December 2018

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

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

As 2018 comes to a close, I am grateful as I reflect on the opportunities and challenges we have faced as a school community. We continue to grow together with an eye on the future. We also remain committed to the here and now. Our classrooms are special places for students, creating a synergy that motivates lifelong learning. Our students know that their social and emotional selves are just as important as their academic.  As a community, we support our children every day. Let's take this opportunity to celebrate some highlights from our year...
  • Students engaged in hands-on learning, from fourth graders writing and performing their own opera to middle school students engaged in a service learning Geo-Inquiry process at Skokie Lagoons. Middle school students created multimedia projects on ancient Greece and developed earthquake-resistant building designs. The sky is literally the limit--students have also enjoyed learning to fly drones!
  • The Washburne and Skokie First Lego League (FLL) competed in the FLL qualifier this month. The Washburne Nerd Herd won the Core Values award and will be advancing to the state tournament in January and the Skokie Controlled Chaos team had the third highest table score for the qualifier.
  • Washburne's WordMasters Team claimed Highest Honors in the 2017-2018 WordMasters Challenge, an annual national vocabulary competition involving nearly 150,000 students.
  • Student advocates traveled to the Illinois State Capitol to meet with legislators during Tech 2018.
  • The District was proud to have 22 students attend Future Unlimited, an educational program that provides eighth-grade girls with exciting opportunities to explore diverse careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.
  • Washburne students qualified for the Illinois Music Education Association Jazz Band and National Geography Bee contest.
In October, our School Board approved Future Ready D36 , our first Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP) in 20 years. Thank you to the Core Team, who invested over 150 hours toward helping develop the EMFP. This process will culminate in a referendum on April 2, 2019.

Our commitment to strong financial stewardship remains paramount; D36 maintains a AAA bond rating. The Association of School Business Officials International awarded D36 the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting (COE) for meeting high standards for financial reporting and accountability.

Community engagement and connections remain a priority. We have welcomed around 200 neighbors to Bring Your Neighbor to School Days at our elementary schools. This month, we had record attendance at our annual #HourofCode event, where families and students gathered to learn about coding, robotics, and technology together. Throughout the EMFP process, we hosted over 900 guests to our schools for special outreach sessions.

What we do each day would not be possible without YOU. Thank you to The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, our PTO volunteers, and to the entire Winnetka community. Your steadfast support of our students and staff is a gift to all of us. I am excited to continue to collaborate together in the New Year and wish you and your loved ones all the best this holiday season.

Sinc erely,
Dr. Trisha Kocanda
Board Meeting Preview

The next School Board Regular Meeting will be held at Hubbard Woods School on Tuesday, December 18, 2018. There will be a Tax Levy hearing at 7:00 p.m. The Regular Meeting begins at 7:15 p.m. and the following presentations are on the agenda:
  1. Educational Master Facility Plan: Future Ready D36
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.  

Recap of School Board Work Session--December 10, 2018

On December 10, 2018, the School Board finalized priority facilities projects for a spring 2019 referendum and reviewed total cost and associated tax impacts to address needs and components of the long-range Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP).

Supported by Dr. Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, and members from Pepper Construction and DLR Group, the Board reviewed major projects identified for each school along with requested reductions to the gym addition and renovation options in lieu of a new library resource center (addition), both at Crow Island. The proposed projects would cost approximately $100.6 million.

In consultation with Tammie Beckwith Schallmo and Bob Lewis of PMA Securities, Inc., the Board confirmed financing assumptions and the intention to use $10 million dollars of reserves from the General Fund to offset the total project cost and reduce the overall tax impact to District residents. If approved by the community, the proposed facilities plan would increase taxes over the current bond obligation-tax levy by approximately $276 annually per $1 million of property value.

In preparation for approving ballot resolutions at the December 18, 2018 School Board Meeting, Board members reviewed draft ballot resolution language as presented by Anjali Vij, bond counsel from Chapman and Cutler LLP. Ballot resolutions must be approved no later than January 14, 2019 in order to meet required deadlines for an April 2, 2019 election.

Mr. Steve Richart of HLERK, LLP, provided a legal perspective on permitted and prohibited referenda campaign actions and law that supports specific activity and obligation to inform the electorate in advance of any referendum.

Ms. Kate Hughes, Communications Coordinator, was joined by referenda communication specialist, Jill Huskisson, providing a summary of communications and outreach initiatives that will be finalized following Board approval of resolutions. The Plan calls for fact-based materials and broad community opportunity to learn about the proposed facilities plan beginning in mid-January.  

Mr. Brad Goldstein concluded the meeting with a review of the Architect Request For Qualification (RFQ) and timeline. He thanked community architects and advisors for providing review of the RFQ and guidance to the process that will be used to select a firm(s) by April 2019.

For comprehensive planning information, upcoming meeting dates, and FAQs please visit .

Kindergarten pre-registration for 2019-2020 is now open. Children who will be five-years-old on or before September 1, 2019, are eligible to enroll. The District's Kindergarten Committee and Central PTO unanimously approved shifting to an online process versus an on-site process. This shift minimizes the time needed to pre-register and respects the busy schedules of our families.  

The Registration process is completed in two steps:
  1. Complete an online pre-registration form
  2. Provide proof of residency (documents can be uploaded online): child(ren)'s original birth certificate and a parent photo ID will need to be provided in person. Opportunities to do so will be made available in Spring 2019.  The list of documents that will meet these requirements is here.
If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400.

Please take a moment to read this letter from Superintendent Kocanda and Board President Hertel , which went out to D36 families on Friday, Nov. 30. A webpage dedicated to Redistricting has been launched and will be updated regularly .
Winnetka Public Schools Foundation 
Annual Report
The District is incredibly grateful for the generosity of the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation. The Foundation's Board is committed to raising funds that enable District 36 to go above and beyond what is possible with tax dollars alone. P lease review the 2017-2018 Annual Report to learn how Foundation grants support innovation in our schools .  Thank you, Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, for the incredible opportunities you continue to provide for our students!

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

Important Dates

Board Meeting
December 18, 2018
7:15 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School

Winter Break
December 22-January 6


Winter in  District 36...

A record number of guests joined D36 students to learn about technology during #HourofCode.

During the Thanksgiving season, the Crow Island community filled two SUVs full of household & personal care products which were donated to 
the New Trier Township Food Pantry as part of its 
PTO-led Showers of Gratitude project. 

Hubbard Woods School hosted its first Film Festival, featuring films created by students.

Greeley students enjoy reading on a cold 
winter day.

Festive first grade art adorns the lobby at 
Crow Island.

D36 partnered with educators from NSSED and Lake Forest School Districts 67 & 115 to present on best practices for inclusive schools at the TASH Conference in Portland, Oregon.

From the Archives...

Students read together in this undated vintage photo.

View the goals along with an updated version of the District's 2015-2020 Strategic Plan here.

The  Village of Winnetka 
is celebrating its historic 150th anniversary in 2019. Join us for the kick-off event "Founder's Day" 
at the Winnetka Community House 
on Sunday, 
March 10 at 2:00 p.m. WTTW's Geoffrey Baer presents "150 Years of People, Places & Progress" followed by refreshments. Bring your family and friends to this 
special event. Visit 
for more details!

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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