Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 7 Issue 14
Monday, May 9, 2016
District 58 celebrates Distinguished Service Award winners and nominees
The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 hosted its annual Distinguished Service Awards (DSA) ceremony on Monday, May 2 at Ashyana Banquets. 

The ceremony recognized 32 District employees who were nominated for the DSA by students, parents and colleagues. The ceremony gave each nominator the opportunity to share a few words about what makes their nominee special and deserving of the award. At the event's conclusion, this year's three DSA winners were announced.

Congratulations to this year's Distinguished Service Award winners!:
  • Kit Hamilton, O'Neill eighth grade science teacher
  • Nancy Mueller, El Sierra instructional aide
  • Gail Pistello, Herrick physical education teacher

Honor a special teacher or staffer with a Green Apple

Lester sixth grade teachers Ms. Salsbury and Ms. Kasicki recently received Green Apple Awards.
The Distinguished Service Awards is just one of many impactful programs that the Education Foundation sponsors. The Foundation receives its funding from its annual fundraisers, such as Oktoberfest and the spring concert, as well as from its Green Apple Teacher/Staff Appreciation Program.

Please consider honoring a special District 58 teacher or staff member with a Green Apple donation! With each donation you make, the Education Foundation will send a specially-designed Green Apple Award card to the teacher or staff member you are honoring, with a custom message from you. All cards are hand delivered by Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli or the school principal.

District 58 announces new summer learning opportunities for students

Sign up for a Parent-Led Summer Book Club

District 58, in partnership with the Downers Grove Public Library, will once again organize this year's Parent-Led Summer Book Club Program. This book club program was very successful last year, with more than 400 students participating in over 50 book clubs.

The District currently seeks parents to lead the book clubs. It's simple!
  1. Form your book club roster.
  2. Register your book club here by May 16.
  3. Select your summer book club theme during registration. View book lists for each theme and grade level.
  4. Attend a book club parent meeting on Monday, May 23 at 7 p.m. at Henry Puffer School, 2220 Haddow Ave. Parents will learn more information, receive book sets for each club member and obtain guiding questions and other supports.
Learn more information at 

PTA will once again offer Summer Math Club

The District 58 PTA will host its annual Summer Math Club for students in District 58 elementary schools. The club is an incentive-driven program designed to keep ma th brains strong all summer long. Students can earn fun prizes throughout the summer! 

Elementary students will receive Summer Math Club information from their teachers later this month. Interested parents can also learn more about the club via the below links:
District will refresh iPads this summer
District offers tips to backup your child's iPad content 

District 58 will collect all student iPads at the end of this school year. During the summer, staff will refresh the iPads. This refresh will extend the life of the iPads and will help resolve some of the iPad space issues students have reported. It will also help District 58 ensure all iPads are up-to-date and properly set up.
This means that all content will be deleted on your child's iPad. When your child receives his or her iPad in August, it will look like a new iPad, with roughly a dozen pre-installed apps.
We encourage all parents to help their child backup their existing iPad content. Please reference the below three links with information on backing up this data. We will share additional information on this process as we get closer to summer.
School Spotlight
Indian Trail kindergarteners and DGS students explore STEAM

Indian Trail kindergarteners enjoyed a special afternoon of science April 26 when a group of Downers Grove South biology students paid their school a visit. The kindergarteners broke into rotating groups, during which the high schoolers led a variety of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) experiments. The kindergarten students were amazed by their scientific discoveries, and the high school students enjoyed the opportunity to "teach" the children.

Herrick robotics team wins the State's 4-H Robotics Competition

Congratulations to Herrick's "Coded Canine" robotics team for winning Level 1 of the 4-H Robotics Competition at the University of Illinois! In addition, they also took home the Top Table Performance Award.

More than 60 middle-school teams participated in the competition. This year's theme, "DogBot Challenge," required teams to get creative and combine robotics design and programming with a canine theme.

The Coded Canine robotics team is coached by Herrick Science Chair Jill Henry and Natalie Henry Pasano. Team members include  Allie Busch, Shea Casey, Grace Chalberg, Joey Duncan, Henry Locker, Aisling Kerr, Saoirse Kerr, Paige Sandler, Henry Locker and Joey Duncan. 
Puffer holds Community Art Fair

The Henry Puffer Student Council hosted its third annual Community Art Fair during open house on Thursday, May 5. The students held the fair to not only share their creativity with parents and visitors, but to also raise money for juvenile arthritis research. They selected this cause because they personally know children who have arthritis. 

During the art fair, students sold handmade, one-of-a-kind magnets for 25 cents.   In addition, guests could place bids for three spectacular murals during a silent auction. Puffer students designed these unique murals using paint and color-coordinated plastic lids. The butterfly and snowflake murals each measure 4 feet by 4 feet. Th e Illinois mural measures 4 feet by 6 feet.

