Volume 12 Issue 1 | Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020
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

In this issue:
  • Superintendent's greeting
  • Back to learning
  • What's new in District 58 this year?
  • District news
  • Board of Education news
  • Board policy manual
  • Calendar

Have feedback regarding Communicate 58? Click here!

Greetings from Superintendent Dr. Kevin Russell
Dear District 58 Community,

Welcome to the start of the start of the 2020-21 school year! It has been an extremely busy summer fraught with much work, many changes due to the pandemic and lots of meetings. Through it all, I have seen an exceptional commitment of our administrators, staff and Board to bring the very best that remote learning can offer our students.

I have also witnessed our community and parents come together to support our school district during this very challenging time. District 58 excels because of this collective effort, focus and commitment. We look forward to providing a welcome, engaging environment for your students and our teachers are excited to bring their classrooms to your children this fall!

Please read this issue of Communicate 58 for reminders about dates and back-to-school information.


Dr. Kevin B. Russell
Superintendent of Schools
Transition Days visits and Remote Learning begins Sept. 1

Downers Grove District 58 students in grades PreK-8 will start the school year with Remote Learning on Sept. 1. 
Principals will send information to parents this week with details about the start of school. Thank you for your patience while we navigate the many details involved in moving to remote learning. The information from principals will include:

  • Classroom assignments
  • Times for visits during Transition Days where students can attend school with small groups to learn routines, technology and get to know their teachers and classmates; and alternately similar opportunities for students who would like to access these activities online.

The instructional day will take place between 8:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. for grades 1-8. Each school will develop a daily schedule that allows students, families and teachers to plan and structure their day. As much as possible, the remote learning schedule will mirror the onsite learning schedule. However schedules are subject to change.

While Transition Days will be held for students to visit schools in small groups and meet teachers and receive instruction, this time will also be used for Remote Learning. During the visits, all students must wear a mask and complete a copy of a self-certification form. Students whose families choose not to attend Transition Day visits will have similar activities virtually. See the full Remote Learning Plan.
When will I hear?

Here are key dates to learn more about your child's schedule and classroom details. Thank you for your patience as we work to develop a Remote Learning Plan that meets the high standards of District 58!

Thursday, Aug. 27 - Classroom assignments (See notice at right)
Thursday, Aug. 27 - Schedule for Transition Day visits (in-person and virtual)
Monday. Aug. 31, 2020 - An emailed video from your child's teacher to families with a daily schedule for Remote Learning. Please note that this schedule is subject to change. 
Classroom assignments

With the recent postponement of onsite learning and Online Academy, the District has been hard at work developing adjusted classroom rosters for Remote Learning. This information is being finalized this week. In order to prepare for the school year and provide our staff with digital access to instructional tools, we have begun to sync many of our learning platforms. As a part of that process, students and families may see some teacher assignments in various services and platforms. Any assignment you see is likely not accurate, and should be ignored.

Remote Learning Plan

Here are details of the Remote Learning Plan. The plan will be implemented when the District shifts away from onsite learning, either temporarily or for a longer period of time. During the implementation of this plan, nearly all of District 58’s instructional staff will be available to support remote learning. The goal of this plan is to replicate onsite instruction to the greatest degree possible. This plan is in effect until Oct. 2, at which time the District and Board of Education will review options and conditions for returning to school on-site, if possible. Here is some background and FAQs on Remote Learning.
District 58 remote school day schedule
AM Preschool:  8:15-10:45 a.m.

PM Preschool: 12:00-2:30 p.m.

Kindergarten AM:  8:15-10:45 a.m.

Kindergarten PM:  12:00-2:30 p.m.

Grades 1-6: 8:15 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. A lunch break will be held between 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. (An exception will be accelerated 6th grade math students who will take their 7th grade math class from 12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.)

