August 2018

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

"Yesterday Is Gone. Tomorrow Has Not Yet Come. We Have Only Today. Let Us Begin."
- Mother Teresa

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

We are eager to launch our 159th school year in Winnetka!  Our students are wrapping up the last few days of summer and anticipating class placements.  Our teachers are returning to classrooms and preparing new lesson plans. Our parents are experiencing a bittersweet feeling of a summer's end while anticipating the joy of escorting their children to another new year with great hope and optimism.

Each new school year brings change to routine, expectations, and a sense of self.  While change is simultaneously unsettling and is truly a key catalyst for growth.  The risk of not changing is far more detrimental than managing its trajectory. Each school year looks different...and it should.  Students grow and mature, teachers hone skills and apprise themselves of new practices, and the world we are preparing our children for evolves at lightspeed.  It is our responsibility to champion change as it brings continuous improvement and worthwhile opportunities. Our students practice building resiliency and gain confidence, both important attributes for long-term success. Change helps our organization, including the people within it, thrive.

A vital condition of our school system that remains unchanged, however, is our commitment to our students.  I cannot imagine a more dedicated and competent team of teachers and staff. These educators are leaders in the field and remain passionately dedicated to our students.  

While we channel our nervous energy and begin anew, rest assured that we remain committed to guiding our students and meeting their needs each and every day. Thank you for entrusting your children to us...we look forward to welcoming them to school on August 27th.  Here's to a great year ahead!

Sinc erely,  
Dr. Trisha Kocanda
Board Meeting Preview

The next School Board Regular Meeting will be held at Hubbard Woods School on Tuesday, August 21, 2018. There will be a 7:00 p.m. hearing on the Final FY18 Budget. The Regular Meeting begins at 7:15 p.m. and the following presentations are on the agenda:
  1. Future Ready D36
  2. ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) and EBF (Evidence Based Funding) Presentation
The Board welcomes public comment at meetings. Each speaker is given three minutes to speak.  The speaker will be notified when the time limit is reached. Please note, the Board uses this time to listen to community questions and concerns, but will not respond immediately to individual requests and cannot take formal action on non-agenda items.  

The first day of school is Monday, August 27. It will be a half day for grades 1-8. Further details, as well as the phase-in schedule for Kindergarten students, will be shared by your building principal.

The Winnetka Public Schools and our community have been working collaboratively on Future Ready D36, a comprehensive Educational Master Facility Plan - the District's first long-range plan in over 20 years. This process initially began in December 2015 by examining enrollment. The planning process incorporates the study of facilities and sites, building capacity and utilization, and grade level configuration. It is designed 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.
The highest priority facility needs identified through the planning process include:
  • Safety & Security updates to reflect best practices, in consultation with the Winnetka Police and Fire Departments.  
  • Accessibility upgrades per the Americans with Disability Act (ADA), to ensure that students, staff, and visitors with disabilities have equitable access to facilities.
  • HVAC system upgrades to improve indoor air quality and year round temperature control for all instructional spaces.
  • Classroom, lab, and common area renovations to support dynamic instruction, promote student collaboration, and enhance experiential, hands-on learning.
  • Multi-purpose cafeteria and gym space renovations or additions to serve District needs and community use.
It is anticipated that the School Board will approve an Educational Master Facility Plan in fall 2018.

Information, documents, and meeting dates regarding Future Ready D36 are accessible via

Administrative Announcement

Mr. Ben Horwitz was recently named Assistant Principal at Carleton Washburne School for the 2018-2019 school year. As Assistant Principal, Mr. Horwitz will serve as a support to Principal Dave Kanne in meeting the needs of the students, staff, and families at Carleton Washburne School.

Mr. Horwitz joins District 36 after serving as Humanities Supervisor at Randolph High School in New Jersey since 2015.  He began his teaching career as an English teacher at Vernon Hills High School. Mr. Horwitz has a Master of Science in Education from University of Pennsylvania, a Master of Arts in Education from Stanford University, and a B.S. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University. 

"I am eager to serve our school community by building connections with students, staff, and parents," says Horwitz. "I look forward to collaborating with our team at Washburne to support student growth, professional learning, and innovation."

Thank you, VS America!

Space matters and impacts student learning. Educators at The Winnetka Public Schools knew this 78 years ago when Crow Island was designed. D36 is grateful that VS America, a furniture manufacturer from Germany, has donated furniture for 18 classrooms at Crow Island School. 

The plan for VS America to honor Crow Island's educational legacy with new furniture has been underway since 2016 when the CEO of VS America, Claudius Reckord, attended Crow Island's 75th anniversary celebration. A D36 committee worked in concert with VS America to ensure revitalized classrooms are congruent with original design, yet fit for the demands of modern day learning.

In the News

Our annual summer program, Adventures in Learning, is highlighted in Winnetka Talk and there is also a Winnetka Talk article on Ben Horwitz, Assistant Principal at Carleton Washburne School. Additionally, the Winnetka Current covered VS America's furniture gift to Crow Island School.

For photos, news and more, follow The Winnetka Public Schools on social media. Connect with us by clicking on the icons at the bottom 
of this message.
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In This Issue

Important Dates

Board Meeting
August 21, 2018
7:15 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School

First Day of School
August 27, 2018
Half Day
Grades 1-8

No School
September 3, 2018
Labor Day

No School
September 10, 2018
Rosh Hashanah

No School 
September 19, 2018
Yom Kippur

Board Meeting
September 25, 2018
7:15 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School


Summer in 
District 36...

Washburne students claimed Highest Honors in the 2017-18 WordMasters Challengeā„¢-a national vocabulary competition involving nearly 150,000 students annually.

Adventures in Learning students enjoyed an array of classes--from Drone Flight School to Animal Care--this summer

D36 leaders participated in a Safety Summit, led by Township Police and Fire Personnel, at New Trier High School this week. Together with educators, administrators, and building staff members from schools throughout the Township, safety and prevention strategies 
were discussed.

From the Archives...

Hubbard Woods students are engaged in learning in this vintage photo.

For a glimpse into The Winnetka Experience
and more information on the purpose of the 
Future Ready D36
initiative , please enjoy this video.

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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