November 2019

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

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

As noted in our previous Winnetka Wire messages, the District's strategic goal this year is to build a community-wide understanding and commitment to the value of Social Emotional Learning and its impact on students' holistic success and well-being. In The Winnetka Public Schools, we recognize that cultivating a healthy learning environment is not limited to students. A focus on social and emotional wellness must extend to the adults in our community as well. 

Earlier this month, our Institute Day focused on building a shared understanding of Social Emotional Learning. District staff had the opportunity to select learning sessions focused on Self Management and Self-Awareness competencies.  The Self-Management strand included learning sessions along the lines of self-care, promoting the importance of taking time to care for your physical and mental well-being. The Self-Awareness strand included learning sessions exposing staff to topics like anxiety, emotional resilience, norms for collaboration, and more.  Keynote speaker, Mike Leonard, documentarian and former NBC Today Show Journalist, shared stories from his professional storytelling experience as well as his personal experience as a parent of four children on the North Shore. His unique ability to find beauty in the everyday occurrence, humor in life's challenges, and opportunity in failure provided a positive closing to our day of learning and growth.

Regarding our commitment to ensuring our school culture is healthy for both adults and students, I have some wonderful news to share. The Winnetka Public Schools is one of only 150 organizations that has been named a Top Workplace in Chicago. The list was announced on November 8 in a special section of The Chicago Tribune . The Top Workplace award is based solely on the feedback that District staff offered through an employee survey administered by a third party. We are proud to receive this honor. 

We are confident that our recent Institute Day, as well as this recognition from The Chicago Tribune, help us maintain our commitment to fostering positivity and growth with a spirit of continuous improvement. When we have staff who feel cared for and supported, we believe students will benefit as well. 

Finally, as we enter the Thanksgiving season, many students have been involved in activities intended to encourage reflection upon that for which we are grateful. These activities so often include references to "my family" and "my teachers." Thank you for all you do to make The Winnetka Public Schools a special place to work and learn together. Supporting each others' well-being matters to our students, and to the health of our community as a whole. Wishing you and your loved ones a lovely Thanksgiving season.

Sinc erely,
Dr. Trisha Kocanda

Board Meeting Preview

The next School Board Meeting will be held at Greeley School on November 19, 2019. There will be a 5:00 p.m. Work Session on Strategic Planning. The Regular Meeting is at 7:15 p.m. and includes the following presentations on the agenda:

1. FY19 Financial Audit
2. Social Emotional Learning: Strategic Goal update
3. 2019 Tentative Levy

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.  

Blackboard Emergency Test Date 
Changed to Nov. 15 at 4:30 p.m.

On Friday, November 15 at 4:30 p.m., we will be conducting a test via Blackboard, our emergency call, email, and text system. Blackboard is used to alert parents and staff of weather-related school closures and emergency situations. Please contact your building secretary if you would like to update your emergency contact phone numbers or email addresses.

Thank you, School Board Members
To recognize the outstanding efforts of the nearly 6,000 elected school board members throughout the state, November 15 of each year is designated as "School Board Members Day" in Illinois. This is an opportunity to build community awareness and understanding about the essential role locally elected board of education members assume in a representative democracy. This year's School Board Members Day theme is "Transform Vision into Reality." We are thankful for The Winnetka Public Schools Board and the many ways they support our students, educators, and families each day.
The 100th Anniversary of 
Progressive Education in Winnetka

On March 10, 2020, the District is hosting an event celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Progressive Education in The Winnetka Public Schools (to coincide with Carleton Washburne's arrival in Winnetka in 1919). 

Please save the date. Additional information will be forthcoming. We hope you will join us as we celebrate our legacy of experiential learning. 

Social Emotional Learning: An Introduction
Focus on the CASEL competencies of Self-Awareness and Self Management
December 3, 2019
9:30 a.m. to 10:30 am 
The Skokie School Community Room
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. Join District Educators and parents for this informational session on the importance of SEL and the key competencies of self-awareness and self management. This is the first in a series of WPI's workshops that the District will offer this school year focusing on this important District-wide initiative. RSVP here

Hour of Code
December 4, 2019
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.

From Washburne to New Trier:
A D36 Parent's Guide to the New Trier Transition
December 5, 2019 
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Carleton Washburne School, 515 Hibbard Rd.
Paul Waechtler, Principal at the New Trier High School Freshman  Campus, and Lori Worth, 8th Grade Transition Faculty, will discuss the New Trier freshman placement process and the efforts made to ensure a smooth transition to high school.  A Q & A will provide an opportunity for parents to learn more about how to best support their child(ren) as they prepare for their New Trier experience. RSVP here .

The Winnetka Public Schools welcomes students that will be new to the District in the 2020-2021 school year to begin registration. Incoming kindergarteners  (five-years-old on or before September 1, 2020), and all new students entering grades 1-8 are eligible to enroll.

The  new student registration process is completed in three steps:
  1. Complete new student pre-registration forms online beginning December 6, 2019.
  2. Provide proof of residency. Click here to view the list of documents that will meet these requirements. For your convenience residency documents may be uploaded during online registration. 
  3. Visit the District Office to provide a certified copy of your child(ren)'s  birth certificate and a parent photo ID and complete the paper portion of registration.
Children will not be considered enrolled until both the online and paper portion of registration has been completed and residency documentation is verified. If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400.

Alumni Spotlight

In honor of Veteran's Day, we are sharing this updated story (first printed in fall 2018) on a District alum. 

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 Captain serving as a Company Executive Officer under the US Army Special Operations Aviation Command. In addition to his military duties and passion for aviation, Austin is also 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."
When he was a student at Hubbard Woods, he recalls developing confidence in public speaking on the World's Greatest School Television station and studying current events and becoming a "global citizen" under the guidance of his fourth grade teacher. 

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. Even if the military isn't for you, find a meaningful way to give back to your community. There are countless ways you get involved and make a difference in your own way."

In the News

Winnetka Talk featured a story on the annual Kindergarten Butterfly Migration, a beloved District tradition. The Winnetka Current ran a cover story on the Halloween festivities at Crow Island School.

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In This Issue

Important Dates

Autumn in 
District 36...

District staff and students celebrated Halloween.

Greeley students welcomed friends at this week's Bring a Neighbor to School Day.

Skokie students collaborated on building earthquake-resistant structures. 

From the Archives...

Experiential learning in action! Students work together to build a house in this vintage photo. 

Our annual District magazine, Learners, was mailed to all homes in Winnetka this month. To read Learners, click here

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." 

For a list of upcoming 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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