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 Recognition and Reorganization

Retiring Board members, Jon Kaplan, William Meuer, and Thomas Shannon, were recognized for their Board service.  Newly elected Board members Kristen Hertel, Dawn Livingston, and Jennifer Pehlke were welcomed and took the Oath of Office. They will be joining Matthew Hulsizer, who was re-elected and will be serving a second term, as well as Dana Crumley, Betsy Owens, and Kendra Wallace who are midway through their current terms. 

Ms. Wallace was re-elected Board President, Ms. Owens was elected to be Vice-President, and Ms. Crumley will serve as Secretary. The 2015-2016 Board calendar was approved; meetings will be held at The Skokie School.

David Kanne To Be Principal of Carleton Washburne School

Mr. David Kanne was named the principal of Carleton Washburne School. Parents, staff members, students, and administrators participated in the selection process, which was conducted with the support of an educational leadership search firm.


Mr. Kanne is currently serving as the principal of Washington Junior High School in Naperville. He began his teaching and administrative career in Clayton, MO, where he was an English teacher, director of student activities, and assistant principal. He is known as both an effective leader and someone who simply loves middle school education. He impressed the interview teams with his collaborative attitude and passion for meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students.


Regular Meeting

Board President, Ms. Kendra Wallace, welcomed new Board members and invited community members, parents, and staff to attend a Meet and Greet for incoming Chief Financial Officer, Gregory Kurr, and new Carleton Washburne School Principal, David Kanne, on Monday, May 4, 2015, from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in the Carleton Washburne School Cafeteria.

Superintendent, Ms. Trisha Kocanda, recapped student activities across the District noting that April is traditionally a busy month when students are fully engaged in academic and social-emotional learning. A week of Earth Day activities at all buildings included tree planting, composting, and recycling. Carleton Washburne School students participated in the Science Olympiad and National Spanish Exam, earning recognitions in both. A number of service activities also occurred. Students at The Skokie School shaved their heads and donated their ponytails to raise funds for pediatric cancer. Greeley School students are contributing to the Neuroblastoma Children's Cancer Society.

She concluded her comments with an Entry Plan Update.  The District's shared vision is emerging; a draft was presented to the full staff this month. Ms. Kocanda will work with a representative group to craft the final version. 


Hubbard Woods School Principal, Dr. Daniel Ryan, presented on behalf of the SEL committee, which includes staff from every school and the Curriculum Department. He shared the District's SEL Mission Statement, noting that because these skills are foundational, SEL is embedded in the curriculum and infused in every school activity: 

"Social-emotional learning nurtures children's capacity to become empathetic, accepting, and responsible citizens. Children learn to embrace struggles as opportunities for growth, develop self-awareness, and solve problems. Ultimately, social-emotional learning is the foundation of all learning--as emotional well-being is essential to healthy, productive engagement in society."

The program is in the second year of the six-year curriculum review cycle. Last year the committee deployed and analyzed a survey, wrote mission and belief statements, and drafted overarching essential questions and understandings. This year's work built on that foundation and included a review of State SEL standards and creation of a framework to document students' development as they progress from Kindergarten to eighth grade. This framework will support transitions and conversations with families about SEL skills including resiliency, self-management, and awareness. This work will be refined based on staff feedback and the framework will be piloted in 2016-2017.

Director of Technology, Maureen Chertow Miller, provided a high-level overview of the technology program and 21st Century Learning initiatives under consideration. New technologies and programs must be explored, piloted, and implemented in order to prepare students for an ever-changing global society.


The technology and curriculum teams are working together in classrooms and behind the scenes to select, integrate, and evaluate best practices and effective digital resources. They are evaluating research and visiting innovative learning environments so that Winnetka students are prepared to innovate, collaborate, and create.


Examples of transformative practices that allow more time for hands on-activities and classroom discussions were presented. One of these is Blended Learning, a strategic combination of online and face-to-face instruction. Digital resources are being vetted along with traditional materials during Curriculum Reviews, and professional development is scheduled to support staff and enhance consistency across classrooms and buildings.


She concluded by noting that technology is essential to developing key skills such as critical thinking and problem solving. The Mobile Learning Initiative measures will be presented at the June 9, 2015, Board meeting.

Informational Memos

The Winnetka Summer Institute is a two-day professional development event, underwritten by the Winnetka Public Schools Foundation, that provides opportunities for staff to build skills and enhance the classroom experience. This year's institute will focus on Design Thinking and Experiential Learning in the 21st Century. This is directly tied to the ambitious opportunities that will be included in the revised Strategic Plan. 


2. Status of State Funding

The Winnetka Public Schools receive State funding through General State Aid (GSA), and reimbursements for mandated programs tied to Special Education Services. The District anticipated receiving $1,038,551 this year. Due to the income tax rollback, this will be reduced by $22,500. Additional pension and finance legislation is pending; updates will be provided when information becomes available.


Bids for summer work at Hubbard Woods School and The Skokie School were presented and later approved.

The District's PTOs regularly donate money for school improvements and projects. Two gifts --Imagination Blocks for Hubbard Woods School and a new swing set for Crow Island School--were submitted and later approved. 


2015-2016 fees were presented and later approved. Milk fees will not increase and juice fees will increase by 2.3%. 


The annual survey is currently open to community members, parents, and staff through May 3, 2015. A summary report will be presented at the June 9, 2015, School Board meeting. 


Action Items


The Consent Agenda and the following items were approved during the first session:

  1. Intra-District Transfer Request #1 
  2. Intra-District Transfer Request #2 
  3. Memo of Understanding with the Service Employees International Union, Local #73.

The following items were approved during the second session:

  1. 2015-2016 Optional MLI Device Fee for Accidental Loss or Damage (Amended)
  2. 2015-2016 Milk and Juice Fees
  3. Crow Island School PTO Gift
  4. Hubbard Woods School PTO Gift
  5. Construction Contract Award
  6. Employ Legal Council
  7. Carleton Washburne School Principal Contract


 meetingdates Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
May 19, 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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