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. 

Greg Kurr, CFO, discussed two debt restructuring models under consideration:
-Option 1: Redeeming $30 million of callable bonds on June 1, 2017
-Option 2: Redeeming $22 million of callable bonds on June 1, 2017
These two alternatives were evaluated in terms of providing taxpayer relief . In the case of Option 2, the use of $8 million for the upgrading of the aged HVAC steam systems at the District's three elementary schools was also considered. Jeff Chamberlin of 2010 Engineering, Elizabeth Hennessy of William Blair, and Carol Pugh from Green Associates Architecture & Construction Services, were present to provide further context and answers to questions pertaining to the two models.
One of these debt restructuring models will be voted upon at the March 21, 2017, Board Meeting.

Regular Meeting

Board President, Kendra Wallace,  welcomed all in attendance. She noted the productive Work Session, as well as the thoughtful comments made by community members.

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda,  shared highlights from District schools, as well as a video filmed as the District participated in the National Day of Service on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Brad Goldstein Named Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Brad Goldstein will assume the role of Chief Financial Officer starting July 1, 2017. Mr. Goldstein has over 25 years of experience in business operations and financial management experience in both the public and private sector. He is currently serving as Associate Superintendent of Finance and Business Operations in Hawthorn School District 73. Prior to his current position, he was Chief Business Official at Community Consolidated School District 46. Mr. Goldstein has a Masters in Education: School Business Management from Northern Illinois University and a Bachelor of Arts from the College of Business at Michigan State University.


Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, provided an overview on the implementation of the Kindergarten program in 2017-2018. Per the Board's determination on January 24, 2017, all incoming Kindergarten students will attend Hubbard Woods or Greeley Schools. School assignments are based on geographic proximity, school capacity, and class size considerations. Details were shared regarding the school day schedule, classroom placement process, transportation, extended play, opportunities to visit schools, intra-District transfer protocol, and Kindergarten classroom teachers. The Board later approved the Kindergarten 2017-2018 Boundary areas and heard a First Read of the new Policy on Intra-District transfer requests for the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school years.

Daniel Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Professional Learning and Human Resources, presented the Preliminary Staffing Plan after consulting with key staff regarding how to best meet student needs while responsibly utilizing staffing. The plan upholds the District's commitment to aligning student enrollment with staffing. Special considerations were given for student and/or program needs, including staffing for Extended Day Kindergarten, special education, and interventions. The 2017-2018 Staffing Plan will be voted upon at the March 21, 2017, Board Meeting.

Informational Memos

During the Work Session, the two debt restructuring models under consideration were discussed:

-Option 1: Redeeming $30 million of callable bonds on June 1, 2017
-Option 2: Redeeming $22 million of callable bonds on June 1, 2017

Debt repayment and a tax abatement will be voted on in March 2017.

School Improvement Plans for the 2016-2017 school year were aligned to the District's Shared Vision and presented at the November 2016 Board meeting.  This month's report includes a mid-year update.  All schools have goals related to social emotional learning, leadership and service. The Skokie School improvement plan goals related to implementation of an alternative schedule model including a period within the day devoted to student interest and inquiry. Carleton Washburne School improvement plan goals focussed on interventions and the advisory program.

The District's Improvement Plan focuses on math and reading goals for students grades 1-8.  An update was provided related to the action plan and progress monitoring of goals.  Highlights include finalizing a revised reading curriculum, embedding more procedural fluency math strategies in instruction, and implementing improved math interventions and support for students.

This updates outlines ways in which the District is working with New Trier to examine ways on how we can further build out a model of monitoring and ensuring student preparedness and success (academics, leadership, service).  The District has a draft framework organized by distinct time frames of High School Transition, High School Experience, and Post Secondary and Life Experience.

This memo summarizes a number of upcoming capital projects including significant Life Safety work scheduled at Crow Island School over the summer, infrastructure upgrades at Carleton Washburne School's cafeteria, and playground modernization at Hubbard Woods and Greeley Schools.  

This memo provides an update related to the VS America furniture donation.  Design planning and a revised timeline are included in the update.

The District continues to support a high-quality early childhood professional learning conference with The Alliance for Early Childhood Education.  This 2nd Annual event was hosted at Chicago Botanic Garden on February 9, 2017, with over 200 educators in attendance.  

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 21, 2017, Board Meeting.

Action Items

T he Consent Agenda and following action items were approved:
  1. 2017-2018 School Calendar
  2. Reading Curriculum
  3. Termination of Modular Lease Option
  4. CFO Contract
  5. Kindergarten Attendance Boundaries
The Complete Board Packet for the February 21, 2017, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
March 21, 2017
April 25, 2017

May 16, 2017
June 7, 2017 

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Crow Island School through June 2017. 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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