Evanston RoundTable

Good Tuesday morning, Evanston!

If you have one or more K-8 students at home, you – and your kids – don’t need this reminder: District 65’s first day of school is tomorrow. Teachers and staff have already returned. Above, Ami Shah, a first-grade teacher at Lincolnwood Elementary School, joins other educators to kick off the school year with a rally held at Quad Indoor Sports. (Photo by Richard Cahan)

Credit: Richard Cahan

About 1,300 teachers and staff from District 65 gathered for the spirited convocation yesterday morning, gearing up for the start of school. District 65 Superintendent Devon Horton (above) and Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss were among those addressing the audience, and both brought messages of unity. Said Biss: “The truth is the beating heart of this community is our schools and we are here to do everything we can to help you be the great organization that you are.”

The message of District 65 harmony continued in the afternoon at the Curriculum and Policy Committee meeting. Assistant Superintendent of Schools Angel Turner told board members the district is working to “bring back the love for learning” and “rebuild trust with all stakeholders.” Turner said changing the culture at Haven Middle School was a key priority for the district.

In other news:

Credit: Sam Stroozas

Just six months after city staff posted notices discouraging direct giving to people on the street, Evanston will remove the anti-panhandling signs on downtown traffic light poles. The signs stirred controversy over how the city treats its homeless population, newly appointed City Manager Luke Stowe said in a memo to Mayor Daniel Biss and City Council members.

We mean business

Are you into Evanston’s business? Do you worry about the health and well-being of the businesses in our city? Are you interested in writing? If you answered a hat trick of “yeses,” we would love to talk to you about doing a little freelance writing for the RoundTable. Send a note to susy@evanstonroundtable.com with the subject “I mean business!”

COVID-19 by the numbers: Four new cases and no new deaths were reported Sunday, Aug. 21, the last day the city updated totals. The seven-day average is nine cases per day.

In case you missed it

District 65 101: Everything you need to know before the first day of school. School starts tomorrow if you have an elementary or middle school student in District 65. Check out a guide our education reporter Duncan Agnew put together a little more than a week ago. It’s a good FAQ to navigating District 65, including all 15 schools and three education centers.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

Simone Larson: Back to school. The RoundTable’s new columnist, a parent and District 65 teacher, talks about the upcoming 2022-2023 school year in Evanston, telling us it won’t look like any other on the books: “That is perhaps teaching’s most refreshing and challenging gift. Each year exists completely on its own and is utterly unique, because we teach human beings; every child is their own person.”

Credit: Gay Riseborough

Two Evanstonians who gifted their outdoor art to us. This column celebrates two artists who have donated their artwork to the City of Evanston and mentions the two most recent commissions as well. It is the last in Gay Riseborough’s series about outdoor public art in Evanston created by women. Gifts of art to the city can be tricky, she writes, because outdoor art is subject to the elements.

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Around the web

Northwestern presidential transition plan set. Michael Schill will begin his tenure as the 17th president of Northwestern University on Monday, Sept. 12, the same day first-year students will move into the dorms. Morton Schapiro, the university’s president since 2009, will become president emeritus and plans to return to Southern California.

‘Forever chemicals’ stay in the air and water permanently. But scientists have found a new way to destroy them. Researchers at Northwestern have published a study showing that PFAS chemicals can be destroyed using a method that’s safer and more energy-efficient.

How eviction works in Cook County. For tenants in Cook County, eviction is a high stakes but often bewildering legal process, and unlike landlords, tenants typically lack attorneys to help them navigate it. Injustice Watch is continuing to cover eviction court. Here’s what you need to know about navigating eviction proceedings.

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Susy Schultz

Susy Schultz is the editor of the Evanston Roundtable. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years, and is the former president of Public Narrative, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching journalists and...