Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 8 Issue 12
Friday, March 24, 2017
Herrick, O'Neill robotics teams achieve high scores at competition

Both Herrick and O'Neill's robotics teams excelled during the University of Illinois Extension's Fifth Annual 4-H Robotics Showcase on Saturday, March 18.
Twenty-six robotics teams from the area convened at O'Neill Middle School for the event. The teams designed robots that perform tasks related to healthy living and healthy choices. The teams were scored on the number of tasks their robot could complete, programming, design and teamwork.
Herrick received three awards:
Programming Award: Jesse Wei, Sam Stein, Nolan Brezina and Max Dvorak
Engineering Design Award: Aiden Grisenthwaite, Teddy Dobrez, Eliot Michaels, Max Hoppensteadt and Matthew Spencer
Reserve Champion: Carissa Blumka, Kevin Palcynzski, Madeline Antonio, Saoirse Kerr and Aisling Kerr

O'Neill received three awards:
Team Spirit Award: Jason Richert, Dylan Phuah, Michael Lopez Larlucci, Carlos Quintana-Mejia, Qasim Simba and Gabe Gray
Most Creative Award: Jessica Sun, Jericho Gomez, Mathew Linert, Anthony Rosalia and Ben Rich
Teamwork Award: Mary Davenport, Rosie Yu, Eliza Peters, Domani Sharkey and Katie Casey

Herrick's robotics teams will compete at the state robotics meet in Springfield this May. Congratulations to all District 58 students who participated in the showcase!

DG Junior Woman's Club awards
7 Herrick students in art contest

The Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club recently recognized seven Herrick Middle School students during its annual Junior High Art Contest award ceremony. This contest is open to all junior high students living within District 58 and District 66 boundaries, including students attending non-public schools. They awarded the following District 58 students:
Best in Show: Gillian Piencak, Herrick seventh grader
First Place: Akshi Mistry, Herrick seventh grader
Second Place:  Eliot Michaels, Herrick eighth grader, and Tao Harrison, Herrick seventh grader
Honorable Mentions: Natalie Mall, Herrick seventh grader; Aine Schuh, Herrick eighth grader; and Angelica Kowara, Herrick eighth grader
Congratulations! The Community Bank of Downers Grove will display the art contest award recipients' work through spring break.

Whittier, Pierce Downer and Herrick advance in Destination Imagination

Imagination. Creativity. Teamwork. Innovation. These represent the pillars of the annual global Destination Imagination program, which encourages students to join teams and solve challenges related to STEM, fine arts and service learning. Several District 58 students teamed up to participate in the Destination Imagination regional tournament earlier this month. Six of these teams will advance to the state competition on April 8 in DeKalb.

Congratulations to the advancing teams!

First Place:
  • LMD - Improvisation Challenge - Whittier fifth graders
Second Place:
  • Hubbujubs - Scientific Challenge - Whittier fifth graders
  • DI Donuts - Fine Arts Challenge - Whittier sixth graders
  • Mystical Marshmallow Sky-DI-vers - Engineering Challenge - Pierce Downer sixth graders and Herrick seventh graders
Third Place:
  • Imaginative Dragons - Project Outreach Challenge - Whittier third graders
  • Magic Seven - Improvisation Challenge - Whittier sixth graders
Thank you, District 58 PTAs, for coordinating these programs.

Highland explores STEM at
Family Math and Science Night

The Highland PTA recently hosted a Family Math and Science Night. Students, parents and siblings enjoyed learning about robots, 3D printing, STEM, pre-algebra and other exciting scientific discoveries!

Fire Department celebrates winners of Home Fire Escape Plan contest

Hillcrest third grader Miah W., center, poses with Downers Grove fireman, Nick Gilbert, and her teacher, Dr. Sue Anderson. 

Congratulations to the four District 58 third graders who won this year's Downers Grove Fire Department's Home Fire Escape Plan contest! The contest winners are Bryn from Fairmount, Calia from Whittier, Grace from Indian Trail and Miah from Hillcrest.

