Communicate 58
Latest news from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 5, Issue 3
September 27, 2013

Community leaders get a look at facilities projects 


On September 23, Downers Grove community leaders joined District 58 board members, administrators and staff to celebrate the capital projects completed throughout the District this summer. In addition to reviewing the District's accomplishments, participants also toured Hillcrest and Pierce Downer schools.


"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," said District 58 Superintendent Kari Cremascoli. "This year, in recognition of their support and partnership, we invited several of our community leaders to attend our first building tour of the year to celebrate with us the completion of our many capital improvement projects."


Among those in attendance were representatives from the Downers Grove Village Council, the Downers Grove Park District, local community organizations including the Grove Foundation, past and current members of the District's Financial Advisory Committee, District 58 staff, including the co-presidents of the Downers Grove Elementary Education Association, and the Hillcrest and Pierce Downer PTAs. Also in attendance were Sen. Christine Radogno (R-41st District) and a representative from the office of U.S. Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL 11th District).   


In the foyer at Hillcrest, photographs of projects completed at each of our schools district-wide were on display. This included flooring and asphalt replacements, security and fire alarm upgrades, painting, and an addition at Pierce Downer. The tour at Hillcrest spotlighted the colorful new carpeting and tile that was installed in the classrooms, hallways and library, and the tour at Pierce Downer School featured the three-classroom addition and library remodel, as well as colorful new flooring.


District earns communications awards from state association

District 58 earned four communications awards from the Illinois chapter of the National School Public Relations Association for publications and projects produced during the 2012-13 school year.


District 58 earned an Award of Excellence, INSPRA's highest honor, for its website, District 58 earned Awards of Merit for the 2012 Annual Report to the Community, the Inside 58 staff newsletter, and the Schools of 58 Handbook for Families. The awards were presented during a ceremony Sept. 20.


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 Mary Todoric, Director of Communications for Community High School District 128. "It also allows communications professionals to receive feedback in order to improve and better serve their school communities."

Reminder: Digital Learning Workshops

In partnership with the Downers Grove Public Library, the district is hosting a series of parent education sessions focusing on how digital devices can be used to support learning. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about the unique opportunities that digital tools provide, including executive functioning skills such as calendaring, task management, reminders, communication, and organization. Participants also can learn more about accessing the library's digital materials, as well as Internet safety and digital citizenship. Upcoming Digital Learning workshops are scheduled on the following dates/times at the Downers Grove Public Library, 1050 Curtiss St.:

  • Monday, September 30, 7 p.m.
  • Wednesday, October 16, 9:30 a.m.  
  • Friday, November 15, 1 p.m.
  • Monday, December 2, 7 p.m. 

The events are open to all interested parents and community members.   


 Visit our Parent Tech Support page to check out resources shared at previous workshops! 

Around the District

Herrick team-building day fosters unity


Herrick Middle School students spent the morning of September 18 tying themselves up in knots, working together to move and stack cups using loops made of rubber bands, solving a mystery, and crossing a hot lava lake outside.


This was the school's annual Team Day, and the focus is on the students having fun, getting to know one another, and working together.


"The goals of Team Day are to build upon the positive start to the school year by providing activities that promote teamwork, good citizenship, and working creatively to overcome challenges," said Principal Jason Lynde.


Click here for more photos from the day!  


Hillcrest hosts Staley Da Bear for anti-bullying assembly

On Monday, September 16, the Chicago Bears' very own mascot, Staley, stopped by Hillcrest School for its kick-off assembly, Bear Down on Bullies. Everyone cheered and danced with Staley as he educated students and staff on five different types of bullies by role-playing his own experiences. Hillcrest also received a player-autographed banner to display as a reminder and encouragement to "Bear down on Bullies."

Click here for more photos from the event!

O'Neill has reading POWER

Wednesday mornings are POWER hours at O'Neill Middle School. POWER stands for Power of Words Everyone Reads, and from 8:33 until 9:07 a.m. on that day each week, everyone in the building reads something of their choice.

"It is so quiet, and the students and teachers really seem to enjoy it," said O'Neill Middle School Principal Christine Clavenna.
What's new on 58 Doing Good?

58 Doing Good is designed to spotlight for our community the many wonderful service projects completed by District 58's students, staff and schools. These not only make a big difference for those who receive the items and donations, they also cultivate a spirit of giving, civic responsibility, generosity and compassion in the next generation of leaders. These stories and photos are featured at


Puffer fourth grader named Kohl's Kids Who Care winner in recognition of donation projects
Henry Puffer fourth grader Gabriella Frank was named the  Kohl's Kids Who Care store winner for the Downers Grove location for 2013.  Gabriella collected and donated over 120 books, 120 pencils, and 100 boxes of crayons to a low-income early childhood school in Jamaica. She is collecting more books for a future trip to the school, and is accepting donations of gently used softcover books at her school. 

In recognition of her 10th year, Gabriella also is working on a project where she has been donating 100 items each month to various charities. The charities have included the Jamaica school, Sharing Connections, West Suburban Humane Society, and other local programs.

Pierce Downer second-grade students collecting toys and books for Noah's Hope
Second-grade students at Pierce Downer are collecting gently used toys and books to raise money for Noah's Hope, founded by the family of two Downers Grove children who are battling LINCL-Batten disease. The Second Chance Toy Sale will take place at the school, 1436 Grant St., on Saturday, October 19, from 9 a.m. until noon. All money raised will go directly to the Batten Child Population Collection, a new initiative to collect data from all children and families affected by Batten Disease. For more information about Noah's Hope, visit If you are interested in donating toys or books, e-mail 


Heard of a project or fundraiser we should feature? Share the information with Communications Coordinator Jennifer Waldorf by e-mailing or calling (630) 719-5805!  


E-flyer logo
Community e-flyers  
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.

Downers Grove Fire Department Fire Prevention Week activities
 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. 

Find District 58 on social media


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Follow #dg58learns on Twitter to come along with us on our journey of learning!  
Upcoming events
September 30
October 1 
Herrick combined orchestra rehearsal -- D58/D99 -- 4 p.m., Downers Grove North

October 2 
Parent Assessment Orientation, 1 p.m., Downers Grove Public Library

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

October 14 
Columbus Day -- no school 

October 15 
Board of Education meeting, 7 p.m., Longfellow

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