Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 8 Issue 16
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Greetings from Dr. Cremascoli:
Have a wonderful summer!

Dear Families,
Happy Summer!

As I shared with staff last week, one of my greatest joys as superintendent is visiting our schools and witnessing learning in action. Each of our staff puts their hearts into their work, and it shows. Our students are engaged and excited to be in school. They feel connected, supported and loved, and they are learning and growing tremendously as a result. 
Our Communicate 58 newsletter provides a window into the many activities and celebrations of our schools of District 58. When I read through this issue (just as in previous issues), I see stories depicting our schools' many successes - inside and outside the classroom.  I am  humbled by the incredible learning experiences occurring within our classrooms and by the many service (58 Doing Good)  projects that our community completes.  I am also proud of the curriculum accomplishments and professional growth achieved by our teachers and administrative team this year.
District 58 set several challenging, yet actionable, goals this year. These goals involved curriculum, community engagement, social-emotional learning, technology, finance and more. I am pleased to share that we've accomplished most of our goals, and we look forward to tackling new challenges for next year!
Thank you for trusting your children in our care. Enjoy the summer, and remember to keep reading, practicing math and engaging in new learning discoveries!
Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools  
District 58 bids a fond farewell to 2017 retirees, eighth graders

District 58 congratulates its 27 employees who retired this school year. Together, this group has provided District 58 with 586 years of dedicated service. District 58 thanks its retirees for their numerous contributions and hard work, and wishes them the best in all their future endeavors! 

Congratulations to our O'Neill and Herrick eighth graders on their promotion to high school on Thursday, June 8, 2017.

Lester wins $8,000 grand prize in Yorktown School Bucks program
Henry Puffer, Herrick and Belle Aire also score well 

Congratulations to Lester School for winning $8,000 and first place in the Yorktown Center School Bucks Program! In addition, Henry Puffer School won $2,000 for taking third place, and Herrick Middle School and Belle Aire School each won $1,000 for coming in fourth and fifth places, respectively.

Yorktown Center visited Lester on Thursday, June 8 during an outdoor all-school assembly to formally present them the $8,000 check. The school plans to donate the $8,000 to the Lester PTA Playground Committee.

District plans to add new ELA resources 

District 58's English-Language Arts (ELA) committees recommended new primary ELA resources during the June Board of Education meeting. The Board is expected to vote on purchasing these resources during their July meeting.
This spring, elementary and middle school ELA committee members piloted several ELA resources in their classrooms. They met in May to discuss these experiences. Both committees reached a consensus on a primary ELA resource, but also noted that no single resource will fully complete the ELA curriculum blueprint.
The ELA committees recommended the Board adopt the Benchmark Advance resource for grades K-5 and McGraw Hill StudySync for grades 6-8. Both committees believe that these resources will best meet student and teacher needs.
The ELA committees will work this summer and next school year to continue building the ELA blueprint using the primary resources selected, along with supplementary resources to meet all curricular needs.
The District plans to launch phase 1 of ELA resource implementation in fall 2017 at two grade levels in each elementary school, as well as within middle school classrooms. Teachers participating in phase 1 will include all ELA Committee members and their teaching partners. 
Teachers identified for phase 1 implementation will use the new resources as their primary source of ELA instruction for the 2017-18 school year. Throughout the school year, the ELA committees will use these experiences to refine the ELA curriculum blueprint with supplementary materials, as needed. Meanwhile, the District will provide thorough ELA resource professional development to all staff.
The District plans to launch phase 2 of ELA implementation in fall 2018. During phase 2, all District 58 teachers will use the new ELA resources and follow the refined ELA curriculum blueprint. During the 2018-19 school year, phase 2 teachers will benefit from the experiences of their phase 1 teaching colleagues, as well as the refined ELA curriculum blueprint.  
District welcomes Bonnie Osborne, special programs coordinator

The Board approved on Monday, June 12 the appointment of Bonnie Osborne to the special programs coordinator position.
" We are proud to recommend Ms. Bonnie Osborne to the Board of Education for the position of special programs coordinator serving programs at Hillcrest, Indian Trail, Kingsley and O'Neill," said Assistant Superintendent for Special Services Jessica Stewart. "The interview team shared that they were impressed by Ms. Osborne's experience in supporting student success in and outside of the general education setting, her proactive approach to including families in the planning process, and her vision for program design and leadership that meets the unique needs of our students with special needs. We are confident that Ms. Osborne will be a great asset to District 58 in her new role."
As the special programs coordinator, Osborne will provide ongoing coaching, technical support and professional development to District 58's RISE, DLP and BEST special education programs. These programs offer highly-specialized educational services for students with significant behavioral, developmental and/or emotional needs.

