Board Highlights are timely recaps of School Board meetings. They are emailed to staff, parents, and interested community members before the official minutes are approved and posted. 


Links to pertinent memos and presentations from the Board packet are highlighted in green. Board packets are posted the day before regularly scheduled Board meetings.


Meeting podcasts, packets, and Board information can be accessed using the links on the left. 

Greg Kurr, CFO, shared tha t two significant financial transactions related to debt restructuring were recently approved by the Board and therefore added as amendments to the FY17 Budget.

  • A refinancing of $10,425,000 of bonds in December 2016
  • A refunding of $30,000,000 of bonds scheduled for June 1, 2017

It was recommended that the Board approve the FY17 Amended Budget.

Regular Meeti ng ( with Class of 2017 Board Members)

Board President, Kendra Wallace,  called the meeting to order. She said it has been a privilege to be part of School Board in The Winnetka Public Schools and thanked faculty, staff, the administrative team, and Dr. Kocanda for their leadership. She expressed excitement about the future and vision of the District and also welcomed the three new Board Members to their roles.

The Consent agenda and following Action Items were approved:
  1. Intra-District Transfer Requests
  2. FY17 Final Amended Budget
  3. Copier Replacement Purchase and Maintenance Agreement
  4. Washburne Athletic Fees
  5. Chair Lift Bid
Other Business
Retiring Board Members Dana Fattore Crumley (2009-2017), Betsy Owens (2013-2017), and Kendra Wallace (2013-2017) were recognized for their service to the District and contributions on behalf of the community's children. Superintendent Kocanda presented a work of art created by students in their honor. The permanent art installation will be displayed at Crow Island School.

Regular Meeting (with newly seated Board Members)

Kristen Hertel, Pro Tem President, c alled the meeting to order.

New Board Members Steve Cirilus, Scott Conine, and Nat Roberts, took the Oath of Office. Officer positions were determined for 2017-2018. Kristen Hertel was elected as President. Dawn Livingston was elected as Vice-President, and Jennifer Pehlke will serve as Secretary. The 2017-2018 Board calendar was approved and meetings will be held at 7:15 p.m. at Carleton Washburne School starting in August 2017.

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda, shared District highlights, noting Earth Week activities happening at schools this past several days. She mentioned that District 36 was recently selected as site visit for educators attending the annual CoSN conference, which welcomed tech leaders from the U.S. and around the world. She presented a video of an entirely student-designed musical theater production (with book and music written completely by an eighth grade student who had pitched the idea to his teachers) that will make its premiere at Washburne in May.


Maureen Miller, Director of Technology, District 36 Resource Center Directors, and three Carleton Washburne School student STEAM Ambassadors, presented outcomes of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program expansion to all five District schools in 2016-2017. The presentation shared how the STEAM program has fostered experiential learning opportunities for students; allowed for partnerships to grow with organizations such as Northwestern University and Google; and fostered students' design thinking strategies. Washburne students reflected on the leadership, collaboration, and risk-taking that occurs in the CoLab STEAM environment, and suggested ideas including how to engage more students in STEAM-related activities. Next steps for the STEAM program were also shared.

Informational Memos

The District received 12 responses to the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) by the April 19, 2017, due date.  Using specific indicators, the School Board's Facility Subcommittee and District Administration will narrow the field to a preferred architectural firm for School Board review and approval in May.  The Enrollment Balancing Phase II committee work will be informed by the the selected firm's guidance; therefore, community applications will be available after the firm has been selected and is working with the District.  

The Board approved the revised K-8 Science curriculum in May 2016. An update on the implementation of this new curriculum was provided, highlighting grade-specific progress and next steps.  Summer work will be dedicated to STEAM integration and unit refinement.

3. Water Testing Results & Communication

Recent events have brought a national focus to water quality, specific to lead levels in water.  In an effort to continuously monitor the water quality in our facilities, the District commissioned water testing for lead throughout our schools again this spring.  A total of 136 fixtures were tested, including all drinking fountains.  Any sources found with lead levels greater than 5 parts per billion were either turned off or limited to hand-washing only.  Access all pertinent information related to this testing, including the testing reports, at this link:

The Complete Board Packet for the April 25, 2017, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

May 16, 2017
June 7, 2017 

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Crow Island School through June 2017. Regular meetings begin at 7:15 p.m. Work sessions are also open to the public and may be scheduled at the discretion of the Board. Discussion topics and times for work sessions will be posted on the District website 24 hours in advance.
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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