Henry Puffer Post
October 2, 2022
Below are the topics in this week's Newsletter.
- Principal's Corner
- Celebrating Students & Staff
- Weekly Preview
- Looking Ahead
- Active Threat Drills
- Title I Designation
- PTA Posts
- Student Council
- School Safety Message from Dr. Russell
- District 58 Referendum
- Student Entrance Time (Updated)
- Arrival/Dismissal Procedures
- Below the Line
Dear Henry Puffer Families,
Last week was another fantastic week at Henry Puffer as we "ran" out of the month of September. We had a successful active threat drill, our Running Club met for the first time, and we had a terrific Lung Run to close out the month. Looking ahead, we will have an active threat drill with the Downers Grove Police Department this Wednesday, October 5th. We are also excited for our first all-student assembly Wednesday afternoon. During the assembly, we will review our school expectations, how we will support students' learning/maintain our expectations, and how we will celebrate students, classes, and our school along the way. At the end of the assembly we will break off with our "Puffer Families" for the first time this year.
As always, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or feedback.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @HenryPufferDG58.
Celebrating Students & Staff
We love celebrating our students & staff both in and out of the classroom. This section is dedicated to celebrating our students and members of our staff, as well as shining a spotlight on the learning taking place in our school!
2nd Grade Science Inquiry
Our 2nd graders created handmade pollinators to build background knowledge for the science unit.
10/10: No School
10/11: Board of Education Meeting - O'Neill Middle School 7:00 p.m.
10/12: Student Council Elections 12:15-1:15 p.m.
10/13: Picture Day
10/18: Parent-Teacher Conferences 5:00-8:00 p.m.
10/19: PTA Meeting 7:00 p.m.
10/20: Parent-Teacher Conferences
10/21: School Improvement Day/Parent-Teacher Conferences 8:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m. - No School
10/24: Board of Education Meeting - O'Neill Middle School 7:00 p.m.
10/27: PTA Pumpkin Carving Event 6:30 p.m.
10/28: Fun Lunch
Active Threat Drills
Our top priority is the safety of our students and staff. To that end, we will conduct several safety drills throughout the school year. These safety drills include fire drills, tornado drills, bus evacuation drills and active threat drills (also known as lockdown drills).
The District’s active threat procedures were originally developed in 2007 with guidance and input from the Downers Grove Police Department, and they are annually reviewed and revised with the Downers Grove departments of Police, Fire and Emergency Response to reflect best practices in safety procedures. These procedures include securing classroom doors while students and staff remain inside classrooms. While securing classrooms is still a sound practice and critical component of our safety plans, the Downers Grove Police Department also recommends adding options for evacuation of students and staff as an additional component to our active threat procedures.
Local area school districts, as well as many districts across the nation, have added an evacuation option to their active threat procedures. Within active threat procedures, the option to evacuate a building is available if a staff member believes he or she can safely exit with his or her students. Evacuation is not mandatory, but the District and the Downers Grove Police Department believe offering the option to evacuate gives staff one more course of action that can be used to keep students safe in the highly unlikely event of a violent intruder.
As we continue to conduct safety drills with students and staff over the next couple of months, active threat drills will incorporate options for both securing classrooms and for school evacuation. As with all safety drills, students will be taught about and supported through these drills by their classroom teachers using age appropriate language, scenarios and discussion.
Please feel free to reach out if you have questions regarding our safety drills.
Title I Designation
Dear Henry Puffer School Community,
Henry Puffer School is designated as a Title 1 School. As a Title 1 School, we receive additional funds to remediate/enrich our students’ instruction. The purpose of Title 1 is to help ensure that all children have a fair, equal, and significant opportunity to obtain a high-quality education.
Parents of children in Title I Programs have the right to know about the qualifications of their child’s teachers or paraprofessionals. All staff members working with children in District 58 have met the requirements for certification for their role and are identified as Highly Qualified within the State of Illinois.
