Volume 15, Issue 4 | Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022

About the cover photos: Left: Volunteers at last weekend's Oktoberfest fundraiser; Right: Indian Trail students' lemonade stand raised $2,586 for their playground fund!

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, Sept. 21

6-7:30 p.m.: Curriculum Night at O'Neill

Wednesday, Sept. 28

6-7:30 p.m.: Curriculum Night at Grove Children's Preschool (Henry Puffer) and Gifted Program (Henry Puffer)

Thursday, Sept. 29

6-7:30 p.m.: Curriculum Night at Grove Children's Preschool (Indian Trail)

Sunday, Oct. 2

National Custodial Workers Recognition Day

Click here to view the 2022-23 calendar.

School safety message from Dr. Russell 

Dear Staff and Families,

District 58’s number one priority is ensuring that all our students and staff are safe. Last December, I sent this letter to all families outlining how seriously we take threats to our schools. The purpose of this letter is to be proactive in terms of safety and ask for your assistance. Preventing school violence is the responsibility of the entire community and we need your help.

Last school year, the United States once again experienced senseless acts of school violence. School shootings in Oxford, Michigan, and Uvalde, Texas, underscore the urgent need for all of us to be vigilant. I am asking all families to once again speak with their child (ren) in an age-appropriate manner regarding school safety. Please emphasize with your child(ren) the following:

  1. If you see something, say something.
  2. Making any kind of joke about violence toward someone else or a school is not permitted.
  3. Making a threat against someone else or a school (in-person or online) is not permitted.
  4. Possessing a weapon or a look-alike weapon at school is not permitted.
  5. Talking about a weapon or a look-alike weapon at school is not permitted.

Please remind your child(ren) that if he/she makes a threatening statement or brings a weapon or lookalike weapon to school, they will immediately be referred to the Downers Grove Police Department. Police consequences may include arrest, referral to the State’s Attorney, and the Juvenile Court System. Further, your child(ren) will receive significant consequences at school, which may include expulsion (see Board Policy 7:190). We will not take any chances when it comes to the safety of our students and staff. District 58 is also here to help any student or family that is struggling with mental health issues. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us right away.

I am once again asking for your assistance to help ensure the safety of our students and staff. Please speak with your children about the importance of being safe at school. As I shared last year, I view every student and staff member in our District as a part of my family. I will do everything possible to make sure that our students and staff are in a safe environment. Let’s continue to be proactive and collaborate with one another, as the safety of our students and staff is the highest priority. If you see something, say something. District 58 staff are ready to assist anyone in need and we are grateful for your partnership.


Dr. Kevin Russell

District 58 Superintendent of Schools

District 58 Board earns School Board Governance Recognition 

Congratulations to District 58's Board of Education for earning the prestigious IASB School Board Governance Recognition, an honor only 33 Illinois school boards received.

This recognition is given to school boards that have modeled excellence in local school governance in support of quality education. Thank you for your service, Board of Education!

Learn more about this honor.

District 58 will host referendum open houses Oct. 13 and 17  

District 58 will place a $179 million bond referendum on the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot to address districtwide facility improvements.

To learn more about this facility proposal, District 58 invites the community to attend a Referendum Informational Open House this fall. Both sessions will include a tour, presentation and a question-and-answer opportunity.

Please mark your calendar:

District 58 Referendum Open Houses:

Thursday, Oct. 13 from 6:30-8 p.m.

O'Neill Middle School, 635 59th St.

Monday, Oct. 17 from 6:30-8 p.m.

Herrick Middle School, 4435 Middaugh Ave.

To learn more, please visit District 58's referendum information website at www.dg58.org/referendum. This website includes links to the Master Facility Plan, facility presentation, videos, frequently asked questions and much more. 

Thank you for attending Oktoberfest! 

The Ninth Downers Grove Oktoberfest was a big success last weekend! All proceeds from this annual festival will support the Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58's programs for District 58 students and staff. 

District 58 thanks everyone who attended, volunteered at, coordinated, sponsored and otherwise supported this community event! Learn more about the Education Foundation at www.58foundation.net

District 58 seeks new members for committees and councils 

Would you like to get more involved with your school district? District 58 is recruiting new members for several of its Strategic Plan councils and Board of Education committees. Please consider serving!

Read a letter from Dr. Russell regarding opportunities.

Read descriptions of all open committees.

Complete a committee interest form. (Due Friday, Sept. 30)

Elementary schools will return to 8:15 a.m. school entry time next week 

Students and staff have done a nice job building routines at the start of the school year. Routine building is very important this year, as many well-established practices were changed due to the pandemic. Now that schools have returned to normal operating procedures, the District is reestablishing many past practices.

To start the school year off, elementary students were permitted to enter the building early at 8:10 a.m. to provide more time to prepare for the school day. Since school has been open for approximately four weeks, well-established entry routines are now in place.

Starting Monday, Sept. 26, elementary students will enter the building at 8:15 a.m. This aligns with the District's previous practice prior to the pandemic. Morning announcements will continue to take place at 8:20 a.m. Please note that while students will enter at 8:15 a.m., supervision will still start at 8:05 a.m. as usual. Bus route pickup times will also remain the same. Allowing students adequate time to enter the building will be monitored closely throughout the year. In the event students are not able to be ready to go by 8:20 a.m., we will evaluate entry time once again. Should you have any questions, please contact your principal.