58 Doing Good
Herrick eighth graders spread positive mental health message

Jane and Maddie
Herrick eighth graders Maddie and Jane wanted to start a healthy conversation about mental health with their peers. So, they created positive posters listing reasons to choose life, get help and more. With Herrick's permission, they pinned the posters to the school's walls.

"We know people who have dealt with mental health issues, and we wanted to let them know that they are loved and not alone," Jane said. "I feel like there's been a spike  in suicides in the area, and we felt like we needed to talk about it in a positive way. Personally, mental health is not talked about enough. Many people who struggle with mental health issues feel like it's not okay, like they're not normal."

Pierce Downer's Service Learning Committee shares year highlights

The Pierce Downer PTA formed a Service Learning Committee this year to inspire students to connect with community members in need through monthly service projects. The Committee created this fantastic end-of-year video highlighting some of the many projects they completed. Well done!
Belle Aire donates household goods to the Ronald McDonald House

The Belle Aire Student Council finished up the school year by hosting a Ronald McDonald Drive. During the last two weeks of school, Belle Aire students collected many household items - such as detergent, paper towels and coffee - to donate to the non-profit.

The Ronald McDonald House helps families with very sick children access specialized medical treatment, and gives those families a safe and welcoming place to stay during their child's treatment. 

Thank you, Belle Aire, for your contributions!
In Our Schools
PTA awards Henry Puffer nearly $20,000 in educational gifts

Henry Puffer kindergarteners show off the STEAM projects they created, funded by a PTA year-end gift.
What would enhance my classroom or school? The Puffer-Hefty PTA invited Henry Puffer teachers, staff and parents to ponder this question and complete an end-of-year school wish list. 

This spring, the Puffer-Hefty PTA received 25 gift requests and awarded them all -- nearly $20,000 in educational resources and activities! Each gift serves to enhance Henry Puffer students' learning experiences.

Holocaust survivor shares experience with Lester sixth graders

For the past 13 years, Holocaust survivor Sidney Finkel has visited Lester and shared his survival story with sixth graders. During his recent visit, he read excerpts of his book, "Sevek and the Holocaust: The Boy Who Refused to Die" and answered many questions from the very captivated students.

"We feel very fortunate to be able to provide the students with this first hand learning opportunity," said Lester sixth grade teacher Kate Salsbury.

Thank you, Mr. Finkel, for returning year after year to share your inspirational story with Lester students!

El Sierra launches two new programs to build school community and pride

Older and younger students play soccer together, as part of the Recess Leaders program.
E l Sierra started two new programs this year that have enhanced the school's community and forged friendships across grade levels.
The Recess Leaders program invited sixth grade role models to lead games and play with kindergarteners during their lunch recess. Fifth graders did the same with first and second graders.
"The older students volunteer to give up their recess to play with the younger students once or twice per week," said El Sierra Principal Jason Lynde. "It has been great for everyone involved! The younger students like having role models to help them find games to play that are fair and fun. The older students enjoy making a difference at our school."
El Sierra sixth grader Kellar agreed.
"It's really fun to spend time getting to know and play with the younger kids," she said.
A Watch DOGS volunteer reads to students.
With the help of an Education Foundation grant, El Sierra School also launched the Watch DOGS program. Each week, this program invited positive male role models (mostly dads) to help out with different classroom activities.  
"We set it up so that the dad greets the students as they get off the bus, and then leads our schools in the Pledge of Allegiance from their child's classroom," Mr. Lynde said. "From there, the Watch DOGS dad visits different classrooms to lead reading and math activities. He also gets to participate in PE and recess and eat lunch with his child in the cafeteria."
Mr. Lynde shared that the Watch DOGS program has seen great success among dads, students and staff alike.
"Above all, the dads feel like they have made a difference," he said.
Children of the American Revolution awards District 58 students

Congratulations to District 58 students Diana, Alan, Frank, Cooper and Kellar for receiving local and national honors from the Children of the American Revolution! In addition, Cooper and Kellar both received local and national awards for their photo essay contest entries from the Daughters of the American Revolution.

These students are all very active members of the Pierce Downer Society of the Children of the American Revolution. The local chapter is named for Downers Grove's founder, Pierce Downer, and membership is open to all children of revolutionary war lineage. 

Diana and Cooper attend O'Neill; Alan and Frank attend Fairmount; and Kellar attends El Sierra.

Hillcrest students study solar energy

Hillcrest's fifth grade students learned about solar energy during the last few weeks of school.

They honed their critical thinking skills by researching and reading about solar and wind energy applications.  They learned about sun absorption and how third world countries use solar ovens to cook their daily meals.  

