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. 

Regular Board Meeting (with Class of 2019 Board Members)

Kristen Hertel, President, called the meeting to order. She said it has been an honor to be part of School Board in The Winnetka Public Schools and thanked D36 educators and her fellow Board Members for their leadership and dedication. She expressed gratitude that students have remained at the heart of the Board's goal-setting and strategic work. She also welcomed the three new Board Members to their roles.

The Consent agenda and following Action Items were approved:

1 . Approval of Intra-District Transfer Requests
2. Approval of settlement agreement regarding student 2019-4A
3. Employment Contract for Skokie School Principal

Other Business:

Retiring Board Members Ms. Kristen Hertel (2015-2019), Mr. Matt Hulsizer (2011-2019), and Ms. Jennifer Pehlke (2015-2019) were recognized for their service to the District and contributions on behalf of the families of Winnetka. Principal Beth Carmody and Art Teacher Jude Bamshad presented a work of art created by students in their honor. The art installation will be displayed at Hubbard Woods School.

Regular Meeti ng (with Newly Seated Board Members)

Steve Cirulis, Pro Tem President,  called the meeting to order. 

New Board Members Maxie Clarke, Megan Panje-Wilson, and Emily Rose, took the Oath of Office. Officer positions were determined for 2019-2020. Dawn Livingston was elected as President. Steve Cirulis was elected as Vice-President, and Emily Rose will serve as Secretary. The 2019-2020 Board calendar was approved and meetings will be held at 7:15 p.m. at Greeley School starting in August 2019.

Steve Cirulis, Board Vice-President, welcomed all in attendance. He recognized that although the proposed solution for aging infrastructure and updated learning environments did not receive community approval, the Board and District are committed to refining solutions to more closely align with community expectations. The Board is confident that work and data collected during the Educational Master Facility Plan process remains relevant, as are the critical needs to maintain and upgrade our community assets. The School Board held a special work session on April 15, 2019, with incoming board members to begin preparing next steps.  Moving forward, the Board and administration will re-engage the community for post-referendum feedback and determine a timeline for future planning. Meanwhile, the District will address Health/Life Safety needs totaling $14M over four years and evaluate the budget to plan for funding.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, thanked Mr. Cirulis for summarizing the Board's response to the referendum outcome. She noted that earlier this month, the District was honored that two long-time educators were named Winnetka's Educator of the Year (Assistant Superintendent Daniel Ryan) & Man of the Year (Washburne KW teacher & coach Victor Cooper) at the Annual Winnetka Chamber of Commerce Recognition Lunch. D36 alum, Marzuk Rashid, named Youth Achievement Honoree for his work with Binary Heart, a NTHS student organization that refurbishes tech devices for those in need.

Dr. Kocanda referenced the District's long history of partnering with our community and desire to move forward to find the right balance of values, visions, and costs following the referendum.


Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  and Brad Goldstein, CFO, shared a post-referendum report in alignment with School Board direction from the April 15, 2019, work session. The report included detailing plans for Community Outreach, Facility Maintenance, Financial Stewardship, and Architect Selection. Community Outreach will include a broad opportunity to share feedback via a survey, facilitated focus groups, and a dedicated email address for community members to share ideas for moving forward (nextstepsD36@winnetka36.org), and Board outreach. It was noted that Health/Life Safety projects as required by the State of Illinois will be addressed over the next four years. Required Health/Life Safety projects, including those deferred during the long-range planning efforts, will now be completed during the summers of 2019 - 2022.  The compacted timeline will allow the District to get the maintenance cycle back-on-track. Details on specific projects and timelines were shared.

A financial overview was provided with information on costs and projected impacts to the District budget. With addressing required Health/Life Safety needs, it is estimated that the District will delve into deficit spending by FY21 and fall below 50% fund balance by FY23 without intervention.  Additionally, the District will finalize a six month selection process for a new Architect of Record with interviews in May. This partner will help meet the needs of the capital maintenance timeline and address the impending Health Life Safety projects.

Informational Memos

This monthly update highlights progress toward the Reaching All Learners goals in the District's Strategic Plan.  Highlights this month include: Skokie students engaging in inquiry learning related to hydroponics/green technology, review of criteria used for students to qualify for MTSS services, and parent education on screen time hosted by New Trier Township.

A comprehensive progress update was shared related to the annual goals of "strengthen MTSS practices to effectively identify and serve students who require intervention in reading, writing, and math" and "implement co-teaching and instructional coaching models to enhance integrated service delivery in elementary schools."

At the November 27, 2018, School Board meeting, the School Board agreed to the proposed redistricting timeline and process.  To keep on track for an October 2019 decision and fall 2020 implementation, the District provided an update on the progress over the past month. The May 21, 2019, meeting will include a comprehensive presentation and communication plan launch. The Redistricting Fact Sheet was also updated and posted online.

The District is co-leading a regional collaborative to earn the international Consortium of School Networking Trusted Learning Environment (TLE) Seal.  To earn the seal, the District must employ 25 data security and privacy best practices in five focus areas: Leadership, Business, Data Security, Classroom, and Professional Development.  The District will submit the TLE application in August 2019.

The Complete Board Packets for the April 23, 2019, School Board Meetings are here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

May 21, 2019

June 5, 2019

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Hubbard Woods School through June 2019. 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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