Communicate 58
Latest news from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 5, Issue 8
December 5, 2013
District 58 schools take action to help central Illinois tornado victims

When disaster struck central Illinois last month in the form of a devastating tornado, District 58 students and staff sprang into action. Over the past few weeks, schools have participated in a variety of collection drives and fundraisers to help the tornado victims.  
District 58 student projects selected to advance to regional Reflections

Nearly 60 District 58 student projects were selected to move on to the regional level of judging in this year's Reflections, a PTA arts recognition and achievement program. All students who entered a piece, as well as those who advanced to the regional level, were recognized during a ceremony Dec. 3 at Herrick Middle School.

Board reviews financial projections, facilities planning  

An important goal of District 58 is to maintain a balanced budget as well as its strong financial integrity. At the same time, District 58 works to ensure the safety of its students and protect the community's investment in the District's buildings. During a Board of Education workshop November 25, District 58 Controller James Popernik presented an update to the District's financial forecast, as well as an update on the District's continuing work in the area of facilities planning.  


Click here for the full story. 

District 58 reminds parents, community about inclement weather notification procedures


Should it become necessary to close school for the safety of our students, District 58 utilizes numerous tools to notify parents and community members.  


District 58 utilizes an automated calling system to alert parents of school closings. Parents are encouraged to make sure that their child's school has their most up-to-date contact information. New this year, District 58 is also offering parents the option to receive a text message, in addition to a phone call and e-mail, in the event of a school closure. To opt in, simply text YES to 68453.  


In addition to the automated calling system, District 58 posts information on its website,, and places a message on the district's answering machine, which can be accessed by calling (630) 719-5800. The district also notifies the following radio/TV stations from which the official announcement is made: WBBM (780), WGN (720), CBS Ch 2, NBC Ch 5, ABC Ch 7, WGH Ch 9, FOX 32, and CLTV.


Parents may also check the status of the district or their school by going to and searching for the school facility or school closings. Parents are asked not to call their child's individual school to check on whether classes will take place.  

Science Fair registration due Dec. 20 


chemistry-boy.jpg All first through eighth grade students in District 58, as well as students whose parents are involved with Friends of the Gifted (FRoG) and live within the District 58 boundaries, are invited to submit projects for the annual science fair co-sponsored by Downers Grove Grade School District 58 and FRoG. The fair, which will take place Saturday, Feb. 1 at O'Neill Middle School, is non-competitive for students in first and second grade, and children in third through eighth grade can choose to enter competitively or non-competitively. Registration forms are due by Friday, Dec. 20. For more information, visit The fair will be open to the public from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Feb. 1, and everyone is encouraged to come and see the many creative, well-researched projects on display!

Grove Preschool to host open house for current, prospective families  


District 58's Grove Children's Preschool program will host a Winter Open House for all current and prospective families from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, January 15.  Current families will have the opportunity to celebrate their child's work, and all prospective families are invited to attend to learn more about the program and visit with staff.


Grove Children's Preschool class sessions take place at Henry Puffer School, 2220 Haddow Ave., and at Indian Trail School, 6235 Stonewall Ave. Prospective families are welcome to attend the open house at either location. However, please note that while Grove Preschool makes every attempt to consider parent requests for location and session times, student assignments within the program are determined by staff at the time of enrollment.  


The goal of the Grove Children's Preschool program is to meet the developmental and individual needs of all children in a safe, inclusive and nurturing environment, while promoting educational success through engaging and collaborative learning experiences.


Grove Children's Preschool is a blended early childhood program. The program serves students from three different student populations: tuition paying, students with identified disabilities, and students who have qualified for the district Preschool For All program as the result of being found to be at-risk for potential future academic difficulties through the district preschool screening process.


For more information on Grove Children's Preschool, visit, or call (630) 968-0454.  


District 58 has four preschool screening dates remaining in 2013-14. Screenings are designed to identify three- to five-year-old children who may require special education services, as well as identify children who might be at risk for future academic difficulties due to environmental, cultural, or socio-economic factors. Preschool screenings are available free of charge to District 58 residents. For more information about preschool screening, including upcoming dates, visit

Around the District

El Sierra solar panels spotlighted at village workshop


Last year El Sierra School earned a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to have a set of solar panels installed, making it the second District 58 school to make use of the alternate energy source. Hillcrest installed solar panels in 2010 with a grant from the same organization.  


