ETHS to evaluate changing summer school curriculum

Naomi Kim

Board members will discuss today how to improve the summer school program at Evanston Township High School, comparing students’ grades with the regular school session and possibly adding new classes to the summer curriculum.

The board’s main concern is closing the academic gap between white and minority students in summer school, said board member Martha Burns. The grade distribution among white, black and Latino students who attend summer school is similar to the scores they receive during the school year.

“Forty-five percent of African-American kids at Evanston Township were below state standards in reading and 55 percent in math (this year),” Burns said. “In the 21st century, that just doesn’t make sense.”

Other issues that will be discussed at today’s meeting include budget cuts that may affect the security staff at ETHS and the middle schools in Evanston/Skokie School District 65, as well as a teen-parent nursery where students can leave their children during school hours.

A city-school joint committee – which includes representatives from ETHS, District 65 and Evanston – will meet Thursday to decide whether the city will continue paying for the single police officer on staff at ETHS.

In addition, budget cuts at D65 have forced middle schools to reduce the number of crossing guards on duty during school hours. The middle schools are asking ETHS to provide extra security at these times, said board member Steven Gilford.

The city also is planning to cut funding for a teen-parent nursery at Family Focus, a community organization that aims to help junior high and high school students. Sixteen female students at ETHS use the service on a regular basis, Lurie said.