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. 

Public Hearing

Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, presented the Budget Timeline and Budget Philosophy, which includes minimizing contingencies, investing in curriculum, and maintaining high quality programs and facilities. Financial factors were also presented including property tax levy considerations, federal and state revenues and expenditures, strategic planning and future funding of facility needs. Total Budgeted Revenues for FY19 are $48,252,237. Total Budgeted Expenditures for FY19 are $45,208,512. Deferred facility maintenance items account for much of the projected surplus, as the District is engaged in a long-term educational master facility plan. The District will evaluate surpluses each year to assess if these should be utilized to address deferred facility maintenance items that have been identified.  The Board voted to approve the tentative budget, and establish a public hearing to be held at 7:00 p.m. on September 25, 2018.

Regular Meeti ng 

Kristen Hertel, Board President, welcomed all in attendance. She thanked staff who have been involved in summer work in the District, welcomed new staff, and wished the community a fabulous start to our school year. She noted the next steps for Future Ready D36, the District's Educational Master Facility Plan, and referenced an upcoming survey poll that will be conducted in the community.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  thanked all who are working to prepare our facilities, and noted the many staff involved with New Teacher Orientation. She also officially welcomed the new teachers to the District and new administrators, Assistant Principals Ben Horwitz (Carleton Washburne School) and Betty Weir (The Skokie School). Additionally, she thanked VS America for their generous furniture gift to Crow Island School. 


Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent and Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, provided an EMFP update with recap of key working assumptions and a preliminary timeline leading to a potential facilities referendum in spring 2019. Key milestones reviewed included a September survey-poll to collect data on community priorities and funding level support, finalization of the EMFP in late October, and Board Work Sessions to define an implementation plan and potential Phase I facilities project.

A review of the 10-year vision for the EMFP focused on a potential K-4; 5-8 concept which would restore all (3) neighborhood elementary schools to a grade K-4 configuration and consolidate to a single (1) grade 5-8 campus. Dr. Kocanda confirmed with the Board that the EMFP, as with all planning options considered, would require change to the elementary school attendance boundaries. The timeline of late spring 2019 was established for making decisions regarding boundary changes - and following the definition of a potential Phase I facilities plan and any necessary community-approved referendum.

In response to Board request, the District reviewed costs associated with tiers of modernization to address aging buildings, systems, and outdated instructional spaces. Estimated 30-year costs to address items identified in the Health Life Safety Plan (alone) totaled approximately $127 million; in comparison, the estimated 30-year cost of implementing the K-4; 5-8 Concept totaled approximately $160 million.

Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, discussed the status of Illinois' Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan,  including new accountability indicators and school designations. The accountability system includes both academic and non-academic indicators (ex. student attendance).  New IL School Report cards will be launched this October, with many key indicators still under development by the state. The Illinois Assessment and Readiness Assessment will replace the PARCC test beginning in the Spring of 2019.  

Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, discussed the components of Evidence Based Funding (EBF), part of the new funding model being utilized in Illinois. The process provides school districts a unique adequacy target calculation, then establishes a local capacity target.  D36 falls into Tier 4, which receives 0.1% of new funding per EBF's model.

Informational Memos

The District utilizes a comprehensive suite of assessments to provide information on student performance.  The listing of the assessment calendar for the 2018-2019 school year was shared. A new state assessment, Kindergarten Individual Development Survey (KIDS), was added last year to report on student readiness for kindergarten.

New Trier High School administers a placement assessment as "one component of the portfolio used to place students in appropriate course levels at New Trier."  The results were shared from assessments administered in November 2017. The summary provided by the ERB compares local scores with three norm groups: national, suburban, and independent schools.

Preliminary Fall 2018 enrollment numbers were shared and are on track with the demographer's projections (Cropper, 2016) with anticipated fall enrollment ~1600 students in grades K-8.  An updated enrollment and staffing report will be shared next month.
The District's Wellness Committee manages a staff wellness program that is funded by an insurance premium refund awarded due to high level of staff participation in annual health screenings. The wellness program offers a variety of programs such as nutrition seminars and exercise programs.

The District has several pieces of Crow Island historical furniture that has significant value. Due to lack of available and appropriate storage space in the District, VS America has offered to store the furniture in a temperature controlled-environment on permanent loan.  A formal agreement as made with VS America and the District.

The Illinois State Board of Education monitors school districts and how students are identified for special educational services.  This past year, the state noted that there was a disproportionate identification of "white" students with a speech disability in D36.  As a result, a self-assessment was completed and an action plan submitted to state officials.

Per School Code, the District's bullying prevention plan needs to be reviewed and updated by the School Board every two years.  The District works with a task force of students, parents, and staff to develop and monitor the plan on an annual basis.

The Policy Subcommittee reviewed a number of School Board policies and provided recommendations for updates. A 2nd Read of Policies and vote to adopt the recommendations will occur at the September 25, 2018, Board Meeting.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:

1. FY19 Tentative Budget
2. Lease Extension Agreement with Winnetka Public School Nursery
3. Intra-District Transfer Requests
4. Survey Administrator

The Complete Board Packet for the August 21, 2018, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

September 25, 2018
October 23, 2018

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Hubbard Woods School from August 2018 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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