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. 

Board President, Ms. Kendra Wallace, opened the meeting by expressing her thanks to staff for the time and effort they devoted to conferences. She noted that the PARCC assessment is scheduled to begin next week.

Superintendent, Ms. Trisha Kocanda, echoed her comments about conferences and highlighted some District activities. Crow Island School students are preparing for this week's Science Expo while Greeley School Young Composers are putting the final touches on their original musical compositions. Fourth grade students at Hubbard Woods School recently shared their multi-media picture books with their families, and students from The Skokie School presented at the SIT (Students Interested in Technology) Conference. Band members from both District Middle Schools participated in the Illinois Grade School Music Competition and took home multiple honors.

Ms. Kocanda next introduced Ms. Rochelle Fingerhut, who is serving as the Interim Principal of Carleton Washburne School, and thanked Dr. Cathy Rosen for her service to the District. Ms. Kocanda also congratulated Assistant Principal, Max Weinberg, for being named Head of Lower School at Catherine Cook School next year.  She noted that the hiring process is underway for the Carleton Washburne School principal and asked parents to participate in a survey designed to elicit feedback to build a candidate profile. 

She concluded her comments with an Entry Plan Update. Meetings are being scheduled to share the findings presented in her mid-year report and solicit additional feedback for a shared vision 


Chief Financial Officer, Dr. Susan Pingitore, provided information on the 10-Year Life Safety Audit and Deferred Maintenance Plan. The State requires school districts to engage a licensed school architect and engineer to complete a Life Safety Audit that addresses code violations and safety concerns every 10 years. A Maintenance Outlook Plan was developed in conjunction with the Audit and reflects items needed to maintain District infrastructure through 2025 and beyond. Findings were prioritized and the most immediate concerns will be addressed this summer. 

Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment, Ms. Alison Hawley, reviewed information provided by New Trier High School including the 2014 ERB (placement test) results, statistics regarding class levels, and first semester grades for current freshman. ERB average scaled scores and content mastery percentages were on par with Township averages. In addition, most freshman grade data indicates District graduates are earning grades that are aligned with the freshman class. The data also indicates that Carleton Washburne School students scoring at the 75th percentile locally lost ground in reading comprehension and verbal reasoning as compared to the suburban and independent norming groups. There were also discrepancies in level 4 placement and students earning A's in level four classes when compared to the freshman class. The Board urged administration to address these discrepancies and improve the performance of high-readiness learners.

Director of Human Resources, Dr. Maureen Hager, prepared the Staffing and Enrollment Report after consulting with building administrators and the Department of Student Services. As reported last month, enrollment is expected to decline approximately 2.6%, and staffing will be adjusted at a similar rate in alignment with our annual and program staffing adjustment plans. The Board will take action at the March 24, 2015, meeting. 


Informational Memos

Student fees include activity fees that support field trips, outdoor education, subscriptions, etc.; and optional fees transportation, lunch supervision, clubs, athletics at Carleton Washburne School, etc. The recommendation is to increase Activities, Clubs, After-School Sports, and On Deck! fees by 3%, Transportation fees by 3.25%, and make no changes to lunch supervision fees. The Board will take action at the March 24, 2015, meeting. 


 2. Mid-Year Financial Review  

The District's financial condition remains strong. As of January 31, 2015, approximately 44.5% of budgeted revenue had been collected and approximately 56.5% of budget expenditures had been made. The District will continue to monitor fiscal conditions.


Summer maintenance includes deep cleaning, routine maintenance, painting, grounds upkeep, etc., at all District schools. Additional projects including those identified as high priority in the 10-Year Life Safety Audit, were presented, and later approved.

School Improvement Plans were initially presented in November. This mid-year update included the Schools' and District's progress toward goals and identified any necessary changes to the action plans based on information and data. A more thorough report will be presented at the June, 9, 2015, Board meeting. 


Roles and responsibilities for teaching and learning have shifted with the implementation of the Mobile Learning Initiative and Common Core State Standards. Technology is no longer an isolated activity, teachers are expected to weave technology and web-based resources throughout their lessons. Job descriptions for Resource Center staff and technology specialists will be updated to ensure that future needs are matched to the correct personnel.  


The Board reviewed twenty policies recommended for updates. These were submitted to the Board for a first read. Policy 2:140 will be removed from second reading as the District's current policy and practice are already in compliance with new law. 


Action Items


The Consent Agenda and following action items were approved.


1. 2015-2016 School Calendar 

3. Summer Work Plan 
4. 10-Year Life Safety Survey
5. Appointment of Hearing Officer

 meetingdates Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
March 24, 2015
May 19, 2015
April 28, 2015
June 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.
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