Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 7 Issue 15
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Congratulations, District 58 retirees!

The Board of Education celebrated this year's retirees at their annual Retiree Luncheon on Friday, May 27. 

Downers Grove Grade School District 58 congratulates its 25 employees who will retiree this school year. Together, this group has provided nearly 600 years of dedicated service to the District. Thank you for your numerous contributions and hard work. You will be missed, and we wish you the very best in all your future endeavors!

Grove Foundation honors fifth grade students for effort and character
The Grove Foundation visited all District 58 schools this year to present their Helping Children Grow awards. Here, they celebrate Henry Puffer fifth graders Dylan, Allie & Molly.

The Grove Foundation recognized 25 outstanding District 58 fifth graders with Helping Children Grow awards this school year.

The Grove Foundation is a local not-for-profit group that provides services and programs that improve the Downers Grove community.  Each year, the Foundation selects one fifth grader from each District 58 classroom to receive their Helping Children Grow Award. They award students who display extra effort, good character and a willingness to help others.

Award recipients were recognized at a school assembly, and they each received a certificate and a gift from Anderson's Book Store. 

Video Spotlight
A Glance at our Grants: Coding & collaboration at Pierce Downer

Pierce Downer fifth graders use coding to make a robotic device, called an OLLIE, move across ramps and change colors. In the meantime, the students also learn important life skills, such as problem-solving and teamwork. Their teacher, Mrs. Kelly DeMarco and instructional coach, Mrs. Nicole Ring, received OLLIE with an Education Foundation grant.

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about how the OLLIE is enhancing classroom instruction, via interviews with not only Mrs. DeMarco and Mrs. Ring, but also several Pierce Downer fifth graders!
Service Spotlight: 58 Doing Good
Hillcrest's $16,000 donation
builds a well in South Sudan

Last year, Hillcrest School rallied the community and raised about $16,000 to build a well in South Sudan, a region that lacks reliable access to clean water. Thanks to their generosity, crews drilled the well and now residents of Lilithok village in Gogrial State can more easily drink clean water. The nonprofit organization, Water for South Sudan, shared this photo with Hillcrest. Thank you, Hillcrest and everyone who contributed to this cause!

Belle Aire spring fundraiser helps Loaves and Fishes food pantry

Belle Aire students collected more than 725 pounds of food and raised over $100 for Loaves and Fishes in Aurora!! The Belle Aire Student Council led the project.

"The students have created morning announcements, presentations for other classes, posters and more to promote the food drive," said Belle Aire Sixth Grade Teacher and Student Council Sponsor Tricia Miller.

The students were inspired to start the fundraiser after read ing the novel "Crenshaw" by Katherine Applegate. This book is about a boy whose family falls on hard times. It addresses difficult topics, such as hunger, poverty and economics, in a child-friendly manner.

"The kids and I alike were inspired by the main character's story," Mrs. Miller added.
Puffer teacher will bike 512 miles to support cancer research

Henry Puffer fourth grade teacher Mark White is riding from New York City to Niagara Falls this summer to raise money for cancer research. The Empire State Ride will raise critical funds for cutting-edge cancer research that aims to change the future of cancer treatment and one day find a cure for this devastating disease.
He is riding for his nephew Matt who did not win his fight against cancer. Matt attended Lester and Herrick schools before losing his battle to leukemia. Mark hopes that his efforts will help others currently suffering from cancer.
He will head out of Manhattan on July 31 with 512 miles to cover on the way to Niagara Falls. 

School Spotlight
Whittier, Pierce Downer compete in global Destination Imagination

Whittier's DI Donuts team poses in costume.
Four teams from Pierce Downer and Whittier were selected to compete in the Destination Imagination Global Finals tournament last weekend in Knoxville, Tenn. The students competed among 1,400 teams representing more than 20 countries.

Destination Imagination is a non-profit that coordinates student tournaments that focus on teamwork, creativity, technology and innovation.

Each District 58 team performed exceptionally well, each placing internationally in their given categories - an impressive feat!

Whittier's  DI Donuts team tied for seventh place in the Elementary I Level for the category "Get a Clue", and Whittier's  Magic Six team came in 11th place in the Elementary Level for the category "Close Encounters." 

Pierce Downer's  Awesome Majestic Rainbows and Mystical Marshmallow Sky-DI-vers competed and respectfully placed in the Elementary Level for the category "Close Encounters" (Improv) Elementary D Level for the category "Get a Clue." (Fine Arts).  

In addition to competing with students from China, Poland, Qatar and many other countries, the Downers Grove students had the ability to experience life as a University student, attend workshops put on by Broadway directors and real-life astronauts, and make friends from all around the world. Congratulations, students!

Kingsley student advanced to national PTA Reflections
State PTA Reflections honors 10 District 58 students
District 58 students celebrate their PTA Reflections entries. Abigail, who advanced to the national level, stands in the front row, middle left.
The Illinois PTA Reflections art competition recently selected a story written by Abigail Culcasi, a Kingsley student, to represent Illinois at the National PTA Reflections level. 
The state competition also awarded nine Honorable Mentions to District 58 students.

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." 

Abigail's literature entry was featured among the top young artists in the country during this year's National PTA Reflections competition, which took place earlier this month. Well done, Abigail! 

Indian Trail students learn fun skills and facts at Community Day

Indian Trail boasts a unique tradition: Community Day. For one morning in May, students swap their usual classes - Math, Science, English-Language Arts, etc. - for something outside the box.

