May 2018

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

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

As our 2017-2018 school year comes to a close, I'd like to recognize all of you for your efforts supporting our community of learners. It was truly a momentous school year in the District. A few highlights include...
  • Completing our inaugural year of Extended Day Kindergarten, the result of years of research and planning. One of our kindergarteners recently requested that we extend the program into the weekend...that's quite a win in my book!
  • Student leaders presenting to adults at national conferences, School Board Meetings, The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation Carlson Event, and most recently to Illinois legislators in Springfield.
  • Observing inquiry-based learning in action...from middle school students creating multimedia projects on ancient Greece and developing earthquake-resistant building designs, to elementary school students programming drones and partnering with mentors at New Trier to explore concepts of the United States Constitution...opportunities for hands-on learning abounded in D36 this year.
  • Welcoming esteemed leaders to share insight with our students and staff, including Dr. Arun Gandhi (grandson of Mahatma Gandhi), and Stanford University math professor, Dr. Jo Boaler.
  • Collaborating with organizations such as 50 Action 50, Apple, and National Geographic to enhance professional learning and improve our student experiences.
  • Cheering our newly formed Lego Robotics League as they participated in a national competition.
  • Launching Future Ready D36, our first Educational Master Facility Plan in over 20 years, focused on balancing enrollment, protecting our investment in our aging schools, and advancing our vision for teaching and learning that both honors our history of Progressive Education and incorporates best practices gleaned from modern neuroscience.
What we do in Winnetka is very special, but it would not be possible without YOU. Thank you to our families, The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, our PTO volunteers, and to the entire Winnetka community for your efforts supporting our students and educators. We are grateful for a community that champions Progressive Education and continues to value what is best for children.

Sinc erely,  
Dr. Trisha Kocanda

Board Meeting Preview

The next School Board Regular Meeting will be held at Carleton Washburne School on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. The Regular Meeting begins at 7:15 p.m.

There will not be a presentation on Future Ready D36. The Core Team is dedicated to further refining their recommendation to the School Board, which will be presented at the June 6, 2018, Meeting, which will be held at Hubbard Woods School.

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.  

A Special Board Meeting was held on May 8, 2018 to discuss Future Ready D36, the District's Educational Master Facility Plan. At the meeting, the School Board identified how they would like the Core Team to proceed as they refine concepts for Board approval.

Key discussion items included the following:

-The Board asked the Core Team to focus their work on concepts that include neighborhood schools (rather than the "Transform" concept).
This includes further analysis of K-3, K-4 and K-5 models in advance of the May 22, 2018 meeting.

-The Board agreed that these baseline components should be included in an Educational Master Facility Plan...
Health, Life Safety Items
ADA Accessibility
Cosmetic Updates
Safety & Security Enhancements
HVAC with Air Conditioning
Domestic Water Pipe Improvements
Electrical Capacity Improvements

-Currently, all concepts are modeled using the 2018-19 school enrollments - the highest projected enrollment in our current demographic reports.  Historical data (and community feedback) suggest that enrollment will eventually rebound. If the Board wants to account for higher enrollment, it needs to provide an enrollment threshold to continue concept modeling, as enrollment impacts square footage and costs.
The Board determined that they would like the Core Team to focus on the enrollment average plus one standard deviation.

-Much has been shared regarding modern learning spaces, informed by site visits, student/teacher experiences, and research.  
The Board asked the Core Team to examine a tiered approach to modernizing our schools and provide a recommendation on what future ready updates should be prioritized by grade level.

View the video of the May 8 Special Board Meeting here: 

Financial Overview
To listen to a detailed cost analysis on the concepts under consideration, click here . This podcast elaborates on what was shared with at the April 24, 2018 School Board Meeting in order to provide further clarity to the community surrounding the financial implications of Future Ready D36 .

To continue to share your input with the Core Team, please email
Documents and meeting materials regarding
Future Ready D36 are available at .

"Not Quite Little Kid, Not Quite Teenager:  The Developmental Progression of the Adolescent Brain"
Friday, May 18 at 9:30 a.m.
The Skokie School Community Room

Join Dave Kanne, Principal at Carleton Washburne School, and Kelly Tess, Principal at The Skokie School, for a presentation that highlights the biological reasoning behind why our adolescents behave the way they do during these vulnerable, formative years. RSVP here.

A Message Regarding Hubbard Woods School

Our school community may have noticed that there has been some recent media interest regarding the 30th Anniversary of the tragedy at Hubbard Woods School. While we as a school community seek to move forward from this incident, our hearts remain with all who were impacted. In response to media requests, we have shared this statement.

Revised 2018-2019 Calendar

The District Calendar Committee was made aware that the 2018-19 Academic Calendar approved by the Board in January was short one teacher attendance day.  There was also a desire to schedule the last student attendance day on a Thursday rather than a Friday, due to potential inclement weather days. Please note the revised calendar moves the first student attendance day to Monday, August 27, 2018, and the last day to Thursday, June 6, 2019.