Note: The full-day kindergarten program, OKEEP (Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program), will be suspended at this time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Face masks and other safety requirements
All students who visit District 58 schools during the Transition Day visits Sept. 1-4, as well as all visitors at all times, must adhere to the Illinois Department of Health guidelines for in-person learning. This means that students must wear an appropriate face covering or mask as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. In addition, families must certify via a Google Form that they are free of any possible COVID-19 symptoms before entering the building. That form will be emailed to families prior to the Transition Day visits. The self-certification process will require that families also take a temperature check of their child. In addition, staff will take the temperature of each child (contact free method) prior to entering the building. All students will be instructed and required to socially distance.
2020-21 Calendar

The calendar has been updated to reflect the change to remote learning. Students will begin school Sept. 1. Curriculum Nights, Parent-Teacher Conferences and other traditional events will be held remotely. 
Day Care

The District is working with the Downers Grove Park District to host a full day-care program for the duration of Remote Learning. Students will be able to access the District’s learning activities provided by their teachers. The Park District will also offer activities for children outside of school hours. Please contact the park district for more information.


Please read the 2020-21 Schools of 58 Handbook. It currently is in draft format because of the recent move to Remote Learning. It contains important information about policies and procedures, including new ones that will be in place during the pandemic, including wearing face masks and providing self certification checks.
New math resources

The Board adopted a new math curriculum resource called Bridges in Mathematics for students in grades K-5 and Big Ideas for students in 6-8. The new resources, which are being rolled out this fall, help students develop deep understanding of mathematical concepts, proficiency with key skills and the ability to solve complex and novel problems. The curriculum is embedded with the Illinois State Standards. In short, the curriculum creates “math thinkers, not just doers,” said Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Justin Sisul. The resources were approved after a rigorous study by the Math Committee.

New website

The District launched a new website in August. The new site offers easier navigation, a more modern design and better search features. The move is part of the goal to improve communications with the District. In developing the site and design, the District used feedback from users and the community. The change also allows third party hosting, eliminating significant costs of maintenance and system updates. You can still find us at www.dg58.org. Read more about the new website here.

Feeding our future

The District has served nearly 37,000 meals this summer for students in need. The program, called the Wood-Grove Feeding Our Future Cooperative, formed with Districts 68 and 99 when remote learning began in spring. However, due to a change in restrictions from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) we will be following the normal meal programs that we typically utilize during the school year. Parents were notified of this change earlier this week and asked to fill out an application to be approved for free or reduced meals. Please email Catherine Hannigan with any questions.

The band got back together!

While this year will most definitely be unique, the District has been able to keep to some long-held traditions. We held New Teacher Week for 30 new educators. We collaborated, shared the District 58 way with them, launched some professional learning on District 58 curriculum and developed some strong connections. On Monday, Aug. 24, we welcomed all of our teachers back to the District. They are now working in their respective schools, social distancing of course, and planning and collaborating with their teams and readying for remote learning. One favorite tradition is the Back-to-School Band, which this year performed virtually for all teachers. Check out their mini concert.
August Board Briefs

The Board's Aug. 18 special meeting included postponing onsite learning and moving toward remote learning.

The Aug. 10 regular Board meeting focused on a Return to Learn plan that included onsite learning (preK-6) and blended learning (grades 7-8). These plans were later postponed at the August 18 meeting due to last minute changes in state guidance in opening schools during a pandemic.
Board Policy Manual

The Board of Education’s Policy Manual is now online. It is searchable and easily accessible. The advance was possible after months of work to make it consistent with state and federal law.

Board Meetings

Learn more about the Board of Education, including meeting agendas, minutes, video and committee information, by visiting www.dg58.org and accessing the "School Board" tab.
Annual Report
As we do yearly, we published our Annual Report to the community. It features many of the initiatives we have been advancing, a report on remote learning and information on the Strategic Plan and finances.
Thursday, Aug. 27
District 58 will email parents their child's class teacher.

Monday, Aug. 31
Teachers will email families information on their students' daily schedules.

Tuesday, Sept. 1
The first day of Remote Learning
Tuesday, Sept. 1 - Friday, Sept. 4
Transition Days School visits K-6 and Transition Days Remote Learning.

Monday, Sept. 7
Labor Day - No School
Downers Grove Grade School District 58, 1860 63rd St., Downers Grove, IL 60516
Community Relations Office: 630-719-5805 I mhewitt@dg58.org | www.dg58.org