The School Board of The Winnetka Public Schools is comprised of seven members elected by the Community, to fulfill its powers and duties on behalf of the District. These powers and duties include the authority to adopt, enforce, and monitor all policies for the management and governance of the District's schools i.e., approving the ongoing expenditures/budget/long range plan, and hiring and evaluating the Superintendent. The links to the left will provide access to additional information regarding current School Board members, District goals, Communicating with the Board, School Board meeting dates, agendas, minutes, packets, and podcasts. In addition School Board Policies, Dashboard data, and additional resources can be accessed from these links as well.
Information about School Board Meetings
School Board meetings are working sessions, as the Board is obligated to conduct its business in full view of the public. The meeting typically begins with a quick welcome followed by the first opportunity for public comment. After an update from the Superintendent, the Board and staff discuss the business before them by agenda item. The information gathering of the meeting closes with a second opportunity for public comment, then votes are taken on specific action items. Earlier in the meeting, votes are taken on quick consent items such as approval of bill payment and previous minutes. All votes are taken in public session.
The purpose of public comment is for the Board to hear directly from its constituents, be they parents, residents, or staff. The Board listens to the comments and may direct the Superintendent to follow up with the constituent as necessary or take the matter raised under advisement. The structure of public comment ranges from an informal to a more formalized process whereby recognized speakers may have time limits imposed so that all speakers receive an equitable chance to convey their opinions. The choice of structure is at the discretion of the Board member facilitating the meeting, per Board policy 2:223.
When are Board meetings?
Regular Monthly Board meetings are held in the Carleton Washburne School Resource Center and generally take place at 7:15 P.M. the 1st or 2nd Tuesday of each month. The community is welcome at all meetings and there are two opportunities for public comment during every session. Regular Work Session meetings are typically held prior to the Regular Board Meeting. Work Session meetings are scheduled for agenda items that necessitate more lengthy discussions or presentations. Consult the meeting schedule on this website as meeting dates or locations may change and there is typically no meeting in August.
The public session of the meeting generally concludes around 9:30 P.M., depending on that month's agenda items. Notice of the meeting and a detailed agenda is posted on each school's front doors and on this website at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting.
What typically occurs in a Closed or Executive Session?
Executive Session meetings are called generally to discuss matters related to employment of personnel, student disciplinary actions, or pending legal matters. The Illinois School Code outlines a very short list of issues that may be discussed in closed session on the basis of privacy concerns. The bulk of issues that come before the School Board are discussed in public session and all official votes (actions) of the Board must be conducted in public session as well.
What happens between the monthly meetings?
This depends on the month and the responsibilities of the Board member. Board members routinely attend to subcommittee or liaison responsibilities, attending Plan Commission meetings, or researching progress on educational bills in the Illinois legislature. Several may be working on specific directives such as facilities planning, financial modeling, updating website content, or revising the Policy Manual. Board members also regularly visit the schools with the Superintendent and support Central PTO and Foundation events as much as possible.