Communicate 58
Latest news from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 6 Issue 2
Monday, Sept. 29, 2014
58 Doing Good:
Schools donate more than $5,000 for ALS research

District 58 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Highlights
District 58 participated in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, raising more than $5,000 to support ALS research. Here's a fun 48-second video recapping the excitement! Thanks to everyone who donated.

This summer, ALS Ice Bucket Challenges flooded social media channels across the nation. People nominated friends to either donate to ALS research or get a ice water bucket dumped on them (or, in many cases, both). 

Locally, many District 58 schools got involved. Not only did schools donate more than $5,000 to support ALS research, the cold buckets of water proved tremendously helpful during the late August/early September heatwave.
Indian Trail Principal Robin Bruebach and Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli smile brightly after Downers Grove firefighters poured ice water over their heads for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Sept 12.
But, for some District 58 teachers and students, the challenge held even greater meaning.

"ALS runs in my family," said Dr. Meg Van Dyke, a seventh grade science teacher at O'Neill. "My family participates in a Northwestern study on ALS. This additional funding will help on a personal level. I greatly appreciate your support."

ALS is a disease that damages motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. This causes muscles to grow weaker, gradually paralyzing the body. Currently, there is no way to prevent or cure ALS.

Dr. Van Dyke said she had a meaningful conversation on ALS with her students. She asked her class if they were familiar with ALS and how it affected people.

"It turns out, many of my students knew about ALS. They knew people with it. Some had family with ALS," Dr. Van Dyke said. "It's much more prevalent than you'd think."

To learn more about ALS or to donate, visit 

Whittier Principal Michael Krugman gets a bucket of water dumped on him for the #ALSIceBucketChallenge. Whittier School raised $1,873.40 to support ALS research. 

O'Neill kids ponder their future at Career Exploration Day


What do you get when an accountant, a lawyer and a doctor meet up? Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? 


Not in this case! The trio met up at O'Neill Middle School on Sept. 18 to share their work experiences with eighth graders. Other professions joining them included an architect, soldier, automotive technician, communicator, firefighter, businessman, environmental educator, information technology specialist, pharmacist, scientist and supply chain manager.


Organized by Junior Achievement, O'Neill's annual Career Exploration Day connects eighth graders to professionals in fields students have specifically requested to learn more about.

"Who here has ever had to help your parents with their smartphones?" Pacenti asked. "Like smartphones, technology in vehicles keeps improving, and part of our occupation is to constantly keep up with it."

Students could attend three different career presentations throughout the morning.


Dominic Pacenti of the Technology Center of DuPage shared his experiences in the automotive industry.


"You're going to make consistent money all the time. It might not be a ton of money, but it's consistent," he said. "So, over time, it ends up being a lot of money. That's the security of our industry. There's always work to do. It might not be glamorous and the hours may be long, but you will be able to sustain life, have a family and eventually own nice things."


Adrian Sakowicz, director of communications for the Dover Corporation, explained the significance of branding to eighth graders interested in communications and public relations. 

"What does this symbol mean?"  he asked students, pointing to the familiar image of golden arches in the shape of an "M."  

 "McDonalds!" said the eighth graders.

 "But how do you know? This image doesn't have the word McDonalds written on it. You know it because of good branding."
Sgt. Elfering answers questions about careers in the Army and his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Meanwhile, in another classroom, Sgt. David Elfering shared his experiences in the U.S. Army.

"I was serving in Iraq when Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003," he said.

In the green career classroom, an environmental educator and retired science teacher shared the importance of conserving energy. When asked to pick their favorite power, students picked electricity.... only after realizing that without it, they wouldn't be able to use their smartphones or play video games.


Herrick Middle School eighth graders will have their own Career Exploration Day on Nov. 21. 

How could the proposed 
Senate Bill 16 affect District 58?


The Illinois Senate Education Funding Advisory Committee proposed a bill called Senate Bill 16 this summer. If enacted into law, Senate Bill 16, or SB16, would dramatically reduce state funding to District 58 by redistributing state aid to districts in other parts of Illinois.


Generally, school districts with higher assessed property values like ours would receive much less state funding.  All but one school district in DuPage County stands to lose a combined $140 million.


SB16 is modeled after an effort in Massachusetts. Their General Assembly provided $1 billion in new money. There is no new money in SB16. This legislation is a redistribution of current resources.


The state of Illinois ranks 50th in the nation in education funding. For the past three years, the state has underfunded all school districts by 11 percent.


What is SB16's financial impact on District 58?


It's significant.


If enacted, District 58 would lose 73 percent of its state funding or more than $2 million per year. District 99 would lose 77 percent of its state funding or more than $3 million per year. This would greatly affect the District's ability to provide a quality education to our students and may require us to reduce programs and services.   

See the impact on all DuPage County school districts. 

See the impact across the State of Illinois.


If SB16 is enacted into law, will property taxes be raised?


District 58 cannot raise additional taxes without a referendum. District 58 has not passed an education fund referendum since 1951.  


