Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
      * Vol. 7 Issue 9  * Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 *
Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli shares closing remarks.
District 58 Legislative Breakfast focuses on budget issues

District 58 was honored to host U.S. Congressman Peter Roskam, Sen. Christine Radogno, Rep. Patti Bellock and Rep. Ron Sandack at the annual District 58 Board of Education Legislative Breakfast on Friday, Jan. 29 at O'Neill Middle School.

The legislators answered seven questions related to proposed budget cuts, unfunded mandate relief and potential property tax freezes, among others. District 58 sincerely appreciates their time and participation in this year's Legislative Breakfast.

Raise money for District 58 schools at '80s Night with Sixteen Candles 

The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 invites the community to dress up like it's the 1980s and come to their spring fundraiser concert:  '80s Night with Sixteen Candles at Classic Cinemas Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., on Thursday, March 10. 

All ticket proceeds will directly support District 58 schools and learning via Education Foundation programs.

Be ready to dance and sing along to your favorite '80s tunes, courtesy of Chicago's premier '80s band, Sixteen Candles! The Tivoli will also offer a full bar. Guests must be 21 to enter.

As an added bonus: A rockin' District 58 Staff 1980s Costume Contest will kick off the event, starting at  6 p.m. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. 

More Education Foundation news:

44 employees receive Green Apples
Superintendent Dr. Cremascoli presents Lester's Mrs. Novotny with a Green Apple.

Congratulations to the teachers and staff who received a Green Apple from the Education Foundation's Green Apple Teacher/Staff Recognition Program! All Green Apple recipients listed here received the award during the Holiday 2015 campaign, which ran from November 2015 through early January 2016. The Education Foundation thanks everyone who contributed to its Green Apple program this year. Thanks to your generosity, nearly $1,800 was raised to directly support District 58 students and learning.

Eighth graders: Select 58 apps due Feb. 11

The Education Foundation invites eighth graders to apply for the Select 58 Recognition Award. 
Select 58 annually recognizes students who exhibit outstanding service and citizenry to their school and community. 58 students - 29 from Herrick and 29 from O'Neill - will receive this honor. All eighth graders are eligible to apply for the honor, as long as they are passing their classes. 

To apply, eighth graders must complete this  application (which includes a recommendation letter) and submit it to the school office by Thursday, Feb. 11. A dinner awards banquet will honor Select 58 recipients on April 6.

District considers three possible OKEEP expansion options

District 58's Board of Education and administrative team are exploring options to potentially expand the  Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program, or OKEEP.
OKEEP is an optional program currently offered in District 58's five Title 1 schools: El Sierra, Henry Puffer, Highland, Indian Trail and Kingsley. It provides kindergartners with expanded learning and exploration in core subjects, as well as additional music, art and physical education instruction. Participating students attend the traditional half-day kindergarten program in the morning, and continue on with the optional enrichment program in the afternoon.

District 58's administrative team, with Board input, has narrowed its potential OKEEP expansion options to three, which they presented at the January Board meeting.  In all three options, the District may expand OKEEP district-wide, with special considerations for Lester School, which currently lacks the space to fully implement OKEEP. The three possible solutions being explored would potentially help Lester students access OKEEP over the next couple of school years while space constraints and possible solutions are being further examined.
To gain additional information, the District also sent a survey to current parents of Title 1 school kindergartners, as well as a survey for current and future Lester kindergarten parents. The District and Board will use the survey responses to help guide their decision-making.

The Board expects to make its decision regarding OKEEP at the March 14 Board meeting.

  Read the January Board Briefs for more information on the potential OKEEP expansion. 
(Please scroll down to the OKEEP update section).
Students share at Science Fair

Hundreds of students participated in this year's Science Fair on Saturday, Jan. 23. Students enjoyed sharing their experiments and conclusions with judges, family and friends. District 58 gives a big THANK YOU to this year's Science Fair participants, parents, judges and everyone who helped make it a success!

Sign up for parent-teacher conferences by Feb. 5
Report cards, PARCC results coming soon

Parent-teacher conferences will take place on Feb. 10-11 from 5-8 p.m. Parents may sign up for a conference online using This is the same online registration system parents used to sign up for conferences last fall. Please note: the deadline to register online is Friday, Feb. 5.

