November 2018

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

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

As we venture into the holiday season, I am reminded of my mother's sage words, "There is always something to be grateful for."  I guarantee she didn't coin the phrase, but she certainly lived by this mantra. In this Thanksgiving week, we should all be reminded of the things that matter most. Whether it be family or friends, I encourage you to share how much you care and let them know how much they matter. There is no doubt that a simple message will brighten another's day as well as your own. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

In District news, please take the time to review the update on the Educational Master Facility Plan (EMFP) below.  The plan was shaped by many in the community and will guide our decision-making and priorities over the next 10 years.  Our parents, teachers, students, and community leaders have played an important role in designing the EMFP. I encourage you to remain engaged in the planning process. I am confident we will continue to work together to determine creative solutions to complex issues we face as a District.

I hope you enjoy a Happy Thanksgiving with your loved ones. On behalf of the District, we are grateful for our community's commitment to excellence, passion for learning, and meaningful collaboration.

Sinc erely,
Dr. Trisha Kocanda
Board Meeting Preview

The next School Board Regular Meeting will be held at Hubbard Woods School on Tuesday, November 27, 2018. The Regular Meeting begins at 7:15 p.m. and the following presentations are on the agenda:
  1. 2018 Tentative Levy 
  2. 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 on November 12

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda , opened the working session with the introduction of Pepper Construction Group and provided an overview of the role and key responsibilities of a construction manager (CM).  In collaboration with the Facilities Subcommittee, and through a competitive bid process, the District selected Pepper among five firms responding to a Request for Qualifications and Proposal. Dr. Kocanda shared that the CM will work pre-referendum in concert with the District, architect and School Board to establish cost estimates and constructability of the emerging Phase I Facilities Plan options. Following a community-approved referendum, the CM would be responsible to manage comprehensive budgets, bidding, subcontractors and trades, and would ensure site safety and management of all construction projects.

As requested by the Board, Dr. Kocanda provided three potential Phase I Facilities Plan options ranging between $80 million and $110 million. The options and project cost estimates were presented in tandem with estimated tax impacts ranging from a zero-tax increase to a $402 annual increase (per $1M of property value). All examples represented impacts over the current bond obligation and tax levy. Use of approximately $10 million from the general fund balance was a factor in all options and was recommended as a planned offset for potential referendum costs.

Each of the options presented addressed comprehensive scope for maintenance including health and life safety items, ADA upgrades, safety and security enhancements, and HVAC, electrical and plumbing upgrades.

Skokie Principal, Ms. Kelly Tess, and Washburne Principal, Mr. David Kanne, shared the engagement process with staff and critical priorities for a consolidated 5-8 campus - most notably, leveraging programs to influence facility design, creating a cohesive student/staff community, ensuring adaptable space to flex with dynamic teaching and instructional needs, and maintaining individual classrooms for teachers.

The Board debated the merits of all plans and asked for the administration to further refine only those plans which included a comprehensive solution for the 5-8 campus at Washburne. To review the presentation with preliminary options and estimated costs and tax impacts click here.

In conclusion, Board members received an update on the District's current work with Cropper GIS, Winnetka Village, and safety officials to define options for a Redistricting Plan that is sensitive to the complexity of issues; aligned with a spring 2019 referendum and potential construction schedules, supported by transition planning that minimizes disruption for students and families. The School Board will confirm the timeline for approval and implementation of the Redistricting Plan at the November 27 School Board meeting. The Redistricting Fact sheet can be found here

A facilities plan must be adopted by the Board with ballot resolutions approved no later than January 14, 2019 in order to meet required deadlines for an April 2, 2019 election. For comprehensive planning information, upcoming meeting dates, and FAQs please visit .
Hour of Code
December 5, 2018
4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Crow Island School MakerSpace, 1112 Willow Road

December 3-9 is Computer Science Education Week (CSEdWeek), an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science. CSEdWeek is held in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper (December 9, 1906). Each year, millions of people participate in #HourofCode, the largest learning event in history, to promote the importance of Computer Science Education. We encourage families and community members of all ages to join us as our students guide various coding and technology activities as part of the international event #HourofCode.  RSVP here .
For those who are unable to attend Winnetka Parents Institute events in person, most sessions are recorded and shared on the District website at .

Kindergarten pre-registration for 2019-2020 will open on the District website on December 7. 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.  This information will be shared with local preschools and printed in local media outlets.

If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400.
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!

In honor of Veterans Day, we are sharing the story of an alum who is bravely serving our country. D36 alum Austin Welch graduated from United States Military Academy at West Point in 2015 as Cadet First Captain and Brigade Commander. In this role, he served as the senior cadet in charge of more than 4,400 cadets at West Point. Austin is currently a First Lieutenant assigned to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, was accepted to be a Special Operations Aviator and is undergoing training in the MH-47G Chinook Helicopter. In addition to his military duties and passion for aviation, Austin serves with the Black River Volunteer Ambulance Squad and is a determined athlete who completed the 2015 Boston Marathon carrying an American flag.

Reflecting on his time in D36, Austin says, "My experience in The Winnetka Public Schools was undeniably impactful and inspiring for one main reason: the teachers. I believe teachers are so uniquely positioned to leave indelible footprints on the hearts and minds of their students and I have countless examples of Winnetka educators doing so in my life...They helped to push and encourage me to become the man they knew I could be and for that I am exceedingly grateful."

Austin's military service is inspired by his grandfathers, who served in the Army and the Air Force during both WWII and Korea. "Their courage, integrity, and sense of duty left a significant impression on me and I knew early on those were traits I wanted to emulate. From an early age, I was inspired to wear the uniform and serve our great country. As that inspiration matured, bolstered by several teachers, I knew that I wanted also to be a leader."

Austin shares this advice with students interested in following in his footsteps: "Having the opportunity to take part in earning the freedom enjoyed by our nation is an incredible honor. In doing so, you will experience remarkable opportunities that will help you grow exponentially as a leader, as a follower, and as a human being. Even if the military isn't for you, find a meaningful way to give back to your community."

In the News

Kindergarten butterflies are featured in The Winnetka Current along with news that the District received an award for excellence in Financial Reporting.

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

Thanksgiving Break
November 21-25, 2018

Board Meeting
November 27, 2018
7:15 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School

Board Work Session
December 10, 2018
7:00 p.m.
Hubbard Woods School


Fall in  District 36...

Crow Island students created art with natural elements such as leaves and sticks, inspired by British artist Andy Goldsworthy.Skokie World Language students read stories around their annual campfire.

Crow Island students created a "Thankful Tree" expressing gratitude for blessings including 
"My house, family and food that I eat and most importantly my school Crow Island," 
"Having a family!," "Creativity," "Love and food and home," 
"My little brother," 
"All the teachers," "My dog," and "Life."
Skokie 6th graders engaged in a service learning Geo-Inquiry process at and around Skokie Lagoons with Backyard Nature Center. 

Neighbors and friends from the police and fire department joined us at 
Bring Your Neighbor to School Day at  Greeley.

In their 4th annual Trick-or-Treat for Canned Goods event, the 6th graders on the Warner/Barbaro/Rosinski team at Skokie collected over 105 bags of food for the New Trier Township Food Pantry.  

4th graders at Hubbard Woods "sandboxing" 
their stop motion films.

Washburne artists created travel posters.

Washburne students show off the chairs they constructed in class.

Skokie students are grateful.

Our students enjoyed Halloween festivities at all schools--from writing and telling scary stories to the Ghost Walk and Ghost Dances.

From the Archives...

Students are engaged in their learning in this vintage photo from Greeley School.

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