December 19, 2018

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

We hope this letter finds you enjoying the holiday season. We are writing to share some news following last night's Board Meeting. On December 18, the District 36 School Board unanimously approved a $90.6 million referendum for community vote on April 2, 2019. With the total cost of the proposed facilities projects estimated at $100.6 million, the School Board committed $10 million from reserves to offset the cost of the referendum and lower the overall tax impact. If approved, the estimated tax increase over the current bond obligation-tax levy would be approximately $276 (annually) per $1 million of property value.

This plan was reviewed from a teaching and learning perspective, from a facilities perspective, and through the lens of what is fiscally responsible. It aligns with our community's value for neighborhood schools, our commitment to remain good stewards of taxpayer resources, and our community's high expectations for progressive schools. The final decision is now in our community's hands.

The proposed spring referendum reflects priority facilities projects identified in the recently approved long-range Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP). The EMFP addresses comprehensive facilities improvements and aging infrastructure, a commitment to maintain the neighborhood school model with (3) K-4 elementary schools and (1) consolidated 5-8 campus, and upholds a progressive educational vision for teaching and learning.

Priority projects identified for the April 2, 2019, referendum include:
  • Health Life Safety Code required projects 
  • Safety and security enhancements
  • ADA accessibility upgrades
  • HVAC, electrical and plumbing upgrades
  • Addition of 3 classrooms and a gym at Crow Island
  • Renovations or upgrades to existing space for multi-purpose cafeterias at each school and renovations to the library resource centers at Crow Island and Carleton Washburne
  • Additions and renovations for classroom wings, Makerspace, and STEAM space at Carleton Washburne
The District will implement a comprehensive communications plan beginning in January 2019 to provide factual information to all residents. Project details, costs, tax impacts and upcoming community events will be posted on the District website at .

We wish you and your families a Happy New Year. We look forward to your continued engagement in our school community.


Dr. Trisha Kocanda           Ms. Kristen Hertel
Superintendent                 Board President

The Winnetka Public Schools community empowers every student to flourish in 
an innovative, experiential environment. We support and challenge all learners 
to actively engage in continual growth and achievement to make 
a meaningful difference in the world.  

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