District 65 Student Assignment Planning survey to close Friday


Illustration by Meher Yeda

The survey is part of a multiyear Student Assignment Plan aimed at modernizing the district’s structure, as district boundary lines have not been changed since the 1994-95 academic year. It is available online in English and Spanish.

Jorja Siemons, Assistant City Editor

Evanston/Skokie School District 65 staff members and guardians can complete the district’s Student Assignment Planning survey through Friday.

The survey is part of a multiyear Student Assignment Plan in preparation for redrawing the district’s boundaries. Boundary lines have not changed since the 1994-95 academic year. The survey is available online in English and Spanish.

The plan focuses on addressing historic inequities that most significantly impact BIPOC students. As part of the plan, a Student Assignment Project Committee will determine the feasibility of operating a neighborhood school in the 5th Ward and make recommendations by March 2022.

Foster School, the last public 5th Ward neighborhood school, turned into a magnet laboratory school in 1966 under District 65’s desegregation plan, later relocating in 1979. Before the change, nearly all Foster School students were Black. When Foster School shut down, the district began to disproportionately bus students in the 5th Ward away from their neighborhood. This limited their extracurricular opportunities after school and distanced 5th Ward students and parents from their school communities, among other harms.

The survey asks guardians if they support opening a 5th Ward school even if it decreases BIPOC student enrollment in primarily “northside schools.”

District 65’s Student Assignment Plan also seeks to decrease financial deficits by reducing busing and improving programs at local area schools, according to the survey.

Some of the questions also assess community opinion on expanding the African Centered Curriculum, excluding sibling preference from the lottery process and implementing different school models such as K-2 or 3-5.

“All students should have the right to a local area school (home school), high-quality education, high-quality programs and high-quality educators that are proximate to their homes and neighborhoods,” District 65’s website states. “We must ensure that all families can actively participate in their student’s education without barriers.”

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