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Officials at New Trier High School are planning to double the number of students attending classes on campus by the start of the new semester in late January of 2021.

The timeline for the expanded COVID-19 reopening plan, that will increase from the current model of one “track” of students attending classes in-person each day, to two tracks, was approved by the board of education at a special meeting Tuesday night, New Trier spokeswoman Niki Dizon said.

In addition, officials hope to offer an enhanced additional track for the next several weeks that will be available to some students who are struggling, and who have been identified as needing additional in-person support for social emotional needs, Dizon said.

The high school is also aiming to increase the numbers of students participating in a new $1.3 million saliva screening program in the coming weeks, which is currently at a rate of about 88%, officials said.

Read more here.

Editorial note: Yesterday, District 220 announced, “Board not considering COVID-19 testing at this time.” We’ll have more on this topic tomorrow.

We searched on Barrington Hills for the results of the presidential election, and the results are depicted above.

Joe Biden won Illinois by nearly 17 percentage points, Sen. Dick Durbin sailed to reelection over Republican challenger Mark Curran and the graduated-rate income tax amendment fell by a wide margin.

The statewide results were mirrored in final tallies from Chicago and the collar counties. Biden defeated President Donald Trump in those areas by a 57.4% to 40.7% margin; Durbin had 54.5% of the vote to Curran’s 38.8%; and Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposed income tax amendment fell 53.4% to 46.6%.

But break down the vote behind those apparent landslides into the smallest electoral pieces — precincts — and a more nuanced picture emerges. Solidly Democratic precincts in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood saw the tax amendment fall by a wide margin. Same story in parts of Libertyville. Pockets of Niles went for Trump but saw Durbin finish ahead in the race for U.S. Senate. Parts of Lake Forest went for Biden but not for Durbin.

Search (HERE) for your address, ZIP code or town to see how your neighborhood compares. The buttons above the map allow you to switch from the race for president, U.S. Senate and the tax vote.

“The members of Signal Hill, NSDAR of Barrington are elated with the generous outpouring of interest in the upcoming Wreaths Across America wreath placement event scheduled for Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Evergreen Cemetery, 610 S. Dundee Avenue, Barrington, IL.

Due to the current state and local pandemic guidelines, the event is being controlled by pre-registration of volunteers, so that masks, social distancing, and other outdoor logistics can be observed. While the cemetery grounds are quite large, it has been determined that no more than 250 wreath-laying individuals can be safely accommodated at the event at any one time.

We currently are pre-registering on the website listed below; including civic groups, company groups, friends and family. Should we reach capacity, we encourage you to register for a nearby event at Huntley Cemetery, Huntley, IL; Lake Zurich Cemetery, Lake Zurich, IL; or Windridge Memorial Park, Cary, IL, so that you can participate in this national event.

If you wish to participate in our Barrington event, please visit WreathsAcrossAmerica.org/ILEGCA and pre-register yourself and any companions. We will attempt to accommodate walk up participants, but pre-registered volunteers will have priority. Wreath laying on individual graves will be monitored for social distancing, and masks will be required on all participants. The event begins at noon, rain/snow or shine, and will continue until all Veterans’ graves have been honored.”

District 220 released the following via email this morning:

“Over the past several weeks district leaders have been meeting regularly to identify ways to adjust Hybrid plans so improvements can be implemented when the metrics improve and the district can return to the Hybrid mode. Both staff and parent representatives from each school also participated in many of these conversations. At the Dec. 1 Board meeting, principals presented the updated Hybrid plans to Board members, as well as estimated additional costs associated with implementing these plans. The Board will continue the discussion at their Dec. 15 meeting. Please note that a target date to return to Hybrid has not been determined at this time.

The proposed Hybrid changes for each level are as follows:

Elementary Hybrid updates

In the elementary Hybrid plan students would attend school in-person five days a week, for 2.5 hours each day. Those 2.5 hours would focus on literacy, math and social emotional learning. Students would still be divided into two groups, “Group A” and Group B”. Group A would attend in-person instruction in the mornings and Group B would attend in-person instruction in the afternoons. Families who wish to continue with Distance Learning would follow their current learning schedule.

Tentative elementary timeline

  • Dec 15: Board discusses costs associated with updated Hybrid plans
  • Dec 16: Elementary principals hold virtual parent meetings to explain updated Hybrid plans
  • Dec 16-22: District sends out parent questionnaire to elementary parents on model preference
  • Jan 8 -15: Elementary principals finalize any classroom assignment changes
  • TBD: One week operational transition for students, parents and staff
  • TBD: Two transition days prior to implementing Hybrid mode

Middle and high school Hybrid updates

In the middle and high school Hybrid plansstudents would remain in two groups, “Group A” and “Group B”. However, it would include Wednesdays as an additional in-person instruction day. For example, one week Group A would be in person all day Monday-Wednesday, while Group B would be in person all day Thursday-Friday. The following week Group A would be in person Monday-Tuesday and Group B would be in person Wednesday-Friday. Students who choose to continue Distance Learning would continue to follow the schedule they are currently following.”

