Strategic Plan

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. 

Work Session

Chief Financial Officer, Greg Kurr,  discussed financial planning including a review of financial projections, remaining Levy options, abatement alternatives, and investments. These factors will inform the 2015 Levy abatement decision that will be voted upon at the March 15, 2016, meeting.

Regular Meeting

Board President, Kendra Wallace, called the meeting to order by welcoming everyone in attendance. She noted District happenings as well as the February 11, 2016, Inaugural Preschool Kindergarten Summit, which provided an opportunity for over 175 educators to convene for professional learning focused on early childhood research in the areas of play, technology, art, and math.  The Winnetka Public Schools partnered with the Alliance for Early Childhood to support this event.

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda, shared noteworthy updates from District schools
and thanked The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation and PTOs for supporting initiatives that have provided enriched arts experiences for our students. She also recognized leaders from New Trier High School who recently presented at Winnetka Parent Institute events, which are available
on the District's website.

Barry Rodgers Announced as Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning

Mr. Barry Rodgers was named Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, beginning July 1, 2016. He brings nearly 25 years of experience in leadership and education to District 36 and has a track record of fostering innovation in learning and curriculum development. He is currently serving as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum Instruction, Technology, and Assessment at Lake Forest Schools District 67 and 115. Prior to his current position, he was Principal of Lake Forest High School. He was also a founder and Principal of Northside College Prep High School, where he served as Science Department Chairperson and Curriculum Chairperson.


Curriculum Coordinator, Betty Weir, and Literacy Facilitator, Jen Fiegan, provided an overview of the reading curriculum redesign conducted by the Language Arts Committee. The presentation highlighted the importance of the District's Instructional Literacy Framework and noted that the reading work has been focused on developing expectations for literature and informational reading at each grade level. Additionally, the Committee has developed a K-8 progression centered on best practices in reading. The Committee will focus on goals and measures in 2016-2017.

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda, and Chief Financial Officer, Greg Kurr, discussed why temporary classrooms are being pursued as a short-term solution to alleviate current space needs at Crow Island School. The recommended location of the temporary classrooms, as well as amenities and safety features, were discussed. Engagement sessions have been held to gather feedback from parents and neighbors; input is being incorporated into plans presented to both the Village of Winnetka and The School Board. The School Board will vote on temporary classrooms at the March 15, 2016, meeting.

Informational Memos

This mid-year review includes details on progress toward goals included in the 2015-2016 School Improvement Plans (initially shared at the October 20, 2015, Board Meeting). Principals will provide a comprehensive report on goal attainment at the June 8, 2016, Board Meeting.
 2. New Trier Freshman Data & Placement Test Follow-Up

Carleton Washburne School administration provided an update on the continued articulation with New Trier High School and further study of the high school math placement data.  Current freshman math placement and grades were also shared, demonstrating that Washburne graduates are prepared and performing well at the high school.

 3. Computer Adaptive Assessment Selection

The District's assessment selection committee is in the midst of vetting two nationally-normed computer adaptive assessments in order to make a recommendation to the School Board by April 2016 for an intended May 2016 implementation.

The District's goal is to align the staffing plan with student enrollment while accommodating for student and program needs. Based on a projected 2% decrease in enrollment in 2016-2017 and evaluation of student needs, administration proposed a corresponding 2% decrease in staffing that was later approved.

In concert with the development of a financial plan, a five-year facilities improvement plan was developed. The primary basis for this plan is to address required Life Safety projects and Long Term Maintenance items.  This plan has been incorporated in the recent
financial projections, as well as summer 2016 construction projects.

The fifth Annual Satisfaction Survey will be administered to community members and staff in April 2016. The majority of questions remain consistent in order to provide important longitudinal data. Minor modifications and additions are recommended to inform progress toward achieving current District goals.

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 March 15, 2016, Board Meeting.

Other Business 

Caucus Schools Committee Platforms 
School Board members,  Jennifer Pehlke and Kendra Wallace , reported on the meeting held with the Caucus Schools Committee this month. The four platforms and survey data   w ere shared with the School Board.

Action Items

The Consent Agenda and the following action items were approved.
  1. 2016-2017 Academic Year Calendar
  2. Long-Term Facility Work Plan
  3. Administrator's Employment Contract
  4. 2016-2017 Staffing Plan
  5. Shared Vision
The Complete Board Packet for the February 23, 2016, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations, is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
March 15, 2016
April 19, 2016

May 17, 2016
June 8, 2016

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held in The Skokie School Resource Center. 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.
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