ETHS officials discuss school’s curriculum review process

Amelia Langas, Assistant City Editor

Evanston Township High School/District 202 officials discussed the school’s curriculum review process at a joint meeting with Evanston/Skokie School District 65 on Monday.

Pete Bavis, District 202’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, said he is partnering with the district’s equity analyst, Lauren Hamilton, to create a “mechanism” that aims to elevate the voices of students of color to influence curriculum development. Bavis said the school plans to form focus groups by the beginning of second semester.

“We have a very rich history at ETHS going back over a hundred years of … making decisions about African-American achievement, curriculum for students of color and for all of our students,” he said.

Bavis said the focus groups will inform the curriculum development and review processes. He said he had researched ways to implement the focus groups, but found that ETHS was alone in the initiative.

The 2017-18 Superintendent’s Joint Achievement report — also discussed at Monday’s meeting — contained data that sought to predict student success in high school based on certain eighth grade benchmarks, and success in college based on high school benchmarks.

The report revealed achievement gaps between both black and white students as well as gaps between Hispanic and white students.

Using student voices in curriculum development reflects part of the high school’s attempt to “take action” in response to the report, Bavis said.

Samantha Handler contributed reporting.

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