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,  shared an overview of student performance data from the multiple measures the District uses to assess student progress. He noted the District's commitment to supporting the growth and achievement of every student while preparing them for future success. 2017-2018 student growth and achievement data from the second year of the MAP Assessment was provided as well as Reading Benchmarks and New Trier Placement data. He also discussed areas of targeted work that took place in order to address areas identified for improvement. Highlights from the information shared include that eighth grade students are performing in the 98th percentile nationally in Math on the MAP Assessment. In addition, New Trier Placement and grade data shows that Washburne graduates in New Trier's Class of 2021 are earning higher grades on average in all core subject areas.

Regular Meeti ng 

Kristen Hertel, Board President, called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. She thanked the Core Team for spending over 150 hours on a thorough analysis of potential concepts for Future Ready D36, the District's Educational Master Facility Plan. She also noted that further engagement will take place. She shared that it is anticipated that the School Board will approve an Educational Master Facility Plan by October.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  recognized the District's 2018 graduates and thanked the community for their support of our students. She noted the remarkable graduation speech of Molly McNally, who encouraged her peers, "Understanding our voice gives us the freedom to make a difference and gives us courage...with this courage, we can do anything we put our minds to."


Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, provided the Preliminary Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Initiatives to be undertaken were identified, including the continued Educational Master Facility Plan and continued support for student learning.  Staffing, revenue, and expenditures will be monitored throughout the summer and an updated Tentative Budget will be presented at the August 21, 2018, Board Meeting before approval of a final budget at the September 25, 2018, Board Meeting.  The preliminary budget was approved later in the evening.

Members of the Future Ready D36 Core Team provided an analysis of the current concepts (K-3, 4-8; K-4; 5-8; K-5, 6-8) under consideration related to the vision for teaching and learning, enrollment management, cost, and estimated timeline. The Educational Master Facility Plan is intended to ensure that all schools are most responsive to the needs of both current and future students. A detailed analysis, including estimated costs, projected timelines, and modernization tiers for the three concepts under review was shared.

Following a lengthy discussion, the Board decided to narrow the scope of the plan to focus the administrative work on the K-4, 5-8 concept and requested options to scale modernization. Throughout the summer, District administration will refine costs and other considerations associated with this concept, and continue to inform the Winnetka community. An update will be shared at the August 21, 2018, School Board Meeting. A survey to gather additional feedback will take place around the start of the 2018-2019 school year. It was noted that a formal School Board vote on the Educational Master Facility Plan is anticipated to occur in the fall. Following approval of the plan, additional engagement will occur surrounding priorities, timeline, and costs. If an April 2019 referendum is considered, the deadline for a resolution is January 2019.

Informational Memos

The District focused on two goal areas: Reaching ALL Learners and Future Ready D36.  Seven specific outcomes and associated targets were reported upon.  Progress was made in all areas, highlights include hitting growth targets for high-readiness learners, achieving high levels of satisfaction with staff and parents, extending STEAM experiences to the classroom, and providing more targeted interventions to students.

New Trier High School shared freshman placement and grade data with District 36 to provide information on students who have graduated from Washburne School. An analysis of this data set demonstrates that overall, Washburne graduates attending New Trier perform well in comparison with their classmates from other Township feeder schools.

Student enrollment is at 1,651 students, 39 fewer students compared to enrollment at this time last year (1,690). The enrollment shift from September 2017 to June 2018 has been an increase of seven students.  Staffing saw a relative 0.3% increase over the course of the year.
The School Board annually reviews the performance overview for District employees. This month's report was specific to non-tenured and tenured teachers.  This is the second year that the state required the inclusion of student growth data in the summative evaluation rating.

Each year the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation ("Foundation") raises funds from the community for the benefit of the District's students and staff.  For the 2018-2019 school year a total of $105,000 was provided by the WPSF to fund innovative grants. In addition, the Foundation is supporting a Learning Space Design Team to examine the impact of learning space design and utilization to support our vision for teaching and learning. The team will seek to understand optimal learning space design at various grade levels. 

The Mobile Learning Initiative (MLI) has been in place for four years. Prior to Year 1,  the District defined three student learning outcomes for the MLI based on best practice, research and feedback from staff and students.   

The District Technology Committee  (DTC) and District Technology Team worked throughout 2017-2018 to gather feedback regarding the next device refresh and how to best meet the needs of our teachers and students. The refresh invests in upgraded iPads and cases, Macbook Airs, and Apple Professional Learning. 

The Facilities Subcommittee met in January and supported a pilot project for furniture for three classrooms at Carleton Washburne. This pilot presents teachers with an opportunity to design the student learning  environment to best meet student needs. The pilot will examine the impact of the environment on student learning.  

In 2016, the Crow Island Stewardship Group commissioned a comprehensive Historic Structures Report in honor of Crow Island's 75th anniversary.  The Report and Overview Guide were presented to the School Board with the intent to respond specifically to the questions, "What are the significant features of the building?" and "What are the appropriate options for restoring and repairing these features?"  The gift to the District is appreciated. 

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:

1. Revised 2018-2019 School Board Regular Meeting Calendar
2. Interest Designation Resolution
3. FY19 Preliminary Budget
4. Carleton Washburne Furniture
5. Master Lease Agreement with Apple and Resolution

The Complete Board Packet for the June 6, 2018, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
August 21, 2018
September 25, 2018
October 23, 2018

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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