Communicate 58
News from Downers Grove Grade School District 58
Vol. 7 Issue 1
Monday, Aug. 31, 2015
Welcome back to school!
We visited Pierce Downer, Lester, Fairmount and Kingsley to capture the first day excitement.
Greetings from Dr. Cremascoli
Dear Families,

Welcome to the 2015-16 school year! On behalf of District 58, I hope you had a happy and productive first week of school. As I visited several schools during the first week, I observed a buzz of excitement and energy echoing throughout the halls. Students and staff alike were already engaged in projects and class work, and many clamored to share their learning with me!
I am very proud of the important advancements that District 58 recently achieved. This year, every student will have his or her own iPad to enhance learning inside and outside the classroom. We also opened our Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program, and we expanded our Biliteracy Program. Over the summer, our central administrative team worked with many of our teachers to enhance curriculum objectives and develop teacher resources to ensure our students receive the best education. Our technology staff created SQUIRREL, an innovative and secure data portal that will give parents and teachers insights into each student's academic performance and growth. Parents will learn more about SQUIRREL in the coming weeks!

Speaking of summer, our students also worked hard to have fun, build connections with friends, read many good books and practice math, too. We are very proud of all our students' efforts toward summer learning and of the tremendous successes of each of our summer learning programs.
Have a wonderful school year! Thank you for your continued support of District 58.
Kari Cremascoli, Ph.D.
Students celebrate a successful summer of learning and growing

Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli presented certificates to book club participants.
This spring, District 58 challenged students to add some reading and math practice to their summer vacations -- and students overwhelmingly rose to the challenge! 

More than 2,000 students joined the District's summer online learning program, over 600 students attended summer school classes and more than 450 students participated in a summer book club! Many more students independently read and practiced math at home, at the library or through a PTA or community-sponsored summer club. Congratulations!

The District celebrated its summer book club participants with a certificate ceremony on Aug. 20 at McCollum Park. Students enjoyed playing with friends and eating popsicles. The District will continue celebrating all of its students' hard work over the summer. 

"There are no wrong ways to have participated in summer learning. We are
Students enjoyed popsicles at the Aug. 20 summer book club certificate ceremony.
simply super proud of all of our students for their efforts, no matter how big or small," said Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli. "Thank you for supporting and encouraging your child to pick up a good book and to have a little fun with math over this summer." 

If your child tracked his or her summer learning using the paper summer learning chart, please encourage him/her to return their chart to their classroom teacher in the first two weeks of school. District teachers look forward to celebrating their students' successes with them and congratulating them for their efforts toward continued reading and math over the summer. If your child participated in the Online Summer Learning program and tracked their reading online, there is no need to turn in a paper chart. 

Summer facilities update

While students and teachers were off for summer, District 58 facilities staff
El Sierra's new flooring looks great!
geared up for a busy season of construction and maintenance. 

"Everything looks terrific," said Rick Bubula, director of buildings and grounds. "The weather cooperated, so all of our projects finished on time or even ahead of schedule. The majority of District 58's capital projects were completed last summer, so crews and custodians focused most of their efforts on smaller yet impactful updates."
The floors look so shiny. Great work, custodians.
Crews replaced flooring at Belle Aire and El Sierra; paved O'Neill's south parking lots; made playground improvements at Highland and Lester; and prepared for the new Optional Kindergarten Enrichment and Enhancement Program at El Sierra, Henry Puffer, Highland, Indian Trail and Kingsley. 
They also touched up the paint at 10 schools and completed Ten-Year Life Safety Surveys at 12 schools. In addition, custodians gave schools thorough cleanings.

"Custodians remove all desks and furniture from classrooms and clean everything. They strip and wax the floors, wash all furniture and more," Bubula said. "When they finish the room, they close and seal the door to prevent outside dust from entering."
New District 58 teachers enjoy productive opening week of work 


Superintendent Dr. Kari Cremascoli introduces herself to new teachers on Monday, Aug. 17.

 District 58 welcomed many new teachers and staff on Aug. 17 for New Teacher Week. The District's new staff participated in a week-long orientation, during which they received professional development and acclimated themselves to District 58 and their new classrooms and buildings.


During the week, the Downers Grove Lions Club and the Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 both hosted New Teacher Luncheons. New teachers connected with District administrators, Lions Club members and local dignitaries, including Mayor Martin Tully, at the Lions Club luncheon. They listened to presentations about the Education Foundation, Fire Department, Park District, Public Library and Police Department at the Foundation's luncheon.


View more photos and read an entertaining feature about both luncheons here!

District seeks new subs

District 58 seeks new substitute teachers for the 2015-16 school year. Applicants must hold a valid substitute license or teacher's license.

This school year, the District increased its substitute pay rate to $105 (Level 1) and $110 (Level 2) per full day. The half-day rate is $50. District 58 substitutes work from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Half-day subs work from 8 to 11:55 a.m. or 11:56 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

District offers free preschool and developmental screenings

District 58 will offer several free preschool and developmental screenings designed to identify young children who might have developmental delays and who would benefit from special education prior to kindergarten. Screenings can also identify children who might be at risk for future academic success due to environmental, cultural or socio-economic factors.

