September 2019

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

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

How meaningful is social emotional learning (SEL) in our schools?  It may be more important than you realize. An effective SEL approach develops children and adults who can manage emotions, achieve positive goals, demonstrate empathy, form positive relationships, and make healthy decisions.  These are essential skills for life-long success. In The Winnetka Public Schools, we are setting an ambitious goal this year to ensure all adults in our community understand the importance of SEL.

We are not doing this alone. The District is proud to be partnering with the premiere SEL research, practice, and policy organization in the country, The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL). CASEL is an evidence-based leader in ensuring educators can enhance the experiences and outcomes for all PreK-12 students.  The organization draws from the highest-quality research to partner with school districts on effective implementation of SEL practices that make the biggest impact. What have we already learned from CASEL?
  • Communities that successfully implement SEL are ones that focus on the adults first.  The adults (parents, educators, community members, etc.) need to understand SEL competencies and improve them in their own lives before they can successfully influence children.  
  • Students participating in SEL programs showed increased academic performance by 11 percentile points and developed better attitudes about themselves.
  • SEL programming can have a positive impact up to 18 years later on academics, conduct problems, emotional distress, and drug use.  
  • The average return on investment for evidence-based SEL programming is 11 to 1, meaning for every dollar invested there is $11 in return.  

For the last 100 years, the hallmark of The Winnetka Public Schools has been a whole child, progressive approach.  Components of SEL are deeply embedded in our educational practices. This year, we believe that by bringing our community together around this critical aspect of our identity, we can make an even stronger impact and inspire an increased focus on the health and well-being of all who live here and work here.  Please join us at any of the SEL outreach sessions we are hosting this year (details forthcoming) and find ways to make a difference.

Sinc erely,
Dr. Trisha Kocanda

Redistricting 2020
After three years of evaluating redistricting scenarios, The Winnetka Public Schools Board has narrowed the Redistricting options under consideration to three . The options were presented to the Board on August 26, 2019 by Cropper GIS, a demographer working with the District since 2016. New attendance boundaries will be implemented in August 2020. A final recommendation for Redistricting will be made at the School Board Meeting on September 24, 2019. 
Community members who live in areas under consideration for Redistricting were notified via U.S. mail. Additional information and maps of the Redistricting options are available on the District website and a community mailing was sent to all households in Winnetka the week of August 18.
At the August 26 Meeting, the School Board also affirmed its commitment to the District's Educational Master Facility Plan, which includes (3) K-4 elementary schools and moving grades 5-8 to Washburne School by 2023 . The Board also began discussions on "phasing-in".  Phasing-in allows a subset of students to remain at their current elementary school AFTER new boundary lines go into effect.  On August 26, 2019, the School Board agreed to phase-in students from the Crow Island area who will be in fourth grade in 2020-2021. They als o agreed that any new student enrolling for the 2020-2021 school year will be requ ired to attend their newly assigned school. The Board will continue discussions regarding phasing-in other groups of s tudents at the September 24, 2019, meeting. 
Community members are invited to attend the following upcoming meetings:

September 24, 2019
7:15 p.m. at Greeley School 
School Board Meeting
A Redistricting Presentation will be shared and the Superintendent will make a recommendation on a plan for Redistricting 2020.

October 22, 2019
7:15 p.m. at Greeley School
School Board Meeting
The School Board will approve the plan for Redistricting 2020. New attendance boundaries and "phase in" accommodations will be approved at this meeting.

Board Meeting Preview
The next School Board Meeting will be held at Greeley School on September 24, 2019. There will be a 7:00 p.m. hearing on the Final FY20 Budget. The Regular Meeting is at 7:15 p.m. and includes the following presentations on the agenda:
1.  Strategic Plan 2019-2020 Annual Goals

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 Traffic/Pedestrian Request from 
The Winnetka Police

Working in collaboration with the Winnetka Police Department, we are addressing specific concerns regarding the traffic/pedestrian impact of the Streetscape Project in the West Elm Business District. 
We strongly encourage pedestrians and bicyclists to consider alternative routes to avoid the road construction and lack of normal sidewalk accessibility at Elm Street and Chestnut Street. If traveling from the east, recommendations include detouring north or south on Green Bay Road one block to Oak Street or Spruce Street.  Pedestrians and bicyclists may utilize the sidewalks on either street westbound to Birch Street, which are much clearer of any related construction concerns. Traveling from the west, recommendations include utilizing Birch Street in either direction to Oak Street or Spruce Street to avoid the construction when traveling east. The Winnetka Police Department is increasing their presence to assist with crossings of pedestrians and bicyclists at Elm Street and Chestnut Street.  
Officials at the Winnetka Police Department have expressed confidence that with your cooperation during this period of inconvenience, the use of these alternative routes create the safest travel conditions possible. The Village anticipates the substantial construction of the Streetscape Project will be completed by October 18th.

Alumni Spotlight

Alumna Patti Van Cleave Continues to Give Back to The Winnetka Public Schools

Winnetka Public Schools alumna Patti Van Cleave is a pillar of the community who has made a permanent impact on the Village. A "lifelong volunteer," Van Cleave has served in many leadership roles, including Executive Director of the Winnetka Historical Society, President of Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Club, and currently the Executive Director of The Winnetka Club. As a District parent, she served as PTO chair and Co-President of The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, and remains an active member of the Crow Island Stewardship Group and volunteers in the District archives.  Her contributions to preserving Winnetka's unique history are immeasurable. 

Throughout her education in The Winnetka Public Schools, Van Cleave fondly remembers "the teachers were always there to guide me" during group projects in second grade, visiting the Crow Island Pioneer Room, and learning activities in The Skokie School courtyard. Van Cleave was part of the first group of students who studied the Suzuki method in 1965, and vividly recalls meeting Shinichi Suzuki. Her training in The Winnetka Public Schools and at New Trier propelled her to study music at University of Cincinnati/College Conservatory of Music and Northwestern University. "My early experience in this nascent group ABSOLUTELY formed who I became as an adult," she says. 

Shortly after marrying her New Trier sweetheart, Van Cleave implored him to move to Winnetka before they started a family. "The reason I wanted our children to experience education in Winnetka is BECAUSE of the hands-on nature of education here," she says. As the District celebrates the 100th anniversary of the advent of Progressive Education, we are proud that "learning by doing" remains our hallmark, continuing to inspire former students like Van Cleave.

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In This Issue

Important Dates

Back-to-School in 
District 36...

Hubbard Woods Kindergarten students released a butterfly.

Crow Island third graders created a timeline of their lives thus far.

Skokie students collaborated on a science project.

Greeley students admired their class pet.

Washburne students participated in a 
Book Talk.

This message welcomed Greeley students on the first day of school.

From the Archives...

Crow Island students are pictured  in this 
vintage image.

Connect with The Winnetka Public Schools on social media by 
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this message.

We  use the hashtag #WE36, which  stands  for 
"Winnetka Experience." Please follow us for 
day-to-day glimpses of learning in action 
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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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