The district's levy does increase annually, but only by a factor of inflation and any new growth in the district.


Then, if SB becomes law, how would District 58 make up lost funding?

District 58 would have to cut $2.1 million from its existing budget to keep a structurally balanced budget.

Balancing the budget and any possible reductions would likely be part of the budget planning process for the upcoming school year. The Board of Education's Financial Workshop takes place Monday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Longfellow Center, 1435 Prairie Ave.  

Another alternative would be to request a tax increase through a referendum. District 58 has not passed an education fund referendum since 1951. The last attempt at a referendum in 2007 failed. 


Additional resources

Calling all nurses!
Sign up to be a substitute nurse at our schools

Are you a registered nurse? Are you available during school hours? Please consider applying to be a substitute school nurse! District 58's school nurse substitute pool could use some beefing up. Interested parties with active RN or LPN licensure who are also approved subs are welcome to apply online at


School nurses are responsible for medical procedures, medication administration, first aid and health response support for our students, staff and schools.


"We would be happy to provide a brief orientation to our health offices for those who apply prior to being called for coverage," said Assistant Superintendent of Special Services Jessica Stewart.


Substitute positions are currently filled for teachers but open for related service staff such as nurses.

If you have questions, please talk to your child's school nurse or contact Jessica Stewart at or 630-719-5824.

District offers free preschool screenings every month


District 58 will hold a series of preschool screenings to help parents identify and address potential developmental delays in children ages 3-5. The screenings are free, but parents should make an appointment by calling 630-719-5800.

Preschool art project

2014-15 scheduled screenings:


Oct. 27 at Henry Puffer School

Nov. 24 at Indian Trail School

Dec. 8 at Indian Trail School

Jan. 12 at Henry Puffer School

Feb. 2 at Henry Puffer School

March 2 at Indian Trail School

April 13 at Henry Puffer School


Henry Puffer School is located at 2220 Haddow Ave. Indian Trail School is at 6235 Stonewall Ave.


Screenings examine development in speech/language, vision, hearing, cognitive/pre-academic skills, independence, fine and gross motor skills, and social/emotional/behavioral skills. 


"Preschool screening can help to determine if certain children need further evaluation for potential special education eligibility within the school district," said Kacey Lazzarotto, director of Grove Children's Preschool program. "The screening process also helps to identify children who may be eligible to participate in the district Preschool For All program." 


The Preschool For All program serves children who are found to be at-risk for future academic failure as the result of environmental, biological, cultural or socio-economic factors. Program eligibility is determined through a child's participation in the preschool screening process. 

Children found eligible for the Preschool For All program may be invited to participate in high quality early education programming through Grove Preschool at no cost to the parents.  


Preschool screenings take about 90 minutes. Parents must attend with their child.


For more information, call 630-719-5800.

Rules of the road
(some you might not know!)

Does your child take the bus? Good news! According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, riding the bus to school is safer than riding in a 


a passenger vehicle.

To ensure our children continue to travel to school safely, it's our job as drivers to drive cautiously and follow the rules of the road. Some rules aren't what you might think!

The basics.

  • School buses use yellow flashing lights to alert drivers that they are stopping. They use red flashing lights and an extended stop sign to show that the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off.
  • Vehicles should stop at least 20 feet before reaching a stopped school bus to allow children to enter or exit the bus safely.
  • State law requires all school buses to stop at railroad crossing, whether or not students are on board. The bus driver will pull to the right-hand lane, display hazard warning lights, stop the bus, open the driver window and door, look and listen for an approaching train, and then proceed across the tracks. Please be patient when driving behind a school bus!

When do you stop for a bus?

  • It is always illegal to pass a school bus on the right.
  • When a school bus travels on a two-lane roadway and stops to pick up or drop off children, vehicles in all lanes of traffic must stop.

  • When a school bus travels on a four-lane roadway with at least two lanes of traffic traveling in the opposite direction, only lanes of traffic traveling in the same direction of the school bus must stop. Students are not required to cross four or more lanes of traffic to reach their residence.


  • When a school bus travels on a one-way roadway and stops to pick up or drop off children, all lanes of traffic must stop, regardless of the number of lanes.

Be sure to follow these rules; it's the law! Violating the law can lead to citation, fine and loss of license.

Thank you for helping to protect our children.

Learn more bus safety information at   


Images provided by the Illinois State Board of Education.

FAQs about enterovirus D-68


Recent reports of enteroviruses in the region have some people wondering: What is an enterovirus and how do I protect my child from it?


An enterovirus is a common type of respiratory illness that can affect anyone. Enteroviruses are very common, and most people infected with one experience mild or no symptoms.  There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses.


A rarer strain - enterovirus D68 or EV-D68 - has recently caused a few regional hospitalizations for some children and adults.


What are the symptoms of EV-D68?

  • Begins with runny nose, sneezing and cough (similar to a regular cold)
  • May progress to new-onset wheezing
  • Seek medical attention if your child experiences fever, rash, difficulty breathing and worsening of cough.

Who is at higher risk for catching EV-D68?

