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Board Highlights                                                                                          October 21, 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. 


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.

Board President, Ms. Kendra Wallace, welcomed attendees and noted that the Board is charged with listening to all voices, both loud and quiet, and making decisions that are in the best interest of students. 

Superintendent, Ms. Trisha Kocanda, thanked the teachers, associates, community members, and parents present for both attending the meeting and working together to support our students and District. She highlighted October activities including conferences, National Walk to School Day, and an upcoming District program--Raising Digital Natives--that will take place on October 30. Her Entry Plan update highlighted the Student Focus Groups she conducted with fourth, sixth, and eighth graders, noting that student participants were enthusiastic, engaged, and offered insightful thoughts and opinions.


Superintendent Kocanda began by noting that standardized tests are one of many assessments used by The Winnetka Public Schools and noted that results are used to inform, rather than drive, decisions. Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Ms. Alison Hawley, and District Statistician, Mr. Phil Earvolino, reviewed data from five 2013--2014 tests-- SOPA (Student Oral Proficiency Assessment for World Language), ISAT (Illinois Standards Achievement Test for Math, Science and Reading), STAR Assessment (student growth measurement for Math and Reading), and the District Writing Assessment. The third grade ISAT results were highlighted due to the decrease in performance. In Spring 2015, the PARCC assessment will be administered to students in grades 3-8 due to the elimination of the ISAT.

Results have been reviewed by the principals and subject-matter teams to inform the School Improvement Plans, revise curricular scope and sequence, and plan for future professional development. School Improvement Plans will be presented at the November, 18, 2014, Board meeting.

Director of Technology, Ms. Maureen Chertow Miller, presented and requested feedback from the Board on student outcomes for the Mobile Learning Initiative. The presentation included the emphasis on integration of technology for the purpose of transforming and enhancing teaching and learning. The following desired outcomes from the Mobile Learning Initiative were shared:
  • Students have increased opportunities for self-directed learning experiences,
  • Students use technology to effectively initiate and engage in collaborative learning, and
  • Students are savvy, strategic, responsible and balanced users of technology.
Measurement models that align with these desired outcomes will be presented for Board review at the January 27, 2015, Board Meeting.

Ms. Hawley presented the Goals and timeline for selecting math materials for Grades 6-8. The District is vetting materials that support the rigor of Common Core State Standards; meet a range of learning needs; include print and online resources; and blend accountability, creativity, and innovation. The Board requested that information about the philosophical underpinnings of the materials be included in the review. An updated implementation timeline will be presented at the November 18, 2014, Board meeting.

CFO, Dr. Susan Pingitore, began by reviewing fiscal goals, which include maintaining long-term financial viability, responsible stewardship of tax dollars, providing property tax relief without impacting the educational program, and adhering to Fund Balance Policy 4:20. Options for tax abatement and debt repayment were discussed. The Financial Subcommittee will meet to develop additional scenarios that will be discussed at the November 18, 2014, Board meeting. The Tentative Levy will also be presented and voted on at that meeting.

Informational Memos

New Trier High School surveys students in spring of their freshman year to identify their perception of preparedness for high school. Based on the last four years of data, Carleton Washburne School graduates feel as prepared as their peers. Staff will continue to monitor this data to look for trends that can inform practice and instruction. 

The Curriculum Office team reviewed the status of its initiatives, progress towards established goals, and constructed a plan to prioritize the work currently in process and ensure a high level of integrity.

Job descriptions for Central Office Staff in the areas of Human Resources, Special Services, Curriculum/Technology, and Finance have been updated to reflect changes that have occurred since 2012.

An evaluation rubric was created per the terms stipulated in the Custodial Contract.

Enrollment remains stable at 1774 students. Staffing has increased by .5 FTE associate in response to student needs.

During the 2013-2014 school year 48 students transferred out of the District (7 to local private schools) while 77 (23 from local private schools) transferred in to the District.

A draft of a new policy for Community Use of Outdoor Athletic Fields was submitted for consideration. A recommendation regarding a tuition exception for non-resident students was provided.
The Policy Subcommittee brought forth a recommendation to adopt updates for 27 policies. These policy updates were submitted to the Board for a 1st read.  

Action Items

The Consent Agenda was approved unanimously.


Upcoming meetingdatesRegular Meeting Dates
November 18, 2014
March 24, 2015
December 16, 2014April 28, 2015
January 27, 2015May 18, 2015
February 24, 2015June 9, 2015


Regular meetings 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 are also open to the public and 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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