February 2022

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A Message from the Superintendent

Dear Families, Staff, and Community Members,

We know that students learn best with cohesive and reliable day-to-day expectations reinforced by caring, positive relationships with educators at school. I can say with confidence that our staff is unparalleled in talent, heart, and dedication to ensure our students can count on a welcoming, reliable classroom experience each and every day. Together, they have formed and nurtured learning environments where children can process and make sense of ongoing, unexpected change. Last week’s shift in our COVID mitigations was no exception. It is my hope that families saw this commitment to our students’ well-being reinforced at this week’s conferences.

As a greater community, we have the opportunity to mirror the same commitments for our children. We can communicate with empathy and compassion to foster a welcoming environment for all. In the midst of almost constant uneasiness and unrest, it is my hope that we choose to focus on healing and setting our sights on a new horizon that restores our ability to work together through all challenges, while keeping our students at the center of that work.

Our community’s investment in effectively managing a constantly evolving situation over the past two years should serve as a great source of pride. Together, many personal and collective decisions were made to uphold the health and safety of our community while, at the same time, ensuring our students could learn, in classrooms, with their peers and teachers. I encourage us all to focus on the strengths that bring us together and remain anchored in making decisions that help our students thrive.


Dr. Trisha Kocanda


School Board Meeting on Tuesday, February 22, 2022

The next School Board meeting will be held at the Carleton Washburne School Band Room on February 22, 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 social distance inside the meeting room. Any individuals who arrive after the room is full will need to join remotely. The Regular Meeting is scheduled to start at 7:15 p.m. The following presentation is on the agenda:

  1. Downsized Capital Improvement Plan

The School Board is also anticipated to affirm the District’s current mask optional practice at this meeting.

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 February 22 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.

Downsized Capital Improvement Proposal Update

The Winnetka Public Schools went to referendum in April 2019 for capital expenditure, which likely failed due to the scope and total cost of the request. Since that date, the District has taken several steps to determine a new path forward and is considering a return to the ballot box in November 2022 with a downsized capital improvement proposal. Important improvements have been made to the 2019 request, including:

  • Reducing the size of the proposal

  • Decreasing the estimated annual tax impact

  • Keeping The Skokie School open

  • Eliminating $36 million from Carleton Washburne’s facility plan

The District will be hosting the following sessions for community members:

Thursday, Feb 24, 2022 at 9:15 a.m. (ZOOM)


Passcode: 303758

Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. at Hubbard Woods School (1110 Chatfield Rd)

Monday, February 28, 2022 at 9:30 a.m.--Winnetka Presbyterian Church (1255 Willow Rd.)

The District is hosting this meeting at an alternate location since school is in session

Tuesday, March 1, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. (ZOOM)


Passcode: 667048

For further details, please take a look at this letter and fact sheet regarding the Downsized Capital Improvement Plan which was recently delivered to all Winnetka residents. Please keep an eye out for a newsletter that will be sent to every home in the community this week.

Important: 2022-2023 Registration Reminder

Registration for incoming kindergarteners and students new to The Winnetka Public Schools in 2022-2023 is now open on the District website and via this link. Children who will be five-years-old on or before September 1, 2022, are eligible to enroll. Completing the registration process in a timely manner ensures the District has the most accurate information in order to support staffing and logistics for the upcoming school year.

The new student registration process is completed in three steps:

  1. Complete new student pre-registration forms online beginning November 18, 2021.

  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.

Winnetka Parents Institute

In Partnership with The Alliance for Early Childhood:

Community Screening of Chasing Childhood, February 24- March 3

Register Here

Event Flyer

Virtual Screening- Attendees will receive a link to the film via email

The post-film discussion will be held on March 3rd over Zoom.

Chasing Childhood is a feature length documentary that explores a phenomenon affecting kids from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds. Free play and independence have all but disappeared, supplanted by relentless perfectionism and record high anxiety and depression. What’s lost goes well beyond our idyllic conceptions of childhood past. When kids don’t play unsupervised by adults, they don’t gain critical life skills: grit, independence, and resourcefulness. Though they may appear more accomplished on paper, by the time they get to college they are often falling apart, lacking the emotional tools to navigate young adulthood.

The film explores how we got here and how we might empower our kids. Potential solutions are offered by the leaders of this movement, including former Stanford Dean and author of How to Raise an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims, Biological Psychologist Peter Gray and others. Learn more about the documentary at: https://www.chasingchildhooddoc.com

Adventures in Learning Registration Opens March 9

The Adventures in Learning 2022 program will run from June 16th-July 22nd. Registration will be live on the District Webstore at 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 9, 2022.

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.