New Welcome Center opens at ETHS


To give parents a place to go for guidance and help with navigating ETHS, the new Welcome Center will be opening up Oct. 8 during parent-teacher conferences.

“We decided that since students had just gotten a fancy new space, parents deserved one too,” said new student transition coordinator Alicia Hart, referencing the new Student Success Center. “It’s not that students aren’t going to be welcome in the [Welcome] Center, but it’s not really a drop-in space for student usage.”

The new center will generally be open during the normal school hours of 8-4:30, and will be staffed mostly by Student Ambassadors.

“Even as an ETHS alum, I still find navigating the school to be overwhelming at times,” said Laura Tomasello, parent of freshman Tyler Tomasello. “Although I feel well-informed, it’s nice to know exactly where to go in the school to get more information.”

The Welcome Center will also be used for the various parent groups at ETHS, such as Boosters, E-Ban, Parents Engaged, and Latino Advisory Committee.

According to Hart, more Evanston organizations and groups may be able to use the Center at some point. “We will be hosting a variety of different events for community organizations,” said Hart.

“When talking to families who were new to ETHS, we found that there really wasn’t a space for these parents,” said Hart. “Having a space like this will free up more space for students while still giving a space where parents can meet.”

ETHS distributes a Parent Survey each year between February and April to collect parent feedback. During the 2013-14 school year, the school received 908 responses, only 33% of the parent population. Hopefully, this new center will create better opportunities for parents to give feedback on their ETHS experiences.         Although there was not much feedback, overall over 80% of responses reported that parent felt that ETHS had a good reputation compared to other North Shore schools, and 90% said that they felt ETHS had a good reputation among Chicago schools as well, according to the ETHS website.

“I feel the Welcome Center will be a nice addition to what the school is already doing to help keep parents in the loop,” said Tomasello. She added that she would definitely plan to stop by during parent-teacher conferences.

More information about parent events being hosted at the new Welcome Center can be found on the ETHS website.