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Board Highlights                                                                                  September 23, 2014 Meeting



   Strategic Planning

Board Highlights are timely recaps of School Board meetings. They are emailed to staff, parents, and interested community members before the official minutes are approved and posted. 


The format has been streamlined to reflect feedback from community, parent, and staff surveys conducted in 2013 and 2014. Links to pertinent memos and presentations from the Board packet are highlighted in green. Board packets are posted the day before regularly scheduled Board meetings.


Meeting podcasts, packets, and Board information can be accessed using the links on the left. If you have questions or comments about Board Highlights please reply to this email.

CFO, Dr. Susan Pingitore, presented the 2014-2015 Budget, noting that it will be amended after contract negotiations are concluded. She highlighted the actions that the Board has taken to reduce property taxes including:
  • $2,000,000 Abatement on the 2013 Tax Levy.
  • $30,000,000 set aside to repay debt in 2017.
The budget timelines and assumptions, new financial reporting model, and individual funds were reviewed. 

Regular Meeting

Board President, Ms. Kendra Wallace, opened the Regular Meeting and commented that the school year is off to wonderful beginning. Superintendent, Ms. Trisha Kocanda, shared additional details about the successful start, Go-To-School Nights, and student projects. She commended parents and staff for all they do to support students.


Since she presented her plan last month, Ms. Kocanda has met with several community leaders and the staff from two District schools. She is gathering and verifying information to aid in the development of a shared vision and to solidify goals and priorities. Additional meetings, including parent and student groups, are scheduled for October.


Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Ms. Alison Hawley, reflected on the work completed last year noting that curricular units were reviewed and revised over the summer to enhance rigor. Based on reflections from year one of implementation and the objectives previously established for year two, focus areas for this year include enhancing differentiation, identifying supplemental materials, and increasing computational fluency. She thanked staff for all of their efforts.


Director of Student Services, Ms. Beth Martin, provided an overview of the goals and priorities for the Department of Student Services. She also discussed the work she is doing to connect with staff, families, and other District partners, including the North Suburban Special Education Department (NSSED).


Director of Human Resources, Dr. Maureen Hager, presented a staffing and enrollment update. Although enrollment was predicted to decline between last year and this year, it remained level. The District will continue to monitor home sales and other data to forecast enrollment trends. Since September 2013, certified staffing has decreased by 5.9 FTE, administrative staff has decreased by 1.0 FTE, and classified staff has increased by 1.4 FTE. This slight increase in Classified Staff is due to needs dictated by IEPs. 

Informational Memos


In March of 2014, the Illinois Standard Achievement Test (ISAT) was administered for the last time. A comprehensive review of student assessment data will be presented at the October 21, 2014, School Board meeting. The unexpected lower results for grade 3 math were attributed to the scope and sequence of the curriculum. This matter is being addressed.


Illinois school districts are required to submit a Workload plan specifying limits on the workload of special educators. This ensures that all services required under students' IEPs, as well as all needed ancillary and support services, can be provided at the requisite level of intensity. A committee of special educators, general educators, and administrators developed the Workload Plan.


Network infrastructure is constantly evolving and must be maintained and updated to support teaching and learning. The District's bandwidth is being increased this month. An equipment assessment is underway and results will be presented to the Board at a future meeting.


Job Descriptions for Administrative Assistant roles in the Office of the Superintendent, Human Resources, Special Services, Curriculum/Technology, and Business Office have been update to reflect changes since they were last revised in 2012-2013.

The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) requires school districts to file an annual salary report.


Each year, the District hosts an orientation for the newly hired, certified staff. The New Teacher Orientation is modified each year based on feedback from the previous year's participants. For the first time this year, the orientation included newly hired classroom and special education associates.


Action Items

The Consent Agenda was approved and the following Action Items were approved unanimously.

2.  FY 2015 Budget

3. Special Education Workload Plan

Upcoming meetingdatesMeeting Dates
October 21, 2014February 24, 2015
November 18, 2014
March 24, 2015
December 16, 2014April 28, 2015
January 27, 2015May 18, 2015

June 9, 2015


Regular meetings and work sessions are open to the public and will be held in the Hubbard Woods School Resource Center. Regular meetings begin at 7:15 P.M. Work sessions may be scheduled at the discretion of the Board. Discussion topics and times for work sessions will be posted on the District website 24 hours in advance.
The Winnetka Public Schools | 847-446-9400 | marciasutter@winnetka36.org | http://www.winnetka36.org
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Winnetka, IL 60093
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