Volume 15, Issue 12 | Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023

About the cover photos: Left: El Sierra's dual language kindergarteners work on their balance skills during PE stations. Right: Fairmount third graders learn about static electricity!

Throughout this publication, you will see the following color-coded dots beside each article. The dots represent which strategic goal the article addresses:

• Focusing on Learning • Connecting the Community • Securing the Future

Have feedback regarding Communicate 58? Click here!

District 58 calendar

Wednesday, Jan. 25

3:45 p.m.: Board Legislative Committee Meeting at O'Neill

6-7 p.m.: Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee Meeting at El Sierra

Monday, Jan. 30

4-5:30 p.m.: Staff Facility Visioning Session at O'Neill

6:30-8 p.m.: Community Facility Visioning Session at O'Neill

Friday, Feb. 3

7-9 a.m.: District 58 Legislative Breakfast Forum at O'Neill (invitation only)

Tuesday, Feb. 7

4:45-8 p.m.: Parent-teacher conferences

Thursday, Feb. 9

4:45-8 p.m.: Parent-teacher conferences

Click here to view the 2022-23 calendar.

District 58's Science Fair is a success!

Hundreds of young scientists converged at O'Neill Middle School on Saturday, Jan. 21 for the annual District 58 Science Fair! The students proudly presented the results of their experiments to the judges. District 58 thanks everyone who helped make the Science Fair a success, including the judges, volunteers, admin team, parents/guardians and, of course, the students! View the Science Fair photo gallery.

Calling all kindergarteners for 2023-24!

Will your child attend kindergarten in District 58 next school year? Or do you have a friend or neighbor whose child will? Here are three steps to prepare!

1. Call your child's future school to let them know your child will be attending kindergarten next year. They can add you to any school-specific kindergarten contact lists.

2. Attend Kindergarten Roundup in March or April.

3. Visit our Kindergarten Resource webpage for information on Kindergarten Roundup schedules, school boundary maps, kindergarten registration, immunization requirements, kindergarten curriculum and much more!


Dual Language Program: Did you know that incoming kindergarteners can apply to participate in District 58's two-way Dual Language Program? The program is open to both native English and Spanish speakers and is located at El Sierra School. Click here to learn more about the Dual Language Program. Click here to complete a Kindergarten Dual Language Interest Form.

Full Day Kindergarten: Will District 58 offer free full-day kindergarten next school year? District 58 is exploring the feasibility of a full-day kindergarten program and hopes to complete its work and make a recommendation at the Feb. 27 Board of Education Curriculum Workshop. More information will be announced following this meeting!

Grove Children's Preschool will hold open house on Feb. 15

Preschool applications for 2023-24 will open Feb. 22

Will your child be 3 or 4 years old this August? Do you have a neighbor or friend with a future preschooler? Please share! Grove Children’s Preschool will hold an open house on Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 5-6:30 p.m. at Henry Puffer School, 2220 Haddow Ave. Parents and guardians may tour the preschool, meet the staff, hear an overview of the program, and ask questions.

Grove Children’s Preschool tuition applications for the 2023-24 school year will open online at www.dg58.org/preschool on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 8 a.m. First priority applications are due Wednesday, March 8. Learn more here.

Parent-teacher conference signup opens tomorrow

Winter 2023 parent-teacher conference signups will be open from Thursday, Jan. 26 at 11 a.m. through Monday, Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. Families can sign up using the PowerPTC system. If you miss the deadline and would like a conference, please contact your school.

Conferences will take place the evenings of Tuesday, Feb. 7 and Thursday, Feb. 9.

Learn more here.

View conference signup instructions here. (para Español: Registro para las reuniones de padres y maestros).  If you still have questions, please complete a District 58 Technology Help Desk ticket at dg58.org/help.

Take the School Environment Survey and 5Essentials Survey

District 58 invites parents/guardians to take two anonymous surveys: the District’s Parent/Guardian School Environment Survey and the State’s Parent 5Essentials Survey.

