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
Chris Rintz, Winnetka Village President, provided an overview of the proposed TIF (Tax Increment Financing), for downtown Winnetka. He shared background information on why the Village is considering this funding option to address infrastructure to support the downtown business district. The School Board shared concerns related to increasing taxes at a time when the District recently lowered taxes by approving a $30 million early debt payment in June 2017. The District has infrastructure needs as well and is leading the collaborative Future Ready D36 initiative with the entire community. Next steps in the process were discussed with a desire for continued collaboration.  

Regular Meeti ng 

Kristen Hertel, Board President, c alled the meeting to order. She noted that due to a death in Superintendent Kocanda's family, Assistant Superintendent Daniel Ryan would lead the meeting in her absence. Ms. Hertel also thanked the community for their involvement in the recent Future Ready D36 survey.

Daniel Ryan, Assistant Superintendent, thanked community members for recently attending the seventh community engagement session on Future Ready D36 and completing the recent Future Ready D36 survey. He announced special Board Meeting is scheduled for Monday, March 12 for the community and Board to learn more about the first models of the Core Team's recommended next steps for Future Ready D36. He also shared that Maureen Miller, Director of Technology, is the recipient of the "Making it Happen" Award from the International Society for Technology in Education. He also offered congratulations to the District's First Lego League Team, who advanced to the State Championships and received on of the highest honors of "Gracious Professionalism."


FY2017 Audit-Annual Financial Report (AFR) and (CAFR)
Betsy Allen, Auditor, f rom Miller, Cooper & Co. LTD., provided a summary of the audited 2017 Annual Financial Report. No material deficits or material weaknesses were identified in the District's financial statements. The District maintains its Financial Recognition status (highest honor) from the Illinois State Board of Education. Ms. Allen noted that technology is ever-changing and recommended that the District continue to monitor cybersecurity in order to best prevent fraud and protect online information.

Maureen Miller, Director of Technology, shared outcomes of the District's STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) program, first piloted in 2015-2016 and expanded to dedicated STEAM environments at every District school in 2016-2017. Miller shared examples of how STEAM has fostered experiential learning and design thinking by providing common grade level opportunities for students to access robotics, circuitry, construction, and design opportunities. She also discussed program goals such as further integrating STEAM into multiple content areas, increasing access to STEAM spaces outside of the school day, continuing to monitor gender distribution throughout the STEAM activities and electives, and introducing a badging system to better support student skill mastery.

Informational Memos

The District's 2015-2020 Strategic Plan is organized by six drivers to move the District forward. Every year, annual goals are created to support the strategic vision and address relevant needs. Mid-year goal updates were reported with highlights of progress and evidence toward reaching goals.

The District has hosted a summer learning program for over 75 years with recent participation topping over 640 students.  This year's program will be held at The Skokie School and Hubbard Woods School due to summer maintenance work at Carleton Washburne School.  Program fees were recommended to slightly increase with a goal for cost neutral programming.

District 36 staff were able to participate in relevant learning strands focused on District goals and programming.  There were 23 course offerings that ranged from Differentiated Math to Exploring Social Emotional Universal Screeners.  Staff submitted evaluations at the end of the day to ensure professional learning continues to meet the needs of our highly-qualified staff.

A summary of current enrollment and staffing was shared along with an overview of potential enrollment and programming shifts for next school year to ensure enrollment and staffing remain aligned. Over the course of the 2017-2018 school year, both enrollment and staffing have increased by less than 1%.

The District has benefitted from the partnership with the North Shore Special Education District (NSSED), a cooperative of 18 member districts to help meet diverse learner needs, for decades. NSSED recently presented its 3-year strategic plan for final review.  The NSSED Leadership Council is expected to approve the plan at the February meeting.

A summary of District investments were presented to and reviewed by the Financial Subcommittee earlier this month.  The District continues to responsibly invest its resources.

A summary of of progress on Future Ready D36 was presented.  The Guiding Values Survey had 724 community respondents and 228 staff respondents.  Future-Focused Educational Design and Class Size Guidelines were highest ranking for both constituencies.  A summary of research was also shared related to grade configuration and environmental impact on learning.

Other Business

Committee/Board Liaison Reports:
  1. Winnetka Public Schools Foundation (January 8, 2018)
  2. North Suburban Special Education District Cooperative (January 10, 2018)
  3. Subcommittee Reports
    1. Facility Subcommittee, January 22, 2018
    2. Finance Subcommittee, January 11 and 25, 2018
The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:
  1. Approval of 2018-2019 School Calendar
  2. Approval of Adventures in Learning Fees
  3. Intra-District Transfer Requests
The Complete Board Packet for the January 30, 2018, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

February 27, 2018
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.  
Please note: Unsubscribing from this email will unsubscribe from  all Winnetka school emails.