Dear District 58 Families and Staff Members,
As the 2021-2022 school year comes to a close, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your partnership. I am very proud to be an educator in District 58 because we have such great students, an outstanding staff, and very supportive families.
To state that this year (like last year) has been challenging at times would certainly be an understatement. Despite the ups and downs and twists and turns, I am very proud of how the District 58 community stuck together for our students. Throughout the pandemic, the District has prioritized in-person instruction and parental choice. While there were certainly opposing views when critical decisions were made this school year, I cannot emphasize enough how much I appreciate that stakeholders engaged in civil discourse. There will always be disagreements, but how we treat one another and serve as role models for our students is important. I believe we have been successful at sticking together because we always place the needs of our students above all else (no matter where we fall on an issue). Moving forward, we will continue to place the students at the forefront of all decisions.
One of the most positive aspects of this school year is that we have returned to operating our schools in a manner that more closely resembles pre-pandemic times. We were thrilled to bring back field trips, fun lunches, clubs, PTA events and athletic competitions. The students did a great job making this transition but we certainly recognize additional support was needed for some in terms of academics, social relationships and emotional regulation. The District will continue to offer support to those who need assistance. Additionally, we will continue to emphasize behavioral expectations and routines as our students become reaccustomed to school in a more traditional setting. Please don’t hesitate to contact your principal if you have any questions or concerns about your child(ren).
Despite having to deal with the pandemic for another school year, I am extremely proud of the work that took place in the District. Some highlights include the following:
- Earning the State’s highest financial recognition award
- The District’s Citizen Task Force has recommended that the Board take action on a potential referendum regarding the District’s aging facilities (the Board vote will be in August)
- New Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for student achievement and growth
- Approval of a two-year contract extension with the DGEEA (the teachers’ association)
- Key curricular adoptions and/or enhancements (social studies, math acceleration, etc.)
- Recruiting and hiring new staff members while navigating a historic shortage of teachers and support staff
- Offering more services within the District to students with special needs
- Various improvements throughout the buildings (playgrounds, flooring, roofing, paved areas, etc.)
- Transitioning to a new administrative center and a long term partnership with the Village of Downers Grove
- Several community engagement sessions on various topics
As we head into the 2022-23 school year, the District is preparing to start the school year off in a manner that aligns with what took place before the pandemic. Thank you once again for your partnership, flexibility, grace and resilience. We hope that everyone enjoys the time away from school with family and friends. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our District Office if you have any questions or need anything over the summer.
Dr. Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools