Regular Meeting 

Dawn Livingston, President, welcomed all in attendance. She thanked District families, educators, and students for their patience, resilience and collective efforts at working together to ensure end-of-the-year remote learning and events are as successful as possible. She noted that as decisions are made about the 2020-2021 school year, 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 Illinois Plan

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, reiterated the District's commitment to ensuring learning continues in light of the challenges before us. In honor of the recent Teacher Appreciation Week and National School Nurses Day, recognized our educators and nurses for their tireless efforts in supporting our students' well-being. Additionally, she thanked the District PTOs for their partnerships with our schools to ensure that our end-of-the-year celebrations continue, albeit with some creativity. Finally, she expressed gratitude to the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation for generously supporting educational and entertaining events for families during our last month of school. 


Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, Kelly Tess, Assistant Superintendent, and Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning , provided an overview of the District's preliminary planning for the 2020-2021 school year considering that at least the fall season will be impacted by COVID-19. It is important to note that 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

In general, the District's planning centers around three scenarios that require instructional preparation and specific health/operational procedures:

Scenario 1: Full Attendance with in-person learning inclusive of modified practices (ex. limiting large group gatherings)
Scenario 2: Partial Attendance with in-person learning inclusive of modified practices (ex. half of the student body attends school at a time)
Scenario 3: Remote Learning with plans that will be refined over the summer to enhance the student experience.

It is likely the District will need to be prepared to blend scenarios 2 and 3 in the fall given the current health forecasts. Also, planning will also account for specific health needs of individual students and staff that would preclude in-person attendance.

The District is continuously working with staff to ensure we are collectively up-to-date on health guidelines and best-practice operational procedures. We have also dedicated time for educators to make District-aligned curricular, instructional, and assessment plans for next school year.  Ensuring the best plans are in place for the fall requires us to include feedback from our parents and students as well.  A communication timeline is as follows: 

By week of June 1: Survey to parents and students to help inform Fall 2020 plans. This will also involve follow-up focus groups.
By Mid-July: Community update on status of Fall 2020 planning and schedule.
By early August: Community announcement of Fall 2020 Schedule and expectations.

Remote Learning considerations were also shared focusing on the three key areas:
  1. Instructional models that would include flexible school schedules 
  2. Instructional systems including digital learning applications and a common learning management system
  3. Professional development for teachers in order to continue to build teachers' capacity to deliver quality instruction in multiple learning environments 
In planning, a key component to our students transition back to school will emphasize the social and emotional health of students. In order to support student wellness, District 36 has partnered with CASEL (The Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional learning) and New Trier Township schools. 

Informational Memos

As the District has needed to shift immediate priorities due to the pandemic, the School Board will make decisions related to reprioritizing previous plans regarding facilities work, finance, and strategic planning. At the June 11, 2020, School Board Meeting, the Board will determine timelines to address next steps in these areas.

With the onset of Covid-19 and Governor Pritzker's Restore Illinois Plan, it became evident that this would not be a typical summer for Adventures in Learning. From July 6-24, 2020, the District is offering families a reimagined version of AIL with creative classes from a remote platform. Each class will run for 3 weeks and be offered via synchronous learning 30-minutes per day. Registration opened today.

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

The Board was updated on the status of signage, bike ramps and tunnels.  They were also provided Suggested Walking & Biking Routes to Greeley School and safety practices.  This information will be included on the District website and made available to new Greeley families. Any additional signage related to these routes will be determined in conjunction with the Village, and will be put into place during the summer.  Crossing Guard supplies are being evaluated and ordered.

The Board was given an update on Facilities Contingency Projects taking place in our schools.  This month's update includes the evaluation of roof and gutter repairs at Skokie as well as masonry repairs needed to a chimney at Skokie.  A steam boiler at Crow Island is also in need of some minor repairs. 
The Board amended the Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account Plan for staff.  This is due to the change in dependent care needs due to COVID-19.  There is no cost to the District for this amendment.

The Board amended the rental agreement with the Winnetka Public School Nursery.  They have been a partner of the District for nearly 100 years, and were seeking some financial relief due to the effects of COVID-19 on their revenues.  The District agreed to waive a portion of their fees for the period between April-July 2020.

Right at School, the District's new partner for before-and after-school programs, opened registration. Parents were invited to attend a remote information meeting on May 18th, the District's website has been updated with important program information, and logistical plans including staffing and facility usage is underway.

The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation (WPSF) and District have partnered to offer families and staff remote educational and entertainment events this spring. The District is grateful for the WPSF for its generous support of our school community.

To ensure health and safety of our staff and students, the District is considering adding devices for students in grades K-2 for the 2020-2021 School Year. This also ensures that all students have a device to access materials from home should we be in a remote learning situation on and off for the Fall of 2020.

A virtual 8th grade graduation will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 4. The virtual ceremony will primarily follow the structure of the traditionally-held ceremony. Washburne staff and the Graduation Committee have plans to celebrate graduates including providing swag bags, distributing yard signs, and sharing special videos. 

Policy Subcommittee Board Members, Scott Conine and Megan Panje-Wilson have reviewed updates to policies received March 2020 from the Illinois Association of School Board's Policy Services. The majority of updates include changes in legal references, school code, or best practices. 

The District has updated its Food Allergy Management Program Administrative Procedure (Policy 7:285 AP) to reflect recommendations by the District's nursing staff. In order to provide a safe and healthy classroom environment, no food treats will be allowed for birthday celebrations or classroom/holiday parties.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:


1. Flexible Spending Account Plan-Resolution
2. Winnetka Public School Nursery Rental Agreement

The Complete Board Packet for the May 19, 2020, School Board Meetings is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
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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