August 2017

The Winnetka Wire
Monthly News from The Winnetka Public Schools
Superintendent's Message

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the final few days of summer before we kick-off the 2017-2018 school year. We are eager to welcome students and staff to the adventure of a new year.  Please take a moment to view this short welcome video.

In The Winnetka Public Schools, we are committed to preparing our learners to flourish now, in high school, college and beyond. As part of this commitment, we are launching Future Ready D36 , the District's first Educational Master Facility Plan in 20 years (see below). This endeavor will involve participation from all in our community.  Our goal is to develop a future-focused plan that embodies our vision, addresses enrollment, and accounts for long-term facility needs.  Together, we can build a Future Ready D36 plan that all can be proud of for years to come.  

As we begin our 2017-2018 school year, I am confident that this will be a positive, productive year. Thank you for the important role you play in our community of learners.

Sinc erely,  
Dr. Trisha Kocanda

Future Ready D36 , the Educational Master Facility Plan process, will build upon the work of the Enrollment Balancing Project. Future Ready D36 launched this summer with a facility assessment.  
The Educational Master Facility Plan, the District's first in 20 years, is a holistic process that will measure, validate, quantify and qualify opportunities to align our school facilities, our enrollment, and our vision for teaching and learning to meet the needs of current and future students in a fiscally responsible manner.
Community engagement opportunities will initiate in early fall 2017. Please check your mailbox in early September for further details. More information on Future Ready D36 is available at .

Board Meeting Recap

For an overview of the August Board Meeting, please view Board Highlights here.

Administrative Updates

Mr. Joshua Swanner was recently named Interim Principal at Greeley School for the 2017-2018 school year.   Mr. Swanner taught in the District for five years before assuming the Assistant Principal role at The Skokie School. Greeley families are invited to an informal meet and greet with Mr. Swanner during Popsicles with the Principal on Friday, August 25 at noon at the school.
Ms. Michelle Woodring was named Assistant Principal of The Skokie School. Ms. Woodring comes to District 36 after serving as Instructional Coach in Hinsdale's Community Consolidated School District 181. Prior to her current position, she was the Media Resource Center Director at Walker School in Clarendon Hills. Ms. Woodring taught fifth grade for seven years at Oak School in Hinsdale and began her career as an elementary school teacher. She holds a B.S. in Education from University of Illinois, and Masters degrees in Arts in Curriculum and Instruction as well as Educational Leadership from Concordia University.
The District also welcomes Ms. Patricia (Pat) Kritzman in the role of Elementary Administrative Coordinator. Pat is a retired educator with 35 years of experience in elementary school districts, most recently at Braeside Elementary School (North Shore School District 112) in Highland Park where she retired. Her role this year will provide assistance to all elementary schools.  

Through a regular offering of educational engagement sessions, Winnetka Parents Institute (WPI) is an opportunity for the District to foster parent discussions on various topics of interest. Grandparents, future parents, and community members are always welcome, too! For those who are unable to attend in person, most sessions are recorded and shared on the District website at

Upcoming events:

Navigating Internet Safety & Social Media Use
Tuesday, September 5 at 9:30 a.m.
The Skokie School Auditorium
Hosted in Partnership with Family Service of Glencoe
Are you looking for guidance on navigating the ever-changing social media landscape, tips on apps to allow and avoid, as well as more information on age-appropriate internet use? Glean insight on how to keep children safe in their online interactions, set parental guidelines, and reinforce healthy Digital Literacy practices in your family. This WPI event will be conducted by Al Ross, clinical director at Family Service of Glencoe, a counseling center that provides support to families. To RSVP visit

Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager: The Developmental Progression of the Middle School Child
Thursday, September 28 at 9:30 a.m.
The Skokie School Community Room
Join Principal Tess and Principal Kanne for an informational morning session focusing on the ins and outs of the growing middle school child.  We will spend time exploring both the academic and social-emotional needs appropriate to 5th-8th grade children, how they change over that four year span, as well as the neurological changes that contribute to these needs.  Parents with current middle schoolers, or soon-to-be middle schoolers, are encouraged to join us for an engaging, encouraging, and educational hour together. To RSVP visit


