January 2022

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A Message from the Superintendent

Dear Parents, Staff, and Community Members,

The District’s Strategic Plan 2021-2025 was approved by the School Board in October 2021 and sets an ambitious path forward for our schools. We are committed to excellence in Progressive Education, research-driven decision-making, and cultivating a spirit of continuous improvement on behalf of our students. The pandemic has proven how agile and adaptive our school community can be when we are focused on our values and goals.

With that, I plan to highlight a 2021-2022 Strategic Goal area each month in upcoming Winnetka Wire articles to keep our community well-informed regarding our progress. This month’s goal highlight is on refining our early literacy practices, which will evolve into K-8 reading and writing goals.

Early Literacy: Strategic Goal 1.4

Led by a team of educators and administrators, a comprehensive plan was set in place to implement the latest evidenced-based practices in the classroom with our youngest students. The goal focuses on building the strongest foundational literacy skills to benefit our learners for years to come. To accomplish this, the District is adhering to the science of reading to ensure systematic and sequential phonemic awareness and phonics instruction is taught with fidelity. This work will expand to the older grades, building stronger phonics, spelling, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension skills for all students in the District.

With our kindergarten and first grade teams working together across the District, progress has been made since this summer. Highlights include:

  • Formation of an early literacy task force that has met monthly to focus on early literacy curriculum, assessment, and resources to ensure a consistent, evidence-based approach across the District.

  • All Kindergarten and first grade teachers use the Heggerty Phonemic Awareness curriculum in their instruction.

  • Staff received job-embedded professional learning before winter break to ensure fidelity of use across all classrooms. A staff developer, specializing in phonemic awareness, pushed into the classrooms, modeled lessons, and debriefed with staff.

  • Our literacy facilitators (coaches) hosted sessions with our staff to create common learning resources used in all K-1 classrooms that align with the Haggerty program.

We will be monitoring our progress with our educators using new, formative benchmark assessments. This is exciting work that we are eager to share more about at our upcoming January 25 School Board meeting. Our dedication to continuous improvement is steadfast, moving us forward in developing the attributes found in our Portrait of a Graduate.


Dr. Trisha Kocanda


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School Board Meeting on Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The next School Board meeting will be held at the Carleton Washburne School Band Room on January 25, 2022. Those attending can enter the meeting through the Band Room entrance door accessible from the Hibbard Rd. parking lot. Seating for the public is on a first-come, first-served basis. All guests must wear a face mask* and social distance inside the meeting room. Any individuals who arrive after the room is full will need to join remotely. There will be a Work Session from 5:30 - 6:20 p.m. on Strategic Goal Area #2: Integrated Systems of Support Framework for Equity & Inclusion. The Regular Meeting is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. The following presentations are on the agenda:

  1. Fiscal Year 2021 Auditors’ Report

  2. Update Strategic Goal 1.4: Refine Early Literacy

To participate via Zoom:


Passcode: 353337

Or Telephone: 312 626 6799

Webinar ID: 880 9070 7037

Passcode: 353337

Public comment for the meeting will occur both in person and also by email. Those joining remotely and wishing to make public comments should email board@winnetka36.org prior to 7:00 p.m. on January 25 and note if they want the email message read at the meeting. The Board may need to limit the amount of time dedicated to public comment (maximum of 30 minutes) in order to efficiently conduct business; this is in accordance with temporary rules adopted by the School Board.

*A mask mandate for Illinois schools is law. Pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order, the wearing of a mask in school buildings is now legally required for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors who are two years of age or older and medically able to tolerate a mask, regardless of vaccination status.

Learners, Winter 2022 Edition

Check your mailbox this week for Learners, the District’s annual magazine, which includes additional information on Finance and Facilities. Click here for the District’s 2020 Financial Report.

COVID Testing Clinics on January 22 and January 29

New Trier Township School Districts is partnering with NorthShore Clinical Labs to host on-site COVID-19 testing for the community.

Testing is being conducted by Northshore Clinical Labs based out of Chicago.

Dates: January 22nd & 29th - 9 a.m.-2 p.m.

