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 Meeting

Board President, Kendra Wallace,  called the meeting to order and welcomed those in attendance.

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda,  mentioned highlights from the District. She thanked the many community members who shared their expertise with students during the recent Career Fair at The Skokie School and shared a video highlighting the recent STEAM Expo at Crow Island School.


Greg Kurr, CFO, recapped the debt restructuring models under consideration. At the end of the Meeting, the School Board voted to return $30 Million from reserves to Winnetka taxpayers through the early refunding of bonds that are callable on June 1, 2017. Callable bonds are those that can be redeemed or paid off by the issuer prior to the maturity date. The decision to return $30 Million to taxpayers was made possible due to the District's strategic financial management plan developed in 2013. Winnetka homeowners will notice a savings of approximately $320 per $10,000 tax bill.

Informational Memos

Phase II of the Enrollment Balancing Project initiated with a Request for Qualified (RFQ) Architects for the Master Facility Plan.  This plan will address long-term facility needs associated with aging infrastructure, educational programming, enrollment needs, and financial planning. The goal is for the Master Facility Planning to begin mid-May 2017.  This plan will inform the School Board and Enrollment Balancing process as to the best ways to move forward that support the goals of the District, inclusive of community values and input.

An update on District strategic goals related to special education programming was shared. Work this year focused on student transitions from grade-to-grade and school-to-school, identifying more inclusive practices, and the refining the continuum of services offered to students across all schools.  

Next year's staffing plan includes a reduction in staffing by 4.9 FTE due to an expected overall decline in student enrollment.  Extended Day Kindergarten staffing was also analyzed and shared. The School Board voted to approve the plan later in the meeting.

Bid for Bus Transportation Services
By state regulation, the District is required to seek public bids for bus transportations services this year. Three companies provided a sealed bid.  The District's current service provider, North Shore Transit, Inc., was recommended for Board approval.

Carleton Washburne School Cafeteria Renovation & Furniture Bids
A committee of Washburne staff and the District's architect have been part of a team designing an updated multi-purpose/cafeteria space to meet student, school, and community needs.  The project went out to bid and a recommendation for ATP Enterprise Group, Inc. was made for renovation work and a recommendation for Lowery McDonnell Company was made for furniture purchases.

Student fees are evaluated and adjusted annually based on benefit, performance, and economics of the related programs and services. After considerable analysis and benchmarking, recommended fee structures were presented for FY18.  The School Board later approved an student fee recommendations except for Washburne athletics.  Per Board request, the athletic fees are under further review.

In anticipation of a Debt Restructuring plan resolution, it is best practice to file an amended budget with the state to reflect the financial impact.  The only change to the amended budget that was originally filed will be to reflect the effects of the approved Debt Restructuring Plan.  

In addition to the cumulative and substantial contributions that the schools' PTOs make throughout the year, PTOs will made special donations that are greater than $5,000.  Donations at this financial level require Board approval.  The Crow Island PTO is donating chilled water bottle fillers and the Carleton Washburne PTO is donating a substantial amount of cafeteria furniture.  Both donations were later approved by the School Board.

Three updated or new School Board policies were recommended by the policy subcommittee for approval, including the special policy specific to 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 Kindergarteners.

Action Items

T he Consent Agenda and following action items were approved:
  1. Refunding of June 1, 2017 of General Obligation, Series 2007 Bonds
  2. Bid Approval: Bus Transportation Services, Carleton Washburne School Cafeteria Furniture, Carleton Washburne School Cafeteria Renovation
  3. FY18 Student Fees (not including athletic fees, which are under further Board review)
  4. Food service - Arbor Management, Inc.
  5. FY17 Tentative Amended Budget
  6. Acceptance of PTO Donations
  7. Staffing Plan 2017-2018
  8. Approval of agreement 


The Complete Board Packet for the March 21, 2017, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.

Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

April 25, 2017
May 16, 2017
June 7, 2017 

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Crow Island School through June 2017. 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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