The School Environment Survey measures parent/guardian satisfaction with their child’s school experience, and the 5Essentials Survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes.

District 58 schools will receive a 5Essentials parent survey report if more than 20% of parents/guardians complete the survey.

The District will also administer the State’s 5Essentials Survey to staff and fourth-through-eighth grade students. These surveys are also anonymous, and the survey results will become a part of District 58’s 2023 Illinois Report Card. Learn more at www.dg58.org/surveys.

In a crisis? These resources can help

If you, your child or someone you know needs help, please access the following resources:

  • Dial 911 immediately for any situations where someone is in danger of being harmed or harming themselves. Do not hesitate to make your call; doing so could save lives.  

  • Click here to connect with Safe2Help Illinois. Students can contact Safe2Help Illinois to safely and confidentially report a crisis or threat involving themselves or someone they know. Safe2Help is monitored 24/7 by trained crisis professionals. District 58 staff will receive an alert after the Safe2Help professional provides support. Through Safe2Help, students can report a crisis or threat through the following ways:
  • Website: https://app.safe22helpil.com
  • Text: SAFE2 (72332)
  • Phone: 844-4-SAFEIL (844-472-3345)
  • App: "Safe2Help Illinois" app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store
  • Email: HELP@Safe2HelpIL.com
  • Call or text "988" and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline will provide 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones. 
  • Text “ACT” to 741741: The National Crisis Text line will connect you with free, confidential assistance.

District 58 shares summer programming preview (repeat item)

District 58 is busy planning for its 2023 Summer School and Extended School Year (ESY) programs!

While details aren't finalized, we wanted to share basic information for families who may want to start making summer plans.

Please know, class locations and topics are still being finalized. More information, including registration, will be shared later this school year.

Summer Program Schedule:

Summer School Session I: Essential Skills

June 12-23, 8:15-11:15 a.m.

This by-invitation-only session will focus on helping students achieve essential grade level skills so they can succeed in school next fall.

Summer School Session II: General Education & Enrichment

June 26-July 13, 8:15-11:15 a.m.

This session will offer math and reading grade-level readiness courses, as well as enrichment classes; topics are still being finalized. 

Summer School Session III: Band and Orchestra

July 31-Aug. 11, Times TBD

This session will offer a variety of band and orchestra classes.

Extended School Year:

June 13-July 13, 8:15-11:15 a.m.

This session is open to students who qualify through their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). The student’s IEP team will identify targeted goals and specific special education services for the student.

Note: Classes do not meet on June 19 and July 3-4.

Facility visioning sessions take place on Monday, Jan. 30

District 58 thanks the more than 100 community members and 80 staff members who RSVPed to attend next Monday's Facility Visioning Sessions!

During this meeting, community members and staff will have the opportunity to provide feedback on the facility improvements District 58 plans to make with its referendum funding. Specific topics for this meeting will include: school entrances/offices; core instructional spaces, middle school science labs, middle school gyms/multipurpose rooms, middle school parking/traffic, middle school FACS labs and middle school libraries. Your feedback will help inform the final design plans.

If you missed the deadline to attend Monday's meetings, you will still have an opportunity to weigh in! In the next couple of weeks, District 58 will share a facility visioning survey to gain additional feedback.

Winter weather series part 5:

When would schools cancel outdoor recess due to weather?

This cold-weather season, Communicate 58 will highlight different FAQs from its winter weather procedures guide. Today's FAQ: When would schools cancel outdoor recess due to weather?

Grade K-8 students can go outside if the combined temperature and wind chill is 0 degrees or above, barring special circumstances, such as excessive ice. Please be sure to dress your child warmly! Students should remember to bring hats, gloves/mittens, scarves, coats, snow pants and boots. They may want to bring an extra fleece to wear, as well as an extra pair of socks in case theirs get wet. Please remember to label these items with your child's name!


