Communicate 58
Latest news from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 4, Issue 4
October 18, 2012
Rachel's Challenge coming to Herrick, O'Neill; kickoff set for Oct. 24


Rachel's Challenge, founded in memory of Columbine High School shooting victim Rachel Joy Scott, has reached more than 18 million people nationwide since its inception.

Now, that number will include hundreds of students in Downers Grove.


Both middle schools in District 58, Herrick and O'Neill, are starting Friends of Rachel (FOR) Clubs this year, and are teaming up to host a series of kick-off events on Wednesday, Oct. 24. This will include a joint training of 50 students from each school who will comprise the Friends of Rachel core leadership group; assemblies at both schools; and a community workshop at 7 p.m., during which attendees will have the chance to hear about the Rachel's Challenge program and how it will be implemented at Herrick and O'Neill.     


According to, "Rachel's Challenge is a series of student-empowering programs and strategies that equip students and adults to combat bullying and ally feelings of isolation and despair by creating a culture of kindness and compassion. The programs are based on the writings and life of 17 year-old Rachel Scott, who was the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school. Shortly before her death she wrote, 'I have this theory that if one person can go out of their way to show compassion, then it will start a chain reaction of the same. People will never know how far a little kindness can go.'"  


District 58 receives three statewide awards for communications

District 58 has earned three communications awards from the Illinois chapter of the National School Public Relations Association for publications and projects produced during the 2011-12 school year.


District 58 earned an Award of Excellence, INSPRA's highest honor, for its 2011 Annual Report to the Community, as well as for its Strategic Plan brochure. District 58 earned an Award of Merit for the Communicate 58 e-newsletter. The awards were presented during a ceremony Sept. 21.


The INSPRA Communications Contest is an annual opportunity for school districts to submit publications and projects for judging by a panel of experts. The judges apply a rubric to evaluate each entry against the highest standards in professional communications.


"The contest highlights outstanding communications efforts throughout Illinois," said INSPRA President Carla Erdey, Director of Communications for Consolidated High School District 230. "It also allows communications professionals to receive feedback in order to improve and better serve their school communities."


Nominating petitions for District 58 School Board candidates now available

Nominating petitions for candidates interested in running for the Board of Education of Downers Grove Grade School District 58 are available for the April 9, 2013 election. Packets may be obtained from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays at the office of the board secretary, 1860 63rd Street, Downers Grove.

Four members for full terms expiring in April 2017 are to be elected. Incumbent members whose terms expire in 2013 are
John Cooper, Roberta Diehl, Steve Funk, and Sallie Lupescu. Nominating petitions must have a minimum of 50 signatures of qualified voters living in District 58. The filing period is Monday, December 17 through Monday, December 24. Candidates' names will appear on the ballot in the order their nominating papers are received.


D58 students keep fit with walking/running events

Students at a number of District 58 schools participated in running/walking activities recently to raise funds for their buildings and/or to promote family fitness and fun. Check out photo galleries from some of these events below; if you have photos from a similar event at your building that you'd like to see featured on the District 58 website, please e-mail them to!

O'Neill Middle School pinwheels spin for peace

On September 21, the front doors at O'Neill Middle School were flanked by hundreds of colorful pinwheels spinning in the brisk wind. The pinwheels were designed and placed outside by students that day as part of a celebration of the International Day of Peace. The International Day of Peace was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981, and the first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982. Pinwheels for Peace was created by two art teachers in 2005. More information is available at


Click here to view a photo gallery from the event at O'Neill!  


Lester seeking alumni, selling raffle tickets for 25th Jump Rope for Heart anniversary 


To mark 25 years of participating in Jump Rope for Heart -- and raising more than $141,000 to date for the American Heart Association -- Lester will host a special celebration on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013.


As part of that celebration, the school is looking for "alumni jumpers" from the past 25 years to come in and spend a few minutes with participants that day--and perhaps even jump in a special designated spot.


The celebration will take place from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Any past Lester Jump Rope for Heart participant who would like to attend the celebration is encouraged to contact Pat Brown at


Also in honor of the 25th anniversary, the school is selling raffle tickets for a quilt that was made by Becky Hale and machine-quilted by Brooke Winters. Tickets are $1 apiece or six for $5. To purchase tickets, e-mail; the drawing will take  place at the 25-year anniversary celebration.

D58 communications department shares survey results, goals

More than 700 stakeholders responded to District 58's recent communications satisfaction survey, providing the district with vital feedback to guide future programming and initiatives. Participants included parents, staff, residents, business owners, and future parents.


The majority of participants said they feel well-informed about District 58, know how to find information about District 58 when they want it, and are satisfied with the ways in which they are receiving information about District 58. In addition, the majority indicated that they are satisfied with District 58's overall communications efforts.


Participants indicated that their main sources of information regarding District 58 are the district and school websites; personal contact with staff; the district's electronic and print publications; e-mails from the district and from individual schools; and word of mouth.


Communications goals for the 2012-13 school year include:  
  • Creating a comprehensive communications plan that incorporates the survey results
  • Forming a Communications Advisory Panel to engage in regular two-way conversation with stakeholders regarding communications goals, strategies, tactics and tools, both in general and related to specific programs/initiatives
  • Researching the use of video as an additional tool to inform and engage stakeholders

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
E-flyer logohere to visit the page):

Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club/Family Shelter Service 'Run for Her Life' Run/Walk -- event Oct. 21
Downers Grove Park District Park AveNews, November 2012
Downers Grove Police Department forum -- Heroin in Our Community -- event Oct. 25
DuPage County Health Department flu vaccines
Feed My Starving Children food-packing event at Game Pazzo -- event Nov. 21
Foodie Fest in downtown Downers Grove -- event Oct. 20
Halloween at the Y -- event Oct. 26
Helping Girls Navigate Adolescence pancake breakfast -- event Oct. 27

How to Keep Your iKid Safe -- event Oct. 25
Midwestern University Halloween Fest -- event Oct. 26
Oak Brook Community Church Fall Harvest Festival -- event Oct. 26
Rachel's Challenge community kickoff at O'Neill Middle School -- event Oct. 24
Rotary Club of Downers Grove Halloween window painting - event Oct. 27
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Fest at Northern Illinois University -- event Oct. 20 


 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
Rachel's Challenge coming to Herrick, O'Neill
D58 receives three statewide awards for communications
Nominating petitions for D58 School Board candidates available
D58 students keep fit with walking/running events
O'Neill pinwheels spin for peace
Lester to celebrate 25th Jump Rope for Heart anniversary
D58 Communications Department shares survey results, goals
Next two weeks at a glance
Quick links

Next two weeks at a glance
Oct. 23

O'Neill band and choir concert, 7 p.m.

Oct. 25

Herrick band/choir fall concert, 7 p.m.

Middle school math parent information night, O'Neill Middle School, 7 p.m. (first of two identical opportunities)

Oct. 29

Curriculum workshop (school report cards), 7 p.m., Longfellow Center

Nov. 1

Middle school math parent information night, Herrick Middle School, 7 p.m. (second of two identical opportunities)

Nov. 3

Illinois Music Educators' Association district festival

Nov. 5

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

Click here to view the 2012-13 calendar. You can use the buttons to customize your view, and the drop-down menus to skip ahead to different weeks/months!

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

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