Navigating ETHS: Resources for Parents

Navigating ETHS: Resources for Parents  

Join us on Wednesday, September 17th  to hear from key administrators and veteran parents.

  • Help your student make successful academic and extracurricular choices
  • Learn about school safety and discipline
  • Find out who to talk to if your student has a problem
  • Begin post-secondary planning (it’s never too soon!)
  • Meet administrators individually
  • Learn from the experiences of other parents

This town hall-like meeting will begin with brief presentations followed by a question and answer session. The evening will conclude with an informal period during which parents and guardians can speak to the panelists individually. All parents and guardians of ETHS students are invited to this free event.  No sign-up is required.

Date: Wed. September 17, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM
Place: ETHS
1600 Dodge Ave.
Evanston IL 60201
Room: E112

This event is sponsored by ETHS Parents Engaged.

Parents Engaged Steering Committee Meeting – Weds. Aug. 20

The next planning meeting for ETHS Parents Engaged will be next Wednesday, August 20th at 6:30 pm  at 27 Live (27Live is located at 1012 Church Street.).  The D65 PTA Council kickoff meeting will be right afterwards at 7:30.

We are looking forward to growing this new organization and need lots of help so thank you for your interest and enthusiasm!

Here are some of the areas – multiple people needed for each area:

  • Management of listserve: Send invites to new members,
  • Information poster: post reminders to meetings, post event announcements
  • Planning & Promotion of 3 school wide programs/meetings per year, including creating communication pieces, coordinating refreshments, coordination publicity, inviting participants
  • Liaison to the administration:  Because ParentsEngaged is run by a steering committee it is important to provide a “single point of contact” for the administration for things like publicity, room reservations, etc.
  • Volunteer Coordinator:  for PR during school events

Please reply and let us know if you can attend next Wednesday.  Of course if you cannot make it we will keep you in the loop, just let us know any ideas you have and where you would like to help.

Also, please forward to others you think would be interested.

Parents Engaged Steering Committee,

  • Elliot Frolichstein-Appel (efrolappel[at]
  • Kristin James (jamesfamily60202[at]
  • Archana Lal-Tabak (laltabak[at]
  • Jim Lal-Tabak (jimlaltabak[at]
  • Jane McCarthy (jmccar45[at]
  • Becky Zwolinski (bzwolinski[at]


ETHS Parents Engaged Seeks Volunteers for Freshman Orientation

ETHS Parents Engaged will have an information table during the upcoming Freshman Orientation:

  • Monday, Aug 18 10 am – 4 pm
  • Tuesday, Aug 19 3 pm – 6 pm

We are in need of volunteers to stand at the information table and invite parents to sign up for our yahoo email list and also to inform them about what Parents Engaged has to offer including the 3 planned evening programs throughout the year.

There will be email sign-up sheets and flyers to hand out that have all the information.

Even if you are new to the group, please consider volunteering for just an hour. It is a great way to help the new freshman parents connect with current parents.

Please email Jane McCarthy with any time you can help out.

Parent-to-Parent Program – Weds. May 7

Parent to Parent Meeting 2014Parents/guardians of eighth graders and transfer students are invited to attend the annual “Parent-to-Parent” program, sponsored by ETHS Parents Engaged, which will be held on Wednesday, May 7, from 7:00 – 8:30 pm in Room S-214 at Evanston Township High School.

Parents of next fall’s ETHS freshmen are invited to hear from and speak to parents of current students about high school life, anything from course options, to sports, to the Homecoming Dance. Experienced parents will be on hand to answer questions, including how to effectively use resources at ETHS and how best to navigate the high school years.

If you are a parent of an older ETHS student, please join us,any ETHS parent is welcome to join in the conversation.

Also, while this program is geared toward parents and guardians students new to the high school, all ETHS parents and guardians are invited to attend this free event – please feel free to come and just listen. No reservations are necessary and refreshments will be served.

ETHS Parents Engaged Needs Your Help – Weds. April 2

This year our parent group made a major transition, changing from a dues-paying organization affiliated with the National PTA, to a free, all-inclusive organization with a focus on helping all parents be engaged in their student’s education: ETHS Parents Engaged.

A small, committed group of parents has kept this group running because we believe that parents helping other parents, and being the voice of the ETHS parent-body is important.

If this group is going to continue, more parents need to participate in planning events, maintaining services (the listserve and website), and acting as liaisons with the school administration.

