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

Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris went into great detail about why distance learning will be used to start the 2020-21 school year, but parents and students voiced their concerns at a meeting Tuesday night.

Like a growing number of suburban school systems, District 220 last week reversed course on its plan to let parents choose between in-person and online classes. Harris said the remote learning will go to at least Oct. 16.

A maximum 50 people were allowed to attend Tuesday night’s meeting in the Barrington Middle School-Station Campus cafeteria. Some parents held signs outside the school entrance showing their displeasure with the decision to start 2020-21 with the distance learning.

District 220 officials said two significant problems emerged as they planned to bring back students last month: the inability to maintain social distancing and meeting staffing needs.

Harris said that while a survey showed 70% of parents wanted their children in school, about 50% of the district’s staff had concerns about returning to work. He said a longtime contract clause states teachers cannot be forced to work in unsafe conditions.

Read more here.

Editorial notes: As many as 1,500 people tuned in to the meeting at times. “Likes” verses “Dislike” ratings by audience members were even until 220 turned the feature off.

Finally, text chat comments posted by audience members were frequent and often very critical of 220 until they turned the feature off to silence their critics at around 7:00 as seen below:

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The Barrington Hills portion of the District 300 attendance boundary is outlined above.

Algonquin-based Community Unit District 300 leaders have reversed an earlier plan to reopen schools for in-person instruction and instead will start the school year Aug. 17 with fully remote learning due a rise in COVID-19 cases in Kane County.

Originally, officials had hoped to bring back elementary and middle school students to a normal five-day schedule with some modifications while high schools followed a hybrid model.

Evolving guidance from state education and health officials and an increase in COVID-19 cases across the region forced the district to reevaluate in-person instruction.

For now, the district plans to be in remote learning mode for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade through the first quarter, which ends Oct. 9.

Read more here.

Editorial note: Make no mistake, District 220 and now District 300’s decisions in less than 24 hours to scrap their plans for some classroom education this fall are primarily union driven.

 

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Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced restrictions to recreational sports that would suspend activities like football, basketball, soccer and volleyball competitive matches in the coming months to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The sports restrictions go into effect Aug. 15 and apply to all youth and adult recreational sports, including schools, recreational leagues and park district programs.

As a result, the Illinois High School Association is shifting football, girls volleyball and boys soccer seasons to the spring with the hope that the pandemic’s grip will have lessened by 2021.

“I think most people realized you would not have a contact sport like football taking place now,” Barrington High School Athletic Director Mike Obuszt said. “It (spring football) will be something different happening, but I like it. Rather than just say, ‘We are canceling football this year,’ they found a spot in the calendar where they can give it a try.”

Read more here. The new sports guidelines (subject to change) are as follows:

(Click on image to enlarge)

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District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris

After announcing earlier this month that the new school year would start in-person with an option for remote learning, Barrington School District 220 officials revised that Wednesday and said it will now be all virtual.

“As guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, county health departments, and other health organizations continue to evolve, we have concluded the ‘Roadmap to Reopening’ as presented at the July 14 Board of Education meeting is not attainable,” Superintendent Brian Harris said in an electronic letter to parents and stakeholders distributed Wednesday.

Following that July 14 meeting, district families were given about 10 days to decide whether their children would attend school in-person – wearing masks – or spend five hours a day doing distance learning when the new academic year starts Aug. 20.

That had been the message Harris delivered at the board meeting as he presented the district’s Roadmap to Reopening plan to board members and nearly 900 viewers who watched the virtual meeting on YouTube. He said then that, “we really want to get all our kids back in a safe environment.”

But in his notification Tuesday, Harris said the only option, for now, is to drop the plan for kids to return to the school buildings.

Read the Chicago Tribune account of what happened here.

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District 220 issued to following statement:

“Dear Barrington 220 community,

I appreciate your patience and understanding as we have been navigating Barrington 220’s Roadmap to Reopening for the 2020-21 school year. Thank you to all of the stakeholder groups who have provided the district with feedback and asked questions over the past several weeks. As you can imagine, each family has its own unique situation and there are many factors to consider which not only impact our students and staff, but also the entire Barrington area community.

Over the past couple of months our administrators, teaching staff and support staff have worked together to figure out the best ways to educate our students, given this uncertain reality we all face. Board members have also provided input during Board meetings.

As guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), county health departments, and other health organizations continue to evolve, we have concluded the Roadmap to Reopening as presented at the July 14 Board of Education meeting is not attainable. Starting the 2020-21 school year in a primarily Distance Learning environment is necessary in order to meet current public health guidelines and keep all students and staff healthy. This is an extremely difficult decision and while I know many families and staff will welcome the change, I realize many others will not.

The Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting to review revisions to Barrington 220’s Roadmap to Reopening and provide further context about the district’s Distance Learning guidelines, which may be adjusted based on further guidance from the agencies listed above.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, August 4 in the BMS-Station cafeteria. Due to public health guidelines, capacity will be limited to 50 people in the room. Masks are required if you choose to attend the meeting in person. Click here if you would like to watch the meeting live on YouTube.