Each student wins the opportunity to dine with firefighters at the station, and to receive a ride to school (with one friend) in a firetruck!

Board approves construction of the new Whittier playground
Whittier donates funding needed for the playground

When Whittier students return to school in August, they will be greeted with a brand new playground! For the past four years, the Whittier PTA has worked hard to raise the $100,000 needed to construct a new playground. This winter, they finally achieved their goal and donated the funding to District 58!

The new playground will include playground equipment recommended by community members, District 58 staff and children.

District 58's Business Office hosted a bidding process for the playground's installation. At the March 13 Board of Education meeting, the Board awarded a bid for Whittier playground equipment removal and installation to The Kenneth Company. They also awarded a bid for playground excavation and concrete curb installation to Continental Construction. Finally, as part of the District's regular playground safety maintenance, the Board awarded a bid for playground mulch installation at eight schools, including Whittier, to Cedar Valley Express Blower.

Thank you for your generous donation, Whittier! 
58 Doing Good
District 58 raises about $13,500 during St. Baldrick's fundraiser
O'Neill Science Teacher Dr. Meg Van Dyke shaves her head as part of the school's St. Baldrick's fundraiser effort.

District 58 schools united to raise money for the St. Baldrick Foundation, a non-profit that supports childhood cancer research. Together, District 58 raised about $13,500! Thank you for your efforts!  This community fundraiser was organized by the O'Neill Science Department's collaboration with cancer awareness.  Of that amount, $11,695.95 was raised solely by O'Neill Middle School. The school organized many fun opportunities for students, staff and families to donate. Thank you for your generosity!

Fairmount makes a difference at Feed My Starving Children

Fairmount families recently volunteered to pack meals at Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit that provides nutritionally-complete meals for malnourished children. Fairmount brought 169 children, parents and teachers to participate in the event! Thanks to their efforts, they packed 196 boxes and 42,336 meals - enough to feed 116 kids for a year! Way to go!

Area athletic trainers give back

Area athletic trainers from Athletico, Downers Grove North and Downers Grove South wanted to give back to the community this month, which is National Athletic Training Month. They teamed up with District 58's Blessings in a Backpack program to make it happen! Blessings in a Backpack provides low-income students with meals for the weekends.
"Through the efforts of many, including the athletic trainers at both North and South High School, as well as many community members that donated food, we were able to provide all of the students in the District 58 Blessings program with a spring break snack pack," said Tanya Marquez, Indian Trail PTA co-president and an Athletico athletic trainer.
About 250 spring break snack packs were delivered to District 58 schools this week.
"It was so awesome to see the outpouring of help from the community to support this project," Marquez said.
Thank you for your support, local athletic trainers and community members!

Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo

District 58 emailed new community e-flyers to all parents on  Wednesday, March 15. Please note, our next e-flyer email will be published late, on Monday, April 3, due to spring break. E-flyers are also posted on the  District 58 e-flyer page at and listed below.

DGFD invites families to Passport to Safety Day & Wheely Big Trucks on April 8

League of Women Voters will host School Board Candidate Open House on March 25

Building Bridges and the PTA Council Author Fest welcome special guest speakers on April 19

The Education Foundation and DG Junior Woman's Club will host a Craft Fair on April 29

Kingsley PTA invites community to Toy, Sport & Baby Equipment Resale April 8-9

Downers Grove Roadrunners offers free clinics for players and coaches

Participate in the Level Up Cares 3v3 Basketball Tournament, benefiting Seaspar

Panther Junior Football & Cheer opens registration 

Downers Grove South Key Club hosts Mustang Trot 5K Run/Walk on April 9

Bentley Academy of Irish Dance will host information event March 25

Breakaway Basketball offers children's basketball clinics

Salt Creek Ballet shares girl scout badge opportunities

Illinois Girls Lacrosse Association Downers Grove offers spring league and clinics

