Pierce Downer This Week

February 24, 2023

Pierce Downer Families,

As a reminder, we do not have school next week on Tuesday, February 28th. If you’re wondering why we have a Teacher Institute Day on Tuesday, you’re not alone. Tuesday, Feb. 28 was scheduled as a primary election day by the county, and as a rule, District 58 does not hold classes when our school buildings are scheduled as polling places. While primary elections did not end up being held in Downers Grove, the date remains a Teacher Institute Day, where teachers and staff will experience professional learning on a variety of topics ranging from instructional pedagogy and differentiation to supporting students' social, emotional and mental health in the instructional setting. In addition, April 4 is an election day and also an Institute Day.

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to reach out 630-719-5860 or LWagner@DG58.org.

We are PD!

L. Wagner, Principal

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An Evening in Paris

Magician Scott Green comes to Pierce Downer School

Thank you Pierce Downer PTA for bring magician Scott Green to Pierce Downer School. Scott Green has been seen on "Fool Us with Penn and Teller" and was also a contestant on "The Chase". He brought fun, educational magic tricks in two different assemblies that showed how math, science, engineering, and technology are a part of magic!

Learn Not to Burn

Congratulations to 3rd grade student Samara who won the LEARN NOT TO BURN Exit Plan competition. She was so excited when Firefighter Shawn was in the classroom and made the announcement. Later in the school year, Samara will have a chance to take a ride on the fire truck with her teacher and a friend!

Kindergarten Registration

Will your child attend kindergarten in District 58 next school year? Or do you have a friend or neighbor whose child will? Here are three steps to prepare!

1. Call Pierce Downer to let them know your child will be attending kindergarten next year. They can add you to any school-specific kindergarten contact list.

2. Attend Kindergarten Roundup in March or April.

3. Visit our Kindergarten Resource webpage for information on Kindergarten Roundup schedules, school boundary maps, kindergarten registration, immunization requirements, kindergarten curriculum and much more!


Dual Language Program: Did you know that incoming kindergarteners can apply to participate in District 58's two-way Dual Language Program? The program is open to both native English and Spanish speakers and is located at El Sierra School. Click here to learn more about the Dual Language Program. Click here to complete a Kindergarten Dual Language Interest Form.

Full Day Kindergarten: Will District 58 offer free full-day kindergarten next school year? District 58 is exploring the feasibility of a full-day kindergarten program and hopes to complete its work and make a recommendation at the Feb. 27 Board of Education Curriculum Workshop. More information will be announced following this meeting!

School Environment and 5Essentials Survey

District 58 invites parents/guardians to take two anonymous surveys: the District’s Parent/Guardian School Environment Survey and the State’s Parent 5Essentials Survey.

The School Environment Survey measures parent/guardian satisfaction with their child’s school experience, and the 5Essentials Survey gathers data related to five indicators that can predict important student outcomes.

District 58 schools will receive a 5Essentials parent survey report if more than 20% of parents/guardians complete the survey.

The District will also administer the State’s 5Essentials Survey to staff and fourth-through-eighth grade students. These surveys are also anonymous, and the survey results will become a part of District 58’s 2023 Illinois Report Card. Learn more at www.dg58.org/surveys.

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2023-24 registration for Grove Children’s Preschool opened on Feb. 22

Will your child be 3 or 4 years old this August? Please consider applying for your child to attend Grove Children's Preschool in District 58! Grove has earned back-to-back gold ratings, which is the highest rating the State awards preschools for excellence in teaching and learning. Applications opened on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 8 a.m. at www.dg58.org/preschool. First priority applications are due Wednesday, March 8.


Congratulations to Ms. Jo on being the latest recipient of the Pierce Downer Cup! Ms. Jo is a 5th grade teacher at Pierce Downer School. Even though she is in her first year at Pierce Downer School, she has quickly become a familiar face and active team member!

Thank you Ms. Jo for ALL that you do!

District 58 E-learning Plan and Winter Weather Closing Procedures

Will students have a snow day or an e-learning day during bad weather?
If schools cannot be open due to inclement weather, District 58 will have the option to declare an emergency day (also known as “snow day”) or an e-learning day. The Board of Education has approved an e-learning plan that allows District 58 to use e-learning days in lieu of emergency days.

​​​​​​​For the 2022-23 school year, District 58 will use an e-learning day, in lieu of an emergency day, if staff have adequate time to prepare e-learning materials to make the day meaningful. Otherwise, the District will call an emergency day (“snow day”). District 58 anticipates that most inclement weather days will be e-learning days. An e-learning day does not need to be made up in June. However, students are required to participate in e-learning from home in order to earn credit for the school day. If District 58 uses a traditional emergency day, that day will need to be made up in June.

This process is an update from last school year, when District 58 planned for most inclement weather days to be traditional emergency days.

All school closure communications will specify whether the District will use an emergency day or an e-learning day. After declaring an e-learning day, families would receive additional communication regarding how to access instruction. All elementary students (including morning preschoolers) would begin their day by logging into a Google meet virtual session with their teacher at 8:30 a.m. Middle schoolers would similarly log into their first period class at 8:30 a.m.

How does District 58 communicate emergency closure information?
When a decision is made to close school due to inclement weather, the District will send an automated voice and email message to all parents and staff via the SchoolMessenger notification system. The system will also send a text message to parents and staff who have registered to receive texts. Sign up to receive District 58 text messages by texting YES to 68453 using a phone number that is on file with District 58. Opt out at any time by texting STOP to the same number.

District 58 also posts school closure information on its website, Facebook page, Twitter page and on the District’s answering machine at 630-719-5800. The District notifies major news radio and network television stations about closures and posts closure information at www.emergencyclosings.com.

February Focus is about being SAFE!

The PD PROMISE monthly focus for February is being safe. Our focus has been on the common expectations we have throughout the school, ways to treat each other, different ways to problem-solve, and staying safe at school.
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Monday and Friday Spirit Days All Year Long!

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Safe2Help Illinois

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:

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.

February 28

No School: Inservice Day

March 3

End of Trimester 2

March 27-31

Spring Break