We are pleased to announce a Title 1 Parent Meeting on Tuesday, October 25th at 6:00 p.m. at Kingsley School, 6509 Powell Street, Downers Grove. This meeting is to inform parents of the programs and activities provided with Title 1 funds.
The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
Information on the design and implementation of the Title 1 Program.
Information about the Title 1 regulations and instructional programs.
Solicit parent input about the instructional programs and related activities.
Provide an opportunity to establish and maintain ongoing communication for parents, staff, and the school board.
Research supports the correlation between parent involvement and student success. You play an integral role in assisting your child’s learning. We encourage you to be actively involved in your child’s education at school.
The mission of District 58, in partnership with parents and the community, is to challenge and engage each child by providing quality educational programs and support services in safe, nurturing, and child-centered environments in order to prepare all students to be lifelong learners and contribute as members of a global society.
We look forward to sharing information regarding our Title I programming on Tuesday, October 25th at 6:00 pm at Kingsley School.
Mark Leipart, Principal
Justin Sisul, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction
Minutes from PTA Meeting: September 22, 2022
Linked below are the minutes from our most recent PTA meeting.
Copies of the Halloween Volunteer Form will be sent home by our PTA this week
Charleston Wrap Fundraiser
The Charleston Wrap Fall Fundraiser is off to a great start! If you haven’t done so already, register today.
It’s Super Easy visit www.registercw.com use our Organization ID 12482 to register.
All orders will be Online Only. No need to pick up at school. They will be shipped directly to you. If you have any questions please reach out to PufferProud@gmail.com
Student Council (5th & 6th Grades)
Student Council Elections are right around the corner. Any 5th/6th grader planning on running needs to meet the dates below.
Mon. Sept. 26 - meet with interested candidates Room 215
Fri. Sept. 30 - Petitions were due
Wed. Oct 2 - Posters are due
Tues. Oct 11 - Speeches are due
Wed. Oct. 12 - Election! Right after lunch 12:15-1:00 p.m.
School Safety Message from Dr. Russell
Dear Staff and Families,
District 58’s number one priority is ensuring that all our students and staff are safe. Last December, I sent this letter to all families outlining how seriously we take threats to our schools. The purpose of this letter is to be proactive in terms of safety and ask for your assistance. Preventing school violence is the responsibility of the entire community and we need your help.
Last school year, the United States once again experienced senseless acts of school violence. School shootings in Oxford, Michigan, and Uvalde, Texas, underscore the urgent need for all of us to be vigilant. I am asking all families to once again speak with their child (ren) in an age-appropriate manner regarding school safety. Please emphasize with your child(ren) the following:
If you see something, say something.
Making any kind of joke about violence toward someone else or the school is not permitted.
Making a threat against someone else or a school (in-person or online) is not permitted.
Possessing a weapon or a look-alike weapon is not permitted.
Talking about a weapon or a look-alike weapon is not permitted.
Please remind your child(ren) that if he/she makes a threatening statement or brings a weapon or lookalike weapon to school, they will immediately be referred to the Downers Grove Police Department. Police consequences may include arrest, referral to the State’s Attorney, and the Juvenile Court System. Further, your child(ren) will receive significant consequences at school, which may include expulsion (see Board Policy 7:190). We will not take any chances when it comes to the safety of our students and staff. District 58 is also here to help any student or family that is struggling with mental health issues. If we can be of any assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to us right away.
I am once again asking for your assistance to help ensure the safety of our students and staff. Please speak with your children about the importance of being safe at school. As I shared last year, I view every student and staff member in our District as a part of my family. Let’s continue to be proactive and collaborate with one another, as the safety of our students and staff is the highest priority. If you see something, say something. District 58 staff are ready to assist anyone in need and we are grateful for your partnership.
Dr. Kevin Russell
District 58 Superintendent of Schools
District 58 Referendum
District 58 will place a proposal on the Nov. 8, 2022 ballot to issue $179 million in bonds to improve District 58’s facilities. To learn more about the District 58 referendum, please visit www.dg58.org/referendum.
