Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 8 Issue 2
Friday, Sept. 16, 2016
Grove Children's Preschool earns state's highest recognition
 This is the first time Grove received the gold rating 
Preschool Coordinator Jackelyn Cadard (left) learns that Grove got the gold from Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli (right).

The Illinois State Board of Education awarded District 58's Grove Children's Preschool a gold rating on its 2015-16 Preschool for All state audit report. The gold rating is the highest score that an Illinois preschool can achieve, and this is the first year that Grove Children's Preschool has earned this level of recognition.

"I am thrilled that the State recognized Grove Children's Preschool with a gold rating for having the highest quality standards among preschool programs in Illinois!" said Preschool Coordinator Jackelyn Cadard. "This award represents the partnerships we have created with our parents and the Downers Grove Community to enhance the quality of education for our youngest learners."

Grove Children's Preschool attributes its gold rating to recent improvements it made, including enhancing  its curriculum, increasing social-emotional skill instruction and improving parent communication, to name just a few examples. Learn more about Grove Children's Preschool.
Education Foundation's Oktoberfest offers family fun and entertainment
Fest is FREE for kids; $5 for adults with FREE re-entry

The  Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 will host the third annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 17 from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 18 from noon to 8 p.m. in downtown Downers Grove, just north of the public library on Burlington Avenue.

Oktoberfest features traditional German food and drink,  popular live entertainment--including Wayne Messmer and Evolution, a kids' zone, a donut-eating contest and much more!

The festival only costs $5 for adults. Come on Saturday and receive a free re-entry pass for Sunday! Children 13 and younger are free with a paying adult. All active military and veterans may also attend for free, by showing their military ID. Proceeds will benefit the Education Foundation's programs for District 58 schools. 

Oktoberfest needs volunteers! Help out and get free admission! Sign up.
Strategic Plan goal progress: Community Partnerships

The Board of Education's Strategic Plan outlines District 58's mission, core beliefs and focus areas for future planning. Each summer, District leaders prepare annual Strategic Plan action goals that directly align with the Strategic Plan. 

Throughout this school year, Communicate 58 will share progress toward some of these goals, including today's focus: Community Partnerships . This year, District 58 has four primary goals associated with Community Partnerships:

Launch new website: The District is building a new, mobile-friendly website in-house, which will result in cost-savings. The website is expected to launch in winter 2017.

Expand Board community engagement: During its September meeting, the Board of Education discussed opportunities to increase community engagement. Ideas included revising the existing Board policy regarding Board meeting reception of visitors, adding a more open public engagement portion to Board workshops, and creating a new Board committee that will comprise representatives from stakeholder groups.

Evaluate District Communications Plan:  During this school year, the District plans to create a communications plan that aligns with the District 58 Strategic Plan and will promote the understanding of the District's goals and initiatives. 

Explore opportunities to update the Board's Strategic Plan:  The Board developed a district-wide  Strategic Plan   in 2000 and revised it in 2011 with input from parents, staff and community focus groups. This school year, the Board will consider initiating a new community effort to re-update the Strategic Plan.

Learn more: The September Board meeting included a spotlight on District 58's community engagement, covering progress on many of the District's Community Partnership goals. View the spotlight.
In Our Schools
Art teacher motivates students with the creative PokéArt GO   

Inspired by the Pokémon GO craze this summer, District 58 Art Teacher Jon Belonio designed an incredibly creative  PokéArt GO program for his students this fall. Similar to the Pokémon GO concept, PokéArt GO gets students searching for Pokémon hidden inside famous works of art, which are hidden in their schools. When students find PokéArt, they scan the image's QR code to discover information about that famous work of art. 

District 58 asked some Hillcrest fifth graders their thoughts about PokéArt in Mr. Belonio's art class. Here's what they had to say:

"Pokémon GO gets people out of their house and exercise. PokéArt is similar because the Pokémon are hidden inside artworks and hidden around our school. I really like looking for them." - Toby

"PokéArt is a very creative and unique idea. I'm really liking it."
- Sofia

"I like Pokémon GO and I collect Pokémon cards, so I was really excited to hear that Mr. Belonio hid Pokémon in art pieces, and created an art version of Pokémon GO." 

"PokéArt is awesome. The art is really fun. I'm a new kid at Hillcrest, and this is the first time I've ever taken an art class, and it's been very fun so far." - Malcolm

"Before school started, I saw some of the famous drawings with the Pok é mon hidden inside, and it looked really cool. There's one right by the water fountain that I like a lot."
- Caitlin

Whittier students explore electives

Students in the "Eager Engineers" class proudly show their work.
Whittier staff recently created Explore!, a three half-day program that lets students attend non-traditional classes on subjects that interested them, including animation, engineering, games and more!

