Board Highlights

The Winnetka Public Schools, May 2023

Work Session

The Board was provided with preliminary information on Data Analysis Reporting regarding student growth and achievement prior to the June 13 School Board Meeting. At the June meeting, there will be a presentation on End-of-the-Year progress made toward the goals outlined in the District’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025.

Regular Board Meeting

Emily Rose, President, welcomed all in attendance. She thanked The Winnetka Public Schools staff for the many ways they spark joy in learning amongst our students, wishing staff a restful summer.

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

Winnetka Public Schools Foundation Meeting

TrueNorth Cooperative 804 Member Meeting

Policy Subcommittee Meeting

Parent-Teacher Advisory Committee

Crow Island Stewardship Committee

New Board Member Orientation

Special Work Session Meeting

Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, recommended listening to the BIANNUAL COMMUNITY MESSAGE, SPRING 2023 highlighting District initiatives and progress toward the District’s four Strategic Plan goals: Intellectual Engagement & Motivation to Learn, Positive Culture & Well Being, Local & National Leader in Progressive Education & Talent Development, and Financial Stewardship & Facility Improvements.

Dr. Tess mentioned that a video update on progress toward this work will occur in the fall as well.

Highlighting Progressive Education in Action

Principal Livingston and Crow Island Kindergarten educators presented the outcomes of their collaborative Occupational Therapy Pilot Partnership with TrueNorth, focused on early intervention support for our youngest learners.

NEW EPISODE of Winnetka Voices

Episode #7: Tips on Supporting Young Readers & Preventing the Summer Slide

Listen here:

Apple Podcast



iHeart Radio


Winnetka Voices is a podcast hosted by The Winnetka Public Schools, featuring candid conversations on issues relevant to education and shared resources to support our students and families.


DSSEI Entry Plan Progress Update

Denise Matthews, Director of the Department of Student Services, Equity and Inclusion shared an update on the progress made toward improving the priority areas that were identified during her Entry Plan: Professional Learning, Specialized Instruction, Process Review, Articulation/Communication, and Operational Alignment.

Informational Items

Advancing the Educational Master Facility Plan

The Board was updated on long-term maintenance planning including a preliminary water infiltration evaluation being conducted at Skokie. In addition, information was shared on the ceremonial groundbreaking that will occur at both Greeley and Hubbard Woods on June 1st.

District Initiatives Update

This monthly memo was presented to the Board with updates in all four Strategic Plan goal areas, to include the conclusion of the Portrait of an Educator work, led by Mr. Jeff Knapp, Assistant Superintendent for Professional Learning and Human Resources.

Staffing and Enrollment Update

The Board was given a regular update on staffing and student enrollment for projections from the month of May. Due to increasing incoming kindergarten enrollment at each elementary school there is a recommendation for addition of kindergarten certified and classified staff. In addition, a recommendation is also included in the area of Student Services and our agreement with TrueNorth Cooperative.

Starting Hourly Rates ESP

The Board is asked to approve increases to starting rates on an annual basis for non-union classified positions. The rates were included as a recommendation for approval.

Summative Evaluation Report ESP

All Educational Support Personnel are evaluated annually and the data is gathered as a memo to the Board and listed by building. The memo contains the percentage of staff from the 98 employees and the ratings in the following categories: Excellent, Proficient, Needs Improvement, and Unsatisfactory.

Quest Food Service Price Update 2023/2024

The Board approved pricing updates for the 2023/2024 food service program at Carleton Washburne.

PTO Purchase of Furnishings for the Carleton Washburne Lobby

The Board approved a generous donation of furnishings for the lobby at Carleton Washburne.

Policy Updates 1st Read

The Policy Subcommittee met on Monday, May 15, 2023, to review PRESS policies recommended for update. The majority of policies being presented for a 1st read reflect legislative updates and amendments to school code related to Faith’s Law. In response to these changes, school districts are required to conduct employment history reviews (EHR) for all new hires (effective 7/1/23).

The Consent Agenda and Following Action Items Were Approved:

  1. Quest Food Services Price Update 2023-2024

  2. PTO Donation - Carleton Washburne School

  3. Director of Student Services, Equity and Inclusion Employment Contrct (2023-2025)

Welcoming Ms. Jaclyn Schwartz

Ms. Jaclyn Schwartz was approved for the position of Director of Student Services, Equity and Inclusion, starting on July 1, 2023. She will work with current Director of Student Services, Equity and Inclusion, Ms. Denise Matthews, over the course of the next few weeks in order to ensure a smooth transition into this leadership role. Ms. Denise Matthews’ title will shift to Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Equity and Inclusion when Ms. Schwartz assumes this role.

To view the entire Board Packet from the May 23, 2023 Meeting, click here.

Big picture