Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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District+202%E2%80%99s+2025+fiscal+year+budget+was+created+while+prioritizing+instruction+and+student+needs%2C+said+Kendra+Williams%2C+the+district%E2%80%99s+chief+financial+officer.
Daily file photo by Jorge Melendez
District 202’s 2025 fiscal year budget was created while prioritizing instruction and student needs, said Kendra Williams, the district’s chief financial officer.

Evanston Township High School District 202 unanimously approved its tentative 2025 fiscal year budget and heard a presentation on student well-being at its meeting Monday night. 

The district’s budget for the next fiscal year is tentatively set at $112.7 million, a 7% increase from last year. 

The district’s operating budget represents $99.5 million of the budget, District 202 Chief Financial Officer Kendra Williams said. Operation costs cover areas such as education, maintenance and transportation.

Williams said the most important factors in creating the budget are instruction and student needs. She said this year, priorities include maintaining a reasonable student-teacher ratio and reflecting student necessities — from English language learning to mental health — in staffing. 

“You can’t talk to a student about learning if you can’t take care of the other parts of what’s going on,” Williams said. “You have to look at the whole picture.” 

The board will vote on the final budget in September. 

Mia Lavizzo, associate principal of student services, presented the district’s annual student well-being report. 

At the end of the 2022-2023 school year, there were 651 students with 504 plans, an increase from 599 students in 2021-2022, Lavizzo said. 504 plans support students with disabilities through resources such as test accommodations. 

There are about 114 incoming freshmen with 504 plans for the next school year, according to Dondelayo White, director of student support services.  

For the social-emotional side of student well-being, the district has mental health groups in place, including those focused on grief, social skills and mindfulness. Students who do not want to attend such groups are directed toward external resources through various Evanston Township High School partnerships, Lavizzo said.  

Board President Pat Savage-Williams emphasized that these resources are key to the district’s work. 

“This is our big goal,” she said. “We know how important student well-being is.” 

The board also heard a presentation from the ETHS Communications Office about their strategies for the 2024-2025 school year. 

Reine Hanna, interim director of communications, said the communications team’s goal is to make information about the district more accessible to its primary stakeholders: students and families. 

To do so, a new, more user-friendly ETHS website will launch in early 2025, Assistant Director of Communications Michael Jacobson said. He said the office will also start “Wildkit Weekly,” a newsletter highlighting important district information and events, in the new school year. 

All images used will include alternative text — short descriptions for each image — and contrasting colors, to help users with visual impairments, Jacobson said. 

He added that the office plans to expand its multilingual resources by increasing the number of campus tours done in Spanish and make district documents accessible in the most commonly represented languages, including Spanish, Haitian Creole, French and Arabic.

“We want to connect and meet people where they are at,” Jacobson said. 

The communications team will also offer media training for board members, school administrators and staff, he said.

Savage-Williams said she is excited for the new communications strategy because it allows the district to showcase the work it is able to achieve, especially in terms of equity. However, she said District 202 still has “a long way to go.” 

“We need to tell our story because we have such an incredible story,” Savage-Williams said. “It is our responsibility to share our story. Other districts need to see (equity) is a possibility.”

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @anavi_52

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