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Barrington Area Unit District 220 will be giving its students the option to return to school for the 2020-21 school year with in-person learning on campus or opt out and continue to do remote learning from home.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 is proposing two options for how students can attend classes in the 2020-21 academic year.

Similar to other school systems, District 220 officials this week announced a plan that would feature flexibility for students and families. The district is made up of eight elementary schools, two middle schools and Barrington High School.

The plan, set to be presented to the school board at a July 14 meeting, is based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health, district officials said.

While District 220 intends to hold in-person learning on its campuses this fall, a key component of its “Roadmap to Reopening” would allow also students to opt out and instead choose to continue remote learning, as was required during the statewide lockdown this spring.

District 220 board President Penny Kazmier said the proposal was formed after officials heard concerns from both sides.

Read more here.

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“Barrington 220 is currently putting together a comprehensive Roadmap to Reopening guide for the 2020-21 school year, which will be based on guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education and the Illinois Department of Public Health. In addition, the district is reviewing feedback from a survey administered to all parents earlier this month, and this week district leaders are meeting with parent representatives from all grade levels to receive feedback. Barrington 220 will present its Roadmap to Reopening at the July 14 Board of Education meeting and send it out to parents shortly after the meeting.

We understand some families may not feel comfortable sending their children to school this fall. All will have the opportunity to indicate if they would like to opt out of in person learning and choose to remain home for all Distance Learning. Any family that chooses to enroll in the all Distance Learning option will do so for the entire grading period (6-12 semester/K-5 trimester). Families will be allowed to change to in-person learning at the end of these grading periods. Families will have until Friday, July 24 to opt out of in person learning. More details will be made available in mid-July.”

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Most of the north and northwest suburban communities have canceled their traditional Fourth of July celebrations – which usually include parades, firework displays and more – because of concerns over the novel coronavirus pandemic, but Barrington is finding ways to celebrate virtually, socially distanced or both.

Barrington residents are encouraged to organize vehicle parades July 4 in their neighborhoods to show their patriotism and also hear a virtual concert. The village traditionally has an Independence Day parade on Main Street. This year the village is encouraging people to hold neighborhood car parades between dubbed “take the parade to the people,” according to the village website.

Police cars and the village’s antique fire truck are scheduled to join the activities intermingling with the events as well as Bob the DJ, according to the website.

Village President Karen Darch said in an email to Pioneer Press that celebration of the Fourth of July should not be diminished because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Read more here.

Related: “Barrington cancels July 4th parade and fireworks while postponing other summer events,” “Good questions deserve answers.”

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Earlier this month hundreds of people gathered at an event at Citizens Park in Barrington (seeHundreds gather in Barrington ‘to educate people’ on black lives”).

Last weekend we published,Barrington cancels July 4th parade and fireworks while postponing other summer events,” and before we knew it, a reader posted a comment that was actually weighing on our minds:

“Curious as to why fireworks, parade and family fitness run, all Barrington traditions, are cancelled but BLM rally in Citizen Park allowed?”

Perhaps there was good reason for one or two event cancellations, but isn’t the 4th of July fireworks display just a peaceful gathering in a park-like setting at dusk?

If there’s some logic here, please share it or maybe someone should ask newly appointed BACOG chair Karen Darch.

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“This afternoon the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released guidance for schools on the 2020-21 school year.

This 60-page document has been much anticipated and will go a long way toward answering critical questions all of us share about what the 2020-21 school year will look like in terms of in-person learning, scheduling, transportation, wearing masks, social distancing and other measures intended to keep everyone safe and healthy, while also re-engaging students in the learning process.

Right now, we don’t have all the answers to those questions, as this document was released to school districts at the same time it was released to the public. Therefore, we kindly ask for your patience as Barrington 220 reviews this detailed guidance and implements the suggestions into Barrington 220’s preliminary Roadmap to Reopening, which is based on the five-phase Restore Illinois plan.

As you may know, last month Barrington 220 formed a committee which has already been discussing options. The committee consists of district administrators, teachers and support staff. In addition, administrators will be meeting with parents in the next couple of weeks to gain their feedback. Those conversations, along with the ISBE guidance, will help Barrington 220 put forth a plan that prioritizes the health and safety of our students and staff while maintaining a dynamic learning environment.

Thank you again for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we prepare for the 2020-21 school year. We plan to communicate Barrington 220’s comprehensive Roadmap to Reopening next month.”

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Umpire David Baker watches as players take the field at a youth baseball game at Kimball Hill Elementary School in Rolling Meadows. Youth sports can resume under Phase 4 of Illinois’ reopening plan but with restrictions.

