Communicate 58
Latest news from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 5, Issue 11
February 6, 2014
Student scientists share their findings at 2014 District 58 Science Fair
District 58 Science Fair 2014
Nearly 600 student scientists shared their learning with 100 volunteer judges during the District 58 Science Fair Feb. 1. Check out the video above (or click here to access the YouTube link) for some highlights from the morning!
Lester P.E. teacher earns PTA Lifetime Achievement Award

If jumping rope for three hours doesn't get your heart going, then perhaps a surprise award will.

On January 25, Physical Education instructor Pat Brown was busy hosting Lester's annual Jump Rope for Heart fundraising event -- as she has done for the past 26 years -- when Principal Carin Novak, Lester PTA officers and a crowd of parents and friends gave her a surprise. They presented Brown with the National PTA Life Achievement Award, the highest honor from the nation's largest child advocacy organization.


"This award is given to someone who goes above and beyond for all children, and acts as a tireless advocate for children's education, health and well-being. No one embodies that more than Pat Brown," said Lester PTA President Ann Cummins.      


  Conversations with Dr. C.

Click the links below to check out two of the newest videos in our Conversations with Dr. C. series, in which District 58 Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli chats with students about their journey of learning and discovery in District 58!

To watch other Conversations with Dr. C. videos, visit our YouTube channel at! 

District 58 student projects chosen to advance to state level of Reflections

Projects by more than a dozen District 58 students have been selected to advance to the state level of Reflections, a PTA art recognition and achievement program.

Click here to see the full list of those advancing! 
Hillcrest sixth-grader's composition takes first place in statewide contest

Hillcrest sixth-grader Miles Teague can add award-winning songwriter to his list of accomplishments.


His original piece, "Inspiration - Part 1 and 2," earned first place for an instrumental solo in the middle school (sixth through eighth grade) division in the Illinois Music Education Association All-State Music Composition Contest.


Miles, who plays the French horn and is a member of his school's sixth-grade band, began taking piano lessons about five and a half years ago, and started writing music a few years after that.


"I love composing -- I love how free you can be. There really are no rules, and no right or wrong. You can be who you want to be when you're creating a music composition," Miles said.


He originally began composing "Inspirations" to enter in the PTA Reflections arts contest. But when his dad, Downers Grove North High School fine arts department chair Brayer Teague, told Miles the IMEA had added a sixth through eighth grade level to its annual composition contest, Miles decided he would submit his piece there.


Shortly before winter break Miles learned that his composition had earned first place, and on January 25, he attended the IMEA conference in Peoria to receive his award in person.


"We are so proud of Miles for going above and beyond!" said his band teacher, Christine Kaminski.

Upcoming parent learning opportunities

Feb. 11: Supporting students' mental health

The next meeting of the District 58 Special Services Parent Group will feature a presentation by NAMI DuPage entitled "Parents and Teachers as Partners: Supporting the Mental Health of Students." All interested District 58 parents are welcome.


The meeting will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, February 11, 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


Feb. 13: Digital Citizenship parent night


On Thursday, Feb. 13, the District 58 Education Foundation will present a Education Foundation logo parent education night entitled "Digital Citizenship: How to Create a Positive Digital Culture for 6th- 8th Grade Students." The event will take place at 7 p.m. at Herrick Middle School, 4435 Middaugh Ave., and is open to all interested District 58 parents.  


The session will emphasize the need for creating a positive digital culture within your household and community, while highlighting current trends and digital platforms. Melissa Hemzacek, MSW, an internet safety specialist from the Illinois Attorney General's Office - High Tech Crimes Bureau, will discuss digital citizenship, self-representation, cyberbullying, and online predation. The workshop will also highlight available resources that will assist parents in facilitating conversations with their children about digital safety.  


Click here to register for this free event. 

For information and resources on Internet safety, visit

Feb. 15: District 58 Strategic Plan Action Goals


On Saturday, Feb. 15, as part of the Friends of the Gifted Saturday Speaker Series, District 58 Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli will present an update on the Strategic Plan Action Goals of District 58, along with time for Q&A. The event will take place at 10 a.m. Feb. 15 at O'Neill Middle School, 635 59th St., and is open to all.

District 58 to host kindergarten roundups for incoming parents

young-boy-reading.jpg Parents of incoming District 58 kindergartners will have the opportunity to visit their school, meet the principal and staff, and get their questions answered during the upcoming annual Kindergarten Roundups. Parents whose children will be five years old on or before September 1, 2014, are encouraged to call their neighborhood elementary school prior to the kindergarten roundup for information about registration.
Online registration is coming!

District 58 families will have the option to register their children online for the 2014-15 school year. Details will be sent to families later this winter. At least for the coming school year, families still will have the option to complete their registration offline if they prefer.

Around the District

District 58 schools donating for FISH van


The FISH food pantry in Downers Grove is raising funds to purchase a new cargo van for food pickups and deliveries, and several District 58 schools have signed on to help.


In honor of the 100th day of school on Feb. 11, each grade level at Henry Puffer is collecting 100 of a particular item for FISH. The sixth graders are collecting funds to donate for the van, and other grade-level collections include 100 cans of soup, 100 cans of vegetables, and 100 boxes of pasta.