Report cards, PARCC scores, MAP scores and, where applicable, AIMSweb scores will be sent home Feb. 5. The parent-teacher conferences will offer parents the opportunity to ask any questions regarding these results with their child's teacher. 
Video spotlights:
Click here to view a 3-minute video highlighting District 58's state-recognized Grove Children's Preschool.
Take a 3-minute virtual tour of Grove Children's Preschool
Registration now open for 2016-17

Did you know that District 58 has its own state-recognized preschool program? Grove Children's Preschool is located at Henry Puffer and Indian Trail schools and takes place four days per week. Registration for the 2016-17 school year is now open. Apply at 

Grove Children's Preschool uses the acclaimed, research-based Creative Curriculum, Second Step Curriculum and Zaner Bloser Handwriting Curriculum. This combination encourages active learning that uses children's natural motivators and abilities. Please watch this 3-minute virtual tour to see what a typical day looks like in Grove Children's Preschool. 

Click here to view a 2-minute video featuring how Highland and Pierce Downer's yoga clubs support learning.
Glance at our Grants episode 3:
Yoga at Highland & Pierce Downer

Thanks to an  Education Foundation grant, Highland/Pierce Downer social worker Caitlin Choinski recently received 30 yoga mats to support Yoga Club at Highland and Pierce Downer schools. Yoga Club is also assisted by District 58 staff Mallory Wielgolewski, Patti Cepeda and Tracy Moriarty.

View episode 3 of A Glance at our Grants,  Yoga Immersion at Highland and Pierce Downer, to learn how they're using this grant to teach students mindfulness, coping skills and self-regulation to help them succeed in school and at home. Learn more about A Glance at our Grants at 
Around our schools
Students and parents check out this year's submissions at the District's PTA Reflections Ceremony last December.
Congrats PTA Reflections finalists
33 District students will advance to state

Thirty-three District 58 students will progress from the regional to the state PTA Reflections competition.

Reflections is a national PTA  arts recognition and achievement program for students. Through Reflections, students in preschool through 12th grade are invited to submit works of art in six areas: dance, film production, literature, music, photography and visual arts. The theme for the 2015-16 program is "Let Your Imagination Fly."

Whittier sixth graders observe tiny objects under the microscope.
Whittier sixth graders learn forensics

District 58 parent, Jeffrey McGinn, recently visited Whittier sixth graders and led a STEM lab on microscopy and forensics. The students used microscopes to study and identify DNA, pondwater, cicadas and other small specimen. 

A few students also volunteered to have their shoes swabbed, and the class investigated the fibers on the shoes. They were surprised to learn that their shoes housed many microscopic objects! The lesson provided Whittier students with a very intriguing opportunity to get hands-on in forensics with a professional!

O'Neill Cadettes volunteer at the Ronald McDonald House.
58 Doing Good: O'Neill Cadettes volunteer for local organizations

O'Neill seventh graders in Cadette Troop 51825 have been very busy!  They recently donated and cooked a dinner for residents at the Ronald McDonald House in Wheaton. They also completed 60 Valentine door hangers for senior citizen residents at Oak Trace Senior Living in Downers Grove. 
Great job, girls!

Board news
Board Briefs from the Jan. 11 meeting

District 58's Education Foundation Teacher Grants Program recipients pose with Superintendent Dr. Cremascoli and Board members at the January Board of Education meeting. 

The Jan. 11 Board of Education meeting included a spotlight on the Education Foundation's 22 teacher grant recipients; an Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program update; a presentation by the Whittier Student Council and more.

The next Board of Education meeting will take place Monday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Longfellow Center, 1435 Prairie Ave.
Community E-flyers
New community e-flyers were posted  Friday, Jan. 29  on the District 58 e-flyer page.  Click here to visit the page

Enter the DGPL Kids Room 2016 Annual Bookmark Contest by Feb. 8:  Flyer and  Entry form
   District 58 logo
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 is designed to share 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. 

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