This website contains helpful information, including the District’s Master Facility Plan, frequently asked questions, ballot language, voter information, tax impact, facility presentation and videos and much more. If you have any questions about the referendum not answered on the website, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Please know, as a school district, we can provide factual information about a referendum, but we cannot advocate for or against it.
Parent Teacher Conferences: October 18th, 20th, & 21st
October 6 Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduling window opens at 11 AM
October 17 Parent-Teacher Conference Scheduling window closes at 11 AM
Health/Physical Examination & Immunization Record due October 15th
As required by law, all new students, as well as students entering grades K, 2 and 6, must receive health examinations and immunizations and submit completed health forms by October 15th. To learn more check out the Health Services page on the District 58 website.
Thank you to many of the families who have already completed and submitted these forms. If you have not already scheduled your appointment this is a good time to plan ahead! Failure to comply with these requirements by the end of the day on Oct 15, or 30 days following registration for first-time registrants, of the current school year will result in the student's exclusion from school until such requirements have been met according to Illinois law. All sections of the child examination form must be completed including the health history, which must be completed by the parent.
District 58 communicates frequently regarding these requirements as it is our hope to avoid school exclusion for all of our students. If you are in need of additional assistance, our school nurse, (insert name here phone number, and email), would be happy to assist you in accessing resources or assisting in removing other barriers to completing this requirement.
Student Entrance Time (Updated)
Students and staff have done a nice job building routines at the start of the school year. Routine building is very important this year as many well-established practices were changed due to the pandemic. Now that schools have returned to normal operating procedures, the District is reestablishing many past practices.
To start the school year off, elementary students were permitted to enter the building early at
8:10 a.m. in order to provide more time to prepare to start the school day. Since we have been in school for approximately four weeks, well-established entry routines are now in place. As we shared earlier this year, entrance times would likely change once routines were established (see August newsletter).
Starting this Monday (September 26th), students will enter the building at 8:15 a.m. This aligns with our previous practice prior to the pandemic. Morning announcements will continue to take place at 8:20 a.m. Please note that while students will enter at 8:15 a.m., supervision will still start at 8:05 a.m. as usual. Bus route pick-up time will also remain the same. Allowing students adequate time to enter the building will be monitored closely throughout the year. In the event students are not able to be ready to go by 8:20 a.m., we will evaluate entry time once again.
Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact me
Students may arrive at Henry Puffer School beginning at 8:05 a.m. each day when adult supervision begins. In order to assist with a timely and safe arrival process, the school playground will be closed before school. Upon arrival, students should line up by their assigned door. Students will be directed to enter the building beginning at 8:15 am. Anyone arriving after 8:20 a.m. should enter through Door One for an office pass.
Following daily dismissal at Henry Puffer School (2:00 p.m. on Monday and 3:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday), all students who are not scheduled to remain in the building must leave the school grounds and check in at their destination as there is no supervision on school grounds. We want to ensure the safety of all students.
Students may return to the playground after school hours and/or on the weekends. This will be done at family discretion, as our district playgrounds also function as community parks outside of school hours.
*Please note that entrance times may change as students build routines. We have not used our normal entrance procedures in several years, and we recognize that it may take students longer at the start of the school year to be ready to start the school day. The District also recognizes that bus arrival times vary during the first few weeks of school as drivers learn new routes. As students build routines and bus arrival times become more consistent, student entry times may get pushed back. This will allow our teachers the necessary time to prepare for the day. Supervision times will remain the same and any changes will be communicated in advance.
Henry Puffer Office Contact Information
Mark Leipart, Principal email@example.com
Jennifer Srabian, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Cynthia Burcham, Secretary email@example.com
Location: 2220 Haddow Avenue, Downers Grove, IL, USA
2022-2023 Calendar Details
The Board of Education approved the 2022-23 school year calendar. Calendar highlights include:
- First Day of School: Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022
- Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 23-25, 2022
- Winter Break: Dec. 19, 2022 -Jan. 2, 2023
- Spring Break: March 27-31, 2023
- Last Day of School: Wednesday, June 7, 2023 (if no emergency days are used)
Attendance Updates & Change of Dismissal
We are excited about all the updates to our building this summer! The list includes asbestos abatement, tuck-pointing the bricks outside, new floors through our main hallway, repaved parking lots, and the beginning of installing an updated fire alarm system.
