Archive for the ‘Barrington Education Association’ Category

ed foundation

At the October 5th District 220 Board meeting, Board members heard an update from the Barrington 220 Educational Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to encourage curiosity, inspire students’ passion for learning and career exploration, and provide enriching opportunities through private funding.

Since it was formed in 1999, the Foundation has granted more than $3.8 million to fund many projects across Barrington 220. Some of those projects include:

The Foundation’s latest major project is the Barrington Horticultural Sciences initiative, which will expand the horticultural sciences curriculum by providing funds to renovate the existing greenhouse at BHS and update existing equipment and supplies. Work will occur throughout the 21-22 school year. You can listen to the presentation beginning at 12:34 in the Board meeting video.

Click here to visit the Foundation’s website.

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220 Schemes

“At the October 5 Board of Education meeting, Dr. Robert Hunt, Superintendent of Schools and Dr. Craig Winkelman, Assistant Superintendent of K-12 Schools and Operations, shared a tentative timeline to embark on creating a new strategic plan for the district. The process most likely will begin in early 2022 and it will involve much community engagement, in order to shape the future of Barrington 220.

A strategic plan formalizes a school district’s mission, vision, values, goals, and objectives. Barrington 220’s most recent strategic plan “Vision 2020” was a 10 year plan created in 2009, which began as a vision of the year 2020, when the kindergartners of 2008 would enter their graduating year at Barrington High School.

Click here to view the full presentation, including the tentative timeline. You can also listen to the presentation in the Board meeting video beginning at 1:16:40.”

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Illinois School GradesEducation is a road to a better life. A quality education allows children to maximize their potential, and providing that for every child is one of the most important undertakings of state government.

But research shows Illinois is failing to live up to the promise of high quality or efficient education, as Illinois schools consistently spend more than neighboring states only to produce worse test scores.

Between 2003 and 2019, Illinois per-pupil spending was the highest among neighboring states, despite worse outcomes. Illinois spent between 8% and 25% more per student, only to fall behind every neighboring state on reading assessments according to the Nation’s Report Card. Similarly, all but two states, Kentucky and Missouri, outscored Illinois on math assessments.

To boot, all Illinois’s neighbors also boasted higher graduation rates between 2003 and 2019.

When benchmarked against each state in the nation, Illinois ranks 15th in per student spending, but falls to 27th in both math and reading assessments since 2003.

Fifteen states spend less per student while producing better results on the NAEP in both math and reading.

Read more here.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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Teacher Pension

Rapidly rising pension costs compete with classroom spending, reducing resources for teachers and students while driving up property taxes.

Growing pension costs for retired educators and administrators are quickly crowding the classroom out of Illinois budgets.

Pension costs are crowding out direct education spending throughout Illinois school districts.

In the coming school year, 39% of the money the state allocates to education will be diverted away from teachers and students to meet required pension payments.

This represents a 458% increase in spending on teacher and administrator pensions since 2000, compared with a mere 17% increase in general education spending during that period, adjusted for inflation.

This massive growth in pension spending is especially concerning for younger teachers new to the workforce and parents with children enrolled in public schools whose needs will be delayed to make room for rising retirement costs.

Pensions aren’t the only thing crowding out student needs. Pensions take the first and largest bite out of the budget, then excessive administrative costs caused by Illinois’ overabundance of districts take another bite before any money actually gets to the classroom. Furthermore, district administrators tend to have some of the largest pensions with some collecting millions in retirement.

Read on here.

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The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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Labor Day

A new analysis puts Illinois near the bottom of the hardest working states in the country.

The personal finance website WalletHub looked at more than 10 indicators from average work week hours to the share of workers with multiple jobs to determine the rankings. Illinois was ranked as the 43rd hardest-working state in the nation. Alaska and North Dakota took the top two spots as the hardest working states. New Mexico came in at No. 50.

Analyst Jill Gonzalez said workers in downstate Illinois likely helped the state’s ranking.

“That is where we see a leveling of the work week,” Gonzalez said. “In Chicago, we typically are seeing a shorter work week, and places where they are heavily relying on agriculture, we see a longer work week.”

Americans put in an average of 1,767 hours per year as of 2021, according to the World Economic Forum. That is 435 hours per year more than Germans work, but 357 fewer than Mexicans do.

Alaska has the longest hours worked per week at 42, which is 14% longer than in Utah, the state with the shortest week at 37 hours.

The category that pushed Illinois down in the rankings was the lowest annual volunteer hours per resident, in which Illinois ranked 47th in the country.

Read on here.

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220 Admin“August 26, 2021

Dear Barrington 220 Community,

It has been wonderful to welcome students back into our school buildings over the past few days, and I am looking forward to the rest of the 2021-22 school year. In order to keep everyone informed, I wanted to share a few COVID-19 related updates.

