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 

Dawn Livingston, President,  welcomed all in attendance. She commented on the Board's commitment to listening to stakeholders as evidenced in recent community interviews regarding the referendum.  She also noted that the Board is working on a similar plan that the Village has in place, scheduling two Board members at a coffee shop every other month to listen to the community and engage in conversation. She shared that Teacher Appreciation Week was recognized in the District in May and thanked teachers for their excellent work each day. She recognized various student events.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  recognized how the District is in the midst of many end-of-the-year activities. She thanked the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, which helped support Civil War Day at Carleton Washburne School and a visit from Caldecott Award winner Matthew Cordell at Crow Island. She also shared that Dr. José Francisco Salgado, an Emmy-nominated astronomer, experimental photographer, and visual artist, recently visited The Skokie School and will work with students on a future project. At Hubbard Woods, fourth grade students presented their entirely student-produced opera and enjoyed a visit from the Winnetka Fire Department, who came to see the performance. At Greeley, Kindergarten students welcomed an Owl Master as a culmination of their Birds in Winnetka study. She also thanked the members of the PTOs, who actively plan many end-of-the-year events for students while simultaneously organizing activities to benefit students next year. 


Maureen Chertow Miller, Director of Technology, and Barry Rodgers, Director of Teaching, Innovation, and Learning, provided an overview on the research-based process for piloting classroom modernizations at the elementary and middle school buildings.  The Learning Space Design Team engaged in professional learning with learning space design experts including Trung Le and Dr. Robert Dillon. The Team conducted research and utilized focus groups and surveys with students and teachers to better understand the impact of classroom design at each school. Teachers Kim Barbaro (Skokie), Maureen Etter and Brad Rice (Washburne), and Byrd Rhyne (Hubbard Woods) shared their observations on how their modernized classroom environments have impacted teaching and learning. Hubbard Woods fourth grade students provided their perspective on spending a year in a modernized classroom environment, noting increased collaboration and other benefits. The information gained from this year's pilot program will inform future decision-making and a recommendation the Learning Space Design Team will make to the Facilities Subcommittee at their June 2019 Meeting.

Barry Rodgers, Director of Teaching, Innovation, and Learning, and Brad Rice, Faculty Curriculum Chairperson for Social Studies, shared an update on the Social Studies Curriculum Review, which has been underway since August 2017. The presentation highlighted the Inquiry Skills and Disciplinary Concepts that are incorporated in the new state standards. Details were provided on the specific learning outcomes for each grade level as they progress through Social Studies in The Winnetka Public Schools.  The revised Social Studies Curriculum aligns with current Illinois Social Studies Standards. The Board is expected to approve the Curriculum at its June 5, 2019 meeting.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  provided the Board with an update on the timeline and overview of the decision-making process for Redistricting 2020. An imbalance in elementary school enrollment among the three elementary schools necessitated a review of school attendance areas in 2016. At that time, the community experienced the widest disparity in elementary school student enrollments in over 50 years. Due to this disparity in elementary enrollment, anticipated future enrollment levels at each elementary school, and a commitment to equitable educational programming and services, a shift in school attendance boundaries is required. The plan addresses the final steps of a process that began in 2016 and incorporates data that was collected over time. The plan also clarifies opportunities for community understanding and involvement. Throughout the summer, the Administration will conduct targeted focus groups (ex. Realtors). A community perspective group will serve as a sounding board prior to the options being presented at the August 26, 2019 Board meeting. The School Board is expected to make a redistricting decision at its October 22, 2019, meeting for August 2020 implementation.

The District has been utilizing Guiding Principles , first established in 2016, to inform redistricting efforts. It was shared that the Board will approve updated Guiding Principles at their June 5, 2019 meeting. In the meantime, the Board invites community members to provide input for consideration by June 1, 2019 via an online form.

Additionally, a Public Information Session: Redistricting 2020 will be held at 6:30-7:30 p.m. on June 10 at the Carleton Washburne School Cafeteria. The session will be facilitated by Demographer Matthew Cropper, of Cropper GIS, who  has been guiding the District in the redistricting planning process since 2016. This information session will focus on the District's final steps to prepare a Redistricting 2020 recommendation and School Board decision by October 2019.  Attendees will be able to learn more about the decision-making process and the timeline for the plan, which will be implemented in Fall 2020.

Informational Memos

An annual report was presented sharing the performance summaries of the Educational Support Personnel (ESP) employees, which includes all non-certified teachers, associates, nurses, entrance monitors, secretaries, District office staff and technology support staff.  

There is a growing teacher shortage both nationally and in the state of Illinois. As a result, D214 has contacted select school districts to join in a partnership that will support a program they are developing to grow an interest in the field of education starting with high schoolers. Joining this program would allow us to host student teachers and partner with D214 on professional development opportunities.

This report follows up on plans that were discussed at the April 2019 Board meeting related to: Community Outreach, Facility Maintenance Plan, Architect Selection, and Financial Planning. School Board members reported out in each area.

Each year the Winnetka Public School Foundation generously funds activities/resources aligned with their mission through Teacher innovation Grants, Summer Institute, Core Plus, and Artist in Residence programs.  The 2019-2020 plan was presented, including an Augmented and Virtual Reality program that will be available to all five schools. 

In 2006, the District entered into an agreement with the Red Cross for use of our facilities as an emergency shelter site in the event of a disaster situation.  Expenses related to the use would be borne by the Red Cross. It was recommended that the District update and continue with the agreement.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:

1. Consolidated District Plan
2. Intra-District Transfer Request
3. Playground Improvements at Crow Island
4. Skokie School Assistant Principal Employment Contract
5. Cropper GIS Proposal for Redistricting Services
6. Revised School Board Calendar for 2019-2020 

Other News:

The Board unanimously approved Mr. Lawrence Joynt as Assistant Principal of The Skokie School. Mr. Joynt will begin his new position on August 1, 2019.  He will work with current Principal Kelly Tess and Assistant Principal Betty Weir to ensure a smooth transition into the position when Ms. Tess assumes the role of Assistant Superintendent of Professional Learning and Human Resources and Ms. Weir becomes Principal of The Skokie School.

The Complete Board Packets for the May 21, 2019, School Board Meetings are here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

June 5, 2019
New August Board Meeting date: 
August 26, 2019 at Greeley School

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Hubbard Woods School 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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