I am confident we will maintain excellent teaching and learning in Barrington 220, while we provide a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. We will continue updating the community as the situation changes.”

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After initially announcing plans to welcome students back to campus when school opens next month, Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials reversed course Wednesday and announced they would offer only remote learning when classes resume.

Reversing course on its plan to let parents choose between in-person and online classes, Barrington Area Unit School District 220 announced Wednesday that it would offer only remote learning when school opens next month.

In a message to the school community announcing the change, Superintendent Brian Harris said officials concluded that the original plan to welcome some students back on campus is not attainable.

“This is an extremely difficult decision and while I know many families and staff will welcome the change, I realize many others will not,” Harris wrote.

The remote learning plan is necessary to meet current public health guidelines and keep all students and staff healthy, he added.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker took the unusual step Thursday of preemptively filing a lawsuit to ensure school children wear face coverings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus when schools reopen in a few weeks.

The action filed late Thursday in Sangamon County Circuit Court by the state attorney general seeks a judge’s approval of Pritzker’s order that schoolchildren, teachers and staff wear coverings over mouths and noses among other measures to reduce the chance that the highly contagious and potentially deadly virus can spread.

It’s typical for the governor to be in court as a defendant seeking validation of a policy or action. In this instance, no lawsuit has been filed, but a public school district and two private academies have informed the Illinois State Board of Education that Pritzker no longer has authority under emergency rule-making to require face masks in schools and that they will be developing their own safety rules.

It was time to get ahead of the issue, Ann Spillane, Pritzker’s chief legal counsel, told The Associated Press.

Read more here.

 

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After complaints from some suburban and downstate officials seeking greater local control in fighting the coronavirus, Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday said he would divide Illinois into smaller regions under his reopening plan, separating Chicago and suburban Cook County from other areas not hit as hard by the pandemic.

The governor’s move comes as the state reported another 1,187 coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths from COVID-19. It’s the fourth time this month that the daily caseload has topped the 1,000 mark. The rolling seven-day positivity rate – the percent of positive cases among those newly tested – also crept up to 3.1%, from 2.6% less than a week ago.

The newly reshuffled reopening plan is based on the 11 regions in the state’s Emergency Medical Service regions that are used by state public health officials. Chicago’s collar counties will also be divided into three separate regions under the governor’s updated plan.

The Chicago Democrat cast the retooling as part of a “a more granular approach in this phase of the response to COVID-19.”

Pritzker said the new, smaller regions will give the state more flexibility to combat coronavirus if a locality experiences an outbreak, “to carefully, but deliberately — depending on the severity of the situation — control the spread of the virus while continuing to allow a region to be open to the greatest extent possible.”

Read more here.

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“At the July 14 Board meeting, Dr. Harris presented the framework for the district’s Roadmap to Reopening for the 2020-21 school year. The district prepared educational plans and operational protocols based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the state’s five-phase reopening plan, Restore Illinois.

As long as Illinois remains in Phase 4, families will have TWO OPTIONS to choose from for the start of the 2020-21 school year. Families who have multiple students enrolled in the district can choose a different option for each child. The first day of school for grades 1-12 is Thursday, August 20. The first day of school for Pre-K and kindergarten is Monday, August 24.

  • IN-PERSON LEARNING: Students will attend school with all proper health protocols and procedures in place.
  • DISTANCE LEARNING: Students will engage in all Distance Learning from the beginning of the 2020-21 school year until Winter Break. This option will include more rigorous guidelines, based on feedback from Distance Learning in Spring 2020. Families will be allowed to change to in-person learning after Winter Break (January 7, 2021). Please note, if an elementary student opts out of in-person learning, the student’s Distance Learning teacher may not be a teacher at that student’s home school. If a middle school student opts out of in-person learning, the student’s Distance Learning teachers may be based out of Barrington Middle School Prairie or Station campuses.

Families who wish to select the Distance Learning option must complete a survey in Infinite Campus, which will be emailed out to all families today at 9:00 AM. Families who wish to do in-person learning, but do not wish to use district-provided bus transportation through Winter Break will also have to complete the survey. Families who plan to return to in-person learning and use district-provided bus transportation this fall DO NOT need to complete the survey.

The deadline to opt out of in-person learning and district provided transportation is Friday, July 24, 2020.”

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With generous terms and at a time of unprecedented panic as the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns crippled the economy, 202,157 Illinois employers received federal Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans.

From Atlas Financial Holdings — incorporated in the Cayman Islands with its “principal executive offices” in Schaumburg — to the Joffrey Ballet to Kivvit, the public affairs firm, to Motor Werks of Barrington, Inc., all kinds of Illinois companies, museums, schools, religious-based organizations and nonprofits took out the loans.

There was little incentive not to apply, since the loans don’t have to be repaid if used to meet payrolls, retain workers and cover some overhead. The loan amounts were based on the number of employees. Employers had to certify on the PPP application that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.”

For loans under $150,000, the top ZIP codes in Illinois include 60010, around Barrington, with $43.7 million.

Automotive: $5 million to $10 million — Patrick Schaumburg Automobiles, 130 jobs; Motor Werks of Barrington, 346 workers.

Read more from the Sun*Times here.

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