220 also released a “School Year Update” video summary that can be viewed here.

“The Barrington Hills Police Department has been notified by the Cook County Department of Transportation and Highways that Bateman Road, between Bateman Circle North and South, will be temporarily closed to all traffic to facilitate the replacement of a failing culvert.

The closure is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning, Wednesday, December 2nd and the roadway is tentatively planned to be re-opened on Friday, December 4th. During this period, through traffic should avoid this area and utilize alternative routes, such as the posted detour. Your cooperation and patience is appreciated.”

We received an email notice that the Riding Center Advisory Committee will be meeting tonight at 7:00 PM. Ordinarily, we don’t post such notices, but since someone saw fit to notify residents, we thought we should pass it along since it may be a special meeting. Click here to view the notice.

There is no agenda in the posting, so anyone interested should Zoom (or phone) in to see what’s up and say hey.

Encouraged by the early success of a new $1.3 million COVID-19 saliva screening program, officials at New Trier High School are considering an expansion of their in-person student instruction plan.

The school board on Tuesday will vote on the timeline for an expanded reopening plan that would increase from the current model of one “track” of students attending classes in-person each day, to two tracks, New Trier spokeswoman Niki Dizon said Monday.

While each track is divided into roughly a quarter of the students who opted into hybrid learning, the actual attendance numbers have fallen below 25%, and officials estimate the same will hold true with two tracks being less than 50%, Dizon said. .

The proposal to expand the amount of in-person student instruction at the high school’s campuses in Winnetka and Northfield has been embraced by some parents, who have been pushing for more classroom learning since the start of the school year, with some suggesting that all students should attend a half day of school each day.

New Trier, which reopened for one week in October, was briefly shuttered again, then resumed its in-person hybrid plan in November. The school recently launched a voluntary COVID-19 saliva screening program, with around 88% of the high school’s roughly 4,000 students participating, officials said.

Read more here, and notice nowhere in the article is the word “metrics” mentioned.  

“The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 PM. Due to new restrictions that limit gatherings to 10 people, the meeting will be held virtually. School Board members and district leaders will be discussing how to proceed with the 20-21 school year beyond winter break, however there will be no formal vote taken at this meeting. 

The meeting will be live streamed on the Board’s YouTube channel. If you wish to make public comment it can be made in one of two ways:

  • Submit your comments via email by sending them to Recording Secretary Jeanine Stark at jstark@barrington220.org. Please use the subject line “Public Comment.”
  • Between now and 4:00 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 1 you can leave a voicemail at 847-842-3576. This will be played during the public comment portion of the Dec. 1 Board meeting.”

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The Board’s web page can be found here.

Please note District 220 is proposing a 4.4% increase to its property tax levy for 2020 (SeeDistrict 220 expects (4.4%) hike in property tax levy), and we strongly encourage taxpayers to voice their opinions.

Willow Creek Community Church’s main campus in South Barrington will host its inaugural Winter Wonderland Walk starting Tuesday.

Willow Creek Community Church’s main South Barrington campus will be transformed into an outdoor light extravaganza for the public to enjoy — at a distance from one another — beginning Tuesday.

The church’s first Winter Wonderland Walk is a half-mile paved walking path with 80 wrapped trees, 55 lighted structures and more than 10 miles of lights. Church leaders say it’s their way to bring some Christmas cheer to the community, as a number of holiday gatherings have already been curtailed across the region.

The light spectacle is free to attend, but requires timed tickets available on the church website at willowcreek.org/wonderland. Attendees ages 2 and above will be required to wear face masks along the walk.

The decorated walkway will feature interactive elements that tell the Christmas story and give pause for reflection, organizers say. It will be open nightly, except for Mondays, starting Dec. 1. The event runs through Christmas Eve.

Read more here.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker addresses the proletariat during a video news conference from his well stocked bunker in Chicago

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is responding to a report that another Illinois county will not enforce the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office says that it will not enforce an executive order by Pritzker shutting down indoor dining amid rising coronavirus numbers, citing questions about the legitimacy of the governor’s actions.

In a news release, the office said it “cannot in good conscience” enforce the rules on indoor dining, which Pritzker implemented as part of a statewide set of mitigations he said is aimed at curbing the rising numbers of coronavirus infections.

“Surprising that a state’s attorney doesn’t want to follow the law,” Pritzker said. “These are the laws of the state of Illinois and other jurisdictions are following the law and prosecuting.”

Illinois courts have largely sided with the governor in lawsuits filed over various restrictions, with courts in McHenry, Cook and DuPage counties denying requests for temporary restraining orders when establishments files suit over the governor’s plan to prohibit indoor dining in October.

Pritzker has warned of the potential consequences for businesses that choose to stay open in defiance of state mandates, saying that licenses could be pulled in those cases.

Read more here.

Related:McHenry County state’s attorney’s office won’t enforce governor’s indoor dining ban

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