Communicate 58
Latest news from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 4, Issue 1  
August 31, 2012
School is in session--welcome back! 

School started in District 58 August 27, and our schools are once again filled with students and staff eager to tackle challenges, celebrate successes, and learn from one another. We are so excited to have our students and families back with us for what promises to be a wonderful 2012-13 year; our district and community have much to look forward to! 


Dr. Cremascoli
New school year message from Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli
This week, nearly 5,000 preschool through eighth grade students walked through the doors of our 13 schools and were greeted by staff and administrators who had eagerly prepared for their return. The start of a new school year always brings a promise of new hope, new challenges, new learning and new fun. Educators, parents and students alike are given an opportunity to begin anew with renewed energy and enthusiasm for our common purpose: sparking, nurturing, and sustaining a love of learning in us all.
This school year we welcomed nearly two dozen new staff members, including Dr. Matt Rich as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and Kacey Lazzarotto as Grove Children's Preschool Coordinator. Former Lester School Assistant Principal Justin Sisul has assumed the principalship of Pierce Downer School, and two new assistant principals have joined our ranks: Theodore Krillies at Lester School, and Christine Clavenna at O'Neill Middle School. They each embark upon their new positions with a sense of passion, purpose and dedication to our students and community, and we are thrilled to have them on our team.


In addition to welcoming new staff, there is much to be excited about in the new school year with regard to teaching and learning. District 58 has a rich tradition of excellence in education, and our successes are clearly evident in the achievements and accomplishments of our students. Two curricular areas will be a priority for new growth in our district this year. 


D58 begins talks on addressing capital needs

District 58 is beginning discussions on how to fund its most pressing capital needs, and will be asking the community for feedback in determining the top-priority projects.  Roof work  


Over the past four years, the district addressed the majority of its significant roofing needs by using $6 million from existing fund balances and $6 million from Life Safety bond proceeds. Other pressing significant Life Safety projects, including pavement repairs, curtainwall replacements and plumbing replacements, were addressed through an additional $4 million in Life Safety bond proceeds over the past three years. 


Still, having completed these top-priority projects, numerous other substantial facilities-related needs remain that the district is unable to address through normal operating revenue.    


During a budget workshop August 27, the board discussed several potential funding options to continue addressing the district's capital needs: issuing bonds, or asking voters to raise taxes via referendum. Consensus was that additional borrowing on a limited basis, plus using available fund balances, would allow the district to be fiscally responsible while tackling its most pressing issues, which will be determined in partnership with the community.

Potential areas of concern that could be addressed with the continuing facilities plan include: 

  • Carpet replacement in classrooms and hallways district-wide
  • Asphalt repair district-wide
  • Solutions to alleviate overcrowding at Lester and Pierce Downer
  • Science and home economics lab upgrades at middle schools
  • Life safety work, including fire alarms and HVAC upgrades

 Click here to view the full story. 


District 58 launches new website
District 58 launched a completely re-designed website July 1. In addition to further improving its use as a communications tool, the re-design of also is intended to provide staff with additional opportunities for online teaching and learning. You can share your feedback about our new site by e-mailing Communications Coordinator Jennie Waldorf at or webmaster Matt Vivona at

Communications satisfaction survey available through Sept. 1

Downers Grove Grade School District 58 strives to keep the community informed regarding its news, programs and activities, and is seeking the community's feedback on how it can improve its efforts. 


Click this link to access the survey. It is also available on the main page of District 58's website,, through September 1. 


The district is seeking feedback from current, past and future parents; staff; school volunteers; former students/alumni; and those who live and/or work in the community. If anyone has trouble completing the survey, they can e-mail or call (630) 719-5805.  



District 58's 2012-13 preschool screenings set
District 58 offers free preschool screenings designed to identify three- to five-year-old children who might have developmental delays and who would benefit from special education prior to beginning kindergarten, as well as identify children who might be at risk due to environmental, cultural or socio-economic factors. Preschool screenings are available free of charge to District 58 residents, and are designed to evaluate development in children ages two years and 10 months to five years old.   
The screening will examine development in the following areas: speech/language, vision, hearing, cognitive/pre-academic, self-help/independent living, fine motor, gross motor and social/emotional/behavior skills.


For more information about District 58's Grove Children's Preschool program, please call (630) 968-0454, e-mail, or visit
Community partner corner


Thank you to the following District 58 partners in education for their support:


District 58 Education Foundation


During District 58's Opening Day to welcome back staff on Aug. 23, the District 58 Education Foundation presented Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli with a check for $6,500 -- $500 for each of the 13 schools to use as they see fit. The Foundation also sponsored again this year the annual Sneak Preview orientation program for incoming seventh-grade students.

Roadrunners Soccer Club


Thanks to an incredibly generous donation from the Roadrunners Soccer Club of Downers Grove, every homeless student attending a District 58 school started the 2012-13 year with a brand-new backpack filled with supplies--including notebooks, crayons, pens, pencils and folders.  

E-flyer logo
Community e-flyers available for viewing

The following new community e-flyers have been posted for viewing on the District 58 e-flyer page (click here to visit the page):

Argonne Energy Showcase Open House -- event Sept. 15


Champions before and after school care registration


District 99 Education Foundation homecoming socials -- events Sept. 28 and Oct. 5


Downers Grove Jr. Sabres learn to skate and introduction to hockey


Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club kickoff/new member recruitment -- event Sept. 25


Downers Grove Lions Club Labor of Love 5K -- event Sept. 3


Girl Scouts participant and volunteer recruitment


Illinois Girls Lacrosse Association registration


Indian Boundary YMCA fall programs


Kiwanis Club of Downers Grove peanut sale


Lester School PTA clothing resale -- event Sept. 28-29 


Sokol Chicagoland registration -- event Sept. 7


TOPSoccer player, volunteer recruitment 


Yomechas Guides and Princesses registration

 District 58 logo
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 is designed to share timely, relevant information about District 58 with parents, community members, and others who are interested in how we are living out our mission. Questions and comments regarding this or any other District 58 publication can be directed to Communications Coordinator Jennifer Waldorf at or (630) 719-5805. 
In this issue
Back to school message from Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli
D58 begins talks on addressing capital needs
D58 launches new website
Communications satisfaction survey open through Sept. 1
2012-13 preschool screenings set
Community partner corner
First day photo gallery
Next two weeks at a glance
Board Briefs
Find us on social media
Quick links

Check out first day photos from around the district in the center featured photo gallery at!

Next two weeks at a glance

Sept. 3

Labor Day--NO SCHOOL

Sept. 4

Financial Advisory Committee--7 a.m., ASC

Seventh grade curriculum night, Herrick Middle School, 7 p.m.

Sept. 5

BOE Coffee with the Staff, O'Neill Middle School, 7:30 a.m.

Sept. 6

Curriculum night, north side elementary schools, various start times

Sept. 10

Regular School Board meeting, 7 p.m., Longfellow

Sept. 11

Eighth grade curriculum night, Herrick Middle School, 7 p.m.

Sept. 12

Parent night for gifted students, 7 p.m., Whittier

South side beginning orchestra parent information meeting, 7 p.m., O'Neill

Sept. 13

North side beginning band/orchestra parent meeting, 7 p.m., Herrick

night, O'Neill Middle School, 7 p.m.

Board Briefs
District 58 posts news reports from its monthly Board of Education meetings on its website.  

Find District 58 on social media
District 58 is using social media to communicate with stakeholders!  
Click here to visit our Facebook page, and "Like" us to get the latest highlights from District 58 and its 13 schools directly in your news feed.

Click here to visit our Twitter page and follow us to get the latest news directly in your Twitter feed.