Henry Puffer Post
February 12, 2023
Below are the topics in this week's Newsletter.
- Principal's Corner
- Celebrating Students & Staff
- Weekly Preview
- Looking Ahead
- Student Council Spirit Week - This Week
- Valentine's Day
- Grove Children's Preschool - Open House
- 5Essentials Survey
- Kids Heart Challenge - American Heart Association
- Summer Learning Dates
- PTA Posts
- Below the Line
It was another fantastic week at Henry Puffer! We had a blast celebrating our 100th day of school and kicking off our Kids Heart Challenge. It was great to see so many Henry Puffer families at Parent-Teacher Conferences this week. We hope that you found conferences to be informative and collaborative. Conferences are a great opportunity to celebrate our students' many strengths & successes, and at the same time focus in on opportunities for growth.
This coming week is looking just as exciting! We are looking forward to our Valentine's Day parties on Tuesday! Please make sure to take time to review the guidelines for passing out Valentine's to students below. Also, please take a few minutes to complete the 5essentials survey if you haven't already had the chance. Finally, tomorrow is Henry Puffer's chance to conduct the Flag Salute at the board meeting. We are excited to share out our story at Henry Puffer from the Student Council, PTA, and School lenses. The board meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. We hope to see you there or have you tune in.
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!
1st & 4th Grade Buddies
1st & 4th grade buddies met to complete a Valentine's Day activity together.
Monarch Award Voting
3rd graders take a quick picture after voting for their favorite Monarch nominated book.
Weekly Preview 2/13-2/17
2/13: Orange Monday - Dress in orange
2/13: Board Meeting - Henry Puffer Flag Salute - 7:00-10:00 p.m.
2/14: Valentine's Day
2/15: Grove Preschool Open House (5:00-6:30 p.m.)
2/16: PTA Meeting (7:00-8:00 p.m.)
2/17: School Spirit Friday - Dress in your Puffer gear or wear Blue & White
2/20: President's Day - No School
2/22: Grove Preschool Applications Open
2/23: Daddy/Daughter Dance (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
2/24: Mother/Son Dance (6:30-8:30 p.m.)
3/11: PTA Spring Fundraiser (7:00-10:00 p.m.) - @ the American Legion
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!
Preschool Open House - February 15th
Grove Children’s Preschool will hold an open house on Feb. 15
Will your child be 3 or 4 years old this August? Do you have a neighbor or friend with a future preschooler? Please share! Grove Children’s Preschool will hold an open house on Wednesday, Feb. 15 from 5-6:30 p.m. at Henry Puffer School, 2220 Haddow Ave. Parents and guardians may tour the preschool, meet the staff, hear an overview of the program, and ask questions throughout the open house.
Grove Children’s Preschool tuition applications for the 2023-24 school year will open online at www.dg58.org/preschool on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 8 a.m. First priority applications are due Wednesday, March 8.
Dear Henry Puffer parents,
In the coming weeks, our students, teachers, and parents will have an opportunity to participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Survey. As a parent, this opportunity will allow you to share your thoughts on the important elements of school effectiveness in a survey about our school.
The survey will take roughly 10 minutes to complete.
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.
American Heart Challenge
Tips for a More Healthy Heart
Below, our students share a few tips for a more healthy heart.
Summer Learning Dates
Minutes from PTA Meeting: January 19, 2023
Linked below are the minutes from our most recent PTA meeting.
Our next meeting: Thursday, February 16th 7:00 p.m., Puffer Library
PIN: 166 907 076#
PTA Spring Fundraiser
Teacher Experience Winners Announced
Thank you to all of the parents and students for supporting this year's raffle and a HUGE thank you to the teachers for their generosity! We were able to raise over $1,500 to support our students. Winning students please work with the donating teacher/staff to redeem your experience!
Save the Date for the Spring Fundraiser
The annual PTA spring fundraiser is scheduled for March 11th! It is an evening adults-only event with casino games, raffles, an auction, and more! All proceeds go back to Puffer. Tickets are on sale now.
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)
A Message from the Nurse
With the arrival of snow, if you could also please pack your student an extra pair of pants and socks with their snow gear as we are seeing a lot of students requesting these items from the nurse. The nurses office inventory of socks and pants is very minimal and the sizes vary. Thank you!
Arrival Process Updates
In an effort to better secure our building and reduce the number of entrances our students are entering through each morning, we will be making a few alterations to our arrival process beginning on January 3rd. These changes will allow us to move students away from the moving cars in the front of the building. It'll also allow us to increase the number of staff members monitoring areas from 8:05-8:15 each day. As a reminder, students are to line up upon arrival at school. We are unable to supervise field/play areas, Gaga Pits, or playgrounds prior to the start of the school day.
What is changing:
- 1st graders will line up on the Belmont side of our building at door 8. This is the same spot they line up after recess.
- 4th graders will line up on the north side of our building at door 4. This is the same spot they line up after recess.
- 6th graders will line up on the north side of our building at door 4. This is the same spot they line up after recess.
What is staying the same:
- Kindergarteners will continue to line up by Ms. Murphy's room. This is the same spot they line up after recess.
- 2nd graders will continue to line up at door 8.
- 3rd graders will continue to line up at door 5. This is the same spot they line up after recess.
- 5th graders will continue to line up on the north side of our building at door 4. This is the same spot they line up after recess.
Thank you for your support in making this a successful transition!
Winter Expectation Review
District 58’s number one priority is ensuring that all of our students and staff are safe and we continue to be thoughtful and proactive in terms of how we address these critical conversations with our community and with our staff and students. Preventing school violence is the responsibility of us all. In the weeks ahead, our school principals will be meeting with each classroom in their schools to review critical safety measures and reinforce expectations with our students. Below are the presentations and/or talking points that will be used with grade bands for your review.
3rd-6th Presentation (Will also be used as review with middle school)
We know that while these discussions are crucial to have with our children, as adults, it can be difficult to know exactly how to broach these topics with our children at home. We hope a review of the materials that we have developed will provide you with some of the terms, vocabulary, and developmental approaches that we use to support students’ understanding of these concepts. In addition, the materials provided below are from various organizations that specialize in this topic that can help you prepare for further discussions with your child.
Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
National Association of School Psychologists
Helping Children Cope with Frightening News and How to Ask What Kids are Feeling
The Child Mind Institute
Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers and Assisting
Parents/Caregivers in Coping with Collective Traumas
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
As always, our social workers and counselors can assist you in thinking through how best to tailor discussions at home for your particular child or children. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Preventing school violence is the responsibility of the entire community and together, we can make a difference in helping our children understand the importance of those collective efforts.
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
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.
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.