They probably won’t have sweatshirts with a “Parent University” logo, but Evanston/Skokie School District 65 is looking into having a program to help families deal with a variety of interpersonal and parenting issues.
Superintendent Devon Horton told a Board of Education committee on Monday that the “Parent University” concept is in the very early planning stages.
The idea, Horton said, is to “equip our parents and our families with the same supports that we have” as educators dealing with children, such as conflict resolution training and other skills to improve family dynamics.
No timetable was given.
Board members and the adminisration also discussed the recent teacher transfer controversy, reiterating that the reason behind the shifts was to avoid layoffs as the district downsizes staff due to declining enrollment.
Twenty-two positions were eliminated for the next school year. Andelib Khelghati, assistant superintendent for human resources, said while most of the transfers were involuntary, it was less painful than having to let people go.
“This is not the time we want to be laying off teachers,” he added, calling the process “one of the toughest things I’ve been through.”
Some teachers, along with three former PTA presidents at Haven Middle School, have said the transfers out of that school were retaliation aimed at union activists and other leaders who spoke out about various school problems.
But Horton said that while “it wasn’t an easy process,” and the transfers did cause frustration, they were “not a shot at any school” nor individual.
“These are hard times but we need to make hard decisions,” he added.
Horton said in the end, the district has to be “fiscally responsible” stewards of the public’s tax dollars.