  • Children, especially those with asthma, a history of breathing problems or weakened immune systems, are more susceptible to EV-D68.

How is EV-D68 spread?

  • EV-D68 is found in saliva, nasal mucus or sputum. It's spread through close contact with an infected individual.

How can I help prevent myself or my child from EV-D68?

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly.
  • Be careful to cough or sneeze into your bent elbow or a tissue to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as your child's toys, door knobs and grocery carts.
  • Do not share straws, utensils or cups with others. Avoid close contact with people who are ill.
  • Stay home when you're sick.

What treatments are available?

  • There isn't a specific medication or vaccination. For mild symptoms, get plenty of rest and fluids, and it should clear up quickly. More severe cases could require hospitalization and intense supportive therapy. This isn't common.

How is EV-D68 diagnosed?

  • A health care provider may conduct a test to detect enterovirus or rhinovirus. To determine if you specifically have EV-D68, specialized testing from the Centers for Disease Control would be needed.

If you have questions, contact the DuPage County Health Department at 630-221-7553.



School spotlight
Pierce Downer rocks out to Welcome Back to School Party


The Pierce Downer PTA hosted a Welcome Back Party for families on Friday, Sept. 19 after school. Party-goers enjoyed fun music, dancing, an open playground and a very popular sno-cone stand.


"The line for the sno-cones circled the building! Everybody wanted one," said Kristin Mitchell, a Pierce Downer parent and district personnel secretary.


The playground bustled with kids - running, skateboarding, dancing, even hula hooping. Check out some highlights below!


Board news
The Downers Grove School District 58 Board of Education held a regular meeting on Monday, Sept. 8. 

Topics included:
  • Whittier School's 2013-14 Student Council members led the flag salute and presented the council's various accomplishments throughout last school year. 
  • Director of Innovative Technology and Learning James Eichmiller shared a 1:1 learning initiative launch update.
  • The Board approved the 2014-15 legal budget.
  • Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli reported on back-to-school news and activities and presented her annual enrollment review.
View Board Briefs online at 

The Board of Education toured Henry Puffer and Herrick schools on Sept. 22, and held a Policy Committee meeting on Sept. 23.

Their next scheduled Board of Education meeting is Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Longfellow Center, 1435 Prairie Ave. The meeting is held on a Tuesday due to the Columbus Day holiday.
Community e-flyers
E-flyer logo
Community e-flyers areposted for viewing on the District 58 e-flyer page. Click here to visit the page, or click the links below to view individual flyers.

Check back on Wednesday, Oct. 1 for new e-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 Community Relations Coordinator Megan Hewitt at or 630-719-5805. 
In this issue
58 Doing Good: Schools donate more than $5,000 for ALS research
O'Neill kids ponder their future at Career Exploration Day
How could the proposed Senate Bill 16 affect District 58?
Calling all nurses! Sign up to be a substitute nurse at our schools
District offers free preschool screenings every month
Rules of the road (some you might not know!)
FAQs about enterovirus D-68
Pierce Downer rocks out to Welcome Back to School Party
Board news
Community e-flyers
Looking ahead

Monday, Oct. 6

Financial Advisory Committee Meeting, 7 a.m., Administrative Service Center

Monday, Oct. 13

Columbus Day - No school
Teachers' workday/staff development day

Tuesday, Oct. 14

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

Wednesday, Oct. 15

Legislative Committee Meeting, 3:45 p.m., Administrative Service Center

View the entire 2014-2015 calendar

Quick Links

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!

Recent #dg58learns highlights:

@Carin_Novak: Hmmm.... what substance is both liquid and solid at room temperature? Our 3rd graders know #dg58learns

@KariCremascoliA super fun visit with 3rd graders at Kingsley! #dg58learns


@MrBelonioIPAD POWER! Our heroes <3 the 1:1 program! #elsierraart #dg58learns


@PrincipalLynde: @ElSierra4th working in guided reading groups. The iPads are great for sharing ideas. #dg58learns 


@KGPrincipalMAS: KG & IT 6th graders getting their orientation at Camp Ed It's going to be a great experience #kingsley58 



@MissRodriguez01We love practicing our math skills! #dg58learns #lester58




SB16: How can I help?


Contact your House representative and express your opinion on this important issue. Tell family and friends about SB16 and encourage them to do the same.


SB16 has already passed the Senate. The House is expected to vote on it this November, after the fall election. District 58 and/or District 99 are served by the following state representatives:


Rep. Jeanne Ives, D42

Rep. Sandra Pihos, D48

Rep. Patricia Bellock, D47


Rep. Jim Durkin, D82



Rep. Ron Sandack, D81 

Rep. Emily McAsey, D85 



You may also use the following tool to look up and contact your legislators: 


For your information, the four senators who serve District 58 and/or District 99 voted as follows:


No - Sen. Michael Connelly, D21


No - Sen. Kirk Dillard, D24

Present (no vote) -
Sen. Christine Radogno, D41


Yes - Sen Pat McGuire, D43


See how other Illinois senators voted