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Archive for the ‘Pritzker’s Rules of Order’ Category

The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting is Tuesday, March 2 at 7 PM. Click here to view the agenda. The meeting will be held in person at Station Middle School.

The number of people in the room will be limited to 50, as suburban Cook County and Lake County are in Phase 4 under the State’s Restore Illinois Plan. The livestream of all meetings are viewable via the Board’s YouTube channel here.

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The Barrington Area Library will begin welcoming customers back into the building on Monday, March 1, 2021, for browse and borrow services.

“Browse and borrow” is our way of reorganizing the Library for:

  • quick, convenient visits,
  • a great selection of books, movies, and more,
  • efficient, friendly service,
  • all in a safe and clean environment.

What can customers expect during this phase of the Library’s reopening?

Per Illinois Executive Order 2020-32 and Library policy, all Library staff and customers over the age of two years must wear a face covering over their mouth and nose while inside the Library and at outdoor events. If you aren’t able to wear a face covering, please contact us so we can find the best way to assist you.

Please note the following temporary in-person service hours:

Monday – Friday: 10 AM to 6 PM
Saturday: 9 AM to 5 PM
Sunday: 1 to 5 PM

Additional virtual hours and services: Staff will also be available for phone, chat, and email assistance from 9 AM to 9 PM on weekdays, 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays, and 1 to 5 PM on Sundays. Appointments may be scheduled for virtual one-on-one assistance. Most Library programs and events will be online, throughout the week.

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“Barrington 220 is planning for a return to full in-person learning for all students at the start of the 2021-22 school year. However, the district understands that given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, and the desire of some students to participate in a fully virtual program even after the pandemic, there are families who may wish to choose to continue with Distance Learning in the fall and beyond.

In order for Barrington 220 to understand the interest of families who may wish to choose a virtual option next school year, the district sent out a survey to all families late last week. Please note, this is only a survey to gauge interest and not a commitment to a learning plan for next school year. The district will share the results of the survey at the April 6 Board of Education meeting.

Based on the information received, the district may begin planning the details for a “virtual academy” for next school year.  Click here to complete the survey.”

The deadline to submit the survey is Friday, March 5, at 5:00 PM.

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The District 220 PTO Presidents’ Council will be hosting a virtual candidate forum in order for community members to learn more about the candidates running for a seat on the Barrington 220 Board of Education.

There will be four Board seats (a majority) up for election on the April 6, 2021 consolidated election ballot. Board members serve a four-year term.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, March 3 from 9-11 AM. Click here for more information.

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Getting students back into schools for full-time instruction is an ambitious goal school administrators have been struggling with since the start of the pandemic.

Several suburban superintendents weighed in this week on President Joe Biden’s pledge to reopen a majority of K-8 schools for in-person learning five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office, which is April 30. They say that while it’s a good idea in theory, there are practical and logistical challenges.

Among the hurdles are parents’ hesitancy with sending children to school amid a pandemic, space constraints, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines requiring 6-foot social distancing in classrooms and monitoring of transmission rates.

“If we were to adhere to all the guidelines, could we offer five-day, in-person instruction for every student? The answer is, no. We don’t have the space,” said Fred Heid, superintendent of Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300. “The president and his team are very well-intended, but the reality of what they are trying to accomplish and what it actually means in terms of the logistics, it’s almost impossible.”

Roughly 70% of District 300 families have opted for in-person instruction for the second semester. Students in prekindergarten through fifth grade now attend school in person four days a week, while students in sixth through 12th grades attend two days in person and three days remotely.

Starting March 1, middle and high school students will be split into two groups rotating between attending three days in person one week and two days in person the following week. Elementary students will begin attending five days a week beginning March 22.

Read more here.

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At the Feb. 16 Board of Education meeting, Brian Harris shared several updates regarding the 2020-21 school year.

All Barrington 220 staff are now Phase 1B eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Appointments for the first dose started a couple weeks ago and will continue during February and March. All school nurses were vaccinated during Phase 1A.

Late last week the CDC released its updated guidelines for K-12 schools. All of the protocols Barrington 220 has been following are in accordance with these guidelines, including our health metrics on the district’s coronavirus webpage. For the second week in a row all metrics, except for Health Metric #1, have reached Step 4 (Reopen). This metric will need to improve in order to implement any further changes to our Hybrid model.

As of this week all Barrington High School freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors who wish to attend school in-person are now able to do so five days a week for a full day. This is possible due to low in-person student attendance at BHS. The district is currently developing plans for five day/week attendance at Prairie and Station, as well as full five day/week for the entire school day at the elementary level, however due to current higher in-person attendance at these grade levels, key mitigation issues still restrict this change. The district will implement these plans as soon as the opportunity exists.

A video of Harris’ updates can be viewed here.

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker is proposing tax increases on businesses just months after they led the charge against his progressive income tax initiative.

Pritzker wants lawmakers’ help in passing a budget that he said “removes corporate loopholes” by clawing nearly $1 billion from Illinois businesses a year after thousands were closed by his pandemic-induced executive orders.

Pritzker gave his budget address Wednesday afternoon. Due to COVID-19 concerns, the governor presented virtually from the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

“I had bolder plans for our state budget than what I am going to present to you today. It would be a lie to suggest otherwise,” he said. “But as all our families have had to make hard choices over the last year, so too does state government. And right now, we need to pass a balanced budget that finds the right equilibrium between tightening our belts and preventing more hardships for Illinoisans already carrying a heavy load.”