The students culminated the unit by using their new knowledge to create their own solar cookers designed with the challenge of "cooking" a s'more! Great job putting your skills into action!
Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo
District 58 emailed new community e-flyers to all parents on  Wednesday, May 31. E-flyers are also posted on the  District 58 e-flyer page at and listed below.
In this issue
Greetings from Dr. Cremascoli: Have a wonderful summer!
District 58 bids a fond farewell to 2017 retirees, eighth graders
Lester wins $8,000 grand prize in Yorktown School Bucks program
District plans to add new ELA resources
District welcomes Bonnie Osborne, special programs coordinator
Herrick eighth graders spread positive mental health message
Pierce Downer's Service Learning Committee shares year highlights
Belle Aire donates household goods to the Ronald McDonald House
PTA awards Henry Puffer nearly $20,000 in educational gifts
Holocaust survivor shares experience with Lester sixth graders
El Sierra launches two new programs to build school community and pride
Children of the American Revolution awards District 58 students
Hillcrest students study solar energy
Community E-flyers
BOE Regular Meeting - June 12, 2017
Upcoming Board meetings
Congratulations Green Apple recipients!
Save the date! Oktoberfest
The Reading Games shares sneak preview
Upcoming events
District 58 on social media

Like us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube
BOE Regular Meeting - June 12, 2017

The Board of Education held its regular June business meeting on Monday, June 12. Meeting highlights include:

- A review of spring learning data

- A spotlight on the District's Strategic Goals Action Plan End-of-Year Report

- An English-Language Arts Committee update

- Lester facilties discussion

- Superintendent's report

- Business report

- And more.

Upcoming Board meetings

 Financial Advisory Committee Meeting
Monday, July 10
7 a.m.
(Meeting may be rescheduled)

Regular Board Meeting
Monday, July 10
7 p.m.

Regular Board Meeting
Monday, Aug. 14
7 p.m.
Location TBD

Budget Workshop Meeting
Monday, Aug. 28
7 p.m.
Location TBD

Congratulations Green Apple recipients!
Congratulations, Spring 2017 Green Apple Award recipients! 

Doreen Arlow
Ashley Austin

Christine Balagtas

Brian Barnas

Maureen Bresnahan

Ann Brinkman

Ashley Brinkman

Kris Ceas

Brittany Cerny

Janice Conboy

Jennifer Conyac

Shor Costello

Kelly DeMarco

Carrie Edwards

Christine Fiorenzi

Tara Fulton

Cindy Gates

Marla Gilbert (2)

Amy Gray

Jill Henry

Christine Kaminski

Randi Kehm

Barry Kincaid

Kris Krumwiede (2)

Kelly Lebbing

Matthew Leiser

Elizabeth Lukes

Cheryl Lyons (3)

Jennifer MacArtney

Katie Main

Liana Marino

Michele Maycan (2)

Sarah McJoynt

Amanda Miller

Lauren Minardi

Alison Mitchell

Kristen Mitzel

Sandra Munizzo

Susan Murphy

Jill Oakley

Amy Peksa

Mallory Poe

Barbara Potocki

Julie Quinlan

Richard Resh

Diana Rhoades

Heather Richards

Lisa Rose

Catherine Seiden

Kristen Steiner  (2)

Patricia Szczurek (3)

Linda Vanacora

Jennifer Van Zant

Leslie Walker

Julie Walters

Amanda Woo

Kelly Wyatt

Ericka Zagorski

Save the date!
Oktoberfest is Sept. 16-17

The Education Foundation will host the Fourth Annual Oktoberfest Sept. 16-17 in downtown Downers Grove. 
Bring the entire family to this community event! All proceeds will support District 58 schools through Foundation programs! 
Visit the Education Foundation's website for updates and more information.

The Reading Games shares sneak preview

The 2018 Reading Games announced its summer preview books! Get a jump start on the competition and start reading some fantastic books this summer.

Mark your calendar - The   Reading Games  will take place at O'Neill Middle School on Saturday, March 10, 2018.
Team registration will open Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 9 a.m. and close Saturday, Oct. 29 at 9 p.m.
Upcoming events

First Day of School
Thursday, Aug. 24
(Full day)

Curriculum Night 
Wednesday, Sept. 6
7-8:30 p.m.
Herrick 8th Grade

Curriculum Night
Thursday, Sept. 7
Varied times
at Belle Aire, Highland, Henry Puffer, Lester, Pierce Downer, Whittier and O'Neill

Curriculum Night
Tuesday, Sept. 12
Varied times
at El Sierra, Fairmount, Hillcrest, Indian Trail, Kingsley

Curriculum Night
Wednesday, Sept. 13
7-8:30 p.m.
Herrick 7th Grade

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.