Regular Meeting 

Dawn Livingston, President,  welcomed all in attendance. She recognized the District's 2020 graduates for their academic accomplishments and service to the community. She also acknowledged staff and parents for finding creative ways to celebrate the end of the school year. Livingston also shared that the Board is busy working with District administration and staff to plan for various potential scenarios in fall 2020. She noted that fall planning prioritizes student, staff, and community safety aligned with public health guidelines, and affirmed the common goal the District and Board shares with parents to safely reconvene in person again in the fall. 

As a follow up to the June 3 letter from the Superintendent, Ms. Livingston stated that the Board stands behind Dr. Kocanda's message. The Board is working with the administration to further the commitment to equity and anti-racism in our schools.  She affirmed that the District does not condone racism in any form, and stands for respect, acceptance, and inclusion for ALL. It is the Board's desire that every student who graduates the District does so with a commitment to promoting peace and making this world a better place. 

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, echoing Ms. Livingston's comments, restated the District's ongoing commitment to actively promote equity and anti-racism. The leadership team will be participating in related training this summer.  A professional learning plan will be in place for all staff for the fall.  In addition, social and emotional learning (SEL) initiatives, including the New Trier Township CASEL collaborative, will serve as a conduit for the District to expand its efforts in these areas.

Dr. Kocanda also recognized how well our community came together this year to ensure learning continued remotely during the pandemic. She noted that planning for multiple scenarios next year is a main focus this summer, with all prioritizing the desire to be safely back on campus for school in the fall. The District will communicate with families and staff throughout the summer and ensure they are aware of plans to start the school year.


Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, Kelly Tess, Assistant Superintendent, and Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning , gave an update on the District's planning for the 2020-2021 school year considering that at least the fall season will be impacted by COVID-19. The presentation provided further information on considerations related to curriculum and instruction and facilities plans. As previously shared, the re-opening of schools for in-person instruction is not a local decision and is contingent on meeting health metrics found in the  May 5th Governor's Restore IL Plan . The District is closely monitoring state and public health data in order to plan for a variety of scenarios. Families will receive updates throughout the summer and can expect fall plans to be shared by early August.

Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, provided the Preliminary Fiscal Year 2021 budget. The budget addresses the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which will continue to affect the FY21 budget.  This includes additional expenditures related to health and custodial staffing, supplies and materials related to safety and technology, professional services, and professional development and training. The current estimated impact to the FY21 budget is $1,057,000. Financial figures will be modified over the summer as planning for the 2020-2021 school year evolves based on health and safety guidelines. Additionally, the District is addressing the 3-Year Capital Improvement Plan through the utilization of fund balance in the amount of $5.4 million in FY21. This addresses urgent facilities needs such as domestic water issues, ADA needs, and Health/Life Safety projects. An updated Tentative Budget update will be presented at the August 18, 2020, Board Meeting before approval of a final budget at the September 22, 2020, Board Meeting.  The preliminary budget was approved later in the evening.

Due to the pandemic, the District's attention is focused on health and educational plans for the 2020-21 school year. While facility needs remain urgent, the School Board is postponing a possible referendum to March 2022 versus April 2021 for reasons such as the financial impact of the pandemic, inability to convene stakeholders in person, and potentially changing facilities design standards related to health and safety. A 3-year prioritized facility plan, addressing required Health/Life Safety, lead mitigation in the water, and urgent ADA needs at Crow Island, is being implemented starting this summer. Additionally, the School Board is postponing the Strategic Planning process (originally started in March 2020) to January 2021 with a targeted completion date of June 2021. The School Board will identify streamlined annual goals for the 2020-2021 school year by fall.

The Winnetka Public Schools presented the School Board with an approved annual plan for the 2020-2021 school year for a total of $53,156

As of June 2020, student enrollment is at 1,650 students, 15 more students compared to enrollment at the start of the school year. The enrollment shift from September 2019 to June 2020 is within the typical 1-2% range of increase or decrease, due to families moving in or out of the district.   Staffing did not change since last reported in March 2020.

By State law, the District is required to formally evaluate non-tenured teachers every year and tenured teachers every other year.  The building principal or the assistant principal evaluates the teachers. The Professional Practice evaluation accounts for 70% of the overall rating, based upon the Danielson Model.  The Student Growth Measure accounts for 30% of the overall summative rating, which is based upon two student growth assessments.

This summer, Adventures in Learning will be offered remotely for a three week session.  Parents can enroll their children in two classes each day for the three week period.  Extended School Year is also occurring remotely this summer for qualifying students receiving special education services. 
In May, the Board was presented with a request to purchase additional iPads for students in grades K-2 to provide devices for all students.  The Board requested a review to determine the financial impact of purchasing new devices for all of K-8 in FY21.  After reviewing the options, the School Board took action to approve new devices for middle school students with repurposed iPads going to younger students.

The School Board was updated on additional needs to address plaster repairs in the auditorium at Skokie.  The Board was also updated on the need to address the deteriorating chimney at Crow Island. 

The School Board was updated on progress related to the redistricting plan.  This includes the installation of the bike ramp in the next month. The Village is adding any additional signage by the end of July.

A number of updated or new School Board policies were recommended by the policy subcommittee for approval.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:
  1. Consolidated District Plan FY21 
  2. Preliminary FY 2020-2021 
  3. Resolution Designating Interest Earnings 
  4. 1:1 Device Deployment 
  5. Intra-District Transfer Requests
The Complete Board Packet for the June 11, 2020, School Board Meetings is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
August 18, 2020
September 22, 2020
October 20, 2020
November 24, 2020
December 15, 2020
January 26, 2021

February 23, 2021
March 23, 2021
April 27, 2021
May 25, 2021
June 15, 2021

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Carleton Washburne School through June 2021. 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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