Today Governor Pritzker held a press conference where he announced new mitigations for the state, as COVID-19 numbers increase and hospital capacities continue to be stretched statewide. First, a statewide indoor masking order will begin on Monday, August 30. In addition, beginning on September 5, all PK-12 educational employees in Illinois who are NOT fully vaccinated must submit to weekly testing (or more frequently if ordered by the local health department). We are working with our labor union leadership and Board of Education to address how weekly testing will be implemented among non-vaccinated staff members.

Mitigation Strategies

Our goal remains to do everything possible to continue to offer in-person learning for all of our students five days a week. In order to limit quarantines and transmission of COVID-19, we are currently working on ways to expand social distancing as much as possible in our cafeterias when students are not wearing masks. Any changes at our school buildings will be communicated by principals.

In the classroom setting a close contact is defined as a person who is less than 3 feet from a positive case for more than 15 minutes while wearing a mask. However in the lunchroom, when masks are not being worn, a close contact is defined as a person who is less than six feet from a positive case for more than 15 minutes.

In addition to expanding social distancing in our cafeterias, in order to reduce the number of students who are quarantined, the district is using the “Test to Stay” strategy. Test to Stay can be used when unvaccinated students are masked and have been identified as a close contact. They will be able to test on days 1, 3, 5 and 7 after exposure and will be able to remain in the classroom and participate in activities, as long as they continue testing negative for COVID-19 on those days. It is important to note that Test to Stay is not an option in any situation where an unvaccinated close contact or the positive case are NOT wearing masks. Please review this graphic below for more details about Test to Stay.

220 UpdateI appreciate your ongoing support and understanding as we work through these challenges.”

220 Superintendent Robert Hunt

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Home School

Jessica Clements helps her sons Gavin, 7, left, and Myles, 10, during a home-school session with learning materials from The Good and The Beautiful at home on Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021, in McHenry. This is the family’s first time trying home schooling. Myles is in fifth grade, Gavin is in second, and Dayne, 4, is in preschool. (Matthew Apgar/Shaw Media)

Despite past hassles of attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic, Jessica Clements and Kalyn Macchia said they never seriously considered pulling their kids out of public education before this year.

But the two McHenry County mothers of school-aged children decided to take the leap, they said, in part because of the statewide school mask mandate Gov. J.B. Pritzker imposed as mitigation effort to curb the spread of the deadly disease.

So far, with the first day of school in their respective local school districts having come and past, they said they have no regrets. Their kids are on board, too, Clements and Macchia said.

As COVID-19 cases spurred by the delta variant have mounted in the state and across the country this summer, the idea of whether students, faculty and staff should be required to wear masks in school has been a source of intense controversy in Illinois and elsewhere. Parents on both sides of the issue packed school boards and held rallies throughout the state as local education leaders were deciding whether to require masks in school buildings this academic year.

Faced with the mounting cases and varying local coronavirus mitigation policies, Pritzker announced in early August that he was imposing a school mask requirement when students returned to school because “far too few school districts” had imposed such requirements. Pritzker’s decision has been met with continued controversy as some parents throughout the state protested and have sued him over the policy.

Macchia said she was convinced to transition them into a home-schooling curriculum partially by hearing from Leslee Dirnberger, the founder and president of Aspire Educational Consultants based in Barrington Hills, at a meeting Dirnberger held with other local families in recent weeks to inform them of academic options outside public schools.

Read more here.

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JB Masks Christian Schools

Timothy Christian Schools planned to make masks optional, despite a statewide mandate Aug. 4 that both private and public schools had to enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s rule to mask students.

Superintendent Matt Davidson posted a video Aug. 11 explaining Timothy Christian in Elmhurst, Illinois, would exercise their own set of COVID-19 precautions. Those did not include enforcing Pritzker’s mask mandate.

“Our goal is to stick with the Timothy Health Plan, and thus, remain mask optional,” Davidson said in the video. “We’re not ramping up for some big fight. Speaking personally, I’m not comfortable with that approach and I wouldn’t support it. The issue of masks in schools is still, categorically, a recommendation, and not a requirement, from the CDC.”

The state quickly responded, with state Superintendent of Education Carmen Ayala issuing a letter to school superintendents, threating the “force of law” regarding the Illinois school mask mandate. Ayala warned both public and private schools, “noncompliance is not an option.”

Defiant schools or school districts would become “unrecognized.” That’s what she did to Timothy Christian Schools.

Becoming “unrecognized” by the Illinois State Board of Education means the school’s low-income students cannot receive scholarships from the Invest in Kids program, that student athletes cannot compete in Illinois High School Association sports and that seniors will be at a disadvantage when applying to colleges. Colleges will likely penalize students for not having an accredited degree, college admissions expert Perry Kalmus said on Fox 32 Chicago.

The pressure ended Timothy Christian’s effort to let parents decide about masking their children.

Read more here.

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