Community members -including residents, parents, administrators, teachers and older students --volunteered to teach students mini-lessons on fun and engaging topics, including coding, juggling, boxing, writing, crossword-making and much more. Students could pre-select which mini-classes interested them most. 

Indian Trail was filled with music, laughter and excitement as students enjoyed learning new skills that go above the "traditional" classroom topics.

Belle Aire second graders prepare for new butterfly garden
Belle Aire second graders and parent volunteers planted butterfly bushes and milkweed in the garden on May 23.
A plot of land at Belle Aire School is transforming into a butterfly garden, thanks to dedicated volunteers and a generous grant!

Last fall, Belle Aire received a School Yard Habitat Action Grant by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The grant provides plant funding and amendments to allow the school to establish a native area on the school grounds.

Belle Aire second graders, their teachers Jill Oakley and Tara Fulton, and a group of parent volunteers recently spent a beautiful morning tilling the land and planting milkweed, butterfly bushes and other native plants. The students also learned the proper way to write a thank you letter. 

Belle Aire will hold an official Butterfly Garden Ribbon Cutting event on Thursday, June 2 at 9:45 a.m. All are welcome to attend!

O'Neill seventh graders solve outdoor adventure challenges 

More than 300 O'Neill seventh graders, teachers and chaperones recently enjoyed an outdoor adventure field trip to Waterfall Glen in Lemont, Ill. A Target Field Trip Grant funded the field trip.
The students participated in an exciting and puzzling Eco-Challenge, during which they ran, walked, climbed, waded and crawled through a two-mile forest course.

Throughout the course, students used their teamwork and academic skills to solve a variety of checkpoint challenges, which asked students to conduct slope calculations and creek measurements, as well as design paper boats that could float. Students also embarked on scavenger hunts that involved GPS coordinate calculation and student-written mysteries.
The trip was coordinated by the O'Neill seventh grade science department, including teachers Sarah Pinkus and Janette Syverson. They thank all parent and staff volunteers,  retired teacher Jim Williams and the MeriFoundation, and the Target Field Trip Grant program for their support. 
Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo New community e-flyers were posted  on Tuesday, May 23  on the District 58 e-flyer page.     Click here to visit the page to see all 2015-16 archived e-flyers.

In this issue
Congratulations, District 58 retirees!
Grove Foundation honors fifth grade students for effort and character
A Glance at our Grants: Coding & collaboration at Pierce Downer
Hillcrest's $16,000 donation builds a well in South Sudan
Belle Aire spring fundraiser helps Loaves and Fishes food pantry
Puffer teacher will bike 512 miles to support cancer research
Whittier, Pierce Downer excel at global Destination Imagination
Kingsley student advanced to national PTA Reflections
Indian Trail students learn fun skills and facts at Community Day
Belle Aire second graders prepare for new butterfly garden
O'Neill seventh graders solve outdoor adventure challenges
Community E-flyers
Board of Ed news
Eighth Grade Promotion: Thursday, June 2 at DG North High
Thank you Tivoli!
Still need to register for next school year?
Sixth graders - Sign up for Sneak Preview!
Reading Games preview books
Board of Ed news
The District 58 Board of Education held a regular meeting on Monday, May 9. 

Read the Board Briefs to learn more about this meeting.

The Board will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at the Administrative Service Center, 1860 63rd St. 

View the District 58 BoardDocs website for more information. District 58 will post the agenda prior to the meeting.
Eighth Grade Promotion: Thursday, June 2 at DG North High
Eighth Grade Promotion will take place at Downers Grove North High School on Thursday, June 2. 

O'Neill Promotion is from 5-6 p.m. and Herrick Promotion is from 7-8 p.m.

Please note: In the last issue of Communicate 58, we incorrectly 
stated that Eighth Grade Promotion will take place at Downers Grove South High School. We are sorry for any inconvenience.

Thank you Tivoli!
Students in the Behavioral, Emotional and Social Training (BEST) Program recently went on a field trip to the Tivoli Theater. 

The Tivoli staff opened the theater to the group of 20 people. They also offered free admission to the chaperones to show appreciation for the good work they do.

"This was a great culminating activity for my students and the Tivoli was terrific!" said BEST Program Teacher Marla Gilbert.  "Great to have a local establishment be so supportive!"

Thank you, Tivoli!

Still need to register for next school year?

Have you registered your child for the 2016-17 school year yet? To date, about 90 percent of our students have already completed registration for the upcoming school year. If you have not yet submitted your child's registration, please do so as soon as possible. This information is critical for our district's school staffing and planning for the upcoming school year!  

Sixth graders - Sign up for Sneak Preview!

Sneak Preview is an annual program that introduces incoming seventh graders to middle school life. 

The program, sponsored by the Education Foundation, will take place Aug. 22-24. It includes fun lessons on opening lockers, navigating the cafeteria, understanding a class schedule and more. 

(The password is "preview".)

Reading Games preview books

Exciting news! The Reading Games has announced its summer preview books. These books will all be featured in the 2017 Reading Games competition. The remaining Reading Games books will be announced in the fall.

Get a head start and get reading this summer!

Summer Preview Books for List 1:

- The Sherlock Files: The 100-Year-Old Secret by Tracy Barrett

- The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

- Night of the Twisters by Ivy Ruckman

Summer Preview 
Books for List 2:
- Fish In a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

- Masterminds by Gordon Korman

- Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass 

Learn more here. 

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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.