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,  welcomed all in attendance. She thanked families and staff for their efforts keeping our students safe in light of the extreme winter weather. She acknowledged that the referendum process is underway, and community members will have the opportunity to vote early or on April 2. She invited community members to learn more facts about the referendum at an upcoming informational session and thanked all who have been engaged in the process as the Board has worked to develop and execute a long-term plan for The Winnetka Public Schools. 

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, thanked the custodial staff for ensuring the buildings were clean and safe this week. She congratulated the Washburne "Nerd Herd," who received the Gracious Professionalism Award at the 2019 Einstein State Robotics Tournament and thanked the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation for hosting the Carlson Event. She also noted that the District looks forward to hosting informational sessions to share factual information regarding the referendum. A  Fact Sheet has been sent to all homes in Winnetka with these dates and additional information.


Betsy Allen, Auditor, from Miller, Cooper & Co. LTD., provided a summary of the audited 2018 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.

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 Calendar Committee proposed a calendar that aligns with Illinois School Code, District contractual agreements, and New Trier High School winter and spring breaks. The Board is expected to approve the calendar at the February 26, 2019, School Board Meeting. In addition, the last day of the current school year was discussed.  Given the three emergency weather days, the current last day of school is June 11, 2019.

The District has hosted a summer learning program for over 75 years with recent enrollment reaching approximately 680 students in 2018.  Updated course offerings were shared along with a recommendation of a no fee increase, with the goal for cost neutral programming.

Each year the School Board must review and approve a Budget Calendar and resolution for the following school year.

A summary of District investments were presented to and reviewed by the School Board.  The District continues to responsibly invest its resources.

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 2018-2019 school year, both enrollment and staffing have increased by less than 1%.

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.

With the anticipation of new School Board members in April 2019, the New Board Member Orientation Plan was updated.  The Plan includes a mentor program, on-site orientation sessions, and exit interviews by departing Board members.

9. Policy Update Recommendations (2nd Read)

The Policy Subcommittee reviewed a number of School Board policies and provided recommendations for updates.

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.

If the referendum passes, construction at Washburne would be divided into Phase I and Phase II over several years in summer 2020-2022. Crow Island would require additional design time due to the landmark and National Historic Registry status of the building. Construction would take place from 2020-2022, with projects completed for the 2023 school year. Greeley and Hubbard Woods would experience construction in summer 2020.   Additionally, it was noted that the District is currently in the RFQ process for an architect. The District did not invest money into a design process without an approved referendum.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:
  1. Intra-District Transfer Requests
  2. FY18 Annual Financial Report (AFR) and Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year 2018
  3. Resolution Direction the Chief Financial Officer to Prepare the FY2020 Budget
  4. Adventures in Learning 2019 Program
  5. Superintendent Contract Extension

The Complete Board Packet for the January 29, 2019, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
February 26, 2019
June 5, 2019
March 19, 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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