Please review District's emergency preparedness series 

September is Preparedness Month, and District 58 encourages families to make an emergency plan and kit, and review District 58's four-part emergency preparedness series:

Part 1: How does District 58 prepare for school emergencies?

Part 2: How can families prepare for school emergencies?

Part 3: How does District 58 communicate emergency information?

Part 4: How does District 58 respond to emergencies?

Visit the Emergency Preparedness page to learn more.

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 will send student assessment results home Friday 

This Friday, District 58 will send home a paper packet of assessment results for students in grades K-8. Assessment results coming home include:

  • Fall 2022 MAP: Reading and Mathematics
  • Fall 2022 AIMSWebPlus: Reading and Mathematics
  • Spring 2022 Illinois Assessment of Readiness
  • Spring 2022 ACCESS Assessment

Students take different assessments based on grade level and educational experience, so families will only receive results for tests their student(s) completed.

Please view District 58's assessment calendar to learn which assessments students take in District 58.

Please check if you have new Seesaw app 

Seesaw recently made some changes to its mobile apps. Most importantly, they are phasing out the family app and shifting all users to one singular Seesaw app for all types of users (families, teachers and students.) While their documentation states that the legacy Family App is still supported, District 58 received reports that some families who are still using the legacy family app are not seeing some updates.

Elementary families, please check your Seesaw App to see if it is titled “Seesaw Family”. If it is, please search your device's app store for Seesaw, and install the new app, which is just titled, “Seesaw”. This update does not impact web users and or email notifications. It only applies to mobile devices (iOS and Android). Here is a link to more information on how to connect with the Seesaw app.

District 58 earns national and state school communication awards 

District 58 recently earned eight awards combined in state and national school communications contests. These awards recognize District 58’s communications program as among the top in the state and nation.

“District 58 values its community relationships and works hard to produce relevant, accurate and helpful communications to keep our community informed on what’s happening in our schools,” said District 58 Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell. “These national and state awards recognize our efforts, and I am very proud of our work.”

Learn more, and view a list of awards below:

National Awards of Excellence

District 58 2021 Annual Report

Communicate 58 Newsletter

National Honorable Mention

District 58 Facilities: A Four-Part Video Series

State Awards of Excellence

District 58 Facilities: A Four-Part Video Series

District 58 2021 Annual Report

2021-22 Schools of 58 Family Handbook

State Awards of Merit

Communicate 58 Newsletter

58 Connects Staff Newsletter

National Custodial Workers Recognition Day is Oct. 2 

National Custodial Workers Recognition Day is Sunday, Oct. 2. On behalf of District 58, thank you, custodial and maintenance staff, for keeping District 58 schools clean, functional and safe. We appreciate you!

We especially appreciate the extra work our custodians and maintenance staff took on to ensure our schools were clean during the COVID-19 pandemic!

District 58 is hiring! 


Are you or someone you know seeking a job? Please consider District 58! District 58 is still hiring for several positions, including:

  • Full-time instructional assistants (multiple schools)
  • Part-time instructional assistants (multiple schools)
  • Curriculum Office secretary (District Office)
  • Business Office secretary (District Office)
  • Part-time secretary (El Sierra)
  • Part-time art teacher (El Sierra)
  • Registered nurse (multiple schools)
  • Night custodian (Herrick and O'Neill)
  • Full-time substitute custodian
  • Substitute teachers and custodians

Please visit www.dg58.org/employment to learn more and apply.


Board Briefs 

The District 58 Board of Education held a regular business meeting on Monday, Sept. 12 at 7 p.m. at O'Neill Middle School. Meeting topics included a Hillcrest presentation, enrollment update, budget public hearing/approval and more. View the Board Briefs.

Upcoming Meetings 

The Board will hold a regular business meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. at O'Neill and a curriculum workshop on Monday, Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. at O'Neill. Meeting agendas will be posted on BoardDocs on the Friday preceding each meeting.


Support Kingsley's playground fundraising efforts 

Kingsley Plays Together, a Kingsley PTA campaign, aims to build a new Kingsley playground that is accessible and inclusive to children of all abilities. For example, one feature of the planned playground is a fully accessible spinner to let children with mobility devices enjoy the thrill of motion play. This would be the first of its kind in Downers Grove! Kingsley parent Abby Z. created this video of her son, Kingsley student Bradley, test driving similar equipment.

Due to budget constraints, District 58 lacks the funds to fully renovate its playgrounds. To make this new playground a reality, Kingsley Plays Together set a fundraising goal of $320,000. Kingsley will receive a state playground grant for $190,000, and in the past six months the committee has raised over $98,000, an incredible feat!

“It has truly been a grass-roots effort, with the largest donation being $10,000 and typical donations being $100 or less,” said Jeff Leesman, Kingsley Plays Together committee member. “Kingsley students have been a key part of this effort and have handed out flyers, hosted lemonade stands, and even asked for playground donations instead of birthday presents!”

Kingsley still needs to fundraise approximately $32,000 by the end of 2022 in order to build the playground next summer. The committee has organized several fundraising opportunities to help get them to the finish line, including many that the full District 58 community can join!

View Kingsley Plays Together fall fundraising events at www.kingsleyplaystogether.org/events. Many are hosted by local restaurants and businesses. Please consider supporting this effort!

“These events are a great way for the community to support small businesses while raising money for our playground,” Leesman said. 

Visit www.kingsleyplaystogether.org to learn more.

Kingsley isn't the only District 58 school fundraising for a playground. Future issues of Communicate 58 will feature some of our other schools' playground fundraising efforts!

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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