The El Sierra PTA spearheaded the school's grant application, and on November 18, El Sierra Principal Lucille Carney and PTA Past President Laura Kamedulski shared information about the school's solar panels at a Village of Downers Grove workshop on residential solar panels. During the workshop, which was attended by more than 70 residents, Carney and Kamedulski talked about the benefits of the system from an energy-generating standpoint and from an educational standpoint. Students are using the data from the photovoltaic panels in various ways in lessons, ranging from tracking solar data as the seasons change to using sunrise and sunset times to measure the amount of daily daylight. The live solar panel data from El Sierra is available at  

Kingsley marks 50th anniversary

Nearly 300 students, staff, families and retirees, as well as a dozen members of the Kingsley family and several local dignitaries, took part in a 50th anniversary celebration of Kingsley School on Nov. 24. The date was chosen because the original dedication of the school took place exactly 50 years ago to the day and date -- Sunday, Nov. 24, 1963.


Hundreds of well-wishers were treated to performances by the school's band, choir and orchestra. The student council presented information on the background of the school's namesake, James. W. Kingsley. Words of dedication and thanks were shared by School Board President Sallie Lupescu, Superintendent Kari Cremascoli, Principal Mark Stange, Assistant Principal Elynn Cunningham, PTA President Michelle Mungerson, reading specialist Cathy Seiden and U.S. Rep. Ron Sandack. All who spoke shared that Kingsley is truly a community and a family, where everyone supports and cares for one another.

Herrick celebrates 60th anniversary

November 21 marked the 60th day of Herrick's 60th year.  Students and staff played party games all week during lunch, including Duck Pond and Spartan Buckets. On November 21, eight brave staff members volunteered to be HMS celebrities and take a pie in the face. Each pie cost $1, and a total of $610.45 was raised for the Illinois Association for Junior High Student Councils State Service Project Camp Counts for Kids. 

Belle Aire students read to the dogs 


Therapy dogs recently returned to Belle Aire School as part of the PTA-sponsored LRC Family Night. Students read aloud to a trained volunteer therapy dog and the dog's faithful companion.  

Readers gain confidence and fluency, and have an opportunity to bond with a dog trained by the Delta Society or Therapy Dogs International.  
What's new on 58 Doing Good?

58 Doing Good was created to spotlight for our community the many wonderful service projects completed by District 58's students, staff and schools. Not only do these 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.

Visit the 58 Doing Good page,, to read about these and other projects:

O'Neill Silver Cluster meets 179 percent of food drive goal for FISH pantry

Throughout the month of November, the seventh grade Silver Cluster students at O'Neill Middle School participated in a food drive to benefit families in District 58. Using the school report card, students calculated the exact number of cans they needed to collect so that every low-income household in the district would be the recipient of a food item. Once the math calculations were done, students set out to reach a goal of donating 465 cans of food.  


At first the task seemed a bit daunting, but not surprisingly, Silver Cluster students met the challenge put before them.  


They worked hard to advertise and collect items for the Downers Grove FISH food pantry. The day before Thanksgiving break, the students worked together to count the total number of items they collected. The final count was 833 donated food items. Using the figure for total number of items collected, the students calculated that they met 179 percent of their food drive goal.  


As a celebration for achieving their goal and for reflecting on all that they were thankful for, the students and Silver Cluster staff participated in a Thanksgiving Hobble Gobble. There was much enthusiasm and spirit as students and staff walked, jogged, and ran around the neighborhood surrounding O'Neill. The Hobble Gobble Tuesday was a perfect start to the holiday break!  


Herrick, Whittier students play 'Santa'  

for Toys for Tots 


Students from Herrick Middle School, along with several members of Whittier School's second-grade Brownie troop, played Secret Santa for a DuPage County Toys for Tots event November 22 at Toys R Us on Butterfield Road.  


Kids know what kids like, and the students made the gift-buying decisions for Toys for Tots. After Toys for Tots made the purchases, the students helped load the toys onto a trailer and bring them to the Toys for Tots warehouse in Lombard. Once they were unloaded, they were sorted and ready to be distributed to the neediest children in DuPage County. In 2012, DuPage County's Toys for Tots distributed 51,434 toys to the neediest children in DuPage and Kane County, and the goal this year is to exceed those numbers.


