September 2021

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A Message from the Superintendent

Dear Families, Staff, and Community Members,

I appreciate our entire community’s efforts to support a successful launch to our 2021-2022 school year. We were grateful to welcome many of you to our Go-to-School Nights this month to further our families’ connection with our teachers. Additionally, we continue to benefit from beautiful weather and learning opportunities outdoors - a beneficial outcome of learning during the pandemic.

I am dedicating this first issue of the Winnetka Wire of the school year to the District’s new Portrait of a Graduate. The Portrait of a Graduate was designed specifically for our District to communicate the unique characteristics, skill sets, and mindsets we strive to develop in every learner. This is one important product of our Strategic Planning process that was co-facilitated by a national partner, Battelle for Kids.

The competencies in the Portrait of a Graduate define a successful Winnetka Experience for our students and will prepare them to thrive as learners and leaders in the world. The Portrait was developed by a team of approximately 60 students, staff, parents, community leaders, and alumni who helped inform our Strategic Plan. The Portrait of a Graduate is now used by the District in planning student experiences and communicating the "why" behind important activities and projects. We are also proud of our collaboration with New Trier High School and our alignment with their Portrait of a Graduate, supporting continuity for our students.

Whether this is a student’s first year in the District or their last before graduation, we are confident that they will benefit from our commitment to develop these characteristics. Our educators are committed to fostering these competencies and we trust our community--which has a proud legacy of supporting Progressive Education--will continue to do so as well.

We look forward to communicating progress toward our Portrait of a Graduate to you throughout the school year.


Dr. Trisha Kocanda


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School Board Meeting on Tuesday, September 21, 2021

The next School Board meeting will be held at the Carleton Washburne School Band Room on September 21, 2021. Those attending can enter the meeting through the Band Room entrance door accessible from the Hibbard Rd. parking lot. There will be a Work Session at 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. on Strategic Planning. The regular meeting is preceded by 7:00 p.m. public hearings on the Final FY22 Budget and on the Transfer of Funds from the Education Fund to the Operations and Maintenance Fund and from the Operations and Maintenance Fund to the Capital Projects Fund. The Regular Meeting is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. with a review of informational memos and no presentations.

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.

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 prior to 6:45 p.m. on September 21st 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.

Parent Education Opportunities

Winnetka Parents Institute: Search Inside Yourself (SIY)

Thursday, September 23 at 9:30 a.m. (hosted via Zoom)

Join us to experience an inspiring one-hour introduction to the mindfulness-based emotional intelligence program developed at Google and backed by the latest neuroscience. This is an interactive experience that provides you with hands-on tools and experiences to help you get a taste of the full 12-hour program the District 36 faculty and staff will experience this fall.

Learn introductory tools to:

  • Reduce stress and experience greater overall well-being

  • Develop the resilience needed to sustain high performance

  • Improve communication, collaboration and team performance

Click here to RSVP to this Winnetka Parents Institute Event. A corresponding Zoom link to this session will be shared with those who have RSVPed no later than September 22.

From District Partner Family Action Network (FAN):

“We're Not Broken: Changing the Autism Conversation,” featuring Eric Garcia and Steve Silberman

Monday, September 20, 2021, 7:00 p.m.

Zoom registration link:

For additional details, click here.

In the News

Skokie students honored Police and Fire personnel in recognition of 9/11 and the story was covered by The Record North Shore.