Support for Transgender & Gender Expansive Students

  • Evanston Township High School accepts the gender identity that each student persistently and consistently asserts. There is no medical or mental health diagnosis or treatment threshold that students must meet in order to have their gender identity recognized, respected, and affirmed. The assertion may be evidenced by an expressed desire to be consistently recognized by their gender identity.

    Transitioning at School

    Students who are ready to socially transition may initiate a process at ETHS. In most cases, transitioning is a very private matter. In most cases, transitioning is a very private matter. However, students who wish to access additional school-based resources and services during their transition can expect the support and affirmation of school staff as outlined in Administrative Procedure 7:10. The Associate Principal (AP) of Student Services and members of the student’s grade-level team (e.g., counselor, social worker, psychologist, dean, etc.) will work with each student who decides to disclose their transition process to develop a clear, written Gender Support Plan to help ensure the student's academic, social, and emotional success.

    1. As a first step, students and/or their parent(s) or guardian(s) should complete and submit a Student Advocacy Form to initiate a conversation with the AP of Student Services and/or a member of the student’s grade-level team (e.g., counselor, social worker, psychologist, dean). The form is used to communicate with the school about various aspects of the transition process, such as requests to change a student’s name and/or gender in the official student record, as well as to indicate preferred access to gender-specific facilities and/or participation in gender-specific athletics, clubs or activities. Students may also use this form to communicate to the school the name and/or gender preference and/or gender identity they wish to use as part of their Gender Support Plan.

      1. The form is used to communicate with the school about various aspects of the transition process, such as requests to change a student’s name and/or gender in the official student record, as well as to indicate preferred access to gender-specific facilities. Lockers/locker rooms for PE classes are assigned according to a student’s course schedule using the student’s gender identified in their official student record. Students and their parent(s) and guardian(s), or students over 18 years of age, have the right to request a change to the student’s name and/or gender listed in the official student record to correspond with their gender identity. Use the Student Advocacy Form to notify ETHS staff of this request.

      2. In addition, any ETHS student who has a need or desire for increased privacy, regardless of the underlying reason, may request access to restrooms or changing spaces with increased privacy. Requests for increased privacy can also be made by filling out the Student Advocacy Form.

      3. Students may also use the Student Advocacy Form to communicate to the school a student’s preferred participation in gender-specific athletics, clubs or activities, the name and/or gender preference and/or gender identity they wish to use as part of their Gender Support Plan without an official records change.

    2. Upon receiving the Student Advocacy Form, the AP of Student Services, and/or a member of the student’s grade-level team will meet with the student and, if appropriate, their parent or guardian, to:

      1. discuss available school resources to affirm the student’s identity and/or to support the student’s need or desire for increased privacy

      2. For transitioning students, a Gender Support Plan will be developed to ensure the student’s gender identity and expression are represented accurately and to identify which school-based supports are scheduled to be in place on the date when the transition will officially and formally occur. This could mean the date that the student’s name and/or gender pronouns will be changed in the Student Information System, and/or the date student plans to change their gender expression, and/or the date the student plans to begin using gender-specific facilities that align with their gender identity rather than their sex assigned at birth.

    3. A Gender Support Plan should include a communication plan that determines how, and in what format, other staff should be made aware of the student’s transition in order to do their jobs to support the student. It is up to the transitioning student to decide if they would like to make some people aware of their transition on a one-on-one basis, in addition to those staff who are required to be aware as determined by the AP of Student Services.

    4. The Gender Support Plan should include:

      1. Deciding what, if any, specific guidance and/or supports will be given to teachers and other staff

      2. Determining which staff members need to be involved and which supports need to be in place to address all requests made on the Student Advocacy Form before the transition date

      3. Making sure that the transitioning student has a new student ID and photo, if necessary

      4. Ensuring all class rosters and related documents have the appropriate name and/or gender, if applicable, and checking that these have been changed in all of the places a student’s name and/or gender may appear

      5. Ensuring the student’s District-issued email (studentname@eths202.org) and IIT system access has been updated to reflect the student’s new name and/or gender, if applicable

      6. Communicating with appropriate staff members about specific supports and/or changes to a student’s name and/or gender

    Students and/or their parent(s) or guardian(s) should complete and submit the Student Advocacy Form to communicate a request for official support. To discuss any sections of the form in further detail before submitting it, please contact the student’s social worker or counselor, or the Associate Principal for Student Services.

    Student Advocacy Form

    For additional questions or support, contact the Associate Principal of Student Services, Taya Kinzie, at (847) 424-7575 or AP_Student_Services@eths.k12.il.us.

    For a complete copy of the “Administrative Procedures regarding the Support of Students and Staff who are Transgender and/or Gender Expansive" (7:10-AP), click here.