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Submitted by School District 65
District 65 is looking for a diverse group of staff, parents/caregivers, and community members to serve on its Student Assignment Advisory Committee (SAAC). The SAAC will have a number of actionable items to address including using an interactive tool to develop guiding principles for student assignment and using data from the forthcoming district master facilities plan, community surveys, and town halls to inform recommendations to the School Board.
The decision to move forward on reimagining the district’s Student Assignment plan, and the creation of the SAAC, were made in a large part to “modernize [District 65’s] structure and address historic inequities that continue to most significantly impact students of color,” said Dr. Horton. “This may include changes to school attendance areas, reconsideration of a more equitable selection process for magnet schools and programs, and establishing a local school for Fifth Ward families.”
Despite changes to enrollment, student demographics, and academic services and programs, District 65 has not reviewed its boundaries holistically or recommended changes in over 25 years. Student assignment is a part of the district’s multi-faceted approach to long-term planning for the future of public schools in Evanston/Skokie. “Addressing our structural deficit and ensuring a strong financial position will require systemic change,” said Dr. Devon Horton, Superintendent. “We must look carefully at our building footprint, operational efficiencies, transportation costs, and the needs of our aging buildings. We must do all of this while maintaining the strength and quality of our instructional and social emotional programming.” To support this effort, District 65 will engage independent firms to lead the creation of a master facilities plan and to conduct a thorough audit of our curriculum.
Interested SAAC applicants have until March 19 to complete the application, which is available in English and Spanish. Members of the committee will be announced to the community when District 65 returns from spring break.
Along with the launch of the committee and the application to join, D65 community members were also introduced to the new SAAC website. The website, acting as a hub of information for student assignment information including a helpful video overview explaining the “why” behind the process of refining the student assignment plan, will also serve as a nexus for SAAC members and the District 65 community. The site will house a listing of SAAC members and meeting minutes, committee charge, vision, and application, as well as resources that will continue to be updated. More detailed information, as well as links to the applications, can be found by visiting district65.net/saac.