New D202 school board members to apply equity lens on achievement gap, literacy


Daily file photo by Lauren Duquette

Evanston Township High School, 1600 Dodge Ave. Newly elected ETHS/District 202 school board members will address issues through an equity lens.

Cassidy Wang, Reporter

Newly elected Evanston Township High School/District 202 school board members plan to put issues concerning equity and bridging the achievement gap at the forefront of their agendas.

Following Tuesday’s election, two new members were elected for the first time, and one incumbent will be returning to her position. Stephanie Teterycz and Elizabeth Rolewicz will replace two former members, Jonathan Baum and Mark Metz, who both stepped down. Monique Parsons, the board’s current vice president, was reelected.

When the new group convenes for the first time, Parsons said the board will need to first have conversations about their priorities and the agenda they intend to pursue.

“My hopes are that we are able to work together and be very focused and intentional on creating a goal that will help us address the achievement gap that students are currently facing, especially black students within Evanston Township High School,” Parsons said.

Like Parsons, Teterycz identified the achievement and opportunity gaps between white students and students of color as an important issue. She said these gaps are related to literacy discrepancies that arise in middle school.

“This has been a problem ongoing from what I understand but this is something that they have been trying to address and have not resolved,” Teterycz said.

At a Jan. 15 school board meeting, Scott Bramley, the associate principal for instruction and literacy at ETHS, said 59 percent of incoming freshmen score at or above grade-level in reading, according to results from the standardized literacy test STAR.

For Rolewicz, the achievement gap, along with the literacy discrepancy of students entering ETHS, needs immediate attention. She also said she hopes to continue to engage with the community, seek knowledge from local leaders and build partnerships with organizations and individuals who care about education and work towards better outcomes for all.

“I believe the board has the shared goal of addressing outcomes determined by race,” Rolewicz said in an email to The Daily. “I look forward to diving into that immediately, along with our literacy crisis.”

Rolewicz’s personal goal is to strengthen relationships, partner with community organizations, the City, and District 65 to better serve students by providing necessary interventions at earlier stages.

Likewise, Parsons said she hopes the board will engage with the community in a better way. She said they are working to create opportunities to make sure stakeholders, like parents, partners, teachers and students, better understand what the board is doing and why they are doing it.

She added that the board needs to develop a clear strategy in order to address these issues.

“We need to make sure that we are communicating what those strategies are but that also we’re listening to our community and our stakeholders about that same issue,” Parsons said.

The new board will meet for the first time on April 8.

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Twitter: @cassidyw_