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. 

Regular Meeting

Board President, Kendra Wallace, called the first meeting of the 2015-2016 school year to order. She opened the meeting by mentioning the Columbia University Teachers College Reading Institute that took place this week and the upcoming launch of District 36's new professional learning program (Winnetka University).

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda, greeted everyone in attendance, reviewing facts and figures related to planning for the 2015-2016 school year.  She mentioned the rigorous teacher selection process and the 200+ hours of summer curriculum work.  Kocanda also recognized District 36's custodial and maintenance crew for ensuring that learning environments are safe and clean for next week's start.  

Informational Memos

The preliminary revised Strategic Plan and Shared Vision were presented to the School Board at its meeting in June 2015. Superintendent Kocanda will share the draft vision statement with constituents for further refinement this fall. The Shared Vision will be brought to the Board for approval at its January 26, 2015, meeting.

Each year, schools review District and building level student data to inform the development of School Improvement Plans for each building. The 2015-2016 School Improvement Plans will be presented in October.

For the 2015-2016 school year, one of the major five focus areas of the District includes the STEAM initiative (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math). District 36 is piloting STEAM programs in three locations, including The Skokie School, Carleton Washburne School, and Hubbard Woods School. To inform decisions related to the expansion of STEAM programs, the Board will review data and visit these pilot sites this year.

In response to data collected regarding the Mobile Learning Initiative, a plan was developed which focused on professional learning and parent education. The District has partnered with Common Sense Media to provide Digital Citizenship lessons for students in all grades. 

An annual survey was administered to community members, parents, and staff for the fourth time in spring 2015. Open-ended questions were summarized into eight themes.

All summer facility upgrade projects will be completed within budget and on time.


Director of Student Services, Beth Martin, provided an overview of The Kindergarten Day study. A committee is examining research, model programs, demographics, enrollment trends, curriculum, costs, and the program capacity at each school. Monthly updates will be reported to the School Board in preparation for a late winter decision in regard to lengthening the kindergarten half day.

Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, Alison Hawley, shared the content area curriculum revisions that will take place during the 2015-2016 school year as well as the timeline for anticipated Board Action. Priorities are identifying goals and measures to monitor student growth and achievement, conducting an external audit of the District math implementation, piloting technology-based resources, and providing professional development to support District goals.

Director of Human Resources, Maureen Hager, presented current enrollment and projected enrollment patterns.  It is anticipated that the enrollment will decrease approximately 2% this school year. Staff is expected to decrease by 1.5 FTE in response to enrollment and student needs.

Chief Financial Officer, Greg Kurr, shared the Budget Timeline and Budget Philosophy, which includes minimizing contingencies, investing in curriculum, and maintaining appropriate programs and facilities. Financial factors were also presented, including property tax levy considerations, federal and state revenues and expenditures, interest income, capital lease financing, and the future funding of facility needs. Total Budgeted Revenues for 2015-2016 are $43,955,991. Total Budgeted Expenditures for 2015-2016 are $43,035,352. The Board voted to approve the tentative budget. There will be a public hearing before the final budget is adopted on September 29, 2015.

Action Items

The Consent Agenda and the following item was approved:

1. 2015-2016 Updated Tentative Budget
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
September 29, 2015
October 20, 2015
November 17, 2015
December 15, 2015
January 26, 2016

February 23, 2016
March 15, 2016
April 19, 2016
May 17, 2016
June 8, 2016

Regular meetings are open to the public and will be held in The Skokie 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.
Please note: Unsubscribing from this email will unsubscribe from all Winnetka school emails.