Dr. Russell's end-of-year message

Photo of Dr. Kevin Russell in circle on blue background

Dear Students, Staff, and Families,

As we reach the end of another remarkable school year, I want to take this opportunity to reflect on our collective achievements and express my deepest gratitude to each of you. This year has been filled with hard work, dedication and unwavering support for the students we serve, and I am incredibly proud of what we have accomplished together.


Highlights from this year include but are not limited to:

  • Increased achievement on the Illinois Assessment of Readiness
  • Implemented Full Day Kindergarten 
  • Added an additional grade level to the Dual Language Program
  • Continued to embrace a robust School Improvement Model
  • Joined the Southeast DuPage Elementary Athletic Association, which provides more sports and club opportunities for students and shorter drives for families
  • Started construction on Henry Puffer School, Herrick Middle School, Highland School, Hillcrest School, O’Neill Middle School and Whittier School after 1+ year of planning
  • Expanded Special Education offerings throughout the District
  • Adopted a new Strategic Plan that focuses on five critical goals following significant staff and community engagement sessions (see below)
  • Implemented new School-Wide writing curriculum 
  • Piloted and adopted English Language Arts resources for all grade levels
  • Enhanced social-emotional learning with the Zones of Regulation curriculum
  • Partnered with ReferralGPS Care Navigator to provide a robust database of mental health professionals at no cost to staff and families 
  • Provided boxed lunch options at all elementary schools
  • Welcomed 30 new teachers into the District and 64 staff members 
  • Replaced all or some playgrounds at Belle Aire, Pierce Downer, Fairmount, Henry Puffer, Indian Trail, Kingsley and Lester and improved the playground at Hillcrest
  • Revamped the way Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings are conducted
  • Conducted a comprehensive review of the gifted program that will involve a new delivery model in 2024-25
  • Enhanced our safety and security protocols aligned with best practices and in concert with local law enforcement

Strategic Plan Progress

This year, we made significant progress on our District's Strategic Plan, which focuses on five key goal areas:

Focusing on Learning: We have continued to prioritize academic excellence, resulting in improved test scores, and the expansion of enrichment programs tailored to diverse learning needs. Our commitment to providing high-quality education ensures that every student has the opportunity to succeed.

Connecting the Community: Strengthening the bond between our schools and the community has been a top priority. We have hosted numerous events and forums to foster open communication and collaboration with our stakeholders. Your feedback and involvement have been instrumental in shaping the direction of our district.

Securing the Future: By managing our resources efficiently and effectively, we have been able to enhance our facilities and technology, providing a better learning environment for our students. We remain dedicated to ensuring our resources are used to support student learning and achievement.

Building for Success: We are planning for the implementation of our new K-5 and 6-8 models. These changes are designed to better meet the developmental and educational needs of our students, creating a more focused and supportive learning environment at every grade level. The new models will be implemented in the fall of 2026 once construction is completed.

Cultivating Talent: Investing in our people is vital for our District’s success. We have provided comprehensive professional development for our staff, ensuring they have the tools and knowledge to provide top-quality education. We will continue to listen to our staff so we can provide them with what they need to be successful well into the future. Additionally, we have worked to engage stakeholders and empower our students, together fostering a community of continuous growth and improvement.

Thank you

To our wonderful students: Your resilience, enthusiasm and dedication to learning have been very inspiring. Despite the changes as well as challenges we've faced, you have shown an ability to adapt and excel. Your achievements, both in extracurriculars, in the community and in the classroom, are a testament to your determination and hard work.

To our exceptional staff: Your dedication to our students’ success forms the foundation of the District’s accomplishments. From the teachers who inspire and challenge our students daily to the support staff who ensure our schools run smoothly, all of your efforts have been indispensable. Your passion and professionalism create a nurturing and conducive learning environment for all.

To our supportive families: Your involvement, support and encouragement are crucial to the success of our students. Whether through participation in school events, supporting homework and projects at home, or collaborating with teachers, your engagement makes a significant difference in students' lives. Thank you for being active partners in your children's education.

As we reflect on these accomplishments, it is clear that they are the result of the collective efforts of our entire school community. Each of you has played a critical role in the successes that have brought us to this point. We remain committed to our vision of providing an exceptional education for all students. We will continue to build on our progress, and continue to work on the Strategic Plan, striving for excellence in every aspect of District 58’s operations. Thank you once again for your hard work, dedication, and support. I wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer break. We look forward to welcoming you back in the fall, ready to embark on another year of learning and growth.

On a personal level, this year has also been the most challenging year of my life. I cannot thank all of you enough for your continued support. My family and I are very grateful for everything the District 58 family continues to do to support us as we grieve. Your support means everything to us and has allowed us to move forward.

Warm regards,

Kevin Russell
Superintendent of Schools