Organizational Board Meeting

Dawn Livingston, Pro Tem President, called the meeting to order. 

Officer positions were determined for 2020-2021. Dawn Livingston was re-elected as President. Steve Cirulis was re-elected as Vice-President, and Emily Rose will continue to serve as Secretary. The 2020-2021 Board calendar was approved and meetings will be held at 7:15 p.m. at Carleton Washburne School starting in August 2020.

Regular Meeting 

Dawn Livingston, President, welcomed all in attendance to the virtual meeting. On behalf of the Board, she thanked parents, educators, and community for their incredible efforts serving students and fellow community members during the unprecedented global crisis. She noted that Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker ordered all Illinois schools to remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. The District remains focused on providing students with quality Remote Learning experiences and partnering with local leaders to support our collective safety. Ms. Livingston also expressed gratitude to those who are providing essential services and acknowledged that we look forward to welcoming our community back to our schools at the appropriate time. 

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, 
thanked our community for their support, particularly our first responders, healthcare professionals, and essential employees on the front lines of the pandemic. She noted that our schools remain a hub, albeit virtual, of purpose, routine, and continued learning. In light of the current situation, District leadership continues to be forward-thinking, addressing challenges and planning for long-term needs. Dr. Kocanda noted that through this difficult time the District seeks to foster positivity and hope, with a continued focus on addressing Social Emotional Learning needs.  


Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning provided an overview on Phase II of Remote Learning. Key elements of Phase II include the introduction of new learning material, prioritization of curriculum content, social emotional wellness, and new remote learning school schedules. Rodgers shared measures taken to further implement a sustainable and manageable instructional framework for teachers, students, and families. An overview of data collected from the most recent Remote Learning surveys will be shared with the school community next week.

Informational Memos


The unexpected school closure due to COVID-19 has required the District to evaluate the status and timeline for various initiatives. In consultation with Strategic Planning partner Battelle for Kids and the two Board members participating in Strategic Planning, Dr. Kocanda recommended that the Board modify the Strategic Planning process to ensure that the most effective plan is developed. Further Board discussion on an amended Strategic Planning timeline will take place at the May 19, 2020 School Board Meeting. 

The 2020/2021 Calendar was presented to the Board for approval.  Since sharing the drafted 2020-2021 calendar at the January Board meeting, the committee corrected the date of Good Friday, as it falls on April 2, 2021 as opposed to April 9, 2021.   The calendar submitted for Board approval this month includes the following key features:
  • (Monday) August 24 start date for Teachers
  • (Wednesday) August 26 start date for Students
  • (Thursday) June 3 anticipated last day of school
  • February conferences shifted to Feb. 11/12
  • School will be in session for President's Day (February 15)

The Board awarded the 2020-2021 contract for food service at Carleton Washburne School to Quest Food Management Services.  Quest services many other school districts in the area, and has an excellent reputation for the quality of service provided.  

The Board awarded Summer Work Bid Period 2 work for plumbing work at all schools to Defranco Plumbing.  This work will address necessary work to address plumbing, piping, fixtures and filtration at The Skokie School and Crow Island, in addition to filtration and replacement of fixtures at the remaining schools.  This work was included in the Educational Master Facilities Plan, and part of a 3-year long term facility needs plan that was developed last fall. 

The Board was given an update on Facilities Contingency Projects taking place in our schools.  This month's update includes the investigation of chimney repairs needed at Crow Island.

The Board was updated on the status of signage, bike ramps and tunnels.  They were also provided  Suggested Walking & Biking Routes to Greeley School and safety practices.  This information will be included on the District website and made available to new Greeley families. Any additional signage related to these routes will be determined in conjunction with the Village, and will be put into place during the summer.

The Board was presented information shared with the financial subcommittee regarding the impact of school closures on the District's finances.  The Board approved taking action to address these issues including paying contractors a portion of their contract in order to ensure continuity of operations when we return in the fall, addressing our current faculty and staff being paid for the duties they had committed to performing during the school year, and well as ensuring that our substitutes pool remains intact during this time.  The Board also approved refunding parents for services not provided during the closure on a prorated basis.  These expenses will be offset by savings due to a reduction in expenditures in several areas.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:

  1. Academic Calendar 2020-2021
  2. Summer Work Bid 
  3. Vendor/Contract - Food Service 
  4. Food Service Contract Amendment 
  5. Transportation Contract 
  6. Finance Subcommittee Recommendations
The Complete Board Packet for the April 21, 2020, School Board Meetings is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
May 19, 2020
June 11, 2020

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Greeley School through June 2020. 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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