Communicate 58
Latest news from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 5, Issue 2
September 13, 2013
1:1 device launch a success

District 58 is excited to be further exploring the impact of a 1:1 device initiative on teaching and learning. On September 9, Scott Meech, District 58's Director of Technology, shared with the Board an update on the District's journey and recent successes.


Click here to check out the presentation that was shared. 


Approximately 70 teachers and 1,400 students are participating in a full-year 1:1 pilot program. On the first day of school, each student in the pilot classes was provided an iPad Mini for use in all subject areas throughout the day and (in first through sixth grade) to take home in the evenings. Teachers applied to be a part of the first-year pilot, and at least two full grade levels from each elementary building were selected to participate. Already, students are embarking on creative, exciting projects, which staff will gather and share throughout the year. More than 2,500 parents attended the 1:1 launch meetings, and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to learn about the program and ask questions.

1 to 1 deployment
Click the image above to check out a video spotlighting the District's first week of 1:1!

District 58's 1:1 pilot emphasizes teaching and learning via a blend of traditional and digital materials, and involving students in higher-level creative and collaborative activities. Three key areas of focus for District 58's 1:1 pilot are:

  • Monitoring the pilot's effectiveness, with a focus on academic achievement, student collaboration, creativity and engagement, executive functioning skills and resource allocation, among other things. This will entail gathering data from a variety of stakeholders and sources such as student interviews and staff feedback.   
  • Providing professional development
  • Developing online support resources for all stakeholders

District 58 again this year is partnering with the Downers Grove Public Library to host a series of Digital Learning Workshops for parents and community members. Sessions will take place at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss St.:

  • Friday, Sept. 20, from 1-3 p.m
  • Monday, Sept. 30, 7-8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 16, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Friday, November 15, 1-2 p.m.
  • Monday, December 2, 7-8 p.m. 

"We're on a journey, and we want to help everyone engage in and learn from that process," Meech said.



Other exciting initiatives on which Meech updated the Board Sept. 9 include:

  • A 21st Century classroom being constructed at Longfellow
  • The development of a curriculum web app to put all curriculum resources at teachers' fingertips within a few clicks, fostering learning and growth for all students
  • A move to a new LRC system called Follett Destiny, which connects all of the District 58 LRCs and allows students to search for and check out books from any LRC at any time
Superintendent's message regarding Patriot Day observance in District 58

Wednesday was the anniversary of September 11, 2001, a significant day in our nation's history. September 11th has been designated Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance by the President of the United States of America. 


In accordance with the President's request, flags throughout District 58 were flown at half-staff on Wednesday and students were invited to observe a brief moment of silence.  Although the events of September 11, 2001 are not directly taught in the K-8 school curriculum, we encouraged parents to discuss this significant event in our nation's history with our children to the extent and depth they believe is developmentally appropriate for their child(ren).  Additionally, the day provided a wonderful opportunity to encourage our children to look for opportunities to be courageous, selfless and loving and, if possible, to say thank you to those who work so hard to keep us well and safe.


One reason we remember September 11th is that we want to preserve the memory of the victims who lost their lives and those who died in service to others.  Another reason to remember is to honor the courageous service of our firefighters, police officers, paramedics and military. In the face of this disaster, we saw courage: firefighters, police officers, and paramedics rushed to help. We saw selflessness: strangers helped strangers. We saw love: people from around the world sent cards, supplies, and comfort.


Patriot Day is an opportunity to turn something negative into a positive activity by honoring the good work of others and by doing good works ourselves.


Kingsley 9-11 flag salute and moment of silence 
Click the image above to watch a short video of a special flag salute and moment of silence at Kingsley School on Wednesday morning.

News from our schools

    Highland students 'stepping it up'        


The theme at Highland School this year is "Step Up and Make a Difference." Adults are looking for students who are making a difference by making good choices, being a team member, thinking of others, or controlling themselves. Children receive a paper "footnote" that indicates what behavior the adult noticed, and each time a child brings a footnote to the office, they get a small foot token to add to a ring on their backpack. These feet will be proudly displayed in the halls of Highland School!

Kingsley seeking alumni for anniversary party

Kingsley School opened its doors on September 3, 1963, and the school hosted a dedication ceremony on Sunday, November 24, 1963. In a coincidence that was just too good for the planning committee to pass up, November 24 happens to be on a Sunday--making it the perfect day to host a 50th anniversary re-dedication.  


Kingsley School is seeking former students, parents and staff to attend the afternoon event, and to send pictures from their time at the school. To RSVP for the event and/or to send a photo, contact Principal Mark Stange,, or secretary Diane Glowicki, Alumni and retirees can also call (630) 719-5850 to RSVP, and photographs also can be mailed to the school, 6509 Powell St.

Herrick summer sports camps a success

 Herrick Middle School's annual summer sports camps for District 58 athletes, including basketball, volleyball and a new cross country offering, were a huge success again this year. Click here for details!
Board approves 2013-14 budget

The District 58 Board of Education voted September 9 to approve the 2013-14 budget, which was reviewed and discussed at several public meetings during the last few months. All decisions regarding District 58's budget were made with the district's mission first and foremost, which is, in partnership with parents and community, 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.  


