Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 9 Issue 1
 September 2017
Welcome to the 2017-18 school year

Read a welcome letter from Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli.
from Indian Trail, Whittier, O'Neill, Fairmount and Hillcrest.
Curriculum Night offers parents overview of the school year

Please plan to attend Curriculum Night at your child's school this September. Parents can meet their child's teachers and learn more about the curriculum, technology and instructional practice of each class.
Please note the Curriculum Night schedule below. Times vary among schools, but all are held in the evening. Detailed information regarding the evening events will be provided by each school.  Please contact your child's school for additional information:
Wednesday, Sept. 6:
Herrick Eighth Grade

Thursday, Sept. 7:  Belle Aire,  Grove Children's Preschool at Indian Trail
Highland,  Henry Puffer,  Lester,  Pierce Downer,  Whittier,  O'Neill

Tuesday, Sept. 12:  El Sierra,  Fairmount,  Grove Children's Preschool at Henry Puffer,  Hillcrest,  Indian Trail,  Kingsley

Wednesday, Sept. 13:
Herrick Seventh Grade
Annual Report highlights achievements and initiatives

The 2017 Annual Report to the Community was mailed to all homes within District 58's boundaries last month. The report outlines the many achievements of our students, staff, schools and district in the last year and highlights enhancements in curriculum, technology and programs. It also spotlights the service of our students and how the district is able to keep its per pupil spending below the state average.


Strategic Plan to envision future  

This year, the District is beginning a Strategic Planning process to help the District set priorities, direct resources and focus energies for the future. Through the process, the District will engage parents, staff and other community stakeholders in envisioning that future. As strategic planning gets underway, the District will hold opportunities for all community stakeholders to contribute their voice in setting the future of District. We are planning the framework for the process this fall and will hold workshops and surveys this year to engage all of our stakeholders. More information on how to get involved will be available this winter. This process allows us to work together collectively on envisioning and planning our students' future. Read more about the Strategic Planning process.

A great event to kick off fall!
All proceeds benefit District 58 schools

Support your local schools while celebrating the incoming fall season at the annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 16 from noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 17 from noon to 8 p.m. in downtown Downers Grove. 
The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 hosts this favorite community festival, which features delicious traditional German fare, live bands, a large Kids Zone, bags tournament, dunk tank, and authentic German food and beer in a traditional German atmosphere.

58 Doing Good
Students helping with hurricane relief
Pierce Downer students test and pack solar lanterns to help victims and first responders of Hurricane Harvey.

The school communities in District 58 pitched in to help victims of Hurricane Harvey in south Texas.

  • Students in all District 58 schools participated in "Hats for Houston" on Sept. 1, raising about $12,500 for Hurricane Harvey relief. Schools allowed students to wear hats for the day in return for donating $1 to the American Red Cross or toiletries and needed goods for south Texas disaster relief. Our school communities have a wonderful history of serving others in need locally, nationally and internationally.
  • Pierce Downer students, parents, staff and teachers joined together after school to test and pack solar lanterns with phone plug-in capabilities and headlamps to help victims and first responders. They partnered with Watts of Love, a Downers Grove organization that works globally to provide light and electricity for families and homes without power. Team members delivered the lights over Labor Day weekend. "It was a great experience to understand what this amazing local, yet global, non profit provides to people in poverty," said PTA President Colleen Loftus. Check out more photos here.
  • Spartan Spirit is alive! Herrick eighth graders Ana Barnett, Leah Edelman, Gabriella Frank, Lindsey Hilt, and Elena Tomchek created 300 toiletry bags for distribution to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.  Gabriella collected the items from generous residents and the school community and the girls met to put the bags together.
Thank you for your support

A big thank you to the individuals and groups who generously donated backpacks, lunch boxes and a wide assortment of school supplies to help our students in need! These supplies have already been delivered to our schools and are in use by students.
Special thanks go to the Downers Grove Roadrunners Soccer Club, Downers Grove Public Works Department, Downers Grove Old Navy and the Smith Family.   Thank you very much for your generosity!

Pictured at left, Herrick student and Roadrunners Soccer Club member Kiera Turk helped deliver the club's school supplies.
In Our Schools
New Whittier playground constructed

After five years of fundraising and promoting by the Whittier PTA, the Whittier School playground was completed this summer. Thank you PTA for your efforts! Here are some more photos of fun on the playground. 
'Middle school boot camp' makes life 
easier for 7th graders

Figuring out your locker combination and moving from class to class can be stressful for new 7th graders. Here's a peek into Herrick's sneak preview for 7th graders or what one counselor calls "middle school boot camp." 

Highland School holds fun fair

The Highland School Fun Fair, sponsored by the PTA, was held Aug. 27 to kick off the school year at Highland. The goal was to meet other families, make new friends and help students get excited and motivated about the school year. 

There were carnival games with prizes, guessing games, raffles and face painting. 


Community E-flyers
E-flyer logo
District 58 emailed new community e-flyers to all parents on Aug.  31. E-flyers are also posted on the  District 58 e-flyer page at and listed below.
In this issue
Welcome Back letter from superintendent
Curriculum Night
Annual Report
Strategic Plan
58 Doing Good
Highland Fun Fair
Community E-flyers
Board Meetings and Budget Workshop
Upcoming Board meetings
Parent Handbook
District 58 on social media

Like us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube
Board News

Over the summer, the the District 58 Board of Education held regular meetings in June, July and August and a budget workshop on Aug. 28.

View a recap of the meetings:

The next Board of Education regular business meeting will be held Monday, Sept. 11 at the Downers Grove Village Hall, 801 Burlington Ave., Downers Grove. 

At the meeting, the Board will hold a public hearing on the budget, learn more about how new teachers are inducted into the district and receive an update from the superintendent. 

Upcoming Board meetings

Regular Board Meeting
Monday, Sept. 11
7 p.m.
Downers Grove Village Hall

Regular Board Meeting
Tuesday, Oct. 10
7 p.m.
Longfellow Center

Monday, Oct. 23 
7 p.m.
Lester School

Parent Handbook
Have you reviewed the 2017-18 Parent Handbook?

The District made minor updates to the handbook this year to reflect new and updated Board policies. The handbook provides an overview of the District's policies, procedures and programs.

During school registration, parents indicated whether they wanted an electronic or printed copy of the handbook. Parents who requested a print copy should have received it in backpack mail during the first week of school.

On Curriculum Night, parents will be asked to confirm that they received the handbook in print or electronic form.


Calendar information
There was an error in the emergency days noted in the Annual Report mailed recently to the community. Classes will end June 4 unless emergency days are used. Emergency days are scheduled for June 5-11. As always, please check the calendar on the website for the most up-to-date information.

Preschool screenings scheduled

Downers Grove Grade School District 58 will offer several free preschool and developmental screenings designed to identify young children who might have developmental delays and who would benefit from special education prior to beginning kindergarten. Screenings can also identify children who might be at academic risk due to environmental, cultural or socio-economic factors.
District 58 offers both traditional preschool screenings for children aged 3-5 years, as well as developmental screenings for children birth through 3 years of age. All children must reside within District 58 boundaries to be eligible for a screening.
Screenings are held each month beginning Sept. 11. Learn more details here.

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.