Alder Grove Counseling offers spring children's art therapy workshop and social skills groups

The Sandwich Generation Series: Parenting Our Children and Our Parents

Butterfield Park District March School Newsletter

Morton Arboretum shares Summer Science Camp information

Local writer Mary Jo Campbell holds Young Writers' Spring Camp


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
Herrick, O'Neill robotics teams achieve high scores at competition
DG Junior Woman's Club awards 7 Herrick students in art contest
Whittier, Pierce Downer and Herrick advance in Destination Imagination
Highland explores STEM at Family Math and Science Night
Fire Department celebrates winners of Home Fire Escape Plan contest
Board approves construction of the new Whittier playground
District 58 raises about $13,500 during St. Baldrick's fundraiser
Fairmount makes a difference at Feed My Starving Children
Area athletic trainers give back
Community e-flyers
Upcoming Board meetings
Sign up for Summer School by April 14
Upcoming District and community events
District 58 on social media

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

Financial Advisory Committee Meeting
Monday, April 3
7 a.m.
Admin Service Center

Election Day for Board of Education Positions
Tuesday, April 4

Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, April 11
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center

Meet & Confer Strategic Plan Committee Meeting
Thursday, April 13
7 a.m.
Longfellow Center

Policy Committee Meeting
Tuesday, April 18
7 a.m.
Admin Service Center

BOE Coffee with the Staff
Thursday, April 20
7:30 a.m.
Lester School

Budget Workshop
Monday, April 24
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center

Building Tour and PTA Meeting
Tuesday, April 25
6:30 p.m.
Pierce Downer

Regular Board Meeting
Monday, May 8
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center

 Sign up for Summer School by April 14

District 58 will offer a variety of reading, math, art, music, kindergarten prep classes and more during Summer School!
Don't delay! Registration closes April 14.  
Upcoming District and community 

End of Third Quarter
Friday, March 24

League of Women Voters - Candidate Open House
Saturday, March 25
3-5 p.m.
Lincoln Center (Park District)
935 Maple Ave.
Downers Grove

The League of Women Voters invited School Board candidates for District 58, District 68 and District 99 to talk at this public event.

Spring Break
Monday, March 27-Friday, March 31

Enjoy your time off, District 58!

Classes Resume
Monday, April 3

Belle Aire Kindergarten Roundup
Friday, April 7
1 p.m.
Belle Aire 

Whittier Kindergarten Roundup
Friday, April 7
1:30 p.m.

Highland Kindergarten Roundup
Monday, April 10
9 a.m.

Henry Puffer Kindergarten Roundup
Tuesday, April 11 at 9 a.m.
Wednesday, April 12 at 9 a.m.
Henry Puffer

Indian Trail Kindergarten Roundup
Wednesday, April 12
9:30 a.m.
Indian Trail

2017-18 Registration Opens
Wednesday, April 12
Parents will receive an email with more information.

South Side Fifth and Sixth Grade Orchestra Spring Concert
Wednesday, April 12
7-8 p.m.

District 58 Fit Fair
Thursday, April 13
6-8 p.m.
Enjoy free exercise demos and snacks at this annual community wellness event!

No School
Friday, April 14

Hillcrest Kindergarten Roundup
Monday, April 17
9 a.m.

North Side Fifth and Sixth Grade Band Concert
Monday, April 17
7-8 p.m.

PTA Author Fest
April 18-21
Southside schools 
Author Fest rotates between south and north schools each year. Several notable authors will visit the schools and give talks to the students.

North Side Fifth and Sixth Grade Spring Orchestra Concert
Tuesday, April 18
7-8 p.m.

South Side Elementary Band Spring Concert
Tuesday, April 18 
7-8 p.m.

Kindergarten Roundup
Thursday, April 20
9 a.m.

North Side Fourth Grade Orchestra and Chamber Strings Concert
Thursday, April 20
7-8 p.m.

Kingsley Kindergarten Roundup
Friday, April 21
9:30 a.m.