Non-classroom teachers - including specialists, instructional coaches and parent volunteers - taught each Explore! class. Meanwhile, classroom teachers met individually with each of their students for 15 minutes in the LRC. These one-on-one conferences allowed the classroom teacher to assess each student's current reading level using the Fountas & Pinnell Individual Reading System.

"The program exceeded our expectations! Students loved picking their topics, learning new things and meeting new friends from other classrooms," said Whittier Principal Michael Krugman. "Meanwhile, our teachers gained valuable one-on-one time with each student. It was a win-win, and a great way to kick off the school year!"

Herrick eighth graders visit D.C.
Several Herrick eighth graders and teachers traveled to Washington D.C. over Labor Day weekend to get a first-hand look at historical sites, monuments, primary documents and more.
"We traveled with a really great group of students who represented Herrick with pride," said Mr. Collin Konny, a Herrick history teacher and a D.C. trip chaperone. "I really appreciate going on this trip as an opportunity to connect with students and teachers outside the school and classroom. I also love the chance to connect the classroom to the outside world."
The group visited the White House, National Mall, Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Museum, Holocaust Musuem, the Newseum and much more! For fun, the group also enjoyed the Orioles vs. Yankees baseball game at Camden Yards and a special dinner/dance cruise on the Potomac River.
"Washington DC is such an amazing place and I am thankful to share the experience with so many of our eighth grade students," Mr. Konny said.

"I really liked seeing the White House in person and learning about it. The cruise we took was also really cool."


"My favorite historical site was the Martin Luther King Junior Memorial. It was really interesting."  


"I liked seeing the Lincoln Memorial and walking around and seeing the Washington Monument."


"My favorite thing about the trip was seeing the Eternal Flame by John F. Kennedy's grave. I really like learning about presidents." 

- Emmitt

"The Holocaust Museum was the most important thing I saw. I learned how many Jewish people died during World War II in the concentration camps. It was really depressing but important to learn."
- Aidan

"We visited one site that had these amazing statues of famous historical figures with quotes beneath them. The quotes were very inspiring."


"One of my (and many of our students') favorite museums is the "Newseum," which highlights the press throughout U.S. history. I also really enjoy going to the Smithsonian Museums, though I've been many times before, there is always something new to see. A highlight of the trip for students and teachers alike is our dinner/dance cruise on the Potomac River, though the dancing is usually more of a highlight than the dinner."

Mr. Konny

Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo New community e-flyers were posted    Wednesday, Aug. 31 and Thursday, Sept. 15  on the District 58 e-flyer page.     Click here to visit the page.


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
Grove Children's Preschool earns state's highest recognition
Education Foundation's Oktoberfest offers family fun and entertainment
Strategic Plan goal progress: Community Partnerships
Art teacher motivates students with the creative PokéArt Go
Whittier students explore electives
Herrick eighth graders visit D.C.
Community e-flyers
Board news
Puffer student's story featured on radio show
58 Doing Good: Herrick student honored for charity

Board news
The Board of Education held a regular business
meeting on Monday, Sept. 12 that included the 2016-17 budget hearing, the approval of the 2016-17 budget, a spotlight on the District's community engagement and recent community surveys, a presentation by the Pierce Downer Student Council and PTA and more. 

Upcoming Board


Sept. 20 at 7 a.m.: 
Policy Committee Meeting at the ASC


Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m.: Building Tour and PTA Meeting at El Sierra


Oct. 3 at 7 a.m.: Financial Advisory Committee Meeting at the ASC


Oct. 17 at 7 p.m.: Regular Board Meeting at Longfellow


Oct.18 at 7 a.m.
Policy Committee Meeting at the ASC


Oct. 19 at 3:45 p.m.: Legislative Committee Meeting at the ASC


Puffer student's story featured on radio show

As an incoming Henry Puffer kindergartener last year, June Marzo wrote a story (dictated to her mother) that the Story Pirates radio show performed on air. 

More recently, the program interviewed June for a podcast they were creating featuring June's story. 

Check out the podcast featuring June. It's Story #37. Nice work!

58 Doing Good: Herrick student honored for charity

This summer, Meatheads restaurant featured Herrick seventh grader Gabriella Frank as its Cowmunity Spotlight Nominee. As a first grader, Gabriella started a service organization, in partnership with Sandals Foundation, that collects and donates books to low-income schools in the Caribbean. Since then, Gabriella has donated more than 1,400 and countless school supplies.

Way to go, Gabriella! 

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