Evanston RoundTable

At Monday night’s School Board meeting, District 65 administrators laid out the broad parameters of a plan to provide all students an opportunity to attend school for in-person learning for the 2021-22 school year, and at the same time to provide an option for remote learning. Offering few specifics, administrators did say the District is considering using outdoor spaces and had purchased tents to facilitate outdoor learning.

“Our goal is to have as many, if not everybody, returning to five days a week in-person learning,” said Assistant Superintendent of Schools Andalib Khelghati. More details about next year’s plan will be provided to the Board at its May meeting, said Superintendent Devon Horton.


Who remembers the Evanston Inn on the corner of Main Street and Forest Avenue, with a creaky elevator and a reputation for “refined splendor”? In this month’s “Ask the Historians,” Jenny Thompson paints a colorful picture of various hotels that graced the landscape of Evanston over the last 100 years. Along with photos and newspaper ads, she weaves in first-person narratives of the segregated history of a new modern age of hotels in the City. Along the way she offers one little-known fact about the Evanston Inn’s most lavish offering – its own nine-hole indoor golf course!


ETHS will host a webinar “Preparing for the 2021-22 School Year” at 5:30 p.m. tonight. The webinar will be a panel discussion with ETHS staff providing an overview of the block schedule, the process that led to the changes, and the general feedback from the poll that was sent out to families.


Elsewhere on the RoundTable Website

COVID-19 Update on April 28: ­­­­­­­­­Twelve New Cases in Evanston, 2,728 in the State. On April 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated recommendations applicable to non-healthcare settings for fully vaccinated people.

Green Matters. People in Evanston report higher levels of asthma than in the rest of the State of Illinois. Inappropriate items in recycling bins endanger workers at the recycling facility. With a wink, parents can have spinach added to their child’s smoothie at 4 Suns. These are just a few of the takeaways from Earth Week for Everyone organized by Citizens’ Greener Evanston last week. 

ETHS Baseball Team Capitalizes on Trevian mistakes for 8-3 Triumph. Tuesday’s showdown between the Evanston and New Trier baseball teams had a little bit of everything. If you’re a baseball purist, however, you might have cringed a bit while watching the Wildkits prevail 8-3 by rallying for six runs in the bottom of the 6th inning.

Second Public Dog Park Meeting. Residents are invited to join City staff for a second public discussion regarding the potential installation of a new dog park within Evanston’s park system. The meeting will be hosted virtually via Zoom at 5 p.m. on May 5.

Cool Spring, Gray Skies, Dazzling Blossoms. Despite many 50-degree mornings and evenings, Evanston is alive with the beauty of spring. Tulips and daffodils brighten gardens throughout the community, trees and shrubs are flowering, and early vegetables may soon peep through the soil.

Spring 2021 Virtual Concert.The Northwestern Medical Orchestra announces its Spring 2021 virtual concert featuring musicians who are members of the Northwestern medical community. At 7 p.m. on April 30, physicians, medical students, and staff will present an evening of live-streamed chamber music performances, including pieces by Mozart, Piazzolla, Brahms, Mendelssohn, and more.

Guest Essay: ETHS Should Hold a Vaccination Event. Picture a high school gymnasium or a local community center, set up to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to large numbers of high school students 16 and older. Masked students wait in line, chatting with each other, smiling under their masks, and sharing TikTok videos on their phones. 

Mask or No Mask?

Les Jacobson: Lessons from the Earth Day Challenge. On the occasion of the very first Earth Day, in 1970, I decided the best way to show my support was to make a bold and dramatic personal statement. I had for some reason previously acquired a World War I-era gas mask, the kind with a breathing apparatus that resembled a pig snout, and proceeded to the rally scheduled midday in the Civic Center that April 22.


COVID-19 by the Numbers

  • Twelve new cases were reported yesterday in Evanston; the seven-day average is 12.
  • The number of cases per 100,000 over the past seven days is 113 in Evanston, 142 in suburban Cook County, and 158 in Illinois.
  • Some 3.9 million or 30.6% of total Illinois residents are fully vaccinated.
  • If current vaccination rates persist, half of all Illinois residents will be fully vaccinated by early June and 70%, the threshold at which some experts believe herd immunity is achieved for COVID-19, by mid-July.

Evanston Vax Facts: According to City figures, 76% of Evanston residents 16 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 48% of residents 16 and older are fully vaccinated. Nearly 100% of residents 65 and older have received at least one dose and 89% are fully vaccinated. More details are available on the City’s Vaccine Dashboard.


Around the Web

  • When Mia Neal accepted her Oscar on Sunday for makeup and hairstyling in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” she mentioned that her late grandfather, a Tuskegee Airman, had been barred from living on campus while a student at Northwestern University, so instead he lived at the YMCA. The Chicago Tribune’s Heidi Stevens tells the story behind the Emerson YMCA that welcomed him.
  • US News & World Report recently released its annual ranking of public high schools, and Evanston Township High School was named #41 in the State and #827 nationally. Based on data from the 2018-2019 academic school year, the ranking does not take into account effects of the pandemic and reflects a slight decline from last year, when ETHS ranked #28 in the State and #773 in the nation.

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