The Winnetka Public Schools, August 2021
Brad Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer, provided the Tentative Fiscal Year 2022 budget. The impact of COVID-19 on the FY21 and FY22 budgets was addressed, as well as planning for a resumption of a more typical school year. This includes reintroduction of costs that were not included in last year's budget such as transportation, food service, and additional instructional support. There were changes made to address enrollment since the Preliminary Budget was presented in June to ensure that the District remains focused on managing cost-per-pupil costs and the effective use of CARES Act funding.
Additionally, the District is addressing the 3-Year Capital Improvement Plan through the utilization of fund balance in the amount of $4.1 million in FY22. This addresses urgent facilities needs such as domestic water issues, ADA needs, and Health/Life Safety projects. The Final Budget update will be presented at the September 21, 2021, Board Meeting. The Tentative Budget was approved later in the evening.
Regular Board Meeting
Dawn Livingston, President, called the meeting to order. She noted that the Board has been working toward ensuring that students will be able to safely and consistently attend school in 2021-2022. She recognized that the Board received correspondence reflecting various viewpoints on safety mitigations and that the Board’s goal is to support the health and safety of the entire community.
Trisha Kocanda, Superintendent, expressed that the administration and Board share the goal of welcoming and keeping students on campus for consistent, in-person learning and socialization. She noted that the District is pleased to return to a more child-centered school day with mitigation measures in place to significantly reduce the impact of quarantines. Dr. Kocanda said the administration will continue to monitor local data and make modifications to mitigations as necessary.
District administration presented the Return-to-School Plan for 2021-2022. The Plan was developed to align with comprehensive joint guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education and intended to support the return to a full school day with class rotations, group instructional activities, and outdoor recess. An overview was provided on how the Plan is intended to support health and safety, instructional goals, and students’ social emotional learning needs. The Board approved the Plan later in the evening, including the Return-to-School Guide containing safety and logistical details.
While goals and strategies are drafted for each of the Strategic Plan priority areas, there are specific goals developed to keep the Portrait of a Graduate as the center of the District’s work. This includes establishing a Portrait of an Educator as well. The Strategic Plan 2021-2025 and 2021-2022 Priority Strategies will be presented to the Board over the next two meetings.
The Board was presented with a continued update of staffing and enrollment as it has evolved since the June 2021 memo. Enrollment is currently 1,611 students. Staffing updates on section number shifts at Hubbard Woods and Crow Island are due to a flex in enrollment.
The Board received information regarding the District’s plan for a comprehensive and whole-hearted approach to providing meaningful professional development and parent education related to social emotional wellness and social emotional practices. The District made a commitment to social emotional learning in a comprehensive manner leading into 2019-2020 and will continue that work.
About 300 students participated in the program, as well as 60 staff members (teachers and associates). Though numerous health and safety mitigations were in place, altering some instructional delivery, parents, students and staff reported a positive experience.
The Winnetka Public Schools Foundation Annual Plan 2021-2022 includes funding for large teacher grants as well as microgrants which provide innovative opportunities for teachers and students. Highlights include funding for 3D printers, digital pens, and book baggies for students. Funding also supports Artists-in-Residence and family engagement activities. We thank the WPSF and our parents for their generous support.
The Consent Agenda and Following Action Items Were Approved:
- FY2022 Tentative Budget
- Fall 2021 Return to School Plan
- Resolution Approving Superintendent's Authority for Reopening 2021-2022 School Year
- Intra-District Transfer Request
Regular Board Meeting Dates FY 2021-2022
Location: Carleton Washburne School Resource Center (7:15 p.m.)
- September 21, 2021
- October 19, 2021
- November 16, 2021
- December 14, 2021
- January 25, 2022
- February 22, 2022
- March 22, 2022
- April 26, 2022
- May 24, 2022
- June 14, 2022
To view the entire Board Packet from the August 17 Meeting, click here.