The Evanston School District 65 School Board tonight is scheduled to approve a contract for its new superintendent and school improvement plans for three underperforming schools.

Approval of the contract is the final stage in a process of finding a new superintendent, a position that has been vacant since the resignation of Paul Goren in June.

BWP Associates, the firm handling the superintendent search, reported that 31 candidates applied for the position. The board interviewed five candidates in November and invited two to return for school visits and community meetings in December. 

One of the final two candidates withdrew, leaving one to visit the district on December 3. Board President Sunith Kartha said the new superintendent will be announced at the Jan. 13 board meeting.

Accordiing to a staff report, the Illinois Every Child Succeeds Act State Plan requires that underperforming schools develop school improvement plans to address the needs of students performing below standards on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam. 

Chute Middle School, Haven Middle School and Oakton Elementary School were all designated as Underperforming in school year 2018-19.

Last year all three schools developed improvement strategies which require approval from the board for implementation. The designation for both Haven and Oakton changed to Commendable this year, but the school improvement process must be followed for four years.

At Chute, students with disabilities and English learners are considered underperforming. The plan includes online learning resources, professional development and use of a consultant.

Economically disadvantaged students, English learners and students with disabilities were underperforming at Haven last year. Haven “prioritizes equity, cultural competence and academic success with an emphasis on serving students who have been traditionally underperforming.” 

At Oakton, students with disabilities are considered underperforming. The improvement plan focuses on professional learning for educators and data analysis to identify specific areas of need for underperforming students. 

The school board meets at the Joseph E. Hill Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave., at 7 p.m. 

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