The Henry Puffer Student Council will soon announce the amount of money they raised to support the Arthritis Foundation. Thank you for your support!
Kingsley celebrates Arbor Day with the Village of Downers Grove

The Village of Downers Grove, including Assistant Forester Mike Neumann, visited Kingsley on Friday, April 29 to celebrate Arbor Day! Together, students, staff and Village employees planted a tree to celebrate the occasion and Downers Grove's continued status as a Tree City USA. 
Local author Marilyn Ludwig shares writing tips at Herrick

Local author Marilyn Ludwig recently visited Herrick's English-Language Arts classes to share her passion for fiction writing with students.  Ludwig, who also teaches extracurricular theater at Herrick, was impressed with how interested students were in her insights! 

"One student said she was writing a book and trying to use the omniscient point of view," Ludwig said. "A couple of others stayed after class to ask for advice. I told them to keep on writing and to enter writing contests."

Theater troupe performs stories written by Hillcrest students

Hillcrest School recently welcomed the Child's Play Touring Theater to host an all-school assembly. Four talented professionals led the students through exciting adventures, songs, dance and vivid storytelling, as they performed four stories that were written by Hillcrest students: Charlotte, Libby, Georgia and Renee!
Kingsley custodian shares talents with students in the BEST program

Tom Moran, head custodian at Kingsley, is a man of many talents. Not only does he do his job exceptionally well, he also writes poetry and plays the ukulele and the harmonica. 

He recently shared some of his music with Ms. Marla Gilbert's BEST Program classroom at Kingsley. Thank you, Mr. Moran!
Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo New community e-flyers were posted    Monday, May 2  on the District 58 e-flyer page.     Click here to visit the page.  

In this issue
District 58 celebrates Distinguished Service Award winners and nominees
District 58 announces new summer learning opportunities for students
District will refresh iPads this summer
Indian Trail kindergarteners and DGS students explore STEAM
Herrick robotics team wins the State's 4-H Robotics Competition
Puffer holds Community Art Fair
Kingsley celebrates Arbor Day with the Village of Downers Grove
Local author Marilyn Ludwig shares writing tips at Herrick
Theater troupe performs stories written by Hillcrest students
Kingsley custodian shares talents with students in the BEST program
Community E-flyers
Board news
Community survey results posted online
2016-17 registration is due May 13
Last day of school

Board news

The District 58 Board of Education held a Budget Workshop on Monday, April 25. The meeting reviewed considerations for the 2016-17 tentative budget.

* The 2016-17 tentative budget reflects the planned continuation of all established district programs plus the expansion of the Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program (OKEEP) and a continuation of facilities and grounds improvements. Minor changes to the budget have been made where appropriate.
* Replacement hires related to 8 certificated and 11 non-certificated retirements as well as additional hires resulting from the OKEEP expansion are factored into the budget.
* Annual fee increases for registration,
transportation and OKEEP are factored into the budgeted revenue.
* Although the aggregate operating budget has a shortfall it can still be described as generally balanced.
* As in the past, a realistic approach to budgeting revenues and expenditures has been taken. However, note that state revenues will again be unpredictable and the actual receipts may have a great negative impact on the final results of operations.

The tentative budget will be reviewed and approved on Aug. 8.

The budget will be placed on public display at the Longfellow Center on Aug. 9, 2016

A budget hearing will take place on Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Longfellow Center.

The budget is expected to be adopted on Sept. 12.

For more information, view the District's Board Docs.

Community survey results posted online


District 58 conducts a variety of community surveys each year. The District's administrators, principals and school improvement teams use these survey results to help guide improvements to both the District and individual schools. 

The general public may also view these survey results on the District 58 Surveys webpage.

Thank you, parents, who participated in this year's surveys! 

2016-17 registration is due May 13

Remember to register your child for the 2016-17 school year by Friday, May 13!

The District sent parents personalized registration information via email and backpack mail (or U.S. postal mail for current seventh graders) on April 11. These messages included your child's personalized "snapcode," a password that lets you log onto your child's registration page.   

Last day of school
The last day of school is quickly approaching!

District 58 classes will let out for the summer on the following dates and times:

Grade 7 will dismiss Friday, June 3 at 11:53 a.m.

Grades 1-6 will dismiss Friday, June 3 at 11:40 a.m.

Morning kindergarten will dismiss Friday, June 3 at 11:05 a.m.

Afternoon kindergarten will dismiss Thursday, June 2 at 2:55 p.m.

Grade 8 will dismiss Thursday, June 2 at 3:15 p.m. 

Eighth Grade Promotion will take place at Downers Grove South on Thursday, June 2 evening. O'Neill Promotion is from 5-6 p.m. and Herrick Promotion is from 7-8 p.m.
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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.