Evanston RoundTable

Good morning, Evanston.

On May 17, School District 65 administrators presented their Return-to-School Plan for the 2021-2022 school year to members of the Board. The schools are scheduled to open for in-person learning for five full days a week at all grade levels beginning Wednesday, Aug. 25. (The JEH Early Childhood Center will open Wednesday, Sept. 1.) There will also be a rigorous virtual learning pathway, but it will be primarily for students who cannot return for in-person learning, prioritizing those with medical conditions. It will have limited capacity. 

Superintendent Devon Horton said the District’s Return Plan prioritizes in-person learning, focuses on mental health and a successful transition back to in-person learning, provides interventions and academic supports for students not yet at grade level, and is aligned with the recommendations and the latest guidance related to health and safety measures.


COVID-19 by the numbers: We are checking in with many sources to keep you updated on COVID-19 cases and vaccine information.


  • No new cases were reported yesterday in Evanston! The seven-day average is four.
  • Northwestern University reported just one new case during the seven days ending May 19. Northwestern students, staff, and professors living in Evanston are included in City test and case counts.
  • The number of cases per 100,000 population over the past seven days is 35 in Evanston, 86 in suburban Cook County, and 73 in Illinois.
  • Our City’s seven-day positive test rate is 0.7%, in suburban Cook County it is 3.5%, and in Illinois it is 2.0%.
  • Some 4.9 million or 38.7% of all Illinois residents are fully vaccinated.
  • The pace of vaccination in Illinois has slowed. If current vaccination rates persist, half of all Illinois residents will be fully vaccinated by late June and 70%, the threshold at which some experts believe herd immunity is achieved for COVID-19, by mid-August.
  • According to City figures, 79% of Evanston residents 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 63%% of residents 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable Website

Second Skate Park Meeting Scheduled for May 25. The City of Evanston will host a second public discussion regarding the installation of a new skate park in Evanston. The meeting will be hosted virtually via Zoom on Tuesday, May 25 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

Sunday Hours Returning to Main Public Library, Crown Branch to Expand Service As Well. Beginning in June, the Main Public Library will add Sunday hours and the Robert Crown branch library will be open Thursdays, as library officials continue to phase in services with the area’s recovery from COVID-19.

The Traffic Guy hears … that Fountain Square seems to have a significant but as yet unlocated underground leak. The City has shut off the water while the problem is being investigated, so this year’s “opening” of the fountain will be delayed. 

Virtual Family Action Network Events. Evanston Township High School is sponsoring two virtual Family Action Network events this month, free and open to the public, suitable for ages 12 and up.

Sex Positivity for Parents. My children are very into body positivity and sex positivity and all sorts of other kinds of positivity. Which is great! Kudos to them. But my problem is that I was brought up in the dark ages of body shaming (can’t be too rich or too thin!) and sex negativity (dark rooms, unspoken fears). I have to admit that I am a little envious of my children and their seeming freedom around these issues. What can I do to be more like them?

City Issues Seasonal Reminder on Leaf Blowers, Lawn Irrigation Limits. The City of Evanston is reminding residents of seasonal restrictions on gasoline-powered leaf blowers and lawn irrigation.

Student-Produced YAMO Show Celebrates 63rd Year at ETHS. Now in its seventh decade, Evanston Township High School’s iconic student show YAMO premiered virtually on May 14 and will be available for on-demand viewing until May 23.

Olamide Thomas and Valery Jean Jacques (Photo from Evanston Township High School)

ETHS Announces 2021 Senior Scholarships Night Winners. Evanston Township High School held its annual Senior Scholarships Night virtually on May 12, acknowledging students in the Class of 2021 who are scholarship recipients through the ETHS Scholarship program. Olamide Thomas and Valery Jean Jacques, who were nominated by their fellow ETHS seniors, are the 2021 recipients of the Oliver Baty Cunningham Memorial Prize and the North End Mothers’ Club Award.

“Enigma” by Barbara Goldsmith (Submitted photo)

What To Do With an Intriguing Piece of Artwork? It’s an ‘Enigma.’ Evanston Library Board members were presented with a real “Enigma” at their May 19 meeting. Gay Riseborough, a member of the City’s Art Council’s Public Art Working Group, sounded trustees out about accepting a sculpture piece titled “Enigma,” which would be installed in the southwest corner of the Reading Garden at the Robert Crown branch library, at Main Street just east of Dodge Avenue.

LWV Evanston Announces 2021 Scholarship Winner. The League of Women Voters of Evanston has announced that Madeline Young is the recipient of its fourth annual scholarship to a graduating senior at Evanston Township High School.

New Website Helps Evanston Consumers Shop Local. Bizi, a new website started by three Northwestern students launched on May 17, aims to help Evanston residents support small local businesses rather than buy from big chain operations. 

Family Focus Poets Celebrate Each Other and Second Book With Video Trailer and a Virtual Snap. Isolation does not always foster loneliness. During the lockdown of 2020-21 that kept some people close and others apart, the poets of Family Focus looked inward-together.

Dominguez Strikes Late, lifts Kits to 1-1 Tie with New Trier. The threat of rain had pretty much passed by the time the New Trier and Evanston girls soccer teams kicked off in a Central Suburban League South division rematch Wednesday night. But lightning still struck for the Wildkits in Northfield.

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