Henry Puffer Post
March 5, 2023
Below are the topics in this week's Newsletter.
- Principal's Corner
- Celebrating Students & Staff
- Weekly Preview
- Looking Ahead
- 3rd & 4th Grade In-School Performance
- 5Essentials Survey
- Full Day Kindergarten - 23-24'
- School Health Requirements - 23-24'
- Distinguished Service Awards
- Summer Learning Dates
- Young Authors Competition
- Kids Heart Challenge Updates
- PTA Posts
- Below the Line
It was another fantastic week at Henry Puffer! Friday marked the end of the second trimester. We are so proud of all of our students for their hard work over the past few months. Trimester 2 report cards will go home on Friday, March 17th. We cannot wait to see what our students will accomplish during the final trimester of the school 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!
3/13: Board of Education Meeting (7:00-10:00 p.m.)
3/16: PTA Meeting (7:00-8:00 p.m.)
3/21: Kindergarten Round-Up (6:00-7:00 p.m.)
3/27-3/31: Spring Break!
4/4: Teachers' Inservice - No School
4/7: No School
4/10: Board of Education Meeting (7:00-10:00 p.m.)
4/17: Outdoor Education (6th Grade)
4/26: Author Visit (5th Grade)
4/28: Author Visit (1st & 3rd Grade)
5/2: Henry Puffer Open House (6:00-7:30 p.m.)
3rd & 4th Grade In-School Performance
On Thursday, March 9th, our 3rd and 4th grade students will share songs they have learned from their music classes with our Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade students. Because of the limited number of performance opportunities over the past few years, we wanted both to offer this opportunity to all of our 3rd and 4th graders, as well as to model the experience for our younger students (who will have an evening performance later in the school year.) We are excited to offer this in-school opportunity for our students! Since the focus is on modeling for our primary grade students, the audience will be limited to those students (no family members will be able to attend in person.) We do hope to have a recording available to share at a later date, and will provide more information on that moving forward.
Dear Henry Puffer parents,
Please take a few minutes to complete the 5essentials Survey.
Your participation in the parent portion of the survey will help us understand the conditions at Henry Puffer and guide improvement. Please know that your identity and survey responses will be kept completely confidential and will never be connected to you or your child.
To take the survey, please visit: http://survey.5-essentials.org/illinois/survey/parent/ to begin.
Full Day Kindergarten - 23-24'
District 58 is excited to offer a universal full-day kindergarten program for the coming 2023-24 school year. What this means is that the tuition-based full-day kindergarten program known as OKEEP will end after the current school year. Yearly student registration fees will still be required. We are excited about this move as it provides a full-day program to all District 58 students and gives teachers more flexibility in delivering instruction, socialization time, deeper discovery and play-based learning. Please ask friends and neighbors with preschool-age children who are eligible for kindergarten (children who are five years old on or before Sept. 1, 2023) to contact our school (630) 968-0294 to be added to our incoming kindergarten list. Kindergarten RoundUp is scheduled on March 21st (6:00-7:00 p.m.) and we want to ensure that parents and guardians can visit their child’s future school and meet the principal and teacher. Families may visit www.dg58.org/kindergarten to access pertinent information in the District 58 Kindergarten Resource Guide.
School Health Requirements - 2023-2024'
It's not too early to start thinking about the necessary health exams for your children next school year and start scheduling those doctor visits. Exams required by the State of Illinois:
Kindergarten: Physical, Dental, Vision
2nd grade: Dental
Questions? Call the Henry Puffer Health Office
Distinguished Service Awards
Nominate an Outstanding District 58 Employee for a Distinguished Service Award
Do you know a District 58 employee who exceeds expectations and has made a positive difference in your life? Please consider nominating that individual for a Distinguished Service Award! The Education Foundation of Downers Grove District 58 annually hosts the free Distinguished Service Awards program to recognize the many contributions of District 58 employees.
Any District 58 staff member, parent/guardian or student may nominate a District 58 employee for a Distinguished Service Award. The nominee should be an individual who:
- Consistently performs above and beyond the scope of job duties
- Positively affects children in a significant manner
- Has a sustained dedication to the education of children
- Cares about the child as a whole person
- Has earned the respect of his/her peers and superiors
- Serves as a good role model to other district employees
Nominees must work at least 20 hours per week. They must have worked at least one full school year at District 58.
The Education Foundation will accept nominations now through Wednesday, March 22. To nominate an employee, please review the Frequently Asked Questions and complete the Nomination Form. You may also access these materials at www.dg58.org/dsa. Please share or email completed nomination forms to District58DSA@gmail.com or mail them to:
DSA Chair Mia Churma
c/o District 58 Office
2300 Warrenville Road, Suite 200NE
Downers Grove, IL 60515
If you choose to mail your application, please send it early to ensure its timely arrival. Late nominations will not be considered.
Learn more information about the Education Foundation at www.58foundation.org. Access the DSA application and Frequently Asked Questions at www.dg58.org/dsa.
The Education Foundation will surprise the two 2022-23 DSA winners at school on Monday, May 15. After school on Monday, May 15, the Foundation will hold the 2022-23 Distinguished Service Award Ceremony at O’Neill Middle School.
Summer Learning Dates
Young Authors Competition
Kids Heart Challenge - Update
Minutes from PTA Meeting: February 16, 2023
Linked below are the minutes from our most recent PTA meeting.
Our next meeting: Thursday, March 16th 7:00 p.m., Puffer Library
PIN: 101 853 065#
Henry Puffer Office Contact Information
Mark Leipart, Principal email@example.com
Jennifer Srabian, Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
Natalia Augustine, Part-Time 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)
Starting in January, we consolidated the number of entrance doors our students use. This has allowed us to provide more adult supervision at the entrances during arrival. As an unintended result, we are seeing an increase in the traffic flow in our Belmont lot. We are asking that if you have 4th-6th graders, please drop them off in the Haddow Circle. It will help reduce the traffic flow in the Belmont lot & is a shorter walk for our students to their entrance door #4. If you are dropping off in our Haddow Circle, please ensure that students exit the vehicle on the passenger side so that we do not have students walking through the parking lot area. We also ask that parents do not park in the Haddow Circle or Belmont drive up. We ask that you please find a marked parking spot if you wish to park and walk up.
We appreciate your continued support!
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:
Text: SAFE2 (72332)
Phone: 844-4-SAFEIL (844-472-3345)
App: "Safe2Help Illinois" app available in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store
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.
If you would like to volunteer to be a WatchDOG in your child's classroom, please click on the Google Form below & we will contact you to schedule a date for you to volunteer.
If you have already signed up & would like to purchase a shirt for yourself and/or your child, simply click the link below.
Below is a short video describing the WatchDOGS program
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.