His $41.6 billion budget proposal includes no new income tax hikes, something he warned would happen if the state didn’t scrap its flat tax protection in the Illinois Constitution.

In revising the revenue forecast up and erasing the budget gap with extended borrowing, Pritzker now estimates the state will have a budget surplus.

The state was facing a $3.9 billion budget shortfall in November. Pritzker said he has closed that gap. They borrowed from the federal Municipal Liquidity Facility fund, Illinois’ treasury funds, and other accounts controlled by the state comptroller. He said a November estimate was conservative and the state plans to pay what’s due in federal loan repayments early. Pritzker expects to end the current fiscal year with a $77 million surplus and increase that to $120 million if lawmakers follow his lead.

Illinois’ Constitution requires lawmakers to enact a balanced budget, but that requirement is often sidestepped with overly-optimistic revenue estimates.

Read more here.

Related:Illinois GOP launches FirePritzker.org while Democrats say Republicans don’t have pandemic recovery plan

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s team announced last week it will enlist federal Disaster Survivor Assistance teams to help at COVID-19 vaccination sites in Cook and St. Clair counties. And the Federal Emergency Management Agency will give Cook County $49 million to help with vaccine distribution.

That’s entirely appropriate because so far, Illinois’ rollout of vaccinations has been flat-out disastrous.

It’s as if seniors across the region have had to come out of retirement to take on a new full-time job — tracking down the ever-elusive vaccine injection. They’re spending hours — and days — cold-calling potential vaccination sites and scrolling through the internet for injection appointments. Refresh. Refresh.

And how about these optics? At the same time elderly Illinoisans maddeningly scour their communities for a shot at a shot, Pritzker put state lawmakers at the front of the line. On Wednesday, members of the General Assembly were offered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a state police facility in Springfield. One Tribune reader, Phillip Tutor of Schaumburg, wrote to us, “How about we have a law that no Illinois politician gets his or her COVID-19 vaccination until all Illinois residents get theirs? I then would bet that this vaccine rollout fiasco gets fixed in record time.”

The vaccine rollout in Illinois has been, well, as Tutor says, a “fiasco.” As of late last week, Illinois ranked 37th among states and D.C. in terms of rate of shots injected and that was actually an improvement. Of the vaccines it has received from the federal government, Illinois has injected 66.2% of those doses, which puts the state under the national average of 68%. As of late, distribution has been improving in Illinois, but the question remains: Why has Pritzker’s vaccine distribution management been so subpar, compared to other states? And why does he keep pretending it hasn’t been?

Read the full Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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The worst-governed state — Illinois had triple the population loss of the state with the second-highest out-migration between 2010 and 2020 — is contemplating another incentive for flight. On Feb. 16, a joint committee of the state legislature will decide whether to turn into a legal requirement the State Board of Education’s recommendation that — until a slight rewording — would mandate that all public-school teachers “embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints and perspectives.” If the board’s policy is ratified, Illinois will become a place congenial only for parents who are comfortable consigning their children to “education” that is political indoctrination, audaciously announced and comprehensively enforced.

Imposing uniformity of thought is the board of education’s agenda for “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading” (CRTL). This builds upon Illinois’ 2015 law requiring teachers to implement “action civics,” which means leading their pupils in activism on behalf of various causes. CRTL would make explicit that only woke causes are worthy causes.

Fortunately, a member of the state legislature’s joint committee, Rep. Steve Reick (R), is resisting CRTL. He notes that it will further burden teachers with mandates, and diminish teachers’ autonomy and hence job satisfaction, during the state’s teacher shortage: At the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, Illinois schools were short 2,000 teachers. Already mandated teaching subjects include Black history, women’s history, the “history, roles, and contributions of the LGBT community,” anti-bias and anti-bullying, “disability history and awareness,” “social and emotional learning,” “violence prevention and conflict resolution,” and “contributions of a number of defined ethnic groups made to Illinois and the U.S.” Literature, science, writing, arithmetic? Presumably, if there is any spare time.

Chicago’s public schools are already implementing the curriculum of the 1619 Project, the malevolently conceived and incompetently executed New York Times lens for seeing U.S. history as all about racism. After the project won a Pulitzer Prize with the splashy contention that the nation’s true founding was the arrival of enslaved people in Virginia 402 years ago, the Times revised its demonstrably absurd contention that protecting slavery was a “primary reason” for the American Revolution. Instead, the Times said “some” colonists rebelled to defend slavery, and termed this a “small” revision.

Read more of The Washington Post’s op-ed here.

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Barrington Community Unit School District 220 is looking to get more Barrington High students back in the building for full-time in-person classes.

“We have plenty of space at (Barrington High School),” Superintendent Brian Harris said during a school board meeting. “We’ve had a lot of kids that originally reported they were going to come in person and did not. They have changed their position and have chosen now to be in full remote.”

The district reopened the school for in-person learning Jan. 19, using a hybrid model in which students alternated between attending class in the building and virtually.

However, a recent attendance study shows that, particularly among high school students, there’s a gap between those who said they wanted to attend in person and those who actually show up.

In the study, district officials looked at two days in which different groups of students were expected to be in the schools. Those numbers were then compared to actual attendance.

For early learning and elementary students, the percentage of attendance was near what officials expected — 92% for early learners and 96% for elementary students. In the middle schools, 84% of the students planned for were in the building. But in the high school, the actual attendance was just 68% of what was expected.

Read on here.

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