A passionate conservationist, global adventurer, and avid surfer, D36 alum Jerry Toth (Washburne Class of 1992) is making a meaningful difference in the world. After graduating from Cornell University with a B.A. in Economics, Toth worked on Wall Street but decided to pursue other challenges. He channeled his interest in environmentalism into co-founding a non-profit organization called Third Millennium Alliance , which established the Jama-Coaque Reserve in 2007 in order to protect 1,400 acres of rainforest and cloud forest in coastal Ecuador. Toth serves as Director of the organization, which has planted over 15,000 tree s and continues to make an impact protecting the Pacific Ecuadorian Forest and empowering local communities to restore deforested land.

"I had always been smitten by forests...I was living in Ecuador and I could see the forests were disappearing, and I wanted to do something about it. It wasn't just me. It was a group of us, and we did it," he says.
Toth is also using his dynamic entrepreneurial and leadership skills as Chief Strategy Officer for  To'ak Chocolate, a company he founded in order to partner with local farmers, conservationists, and multiple universities to protect the world's oldest and rares t variety of cacao and nurse it back from the brink of extinction.

Toth attended Crow Island School and fondly recalls Pioneer Day, a KW teacher who "made school feel like an adventure," and remembers "creativity was given free reign" in art class. "When I arrived in college, I felt much more prepared than most of the other students...The Winnetka Public Schools had trained me well. Most people in the world don't have the benefit of starting off with such a strong foundation." He notes, "the most important tools for the students of today, yesterday, and tomorrow are a broad perspective, an open mind, creativity, passion, and an ability to work with other people."

Ref lecting on his unconventional career path, Toth shares, "The idea of saving the whole world seemed too daunting a task, so instead I focused on saving one very special little part of it. It's a dream job!"

Fortnite: Battle Royale is a video game that is becoming a phenomenon like Pokemon Go.  This New York Times article explains the game and offers parents advice on how to manage its use with their children.

To pre-register your child for the 2018-2019 school year, please contact the District office at 847-446-9400 to begin the process. This early pre-registration process helps ensure we have proper staffing and most accurate school assignments.  Children who will be five-years-old on or before September 1, 2018, are eligible to enroll.
Registration packets are available at the District Office (1235 Oak St.). Children will not be considered enrolled until residency documentation is verified and all forms are submitted. If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400.

Check out this video for a glimpse into Kindergarten in District 36:
Adventures in Learning 2018 runs from June 18th-July 20th, 2018. (There is no camp on July 4th.) A decades-long tradition, this summer program includes classes as varied as Drone Flight School, Camping Adventures, Rocket Engineering, Make Your Own Music Video, Adventures in STEAM, Archery, Life as an American Girl Doll, Soccer, Robotics, Kitchen Magicians, Tennis, The Wacky World of Water, Lacrosse, Computer Animation, Improvisation, Yoga for Kids, Animal Care, Volleyball, Ooey Gooey Science Magic, Oil Pastels, Creative Writing, Coding, Harry Potter Adventures, and Spa-Licious.

Students in grades 2-8 may choose up to four classes from over 100 options. Younger children (pre-Kindergarten through grade 1) will explore educational concepts through guided play and outdoor activities.

This year's program will be held at The Skokie School for the 2nd-8th graders and Hubbard Woods School for the Pre-K (4 years old by June 1, 2018) and K-1 Primary program (5 years old by September 1, 2018).

Registration begins March 1 for Winnetka residents and is open to the general public on March 8 at

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
May 22, 2018
7:15 p.m.
Carleton Washburne School

Half Day
PM Teacher Inservice
May 25, 2018

No School
Memorial Day
 May 28, 2018

Board Meeting
June 6, 2018
7:15 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School

Early Dismissal
Last Day of School
June 11, 2018


Spring in District 36...

Sixth graders at The Skokie School presented their annual Talent Show.

Crow Island students participated in a
PTO-led book club
based on the novel Wishtree and created
their own wish tree.
Greeley students created
a work of art with
recycled materials.
Crow Island students wrote songs, choreographed and performed a Spring Sing based on the
Elephant & Piggie series.

Washburne students engaged in learning
about history during
Civil War Day, an
annual tradition.

Skokie students met with Illinois legislators at TECH 2018.
Greeley students painted self-portraits.
Fourth graders at Hubbard Woods
brought tall tales to life.
Washburne students shared their perspective on technology with K-12 decision-makers at the recent Tech & Learning Live conference.
Officer Taylor from the Winnetka Police Department spent a day with a Greeley student after she was selected as the winner of an essay contest on the
importance of serving
in our community.

Hubbard Woods artists created the Northern Lights with chalk pastels.

Washburne students participated in the Green Apple Day of Service during Earth Week and removed invasive species from the woods in addition to other activities.
Thank you to all of our PTOs for the encouragement and
treats you provided during Teacher Appreciation Week!

From the Archives...

Hubbard Woods students are  pictured 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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