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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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Notice of public hearing Appropriation Ordinance of the Village of Barrington Hills, Illinois Public Notice is hereby given that at 6:30 PM, on Monday, February 22, 2021, a public hearing will be held by the President and Board of Trustees for the Village of Barrington Hills, Illinois (located in Cook, Kane, Lake and McHenry Counties) in the MacArthur Room at Barrington Hills Village Hall, 112 Algonquin Road, Barrington Hills, Illinois for the purpose of considering the proposed Appropriation Ordinance of the Village of Barrington Hills for the Fiscal Year Commencing January 1, 2021 and ending December 31, 2021.

A copy of the proposed Appropriation Ordinance is available in the Clerk’s office by appointment. All interested parties are invited to attend and will be given an opportunity to submit oral or written comments at that time. Written comments on the proposed ordinance will be made part of the record of this proceeding. All written comments should be mailed/emailed to the Village Clerk to be received by 4:00 PM, February 22, 2021. Village Clerk Village of Barrington Hills 112 Algonquin Road Barrington Hills, IL 60010 clerk@vbhil.gov.

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Brian Harris, superintendent of Barrington Area Unit District 220, was named Lake County’s Superintendent of the Year for 2021.

The honor was bestowed by the Lake County Superintendents’ Association, which includes 55 county superintendents who cited him as a role model and leader at the national, state and local levels.

Harris will retire on June 30 after working 34 years in public education and seven years as superintendent in District 220.

Read more here.

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At its Feb. 2 meeting, the 220 Board approved student fees for the 2021-2022 school year. The fees will remain flat compared to the 2020-21 school year, with the exception of a replacement hall lock fee from $10 to $15. Registration fees across all grade levels have remained flat since 2015. 

Student fees fall into three categories: General (district based fees), Course/Program (related to specific course or program) and Obligations (variable fees not adopted by the Board that cover liability obligations for lost or damaged materials). Click here to view the district’s guide to understanding student fees.

Student fees for this school year (2020-21) will remain the same. Two exceptions include: no charge for BHS parking and any families who paid the kindergarten enrichment fee will be refunded since that program is not running this school year.

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No word yet on when Barrington Area Library will reopen

The Dundee Library and Randall Oaks Library will welcome patrons back into their buildings starting Monday, Feb. 8. The last day for curbside pickup will be Sunday, Feb. 7.

Patrons are invited back to browse and make their selections for checkout, but will be unable to linger or gather and are asked to limit their visit to 60 minutes. Social distancing procedures will be practiced, and masks will be required to enter the library. Capacity limits will be followed, and patrons will be asked to wait for entry if necessary. Home delivery service will continue.

The Dundee Library is located at 555 Barrington Ave. (Route 68) in East Dundee. The Randall Oaks Library is located on the lower level of the Randall Oak Recreation Center, 500 N. Randall Road in West Dundee.

The district looks forward to welcoming patrons back into the buildings to offer the following services:

  • License plate renewal will be available at the Dundee Library.
  • Printing service will be available. Up to 20 pages can be printed free of charge. Email items to be printed and picked up at the Dundee Library to libraryhelp@frvpld.info. Email items to be printed and picked up at the Randall Oaks Library to randalloakslibrary@frvpld.info.
  • “Cold Suppers” for kids 18 and under can be picked up at the Dundee Library from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.
  • Tax forms will be available at the Dundee Library. Hard copies of 1040 forms are available, and the library will print up to 20 pages of other forms for free. Tax forms can also be printed at the Randall Oaks Library.

Notary service will be by appointment only at both locations. Please call (847) 428-3661 to make an appointment.

Other services available at the Dundee Library include 3-D Printing and voter registration.

One-on-one tech appointments are not yet available in person, but this service is available via Zoom or phone.

There are no in-person programs, classes, and storytimes at this time. Visit the calendar of virtual events for all ages at www.frvpld.info/events/upcoming.

The following services are not yet offered at the libraries: public computers; faxing service; digital conversion equipment; scanning; newspapers; or toys and games in the youth services department.

Currently, they are not accepting donations of books, DVDs, etc.

The library will return to regular hours of operation. The Dundee Library will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Randall Oaks Library will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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Cook County property owners have two additional months — until May 3 — to pay the first installment of their property tax bills without a late fee, county Treasurer Maria Pappas said Monday.