Please join us on Weds. April 2 at 7:00 pm in ETHS Room S-214 for our next planning meeting. Some items under discussion will be:

  • Management of listserve
  • Management of website
  • Planning/management of 3 school-wide programs/meetings per year
  • Outreach to new families
  • Outreach to other schools
  • Person to post communications on listserve (and Facebook ETHSParents)
  • Person(s) to be main contact with administration

Tentative programs planned for 2014-2015:

  • Fall (late Sept)  – Navigating ETHS Resources for Families
  • Winter (Dec) – Course Selection discussion
  • Spring (May) – Parent-to-Parent (this year scheduled for May 7, 2014)

FYI – We also would like any “veteran” parents (if you’re a parent of a current ETHS student, you count!) to join us on May 7th for our annual “Parent-to-Parent” meeting to help answer questions from incoming freshman parents.

Evening with Ismael Beah – Tues. March 18

Evanston Township High School and the Family Action Network (FAN) invite you to attend “Radiance of Tomorrow: An Evening with Ishmael Beah” at 7:00 PM on Tuesday, March 18, 2014 in the ETHS Auditorium.

Ishmael Beah’s book, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier tells the story of his life in Sierra Leone as a child soldier. He relates how, at the age of 12, he fled from attacking rebels, describing how his homeland became unrecognizable through violence. By 13, he had been picked up the government army and under its coercive tactics, including the use of drugs, he found himself capable of committing terrible acts. At 15, Beah was taken to a UNICEF rehabilitation center for child soldiers in Freetown, and when he was 16, the civil war hit Freetown. He fled as a refugee to Guinea and eventually to the United States, where an American family adopted him. Beah is a 2004 graduate of Oberlin College with a degree in political science.

For this first-ever Family Action Network event at Evanston Township High School, Beah will discuss his life and his new book, Radiance of Tomorrow. In his first novel, Beah examines postwar life in Sierra Leone through the eyes of two friends who return to their village and try to repair what the civil war has destroyed. The author hopes readers will learn something about the strength of human spirit by reading this book. “We all find joy and radiance and a reason to move on even in the most dire of circumstances. Even in chaos and madness, there’s still a beauty that comes from just the vibrancy of another human spirit.”  His memoir is used in many high school curricula. In a broader sense, his work can be used to facilitate discussion on how control over one’s circumstances affects the human spirit, consequences of violence, finding one’s purpose in life, family relationships and environment.

This event is free and open to the public. A book signing will be held following the event. CPDUs are available for education professionals. Visit for more information.

Carol Dweck, Ph.D.

Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
Author, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
May 9, 2014, 4:30 and 7:00 PM
Evanston Township High School Auditorium

Family Action Network – Tues. March 4

The Family Action Network (FAN) has been bringing nationally recognized leaders in education and social emotional learning to New Trier Township and is now expanding to Evanston!  D202 and D65 recently became annual sponsors and FAN has already schedule two speakers for Evanston this school year.  Their goal is to connect, educate and inspire parents, educators and professionals.

We have invited Lonnie Stonitsch, Program Chair for FAN, to attend the ETHS Parents Engaged meeting, Tuesday, March 4th, 7:00pm, ETHS room W124, to share her passion for FAN and vision for the Evanston community. She is eager to learn more about the Evanston schools, the Evanston community, and what parents, teachers and administrators want for future programming.  Bring your ideas.

The FAN presentations can help create community and provide a shared language to connect schools and parents. Last year, there were over 9,000 attendees at FAN presentations at New Trier. We want to fill the ETHS auditorium!  Please join us on March 4th to learn more!

Ishmael Beah
Author, A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier and the upcoming Radiance of Tomorrow: A Novel (January 7, 2014 release)
March 18, 2014, 7:00 PM
Evanston Township High School Auditorium

Carol Dweck, Ph.D.
Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology, Stanford University
Author, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success
May 9, 2014, 4:30 and 7:00 PM
Evanston Township High School Auditorium

Just take a sneak peak at some of the great programming already occurring in New Trier Township!  Next up…

Sian Beilock, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Chicago
Author, Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting It Right When You Have To
February 18, 2014, 7:00 PM
New Trier High School/Northfield Campus/Cornog Auditorium
7 Happ Rd., Northfield, IL 60093

Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone
Harvard Negotiation Project
Authors, Difficult Conversations: How To Discuss What Matters Most and the upcoming Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (March 2014)
March 10, 2014, 4:00 and 7:00 PM
March 11, 2014, 9:30 AM
New Trier High School/Northfield Campus/Cornog Auditorium
7 Happ Rd., Northfield, IL 60093

Alice Waters
Owner, Chez Panisse, Berkeley, CA, and Founder, Edible Schoolyard
April 8, 2014, 7:00 PM
North Shore Country Day School
Diller Street Theater
310 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka, IL 60093

Hilary Levey Friedman, Ph.D.
Affiliate, Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
Author, Playing to Win: Raising Children in a Competitive Culture
April 23, 2014, 7:00 PM
Attea Middle School Auditorium
2500 Chestnut Ave., Glenview, IL 60026

Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
Professor of Animal Science, Colorado State University
Author, The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum
May 21, 2014, 4:00 and 7:00 PM
New Trier High School, Winnetka Campus/Gaffney Auditorium
385 Winnetka Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093

Help Parents Engaged Plan for the Future – Wed. Feb. 5

ETHS Parents Engaged is still getting started and we need your input to help it grow and develop.

