Enrollment Balancing Project

A precursor to the EMFP process, District 36 engaged in an Enrollment Balancing Project that sought to addressing an imbalance in the elementary school attendance patterns at the three K-4 schools, and forecast enrollment trends.  Information stemming from the Project was integral to the EMFP process.  To learn more about the work of the Enrollment Balancing Project, please visit this page.

Deeper Understanding

Phase Milestones

To begin this process, the District commissioned a demographic report from Cropper GIS to understand current enrollment trends and how they contributed to the facility needs. DLR Group then used the findings from that report to analyze each school and develop infographics that convey the enrollment trends and projections, the capacity of each building, and the gross square footage per student. DLR Group then used the findings from that report to analyze each school and develop infographics that convey the enrollment trends and projections, the capacity of each building, and the gross square footage per student.

In addition to analyzing school capacity, DLR Group also conducted a Facility Condition Assessment in search of items in need of repair or replacement. This assessment was conducted with a third party, Ameresco, and costs for facility condition items were estimated by Ameresco. Another part of this phase was an assessment of the indoor environmental quality of each school, including internal monitoring and testing and thermal imaging of exteriors.

Examples of Phase 1 diagrams.

Discover + Explore

Phase Milestones

Engaging with key stakeholders and diverse voices was crucial to developing a successful EMFP for the communities served by District 36. Throughout the process, we gathered feedback and information from students, teachers, administrators, Board of Education members, and members of the community at large through collaborative workshops, active dialogues, school tours, and community presentations that included live polling. Special sessions were held to explore early concepts and take questions from the community.

Examples of Phase 2 diagrams. Click the link below to view at full size.


Phase Milestones

Milestones for both Program and Conceptualize phases.

In order to generate an conceptual program for D36 schools, many factors had to be taken into account. To understand teaching and learning, not only were District goals and enrollment projections explored, but so was a Day in the Life of a learner – now, and in the future. The time spent in various activities, class and group sizes, and moving between classes or socializing was all a factor in re-envisioning how D36 students would move through the building.

These District choices were combined with stakeholder input gathered by the Core Team and from the community, as well as research contributed by a sub-committee focused on grade levels and transitions.

This and other information was used to create parameters that were fed into a data-driven school program model, which allots types of recommended space based on the quantity of time and number of students that use each space.

Once an initial set of program recommendations was generated from the data model, the space types and numbers were discussed with the District and the Core Team. After gaining more insights from those who work with D36 students every day, the program model was further refined to a level of detail consistent Master Plan. Detailed programming for each building will occur later, in the design phase for each project.

Sketch diagram of the data modeling process


After the conceptual program was created, there were many potential ways to fit the necessary spaces into the District. The Core Team worked to explore 6 grade level structures:

  • K-8
  • K-1, 2-8
  • K-3, 4-8
  • K-4, 5-8
  • K-6, 7-8

Along with grade level structure, the other conceptual factor to account for was the order of magnitude of changes required to facilities in order to support the vision for teaching and learning. Test fits were conducted to examine how the conceptual program for the 3 prioritized grade level structures would fit into existing buildings, given the facility constraints. Test fits indicated that some grade level structures were a better fit in existing facilities than others.

The Core Team worked with the Village and planning experts from DLR Group to examine site and zoning constraints, as well as environmental planning concerns. From this information, a deeper understanding of ways in which buildings could be expanded on existing sites helped to shape high-level concepts and illustrate possibilities.

Key considerations during the Conceptualization phase. Click the buttons below to learn more.

Game Plan

Phase Milestones

At the June 6th Board Meeting, Core Team members presented their summary information for review and discussion. Following that, several community engagement sessions were held during the months of June and July. Focus groups (Kate and Jill need to give input here).

Taking all of the information generated during Conceptualization, and adding in the input from community engagement and polling, refinements were made to concepts and cost estimates created. A Board Workshop was held on October 10th to ensure that the Board had all the information they needed to make a decision, and the Educational Facility Master Plan was approved at the October 23rd Board Meeting.

Video of Educational Master Plan: Future Ready D36: Community Survey Results (Fallon Research & Communications, Inc.). This video is also found on the D36 website.

The Core Team

Core Team Meeting Dates

*Excludes Core Team presentations to the Community or School Board.

The EMFP process could not have been successful without a diversity of perspectives, and with specific knowledge contributed, to the vast array of ideas and considerations necessary to complete the task.  There were three main stakeholder groups included with the EMFP process: the Core Team, Primary Users (Faculty, Staff and Students), and Community members.

Charged with considering the data presented, conducting targeted research, and analyzing alternatives with the best interest of D36 and its vision for teaching and learning in mind, the Core Team was responsible for providing intermediate guidance and recommendations to the School Board.

An application process identified and evaluated volunteers for the role.  It was important to have representation from parents, non-parent community members, faculty, staff, professionals, and different age groups on the Core Team.  The final group comprised 20+ members.

The Core Team participated in tours of Winnetka school buildings, example facilities from Districts in other states (including IL, MN, CA, and VA), workplace and university site visits, and engaged deeply in planning, research, and visioning exercises that led to the conceptualization of ideas for each neighborhood school and ultimately culminated in the adopted EMFP.

October 5, 2017 (Inaugural Meeting)
November 13, 2017
January 10, 2018
January 26, 2018
February 8, 2018
February 22, 2018
March 1, 2018

March 5, 2018
April 3, 2018
April 9, 2018
April 16, 2018
April 30, 2018
May 14, 2018
May 24, 2018