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 meeting to order and thanked everyone for attending. She noted the completion of conferences and the excitement surrounding the upcoming Halloween holiday.

Superintendent, Trisha Kocanda, highlighted facts and figures from all District 36 schools throughout the month of October. She mentioned that staff is preparing for the November 6 Institute Day, which will include technology workshops and committee meetings.


Director of Technology, Maureen Miller, and District 36 teachers Todd Burleson, Kathy McDonough, and Tim Selgrat, provided an overview of the prototype STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) spaces at Hubbard Woods School, The Skokie School and Carleton Washburne School. They shared student experiences and videos on how the spaces enhance experiential learning, creativity, and problem-solving. In November, School Board members will visit these pilot spaces.

Director of Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment, Alison Hawley and District Math Facilitator, Eileen Goodspeed, shared the mission of the District 36 mathematics program, outlined "essential conditions" that support successful math implementation, and proposed student learning outcomes that address growth and achievement. The District Math Committee and Math Leadership Team will select measurement tools and identify success targets. The outcomes associated with the success targets will be reviewed by the Board in February.

Informational Memos

Over 100 community members have participated in focus groups regarding a possible extended day Kindergarten program. A survey will be forthcoming and the results will be presented to the School Board in November. Site visits, facility reviews, and a cost analysis are also being performed.

Over the past six years, New Trier High School students have been surveyed on a variety of topics during their freshman year. Eighty-seven percent of Washburne graduates reported that they are well-prepared for New Trier; this is the highest percentage since the survey has been administered. There were also upward trends in the perception of preparedness for Mathematics (a ten percent increase) and English (Writing and Literature).
As the specifics of the withdrawal process continue to evolve, District 36 refrained from voting this month as next steps surrounding this issue are complex. The School Board will be updated as more information on the matter is available.

The Financial Subcommittee met last week and a work session took place prior to the Board Meeting to discuss preliminary levy scenarios. These steps were taken to ensure that the entire Board could inform the recommendation for the Tentative Levy at the November 17, 2015, School Board meeting.

Per State of Illinois requirements, school district facilities must be reviewed by a licensed architect for safety risks. It was recommended and later approved that the Board accept the 10-year Life Safety report prepared by Green Associates architectural firm.

Over forty recommendations for policy updates were shared with the Board and later approved.

Illinois Schools are required to have an annual School Improvement Plan. Consistency amongst District 36 schools is essential but all schools are expected to respond to unique building data available. Building administrators from all District 36 schools provided insight on differentiation and collaboration efforts pertaining to the School Improvement process. The School Improvement Plans will continue to address the curricular areas of Math and English language arts this school year.

Action Items

The Consent Agenda and the following items were approved:
  1. Life Safety Report
  2. Superintendent Contract Extension

Work Session

CFO, Greg Kurr, and the Financial Subcommittee reviewed a financial overview of options related to the tentative 2015 Tax Levy. The School Board provided feedback to inform the Tentative Levy recommendation.  The Financial Sub-Committee will meet again prior to the November 17, 2015, Regular Board meeting.
Upcoming Regular Meeting Dates
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.
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