As the state makes a giant leap forward Friday when movie theaters reopen, youth sports resume and other activities curtailed by COVID-19 return with restrictions, health experts warn residents to take it slow.

Illinois is meeting all the health metrics, including declining hospitalizations and a 2% average positivity rate for COVID-19 testing, that will propel it out of the Phase 3 limitations.

But don’t toss your face mask, given that COVID-19 is spread mainly through droplets when people sneeze, said physician Michael Bauer.

“It is not all fine. It is not back to normal,” Bauer said. “Everyone wants it to be, but we are still in the midst of this pandemic.”

The Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital medical director, for one, doesn’t plan to watch a movie anytime soon, for example.

“To me, personally, I would have no desire to sit in an indoor space like that,” Bauer said.

Read more here.

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Unless something dramatic happens between and Friday, everything from restaurants and bars to day camps for the kids will be opening for more widespread business. Examples include:

  • Offices
  • Retail and service counters
  • Theater and the performing arts
  • Zoos
  • Health and fitness centers

To view the complete list of operations and guidelines, click here.

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“In his superintendent report at the June 16 Board meeting, Dr. Harris shared Barrington 220’s preliminary Roadmap to Reopening for the 2020-21 school year. The district is preparing educational plans based on Restore Illinoiswhich is a five-phase reopening plan. The district intends to finalize detailed guidelines for each plan next month. Due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, it is possible the district will be in several of these phases over the course of the 2020-21 school year. The state of Illinois is currently in Phase 3.

  • PHASE 1 (Rapid spread): All Distance Learning, which would include more rigorous guidelines based upon feedback from Spring 2020. Essential staff on site as necessary.
  • PHASE 2 (Flattening): All Distance Learning, which would include more rigorous guidelines based upon feedback from Spring 2020. Essential staff on site as necessary.
  • PHASE 3 (Recovery):
    -10 people or less in a designated space

    -All Distance Learning, which would include more rigorous guidelines based upon feedback from Spring 2020.
    -Essential staff on site as necessary
    -Some groups (such as special education programs) on site
    -Staff members on site as necessary
    -Follow IHSA and IESA guidelines for athletics
  • PHASE 4 (Revitalization):
    -50 people or less in a designated space
    -All students return to school with public health guidelines in place,


-Grades PK-6 return every day and grades 7-12 return on a rotational schedule
-Plan Distance Learning for some students
-Follow IHSA and IESA guidelines for athletics
-All staff members on site

  • PHASE 5 ( Restored): Return to “normal” with new public health guidelines in place

The district expects the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) and the Illinois Department of Health (IDPH) to release guidelines soon for the reopening of schools in the fall. In addition, Barrington 220 has created a committee made up of school administrators, teachers and support staff, which is meeting over the summer to review reopening plans. School administrators are also meeting with parents over the summer to gain their feedback.” 

Click here to listen to Dr. Harris explain Barrington 220’s preliminary Roadmap to Reopening at the Board meeting.

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This morning there were less than ten cars in the Barrington Metra parking lot at 10 AM. Things have not changed since we published this photo in late May.

Riders slowly are trickling back onto the Chicago area’s public transit systems, and so far at least, they’re pleased with what they’re finding.

Passengers on sparsely populated CTA and Metra trains say they find the interiors mostly clean and the riders mostly masked. It’s usually possible to keep at least 6 feet from other passengers, although buses tend to be more crowded, passengers and agency officials report.

Daily ridership on Metra tumbled about 97% at the start of the pandemic, but it’s starting to slowly come back and is now 95% below normal levels, said Metra spokeswoman Meg Thomas-Reile. Other transit agencies, including CTA and Pace, report a gradual uptick in passenger traffic.

Read more here.

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Illinois schools, which have been shut down since March because of the coronavirus pandemic, will now be allowed to hold in-person summer school, thanks to an executive order issued Thursday afternoon by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

But many area school systems — including Chicago Public Schools — have already announced that summer school will be held through remote learning, so it’s not immediately clear if such districts will change course.

The order states that all Illinois public and nonpublic elementary and high schools can open for “limited in-person educational purposes” once the regular school year ends. They can also continue providing food and other services, but must follow guidance from the Illinois Department of Public Health as the state moves through the third phase of its reopening plan.

Any school that reopens must take safety measures that include anyone older than 2 years old wearing face masks and other appropriate personal protective equipment. Also, the number of people in a space will be limited to 10, maintaining a 6-foot distance between them. Physical contact and sharing of personal items is discouraged, and students and staff must adhere to regular hand washing and other cleaning and hygiene practices.

Read more here.

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