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

Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning provided an overview of Inquiry-Based Learning initiatives throughout the District. Inquiry learning addresses current standards and builds critical skills and mindsets necessary for future success. Neuroscience affirms the benefits of learning by this method. Mr. Rodgers shared examples of how students currently engage in inquiry-based learning, such as It's Greek to Me project on Ancient Greece and engineering earthquake resistant structures.

Mr. Brad Rice, Teacher at Carleton Washburne School, shared insight into individual inquiry-based projects students pursued this year in the Team Discover pilot environment at Washburne.

Regular Meeti ng 

Kristen Hertel, Board President,  welcomed all in attendance. She thanked the over 150 community members who have made the time to participate in one of the District's recent referendum informational sessions.  Ms. Hertel also noted that the The Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce has decided to recognize two D36 staff members at the 43rd annual Recognition Lunch held on April 10, 2019. The Man of the Year is Washburne KW teacher, Victor Cooper, and The Educator of the Year is Dr. Daniel Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Professional Learning and Human Resources.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, discussed highlights from the District in February, including many D36 educators participating in the Annual Preschool Kindergarten Summit. She encouraged community members to attend upcoming  informational sessions to learn factual information regarding the referendum on April 2. 

She also recognized the recent passing of a D36 staff member,  Ms. Rachel Owen, who served for almost 20 years as the secretary at The Skokie School. Ms. Owen was beloved fixture in the school community and will be remembered for the care she showed for families and colleagues. 

Later in the meeting the School Board unanimously approved current Skokie School Principal, Ms. Kelly Tess, to assume the role of Assistant Superintendent of Professional Learning and Human Resources on July 1, 2019. Retiring Assistant Superintendent Dr. Daniel Ryan will work with Ms. Tess to ensure a seamless transition process. The District will immediately commence a search for a new Principal for The Skokie School. 


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 2019-2020 Staffing Plan will be voted upon at the March 19, 2019, Board Meeting.

Informational Memos

This monthly update highlights progress toward the Reaching All Learners goals in the District' Strategic Plan.  Highlights this month include: over twenty eighth graders participated in the Futures Unlimited program, February 18th Institute Day with sessions related to Inquiry-based learning, special education planning for 2019-2020. 

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.

Current registration numbers were shared for the 2019-2020 Kindergarten class.  The Board also reviewed the recommended boundaries for 2019-2020 school assignments, remaining consistent with current assignment map. School assignments were shared with incoming Kindergarten families this week.

At the November 27, 2018, School Board meeting, the School Board agreed to the proposed redistricting timeline and process.  To keep on track for an October 2019 decision and fall 2020 implementation, the District provided an update on the progress over the past month.

In 2018, the School Board approved a new staffing structure for elementary schools. The RC/Tech Team staffing promotes more technology integration, provides job-embedded professional learning, and documents learning outcomes. A summary of the impact of the change, along with steps for the future were shared.

The District was a sponsor for the 5th Annual Alliance for Early Childhood professional learning conference on February 7, 2019.  This year's theme was The Neuroscience of Early Childhood: What? How? And Why?  Registration was at capacity with 233 attendees and guests. Highlights from the experience were shared. 

Student fees are evaluated and adjusted annually based on benefit, performance, and economics of the related programs and services. After analysis and benchmarking, recommended fee structures were presented for FY20.  

After the Board approved the resolution for an April 2, 2019, referendum, the District launched a communication plan to disseminate factual information and establish a schedule for community members to attend informational sessions.  An update of this plan was shared.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:
  1. 2019-2020 Academic Year Calendar
  2. Kindergarten Attendance Boundaries
  3. Auditors' Arrangement Letter-REVISED
  4. Approval of Employment Contract for the Assistant Superintendent of Professional Learning and Human Resources
  5. Summer 2019 Bid Approval

The Complete Board Packet for the February 26, 2019, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

March 19, 2019
June 5, 2019
April 23, 2019

May 21, 2019

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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