Earlier this summer, three Evanston Township High School administrators presented their vision of a newly reopened school that would make students feel welcomed and supported. Assistant Superintendent/Principal Marcus Campbell, Associate Principal for Student Services Taya Kinzie and Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction Pete Bavis told School Board members at their June 14 meeting said their plan is that students would “return to a school community that centers radical love and empathy.”
The school has planned a welcome-back picnic, a welcome for the class of 2024 and an orientation for the class of 2025 this month. There will also be regular opportunities for students and staff to meet and reconnect.
In a Power Point presentation, the administrators outlined three things they hoped to accomplish: “humanize our return; build empathy, trust, and relationships; and [recognize the opportunity to] … not just make change, but be more human in our approach.”
The plan includes deeper integration of social-emotional learning, regular meetings of a recently formed District 202 Medical Advisory Committee, bolstering the multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS); social probation amnesty; a review of the contract with the Evanston Police Department regarding School Resource Officers; a commitment to being “responsive to trauma”; and ongoing support – within the school and the community – for Black males.
Academics will be in sharper focus as well, with supports for students and teachers as they reintegrate into the building, the administrators said. Among these are implementing block scheduling of classes, discontinuing final exams, and enhancing communication between students and teachers, according to the presentation.
Freshman orientation will take place Aug. 9 and 10, and the first day of school for students is Aug. 16.