New this year, the District will offer both traditional preschool screenings for children aged 3-5 years, as well as developmental screenings for children birth through 3 years of age. Screenings will also now take place in two stages. All children must reside within District 58 boundaries to be eligible for a screening.

District 58 highly encourages parents to make a screening appointment if they plan to enroll their child in the District's Grove Children's Preschool program. In addition, parents interested in applying for a tuition waiver via the program's Preschool for All grant are required to have their child complete a preschool screening.

The 2015-16 screenings will take place at Henry Puffer School, 2220 Haddow Ave., from 8-11:30 a.m. on the following days:
  • Monday, Sept. 14
  • Monday, Oct. 19
  • Monday, Nov. 9
  • Monday, Jan. 11
  • Monday, Feb. 15
  • Monday, March 14
  • Monday, April 18 
To request a screening, please call the District office at 630-719-5800. 

Learn more about Grove Children's Preschool at 

Read the Schools of 58 handbook, Annual Report to the Community

Please view the  Schools of 58 Parent Handbook annually with your children. Print copies of the Schools of 58 Parent Handbook will be delivered later this week in backpack mail to families who indicated a preference for a print copy in their child's school registration.

District 58 invites the community to read its  2015 Annual Report to the Community.
The annual report's theme, "58 reasons to celebrate," captures 58 successes from the 2014-15 school year, including curriculum and technology news, a budget overview, facility updates and much more. A special four-page spread showcases several District, school, student and staff recognitions. Homes and businesses located within District 58 boundaries received a printed copy of the 2015 Annual Report to the Community earlier this month.

School Spotlight
What do you look most forward to in middle school?

The Education Foundation hosted its annual Sneak Preview program for incoming seventh graders on Aug. 17-19. This program welcomes students to middle school life, teaching them how to read a class schedule, where to go for homebase, how to open their lockers and more! Several teachers and incoming eighth graders lead the Sneak Preview lessons.

"I participated in Sneak Preview last year and learned a lot from those eighth graders, so I wanted to give back by being a leader this year," said Drew, an incoming Herrick eighth grader.

In between learning locker combinations and navigating the hallways, several incoming seventh graders shared what most intrigues them about middle school:

Joe, O'Neill
Newspaper Club and Game Club

Giustina, Herrick
Jazz Band 

Anthony, O'Neill
Everything! (and he can't wait to own a Senators shirt) 

Drew, Herrick
Lunchtime swipe cards 

Noor-Ulayn, Herrick
Seeing how middle school differs from elementary school 

London, O'Neill
More activities and things to do 

Kyle, Herrick
Middle school P.E. 

Deja, O'Neill
Meeting new people 

Devon, Herrick
Having a locker 

Katie, O'Neill
Switching classes 

Caroline, Herrick

Alexa, Herrick
Cheerleading and the American Sign Language Club 
Employee Spotlight
Meet Mrs. Jackelyn Cadard, 
new District preschool coordinator

Preschool Coordinator Jackelyn Cadard
Communicate 58 will regularly feature an employee profile to better acquaint you with the District 58 staff. We are starting with Jackelyn Cadard, the new preschool coordinator. An excerpt is featured below; for the full story, please click here.

Jackelyn Cardard exudes enthusiasm when she talks about Grove Children's Preschool. She says she particularly enjoys Meet the Teacher Day, when new preschoolers enter a classroom for the first time, bustling with energy and anticipation as a new chapter opens in their lives. She loves watching the preschoolers grow into successful elementary school students, knowing that Grove Children's Preschool set a strong foundation for their future academic achievement.
"It's great to see them progress!" Cadard says.
Cadard greets preschoolers and their families during the Grove's Meet your Teacher event on Aug. 25.
It was her passion and enthusiasm that led Cadard to apply for the preschool coordinator position at Grove Children's Preschool this past spring. She previously served eight years as a preschool teacher within the program.

Check back next issue, when we'll feature Michelle Rzepka, new principal at Hillcrest.
Education Foundation News
Education Foundation's Oktoberfest promises family fun
Support your local schools while celebrating the incoming fall season at the second annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, Sept. 12 from noon to 11 p.m. in Downtown Downers Grove. 

The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 hosts this family-friendly, community festival, which features delicious traditional German fare, live bands, a large Kids Zone, carnival games, a donut eating contest between O'Neill and Herrick and of course, beer and wine poured to perfection! Enjoy a taste of Germany while you make friends and indulge to your heart's content. Traditional German fare and beer provided by Food Network-featured Lemon Tree Grocer.

Learn details and/or purchase tickets to Oktoberfest at .
Education Foundation donates $500 to each District 58 school


The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 will present $500 to each District 58 school, as part of its annual Reaching New Heights program. Schools may use this funding to cover beginning of the school year programs or projects. Thank you, Education Foundation!

