Middle school debate league is up and running – but D65 opts out 

There is a new Midwest Middle School Debate League that could include Evanston/Skokie District 65 if the school district chose to opt in. But instead, the district said this week it prefers to pause its debate program this year in order to develop an in-house program to launch in fall of 2023. “Planning is…

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ETHS chess: Wildkits defeat Glenbrook South in key conference matchup

After a win over Glenbrook South on Friday, Evanston has a 4-0 record and is in first place in the North Suburban Chess League. Glenbrook South, which finished sixth at February’s IHSA State Chess Finals and has very strong players on their top boards, was seen as Evanston’s strongest conference competitor going into this match.  Early wins by Henry Zaslow and Meris Goldfarb gave the Wildkits an early lead in the 8-board…

Third graders decorate gifts for Vet Center

In honor of Veterans Day Nov. 11, Washington Elementary School third graders donated more than 75 pounds of toiletries to the Evanston Vet Center at 1901 W. Howard St. They also decorated tissue boxes with messages telling veterans how brave they are and thanking them for keeping us and the world safe. Thank you!

D65 two-way immersion families worry about future

Despite what some parents may have heard, Evanston/Skokie District 65 has not made any decisions yet about possible changes to the two-way immersion program (TWI), district officials said at a community meeting Tuesday night. The program offers instruction to elementary schoolers in both Spanish and English every day, so that participating students can become bilingual by the time they reach the middle school grades. About half of the students in the program…

D65’s scores drop in four of five essentials for school success

On the 2022 5Essentials survey, School District 65 scored lower in four of the five essentials deemed critical for school success, than it did on 2021 survey. It stayed the same in one. The district scored in the “Less Implementation” range for two essentials: “Effective Leaders” and “Collaborative Teachers.” It scored in the “Average Implementation” range for the three other essentials: “Involved Families,” Supportive Environment” and “Ambitious Instruction.” There are subcategories for…

ETHS girls basketball: Bolingbrook bounces Kits in season opener

Evanston’s girls basketball team opened the 2022-23 season with three starters in street clothes Tuesday. But head coach Brittanny Johnson wasn’t looking for any excuses after a 46-30 loss to Bolingbrook. The Wildkits turned the ball over 23 times and only shot 24% from the field, falling behind 21-6 in front of a home crowd at Beardsley Gymnasium and never really recovering. That leaves Johnson and her staff with plenty of things…

Like D65, ETHS proposes maximum property tax increase

Evanston Township High School is seeking the maximum property tax increase of 5.5% in its 2022 tax levy of all properties within school attendance boundaries, officials said at Monday evening’s school board meeting.

ETHS board addresses achievement concerns: ‘It’s going to take time’

Evanston Township High School administrators told members of the school board on Monday that they have ongoing concerns about student achievement data and are “not happy” with the latest available numbers from the 2021-2022 year. Earlier this month, the RoundTable covered Illinois school report card assessment performance data for ETHS juniors over the last several years. That data showed declining English and math scores for local high schoolers over the last five…

Guest Essay: Teacher Mark Collins asks, What is a school’s purpose?

Editor’s note: Mark Collins is an Evanstonian who has been a longtime art teacher at Oak Park and River Forest High School. It’s time to reassert the fundamental purpose of our schools which has become increasingly muddled leaving many students unable to fully explore and reach their academic potential. I write as a public high school classroom teacher with over 25 years of experience in a large, racially, socially and economically diverse…

D65 puts middle school debate on hold for the year

The Midwest Middle School Debate League, which Evanston/Skokie District 65 middle schools participated in last year, has disbanded, according to Melissa Messinger, the district’s Executive Director of Communications. As a result, district leaders will spend this year designing and building their own debate league for students to join starting in fall 2023, Messinger told the RoundTable on Friday. “The District is committed to establishing a robust debate program for all interested sixth through eighth…

Analysis: D65 presents 5-year goals, sharply reduces benchmarks for college readiness

At the Nov. 7 Policy Committee meeting, District 65 administrators presented “performance indicators” they plan to use to measure progress in meeting the goals of the five-year strategic plan approved by the School Board earlier this year. In terms of academic achievement, the district will measure: While the performance indicators are said to promote equity, district administrators have decided to lower the benchmark for college readiness in reading to the 45th percentile, rather…

