Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 7 Issue 16
Monday, June 13, 2016
One Second Per Day in District 58
  New video features one second from every day in District 58 during the 2015-16 school year

Greetings from Dr. Cremascoli:
Have a happy summer vacation!

Dear District 58 Parents and Community,
Summer is off to a great start, and we celebrate the conclusion of yet another successful and productive school year here in District 58! 
As our students say farewell to their teachers and head home to unpack backpacks full of many wonderful artifacts of learning from this year, I hope you find a few quiet moments to reflect on the accomplishments of our children throughout this school year. Across our district, our teachers and staff have worked hard to grow minds, inspire learning and shape the character of the incredible young people we serve.  They did this each day with passion, enthusiasm and joy, and our students' bright smiles, love of learning and many academic accomplishments provide us with many reasons to celebrate today.
Thank you for sharing your children with us this school year, and for helping to support our students' achievements together.
I wish you all a delightful, restful and rejuvenating summer, and I look forward to a great school year in 2016-17!
Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
A look at District 58's committees
Committees will provide Board with update at June meeting
District 58's nine curriculum committees meet many times each school year to collaboratively evaluate and refine their curriculum subject. Each committee comprises administrators and teachers who represent all schools and grade levels. Some committees also include community and District 99 teacher participation.
District 58's current curriculum committees include:
  • Math Committee
  • English-Language Arts (ELA) Committee
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Committee
  • Elementary School Report Card Committee
  • Middle School Report Card Committee
  • Assistive Technology Committee
  • Differentiation & Assessment Committee
  • Professional Development Committee
  • Technology Committee
These committees share progress and seek input with colleagues at faculty meetings, as well as with the Board of Education and community during the Board's biannual Curriculum Workshops. Many committees also collaborate with other school districts, or connect with parents and the community to seek additional input.
For example, District 58 formed its two newest committees - the Elementary School Report Card Committee and the Middle School Report Card Committee - in January 2016. These committees formed to address concerns raised over the District's reporting systems. Both Report Card Committees have worked to refine these report cards, seeking additional parent input through a District Reporting Systems Survey.
In addition, last fall, District 58 expanded its teacher membership on the STEM, English-Language Arts and Math committees to ensure strong representation from every grade level and school.
The STEM Committee partnered with several Illinois school districts to collaboratively learn more about the state's new Next Generation Science Standards and develop best practices for implementing them successfully.
The Math Committee worked to analyze and more clearly define the District's Math curriculum, scope and sequence of teaching. The Math Committee also worked to develop a Math Curriculum Blueprint and professional development opportunities for 2016-17.

The Math, English-Language Arts, STEM and Report Card committees will report their recent progress with the Board of Education during the regular June meeting on Monday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at O'Neill Middle School.  All are welcome to attend.
Can't make the meeting? District 58 will publish the Board Briefs, including the committee reports, later this week. The Board Briefs will also be emailed to all District 58 families.
Congratulations, eighth graders! 
O'Neill students prepare for their eighth grade promotion with teacher Mrs. Addie Kostellic.

Congratulations to our Herrick and O'Neill eighth graders on their promotion to high school on Thursday, June 2.

O'Neill Middle School eighth graders received their promotion certificates at Downers Grove North on Thursday, June 2 at 5 p.m. The promotion included the Pledge of Allegiance by Student Council Vice President  Mackenzie Barton and a promotion speech, titled "It's Only Just Begun," by Student Council President  Jillian Scott.  

Superintendent  Dr. Kari Cremascoli presented the Pride of O'Neill certificates to  Megan Seranko and  Kira Matheson. Dick Rooney of the American Legion presented this year's American Legion Awards to  Mackenzie Johnson and  Matthew Johnson

Herrick Middle School eighth graders were promoted at Downers Grove North on Thursday, June 2 at 7 p.m. The promotion opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and Class of 2016 Address by Eighth Grade Student  Erin Miller.

The American Legion's  Ed Ludwig  was joined by Social Studies Teacher  Dave Bolton  to present this year's American Legion Awards to  Molly Smith and  Cameron Demos . Assistant Principal  Amy Gray  presented the Barb Blumenschein Awards to  Ish Mistry, Miles Teague, Lily Wenger  and  Emilija Irvin . This special award is named in honor of former beloved Herrick teacher Barb Blumenschein, who passed away in 2005. 

Employee spotlight: Teacher of the Year Janette Syverson
Mrs. Syverson, center, poses with O'Neill admins Melissa Sawisch & Matt Durbala.
"It's gotta be the going, not the getting there that's good." This catchy line from an old Harry Chapin song comes to mind when talking to 2016 District 58 Teacher of the Year Janette Syverson. 

Mrs. Syverson retired this mont
h after teaching 25 years at O'Neill and Indian Trail. She's done a lot during her tenure in District 58, but when asked for a favorite memory, she carefully reflects and responds, "I can't say I have a favorite. The entire District 58 experience has been one seamless, amazing memory. I love it here. There certainly are highlights that stand out, but I can't pick just one as a favorite."

Planned summer facility projects underway in District 58!
Belle Aire Head Custodian Dan Grajczyk keeps busy with facility projects all summer long!
District 58's crews are hard at work with this summer's planned facilities projects. The Buildings and Grounds Department keeps a running list of necessary school projects and their priority in the District 58 Five and Ten Year Maintenance Plans.

Beyond that, District 58 conducts regular building and facility inspections. If a potential safety risk is identified, it becomes a top priority to fix.

