Volume 14, Issue 19 | Wednesday, May 4, 2022
About our cover photo: Left: The Downers Grove Children's Choir held their spring concert Monday at Downers Grove South. Click here to view the show!
Right: The Reading Games was a huge success on April 23! Hundreds of students participated in a friendly reading competition at O'Neill. Thank you, Reading Games Committee, PTA Council, Education Foundation and everyone who helped make this event a success!

Throughout this publication, you will see the following color-coded dots accompanying each article. They 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
May 2-6: Staff Appreciation Week

Wednesday, May 4
6-7:30 p.m.: Sixth Grade Parent/Guardian Night at Herrick

Sunday, May 8
Mother's Day

May 9-27
Spring Benchmarking Period (MAP and aimsWeb)

Monday, May 9
7 p.m. Regular Board Meeting at Downers Grove Village Hall

Tuesday, May 10
6:30-7:30 p.m.: Beginning Orchestra Parent Meeting at Herrick
7:30-8:30 p.m.: Beginning Band Parent Meeting at Herrick
Wednesday, May 11
7 p.m.: Education Foundation Select 58 Award Ceremony at Herrick

Thursday, May 12
6-7:30 p.m.: Sixth Grade Parent/Guardian Night at O'Neill

Monday, May 16
3:45-5:30 p.m.: Board District Leadership Team Meeting at O'Neill

Tuesday, May 17
7-8 a.m.: Board Policy Committee Meeting at Herrick

Thursday, May 19
6:30-7:30 p.m.: Kindergarten Dual Language Informational Night at TBD

Happy Staff Appreciation Week, District 58!
Cheryl Lyons and Todd Cherney win 2022 Distinguished Service Awards,
Mary French wins 2022 Teacher of the Year
Pictured: L-R: DGEEA Rep Kate Nickell, Pierce Downer (PD) Principal Leland Wagner, PD 6th Grade Teacher/Nominator Mickey Doose, PD PE Teacher/Teacher of the Year Mary French, and Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell
Pictured: L-R: Superintendent Dr. Russell, DSA Chair Mia Churma, DSA Winner District Technology Technician Todd Cherney, DSA Winner Whittier 5th Grade Teacher Cheryl Lyons, Education Foundation Board Members Elena Falco and David Olsen
In honor of Staff Appreciation Week (May 2-6), District 58 thanks its incredible 640 employees for their dedicated work to their students, families, colleagues and community! We appreciate you!

Congratulations to our District 58 all stars!

Want to thank a special teacher or staff member?
New principals appointed to Henry Puffer, Kingsley schools
The Board unanimously approved the appointment of Mark Leipart to the Henry Puffer School principal position and Charles Brewster to the Kingsley School principal position. Both will begin work in July 2022.

“Both candidates are experienced educators and administrators, and I believe they will be a great asset to District 58,” said Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “The interview teams felt strongly about both candidates and reported that both are proven leaders with the ability to form strong relationships with students, families, staff and community members.”

The new hires will replace Henry Puffer Principal Britta Waszak and Kingsley Principal Mel Hackett.

"Thank you, Mrs. Waszak and Mrs. Hackett, for your hard work, dedication and care. You both are wonderful leaders, and we will miss having you on our principal team!" Dr. Russell said.

Middle schools host Sixth Grade Parent/Guardian Night
Will your child enter Herrick or O'Neill next school year? Attend Sixth Grade Parent/Guardian Night to learn more about the transition and middle school experience.

Sixth Grade Parent/Guardian Night Schedule:
  • Herrick Middle School: Wednesday, May 4, 6-7:30 pm.
  • O’Neill Middle School: Thursday, May 12, 6-7:30 p.m.

Please note: More information about the Sneak Preview orientation for incoming seventh graders will be shared later this month!
District 58 earns State's highest financial rating for 20th straight year
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) awarded District 58 with a Financial Recognition rating on the District’s 2022 School District Financial Profile. Financial Recognition is the highest financial strength rating that ISBE awards, and this year marks the 20th consecutive year District 58 achieved this status!

Education Foundation invites District 58 to Ukrainian aid fundraiser
Donate medicine and medical supplies at May 14 event or at a local donation box
Looking for a direct and safe way to provide humanitarian aid to Ukraine? A local Downers Grove (Ukrainian-owned) company has direct ties to Ukraine through a network of family and is partnering with several Downers Grove nonprofits and businesses, including the Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58, to collect humanitarian aid for Ukraine!

The Education Foundation invites District 58 families and staff to participate in the Ukrainian Aid Medical Supplies and Medicine Drop-off Event on Saturday, May 14 from 5-7 p.m. in the parking spots of 5122-5128 Main St., Downers Grove (adjacent to Wasabi) where a tent and truck will accept your medical supply and medicine donations. Can’t make it? Several Downers Grove nonprofits and businesses are placing donation boxes in their storefronts, and will deliver the donations to this effort.