Evanston climate activists attend COP27 in Egypt

High schoolers and youth climate activists from the Chicago area did not back down from the hard-hitting questions when they met with powerful world leaders this week at the United Nations global climate conference, COP27, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. Youth climate engagement organization It’s Our Future, part of the larger Chicago area sustainability group Seven Generations Ahead, held a livestream event on Thursday for parents, families and other youth activists back…

Police charge ETHS student with possession of a handgun

Evanston Police announced Thursday afternoon that an 18-year-old Evanston Township High School student faces two charges of aggravated unlawful use of a weapon in connection with a Wednesday incident. Police said a school resource officer at ETHS began a weapons offense investigation on Wednesday afternoon, when school officials received a tip that a student was reportedly carrying a loaded handgun on school property. At that time, ETHS safety staff took the student…

Architect advises $6 million in repairs at D65 schools for summer 2023

Evanston/Skokie District 65 needs to start chipping away at deferred maintenance projects that local school buildings desperately need, an architect told school board members at a Wednesday committee meeting. Last February, the Chicago-based architect – Cordogan, Clark & Associates – presented a master facilities plan to the district detailing $189 million in necessary maintenance repairs across the district’s 18 buildings. Those buildings are an average of 77 years old, while a typical…

ETHS student arrested for bringing loaded gun to school, police say

A student described by police as “an adult male” at Evanston Township High School was arrested and remains in custody after allegedly bringing a loaded gun to school Wednesday, according to police and a statement posted to the school website late in the afternoon. Evanston Police Department spokesperson Commander Ryan Glew gave few details about the arrest but told the RoundTable it is expected the department will provide more information – and…

D65 suspensions decline as crisis prevention training increases

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 only handed out one student suspension through Oct. 31 of the new school year, compared with 17 suspensions during the same period last year, officials announced at a Curriculum and Policy Committee meeting Monday. Administrators attributed the significant decline to “increased implementation of restorative practices across the district,” according to a presentation to school board members on the committee from Director of Research, Accountability and Data Simone Griffin.…

NU Title IX conference: Looking back and ahead after 50 years

“There is not anything that empowers girls and women the way sports do,” said Donna Lopiano, President and Founder of Sports Management Resources, at the recent conference, “Title X at 50: Past, Present, Future,” spanning three days of events at Northwestern University’s Evanston campus.    Lopiano spoke to a crowd of more than 200 students, faculty, university administrators and area residents Saturday, Oct. 29, at one of three panels moderated by USA…

Applications to D65 magnet schools fall

Evanston/Skokie District 65 has seen a decline in applications to its two magnet schools over the last few years, an official said Tuesday evening at a community engagement meeting with parents from the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Literary & Fine Arts School. Family interest in both King Arts and the Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies, the district’s two kindergarten through eighth grade magnet schools, is waning, said Manager of…

Opportunity gaps persist at ETHS as test scores fall

Editor’s note: This is one of two analysis pieces from the RoundTable on how Evanston’s school districts fared in the recently released Illinois Report Card, which provides statistical information on school districts throughout the state. Click here for the story on District 65. Illinois released its annual school report card last Thursday, which highlights data on student performance, engagement, well-being and more. The state rated Evanston Township High School as a “commendable…

D65’s pandemic learning loss less than state, yet trends raise concerns

Editor’s note: This is one of two analysis pieces from the RoundTable on how Evanston’s school districts fared in the recently released Illinois Report Card, which provides statistical information on school districts throughout the state. Click here for the story on District 202. District 65’s results on the 2022 Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) show the amount of learning loss during the COVID-19 pandemic. Overall, District 65 students fared better than students…

Theater review: Children’s musical ‘Me … Jane’ is the start of something wonderful

Me…Jane: The Dreams & Adventures of Young Jane Goodall, is a delightful theater experience, a musical telling of conservationist Jane Goodall’s childhood, when she had a special toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. Together, Jane and Jubilee discover the miracles of nature on their shared outdoor adventures, and young Jane imagines spending the rest of her life helping animals in Africa. The show runs through Nov. 6. It’s also the inaugural presentation of an…

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