The county board in November waived for two months the 1.5% per month late fee on all 2020 property taxes. Taxpayers can pay the first installment, due March 2, without a late fee through May 3. Late fees also will be waived for two months for the second installment, due later this year.

Tax bills should soon start arriving in the mailboxes of the owners of about 1.8 million homes, businesses and land, Pappas said.

Taxpayers should look at the front of the bill, where a section called “Taxing District Debt and Financial Data,” for information about each taxing district, including: money owed by your taxing districts; pension and health care amounts promised by your taxing districts; amount of pension and health care shortage; and percentage of pension and health care costs taxing districts are able to pay.

Read on here.

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The next regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting is this evening, February 2nd at 7 PM. Click here to view the agenda.

The meeting will be held in person at the District Administrative Center. The number of people in the room will be limited to 25, due to Tier 1 mitigations. Public Comment can be made in one of two ways:

  • In accordance with Board Policy 2.230, members of the public wishing to offer public comment in person will have the opportunity to do so, but depending on how many people are in the room, those wishing to make public comment may have to wait outside until they are called in to provide their comment. A sign-up sheet will be available at the entrance to the building until 7:00 pm. The Board meeting will be available for viewing via live-stream on the District’s YouTube Channel at bit.ly/220schoolboardlive.
  • Submit your comments via email by sending them to Recording Secretary Jeanine Stark before 4:00 pm on Feb. 2, 2021 at jstark@barrington220.org. Please use the subject line “Public Comment.” All comments received will be shared with the Board and added to the public Board agenda on Feb. 3, 2021.

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This rendering shows planned work at Grove Avenue Elementary School in Barrington. Click on image to enlarge.

A multiyear upgrade of 12 Barrington Area Unit District 220 buildings is expected to start this summer with construction that will allow three schools to stop using mobile classrooms.

Grove Avenue Elementary School, Barrington Middle School’s Prairie Campus and Barrington Middle School’s Station Campus, all in Barrington, will get additions and various upgrades.

The district hired the architecture firm DLR Group and the construction company Pepper Construction for the multiyear project.

According to preliminary estimates, construction costs would be $17.7 million at the middle school’s Station Campus, which was built in 1966; $13.2 million at Prairie Campus, built in 1992; and $8.6 million at Grove Elementary, built in 1953.

Construction bids for the two middle schools will be presented for approval to the school board Tuesday.

Read more here.

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Barrington 220 is excited to partner with BStrong Together and Barrington Youth & Family Services for two upcoming virtual Parent University sessions focused on our students’ social and emotional well-being.

Youth Mental Health and Suicide: Know the Warning Signs and How to Help” will take place on Thursday, Feb. 11 at 7pm. Talking about suicide with your child might be difficult, but it can save a child’s life. Area expert Mandy Burbank, LCSW, of Amita Behavioral Health, will share the warning signs that a young person might be depressed or suicidal. She will also provide helpful advice for how to approach someone you are worried about, as well as tips for talking about suicide with the young people in your life. Valuable support resources will also be provided. 

Cultivating Resilience During COVID-19” will take place on Thursday, March 4 at 7pm. Dr. Doug Bolton will guide parents through these challenging times by highlighting strategies that will build resilience in our children, so they can effectively manage stress now and in the future. Dr. Bolton has used his degrees in clinical psychology, school psychology, and educational leadership to support students with social, emotional and behavioral challenges in schools since 1987. He worked in therapeutic schools for 10 years as a school psychologist, before spending the next 14 years as principal of North Shore Academy, a K-12 public therapeutic school.

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The Barrington Village Board approved the local school district’s annexation agreement and special use planned development amendment requests, paving the way for an addition to be constructed at Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus.

Barrington School District 220 is looking to make improvements at its schools over the next several years following passage of a $147 million referendum in the March 2020 election. The first project is building an addition and making minor site improvements to the existing Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus, officials said.

The 13,500 square foot addition will create eight classrooms, six of which will replace existing mobile classrooms, according to village documents. New collaborative learning spaces and restrooms are part of the addition. Site improvements include modifications to the bus access drive and new landscaping, plan documents stated.

District 220 also sought approval to annex the property at 36 E. Dundee Road into Barrington as part of its project. The property is in unincorporated Cook County and had included a single-family home but that’s been demolished. The land is located between parking lots for an early learning center and the middle school, according to village documents.

Read more here.

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