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. 

Budget Hearing

Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, presented the Budget Timeline and Budget Philosophy, which includes minimizing contingencies, investing in curriculum, and maintaining high quality programs and facilities. Financial factors were also presented including property tax levy considerations, federal and state revenues and expenditures, strategic planning (i.e. Future Ready D36) and future funding of facility needs. Total Budgeted Revenues for 2018 are $45,554,788. Total Budgeted Expenditures for 2018 are $46,659,231 This includes over $2.2 million in Capital Projects that have been planned for to improve District facilities, which will come out of the District's fund balance. There is an overall increase of 2.43% versus FY17 estimated actual expenditures excluding programmatic additions and specific student services.  This is below the 3% goal put in place by the Board.  Later in the Meeting, the FY18 Budget was adopted.

Regular Meeti ng 

Kristen Hertel, Board President, called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. She noted Future Ready D36 building assessments that have been taking place in District schools, recognized community members and staff who have applied for the Core Team, and encouraged attendance at Community Presentations starting next week. Ms. Hertel also acknowledged the many hours of summer work staff dedicated to curriculum development.

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, formally welcomed Michelle Woodring, new Assistant Principal at The Skokie School. She noted highlights from the first few weeks of school and shared this video about The Winnetka Experience, which staff viewed on Opening Day. Dr. Kocanda also thanked parents and staff who were involved in Go to School Nights and recognized the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation and PTOs for their involvement in many initiatives that make a difference for the school community.


Jason Lembke, Principal, DLR Group, shared details on key activities that have been completed since the summer, including facility assessments, listening tours with staff, and visits to classrooms that included student ideation. Mr. Lembke also provided a general overview of facility assessment findings, which indicate that facilities are well-cared overall, yet may require improvements in areas such as HVAC. He shared the schedule for Community Presentations taking place at each building from September 25 through October 3 and previewed next steps in the Future Ready D36 process, including October 24 "Global Perspectives" a community engagement opportunity to discuss possible iterations for Future Ready D36.

Informational Memos

The agenda for Teacher Institute Days on August 28 and 29 was shared. There was an emphasis on Winnetka's Progressive Identity as it relates to the Future Ready D36 initiative.  Schools also focused plans on Reaching ALL Learners goal, cross-faculty planning, policy/procedure updates, and School Improvement Planning.

An overview of New Teacher Orientation was shared as well as the District's mentoring program.  Information related to programmatic upgrades were summarized.  
Information related to September 2017 student enrollment and staffing were shared, comparing data from last year to this year. In addition, actual 2017 enrollment and staffing figures were compared to March projections.  Student enrollment is at 1632 students, down 2.7% from September 2016.  Staffing follows a similar trend (-3.2%) but is offset by the additional Extended Day Kindergarten staffing.
The District welcomed 100 students transferring into the schools for the 2017-2018 school year (excluding Kindergarten) and noted 101 students transferring out of the District in 2016-2017. Nearly half of the students transferring out of District moved out-of-state.  Many students transferring into the District came from local private schools.
The teaching and learning highlights were shared, noting the initiation of the Social Studies curriculum review.  Goals related to Reaching ALL Learners were highlighted, emphasizing a consistent District-wide approach to ensure all students are challenged and supported.  The District's updated assessment calendar was also shared.
Noteworthy activities and accomplishments from 2016-2017 were reviewed.  Highlights included a 174% increase in social media followers, 14% increase in media coverage, and production of eight videos to showcase elements of the Shared Vision and The Winnetka Experience.  The 2017-2018 goals focus primarily on Future Ready D36.
Other Business

Committee Updates:

  • Facility Subcommittee- The August 29, 2017, facility subcommittee included DLR Group's comprehensive look at the District's facilities as a component of Phase I Future Ready D36 . The committee also reviewed progress of summer construction projects.
  • Finance Subcommittee- The September 8, 2017, meeting included a look at the District's investments, forecasting, and the proposed Village Tax Increment Financing (TIF).   Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, was asked to share information on the Village of Winnetka's proposed TIF in the Elm Street Business District. A TIF is a tool that a city uses to generate money in a specific area that impacts other taxing bodies, including the school districts.
  • Winnetka Public Schools Foundation- The September 5, 2017, meeting recognized the new board members, strong FY17 fundraising efforts, and a preview of this year's programming.
  • North Suburban Special Education District (NSSED) Cooperative- The September NSSED Board meeting included updates on the strategic planning process and information about the launch of a local early preschool partnership with Willowood and Northfield preschools.

Request for Agenda Item (non-resident tuition)
The Policy Committee will review a community member's request to the Board to permit District staff to enroll their children in District schools.

The Consent Agenda and following Action Items were approved:
  1. FY18 Final Budget
  2. Assistant Principal Employment Contract

The Complete Board Packet for the September 19, 2017, School Board Meeting, containing all Memos and Presentations is here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates

October 17, 2017
November 14, 2017
December 19, 2017
January 30, 2018

February 27, 2018
March 20, 2018
April 24, 2018
May 22, 2018
June 6, 2018
Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Carleton Washburne School through June 2018. 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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