February 5, 2021

Dear Families,

As we conclude a snowy week, I am writing to share a few important items with our school community. Please take a moment to review this information. 

Parent-Teacher Conference Week
Mid-year parent-teacher conferences take place next week. Given our current context, this time to connect as parents and educators is more important than ever.  Conferences serve as an important opportunity to monitor student growth and progress from a social, emotional, and academic perspective.  Our teachers spend a considerable amount of time preparing for conferences, ensuring that they are able to share a rich profile of each student.  Parents are able to complete the picture with what they know so deeply about their own children.  Conferences are far more than a "meeting;" they are an opportunity for those who spend the most time with our students to come together to ensure they are supported and challenged to meet their highest potential. Thank you for the collective effort!  

COVID-19 Vaccine Update 
There is much anticipation amongst our staff to receive the vaccine, as all K-12 education staff are eligible as part of the 1B designation. We continue to work with our Township school districts and village officials toward securing access to the vaccine for all of our staff.  Our staff continues to access multiple avenues through the local Health Departments and pharmacies to secure vaccine appointments.  To date, approximately 20% of staff have received, or are scheduled to receive, their first dose of vaccine. We will keep our school community informed on the status of broader distribution of the vaccine to our staff. 

Extended Day Planning
At the January Board Meeting, the District presented a Spring, Summer, Fall 2021 Roadmap, detailing plans to further maximize safe, in-person, quality learning.  The implementation date for Carleton Washburne School will land within the window of March 8 - April 5 and be confirmed at the Special School Board Meeting on Monday, February 15. Implementation criteria and a date for grades K-6 will be discussed at the Special Board Meeting on February 15 and again at the Regular Board Meeting on February 23; if criteria are met, implementation will occur in April. 

We are interested in parent input and considerations as we move forward with the extended day planning process. If you would like to submit ideas or considerations in our planning, please complete this form.

Special Board Meeting on February 15 
The School Board will hold a special board meeting on Monday, February 15 at 6:00 p.m. to discuss:
  • Status of vaccine rollout - is availability and timing on track? 
  • Implementation date and details for Carleton Washburne's new schedule
  • Timeline for extending day for Kindergarten-Grade 6 following Spring Break, which will likely involve merging the a.m./p.m. pods with a new schedule
Parent Education Opportunity in Partnership with The Alliance for Early Childhood

Stop Yelling! Holding Boundaries at Home to Stay Balanced
February 18,  7:00-7:45 p.m. 
How do you find the balance while getting your children to cooperate? Learn how to set boundaries without yelling and keep the peace without losing your peace. Rediscover the loving parent you are through new self-awareness and tools to support your family.  Program facilitated by Molly Pope, Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant, Parent Coach, and Speaker and Trainer.

Thank you for taking time to read this message and for sharing your planning ideas via the input form. I appreciate your partnership as we continue to navigate our next steps, remaining cautiously optimistic for the months ahead. In the meantime, I hope that you and your families stay warm this chilly weekend.

Sincerely,

Dr. Trisha Kocanda
Superintendent

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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