Central Skokie-Morton Grove Neighborhoods, IL

Central Skokie-Morton Grove Neighborhoods

Engaging in EDI

Early Childhood Alliance

The recently formed Early Childhood Alliance turned to the Early Development Instrument (EDI) because its community-based approach to assessing child development would provide a broader data set that will help identify needs and focus efforts to build or expand local supports for children and families. By focusing on community resources that contribute to optimal child development, the EDI is a natural bridge for schools, early childhood providers, human service providers, local municipalities and other stakeholders to work together on providing children with equitable opportunities to reach their greatest potential.

Naming the Neighborhoods

Written by the EDI Champions of Skokie-Morton Grove

The EDI Pilot Team for Central Skokie-Morton Grove Neighborhoods met four times from November 2018 through March 2019 to construct the criteria and build consensus to finalize the names of neighborhoods in the participating area.(See source below) 

To begin the process, the Pilot Team members were presented with large base maps that included census-tract parameters for the Central Skokie-Morton Grove Neighborhoods because 1) they set neutral boundaries and 2) their use eases comparisons between the EDI results and U.S. Census data. As residents and employees of the community, the Pilot Team applied their local knowledge to identify various neighborhoods by placing numbered stickers on the maps and then writing the corresponding suggested names on paper. A discussion followed regarding the risk of using neighborhood nicknames that could have unfavorable connotations, and it was decided to avoid using those nicknames. After the Pilot Team’s initial discussion, the same maps were displayed at various school events and the Skokie and Morton Grove libraries between November and February to record resident input.

Within the EDI census tracts, both the Pilot Team and the community members often referred to neighborhoods by a combination of school names, local parks, other landmarks, or street intersections. To build consensus on consolidating the wide variety of names, the Pilot Team established the following guidelines:

  • Stakeholders need quick references when looking at the EDI results, especially since the results will be used over time. Neighborhoods names must be easily understood and memorable.
  • School names would not be used to identify a neighborhood because the EDI is meant to situate children within the context of their neighborhood and inspire broader, community-wide responsibility for addressing vulnerability.
  • In the event that more than one landmark best represented a neighborhood, names could be hyphenated.
  • The team would add the word “area” to all neighborhood names because the reference goes beyond a landmark and is inclusive of the surrounding environment.

In applying the guidelines to the maps, the Pilot Team strove to select names that most stakeholders could identify with, recognizing that residents in one neighborhood may refer to it in different ways. After these initial discussions, preliminary neighborhood names were chosen and the Pilot Team asked residents to provide additional feedback. Some changes included avoiding the use of restaurant names, and reserving some landmark names for the future addition of neighborhoods in the EDI project.

Once EDI student records were geocoded to the map, it was determined that seven out of the 17 census tracts within the defined Central Skokie-Morton Grove Neighborhoods boundaries did not meet the threshold of needing at least 10 records per tract in order to map results. Those census tracts were suppressed to protect student identities. The decision to suppress census tracts instead of combining them leaves room for schools districts that did not participate in this year’s EDI the opportunity to join the next iteration, making future comparisons of data possible.

Source: The Skokie and Morton Grove communities are served by multiple school districts. For this pilot project, the following school districts opted to participate: MCC Academy; Niles Township District for Special Education (NTDSE) #807; Golf School District 67; Skokie School District 69; Skokie School District 73.5; and Swift Child Care Early Childhood.The other districts in the area determined that this was not the right time to take part in the project.

Community Data Sources

To download a PDF of the metadata document for Central Skokie-Morton Grove Neighborhoods EDI implementation during the 2018-2019 school year, click here.

Community Contact

For more information on local resources, contact:

Francesca Pilati (Skokie School District 73½)