Winnetka Voices: A Podcast from the Winnetka Public Schools
Winnetka Voices is a podcast hosted by The Winnetka Public Schools, featuring candid conversations on issues relevant to education and shared resources to support our students and families.
Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendents, speaks to middle school reading specialists Sheri Johnston and Suzanne Savard about how to best foster childrens’ literacy during the summer months. Along with summer reading recommendations, they provide tips on what may support your child to grow in confidence in their reading skills–whether they are an avid or reluctant reader. You may be surprised by how simple and natural supporting your child’s literacy during summer break can be.
Dr. Kelly Tess speaks to Denise Matthews, Director of Student Services, Equity and Inclusion and Erick Taft, District alum, parent, and a leader of a community organization “Winnetka for Belonging.” The episode centers on how fostering an environment where high-quality teaching and learning is accessible to all starts with supporting the fundamental need for belonging. A few Washburne students also share their thoughts on belonging. As Ms. Matthews shares, “We can all play a part in making sure that our peers and our colleagues feel like they belong.”
Dr. Kelly Tess speaks to School Board President Emily Rose, Crow Island Kindergarten teacher Melissa Brody (both of whom are alumni of The Winnetka Public Schools) and Tom Flemma, Head of School at North Shore Country Day, a private school in Winnetka with a unique shared history in progressive education. Throughout the episode, learn about the unique legacy of Progressive Education in Winnetka, and how our public and private insitutions uphold our commitment to experiential learning. “I hope we continue to push ourselves to be a lighthouse of a District….the future is bright,” says Ms. Rose.
In this episode Dr. Kelly Tess discusses the national teacher shortage with The Skokie School Principal, Michelle Cooney; Jeff Knapp, Assistant Superintendent of Professional Learning and Human Resources; and Daniel Walsh, Interim Dean of the School of Education and Associate Professor at North Park University. The guests reflect on the landscape when they initially began their careers in education, the need to enhance recruitment and retention practices, and what makes this a unique era in terms of hiring the next generation of teachers. The guests reflect on how these factors may specifically impact our practices in Winnetka. According to Principal Cooney, "In order to do hard and important work, we need to be in a community where we support one another." Listen the full episode to learn more about this timely topic.
Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, is joined by Dr. Becky Mathison, the District’s Director of Innovation, Teaching and Learning, Ms. Missy Parks, second grade teacher at Crow Island School, and Anna Karwowska, Youth Services Manager of The Winnetka-Northfield Public Library. Topics addressed include how we've seen students' needs evolve following the result of the pandemic, how the District approaches supporting students in their reading skills, and tools that may help parents and caregivers support an interest in reading at home.
Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, is joined by the District’s Social Emotional Learning coaches, Sachiko Kawata-Burke, Jennifer Knudson, Danielle Leitner, and Allison Szczecinski. The SEL coaches discuss the role they play in supporting students and teachers, particularly in the wake of the pandemic. The coaches also share the concept behind RULER, a research-based tool from the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, that is currently being implemented in our schools.
Dr. Kelly Tess, Superintendent, speaks with Ms. Carly Andrews, Executive Director of The Alliance for Early Childhood, on how we can best support our childrens’ social and emotional needs, academic growth, and socialization in the wake of the pandemic.