Dr. Russell’s Weekly Update: May 29, 2020

Dear District 58 Staff and Families,

As we head into the final weekend of the 2019-20 school year, I wanted to share some helpful end-of-year updates and information.

Congratulations, Select 58 Award Recipients
On behalf of District 58 and our Education Foundation, I want to congratulate this year’s Select 58 Award winners. This program annually recognizes 58 eighth graders (29 from Herrick and 29 from O’Neill) who provide outstanding service to their school and community. View this short video celebrating this year’s Select 58 recipients! I commend each of you for making school and community service a priority during your middle school years. I encourage you to continue this focus in high school and beyond. Thank you for your contributions! Learn more and view a list of recipients.

Thank You, District 58 Retirees
Congratulations to the 18 District 58 employees who will retire this school year. Together, this group has provided District 58 with 429 years of dedicated service. Thank you, District 58 retirees, for your commitment to the students, staff and families of District 58. I hope you enjoy a wonderful retirement! View a list of retirees.

End-of-Year Traditions and Student Material Pickup/Drop-off
The school year is quickly coming to a close! School student material pickup/drop-off will take place June 2-3 for elementary schools and O’Neill. Herrick pickup/drop-off will take place June 1-3. Last week, principals emailed families a pickup/drop-off time signup form. 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. 

The District’s two middle schools will host virtual promotions on Tuesday, June 2 at 4 p.m. The link for the promotion video will be emailed to families, posted on the District’s YouTube Channel and embedded in the remote learning documents for both middle schools (everything will be shared on June 2 at 4 p.m.).

District 58 Gifted Eligibility Process
Each year, students in grades 3-7 are considered for eligibility in the District 58 Gifted Program.  Information around the program itself as well as the eligibility criteria can be found by clicking here.  As of this writing, the eligibility determinations for the 2020-21 school year have been made, and the families of eligible students have been notified directly.  Please note that continuing families do not receive separate notification; once a child is eligible for the program in grades 4 or 5, they remain eligible through grade 6; if a student is found eligible in grade 7, they remain eligible for 8th grade.  Any questions about the Gifted Program can be directed to Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction Justin Sisul at jsisul@dg58.org

Join the PTA Summer Math Club
District 58 invites students entering grades K-8 to join the PTA Summer Math Club! This club provides participating students with three math packets that feature a variety of fun math activities, designed to keep young math minds active all summer long. After students submit each completed packet, they will receive prizes and their next math packet. 

  • Click here to access the first Summer Math Club math packet! To access the packets, please enter the password. Please see Dr. Russell’s May 29 email for the password or email  summermathclubDG58@yahoo.com to request it. (A password is required for copyright reasons.)
  • Click here for a simple four-step guide to participating in Summer Math Club.

Relatedly, the Downers Grove Public Library will offer its Summer Reading Program once the library reopens. Learn more.

Behind the Scenes of Remote Learning in District 58
Over the past several weeks, we have asked a few of our teachers to offer some reflections on their experiences during remote learning. Their thoughts, pictures and videos will be shared with our community beginning today in a video series called “Behind the Scenes of Remote Learning.” This series aims to shine the light on what happens on the other side of the screen in preparation and implementation of remote learning, while providing us valuable insight as we look to plans for the fall. The first set of videos can be found on the “Behind the Scenes of Remote Learning” webpage. We plan to post additional videos throughout next week.

Fun June 1 Activities: Virtual Field Day and Matt Wilhelm Virtual Assembly
District 58’s PE teachers invite students to participate in a Virtual Field Day on Monday, June 1. Principals will email families a link to a special Virtual Field Day website on Monday morning. Learn details by watching this video and viewing this flyer. We hope you join!

District 58 and the Lester PTA invite our 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. Watch this one-minute preview to get pumped for the show! Learn more here. Thank you, Lester PTA, for sponsoring this fantastic event!

Summer Meal Program –  New Schedule Starts June 2
District 58’s meal 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.

Take the District’s Communication Survey by June 12
District 58 invites the community to take its Communication Satisfaction and Preferences Survey now through Friday, June 12. It should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and the District will use survey feedback to guide its communication improvement efforts. Thank you for your time!

6th Grade Trip to Camp Edwards –  2020 – 2021 School Year
The District has received several questions regarding the annual 6th Grade Camp Edwards Trip for next school year. As a proactive step, the District has rescheduled this trip from next fall to next spring. Camp Edwards is an integral part of the curriculum and is a well-established tradition in District 58. We hope that this trip will be able to continue next spring as long as it is safe for students, staff and chaperones. More information about this trip will be communicated in the fall.

Education Foundation: D58 Family Support Fund
The Education Foundation 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. Thank you for your support!

Have a great weekend, District 58!

Dr. Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools