With an expected enrollment squeeze at some District 65 elementary schools next fall, parents may want to make sure they get their prospective kindergarten students registered this week.

Based on district enrollment projections, the problem is expected to be especially severe at Willard, Dewey and Lincolnwood schools.

With an expected enrollment squeeze at some District 65 elementary schools next fall, parents may want to make sure they get their prospective kindergarten students registered this week.

Based on district enrollment projections, the problem is expected to be especially severe at Willard, Dewey and Lincolnwood schools.

Class sizes are limited to 23 students, and after those caps are hit, students may be forced to switch to another district school that’s not as crowded.

Kindergarten registration will be held from 7 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, Feb. 23, and from noon until 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, and Thursday Feb. 25, at the Hill Education Center, 1500 McDaniel Ave.

More information, including forms and documents required to register, is available on the district’s website.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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15 Comments

  1. Why 2 school districts?
    Could someone please explain to me again why Evanston has 2 school districts, each with its own Board and expensive Administration???

  2. Why not consolidate?
    And two different standards of success.

    Once upon a time it was viewed as more expensive to have one district versus two.

    I’d love to see the number run again.

    Jane Berkley

    1. Consolidation Cost
      To your point Ms. Berkley re cost of consolidation. The issue would come up every so often when I was a member of the #202 Board (1986-1994).We figured back then, given the disparity in teacher salaries for equivalent qualifications and experience between the districts ($10,000. per teacher) that it would increase our tax obligation by 2-3 million/year. That increase corresponds to the cost of eliminating that disparity even though it might be phased in over a period of a few years and even with a little promised help from Springfield to ease the transition.
      Like you, I don’t know what the situation is today but I suspect that there is still a marked difference in pay between elementary teachers and their ETHS counterparts.
      Stuart Opdycke 1327 Hinman

    2. A case against consolidation
      Our district is extremely complex. Many members of the current District 65 board have little grasp of all of the programs and needs of our schools let alone could they oversee District 202 as well.

      It is difficult enough to be heard by the administration of such a large district, I can only imagine how it would be with an additional ? students involved. Accountability to a single parent or group of parents would be impossible.

      Ours is a very diverse community and educating them is complex.

      1. Are you being heard now?
        D65 appears to respond to a small, vocal group of activists, many without children currently in the district. There is no accountability at D65. As someone with experience with both D202 and D65, I can tell you D202 is far more responsive and proactive than D65.

        Parents have asked over and over again fro D65 to align its standards with the high school, citing unbiased evidence that the state ISAT standard goals to which D65 aspires are way too low. D65 chooses to ignore those parents and evidence. At least three current board members have lauded the superintendent, praising him for what really are mediocre results.

      2. Clueless D65 and D202 Board Members?
        “Our district is extremely complex.” Any more so than the City of Chicago?

        “Many members of the current District 65 board have little grasp of all of the programs and needs of our schools let alone could they oversee District 202 as well.” Sounds like you are making an argument FOR consolidating the school boards (into D202.)

        “Accountability to a single parent or group of parents would be impossible.” I expect/demand both Boards or a single Board to be accountable to all the stakeholders in the school system- students, parents and taxpayers.

  3. District 65 & 202 Consolidation
    This comes up periodically and like many things in this city and in the State of Illinois for that matter – it comes down to the unions. The teachers in District 65 have one set of union rules/pay scales and District 202 has another. My understanding is that this where the discussion ends. Nobody wants to rock the boat. That’s the crux of it.

    Unions have exhausted their usefulness and have become greedy and out of touch with reality. This is why 65% (65%!!!) of our tax bill goes to fund the schools. Somehow, it’s the city government that repeatedly takes the heat for the taxes – but just look at your tax bill if you want to see where your money is actually going.

    I for one would vote for a combined district. Clearly – it would save some significant dollars.

    1. Schools, unions and tenure
      It makes no sense to give the teachers tenure especially in under five years of service and using at least some of the criteria that universities use.

      It makes it too hard to get rid of bad teachers and, combined with seniority, means the newest teachers are let go if there are cutbacks—many who may be better teachers.

      Even universities are slowly cutting back on tenure. Yes, academic freedom is important, but teachers are there to teach not indoctrinate and academic freedom can be protected in other ways. It should not be an an excuse to keep bad teachers.

