The Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board Monday night will discuss the implications of evolving student demographics in its initial look at the Opening of Schools Report for 2013-14.

The annual report slices and dices enrollment statistics, showing the ethnic and income makeup of each school and  the numbers of students in each grade as well as for the district as a whole.

The 31-page document is included in the meeting’s agenda packet, replete with charts and graphs that paint a picture of enrollment trends in the district.

Total enrollment for the year is 7,258 students in pre-kindergarten through the eighth grade, which is an increase of 118 students from last year.

The ethnic breakdown shows 43 percent white, 26 percent black, 19 percent Hispanic, 5 percent Asian, and 8 percent multi-racial. 

There were fewer black and Hispanic students and more white and Asian students than the previous year.

Meanwhile, at Evanston Township High School, which covers grades nine through 12 in the same geographic area, total enrollment this year stands at 3,120, down from 3,155 last year, but higher than each of the three preceding years.

At the high school, white students represent 43.4 percent of the student body, with blacks at 30.9 percent and Hispanics at 16.6 percent.

Some 38 percent of the students this year in District 65 were from families classified as low income, compared with 43 percent last year. For classification purposes, low-income students are those from families receiving public aid, students living in institutions for neglected or delinquent children, students supported in foster homes with public funds, and students eligible to receive free or reduced lunches.

As of October 2013, some 2,323 students were eligible for free lunch while 374 were eligible for reduced lunch.

Homeless students numbered 353, an increase of 54 from last year.

There were 77 different native languages spoken among the district’s student body, according to the report.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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  1. Back to the future

    According to the article: "Homeless students numbered 353, an increase of 54 from last year." A few years ago, District 65 made a big deal about tightening up its process to keep students living outside the District 65 boundaries from attending District 65 schools without paying tuition. There were plenty of rumors (and some evidence) that students from Chicago were attending District 65 schools. Attendance did drop a bit at first so the tighter procedures seemed to work for a while. But there appears to be huge loophole — an adult simply needs to submit a signed affidavit that a student is "homeless" and D65 becomes that student's school district. The number of homeless students has skyrocketed in the last 3-4 years. Yes, I am aware that the economy has put more families into poverty. But the increase in reported "homeless students" has far exceeded any increase that can be attributed to the higher poverty rate. A year or so ago, District 65 administrators admitted that these affidavits are not checked, not even using a random sample. So I wonder if adults have figured out that assserting that a child is homeless is all that's needed to make a child a District 65 student. Perhaps the School Board needs to ask its administrators for at least a random sample check of affidavits on homeless students?

    1. After reading Illinois law

      After reading Illinois law the schools should be forwarding the information on homeless students to the state and federal government. While it may be perfectly legal for a  homeless student living outside Evanston and attending their school of origin, the schools are required to verify this.

      It should be the responsibly of the schools to report this information to the citizens of Evanston, without revealing the students name, the family name, or the address of the homeless student.

  2. Rules on schooling homeless children

    Here are the rules in Illinois for schooling of homeless children.  Children who are homeless and attending school in Evanston do not necessarily have to be living in Evanston. There is a staff member in the central office who is responsible for overseeing this program.

  3. Registration hassles

    Is this the same people as registration? If it is, they are not the most friendly. Registration was a frustrating experience.

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