Regular Meeti ng 

Dawn Livingston, Board President,   welcomed attendees to the first meeting of 2020. She shared several initiatives underway, such as the Board's efforts to advance the Educational Master Facility Plan, setting new goals and a shared vision for a next Strategic Plan. and a community celebration on March 10th to honor 100 years of Progressive Education in our schools.

Maureen Chertow Miller, Director of Technology, introduced the middle school students who competed in the First Lego League State Championship in January 2020. The teams demonstrated many of the District's core values, such as creativity and innovation. The Board recognized the students, parent volunteers, and coaches Mr. Selgrat and Mr. Martinsen, for their teamwork and innovation.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  thanked District teachers for their efforts preparing for conferences. She recognized The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation for hosting the Carlson Event last week. Additionally, she shared an update on Social Emotional Learning initiatives in the District and announced that all seven New Trier Township school districts, along with NSSED, are forming a collaborative with CASEL.


Kelly Tess, Assistant Superintendent, shared a presentation on hiring and recruiting, highlighting statistical trends in the State of Illinois as well as education.  This presentation is meant to provide an overview of factors at the national, state and local levels that impact the District's ability to recruit and hire the highest quality candidates as the District prepares for a new school year.

Facility and Committee Reports: EMFP Progress Update
Board Members on the Facility and Finance Committees shared an update on work that has occurred in order to advance the Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP) including the approval of a Redistricting Plan to balance enrollment among the three elementary schools, selection of a new architect (Perkins and Will), approval of a three-year critical priority/needs facility plan, and the development of a 2019-2021 implementation timeline for advancing the EMFP facility work.  

The Board affirmed its commitment to high-quality education and fiscal responsibility and noted that another referendum is being considered, which would be centered on meeting the critical facility priorities and needs indicated in the EMFP. The Board is currently contemplating the most appropriate timeline for pursuing a referendum with scope, cost, and timing aligned with community priorities.

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's 2015-2020 Strategic Plan sunsets this year. At its December 17, 2019, meeting, the Board approved Battelle for Kids to support the formulation of a new Strategic Plan. The first phase of this work will be focused on developing a "Portrait of a Graduate" for Board approval at its June 11, 2020, meeting. A team of staff, students, and community members will lead development of the "Portrait of a Graduate," which is intended to guide the priorities that will be addressed in the next strategic plan (expected to be finalized by fall 2020). 

In a continued effort to further our District goal of a commitment to adult Social Emotional Wellness and Education, this winter's Institute Day remained dedicated to the theme of Social Emotional Learning; specifically CASEL's final three competencies:  Social Awareness, Relationship Skills and Responsible Decision Making. 90% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that the day's themes had an impact on their social and emotional growth or will have on student social and emotional growth.

4. 2020-2021 Staffing Plan: Process Overview

A summary of priorities and considerations for staffing the 2020/2021 school year were provided to the Board including building capacity for Social Emotional Learning, implementing the redistricting plan, and adhering to the financial principles in the budgeting process.  A preliminary staffing plan will be presented in February.
 5. School Calendar 2020-2021 DRAFT 

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 25, 2020, School Board Meeting.

The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation hosted the annual Carlson Event on Thursday, January 23, 2020.  The guest speaker was Matt Dewar, Ed. D., Well-Being Coordinator for Lake Forest High School. Dr. Dewar's presentation related the importance of Social Emotional Learning, offered insight, and emphasized the importance of the home-school-community partnership to support all students and staff.

Since October, a committee of approximately 25 parents, staff, and community members has been meeting to plan the promotions and logistics for the 100th Anniversary of Progressive Education event on March 10. A summary of their progress was shared.

Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, shared an update on unexpected projects and costs related to aging facilities within the District per the request of the Facility Subcommittee. 

Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, shared an update on the  fall 2020 redistricting implementation such as tunnel beautification, signage and routes, policy on intra-District transfers and hiring of a crossing guard.

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 February 25, 2020, Board Meeting. 

School Maintenance Project Grant
The Board approved a School Maintenance Project Grant to be submitted to the State to assist the District in funding the roofing project at The Skokie School this summer.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Item was approved:
  1. School Maintenance Project Grant

Save the Date:
The School Board will host a community engagement session at Peet's Coffee at 817 Elm St., Winnetka, on Wednesday, March 4 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Complete Board Packet for the January 28, 2020, School Board Meetings is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
February 25, 2020
March 17, 2020
April 21, 2020
May 19, 2020
June 11, 2020

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Greeley School through June 2020. 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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