We are also excited about our next renovation project to the gutters of the kindergarten entrance. While the entrance is structurally sound, the gutters give off the appearance of the roof being sagged. We are looking forward to that being updated and giving off a fresh look to that entrance.
Student Materials and Building Access
Important Note: Please know that students cannot return to the school after hours to pick up forgotten materials. Even though Champions (after care program) or park district leagues may be in the building, these groups are not able to let students in to access classrooms or cubbies. Additionally, if you are picking up your child from Champions or park district leagues, classrooms and other areas of the buildings should not be accessed after school hours.
Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our school building safe!
Safe 2 Help (Previously shared in Communicate 58)
District 58 launches the Safe2Help crisis reporting system ••
District 58 has partnered with Safe2Help to give students a safe and confidential way to report potential threats or crises. Safe2Help was launched by the State of Illinois in December 2020 and aims to help prevent suicide, bullying, school violence and other threats to school safety.
With Safe2Help, students can connect with a trained crisis professional during their own crisis, or to report a potential threat. Students can submit a Safe2Help alert via the following ways:
- Website: https://app.safe22helpil.com
- Text: SAFE2 (72332)
- Phone: 844-4-SAFEIL (844-472-3345)
- App: "Safe2Help Illinois" app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store
- Email: HELP@Safe2HelpIL.com
All alerts are responded to by a trained Safe2Help crisis professional. Safe2Help is available 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
District 58 staff are not the initial responders to the alert and will receive each alert after the Safe2Help professional provides support. District 58 staff will review alerts sent by Safe2Help during regular school hours, unless the nature of the alert necessitates immediate school action.
Learn more about Safe2Help and District 58's crisis resources.
District 58 Family Handbook
District 58 has published the 2022-23 Schools of 58: A Handbook for Families. Please take time to review this important handbook with your child, as it offers an overview of the District’s policies, procedures, resources and student expectations. During the first full week of school, all families will receive a handbook receipt to sign, acknowledging that they and their child reviewed and understood the handbook. Please sign and return the handbook receipt at Curriculum Night or sooner. Here are the links to this year’s family handbook. If you need a print copy, please contact the school office at 630-968-0294, and we can print you a copy.
District 58 School Board Governance Recognition
District 58’s Board of Education is one of only 33 Illinois school boards to earn this year’s School Board Governance Recognition from the Illinois Association of School Boards.
This recognition is given to school boards that model behaviors that lead to excellence in local school governance to support quality public education.
Congratulations, District 58 Board of Education! Our Board has accomplished a lot in the past couple of years, all while leading District 58 through a pandemic.
Click here to learn more about this recognition, including some of the reasons our School Board earned it.
Please Pack a Snack
Please make sure your child has a snack each day. Snack breaks should consist of nutritious food choices such as fruits, vegetables, and other portable snacks. This aligns with Policy 6:50. The health and safety of our students are our highest priorities. Therefore certain snacks or foods may be prohibited in your child’s classroom due to food allergies. A daily snack can be provided for students who qualify for free/ reduced lunch.
We are looking to fill 5 Lunch & Recess Supervisor positions and identify potential substitutes to fill in from time to time. Our lunch & recess block goes from 11:30-12:10 each day. Please fill out this form if you would be interested in helping out in any of those roles this year.
Phone/Wearable Technology Use
We wanted to remind everyone that while a student may bring their electronic device (including cell phones and AirPods) to school, all non-district-issued technologies are to be silenced and out of sight throughout the school day. Students may wear smartwatches, but they are to be silenced during the entire school day, including lunch & recess. The district-provided technology will be utilized for students to participate in lessons and complete assignments. Please be sure to go over the expectations with your student as the policy was recently amended by our school board.