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From District 220:

“There will be four school board seats up for election on the April 6, 2021 consolidated election ballot. School Board members serve a four year term.

If you’re interested in running for a Board seat, former Barrington 220 Board members will be holding a Q&A session on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the Pavilion at Citizen’s Park. Masks and social distancing will be enforced.

Interested community members can also check out the Cook County “Info for Candidates” webpage, as well as the Illinois Association of School Boards website.”

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Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

When Illinois voters rejected Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s request for permission to alter income taxes, they twice defied the wealthy governor, embattled House Speaker Michael Madigan and the dominant Democratic majority in Springfield.

They voted No on a constitutional amendment to switch from a flat tax to a graduated tax. In doing so, they said No to the defining characteristic of this state’s Democratic problem-solving, which tends to be: throw more money at it. Streamline government? Consolidate taxing bodies? Allow voters to enact term limits? No, just raise taxes or create new ones.

From such moments of voter frustration, political rebellions can be born. There is no question in our minds that Madigan has overstayed his tenure as speaker and represents an obstacle, rather than the agent of change, for Illinois, which must fix its broken finances. Adding pressure: U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin on Wednesday and Pritzker on Thursday joined us in saying, time for Madigan to step down as party chairman.

Election Day provided several more signs that Illinoisans are willing to challenge the ossified, self-centered and damaging fiscal policies of Madigan and the Dems. Madigan, who is linked to an unfolding federal corruption investigation, saw Republicans appear to take two House seats from his supermajority. Not a big change, but every loss means something, even given the Democrats’ overwhelming position.

Read the full Chicago Tribune editorial here.

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After hearing pleas from frustrated parents, the board of Barrington Area Unit School District 220 decided to discuss with its teachers union the possibility of changing its COVID-19 plan to reopen sooner.

That will be discussed at a labor-management meeting Nov. 9, followed by a closed school board meeting via Zoom on Nov. 12, board members decided Wednesday night. Virtual learning will continue until at least Nov. 16.

The district in September developed a four-phase reopening plan with five metrics based on public health guidance.

“Those (school districts) who are closed are following public health guidance. Those who are open, are not,” Superintendent Brian Harris said. There also are liability considerations in deciding whether to reopen, he added.

Board members Angela Wilcox, Gavin Newman and Mike Shackleton said they want to move away from the district’s metrics in favor of reopening as soon as possible. Board President Penny Kazmier and board members Sandra Ficke-Bradford, Barry Altshuler and Leah Collister-Lazzari asked for a discussion with the teachers union first.

The district started in-person classes Oct. 19 with a hybrid model, meaning families could choose to continue virtual learning if they wanted. Just a day later, Harris announced a return to all-virtual learning starting Oct. 28, after guidance from the Lake County Health Department regarding increasing COVID-19 cases.

Read more of the Daily Herald report here.

Editorial note: Angela Wilcox and Mike Shackleton are Barrington Hills residents.

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Barrington School District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris, third from right, was among officials to stand with Gov. J.B. Pritzke March 13, 2020 at the Thompson Center in Chicago when the governor announced that all K-12 schools statewide will be closed for a period of time in an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Many District 220 parents were afforded nearly an hour of very candid public comments last night. We strongly suggest anyone interested spend a little time to watch the video. A link to the start of those comments can be found here.

For those wondering why we chose to use the image and caption seen above, let’s just say it’s  very difficult to “unsee” this visual we posted back in March the more one listens to Dr. Brian Harris.

Related:November 4th 220 Board of Education meeting agenda posted

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In the three-way House District 52 race, Republican Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin leads by a wide margin over Democrat Marci Suelzer of Island Lake and Green Party candidate Alia Sarfraz of South Barrington.

With all precincts in Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties reporting, unofficial totals show McLaughlin received 28,778 votes to Suelzer’s 22,166 votes and Sarfraz’s 1,317 votes.

Read the Daily Herald report here.

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“Dear Barrington 220 Community,

We are now six days into our adaptive pause of the Hybrid mode and while Barrington 220 desperately would like to return to Hybrid on Monday, Nov. 9, we wanted you to know that as of today we will most likely be extending the pause until Monday, Nov. 16. A final decision will be made later this week, after further discussion at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4. 