Board of Education news

The Board of Education will hold a regular business meeting on Monday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. at Downers Grove Village Hall and a curriculum workshop on Monday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. at O'Neill.

The Board agendas will be published on the Friday preceding each meeting on BoardDocs.


Sold-out Harlem Wizards fundraiser a success! 

More than 2,000 fans squeezed into Downers Grove South's gym on Sunday, Jan. 15 to cheer on the Downers Grovetrotters, a fantastic basketball team comprising 28 staff representing all District 58 schools! The Grovetrotters took on the world-famous Harlem Wizards, who dazzled the crowd with their slam dunks, alley-oops, tricks and comedy! While the Grovetrotters didn't win, a fun night was had by all. Event proceeds will benefit the Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58. Thank you for your support! View the Harlem Wizards photo gallery.

Education Foundation awards over $22,000 in teacher grants 

The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 is funding 23 District 58 teacher grants totaling over $22,000 through its 2022-23 Teacher Grants Program. The Foundation annually awards grants to teachers and staff for projects that support student learning. 

“I am very grateful to the Education Foundation for their continued support of District 58 instruction and learning,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “This year’s total grant award has doubled from last year and will provide many more opportunities for teachers and staff to incorporate unique learning opportunities in their classrooms and workspaces. I look forward to seeing the grants in action!”

Congratulations, grant recipients, and thank you for your support, Education Foundation!

Learn more, including a list of grant recipients.

Pictured above: Education Foundation Vice President and Teacher Grant Chair David Olsen surprised some teacher grant recipients with the news that their grant was awarded during school on Dec. 16, 2022.

Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club awards 25 grants to District 58

Last week, the Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club awarded 25 teacher grants totaling approximately $10,000 to District 58 teachers!

The DGJWC's teacher grant initiative has more than doubled since 2020, both in number of teacher recipients and amount of funding. This increase is credited to the generosity of the Club’s members and sponsors. 

"On behalf of District 58, I want to thank the DGJWC for supporting our staff and students through their Teacher Grants program. We appreciate the many new learning opportunities these grants will provide!" said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell.

The grants will support supplies to benefit students, or will support an educator's enrollment in a specific program, course, or workshop to benefit their students. 


“The Downers Grove Junior Woman’s Club is thrilled to provide funds to the incredible teachers in our community who are so invested in our kids’ education,” said Becky Bettinger, Education Committee chair for DGJWC. “We are honored to have an opportunity to help teachers and benefit the kids of our community.” 

Learn more, including a list of grant recipients.

Pictured: The DGJWC presents a teacher grant award certificate to Pierce Downer First Grade Teacher Sabrina Breault.

DGJWC donates nearly $9,000 to District 58 families in need 

District 58 partners with many local organizations and individuals to help its families in need. We appreciate and thank all of our partners for their generosity, time and support!

For example, District 58 thanks the Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club for donating nearly $9,000 to help several District 58 families in need have a happy holiday season.  

For Thanksgiving, the DGJWC delivered full Thanksgiving meals to six District 58 families.  For the holiday season, members raised over $5,400 at its annual Elf Shelf meeting in November. DGJWC members also purchased an additional $2,000 in requested gifts from Target. Both of these efforts allowed DGJWC to sponsor four District 58 families with holiday gifts. The Club also made a donation to Blessings in a Backpack, District 58’s initiative to provide food to local food insecure students. The donation helped support these students over the winter break. The DGJWC has donated a cumulative $66,000+ to local charities and organizations, including District 58, since September 2022. On behalf of District 58, thank you very much for your support, Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club!

For other examples of community generosity, please view the "In the Community" section of past (and future) Communicate 58 issues!

Community e-flyers

District 58 includes relevant e-flyers in the Communicate 58 newsletter and online. Learn more.

Downers Grove Grade School District 58
2300 Warrenville Road, Suite 200NE, Downers Grove, IL 60515
Community Relations Office: 630-719-5805 I mhewitt@dg58.org | www.dg58.org


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