Please click here to learn which items are being donated, where the satellite donation boxes are located, and more information about this effort. Thank you for your help!

Pictured: Precision Circuits is the Downers Grove-based and Ukrainian-owned company leading this effort. They have already shipped 30,000 tons (5 semi-truck loads) to Ukraine; here are some of their donations arriving in Ukraine.
A look at the Behavioral, Emotional and Social Training (BEST) program
Part 3 of District 58's Spotlight on Special Services series
The Behavioral, Emotional and Social Training (BEST) Program is a special education program offered to students in grades K-8. BEST uses a student services team approach to serve students with disabilities whose social, emotional and behavioral needs significantly impede their ability to participate exclusively in the general education environment. Programming can include multi-grade grouping and can range from a full self-contained environment to the use of consultative services only, with the support of a program-wide behavior education and support system.

BEST is designed to support students to meet the behavioral expectations of school and deliver immediate feedback to students on a daily basis as to their progress toward that goal. We work on a variety of skills to assist students in developing self-monitoring behaviors and appropriate decision-making and coping skills. Our goal is to reduce problem behaviors while helping students become more consistent in exhibiting socially appropriate classroom behaviors, in an effort to include the students in the general education environment as much as possible.

Learn more about the BEST program. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, contact Behavior Support Systems Coordinator Lauren Hartelius at lhartelius@dg58.org or 630-241-4032.
District shares school grounds maintenance information
Every spring, District 58 receives questions regarding whether it uses herbicide treatments to eliminate dandelions and other weeds.

In general, District 58 does not apply weed treatments on its school grounds for economic and environmental reasons. The District is open to evaluating how best to balance the aesthetic appearance of its grounds while carefully considering economic and environment impacts. In addition, District 58 hired a contractor to assist District 58 with maintaining its landscaping bed areas. Learn more about school grounds maintenance here.
District 58 reaches $1 million AHA donation milestone
District 58’s students, staff and families have raised an accumulative $1 million for the American Heart Association over the past 30+ years through the District’s participation in the AHA’s Kids Heart Challenge program (formerly called Jump Rope for Heart). Only 273 school districts nationwide have achieved this fundraising milestone!

Since the early 1990s, District 58 has partnered with the AHA to provide heart health education to elementary students through the Kids Heart Challenge. This programming complements District 58’s physical education curriculum and includes a variety of physical activities, paired with digital missions to learn life-saving skills like Hands-Only CPR. As part of the challenge, some schools have led optional, family-friendly fundraisers that support the AHA (including Pierce Downer's family jump rope event, pictured here). Great work, District 58!
Herrick eighth grader excels at state Science Fair
Congratulations to Zain Haque, a Herrick eighth grader, for earning a Gold Award at the recent state-level Science Fair in Peoria.

His project was titled, "What makes a car go faster?", and won in the Physics category.

Great job representing District 58, Zain!
DGPFFA donates children's book to every kindergarten classroom
The Downers Grove Professional Firefighters Association (DGPFFA) generously purchased and donated several copies of “Kindergarten Rockstars Wanted,” a picture book that helps prepare children for kindergarten. Their donation will provide one copy of the book for every kindergarten classroom in District 58! Thank you, Downers Grove Professional Firefighters Association!

Pictured: DGPFFA Secretary Lt. Joe Markowski (right) visited Pierce Downer and delivered the books to Kindergarten Teacher Emma Grisamore (left) and Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Justin Sisul. The book was written by Lt. Markowski’s wife, Carey Markowski, who is a kindergarten teacher and author in the Chicago suburbs.
Downers Grove Garden Club celebrates Arbor Day with District 58
Thank you, Downers Grove Garden Club, for donating a tulip tree to Whittier School! During the tree's planting, Whittier second graders proudly shared the history of Arbor Day and information on tulip trees with the club.

In addition to this special donation, Whittier first graders celebrated Arbor Day by planting trees at Patriot Park. This Arbor Day tradition had been paused due to COVID, and Whittier was happy to bring it back this year! See more photos here!
Board Briefs: Financial Workshop 2022
During the April 25 Financial Workshop, the Board approved the five-year business plan, approved two principal appointments, and heard an update on state report cards, among other topics. Read the Board Briefs.
Preview: May Meeting
The Board will hold a regular business meeting on Monday, May 9 at 7 p.m. at Downers Grove Village Hall. The meeting agenda will be posted on Friday, May 6.
Visit the Board's webpages!
Looking for information on the Board of Education? Visit www.dg58.org and hover over the "School Board" menu to access meeting calendars, agendas, meeting minutes, committee information and much more!
Community e-flyers
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