El Sierra also will be donating $100 to the FISH van fundraiser using money they have collected from school fundraisers such as Holiday Smencils and anti-bully bracelets. The El Sierra student council also conducted its annual SOUP-er Bowl last week. There were two bins, one for each team playing the Super Bowl, and the students brought in cans of soup and placed them in their favorite team's bin. All soup was donated to the FISH pantry.  

The Pierce Downer student council, which works with FISH each year, has asked staff to donate money to wear jeans each day this week to raise money for the FISH van. O'Neill Middle School will donate part of the proceeds from their Valentine's Day candy grams to the FISH van campaign, and Whittier plans to donate $100 to FISH using money from their Valentine's Day fundraiser: the sale of Charms lollipops, in hopes that the students have a "charming" Valentine's Day. 


Strictly ballroom: O'Neill eighth graders get lessons in dance, etiquette during special Friday classes


When it comes time to go to homecoming, prom, or a special family occasion, more than 125 eighth graders at O'Neill Middle School will more than likely have the smoothest moves on the dance floor--and fantastic etiquette, to boot.   


This marks the 24th year that O'Neill has hosted a course in dance and etiquette. The classes, a youth offering of May I Have This Dance called "Dancing With Class", take place each Friday night for about six weeks. Proper attire is required; the boys wear shirts, slacks and ties, and the girls don dresses.


The students learn dances such as swing, salsa, foxtrot, waltz and tango. They also learn a variety of etiquette skills, including how to go through a buffet line, give a proper handshake, and--for the boys--how to tie a tie and help a girl off with her coat. Everyone learns how to sit properly, with good posture. They learn how to do a proper introduction. The boys learn to ask a girl politely to dance-and vice versa. Best of all, in this class, no one says no, so it also boosts students' confidence levels.


 Click here to view photos from a recent session!  

    Belle Aire makes a difference with Trash for Cash raffle

By Grace Mulligan, student reporter

Imagine making money for donating your garbage. It is true! Students from Belle Aire School donate their trash in order to raise money for the PTA.

Belle Aire students collect health and beauty product packaging, diaper and diaper wipe packaging, as well as glue stick and bottle containers. As a reward for donating their trash the students are entered into a "Trash for Cash" raffle. This year eight lucky winners received prizes such as toys, $25 Target gift cards and the grand prize winner was awarded a $50 Target gift card. It really does pay to help the environment.

Once the trash is collected it is donated to Terracycle, a company that recycles and repurposes the materials by creating affordable products for consumers. The trash, which could sadly end up in landfills, is turned into such products as notebooks, pencil boxes, insulated coolers and even park benches. Students at Belle Aire are learning a valuable lesson about environmental awareness and have proven their dedication to saving the earth. 
Juggler entertains El Sierra families

El Sierra's recent annual Family Reading Night was a huge success. Children and parents were entertained by Dan Kirk, the Juggler with the Yellow Shoes, in a fun, interactive and lively performance. In addition, students participated in a book exchange in which they brought a book from home to exchange for another book. Each student also was entered into a raffle, where they had the opportunity to win a new book. They even had a chance to win juggling balls provided by Mr. Kirk!

Whittier fifth graders tackle cow-eye dissection

Last week Whittier fifth grade students donned goggles and gloves, and worked together on a truly hands-on science lesson: the dissection of cow eyes. The dissection is part of the fifth grade science curriculum.

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.


District 58 Special Services Parent Group meeting -- Supporting the Mental Health of Students -- event Feb. 11 


Downers Grove Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry annual stair climb -- event Feb. 8 


Downers Grove DOLLS softball registration -- deadline Feb. 15 


DLD Dance Company presents Beauty and the Beast -- event Feb. 22 


Downers Grove Junior Woman's Club Junior High Art Contest -- entries due March 4 


Downers Grove North Athena Dance Clinic -- event February 8  


Downers Grove Public Library bookmark contest flyer and entry form 

Downers Grove rain garden workshop -- event Feb. 25  


Downers Grove South Daddy-Daughter Dance -- event March 22 


Downtown Downers Grove Ice Fest -- event Feb. 7-9 


DuPage Children's Museum -- February 2014 events and activities 


Friends of the Gifted Super Saturday classes -- beginning Feb. 8 


Fullersburg Woods maple syrup program -- event March 2 


Grove Foundation Passport to Fine Dining -- event Feb. 27 


Health Fair at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church -- event March 1  



  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. 

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Follow #dg58learns on Twitter to come along with us on our journey of learning!  
Family Fit Fair set for March 6
District 58 will host a Family Fit Fair on Thursday, March 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at O'Neill Middle School, 635 59th St.

The event will feature fitness- and health-related exhibits, a variety of classes for students and their families to participate in together, and giveaways and demonstrations by local businesses and organizations.

For more information, or to sign on to have your organization or business participate, e-mail, or  
Upcoming events

February 8

North side band and orchestra solo day, 8 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Herrick Middle School

February 10

Regular Board of Education meeting, 7 p.m., Longfellow

February 11

Special Services Parent Group meeting, 5:15 p.m., Indian Trail

February 12

Legislative Committee meeting, 3:45 p.m., ASC

South side 6th grade and O'Neill band/orchestra solo night, 5:30-9 p.m., O'Neill

February 17

Presidents Day -- no school

February 22

Students Involved with Technology conference, 8:30 a.m., Herrick Middle School

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