Illinois School: ‘Black and Brown students’ will get priority placement for in-person instruction
NOTE: This article was first published on Evanston Round Table.
Evanston is a city in the Chicagoland area. It is located in Cook County, Illinois, situated on the Chicago North Shore along Lake Michigan.
On July 22, School District 65 announced that it plans to reopen the schools for in-person instruction on Sept. 29, assuming it is safe to do so. At that time, the District provided general guidance on the safety precautions it plans to take, and it provided additional details in a report, “Reimagining Education, A Guide to the 2020-2021 School Year,” which it posted the next day. The District provided still more information in a 90-minute online town hall session at which administrators provided answers to pre-submitted questions on July 29.
“students receiving free or reduced lunch, Black and Brown students, students who received an I [Incomplete] or less than 50% on their report cards, emerging bilinguals, and students with IEPs…”Latarsha Green, Deputy Superintendent, School District 65
Priority for In-Class Learning
Under applicable guidelines, the District said the maximum number of students allowed in each building are as follows: JEH 172; Chute 466, Dawes 354, Dewey 359, Haven 556, King Arts 388, Kingsley 275, Lincoln 486, Lincolnwood 291, Nichols 418, Oakton 335, Orrington 303, Park 181, Bessie Rhodes 343, Walker 276, Washington 416, and Willard 297.
Historically, the enrollment at each school significantly exceeds these numbers.
The second factor that may impact enrollment in on-site learning is the number of teachers who are willing to teach on site, due to concerns about being infected by COVID-19. Some teachers may have a concern based on their own risk factors or of people in their household. At this point it appears that the District is honoring teachers’ decisions on whether to teach on-site or not.
Dr. Horton said the District is not setting teachers up to say, “You must come back.”
Latarsha Green, Deputy Superintendent, said that one of the District’s task forces considered what the District should do in the event more students applied to take on-site learning than there were available slots. She said the task force and administrators decided to give the following categories of students a priority: “students receiving free or reduced lunch, Black and Brown students, students who received an I [Incomplete] or less than 50% on their report cards, emerging bilinguals, and students with IEPs. There are also other categories in relation to students who are not performing according to reading or math grade-level expectations, and students with no comorbidity factors.”