May 2020

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

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

Although the horizon line is not quite as clear as it was a few months ago, our team at The Winnetka Public Schools continues to balance meeting the current needs of students and staff while developing plans for the future.  There is no question we will successfully see our way through this situation by building upon the many strengths of our school system while addressing our challenges with thoughtful and thorough planning. We remain focused on keeping the health and safety of our students, staff, and community at the center of our work. 

We recognize the amount of information our parents and community members are required to filter through on a daily basis.  Therefore, I am providing bulleted highlights for an easier review:
  • Remote Learning - In true Winnetka spirit, staff continue to refine their remote approaches to ensure students continue to learn and feel connected while away.  Our parents are incredible partners in this new paradigm. 
  • Adventures in Learning - Our treasured summer program will be held remotely this year.  Staff created new course offerings that are conducive to online learning and engaging to children. Our course catalog releases today (see below) and registration launches by the end of next week.
  • Fall 2020, Looking Ahead - The re-opening of schools for in-person instruction is not a local decision and is contingent on meeting health metrics found in the May 5th Governor's Restore Illinois Plan .   We continue to evaluate guidance from health agencies and the highest-quality educational sources to prepare with complementary Health/Operational and Instructional plans.  
    • Health/Operational Plans - The District is developing a comprehensive plan that includes everything from cleaning protocols/materials, facility safety enhancements, and training. We appreciate the coordination efforts with our Village partners in this area.
    • Instructional Plans - We are preparing our schools for a school year that will likely require more remote learning and a modified in-person school day, with limited students and staff attending at one time. We need to answer, "How do we meet the needs of every learner in this new context?" We are working creatively and using the expertise of our staff and others to ensure an effective transition to the fall.  
  • Summer Construction - Due to the early school closure we were able to get a head start on summer work with most projects starting this week. This early start allows the work to conclude earlier, granting us precious preparation time in our buildings prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  
As we enter into the final weeks of our school year, we are grateful for the resilience of our school community and remain hopeful for better days ahead. We accept the challenge ahead of us and will work with our community on devising the best plans possible for 2020-2021 and beyond. 


Dr. Trisha Kocanda

Remote Boa rd Meeting Announcement

This meeting will take place place via Zoom. To participate, access the link that will be available in the Board agenda on Monday.

The School Board meeting will be held remotely via Zoom on Tuesday, May 19  at 7:15 p.m. and will include the following presentation on the agenda:

1. Looking Ahead: Planning 2020-2021

Public comment process : For those who wish to make public comment, please communicate with the Board via email to the Board address ( Please note, the duration of public comment is limited to three minutes, per School Board policy. These communications need to be received by 7:10 p.m. on 5/19/20 to be read at the meeting.

This Board Meeting format complies with the recently updated Open Meetings Act requirements. A recording of the meeting will be posted on the District website within the week.

Adventures in Learning Update

Update on Adventures in Learning (AIL) Remote Learning Program
With the onset of Covid-19 and Governor Pritzker's Restore Illinois Plan, it became evident that this would not be a typical summer for Adventures in Learning. From July 6-24, 2020, the District is offering families a reimagined version of AIL with creative classes from a remote platform. Details are as follows:
  • Each class will run the 3 weeks and be offered via synchronous learning 30-minutes per day ( Period 1 will be from 9:00- 9:30 a.m., with Period 2 from 9:45 to 10:15 a.m.)
  • Students have the choice of up to two sessions per day (July 6 - 24)
  • Class size would range from 5-10
  • $100 per class 
  • Registration will open at the end of next week.
Parent Education & Entertainment Opportunities

The Winnetka Public Schools  and The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation (WPSF) are partnering to support our students, staff, and families with fun and educational virtual events this spring. For more information on upcoming events click here

Friday, May 15 at 4:30 p.m. (via Zoom)
Family Trivia Night - A Fun Game for All Ages!

Join other District friends and families to compete in a fast-paced 45-minute interactive trivia quiz experience. Our online host will guide the group through a family-friendly trivia game that is super easy to play - plenty of FUN content for all ages (e.g. music and images included). All you need is a device with internet connection (laptop, desktop or tablet) AND a smart phone. Remember, the quicker you answer the more points you get!

May 17-May 23, 2020
Watch "Like" (A documentary about the impact of social media)

A new documentary exploring the impact of social media on our lives, the mission of "Like" is to inspire, inform and help equip all of us to effectively self-regulate screen time. Social media is a tool and social platforms are a place to connect, share and care... but is that what's really happening? 

The film features interviews with experts including Max Stossel, Head of Education & Content at Center for Humane Technology; Leah Pearlman, Co-Creator of the Facebook "Like" button; Dr. Jerry Bubrick, Senior Psychologist at Child Mind Institute; Professor Jevin West, DataLab, iSchool, University of Washington; John Borthwick, CEO, Betaworks; and Professor Katie Davis, author of The App Generation. To learn click here.

Online Registration for 2020-2021
Begins Next Week

Registration information for next year will be sent via regular mail and email. Look for these materials in your mailbox and inbox. Once you receive this information, you may contact District Registrar, Carolin Huh, at 847-446-9400 or, if you have any registration questions, or did not receive notification.  Registration should be completed and submitted by June 30.  

All students entering the sixth grade are required to submit a Certificate of Health Examination and Proof of a School Dental Examination. Incoming second graders must submit Proof of a School Dental Examination. Both are due before the first day of school and must be dated after August 26, 2019. Please schedule your child's doctor appointments now and return the forms before the end of this school year if possible.

Right at School: Before- & After-School Care Program: 
Parents interested in before and/or after-school care will have an opportunity to attend a Right at School Parent Information Meeting on Monday, May 18 from 7-8 p.mDetails are included here.

Family Resources/Support Opportunties
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In This Issue

Important Dates

Remote Learning Highlights...

Students engaged in a  Remote Learning 
activities on topics such 
as Earth Week, STEAM, and the arts.

The Winnetka Public Schools is one of only 150 organizations that has been named a Top Workplace in Chicago. 

Connect with The Winnetka Public Schools on social media by 
clicking on the icons  at the bottom  of  this message. 

We  use the hashtag #WE36, which  stands  for 
"Winnetka Experience." 

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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