September 2022

Big picture

A Message from the Superintendent

Dear Families, Staff, and Community Members,

It has been a pleasure getting to know our new families, observing our students thriving in our classrooms and outdoor spaces, and connecting with our staff these past several weeks. If you follow the District on social media, you’ll notice that we have shared many photos and videos of these exciting first weeks of school. It is abundantly clear in any visit to a classroom or viewing of a posted photo that our students are happy to be back in a place where they feel they belong. In alignment with our Strategic Plan Goal #2: Positive Culture and Well-Being, we strive to support connection and belonging in The Winnetka Public Schools as a catalyst for continual growth. This includes the District adoption of RULER, a research-based approach to social and emotional learning (SEL) conceived at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. If you attended one of our “Go to School Night” events, you heard about this in a video message I shared during the principal portion of the evening. RULER is intended to foster the following values in school communities:

  • Understanding the importance of emotions

  • Increasing the skills of emotional intelligence

  • Developing and maintaining a positive school climate

RULER emphasizes four anchor strategies as a means to proactively or reactively respond to social or emotional needs. The first strategy we have implemented Districtwide is called “Charter”. Over the past several weeks, students have been engaged in creating classroom Charters, which are agreed-upon norms for how individuals hope to feel and how those in the group can support a positive climate where these feelings are honored. Historically, our classrooms have participated in activities like these as a way of establishing classroom community in the early weeks of school. By using a shared approach like Charter, we are able to emphasize the value of incorporating a common vocabulary and practices across all five schools as a positive support for the overall student experience.

In order to model the benefits of a Charter for our students, the staff at each school, District Administration, and the School Board have created Charters to set expectations and group norms. We are committed to upholding the agreed-upon norms in our respective Charters to help us all grow in our communication and collaboration skills, and build empathy when interacting with our peers. Below, you’ll find some images of classroom Charters from around the District. Ask your child about their classroom Charter, and what it was like to experience this activity with their peers.

We look forward to offering parent learning opportunities on RULER this fall so that parents also have the chance to share in these approaches and vocabulary where it makes sense at home.

Wishing you a wonderful start to the fall season!

Most Sincerely,

Dr. Kelly Tess

Big picture

Board Meeting Preview

The next School Board meeting of the 2022/2023 school year will be held at Crow Island School on September 20, 2022. There will be a Budget Hearing at 7:00 p.m. immediately followed by the Regular Meeting.

The following presentation is on the agenda:

Superintendent Entry Plan and Annual Goals 2022-2023 (results from the recent Superintendent Survey)

In-person seating for the public is on a first-come, first-served basis.

To observe via Zoom:

Meeting ID: 880 9070 7037

Passcode: 353337

The meeting will include an opportunity for in-person public comment. Please note, the Board will be following policy 2:230 and limit public comment to three minutes - however, if there is a high volume of public comment, the Board may need to limit the amount of time dedicated to public comment in order to efficiently conduct business. Community members can send communications to board members at which will be individually reviewed by each board member prior to the meeting.

Follow us on Social Media!

Please follow the District via the following social media platforms in order to see day-to-day happenings and more.

Facebook and Twitter: @Winnetka36

Instagram: @WinnetkaPublicSchools

Commemorative Bricks at Carleton Washburne School

Due to wear and tear from exposure to the elements, the bricks formerly on display at the Northwest corner of the Washburne campus were removed for safety reasons. If you or a family member previously purchased a commemorative brick (names are reflected in this list) and would like to retrieve the brick, you may do so between now and November 11, 2022. Simply visit the location on the map below.
Big picture

Parent Education Sessions from District Partner Family Action Network (FAN):

For upcoming events, access FAN’s website here.