Click here for the full story.  

Board building tour dates set 


Summer construction 2013
Click the image above to check out a video spotlighting our capital projects this summer!

Each year, members of the District 58 Board of Education tour the schools on various evenings throughout the school year to experience first-hand the buildings and classrooms. This year's building tours will kick off on Monday, September 23 with a visit to two buildings where significant work was accomplished over the summer: Hillcrest School, where beautiful new carpeting and tile was installed in the classrooms, hallways and library, and Pierce Downer School, where a three-classroom addition and library remodel, as well as new flooring, were accomplished.  


Information also will be provided regarding the many capital improvement projects completed at schools throughout District 58, including flooring and asphalt replacements, security and fire alarm upgrades, painting, and the addition.


"Each of the capital improvement projects completed in District 58 will help us continue to ensure safe, nurturing, child-centered environments for all students," said Superintendent Kari Cremascoli. "We recognize that our district and our students could not achieve such tremendous accomplishments without the support and partnership of our parents, staff and community."


Building tours also are set for Monday, October 21 at Herrick and O'Neill, and on Monday, January 27 at Whittier and Henry Puffer. The public is always welcome to attend. 

E-flyer logo
Community e-flyers  

The following new community e-flyers have been posted for viewing on the District 58 e-flyer page (click here to visit the page, or click the links below to view individual flyers): 
 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. If you have any questions/comments regarding Communicate 58, or have an article/photo idea for the publication, please contact Communications Coordinator Jennifer Waldorf at or (630) 719-5805. 
Annual Indian Trail kickoff activity makes good 'cents'


A penny may not seem like much, but the small coin has created a treasure trove of memories for Indian Trail School students.


In what has become a first-day tradition, each student and staff member is given a penny, and everyone gathers outside. After Principal Robin Bruebach shares some inspirational words, everyone holds up their penny and makes a wish for the year.


Bruebach then asks everyone to look at their penny. They all look different, she points out, but they all are worth a penny. The same is true of all of us--while we may look different, we truly all have the same worth.


"I have all my pennies from every year and I know many kids treasure them and keep them, too," said LRC Director Taffy Sanger.  


Orchestra students participate in yoga party

Photo gallery 


On September 4, members of Colleen Eakley's orchestra classes swapped their instruments, scales and harmonies for sun salutations, downward dog and tree pose.


Dozens of students gathered in the band room at O'Neill Middle School for a yoga party led by Hillcrest parent Sue Gervase, founder of When Gervase presented the idea to Hillcrest staff, it immediately piqued the interest of Eakley, who teaches orchestra at O'Neill, Indian Trail, Hillcrest, Kingsley and Fairmount.


For about an hour, the students watched Gervase and carefully bent, stretched and balanced as she led them in trying a series of poses at a variety of levels of difficulty.


Eakley said she took a class this summer that discussed overall health and wellness of string players, and how vital it is to be aware of one's body and posture to avoid pain and injury while playing. Her instructor mentioned that yoga is a great way to create this awareness, as well as bring together physical motion with breathing, which are vital aspects of playing violin, viola, cello, bass, or any other instrument, she said.


"When I saw that Sue was offering free yoga parties, I jumped at the opportunity. Many of the kids had done some yoga before and for most kids it was a new experience," Eakley said. "I look forward to continuing to incorporate activities that promote my students' overall well being to enhance and spice up their education!"

Find District 58 on social media


Like us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube

Follow #dg58learns on Twitter to come along with us on our journey of learning!  
Upcoming events
September 13
Herrick band plays at DGN football game, 7 p.m.

September 16
Preschool screenings, AM

September 17
North side beginning band/orchestra registration, 5-8:30, Herrick

Special Services Parent Group meeting, 5:15-6:30, Indian Trail--TOPIC: ADD/ADHD

September 18
Half-day student attendance day -- SCHEDULE

September 19
South side beginning instrumental music parent meeting, 7-8 p.m., O'Neill

September 20
September 21
South side beginning band-orchestra sign-up, 9 a.m.-noon, O'Neill

September 23
Board building tour, Hillcrest and Pierce Downer, 7-8:30 p.m.

September 24
Policy Committee Meeting, 7 a.m., ASC

September 26
September 30
Click here to view the full calendar. You can use the drop-down menu and icons to customize your view (day, week, month, list!)

Board Briefs
Some highlights from the September 9 Board of Education meeting:

--Representatives from the Fairmount student council led the board and the audience in the flag salute, and reported on their activities.

--Director of Technology Scott Meech shared an update on the District's journey and recent successes (see story, above left).

--Superintendent Kari Cremascoli reported that the District's enrollment had increased this year by 158 students in comparison with figures from the same time last year.

--Cremascoli reported that a team of District staff is in communications with the Downers Grove Park District regarding facility rental/sharing.

--Cremascoli publicly recognized the families and individuals who serve as educators, ambassadors and advocates for individuals with Down Syndrome.

Quick links