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. She thanked teachers for their professionalism and excellence and noted their role in creating successful scholars.

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda,  s hared highlights from District schools this fall, ranging from teaching and learning to student philanthropic activities aimed at making a meaningful difference in the world. In recognition of National Principals Month, she thanked the District Principals for their service. Additionally, she noted that videos created by students are being shown at each school during National Bullying Prevention month to kick off the District's Bullying Prevention Plan. Superintendent Kocanda recognized the Bullying Task-Force Committee for their work developing components of this plan and student leaders involved with producing these videos.


Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, provided an overview of the PARCC and MAP Assessments, and Dave Kanne, Principal of Carleton Washburne School, shared New Trier Freshman Perception Survey results. This data is used in conjunction with other measures to assess student progress and inform decision-making. The spring 2016 PARCC participation rate was over 80% contributing to improved scores from the previous year's administration. This fall, students in grades 3-8 participated in the MAP Assessment.  For most grades, the median Winnetka students' performance is near or above the 75th percentile nationally.   Areas for growth were also identified and will inform the District Improvement Plan. New Trier High School freshman are annually surveyed on their preparedness for high school. This year, 86% of Washburne graduates reported that they are prepared for success at New Trier.  In most cases, D36 graduates reported higher levels of preparedness than their peers, especially in the areas of math and social studies.  Placement level distribution was inline with peers at levels 4 and 9. D36 graduates have more students in level 3 and fewer students in level 2 when compared to their Township peers.

Greg Kurr, CFO; Maureen Hager, Project Facilitator; and Matthew Cropper, Cropper GIS, shared updated information including revised Demographic and Capacity reports. Cropper noted that enrollment is 22 students less than originally projected for 2016-2017, with K and grade 1 figures lower than originally anticipated. He reported that two of the elementary schools are in the range of optimal enrollment, but Crow Island School is at/above maximum capacity. The Skokie School is also in the optimal range, but Carleton Washburne School space is underutilized as it relates to optimal capacity. Results of the recent community survey were presented and five Guiding Principles emerged and were later adopted by the Board. Throughout the process, the District and Board is committed to maintaining high quality programming, engaging staff and community members, providing clear information, and listening and responding to feedback regarding the Enrollment Balancing Project.

Informational Memos

A comprehensive study of the District's Math Program was conducted by Northwestern University's Dr. Miriam Sherin and University of Illinois at Chicago's Mr. Jim Lynn over the past six months. The final report was presented to the School Board at a special meeting on Monday, October 10, and a parent follow-up session with Dr. Sherin and Mr. Lynn took place on Thursday, October 13, 2016. The District is now in the process of reviewing their findings and recommendations, merging with information gleaned from student performance data and staff feedback, to write a response plan.  This initial plan will be presented at the November 15, 2016, meeting.


One of the District's Strategic Plan goals this year focuses on the continuum of special education services.  This update details the process, timelines and products expected this school year.

Kindergarten registration for fall 2017 begins in December.  Parents will have a choice to select a half or extended day option.  The location of the extended day program will be determined by March 2017 as an outcome of the Enrollment Balancing Project.

The CoLab at Carleton Washburne School has been invited to partner with Northwestern University's FUSE program as part of a research study to determine the STEAM program's impact.  The participation in this study is recommended as it will inform the District's practice and identity opportunities for growth and improvement.

The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation 2016-2017 annual plan was presented to the School Board, totaling a donation of over $120,000.  Over 25 individual grants and projects were funded, impacting every grade-level and all five schools.  The District is appreciative of the Foundation's support of innovative experiences and practices that benefit students.

Five updated School Board policies were recommended by the policy subcommittee for approval.

Action Items

The Consent Agenda and following action items were approved:

  1. VS America Classroom Furniture Contribution (Crow Island School)
  2. Enrollment Balancing Project Guiding Principles

Other Business

Greg Kurr, CFO, provided a recap of the Financial Subcommittee meeting that was held earlier in the evening that centered on investments, debt structure, and a preliminary discussion about the levy.

The Complete Board Packet for the October 18, 2016, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is  here .
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
November 15, 2016
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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