Evanston Township High School will discontinue Professional Development Wednesdays that had been planned for the 2009-10 school year.

The program was designed to build 90-minutes of ongoing, teacher in-service training into the school day while allowing students a full day of school, with an abbreviated class schedule, plus an opportunity to hold student assemblies on a variety of important topics.

The one-hour student assemblies and programs were planned to address state requirements, such as AIDS education, and to provide enrichment opportunities, such as an Hispanic Heritage program, Black History (in February), and Holocaust Remembrance (in April or May).

Other programs would have included President Obama’s National Address for Students; Internet safety and cyberbullying, conducted by the State Attorney General’s office; a mentor-mentee program for freshmen to help them be more successful in school; Teen dating and violence, conducted by the Cook County Court, and Students Against Violence.

However, with a growing number of parents contacting the attendance office to have their children dismissed from school for the afternoon assemblies, and with some students not cooperating, ETHS will suspend the Professional Development Wednesday schedule. On the upcoming Wednesdays listed on the calendar, ETHS will follow the regular 9-period schedule, starting first period at 8:32 a.m. and ending ninth period at 3:35 p.m.

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  1. That’s terrible! Those are
    That’s terrible! Those are important topics to discuss. Why not have the assemblies first thing in the morning or in the middle of the day instead of when students are antsy to leave at the end of the day?

    1. Not well thought-out
      The high school has apparently not considered other alternatives, at least not according to this press release. While they consider the topics they were planning “vital” to the students, there has been no announcement of other options for presenting them. Nor has there been any consideration of how Professional Development Days could be re-conceived to provide both time for teachers and enrichment for students (like starting the day 1.5 hours later and having the programs first thing in the morning).

      They are explicitly blaming both parents and students for the failure of PDDs and taking no responsibility themselves. The new attitude at ETHS seems to be to treat parents as adversaries rather than partners (rather like D65 has been for a long time).

  2. ETHS Math and Science
    I’ve looked on the Web site and found very little about what the math and science classes available to students are–other than the standard classes through Multivariate Calculus for the math program.
    Does someone know what is available if a student wants to go beyond this ? additional classes not listed on the Web ? ad hoc classes when X number of students request a class [I did read of an NU prof. teaching at ETHS(?) one on Number Theory as I recall]? tutorials ? option to take classes at NU or other colleges ?
    The same question would apply to other sciences.
    In other words would the most driven and gifted student be able to get classes that fully sate their interest in one or more fields ?

  3. Many stories have been
    Many stories have been circulating regarding what happened on the last Wednesday of the Professional Development Program that caused it to be canceled. At this point it really doesn’t matter anymore. Kids will be kids and they will try to defy rules, but as for the parents who did call in to dismiss their children for the afternoon for the sole purpose of not wanting to be bothered with it, what kind of example are you setting?

    1. From all accounts this
      From all accounts this program was poorly conceived and poorly executed with students being the after thought. The classic ETHS response is to blame the parents and students.

      As important -parents, not schools decide what they want for their children. These families voted with their feet and pulled their kids out.

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