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,  welcomed all in attendance.

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda,  shared highlights from the District's schools. As it is American Education Week, she thanked educators for their dedication to ensuring safe, supportive school environments for our students to grow and learn. She also recognized the School Board for their service to the school community in light of National School Board Appreciation Day.


Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning,  presented the District Improvement Plan, which is focused on reaching all learners and supporting and challenging the growth and achievement of all students. Goals in Math and Reading were shared, along with action steps, and student performance measures and targets in each of these areas.

Maureen Chertow Miller, Director of Technology, provided an overview of 2016-2017 goals and measures for the District's STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) program. STEAM environments are now implemented at all District schools. Data was shared on how the STEAM program has engaged students in the Design Thinking process and use of the "Four C's" (collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking), key elements of experiential learning.

Greg Kurr, Chief Financial Officer, presented detailed information on the 2016 Tentative Levy. This included a recommendation for the Board to approve the 2016 Tentative Levy as presented for proscribed publication as part of a public notice of a 2016 Levy Hearing to be held at the December 13, 2016, Board Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Once the 2016 Final Levy is approved, there will be an abatement decision at the March 2017 Meeting. With the anticipated abatement, the 2016 Levy impact is expected to be 2%.
In this short video (below) and press release , the District provides clarity regarding the abatement process and its effect on the percentage changes in the property tax appearing in the public notice on the 2016 Levy, which does not yet include an abatement.

Informational Memos

Principals and school teams collaborated to identify the focus of School Improvement Plans, with an emphasis on our District's Shared Vision.  The plans, when coupled with the academic-focused District Improvement Plan, provide a meaningful school improvement process.


The recent Institute Day involved committee work, associate training, and 50+ professional learning sessions aligned with the strands of Effective Communication, Social Emotional Learning, and Reaching All Learners.

Students and staff will be in session on January 16, 2017.  Schools will host a nationally-recognized Day of Service. Goals for the day, schedules, and a planning calendar were shared.

Three EBP Advisory Committee meetings were held since the October 2016 School Board Meeting. At the November 14, 2016, meeting, the committee approved to remove the school closure option from consideration and voted to affirm that a plan to address imbalanced enrollment is warranted.  The next meeting is on Tuesday, November 29, 2016.

At the School Board's request, an air-conditioning study was presented with options to provide full or increased air-conditioning at four of the schools.  After evaluating and discussing the options, it was decided that the Board would not proceed with a decision at this time. The Board will revisit heat relief solutions in the future based on the summer work schedule and future facilities needs.

With the anticipation of new Board members in April 2017, the New Board Member Orientation Plan has been updated. The goals include a mentorship program, a 20-hour orientation plan, and exit interviews with departing Board members.

Action Items

T he Consent Agenda and following action items were approved:

  1.   Northwestern FUSE Program
  2. Approval of the 2016 Tentative Levy

Other Business: Extended-Day Kindergarten

It was noted that the imbalanced enrollment at the District's elementary schools is an issue in need of correction regardless of the introduction of Extended-Day Kindergarten. The District will move forward with the 2017-2018 implementation of Extended-Day Kindergarten, as approved by the Board in spring 2016.

The Complete Board Packet for the November 15, 2016, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is  here .
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
December 13, 2016
January 24, 2017
February 21, 2017

March 21, 2017
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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