blessings in a Backpack
Community e-flyers
Board Briefs
Upcoming Board meetings
Survey results posted online
District is hiring part-time nurse
Six students advance in Science Fair
PARCC testing begins March 6
Community events
District 58 on social media

Like us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube
Board Briefs
Upcoming Board meetings

Curriculum Workshop
Monday, Feb. 27
7 p.m.
Lester School

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

PTA Presidents and Administrators Meeting
Wednesday, March 8
6 p.m.
Whittier School

Legislative Breakfast
Friday, March 10
7:30 a.m.
O'Neill Middle School

Regular Board Meeting
Monday, March 13
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center

Survey results posted online

District 58 thanks everyone who participated in its parent, teacher and student surveys last November/December!
The District has shared School Environment Survey results with district leaders, school leadership teams and the Board. 
District and school leaders carefully review these results to guide their district/school improvement efforts. 
We published survey results for the community's review.
District 58 administered the School Environment Survey to parents and third-through-fifth grade students. The State administered the 5Essentials Survey to teachers and sixth-through-eighth grade students. 5Essentials results are not yet available, but when they are published, we will share these results with the community as well.

District is hiring part-time nurse

Calling RNs! District 58 is hiring a qualified part-time   nurse  (RN) to work daily from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on school days. This job may be ideal for a parent who would like their work schedule to match their child's school schedule! 

While this position requires applicants to be a registered   nurse , it does not require the certified school nurse license.

(Click "Student Support Services") 
Six students advance in Science Fair

Congratulations and best of luck to students advancing to the Regional Science Fair, which will take place March 18.

- Jarrett Brogan and Ryan Padovani, Herrick eighth graders, "Safe or Sorry: The 5 Second Rule"


- Sydney Fleming, Herrick seventh grader, "The Effects of Color Ratio on People's Ability to Read Text"


- Julian Kroschke and Luca Veriotti, O'Neill seventh graders, "What Type of Music Does Bacteria 'Enjoy' The Most?"


- Natalie Mall, Herrick seventh grader, "Which Extraction Component Has the Most Effect on DNA Yield?"

PARCC testing begins March 6

District 58 will begin administering the State's PARCC assessment the week of March 6.

Principals will email families their school's specific PARCC testing schedule in the coming weeks.

Please note: since the PARCC is a newer scoring system, sufficient data regarding the results and skills they represent are not yet available to make well-informed academic decisions with their results. 

Thus, District 58  will not use PARCC assessment scores to identify or place children in any instructional program or service
Community events

Board Candidate Forum
Wednesday, Feb. 22
7-8:30 p.m.
Herrick Middle School

The Herrick PTA invites the community to learn more about the Board of Ed candidates. Note: the Herrick PTA and District 58 do not endorse any candidates.

Kingsley Toy, Sport & Baby Equipment Resale Seller Signup
Feb. 22, 5-7p.m. and
March 7, 6-8 p.m.
Kingsley School
(Sale is April 8-9)

Sellers are wanted for Kingsley's annual resale event! Sign up at the school. 

Crosstown Classic
Saturday, Feb. 25
3-8 p.m.
Downers Grove North

Enjoy a day of friendly crosstown rivalry! O'Neill and Herrick will play each other in boys' volleyball and girls' basketball. 

Passport to Dining
Thursday, March 2
6-9 p.m.
Restaurants in Downtown DG

The Grove Foundation hosts their annual fundraiser, Passport to Dining. Enjoy delicious food while supporting the community, including your District 58 schools!

Local Author
Book Signing
Tuesday, March 14
7 p.m.
Anderson's Bookshop
(Downers Grove)

District 58 parent and local author, Michelle Schaub, will host an author's visit and book signing at Anderson's Bookshop in Downers Grove! The event will celebrate the release of her picture book poetry collection, "Fresh Picked Poetry: A Day at the Farmers' Market."

Schaub will return for District 58 Author Fest this spring.