"On November 22, District 58 students helped add a few extra smiles. It just proves you are never too young to make a difference in someone's life!" wrote Matt and Sharon Passero, who helped to organize the students' participation in the activity. 

Special Services Parent Group meeting to focus on Social-Emotional Learning programs in District 58

school-group.jpg The next meeting of the District 58 Special Services Parent Group, scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 10 at 5:30 p.m., will feature a presentation by a panel of District 58 teachers and social workers about Social-Emotional Learning programs in District 58.

A District 58 education focuses on the whole child, and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) is an important component. SEL, as defined by the not-for-profit Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL), is ''the process whereby children and adults develop essential social and emotional skills, knowledge and attitudes'' related to the core areas of social and emotional competency:

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills
  • Responsible decision-making

Over the past few years, District 58, led by its Social-Emotional Learning committee, has focused on incorporating SEL at the district, building and classroom levels. District 58's goal is to create a learning environment where students show up eager to learn; feel a sense of connectedness to their school and teachers; feel safe from being treated poorly; perform to their fullest potential; treat all others with respect; and contribute to the well-being of the community.


The Special Services Parent Group meeting will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. December 10, at Indian Trail School, 6235 Stonewall Ave., Downers Grove. Pizza and pop will be served at 5:15 p.m. Please RSVP to Cindy Gilbert at (630) 719-5824 or


District 58's Special Services Parent Group, facilitated by the District 58 Office of Special Services, offers an opportunity to meet in an informal setting and hear from speakers, share special education information and learn about new resources.

Upcoming events

Lester PTA to host Holly Days shopping bazaar


Lester School, 236 Indianapolis Ave., will host its third annual Holly Days Holiday Bazaar from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.


The event will feature festive, unique and handmade items from more than 25 local vendors and craftspeople including jewelry, clothing and accessories, desserts and food, candles, home accessories and more. Bring your camera for a visit with Santa! There will also be more than $600 in raffle prizes for kids and adults, mini manicures, chair massages, a kids activity area, haircuts for the whole family, complementary gift wrapping, food and drink, entertainment, and free goodie bags for the first 50 guests. A portion of all sales fund academic enrichment and community building activities provided by the Lester School PTA. For more information, contact Pamela Nicholas at

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 North Athena Dance Clinic -- event February 8 


Downers Grove North boys baseball skills camp -- event January 18 



Downers Grove Park District Winter Break Escapes -- Dec.23-27 and Dec. 30 through Jan. 3    


DuPage Children's Museum December 2013 events and activities 


Eighth grade testing dates for high school Honors English 





Roadrunners Soccer Club winter soccer camp -- event Jan. 2-3 


St. Joseph's Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championship flyer, registration/entry form -- event January 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. 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!  
Save the date for the Family Fitness Fair!
Save the date...District 58 will be hosting a Family Fitness Fair on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at O'Neill Middle School! The event will take place from 6 to 8 p.m., with a variety of fun activities and sessions for families to try. Stay tuned for more details after winter break!
Upcoming events
December 5

North side fifth and sixth grade orchestra concert, 7 p.m., Herrick Middle School

South side band concert, 7 p.m., O'Neill Middle School

December 9

Regular Board of Education Meeting, 7 p.m., Longfellow Center

December 10

Special Services Parent Meeting, 5:15 p.m., Indian Trail School

December 16

Preschool screenings, AM only, Indian Trail School

North side elementary band concert, 7 p.m., Herrick Middle School

December 19

Herrick Middle School orchestra Festive String Shindig, 7 p.m., Herrick

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

December 23 through January 3

Winter break

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

Fighting the flu


Flu season is upon us. Let's keep our schools healthy! The flu is a serious illness. On average, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized each year because of complications from the flu. Influenza causes more hospitalizations among young children than any other vaccine-preventable disease.


What YOU can do:


The single best way to protect against seasonal flu and its potential severe complications is for children (and adults) to get a seasonal influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is recommended for children aged 6 months and older.  


Making healthy choices at school and at home can help prevent the flu and spreading the flu to others. Children, parents, and staff should take the following everyday preventive actions:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or
    sneeze. Throw the tissue away after use and wash your hands. If a tissue is not available, cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve, not your hand.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.

To find a flu clinic near you, go to


Click here to view a flu prevention flyer from the DuPage County Health Department.