Board Highlights

The Winnetka Public Schools, June 2023

Work Session

The Board was provided with an update on all five School Improvement Plans by District principals (view the recording here). Key topics covered are as follows:

Crow Island School:

The plan focused on three data driven goals around reading, What I Need (WIN), and social emotional learning. The three goals were met and planning is underway to develop the school improvement plan for the next school year. The Crow Island team is continuing to find ways to adjust instruction in reading and math based on data, differentiate for learning, and make progress in terms of communicating students’ growth and achievement.

Greeley School:

The plan was centered on the implementation of What I Need (WIN) instructional time (Strategic Goal 1.4 & 1.5) and efforts to further improve building culture and climate (Strategic Goal 2.1-2.3). Next year, Greeley will focus on the use of new data tools to group students by skill or standard area for enrichment and support during WIN time, improve Tier 1 instruction in the general education classroom based on observed trends, and target respect shown between students as the school works to continual improve upon its culture of belonging.

Hubbard Woods School:

Areas of focus for the School Improvement Plan were the use of data to inform instruction for implementing WIN time and the focus on student voice and choice in our hallmark experiences. Looking forward to next year, WIN time will focus on greater differentiation, especially in literacy, and student engagement will be a focus as educators extend student voice and choice into other aspects of the student experience.

The Skokie School:

Key initiatives included ensuring Project Based Learning experiences for all students and the implementation of Professional Learning Communities to drive Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports for students. Looking forward to the 2023-34 school year, there are plans to revise the structures of the Skills period to support students’ next edge of growth through differentiated instruction. This will be supported by ongoing collaboration and decision-making in Professional Learning Communities during the 2023-24 school year.

Carleton Washburne School:

The successful implementation of goals consisted of a redesign and plan for implementation of a new building schedule for the 2023-24 school year, and continued collaboration with Skokie School and New Trier that focused on providing Project Based Learning experiences for all students. An update on the schedule pilot and work completed in planning for X-block was shared with the Board.

Following these presentations, the Board provided Principals with follow-up questions. See written responses from each principal here.

Regular Board Meeting

Emily Rose, President, welcomed all in attendance and shared an overview of how the evening’s presentations would connect to the District’s Stategic Plan. She thanked the District’s staff for accomplishing ambitious work, making a meaningful difference for students and the community this school year.

Reports on the following Committees were shared by participating Board Members:

May Beverage with the Board

Committee of the Whole

IASB Workshop Retreat

Central PTO Meeting

Winnetka Park District Meeting

Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, thanked the District’s instructional staff for the countless ways they supported student growth and achievement this year. She recognized custodial staff for their recent efforts preparing Greeley and Hubbard Woods for impending construction. She noted that the year’s District Improvement Plan presentation would take on a new format to clearly communicate where efforts would be focused in the coming school year based on student growth and achievement data. Dr. Tess wished all a restful summer.


Preliminary FY 2024 Budget

The Board was presented with the Preliminary FY 2024 Budget. This is the first of three budget presentations before final approval of the budget in September. There will be a public hearing on the budget at the August 22, 2023 Board Meeting.

Year-End District Improvement Plan

Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, along with Dr. Becky Mathison, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, shared critical next steps for the District and each school based on student growth and achievement data. They outlined how items identified for improvement will be addressed in the 2023/2024 school year and in relation to the established goals within the District’s Strategic Plan. Please view the video of the presentation shared at the Board Meeting here.

Informational Items

Advancing the Educational Master Facility Plan

The Board was updated on the progress of the structural review completed by BTC Architects. They will provide a written report to the Board prior to the end of June, but indicated there are no current water infiltration issues. In addition, ceremonial groundbreakings occurred at both Hubbard Woods and Greeley Elementary Schools on June 1st. Students, staff, administrators, and Board Members were in attendance.

Bond Sale Series 2023

The Board approved a resolution to allow the District’s financial advisor, PMA Securities LLC (PMA) to utilize PMA’s guidance to determine the appropriate timing for the sale of referendum bonds. This will be the second and final tranche related to the November 2022 referendum.

Strategic Plan - Year End Report

The 2022/23 annual goals established strategies for prioritized work in each of the four strategic goal areas in the Strategic Plan. These goal areas include:

1. Intellectual Engagement and Motivation to Learn;

2. Positive Culture and Well-Being;

3. Local and National Leader in Progressive Education and Talent Development;

4. Financial Stewardship and Facility Improvements.

The 2022/2023 year-end update reflects progress made-to-date on the action plans developed for each of the annual goal strategies.

2022/2023 Certified Staff Evaluation Summary

All Certified Staff are evaluated on an established schedule. Non-tenured staff are evaluated annually and tenured staff are evaluated on a three year cycle. Data is summarized as a memo to the Board and listed by building. The memo contains the percentage of total staff (61 non-tenured employees and the 73 tenured employees) including ratings in the following categories: Excellent, Proficient, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory.

Enrollment & Staffing Update 2023/2024

The Board was given a regular update on staffing and student enrollment for projections from the month of June. Due to increasing need for math intervention at Washburne School, a recommendation is included for an increase to address this for the 2023/2024 school year.

Addition of Structured Learning Environment (SLE) Classroom at Skokie

An addition of an SLE classroom hosted at the Skokie School for the 2023/2024 school year to support the needs of students was recommended and later approved. This space will be staffed by TrueNorth employees with additional support by existing District 36 associates.

Policy Update: 1st, 2nd Read and Discussion

The Board will be asked to conduct a 2nd Read on Policies submitted at its May 23, 2023, meeting. Pending no changes, these policies will be adopted during the Consent Agenda section of the meeting. In addition, Policy 5:296 Retirement Incentive will be presented for a 1st read and Policy 7:50, Student Admissions will be brought back to the Board for discussion.

The Consent Agenda and Following Action Items Were Approved:

  1. Resolution for Issuance of General Obligation School Building Bonds - Resolution providing for the issue of not to exceed $21,010,000 General Obligation School Building Bonds, Series 2023, for the purpose of paying certain costs of those capital projects approved by referendum at the November 8, 2022, general election, providing for the levy of a direct annual tax sufficient to pay the principal and interest on said bonds, and authorizing the proposed sale of said bonds to the purchaser thereof.

  2. Amended FY23 Budget

  3. Preliminary FY24 Budget

  4. Structured Learning Environment Classroom

To view the entire Board Packet from the June 13, 2023 Meeting, click here.

Big picture