At an Evanston School District 65 board meeting on Monday night, Superintendent Paul Goren said the administration is looking at school attendance boundaries and the impact of busing on black and Hispanic students.

“We’re in the early stages of research,” Goren said, going back to Foster School, which closed in the 1970s, the establishment of King Lab, and the failed referendum for a fifth ward school in 2012.

“We’re looking at equity and school assignment and how they interact,” he said. But he cautioned, “whatever we do, it will be done over a multi-year period.”

As part of a discussion of priorities for the coming year, Goren also mentioned that negotiation of the next contract with the District 65 Educators’ Council will start in October and continue into the spring. Board member Joseph Hailpern said he was looking for a “respectful and fiscally sound contract for teachers that they can feel good about.”

Early childhood education was frequently mentioned as a priority for the coming year. Board members Hailpern and Candance Chow both said they want to revisit the joint literacy goal with ETHS.

“Looking at college persistence is too far away,” said Hailpern, referring to the student success indicator reported by the Northwestern Evanston Educational Research Alliance. “This is an opportunity for the new leader at JEH to do an audit of our early childhood center,” he said.

Board member Rebeca Mendoza wants to see a focus on connecting the early childhood program to the kindergarten curriculum, while board President Sunith Kartha joined Chow in looking for better alignment of pre-Kindergarten through grade 3.

“It’s a long way between 8th grade and college,” said board member Lindsay Cohen, who is interested in setting ETHS readiness goals to ensure a smooth transition to 9th grade.

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