School District 65’s summer learning programs will be provided entirely through remote learning. Administrators said in early May based on the information available at that time, “We do not believe we can safely host in-person summer learning programs. With programs scheduled to begin the second week in June, it is important to provide families and staff with as much notice as possible so that plans can be made accordingly.”

At the School Board’s June 8 meeting, Stacy Beardsley, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, summarized District 65’s summer learning programs, as well as the resources available to all students and their families.

“We are continuing to run our targeted programs for students that are not at grade level, with a primary focus on our youngest learners – students rising to kindergarten and first and second grades,” said Dr. Beardsley. “All of our District academic programs are remote learning and were just launched today. We want students to be in the best possible position to return to school.”

In addition to targeted remote summer learning programs for District 65 students, the District “created a website with virtual summer enrichment options available to all students.”

The programs include:

  • Access to District 65’s online learning systems
  • Evanston Public Library and District 65 Summer Reading Programs and e-book access
  • Summer Learning Enrichment BoardCommunity Partner Summer Enrichment Opportunities through Ell
  • Summer technology support and
  • SEL Resources for Families.

District 65’s online learning systems: These learning platforms are available for ongoing learning for all students through Aug. 7. “We worked to provide opportunities that families could access on an ongoing basis throughout the summer,” said Dr. Beardsley.

There are different learning platforms for different grade levels. “In many of these platforms, students receive ongoing feedback and support as well as access to content that meets their learning needs,” says the District on its website.

District 65’s Partnership with Evanston Public Library: “We have a partnership with Evanston Public Library,” said Dr. Beardsley. “Everything is available remotely this year.”

As part of this program, “District 65 librarians and EPL will share great books to read; invite students to participate in programming; and celebrate their reading. Books are being made available digitally by Evanston Public Library.”  

 “Taking advantage of the virtual resources both through District 65 and EPL to keep up in books and learning about the world is an incredible way to go,” said Dr. Beardsley.

Summer Learning Enrichment Boards: District 65 families will have access to enrichment boards over the summer that suggest activities and resources in the arts, literacy, and STEM.  The boards will change each month, and they will indicate whether the activities can be independently pursued by students or whether guidance by a parent or caregiver is necessary.

Summer Enrichment Activities with Community Partners: EL3 is a collaboration between School District 65, Northwestern’s Digital Youth Network, and Evanston’s out-of-school organizations. It offers a variety of engaging activities that students can explore based on their interests.  

Tech Support will be available throughout the summer via the District’s Tech Services Hotline. Dr. Beardsley said the District has made available 2,500 devices for the summer and 400 wifi hot spots.

Free Meals for Students this Summer

Through a continued partnership with the City of Evanston and School District 202, free meals will continue to be available for students through August. During the month of June, five days of meals can be picked up on Mondays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at community meal sites. In July, the Summer Meal Program will go into effect. 

Larry Gavin was a co-founder of the Evanston RoundTable in 1998 and assisted in its conversion to a non-profit in 2021. He has received many journalism awards for his articles on education, housing and...