We have been reviewing the data from the Northwestern Medicine dashboard, as well as the situation at each of our school buildings. As of today, the number of new cases (Metric #1) per 100,000 persons for each of our zip codes except 60021 continues to exceed our Step 3 (Hybrid) threshold of 200. In addition, our positivity rate (Metric #2) is moving in the wrong direction for two of our zip codes. Here are the latest numbers as of 11/1/2020:

Our COVID-19 dashboard shows the daily number of positive cases and quarantine cases among students and staff at each building in the district. 

  • A positive case is counted on the day it is reported. Every day after, it is placed in the quarantine category. 
  • Quarantine cases are students and staff not attending school due to testing positive or exposure to a positive case.” 

To view the “D220 Metric Status,” click here.

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Sunny Hill Elementary School

When Barrington School District 220 began welcoming students back into the classroom in October, nearly 90% of children who attend Hough Street School in the heart of the village arrived for in-person instruction.

Heading west past the horse farms and rolling fields of Barrington Hills, the district’s Sunny Hill School in Carpentersville also reopened. But only about 1 in 4 families at Sunny Hill — where 90% of students are economically disadvantaged — allowed their children to return to the classroom.

This tale of two schools — less than 8 miles apart, but a world away when it comes to parents’ reactions to the coronavirus — began a rocky new chapter this week, as District 220 joined a growing list of suburban Chicago schools that are pausing in-person instruction due to the record high rate of COVID-19 cases.

Now, many parents, particularly from middle- and upper-income communities in the Chicago area, are again demanding a reopening of schools, saying their children are suffering from social isolation and academic regression they believe pose a greater danger than the virus itself.

Yet as parents in more affluent communities like Elmhurst, Lincolnshire and Libertyville organize rallies in support of open schools, fears that in-person classes will increase the risks of coronavirus exposure to students and staff — and, by extension, to their families — are only growing, especially in lower-income and more racially diverse communities disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

That all of this is playing out during an economic crisis and perhaps one the most polarized presidential elections in U.S. history has only escalated tensions.

Read more here.

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The Village Board of Trustees will be holding their monthly meeting this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics for discussion and/or vote include:

  • An Ordinance Granting an Amendment to the Existing Special Use Permit for an Expansion of the Parking Lot at 160 Hawthorne Road
  • An Ordinance Approving a Map Amendment Rezoning the Property Located at 32W 393 Algonquin Road from R1 Single Family Residence District to B-3 General Business District
  • Resolution Authorizing the Village’s Execution of an Intergovernmental Agreement and Subrecipient Agreement with the County of Kane for Coronavirus Relief Funds

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. Those wishing to try to listing in on the meeting can phone 508-924-1464.

Related:Mosque replica planned for 160 Hawthorne Road?andKane County sending $27.5 million in federal relief to communities

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“At its Oct. 20 meeting, the Board shared two upcoming opportunities for community members to provide input on the district’s superintendent search. The Board is working with search firm School Exec Connect to select the district’s next leader. Dr. Brian Harris will be retiring at the end of June after serving more than 30 years in public education.

  • Online Questionnaire: First, the Board is asking community members to fill out an online questionnaire. It should only take about five minutes to complete and it will be available until Oct. 30, 2020. Click here to complete the online questionnaire
  • Virtual Community Forum: In addition to the questionnaire, if you would like to provide input on the district’s strengths, the district’s challenges, and the characteristics the next superintendent should possess, the Board of Education and School Exec Connect consultants invite you to attend a virtual forum on Thursday, Nov. 5 at 7pm. Please click here to register for the forum.

Findings from the questionnaire, the virtual forum, and several focus group conversations will be used to develop a New Superintendent Profile that will be reported to the Board at its November 17 regularly scheduled meeting.

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CUSD 220 Enrollment

Earlier this week, “…the Board of Education heard a 30-day enrollment report for the district. On Day 30 of the 2020-21 school year, total student enrollment was at 8,308. On day 30 of the 2019-20 school year, total student enrollment was 8,611.

The largest drop by proportion is at the Pre-K level (from 240 to 189 students). The next largest drop is at the elementary level (from 3,435 to 3,277). The 30-day enrollment figures are a snapshot in time. Enrollment will fluctuate during the school year as it has in the past and the district will continue to monitor it accordingly.”

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