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 aging facilities. Initiatives to be undertaken were discussed, including necessary facility work and continued support for student learning.  Financial factors were also presented including property tax levy considerations, federal and state revenues and expenditures, strategic planning and funding of substantial Health/Life Safety and Facility Repairs. 

Total Budgeted Revenues for FY20 are $47,864,322. Total Budgeted Expenditures for FY20 are $47,704,419. The District will address deferred facility maintenance items of over $2 million out of fund balance in FY20, as the District moves forward with the Educational Master Facility Plan. Information was shared on cost per pupil analysis, including the Board target of no more than 3% growth per year.  Board work sessions were held with the Administration to make strategic reductions totaling $266,000, to bring cost per pupil down to 3.4%. The District will evaluate surpluses each year to assess funds to be utilized to address deferred facility maintenance items that have been identified. The Board voted to approve the final budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020.

Regular Meeti ng 

Dawn Livingston, President,  called the meeting to order. She shared that the District welcomed many families at Go to School Night and noted that Board Members have been enjoying visits to classrooms. She also recognized the maintenance and custodial teams who have responded to a foundation leak at The Skokie School and an electrical fire in the District Office. Livingston said that the Board made a commitment to share information about the District's Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) goal at each meeting. 

Megan Panje-Wilson, Board Member, shared a summary of what the Board learned about SEL at their June retreat, referencing a Harvard University study on the positive impact of SEL. This year's focus on SEL, and the District's partnership with premier leadership organization  Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), is indicative that the District's progressive identity and commitment to the "whole child" is adapted to meet the needs of current students and staff. 

Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, shared District highlights, including the news that five Carleton Washburne students were chosen to participate in the prestigious Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) District 7 Junior Band Festival in November. She mentioned a special gift Crow Island School received from artisans in Nicaragua after students raised $4,000 during a fundraiser to support the Pulsera Project. She also shared that a joint letter was written to the community from the District, Central PTO and Winnetka Police Department in order to address anecdotal information that there has been an uptick in distracted driving throughout the community. She stressed the importance of safety when driving through the Village. 


Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, and Central Office Administrators, provided an update on the District's five-year Strategic Plan (2015-2020), which includes an annual renewal of District goals.  The District's Annual Goals focus on Reaching All Learners and developing a five-year financial plan to advance the Educational Master Facility Plan. Components of the Reaching All Learners goal include:
  • Building a community-wide commitment to the value of SEL and its impact on students' holistic success and well-being;
  • Embedding inquiry projects with real-world applications;
  • Expanding MTSS practices, expanding co-teaching and flexible service teaching models to enhance integrated service delivery and differentiation in all schools;
  • Upgrading District hiring and recruitment practices. 
The goals were developed via an iterative process with District staff, administration, and the School Board based on feedback from various constituents and sources.

Annual Monthly updates, a mid-year update in January and year-end update in June will be shared at Board Meetings. Work sessions will also be held with a focus on advancing these goals. Dr. Kocanda also noted that the District will begin Strategic Planning in the spring, as the current Strategic Plan sunsets in 2020.

District administration, along with Matthew Cropper, of  Cropper GIS, a District partner since 2016, shared an update on Redistricting 2020.  After three years of evaluating redistricting scenarios, The Winnetka Public Schools Board received a recommendation from Superintendent Kocanda on endorsing Option 2 as the option best aligned to the Board's Redistricting 2020 Guiding Principles. 
Cropper GIS summarized data from a newly updated forecast model on student enrollment in the District.  This updated forecast suggests a stabilizing enrollment for the District over the next ten years, and a continued imbalance amongst our three schools without a change in attendance boundaries.
Feedback from the community as well as input from the Village and Winnetka Police Department was reviewed at the meeting. Community concerns largely centered on changes in traffic patterns and the need for safety measures (signage, lighting, crossing guards) at the newly traveled intersections.   The Village and Police are committed to partnering with the District in efforts to make this transition a safe one for families.
The School Board also continued discussions on "phasing-in." Phasing-in allows a subset of students to remain at their current school AFTER new boundary lines go into effect. The Board gained consensus on phasing-in the following students who reside in the redistricted zone (representing 2020-2021 grade levels):
  • All 4th graders 
  • 2nd and 3rd graders who attended D36 Kindergarten
  • 2nd and 3rd graders who did not attend D36 Kindergarten
  • 1st graders who attended D36 Kindergarten with an older sibling who attends Crow Island
Students that will not be given phase-in consideration are as follows:
  • Any newly enrolled students (even those with siblings already attending Crow Island)
  • 1st graders who attended D36 Kindergarten with no older sibling at Crow Island
The School Board will approve the plan for Redistricting 2020, including new attendance boundaries and "phase in" accommodations, at its October 22, 2019 meeting. 

Informational Memos

The curriculum cycle is underway, with a focus on the areas of World Language and Fine Arts, which are currently under review. As part of this process, teacher committees are reviewing current standards and best practices and exploring new possibilities for improving the student experience. 

The New Trier Township 8th grade survey, New Trier Freshman student focus group and Freshman placement and grade data was shared. Information gained is utilized together with articulation with New Trier and Township Schools to provide feedback to ensure the long term success of District 36 students. 

Staff participated in two Institute Days prior to students' return.  To align with the District focus on Social Emotional Learning, the District highlighted its importance within the adults in our community. Keynote speaker Dr. Matt Dewar, an educator in Lake Forest, shared research that fostered a shared understanding and commitment to supporting SEL and the well-being of both adults and students.

The District has launched a research partnership between The Erikson Institute's Technology and Early Childhood Center (TEC), Northwestern University, and PBS.  The research team will be spending time observing the use of technology with K-2 students. Through the partnership, Erikson will also advise on best practices for the K-2 family/school media use plan.

The District welcomed 102 students transferring into the schools for the 2019-2020 school year (excluding Kindergarten) and noted 51 students transferring out of the District in 2018-2019.  Slightly more than half of the students transferring out of District moved out-of-state or out-of- country. Many students transferring into the District came from local private schools and from out-of-state.

The Board was provided with an update on current staffing and enrollment numbers as compared to what was presented at the August meeting.  In reviewing enrollment data from one year ago (September 2018) to current enrollment (September 2019), the district has experienced an overall 1.7% increase.  There are 29 more students this year than last year at this time. 

The District has met with Perkins + Will to discuss the scope of work for capital projects in summer 2020.  These projects include addressing building envelope issues at Skokie to ensure the building is sound, and work focused on meeting ADA accessibility standards at Crow Island.  Lead mitigation work will be done at both schools. 

In accordance with the Illinois School Code, the District is required to list approved vendor contracts and agreements for goods and services which are intended to generate net revenues in excess of $1,000 in the Annual Budget Report filed with the state.

Following a 2nd read and with no edits requested, the Board voted to adopt updates to policies presented, as recommended by the Policy Subcommittee, during the Consent Agenda portion of the meeting. 

The Consent Agenda and the following Action Items were approved:

1. FY20 Final Budget
2. Perkins + Will 2020 Summer Work
3. Strategic Plan: Annual Goals 2019-2020
4. Revised Board Meeting Calendar

The Complete Board Packets for the September 24, 2019, School Board Meetings are here.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
October 22, 2019
November 19, 2019
December 17, 2019
January 28, 2020
February 25, 2020
March 17, 2020
April 21, 2020
May 19, 2020
June 11, 2020

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held at Greeley School starting in August 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.  
Please note: Unsubscribing from this email will unsubscribe from  all Winnetka school emails.