As we begin our school year, here are some recommendations on how to keep children safe online:
  • Keep your home computer in a central and open location
  • Be aware of the devices your child may be able to use to connect to the Internet (such as phones, tablets, gaming systems) and monitor your child's access to these sources
  • Know the rules; many social media networking sites have guidelines that state users must be 13 or older
  • Consider separate accounts on your computer in order to allow different privileges for those who access the device

Through their organization Binary Heart, which is "dedicated to empowering the next generation of innovators," several New Trier students are making a meaningful difference in the world. Seven million tons of usable electronics are discarded annually, yet millions of students nationwide do not have access to home computers or internet availability. By using their technology expertise to refurbish computers and other digital tools to donate to students via Northwestern Settlement, Binary Heart's members fulfill their mission to "empower minds to seize the digital age." At a community drive earlier this summer, Binary Heart collected over 50 computers and dozens of other electronic devices.

Co-founder Marzuk Rashid (Washburne Class of 2015) says, "Ever since I started coding in second grade, I have been fascinated by the power of computers. However, when I learned that many kids did not have access to this amazing resource, I knew that something had to be done about it. By providing students with computers, I believe that we can help them succeed through their education, and their future careers." Daniel Hess (Washburne Class of 2015), echoes that "This allows students to flourish and helps them achieve their full potential."

Reflecting on how they have channelled their interests into serving others, Jack Eggemeyer (Washburne Class of 2015) says, "When you go to bed at night you feel like a better and more complete person." According to Simon Hooper (Washburne Class of 2015), "I think it's a good thing to use my free time doing...I wanted to help as much as I could." "Find what you love and run with it. Apply that passion to do something for your community," David Peters (Washburne Class of 2015) recommends.

Peters recalls how as a student in D36, "I was constantly introduced to new and exciting things...By allowing me to explore, I found my passions which drove me to start Binary Heart." Rashid notes that, "My teachers always accommodated all methods of learning, and my friends were always supportive. I think that this environment taught me to fully appreciate myself and others."

In the News

Winnetka Living Magazine highlighted Someday, the student-written and produced musical at Washburne. Daily North Shore covered D36 students' success at the WordMasters contest.  The Winnetka Current featured Greeley Interim Principal Joshua Swanner on its cover and also wrote about Skokie students serving as D36 ambassadors at TECH 2017. Daily North Shore and The Winnetka Current also shared information on Future Ready D36. Patch covered the appointment of Assistant Principal Michelle Woodring.

Winnetka Wire Logo
In This Issue

Important Dates

August 29
First Day of School (K-8)

No School 
Labor Day
September 4, 2017

Board Meeting
September 19, 2017
7:15 p.m.
Washburne School

No School 
Religious Holiday
September 21, 2017

Future Ready D36
Community Presentations

September 25, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
The Skokie School

September 26, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Crow Island School

September 27, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Washburne School

October 2, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School

October 3, 2017
7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Greeley School

During Adventures in Learning, an annual summer tradition in District 36, we
welcomed 646 total students to the program. Students enjoyed a
range of activities
in 91 classes, from
flying drones to taking care of animals to publishing their
own books.

78 staff members participated in The Homegrown Reading Institute, a professional learning opportunity with Teachers College, Columbia University.

D36 staff members took
a moment away from back-to-school planning to learn about and view the solar eclipse.

From the Archives...

   D36 is proud of of our history of experiential learning--learning by doing. Students at The Skokie School learned math and financial skills at a bank in this
historic photo.

Crow Island students are engaged in learning...just like students today!

For photos, news and more, follow The Winnetka Public Schools on social media. To connect with us, click on the icons at the bottom 
of this message.

If you missed it, read the latest issue of Learners, the District's 
magazine, here.

For a list of upcoming FAN speaker 
series events, 

The Winnetka Public Schools community empowers every student 
to flourish in an innovativeexperiential environment. 
We support and challenge all learners
 to actively engage in their continual growth and achievement 
to make a meaningful difference in the world.

The Winnetka Public Schools

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