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. 

Organizational Board Meeting

Officer positions were determined for 2018-2019. Kristen Hertel will remain President. Dawn Livingston will continue to serve as Vice-President, and Jennifer Pehlke will remain Secretary. The 2018-2019 Board calendar was approved and meetings will be held at 7:15 p.m. at Hubbard Woods School starting in August 2018.

Regular Meeti ng 

Kristen Hertel, Board President, welcomed all in attendance and called the meeting to order. She thanked the community for their engagement in the Future Ready D36 Educational Master Facility Plan process as well as requested that the community engage in civil discourse while discussing opinions. She shared that the School Board added a special meeting on May 8, 2018, to continue Future Ready D36 work.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  welcomed those in attendance and recognized Erin Stone, Crow Island Associate, for her swift actions to provide first aid to a child in distress.


Educational Master Facility Plan: Future Ready D36 
Brie Root, Core Team Member, shared an overview of the Future Ready D36 process thus far, including the three concepts currently under refinement in order to address the District's Vision for Teaching and Learning, aging facilities, and enrollment imbalance. Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, discussed how the school environment is a resource that directly impacts learning and collaboration amongst students and staff. D36 teachers provided insight into current space limitations, the evolution of classroom design, and examples of how they may be able to better support student needs if modernized spaces were available. It was noted that characteristics of effective modern learning environments include safety, flexibility, transparency, physical conditions (i.e. temperature control, lighting, and acoustics) appropriately scaled spaces for experiential learning, and innovative spaces (i.e. MakerSpaces).

Jason Lembke, DLR Group , and Brad Goldstein, CFO , provided cost considerations, including initial costs for design and construction, as well as operation and maintenance and energy costs. Initial costs and costs over 30 years were analyzed. This chart displays estimated 30-year costs for the concepts under review both with and without modernized ("Future Ready") enhancement for the elementary school(s). Note, a baseline concept is included as a control, and a K-5 and 6-8 concept is included per the Board's request for more information on the feasibility of such a concept.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, noted themes that have emerged from feedback from community, such as a desire to adhere to the neighborhood schools model and a reminder that the District has been challenged with similar issues in the past.

Update from Finance Committee on Debt Service
Nat Roberts, a School Board representative from The Finance Subcommittee, gave an overview of the current debt service (bonds) that the District carries as well as current funds that are carried over from the 2007 bond issuance.  The outstanding debt will be paid in full in fiscal year 2022. He also gave an update on the debt capacity of the District, which in fiscal year 2019 will be $96.9 million. The District has the ability to keep the debt payment relatively level to what it currently is and borrow up to $70.0 million if bonds are issued by April 2019.  Both of these options would allow for borrowing proceeds within our existing payment levels based on expected interest rates and recent bond sales.

To view the Future Ready D36 presentation, click here:
To share feedback on Future Ready D36, please email futureready@winnetka36.org.

Informational Memos

This monthly update highlights progress toward the Reaching All Learners goals in the District's Strategic Plan.  Highlights this month include: math mentorship program initiated between 4th and 6th grade students to develop problem-solving skills, visual continuum of special education service delivery drafted to facilitate communication, and an inquiry-based learning cohort with 25 teachers with completion of exemplar lessons.

In August of 2017, the District initiated a curriculum review cycle for the area of Social
Studies.  The committee is working on embedding new standards with an emphasis on inquiry skills and key disciplinary concepts (civics, geography, economics and financial literacy, and history). The revised K-8 curriculum will be ready for School Board approval in spring of 2019.

The District's bargaining representatives reached agreement on a two-year contract extension with The Winnetka Education Association (WEA), the bargaining representative of the faculty, associates, and entrance monitors. The current agreement was set to sunset in June 2019 and will now be extended until 2021.  Teacher salary increases range from 3 - 4.5% and associates/entrance monitors will see a 4% increase. Both increases are slightly lower than the current contract yet market comparable. The overall cost to the District when factoring in all features of the contract extension is estimated at 2.9% (calculated as an average over two years).
The District Calendar Committee was made aware that the 2018-19 Academic Calendar approved by the Board on January 23, 2018, was short one teacher attendance day.  There was also a desire to schedule the last student attendance day on a Thursday rather than a Friday, due to potential inclement weather days. The revised calendar moves the first student attendance day to Monday, August 27, 2018, and the last day to Thursday, June 6, 2019.

In January of 2015, the Technology department drafted a Technology Refresh Cycle
modeled after the curriculum review cycle with three distinct phases of Research,
Design, & Development, Implementation, and Monitor, Evaluate, & Revise. The updated plan was presented for Board review.  It is recommended that the School Board approve the District technology upgrades for Infrastructure, Device Refresh, and VoIP at the May meeting.

Technology support used to be fairly simple: a student information system, a business system, and a productivity suite. In the past 10 years, the use of technology for teaching and learning has become ubiquitous and the systems to support teaching and learning have increased proportionally.  The memo communicates the vast number of systems needed to support teaching and learning and to better understand the team and staffing behind all of these systems and supports.

The Facilities Subcommittee met in January and supported a pilot project for furniture
for three classrooms and hallway spaces at Carleton Washburne School.  This memo provides an updated on this process and projected timeline and budget.
The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:

1. Intra-District Transfer Request
2. Winnetka Education Association (WEA) Contract Extension (2019-2021)
3. Employment Contract for Skokie School Assistant Principal
4. Revised 2018-2019 Academic Calendar

Betty Weir Named Assistant Principal of The Skokie School
After an extensive search, Ms. Betty Weir was announced as Assistant Principal of The Skokie School beginning July 1, 2018. Principal Kelly Tess will work with Ms. Weir to ensure a seamless transition into the role.

The Complete Board Packet for the April 24, 2018, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

May 22, 2018

June 6, 2018
Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Carleton Washburne School through June 2018. 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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