    2. The Boat NEEDS to be Rocked
      I think with the economic situation Evanston finds itself in that nothing should be off the table. I wonder how other towns our size with a consolidated school district manage the union and pay issues. It seems it’s a workable matter that would be beneficial both educationally and economically speaking. It should be seriously investigated before its brushed away too quickly. Especially since many Evantonians seem willing to forgo necessities like extra police presence in the warm months for luxuries like branch libraries.

      1. The cost of consolidation
        For those of you who did not fully comprehend Stuart Opdyke’s comment: for any consolidation of D65 and D202, D65 unions would require that teacher salaries would have to be raised to D202 levels — an enormous cost. D202 per pupil costs are already rumored to be at the $20,000 per pupil level. The impact of that versus D65 administration cost saves should be analyzed.

        1. Merge D65 and D202 and cut the waste
          Vito said “D65 unions would require that teacher salaries would have to be raised to D202 levels — an enormous cost. D202 per pupil costs are already rumored to be at the $20,000 per pupil level.”
          ==================
          Why should the unions beable to dictate that ? In a company merging of divisions does not mean you change salaries. The unions are pulling the wool over the situation. First thing get rid of the union [or at least their power].
          $20,000 ! That is 1/2 NU tuition and look what we get. My understanding is that few schools go over $12,000 and even then no significant correlation between expenditure and results is found. New Trier has lower costs than Evanston even without the $20,000 figure being true.

  4. Yay for consolidation!
    I have always been puzzled by the purpose of 2 school districts in a town of our size. It seems like consolidation would provide a heck of a lot more continuity in education and save some serious money by eliminating redundancies.

    1. You said a mouthful in a few words
      “[P]rovide a heck of a lot more continuity in education… .”

      Oh, yes, it would. Right now, we have a significant number of students failing the standardized tests in high school and nowhere near grade level in critical subjects. Why is this happening and how can it be fixed?

      Well, District 202 (the high school) blames ill-prepared students sent by District 65 (the elementary and middle schools). District 65 claims that it sends wonderfully prepared students (look at the ISAT scores, says District 65) but someshow, the students do not progress academically while in high school.

      Everyone knows that the ISAT is an extremely weak test but are our youngest students well prepared in District 65? How could students regress so quickly in high school at a cost of $20,000 per year per student? What is the solution to this problem?

      With one District, there would be no opportunity to blame someone else. The District would have to address this problem without the whining and finger pointing.

      We would have a focus on the continuing academic progress of our students. The enormous cost savings would be gravy.

  5. Bust the public unions then govern with common sense
    Stuart Opdyke raises a good point and it shows why the system is busted.

    The Teacher’s Unions are running the show not school administrators. A sensible and fiscally sound solution to consolidate the school districts won’t work because THE TEACHER’S UNIONS will demand the same pay as District 202 teachers.

    In other words, district administrators back then did not want that battle and obviously thought at the time the unions would have their way thus the consolidation issue was not cost effective.

    Anyone wonder why even after three years deep into a recession D65 and 202 teachers still get their annual pay increases? Anyone question why D202 spends $20,000 per student?

    Anyone wonder why Evanstonians now have to wait with baited breath to see if the city union employees will agree to Wally B’s. concessions in his current budget proposal such as a pay increase freeze, increase employee insurance contributions and unpaid holidays?

    If the city union employees balk on these concessions then there would be $3 million more in Wally’s budget proposal, which is now $9 million in the hole.

    Again, city union employees have been getting annual pay raises years deep into a recession and until this month NONE have lost their jobs. Meanwhile, out in the real world, millions in Illinois have lost their jobs in the private sector over the past three years as their property taxes rise and property values decline.

    Why is that? because the public unions, including teacher unions, have a solid voice, influencing the decisions made by government officials, many of whom the unions helped elect.

    Perhaps someone should ask the president of the Evanston city union employees if the union will agree to the budget concessions. He’s not hard to find. He happens to be sitting on the Evanston Budget Task Force, appointed there by the mayor who received campaign contributions from…wait for it…the unions!

    There are only two ways to circumvent the union’s power and influence in our government. 1)demand our elected officials run the government like a business and not back down to unsustainable and unreasonable union demands 2) VOTE OUT ALL DEMOCRATS

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