Pierce Downer This Week

February 3, 2023

Pierce Downer Families,

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, I will be meeting with each classroom at Pierce Downer 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.

K-2nd Presentation

3rd-6th Presentation

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.


Don't forget to sign and return your child's Book-It slip for completing their January reading goal!

Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or concerns via email at LWagner@DG58.org or call 630-719-5860.

We are PD!

L. Wagner, Principal

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.

Panthers of the Month

Play at Pierce! Legacy Path

Help Play at Pierce! reach their goal to get the new playground installed this summer. We are approximately $18,000 away from our goal and we need your help paving our Legacy Path!

To date we have sold 72 bricks. We have set a goal to reach 100 bricks sold by the end of March!

Click here to be directed to the site to choose your brick size, personalize with your family name or a message, and complete your donation – it is that easy! Pick from two sizes: 4x8 for $250 and $8x8 for $500. Follow along on our website and social media to see our progress! If you have any questions, please contact Francesca Rabchuk at franesca.rabchuk@gmail.com.

Parent Teacher Conferences

District 58 values the family-to-school partnership, and parent/teacher conferences are a key component of communication and collaboration between home and school. In the past, we have worked to ensure a family member for each student engaged in parent/teacher conferences during both Fall and Winter Conferences. However, we have received feedback that as a result of strong communication that occurs on a more regular basis, a winter conference may not be necessary for all families. We also recognize that many families still find great value in the winter conference opportunity. If you would like to schedule a conference for your child, please follow the directions attached when the conference window opens. If you do not feel that a conference is necessary at this time, no action is needed.

District 58 invites parents and guardians to sign up for winter 2023 parent-teacher conferences using the online PowerPTC conference signup system at www.PowerPTC.net. The signup window will close on Monday, Feb. 6 at 11 a.m. Parent-teacher conferences will be held in person. However, families who require a remote option should schedule their conference in PowerPTC and then change the meeting type from “in person” to “video conference.”

Conferences will take place:

  • Tuesday, Feb. 7 from 4:45-8 p.m.
  • Thursday, Feb. 9 from 4:45-8 p.m.

Please view the parent-teacher conference signup guide to learn how to sign up for a conference using the new system, along with other helpful information.

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Grove Children's Preschool Will Hold 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.

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. Learn more here.

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.

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January Focus is about having INTEGRITY!

The PD PROMISE monthly focus for January is having integrity. We are continuing our focus from December which encouraged students to make good choices. Now we are also thinking about how integrity builds on making the right choice along with doing it for the right reason!


Congratulations to Mrs. Grisamore on being the latest recipient of the Pierce Downer Cup! Mrs. Grisamore is a kindergarten teacher at Pierce Downer School. She instills a strong love for learning in our youngest learners and collaborates regularly to support student growth.

Thank you Mrs. Grisamore for ALL that you do!

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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 7 & 9

Parent Teacher Conferences (5pm-8pm)

February 14

Valentine's Day: Class Parties

February 20

No School: Presidents Day

February 22

Magic Show Assembly

February 23

Spirit Day: NEON DAY

Sweetheart's Dance

February 28

No School: Inservice Day

March 3

End of Trimester 2

March 27-31

Spring Break