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 

Kristen Hertel, Board President, welcomed all in attendance. She noted that the Board continues to contemplate the compelling opinions and ideas surrounding important, long-term community issues and recognizes that the impact of their decisions are real for the community, schools, families, and students. 

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, thanked custodial and maintenance staff for helping keep the District's buildings and grounds safe in light of the recent winter storm. She also acknowledged School Board Members Day in Illinois and thanked the Board for the many hours they invest in their volunteer service to the community. She shared that Illinois hosts an annual joint conference for school board members, administrators, and business officials, at which Executive Assistant and Board Secretary Linda Wehrheim was recognized with the Holly Jack Outstanding Service Award.
Dr. Ryan, Assistant Superintendent, shared that he will be retiring from his career in public education at the end of the 2018-2019 school year and thanked the Winnetka community for its support throughout his career.
Dr. Kocanda recognized Dr. Ryan for his continued leadership in District 36 and noted that the search process to select his replacement will commence immediately. The District will look forward to further celebrating Dr. Ryan's contributions toward the end of the school year.


Jill Huskisson, Independent Communications Specialist, 
shared an overview of insight gathered from four focus groups conducted with community leaders on November 20 and 21.

With the Educational Master Facility Plan approved (Oct. 2018), and a commitment to maintain the neighborhood school model with (3) K-4 schools and (1) 5-8 school campus, the School Board worked to further reduce and refine a Phase I Facilities Plan. Joined by members from Pepper Construction and DLR Group, the Board reviewed components and costs for a plan that would address aging infrastructure, capacity to support balanced (K-4) enrollment equitably at all elementary schools, and consolidation to a single 5-8 campus. Proposed projects included:
  • Health, Life Safety items/projects, safety and security enhancements, ADA accessibility upgrades, HVAC upgrades with improved indoor air quality and temperature regulation, domestic water pipe replacement and electrical capacity upgrades at all elementary schools and Washburne
  • Addition of (3) classrooms and a gym; and renovations for a multi-purpose/cafeteria space and resource center at Crow Island
  • Renovation/addition for multi-purpose/cafeteria space at Greeley and Hubbard Woods
  • Addition and renovation at Washburne to appropriately support grades 5-8
The School Board will have a Work Session on December 10, 2018 to finalize a Phase I Facilities Plan and confirm financing options with and associated tax impact. A facilities plan must be adopted by the Board with ballot resolutions approved no later than January 14, 2019 in order to meet required deadlines for an April 2, 2019 election.

For comprehensive planning information, upcoming meeting dates, and FAQs please visit www.winnetka36.org .

Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, presented information on the 2018 Tentative Levy. The Levy is a request for property tax income, representing over 90% of the District's annual revenue. A public hearing to discuss the proposed tax increase, and the School Board approval of the levy will be held at the December 18, 2018, Board Meeting. The District is seeking an aggregate levy increase of 2.99%. This request includes the capture of new property growth and anticipates a 2.1% CPI tax cap for existing property. The 2018 Tentative Levy was approved later in the evening.

Informational Memos

This monthly update highlights progress toward the Reaching All Learners goals in the District's five-year Strategic Plan (2015-2020).  Highlights this month include: Participation in the Association for Learning Environment Learningscapes conference on school design; offering eight instructional technology-based professional development sessions at November Institute Day; and engaging all PTOs with informational sessions on EMFP and redistricting.

The District has two Reaching All Learner goals related to Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and special education services.  This update provided a description of progress in these goal areas, current outcomes, and next steps. 

The District has a longstanding commitment to parent educati
The District Improvement Plan focuses on the key academic areas of math and reading, developed through professional collaboration and informed by a comprehensive data review process.  Grade specific and cohort specific action steps were shared along with measures and outcomes. Progress on goals will be shared in February 2019.

In 2016, the District adopted FUSE Studios, an interest-driven STEAM environment developed by researchers at Northwestern University.  Northwestern also conducted research in the CoLab in this partnership. Reflections from this research, along with recommendations, were shared with the School Board.

The District updated the Institute Day professional learning model last school year.  This update provides an overview of the November 9, 2018, Institute Day, Course Offerings, and Faculty Feedback.  Overall, staff satisfaction maintained an 85% rating of the day being effective and relevant.

In an effort to continuously improve District safety and security practices, we collaborate frequently with our local police and fire departments. This year, the District is making upgrades to reunification plan procedures (when students are moved to alternate site and need to be connected with parents) and implementing the use of staff IDs and lanyards.  

The School Board confirmed the Redistricting Timeline and discussed
critical milestones leading to the implementation of new elementary school attendance boundaries in fall 2020.

Dr. Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent,  summarized the recommended action plan for:
  • Board review of recommended revised boundary maps and family accommodation plans (Sept. 2019)
  • Board approval of boundary maps and family accommodation plans (Oct. 2019)
  • Confirmation of school assignments, family choice and accommodation requests (Oct. 2019- Jan. 2020), and
  • Implementation of the Redistricting Plan (Aug. 2020)
In addition, Dr. Kocanda emphasized current efforts to communicate with families about the complexity of factors influencing decisions including consideration for potential (Village) infrastructure adjustment to roads, tunnels or intersections.   The temporary enrollment balancing achieved through the relocation of Crow Island kindergartens to Greeley and Hubbard Woods will be required for the 2019-2020 school year.

Although the Board was unanimous in their support of the Timeline and critical collaboration with Village, District and safety officials to ensure long-term integrity of the plan, they acknowledged regret that resolution for fall 2019 was not feasible.

This letter was sent to Winnetka families on November 30, 2018 from Superintendent Kocanda and Board President Hertel. To view the video of Board discussion, Redistricting Fact Sheet, and additional information, visit www.winnetka36.org/redistricting_in_D36.

After extensive planning, the Extended Day Kindergarten program launched in August 2017. At the same time the District engaged in an Educational Master Facility Planning (EMFP) process to address aging infrastructure, imbalanced enrollment, and our vision for teaching and learning.  The Kindergarten program was offered at Greeley and Hubbard Woods on a temporary basis to relieve the overcrowding at Crow Island School while the EMFP planning was in process. While the District's goal was to return Kindergarten to Crow Island by fall of 2019, this will need to be extended one additional year to provide the requisite time to ensure the highest-quality, long-term redistricting plan to be finalized.  On December 7, an online pre-registration process will begin. Both current and incoming Kindergarten families will receive communication specific to the 2019-2020 school year.

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:

1. EMOD Mobile Classroom Lease Extension
2. PTO Gifts - Skokie School
3. 2018 Tentative Levy
4. Construction Manager Contract - Pepper Construction

The Complete Board Packet for the November 27, 2018, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
December 18, 2018 April 23, 2019
January 29, 2019 May 21, 2019
February 26, 2019 June 5, 2019
March 19, 2019

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Hubbard Woods School from August 2018 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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