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 Meeti ng 

Kristen Hertel, Board President, called the meeting to order. She acknowledged that the District expresses sympathy to all impacted by the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, causing us all to pause and reflect on the importance of school safety and social and emotional health.  She thanked the Winnetka Police and Fire Departments for their commitment to safety, as well as District teachers for their efforts toward nurturing our students' social and emotional well-being.

Hertel recognized the Core Team for their hard work as the District continues to progress toward Future Ready D36, our Educational Master Facilities Plan, and noted the special Board Meeting at Carleton Washburne School on March 12, an opportunity to learn more about the models currently under review by the Core Team.  She also recognized Dr. Kocanda, who was among the more than 30 superintendents recognized for successfully completing AASA's National Superintendent Certification ProgramĀ® this month.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  thanked District educators for their efforts during the District's recent conferences, and also acknowledged The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation for supporting innovation in all of our schools (most recently by hosting the annual Carlson Event).


Beth Martin, Director of Student Services,  shared an update on the District goal of Reaching All Learners, which includes implementing a K-2 intervention model of support and establishing a District-wide Special Education service delivery model. Areas of focus for the Department of Student Services have included piloting staffing modifications; conducting professional learning in partnership with NSSED; providing coaching support for behavioral intervention; and improving IEP goal writing. Martin also shared next steps, including a staffing review to best meet the needs of students, an analysis of data collection, as well as a planned expansion of parent education initiatives and ongoing professional learning and collaboration opportunities for staff.

Jason Lembke, DLR Group, shared an overview of needed improvements to District facilities. These include accessibility features, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, and Health Life Safety components. Scott Engstrom, Ameresco, provided preliminary cost estimates related to the findings.  The physical assessment items total an estimated $22.4 Million.  HVAC upgrades range from $11.3 Million for lower cost solutions  to $15.8 Million for geothermal.  Total improvements plus HVAC upgrades and implementations range from $33.7 Million for lower cost solutions to $38.7 Million for geothermal.  

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 are given for student and/or program needs. The 2018-2019 Staffing Plan will be voted upon at the March 20, 2018, Board Meeting.

Informational Memos

This monthly update highlights progress toward the Reaching All Learners goals in the District's Strategic Plan. Highlights this month include: Math Clubs at elementary schools near capacity, student presentations and leadership at local and regional education conferences, student focus groups held to inform device refresh plan, and family communication created to access digital math resources.

Current registration numbers were shared for next year's kindergarten class.  The Board also reviewed the recommended boundaries for 2018-2019 school assignments, remaining consistent with current assignment map. School assignments were shared with incoming kindergarten families this week.

The District Improvement plan focused on math and reading.  The mid-year review provides progress on action steps and necessary adjustments to meet end-of-year goals and metrics. Highlights of mid-year progress were shared.

The District was a sponsor for the 4th Annual Alliance for Early Childhood professional learning conference held on February 13, 2018.  This year's theme was Fostering Creativity.  Registration was at capacity with 233 attendees and guests.  Highlights from the experience were shared.

Futures Unlimited is a one-day educational program that provides eighth-grade girls with exciting opportunities to explore diverse careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).  The District nearly doubled its participation this year with 22 students.

Student fees are evaluated and adjusted annually based on benefit, performance, and economics of the related programs and services. After considerable analysis and benchmarking, recommended fee structures were presented for FY19.  

The District needs to address accessibility needs at Crow Island School for the 2018-2019 school year.  The facility subcommittee reviewed the plan at a January meeting.  The estimated costs and timeline of the project were shared at the meeting.

In an effort to support teacher-led innovation and test furniture concepts at the middle school level, the facility subcommittee and administration agreed to developing a flexible furniture plan for three adjacent classrooms.  This plan complements at PTO-funded initiative as well. The estimated costs and rationale were shared.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:
  1. 2018-2019 Kindergarten Attendance Boundaries
  2. FY19 Budget Calendar and Preparation Resolution
  3. FY19 Student Fees
  4. Arbor Management, Inc. Contract
  5. Bid Approval 2018: Carleton Washburne Piping Work
  6. FY17 Auditors' Report
  7. Carleton Washburne TV Studio Donations (The Tribune Company/WGN Studios)
  8. 403(b) and 457(b) Plan: Resolution Approval and Authorization
  9. Resolution to Dismiss Educational Support Personnel Employee
Other Business
Committee/Board Liaison Reports:
Winnetka Public Schools Foundation (February 5, 2018)
North Suburban Special Education District Cooperative (February 7, 2018)

The Complete Board Packet for the February 27, 2018, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

March 20, 2018
April 24, 2018

May 22, 2018
June 6, 2018
Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Carleton Washburne School through June 2018. 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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