D65 school board to discuss ’04-’05 goals, summer school

Pearl Wu

The Evanston/Skokie School District 65 school board will continue planning for early development of its 2004-05 goals at a meeting tonight.

The board had planned to begin the discussion two weeks ago but decided to hold off because of time constraints.

Board member Julie Chernoff said the board will not push back the discussion tonight.

The board adopted its goals one month before school began last year. This year the board is making an effort to begin the process sooner.

Board member Jonathan Baum said several possible goals for 2004-05 might be the same as goals from previous years.

“Some of the goals adopted the past year will have a natural continuation this year,” said Baum, citing the need to meet requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act and to improve reading levels for young students.

In other business the board is scheduled to evaluate last year’s summer school programs and propose plans for summer 2004.

Baum said board members will discuss whether the district will shift its priority away from summer school and toward extended-day programming during the academic year.

The discussion will focus on the performance of last spring’s after-school programs for grade school students.

“The proposal of the administration is not to eliminate summer school,” Baum said, “but use the bulk of money from summer school for extended-day program for kids identified at risk of failing.”

Chernoff said the extended-learning programs helped reduce the number of students in school this past summer.

“More children avoided retention,” she said, “because they were brought up to speed through the extended-learning program.”

Baum said the district hopes to identify at-risk students early and raise their achievement levels during the year so summer school will not be necessary.

The board will meet at 8 p.m. tonight at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave. The meeting is open to the public.