"Buildings and sites are always inspected as to their condition," said Director of Buildings and Grounds Richard Bubula. "Relying on the professional knowledge of architects and engineers, but especially on the experience of our own mechanics, custodians and administrators, necessary repairs and their estimated costs are scheduled for future years based on their need and at a time that is most cost effective."  

This summer's work includes:
  • Asphalt: Repave part of Herrick's parking lot and replace part of the Administrative Service Center's parking lot.
  • Playgrounds: 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.
  • Painting: Paint various areas of all schools.
  • Mechanicals: Repair a boiler tube at Hillcrest and piping at Henry Puffer. Install drinking water bottle fillers at Fairmount, Henry Puffer, Highland, Indian Trail, O'Neill and Whittier. Repair a sewer line at Herrick.
  • Miscellaneous: 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.
School Spotlight
New accessible Hillcrest playground breaks ground

June 6 was Demo Day for the old Hillcrest playground. 

The occasion was bittersweet: As families bid farewell to the old playground, they look forward to the new, universally-accessible playground that will soon take its place!!

The new Hillcrest playground will be the FIRST of its kind within a 20-mile radius.

The new playground will feature many amenities accessible to students of all abilities, including:

* a recycled rubber surface instead of wood chips
* a relaxation station for quiet reading
* double-wide ramps
* more climbing structures
* a merry-go-round
* a ga-ga pit, (an enclosed play area)

The new playground is made possible thanks to the leadership of Hillcrest parent, Peg Chaidez, and her non-profit organization, the Dream Build Play Experience. Support also came from the non-profit Abide in Me, the Ronald L. McDaniel Foundation and countless volunteers/supporters from District 58, Downers Grove and surrounding communities.

A ribbon-cutting opening ceremony will take place in August. Keep tuned for more information as the date gets closer.

Herrick eighth graders write books for Pierce Downer second graders

Herrick eighth graders in Matt Cunningham's English-Language Arts class spent time improving their writing and storytelling skills this past school year. This spring, Mr. Cunningham recognized how much his students enjoyed writing and decided to try something a little more creative for their Narrative Final: He partnered with Pierce Downer second grade teacher Jamie Lindberg, and assigned his students to write a book specifically for a second grader.
"My eighth graders loved this project," Mr. Cunningham said. "Them knowing that this assignment was for a second grader in our district made them work extremely hard. Everyday in Language Arts for two weeks my students worked diligently to finish their narratives. At the end of the two weeks, my students asked for more time because they wanted the stories to be perfect and I was happy to give that time to them because the stories they were producing were wonderful."
When the stories were finished, Mr. Cunningham's students visited the second graders and shared their stories, to the delight of the younger students.
"It was a lot of fun to see the eighth graders and second graders interacting," Mr. Cunningham said. "I'm already looking forward to doing this assignment again next year."


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
One Second Per Day in District 58
Greetings from Dr. Cremascoli
A look at District 58 committees
Congratulations, eighth graders!
Employee spotlight: Teacher of the Year Janette Syverson
Planned summer facility projects underway in District 58
New accessible Hillcrest playground breaks ground
Herrick eighth graders write books for Pierce Downer second graders
Summer Learning opportunities
Congratulations Green Apple Award recipients
Save the date: Oktoberfest is Sept. 17-18

Summer Learning opportunities
District 58 wishes its families a very happy summer! 

Please remember to keep reading and practicing math all summer long. The District recommends students spend about 20 minutes reading and 10 minutes practicing math each day. That will help keep your skills strong!

Congratulations Green Apple Award recipients

Congratulations, District 58 staff who received a Green Apple Award between January-June 2016! Each Green Apple Award was accompanied by a donation to the Education Foundation that will be used to fund next year's Teacher Grants.
Julie Batkiewicz, 

Gwendolyn Box

Catherine Boyce (2)

Sabrina Breault

Ashley Brinkman (2)

Heidi Carlson

Charles Caton

Maureen Chmel

Diane Claver

Karen Conrad

Carrie Daca

Sarah David

Tracy deBuhr

Karina DeLeon

Michele Doose (2)

Colleen Eakley

Carrie Edwards

Amy Flannery

Jessica Greene

Donna Haidle

Janet Hecht

Jill Henry

Kristina Hopkins

Sandi Hudecek

Irene Jackson

Venessa Jeris

Bray Judycki

Kara Jurinek

Marina Kasicki (2)

Dr. Judy Kmak (2)

Kathy Kostelny,

Deb Krygeris

Andrew Kupsich
Theresa Lee,

Matt Leiser

Kristen Leonard

Jennifer MacArtney

Meghan Macdonald

Kathleen Mahay

Michele Maycan

Sarah McJoynt

Kelly Mellot

Ali Mitchell

Nicole Montes

Sandra Munizzo

Carolyn Murphy

Dana Murphy

Jan Nelson

Laura Novotny

Bonnie Peterson


Lisa Rose

Kate Salsbury (3)

Michelle Sanders

Brittany Sanfillippo (2)

Jennifer Skolimowski

John Smoke

Kristen Steiner

Colleen Sullivan

Patricia Szczurek

Jennifer Tartaglione (2)

Holly Touhy

Meg VanDyke

Leslie Walker (3)

Mallory Wielgolewski

Jennifer Woods

Ericka Zagorski

Dana Zikis

Save the date: Oktoberfest is Sept. 17-18
The Education Foundation will expand its popular Oktoberfest event to an entire weekend this year! 

Come out to downtown Downers Grove on Sept. 17-18 to enjoy classic German fare, live entertainment, kids' activities and more, all while supporting the District 58 Education Foundation! 

The Education Foundation also seeks Oktoberfest event sponsors. Information about sponsorship opportunities is posted on the Education Foundation website.


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