Evanston RoundTable
The Feb. 22 joint meeting of the District 65 and District 202 school boards. (Image from ETHS YouTube channel)

Good Friday morning, Evanston.

The pandemic has taken a social and emotional toll on students, parents, teachers and administrators, and it has also had an impact on student learning. This article takes an initial look at how District 65 students are doing academically, two years into the pandemic, using two different data sets.  

This week, administrators presented the Joint Report analyzing the progress being made on a Joint Literacy Goal to the school boards at their Feb. 22 joint board meeting. The report shows that high percentages of Black and Latinx students are not proficient in reading when they graduate from District 65 and enter Evanston Township High School.

Evanston landlords, City Council members and housing staff gathered Wednesday to discuss rental licensing. (Photo by Duncan Agnew)

At Wednesday night’s meeting of the Planning and Development Housing Subcommittee, City Council members discussed the possibility of installing a licensing requirement for Evanston landlords

Currently, the city uses a rental registration system that requires landlords to register all of their rental properties every year. A licensing program, on the other hand, would force landlords to go through training to obtain a license for running rental properties.

Elsewhere on the RoundTable website

At This Time: Thursday at 9:21 a.m. Gerald Franklin installs the first of 30 signs that discourage giving to people on the street. “This is not about general panhandling, but about aggressive panhandling, which is criminal,” said Kelley Gandurski, interim City Manager. Without citing statistics, she said the city is receiving an “uptick” of harassment reports. “These signs make people more aware that you don’t have to open your wallet in the middle of the street.” Said installer Franklin: “I have mixed feelings. I see the necessity of these signs, but I also see the needs of homeless people.” (Photo by Richard Cahan)

COVID-19 Update as of Feb. 24: City of Evanston will end its mask and vaccine mandates as of Feb. 28, with some exceptions. New COVID cases in the state have dropped from a seven-day average of 32,501 on Jan. 12 to a seven-day average of 2,020 on Feb. 24, a 94% drop. New cases in Evanston have also dropped dramatically. Hospitalizations due to COVID have also shown significant declines.

Dr. Isabella Garnett (1872-1948), seated, with student nurses, c. 1914. (Photo via Evanston History Center)

Evanston Dimensions | Brief portraits of some pioneering Black Evanston residents. Jenny Thompson, Director of Education for the Evanston History Center, reviews decades of achievements by Black Evanstonians.

The Love Family.

Cradle to premiere Hollywood-produced film about adoption. A new film that captures the joy and poignancy of adoption through the eyes of 10 families served by the Cradle will be the centerpiece of the Evanston institution’s 99th anniversary celebration at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 26.

The property at 1224 Washington St., home to Butcher Boy School of Music Production, as seen in 2007. (Cook County Assessor)

Music school gets panel’s go-ahead to subdivide lot. The Evanston Land Use Commission approved a recommendation 7-2 on Feb. 23 allowing Butcher Boy School of Music Production, 1224 Washington St., to split its lot.

NAACP seeking help for victims of South Evanston fire. The Evanston/North Shore branch of the NAACP’s Civic Engagement Committee is seeking immediate housing and collecting goods to help the victims of a fire in a South Evanston apartment complex that left multiple families without any belongings.

Citywide arts initiative connects artists to the community. First Saturdays Evanston is an arts initiative that invites the community to explore and experience Evanston’s thriving art scene.

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Around the web

Hundreds Rally In Ukrainian Village To Condemn Russian Invasion: ‘We Need To Have Peace In Ukraine’. After Russian military forces entered Ukraine early Thursday morning, people gathered in Chicago’s Ukrainian Village neighborhood to support Ukraine’s independence and call for peace.

State’s top court asked to rule on Pritzker’s mask mandate – a move governor says is needed to be ready for ‘next emergency’. As confusion and chaos continue to reign over the state of mask mandates in Illinois public schools, the Illinois Supreme Court is now expected to offer its take on the governor’s mandate on an expedited schedule.

Five things you should know about Juan Geracaris, the mayor’s pick for 9th Ward council member. Check out these fast facts about the potential newest member of the Evanston City Council.

Resisting Slavery: Special Screening and Q&A With Smithsonian Curators. Join Smithsonian scholars this Monday, Feb. 28, for a discussion and screening of the new documentary series “One Thousand Years of Slavery.”

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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...