DOWNSIZED CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROPOSAL OVERVIEW

  • June 7, 2022

    Dear Friends, Colleagues and Community Members:

    As we turn the page on yet another unique school year, we cannot help but reflect upon the many moments in and out of the classroom that helped actualize our vision:

    The Winnetka Public Schools community empowers every student to flourish in an inclusive, innovative and experiential environment. We support and challenge all learners to actively engage in continual growth and achievement to make a meaningful difference in the world.

    After a challenging two years, we are particularly proud of our students for showing resilience and growth. From Kindergarteners participating in their butterfly migrations to our new Washburne graduates celebrating their accomplishments, the spirit of Progressive Education is stronger than ever in The Winnetka Public Schools. 
     
    The School Board is grateful to you, our taxpayers, for taking the time over the past few months to provide your thoughts and recommendations on a new, downsized capital improvement proposal that may appear on this fall’s ballot. We are confident the efforts made to carefully listen to our community have resulted in a proposal that more effectively balances the needs of Winnetka’s students and schools with what our taxpayers want and would pay for. 

    District 36 remains committed to investing in all five of its schools to extend their useful life and reduce costly emergency repairs in a fiscally prudent manner. While the new proposal is $31.2 million less than what voters turned down three years ago, it is anticipated to provide many benefits, including:

    • Making District 36’s schools healthier and safer and with secure entry vestibules; upgrading HVAC systems to improve air quality, air flow and temperature control; and improving energy efficiency
    • Improving Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility for students,
      staff and visitors
    • Adding a multipurpose room/cafeteria at Hubbard Woods,
    • Adding three permanent classrooms to Crow Island to replace the temporary trailers currently in use
    • Repurposing the current gym to serve as a multipurpose room/cafeteria and adding a gym at Crow Island to address the school's unmet facility needs in order to improve student-centered scheduling
    • Extending the useful life of existing facilities and reducing costly emergency repairs

    After reviewing recent public opinion research, feedback gathered at our many outreach meetings, the recommendations of a Citizen Task Force to our Superintendent of Schools, and the District administration’s final recommendations, the School Board is readying a proposal for the November 8, 2022 ballot that is similar in scope to the proposal recently shared with the community.

    The Winnetka Public Schools remain committed to education excellence, fiscal responsibility and transparency. We are committed to crafting a proposal that meets the needs of both our students and taxpayers and will continue to keep you apprised of actions and steps toward the November 8, 2022 referendum. 

    Respectfully,

    Ms. Emily Rose                       Dr. Kelly Tess
    School Board President          Incoming Superintendent of Schools