Wanted to share a statement I will share at tomorrow’s policy and committee meeting:
I would like to take the time again to thank our administrators, my board colleagues, our parents/caretakers and especially our educators, for the work being done to move our equity work forward and to transform the way we educate here in Evanston/Skokie School District 65.
I would also like to acknowledge the difficulty we are all facing as we adjust to a new normal. A new normal which has resulted from the ongoing pandemic, and which has exacerbated the underlying divisions in our community, our state, and our country.
Here in Evanston, as is the case in many communities, we are seeing a level of toxicity against our Superintendent and his administration, our school board, and our educators that has reached a boiling point and threatens to derail our collective vision of advancing equity by ensuring all children, youth, and their families and particularly our most marginalized children, youth and families, have access to the resources and rigor they need to succeed in Evanston and beyond.
The only way we can make this vision a reality is by coming together and clearly communicating and shaping the pathway forward for our school district and our overall community.
As a district, we admit that we have tried to move forward with much of the necessary changes we need in order to fix broken systems and processes that continue to harm our most vulnerable children and families.
We have heard the cry from our educators and frontline staff that the pace of change is too much, and has become unsustainable. We have responded to this by continuing to foster a better relationship with all of our bargaining units through weekly and sometimes daily communication to ensure we are aligning our work. We have suspended teacher evaluations for this year and are ensuring that half-day professional development time is led by teachers, to honor and respect their professionalism and expertise.
We are committed to hearing from our educators on the frontlines, and each board member, along with the Superintendent, will be visiting our respective school assigned to us as liaisons at our Chat n’ Chew events.
We also continue to engage stakeholders from across Evanston, through our Student Assignment, Master Facility Planning, and Strategic Planning processes.
So despite what you are hearing from local news media and social media, which has had a specific tendency to highlight negativity and mischaracterize the work of the most diverse school board and administration in Evanston history, our Superintendent, our board, and our educators will continue to work on building and strengthening relationships between all stakeholders and institutions that are interested in forging ahead with transforming the education system to ensure all children, youth and their families receive a high-quality education and the resources they need to achieve, despite the attacks and the threats we are seeing here in our community, our state and across the nation.
And as always, we invite community members to participate in and collaborate with this committee as we seek the change that is long overdue for children and families.
— Sergio Hernandez, Jr.
Miembro de la Junta Directiva/School Board Member
Distrito Escolar 65 de Evanston/Skokie-Evanston/Skokie School District 65 773.704.4569
Preferred pronouns/pronombre preferido: he/him/his/el