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The annual review of courses has begun at Evanston Township High School, and there are eight new courses and nine revisions of existing courses being proposed. There are no course deletions currently being considered. The District 202 School Board heard the initial report on the course review during their Nov 12 meeting.

Three of the new course proposals are in CTE: Advanced Fashion, Cybersecurity, and Engineering Design & Development.   

“Cybersecurity, I’m assured by our teacher, does not pose a risk to ETHS cyber security and in fact ethics and cybersecurity is one of the actual topics outlined in the in the course syllabi,” said Pete Bavis, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction during the report to the Board.

In Engineering Design & Development, students will be able to use the ETHS advanced manufacturing lab and engineering labs to, “solve real-world problems, fabricate, prototype and then ultimately present to a team of industry folks their ideas. It really is incredible,” said Dr. Bavis.

Three new Fine Arts courses have also been proposals for next year.  Discovering Success through Music and Students Taking Awe-Inspiring Roads to Success are “specific, holistic supports for students” and “focus on developing academic skills and social emotional well-being,” according to the report. The proposed Wildkit Ensemble class, or WE for short, is a collaboration between the Fine Arts and Special Education departments which will bring general and special education students together to create music and/or theatre. 

Two sports-related courses have been proposed. STEM in Sports has been proposed as a new summer science class. Sports Specific Training is a PE course for elite student athletes in which the curriculum will be individualized to meet each student’s specific needs and will be taught as a team with the PE Teacher, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and the Varsity Coach.

“It would be a PE course where they would get sports specific workouts so if you’re on the football team and you’re a wide receiver you’ll get a workout tailored to that position. It would be both during season and offseason the goal of which is to increase fitness and obviously to decrease injuries, to improve strength and conditioning for our athletes,” said Dr. Bavis. 

Several proposed course revisions address access to Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses while others add clarity to course names. The pre-requisite for AP Studio Art would be changed to create a pathway for students who have taken Animation and Video Production. Non-AP junior English courses, 3 English 2 and 3 English H, would be revised into a pathway to honors course which will align to the 9th and 10th grade English courses. Class title changes include Debate 1, Debate 2, and Advanced Strength Training which will now be called Principles of Debate, Advanced Debate, and Strength and Conditioning. Web Design is being updated and will use CodeHS as a platform.

Board Member Gretchen Livingston brought up the course Contemporary Adult Life, a subject she had brought up at previous Board meetings as needing some revisions as indicated by past student board representatives and as a subject on a parent’s list serve. Dr. Bavis indicated that it would be discussed in the summer.

Board Member Jonathan Baum asked Dr. Bavis about honors courses.  With the proposed revision to 3 English H, the last stand-alone honors class in Humanities will be removed, he said. “Having eliminated straight honors classes from one entire aspect of the school’s coursework that is humanities, how do we reconcile that with maintaining straight honors in math and science? I’m just putting that out there it seems having now totally ended the concept of straight honors in humanities that it’s kind of an odd thing.” 

All proposed course additions and revisions were presented to the Board for information only. Final proposals will be voted on at the Board’s Dec. 17 meeting.