So far this year, we’ve provided two programs (Navigating ETHS: Resources for Families in Sept. and Course Planning for Parents in Dec.)

We plan two more – one on March 4, tied into the upcoming Family Action Network (FAN) program and another in May.

We’d love to have you come and help us plan these meetings and brainstorm ideas for where the organization should go in the future.

Help us create an organization for ALL parents at ETHS. Plan to attend on Wed. Feb. 5  at 7:00 pm. in ETHS Room S214

Wildkit Grants Awarded to Teachers

ETHS Parents Engaged, is happy to announce its third round of funding for Wildkit Grants, a program of classroom grants for ETHS teachers. With a maximum amount of $500 per grant, the program was created to encourage creativity in the classroom and to help teachers provide enrichment activities for students.

Six grants were awarded in November, ranging from the purchase of spectroscopes to funding for a college application prep program for first generation students. The total amount awarded was $2000 this year. Donations from parents and ETHS teachers to the PTSA during past years made the grants possible. Grants awarded this year include:

  • Spanish teacher Clare Delgado received funding to purchase Spanish language books to enhance ETHS Spanish students’ collaboration with District 65 students participating in “Battle of the Books” literacy enrichment program. Honors Spanish 4 students are required to reach out to Evanston’s Latino community, and these books will facilitate tutoring Spanish speaking elementary school students.
  • World History teacher Aaron Becker was awarded funds to purchase photography books and used guitars for his classroom. Mr. Becker uses these non-traditional learning tools to enhance the world history curriculum and to find creative ways for students to learn about different cultures and traditions.
  • Ms. Theresa Reed was awarded a grant to help update the music program’s vocal repertoire library. Ms. Reed directs all of ETHS’ choir groups. These funds will enable her to purchase a series of musical scores and sheet music to replenish and refresh this resource for our music students.
  • Ms. Tina Tiziano Dreher, of the student services center, received funding to purchase supplies for the College Application Prep (CAP) program. This program will assist first generation students in the college application process starting with research on colleges and universities during junior year through the college application and financial aid process in fall of senior year.
  • English teachers Sara Williamson and Julie Mallory received funding to purchase a set of graphic novels to supplement texts used in their Freshman English classrooms. These visual novels will help students connect with classic literature in different ways and make that content more accessible to students.
  • Gionmatthias Schelbert, of the Astronomy/Physics department, was awarded a grant to purchase 40 new handheld spectroscopes. These instruments will be used in both Astronomy and Chemistry classrooms to study light and will allow each student to use his/her own instrument in the classroom.

Wildkit Grants Committee members Jane Corey Holt, Rebecca Groble Hull, Maria Widmaier-Senecal and Karen Larkin Young reviewed grant requests, which were submitted electronically through an application form created by ETHS Information Services Manager Midge Stocker. Mary Rodino, ETHS’ Deputy Chief Financial Officer, will assist in the grant funds disbursement.

Donations to fund next year’s Wildkit Mini Grants can be made through the ETHS webstore:

Contact: Jane Corey Holt


Course Planning for Parents – Wed. Dec. 4

tough decisionsETHS Parents Engaged is hosting a meeting for the parents of current freshmen, sophomores and juniors, providing them the information they need to help their students make good choices of courses for the 2014-2015 school year. (Students will begin meeting with their counselors after Winter Break to begin course planning for the coming year. This is an opportunity for parents to ask questions of staff in advance of those meetings.)

There will be a representative from each department, a representative from the College and Career Center, and members of the counseling staff available to answer both general and specific questions.

It will begin with a Q&A panel, where parents may ask general questions about courses and how different options might affect post-secondary choices, followed by an opportunity for parents to talk to staff one-on-one about their own students’ options.

The meeting is scheduled for Weds. Dec. 4 at 7:00 pm in S-214.

Additional Resources:

2013-2014 Course Selection Guide (2014-2015 Guide will not be available before the meeting)
Proposed course changes for 2014-2015

REMINDER: While members of the counseling department will be on-hand to answer questions, this meeting is not intended for individual counseling. It is always better to discuss concerns and questions with your student’s counselor because they have the entire picture of the student. If you have specific questions about your student’s schedule, course options, or post-secondary plans, you are encouraged to contact your student’s counselor.

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