Henry Puffer Post
March 12, 2023
Below are the topics in this week's Newsletter.
- Principal's Corner
- Celebrating Students & Staff
- Weekly Preview
- Looking Ahead
- New visitor screening system installed after spring break
- Yearbook Cover Contest
- 5Essentials Survey
- Student Council Fundraiser - Humane Society
- Full Day Kindergarten - 23-24'
- School Health Requirements - 23-24'
- Distinguished Service Awards
- Summer Learning Dates
- Young Authors Competition
- PTA Posts
- Below the Line
It was another fantastic week at Henry Puffer! It was great to see so many of our Puffer parents and staff at last night's Spring Fundraiser! A big thank you to our Henry Puffer PTA for facilitating the event, and to all of our committee chairs for making it a great success! Our next PTA meeting is this Thursday, at 7:00 p.m., in the Puffer Library. It's easy to join & is a great way to meet other members of our school community with the common goal of supporting our students.
As a reminder, registration for new and returning families has begun. We are using the PowerSchool Enrollment Express system and a third party vendor to automatically verify residency for most families. We ask returning families to register by April 4.
As always, please reach out to me at email@example.com 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!
3/21: 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.)
New visitor screening system installed after spring break
After Spring Break, District 58 will begin using the Raptor Visitor Management System in all of our schools to strengthen our program of campus safety for students and faculty. The Raptor system will better allow us to screen visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools and know who is in our building at all times. District 99 uses the Raptor system at both of its schools.
Upon entering a school, visitors will be asked to present photo identification, such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system. If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. The Raptor system checks the visitor's name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders. The registered sex offender database is the only official database checked by the Raptor system. No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency. Once entry is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit. A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork.
The safety of our students is our highest priority and the Raptor visitor management system allows us to quickly identify those that may present a danger to our students. Thank you in advance for your understanding and your support in enhancing school safety protocols in our district. We appreciate your patience as we implement this new protocol.
Yearbook Cover Contest
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.
Student Council Fundraiser - Humane Society
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.
IAR & Science Assessments - April 5th-21st
In April, students in grades 3-8 will complete the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) and additionally, students in grades 5 and 8 will complete the Illinois Science Assessment. Both are state mandated assessments. In the coming weeks, your child will see sample test items and review online assessment tools, which allow them to familiarize themselves with the structure, format and questioning style of the test. Our curriculum and instruction are robust and complete and aligned with the standards measured on the assessments, therefore we do not “teach to the test.”
How can you support your child?
These tests are important and as with any other assessment we ask students to give their genuine best efforts as we know they are strong, persistent and capable. In fact our approach to these tests continue to be “can-do” rather than “must endure.” We continue to ask for your support in encouraging your children to approach these tests with the same rigor and investment as they would with any other test. Please read this letter from Assistant Superintendent Justin Sisul about these tests and ways to to help support your student. As always, thank you for your support and partnership.
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
DG58 Summer School Program
There are still openings in many courses at Downers Grove Grade School District 58 Summer School. Check out the offerings here and register your child for the grade level he or she will enter in the fall of 2023. Registration deadlines vary depending on the session. Registration for Session II - General Education and Enrichment, will close after March 24.
District 58 Summer School classes are open to students enrolled in public, private or parochial schools who live within the District 58 attendance area. Learn more about our programs.
Young Authors Competition
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#
Save the Date - Thursday, March 16, 2023 - City Barbecue
City Barbecue is donating 20% of orders to Puffer Hefty PTA! Take a night off from cooking and join us in eating for a great cause.
Henry Puffer Office Contact Information
Mark Leipart, Principal firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Srabian, Secretary email@example.com
Natalia Augustine, Part-Time Secretary firstname.lastname@example.org
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.