Test Details:

  • Offering both nasal swab and cheek swab test

  • Results are reported within 24-48 hours of testing via email

  • All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

  • All testing information is confidential.

  • Please note: we are anticipating a large turnout, accordingly please arrive during your scheduled time slot and promptly after your testing.

Location: Marie Murphy School - Gymnasium

Link to Schedule and Register for a Test

Should you have any questions or have accessibility needs, please contact Northshore Clinical Labs at (773) 570-6510, customerservice@northshoreclinical.com.

Order Free COVID Testing Kits Through USPS

The US Postal Service is preparing to deliver one shipment of 4 COVID Testing kits per residential address beginning in late January. Click here to register for your free shipment.

Winnetka Parents Institute

The Kindergarten Experience in The Winnetka Public Schools

An informational meeting for pre-Kindergarten families

Thursday, January 27

6:00-6:45 pm


ID: 87176924799

Passcode: 438688

‪(US) +1 301-715-8592‬

Passcode: 438688

Please join educators from The Winnetka Public Schools for an informational Zoom meeting for current pre-kindergarten families. Barry Rodgers, Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, Beth Carmody, Principal of Hubbard Woods School, and Katarina Jaksic will highlight the District’s approach to learning and developmental readiness for a play-based Kindergarten environment. Parents will have an opportunity to ask questions about the kindergarten experience and what to expect for their child. In the event that you cannot attend, the session will be recorded for later viewing.

Tech Generation: Raising Balanced Kids in a Hyper-Connected World

Recording and Resources

Districts 36 and 34 co-sponsored a presentation with licensed psychologist, Dr. Mike Brooks, about the effects of screens and supporting the use of technology in more balanced ways. Below are the recording and resources shared during the event, including key points from Dr. Brook's book, Tech Generation: Raising Balanced Kids in a Hyper-Connected World:

Online Registration Now Open for Kindergarten & New Students for 2022-2023

Registration for incoming kindergarteners and students new to The Winnetka Public Schools in 2022-2023 is now open. Children who will be five-years-old on or before September 1, 2022, are eligible to enroll.

The new student registration process is completed in three steps:

  1. Complete new student pre-registration forms online.

  2. Provide the original or certified copy of your child(ren)'s birth certificate and a parent photo ID. Scanned copies or snapshots of these documents may be uploaded during online registration or can be submitted in-person at the District Office, by appointment.

  3. Provide proof of residency and paper registration forms. Click here to view the list of documents that will meet these requirements. For your convenience, all required documents may be uploaded during online registration.

Children will not be considered enrolled until both the online and paper portion of registration has been completed and residency documentation is verified. If you have any questions, please contact the District Office at 847-446-9400.

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

For upcoming events, access FAN’s website here.

From our Partners at The Alliance for Early Childhood:

We are excited to share with you The Alliance's Fall/Winter 2021 Newsletter to learn more about the organization’s offerings to families.

From our Partners in the Village:

Winter Reading Program at Winnetka-Northfield Public Library

There's "Snow" Better Time to Read! For the month of January, the Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District is having a Winter Reading Challenge! Beat the winter blahs by curling up with a good book! It’s simple to participate; all you have to do is read for at least 20 minutes a day for 20 days between January 1-31. For added incentive, our Youth log contains alternative reading challenges and activities. Completed logs can be turned in at either location or by emailing a photo to youth@wnpld.org. Submit your completed log by February 5, pick up your finishing prize, and enter to win one of the library’s grand prizes!

More information and printable reading logs are available online as well as either library location.

Virtual Trolley Tour on the Winnetka History Express!

February 17 from 7-8:15 p.m.

Join Winnetka Historical Society on a virtual trolley adventure that will take you through time and space, from the Native American settlement at Indian Hill Club, through Winnetka’s historic business district, to the scenic Skokie Lagoons, and lastly to sites along Sheridan Road. Play trivia to try and win a set of Winnetka notecards or a Winnetka coloring book!

Register through the link here. ($10)

Sponsored by North Shore Community Bank and Trust (Winnetka)