Dr. Russell’s Weekly Update: May 22, 2020

Dear District 58 Staff and Families,

I hope this email finds you well and that you are staying healthy and safe. I would like to extend sincere appreciation for all of those who have served in our armed forces and made the ultimate sacrifice as we commemorate Memorial Day on Monday.

District 58 Summer School and Extended School Year
Due to the restrictions put in place by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the DuPage County Health Department, District 58’s Summer School and Extended School Year (ESY) programs will take place remotely. While the District and families prefer on-site instruction, we are excited about the offerings that will be made available to our students this summer. These opportunities are available for those families who wish to register their child(ren) for additional summer instruction and those who are eligible for special needs support. Families can click here for detailed registration information about both summer programs as well as procedures to request a refund for previous registration if no longer interested. Please note, summer school registration ends on Tuesday, May 26.

End-of-Year Traditions and Student Material Pickup/Drop-off
The school year is quickly coming to a close, and the District has made the final preparations for celebrating end-of-the-year traditions and the pickup/drop-off of student materials. Principals shared these plans with families earlier in the week. Please check the email you received from your principal for further information. Feel free to contact your child’s teacher and/or principal with any questions.

Summer Meal Program –  Please Note New Summer Schedule
This summer, District 58, Woodridge School District 68 and Community High School District 99 will continue to offer the Wood-Grove Feeding Our Future Cooperative, an effort to ensure all children ages 0-18 in our communities can receive a breakfast and lunch six days per week.

This program will continue to provide meals on Tuesdays and Fridays at its existing District 58 and District 99 pickup sites through Friday, May 29. (District 68 school pickup sites will be closed next week).

The program will begin its summer schedule on Tuesday, June 2. During the summer, meal pickups will take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Several pickup locations and times have been changed for the summer. Please click here for more information and the summer schedule.

You’re Invited: Motivational BMX Stunt Show with Matt Wilhelm on June 1
District 58 and the Lester PTA invite the District 58 community to the World’s First Ever Virtual BMX Stunt Show with Matt Wilhelm on Monday, June 1 at noon via District 58’s YouTube page at www.youtube.com/DownersGrove58. Wilhelm is a celebrity BMX Flatland rider, former America’s Got Talent finalist and motivational speaker. His June 1 virtual assembly is exclusively for District 58 families and will mix a positive message on resilience and perseverance with amazing BMX tricks.

Watch this one-minute preview to get pumped for the show! Learn more here. Thank you, Lester PTA, for sponsoring this fantastic event!

Education Foundation: D58 Family Support Fund
The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 has established the D58 Family Support Fund to assist District 58 families financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund will accept community donations, which will be used to purchase gift cards from local businesses to provide local families in need with food and basic needs. If you are interested in contributing to the fund, click here. The Foundation has also created a promotional video to further explain the fund. The District truly appreciates the support of the Foundation and would like to thank in advance any staff and families who are able to make a donation.

Planning for the Future
The District is in the process of forming a Remote Learning Task Force to strengthen our existing remote learning plan in the event school is not able to resume for full on-site instruction in the fall. While no decisions have been made, the District would like to be as proactive as possible and plan for any and all scenarios. The Task Force will consist of a representative group of staff, parents and community members from existing councils in District 58. This group will meet virtually in June as a whole and in four working groups. The four working groups are as follows:

  • Remote Learning
  • Blended Learning (a combination of on-site instruction and remote learning)
  • On-Site Instruction & Transition Planning
  • Health/Safety Protocols & Transportation

The Task Force will conclude its work by the end of June. The work will then be shared with the District Leadership Team (DLT) for feedback in early July. Following the DLT meeting, the work will be shared with the Board of Education on July 13 at its regularly scheduled meeting. Once feedback is gathered from the Board, the administration will make the necessary adjustments during July and August. Please note, this work will be very fluid as guidance comes in from the federal, state and local governments.

Moving Forward
Memorial Day weekend is typically the official start of summer. While this summer will be anything but typical, I hope that everyone finds time to relax while staying healthy and safe. I have no doubt that this summer will be unique, but I know that we will all find ways to make it special. The District will continue to update all of you as it receives further guidance from the local, state and federal governments. I truly appreciate your patience as we sort through all of the directives and adjust our plans. The 2019-2020 school year will be one that none of us forget. I am proud of our staff, students and families for being resilient and working so hard. We are in this together!


Dr. Kevin Russell

Superintendent of Schools