Evanston RoundTable

Good Wednesday morning, Evanston.

At Monday night’s meeting of the Evanston Township High School District 202 Board of Education, administrators offered updates on declines in student reading levels and participation in Advanced Placement courses.

School officials stressed that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges to student learning and educational progress. In the 2020-21 year, ETHS had the lowest number of students taking AP exams since 2011-12 and the lowest percentage of students scoring a 3 or better since 2015-16.

ETHS teachers and administrators provide an update on AP participation Feb. 7. (Screenshot)

At the end of the ETHS board meeting, members approved the resignation of the school’s top two human resources officers, quietly bringing an end to a monthslong saga shrouded in mystery. 

The two officials, who were placed on leave in October for unknown reasons, will remain on paid administrative leave through the end of June, receiving their normal salary and benefits package “as if actively employed by the District,” their resignation agreements state.

COVID by the numbers: 10 cases and one death were reported on Monday, Feb. 7, the last day the city updated case totals. The seven-day average is 40 cases per day.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

At this time: 9:21 a.m. Tuesday. Curt’s Cafe founder Susan Trieschmann (foreground) is stepping aside as Executive Director of the nonprofit. Since its inception 10 years ago, more than 500 at-risk young men and women have worked for and graduated from Curt’s. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Light displays decorate a wall at the Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse. (Photo by Adina Keeling)

Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse commits to sustainability, builds careers. The nonprofit, which collects and resells old building materials, is adding a pre-apprenticeship program to help would-be workers land construction jobs. That story and others are on the RoundTable’s new business index page, which spotlights our growing business and economic coverage.

Artwork on display at Prairie Avenue Gallery. (Photo via Instagram)

New gallery features local artists, cards, prints and luxury gift boxes. Located at 2601 Prairie Ave., the new Prairie Avenue Gallery grew out of a pandemic project by Coffee Lab co-owner Daniel Aquino.

ETHS girls basketball: Blowout win helps Banks boost confidence. Tuesday’s regular season home finale was a a 58-19 slaughter rule victory for Evanston over Niles North.

Picturing Evanston. The setting sun behind University Hall on Northwestern’s campus. (Photo by Joerg Metzner)

Residents encouraged to submit building permits early this year. With a high volume of building permit activity expected again this spring and summer, the city is encouraging residents and businesses to submit permits as soon as possible this year to avoid delays.

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Around the web

Gov. J.B. Pritzker will lift mask mandates for many public places – but not schools, source says. “Pritzker intends Wednesday to announce a lifting of a universal indoor masking order for most public places except for schools,” WBEZ Chicago reports.

Good to Go Jamaican Cuisine’s Lenice Levy named Evanston businessperson of the year. The Evanston Chamber of Commerce honored the Howard Street restaurant’s lively atmosphere and commitment to food and entertainment.

Skokie approves 14-story Carvana tower despite objections. The “car vending machine” will be directly across from the Harms Woods nature preserve, and environmentalists fear its impact on birds.

‘Nobody believed those teenagers.’ The Washington Post reports that Rory Dames, former coach of the Chicago Red Stars in the National Women’s Soccer League, faced allegations of abuse and harassment decades ago while at a youth soccer program in the Chicago area.

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Duncan Agnew

Duncan Agnew covers Evanston public schools, affordable housing, City Hall and more for the RoundTable. He also writes long-form investigations, features and the morning email newsletter three times a...