District 202 Board members at their Nov. 10 meeting listened without comment to the Evanston Township High School Opening of Schools Report. Later they reluctantly approved what one administrator called a “truncated” School Report Card prepared by the Illinois State Board of Education.

In several places below published results, there is a note advising that the effect of the mid-spring switch to e-learning is not yet known: “Users of this report should note that this data may have possibly been affected by the suspension of in-person instruction during the 2019-20 school year.

“While it was collected in accordance with ISBE data policy and validated through normal procedures, the state environment and policy changes resulting from the suspension of in-person instruction may have possibly affected the results. Thus, please use caution when interpreting results and trends.”

Data in the Opening of Schools Report are for the current year. Information in the School Report Card reflects data from the 2019-20 school year.

Current Year Enrollment

At 3,729 students, enrollment at ETHS for the 2020-21 school year is the highest it has been in 30 years. The percentage of Black students continues its five-year decline, from 29.8% in 2016-17 to 25.1% this year; at present 935 Black/African American students are enrolled at ETHS. The percentage of American Indian/Native Hawaiian student declined 0.1%, from 0.5% 2016-17 to 0.4% this year – 10 students.

Percentages of students of other races/ethnicities have increased: The increase in the percentage of white students was from 44.1% in 2016-17 to 45.6% this year, though that figure shows a decrease of .03% from last year – a total of 1,699 white students this year.

The percentage of Hispanic/Latino students is 19.5%, the highest in ETHS history – 728 students. Asian students, numbering 210 in 2020-21 make up 5.6% of the student body.

The percentage of students identifying as “two or more races” increased from 2.4% in 2016-17 to 3.8%, with 143 student this year.

The number of special education students increased by 30 this year, from 410 last year to 440.

Snapshot of ETHS, 2019-20 

The School Report Card looked at a school district from several angles, such as staff-student ratios, per-pupil expenditures, graduation rates and chronic absenteeism.

Typically the Report Card would include data from standardized tests – in math, English and science, for example – students took during the year. Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Pete Bavis said the Report Card “is truncated because it does not contain any standardized test score information, because students did not test in the spring.”

Staff and Student Figures

ETHS has 264 teachers, 76.2% of whom hold a master’s degree or above. The average teaching experience is 13.5 years, and the average salary is $104, 239.

The student-to-staff ratio is 15.3, lower than the statewide 18.6; the student-to-certified-staff ratio is 9.5 and student-to-administrator is 114, well below the statewide average of 171.1

The operating expenditure per pupil is $23,529.

Graduation Rate

The four-year graduation rate was 93.1%, more than 3 percentage points above the state’s 88%. More females (94.5%) than males (91.7%) graduated in four years. Demographically the rates were 96.3%, white students; 92.3% Black students; 86.1% Hispanic students; 91.1% Asian students.

At 94.4%, ETHS’s five-year graduation rate was only slightly higher than its four-year rate, and its six-year graduation rate was 94.2%.

Chronic Absenteeism

Chronic absenteeism was a problem across the entire demographic spectrum at ETHS. It is not clear how the abrupt switch to remote learning affected attendance.

Broken down demographically the chronic absenteeism rate is as follows (state percentages are in parentheses):

  • White students, 13% (7.8%, state)
  • Black students, 31% (18.7%, state)
  • Hispanic students, 29.4% (12.5%, state)
  • Asian students 12.4% (5.7%, state)
  • Two or more races, 21.7% (13%, state)
  • Students with an IEP, 38.2% (16.9%, state)
  • English-Learners, 29.6% (11.3%, state)

AP Courses

While students in grades 10, 11 and 12 take AP courses and exams at ETHS, most AP enrollees are seniors. Last year, ETHS seniors took 2,788 AP exams; 2,048 of these exams received passing grades; 393 seniors took one or more AP exams, and 338 passed one or more exams. Again, it is not clear how the COVID-19 pandemic affected these results.

Superintendent Eric Witherspoon School Boards are mandated to approve the School Report Card, and the District 202 Board did so.

Mary Gavin is the founder of the Evanston RoundTable. After 23 years as its publisher and manager, she helped transition the RoundTable to nonprofit status in 2021. She continues to write, edit, mentor...