Board of Education news
The Board of Education held a Regular Meeting on Monday, Aug. 10 at the Administrative Service Center. Read the Board Briefs to learn highlights from the meeting. The Board also held a Budget Workshop on Aug. 27 to review the proposed 2015-16 budget. During the workshop, they created a 10-second Welcome Back video for families:

The Board's next Regular Meeting will be Tuesday, Sept. 15 at the Longfellow Center, 1435 Prairie Ave.
Community partner corner
School supply donations reflect community's generosity

Clockwise: Donations from: Rexnord, 4-year-old Connor, Costco/PTA, Downers Grove Roadrunners Soccer Club 

District 58 gives a big THANK YOU to the two individuals and three groups who so generously donated backpacks, lunch boxes and a wide assortment of school supplies to help our students in need. These supplies have already been put into good use by the District's schools!

Jen Gawel recently hosted a fourth birthday party for her son, Connor. When asked what he wanted for his birthday, he requested his friends bring school supply donations instead of gifts. Thanks to Connor's generosity, District 58 received about 10 backpacks filled with supplies. 

In addition, the Downers Grove Roadrunners Soccer Club and Rexnord Corporation both brought several boxes of backpacks and supplies that they received from their club members and employees, respectively.

Finally, Costco partnered with the PTA Council to donate 60 brand new backpacks, as well as rulers, pencil cases, erasers and scissors. 

Thank you all very much for your generosity!
Aramark is hiring District 58 caf jobs

District 58 Looking for a part-time job? Aramark is hiring hard-working, friendly individuals to join their District 58 cafeteria team this school year! Online applications are available at Search "Downers Grove, IL job ID 40461."
Community e-flyers
E-flyer logo

New community e-flyers will be posted this afternoon, Monday, Aug. 31, on the District 58 e-flyer page. Click here to visit the page. 
  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
Welcome back to school!
Greetings from Dr. Cremascoli
Students celebrate a successful summer of learning and growing
Summer facilities update
New District 58 teachers enjoy productive opening week of work
District seeks new subs
District offers free preschool and developmental screenings
Read the Schools of 58 handbook, Annual Report to the Community
What do you look most forward to in middle school?
Meet Mrs. Jackelyn Cadard
Education Foundation's Oktoberfest promises family fun
Education Foundation donates $500 to each District 58 school
Board of Education News
School supply donations reflect community's generosity
Photos from Belle Aire, Grove Children's Preschool, Henry Puffer and Hillcrest
District 58 on social media

Like us on Facebook Follow us on TwitterView our videos on YouTube
Welcome new staff!

 Kate Blackburn
Speech Pathologist Kingsley

Heidi Carlson 
Henry Puffer

Grace Claussen
Sixth Grade
Pierce Downer

Karina DeLeon
1st/2nd Biliteracy

Lauren Diamond
Speech Pathologist

Julia MacKerell
Henry Puffer

Liana Marino 
Third Grade

Brooke McDermott
First Grade
Indian Trail

Danielle Mimbs
Sixth Grade
El Sierra

Sandra Munizzo
Belle Aire

Kristen Nagle
Fifth Grade 

Alecia Probst
Indian Trail

Elizabeth Ramadani
Reading Specialist Belle Aire

Robert Schnitzer

Todd Schultz Orchestra
Herrick, Belle Aire, Lester and Pierce Downer

Whitney Schwenker

Rebekah Sorensen LRC

Jessica Yehnert
Indian Trail 
District 58 also welcomed two new administrators this school year:
Jackelyn Cadard
Preschool Coordinator
Grove Children's Preschool

Michelle Rzepka

Ushering in the new school year

District 58 schools have many old and new traditions to greet families at the start of the school year. We visited a few schools to capture highlights from these festivities:

Belle Aire
New families took a sneak peek of their new school at Belle Aire on Tuesday, Aug. 25 in the morning. Sixth grade volunteers led very professional tours around the school, pointing out classrooms, cubbies, restrooms and more. They also introduced teachers and Principal Brent Borchelt. Thank you for volunteering, sixth graders!

Grove Children's Preschool hosted a Meet Your Teacher event on Aug. 25 at Henry Puffer and Indian Trail schools. The incoming preschoolers' eyes were wide with excitement as they entered their classroom, met their teacher and located their cubbyhole. 

Henry Puffer

Henry Puffer hosted a back-to-school ice cream social to welcome both new and returning families. It also offered a chance to show off Puffer's newly sealcoated blacktop, complete with new blacktop artwork provided by the PTA! They added a beautiful U.S. map and an alphabet caterpillar to welcome the new kindergartners. Thank you, parent Tracy Weiner, for sharing these pictures!


Hillcrest families could meet their teacher (and new principal Mrs. Michelle Rzepka!), drop off school supplies, jam to pop music and play in inflatable bounce houses, slides and more during Hillcrest Fest 2015 on Monday, Aug. 24.