A Message from the Superintendent

October 1, 2021

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October 1, 2021

Dear Families and Staff,

The collaborative efforts of our students, staff, and families have contributed to a successful first month of school. We recognize that community-building is more essential than ever for our collective well-being. Our shared commitment to establish strong connections with our students and families this fall sets a strong foundation for the remainder of the year.

Below are a few items to review as we head into the weekend.

Update on Bike Safety Efforts

We are coordinating the efforts of students, District staff, and Village leadership to strengthen our efforts with bike, pedestrian, and vehicle safety. Plans moving forward include:

  • A student safety pledge, which will be authored by Skokie and Washburne students with support of the PTOs.

  • A village map that highlights the safest intersections to aid families in developing a safe route to school with their children.

  • A collaborative PSA video on bike safety with the Winnetka Police Department to be shared with all students and families.

We will continue to keep our families apprised on progress on bike safety as our school year continues.

NSSED Announces Name Change to TrueNorth

NSSED, or Northern Suburban Special Education District, officially changed its name to TrueNorth Educational Cooperative 804 after a multi-year process embedded in their strategic plan. The Winnetka Public Schools has been a longtime member of this regional cooperative, which includes 17 other school districts in our area. Through TrueNorth, member districts access academic and behavior support for students, and staff engage in high-quality professional learning that impacts student growth. Please visit truenorth804.org to learn more about the cooperative and watch an introduction video for further details about the new name.

Search Inside Yourself (SIY) Partnership and Video Preview

One of the four Priority Goal Areas in our Strategic Plan 2021-2025 is “Positive Culture and Well-Being.” A strategy the District will use to work toward this goal is to promote and educate our school community about wellness, and ensure collaboration across schools around connection and belonging. The District has partnered with Search Inside Yourself (SIY), a neuroscience-based emotional intelligence program developed at Google and now operating in over 50 countries. We are honored to be the FIRST school District committing all staff to the SIY training, with the goal of increasing skills of mindfulness, empathy, compassion, and overall emotional intelligence to create the conditions for individual and collective thriving in our schools. The District hosted a one-hour Winnetka Parents Institute session for a preview of the full 12-hour program that staff are experiencing this fall focused on:

  • Reducing stress and experience greater overall well-being

  • Developing the resilience needed to sustain high performance

  • Improving communication, collaboration and team performance

Portrait of a Graduate

Our teachers have hit the ground running incorporating our Portrait of a Graduate into their daily practice. A recent example of elevating the characteristics of creative problem-solving and collaboration occurred at The Skokie School. Art students led a shared initiative to create an art installation for the Resource Center. Enjoy this short video of the process.

Thank you for reviewing this information. If you are looking for a family-oriented weekend activity, our partner, Alliance for Early Childhood, is hosting Let’s Play! Fort Building events at Crow Island Woods on both October 2 and October 3. Have a wonderful weekend.


Dr. Trisha Kocanda