Archive for the ‘School Districts’ Category

Barrington’s Amelia Noyes pushes the creative envelope with her avant-garde and refreshing artistic style

We fell in love with Amelia Noyes’ art the minute we laid eyes on it. Her unique approach and unmistakable style offers a breath of fresh air, so welcome in our turbulent times. We spoke with the Barrington native who now lives in Los Angeles.

What are some fond memories of growing up in Barrington?

My parents enrolled me in a lot of art classes when I was growing up. I remember doing classes at Kaleidoscope.

What schools did you go to in the Barrington school district?

I attended Countryside Elementary and then went to a private middle school called Chicago Jr. Middle School. I attended Barrington High School.

Where did you go to school after BHS?

I attended Regis University in Denver, Colorado for my undergraduate degree where I received a BFA with an emphasis in Communication and minor in Fine Arts. In 2009, I went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago attending one semester to get a degree in Graphic Design, but realized it was not the right fit for me. I later attended DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois to get a Masters in New Media.

Read the full Quintessential Barrington article here.

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The July monthly meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals will be held at in the cafeteria of Barrington High School located at 616 West Main Street in Barrington at 6:30 PM. A copy of the agenda, including instructions on participating remotely, may be viewed and downloaded here.

Face masks and social distancing are required at the meeting, and this will prove fortuitous for those planning to attend. The reason is based on written comments forwarded to the ZBA, a number of former Village officials from our rather darker years here in the Village will likely be in attendance. Masks and distance should obscure enough of their faces to prevent possible flashbacks leading to night terrors, so most people should be safe.

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Editorial note: If you attended Barrington High School prior to 1990, chances are you went to Phil’s Beach at one time or another.

The Bluesmobile makes its way down Phil’s Beach in Wauconda during the filming of “The Blues Brothers” in 1979.

After a lengthy wait prolonged by the COVID-19 crisis, Wauconda’s iconic Phil’s Beach is set to reopen to the public Wednesday.

Located on the western shore of Bangs Lake near downtown Wauconda, the beach formerly was a privately run attraction that had drawn customers from across the Chicago area for decades. The Wauconda Park District owns the site now, and in 2019 launched a $3 million renovation that wrapped up earlier this year.

A grand opening bash on Memorial Day weekend initially was envisioned, but the beach remained closed this spring because of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s statewide stay-at-home order.

Now that Illinois is in Phase 4 of the state’s recovery plan, the beach can welcome visitors.

“Our community has embraced this project from the beginning, and we are thrilled to finally be able to open,” park district Executive Director Nancy Burton said.

Read more here.


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Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District officials want to build a new station on this unincorporated Cook County property at 1004 S. Hough St. It would be just outside Barrington and Barrington Hills village limits.

Citing concerns about increased noise and traffic, several homeowners are opposing Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District’s second attempt to build a new station.

Fire Chief James Kreher said the proposal is part of the district’s longtime desire for a third station that would improve response times for residents in Inverness and nearby areas.

However, Barrington Hills resident Thomas McGrath said about 50 village residents — representing nearly all homeowners living in the area immediately surrounding the site where the station would be built — have signed a petition against the fire district’s plan that will go before the Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals.

“The 24-hour operations with increased noise, emergency vehicle traffic and 24-hour lighting is absolutely out of place for a residential area,” said McGrath, whose Hawthorne Road house is on the western border of where the fire district wants to build.

Before construction can occur, Barrington Countryside must start with an online public hearing before the zoning panel at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The district needs a special-use permit for the firehouse because the Hough Street land is zoned for single-family homes.

Read more here.

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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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Terrance Wallace wants to relocate his InZone Project from Wauconda to this 12,000-square-foot mansion on roughly 28 acres in Barrington Hills so he can provide better opportunities for 25 children who are under his legal guardianship. Wallace said the boys from the inner city would attend Barrington Area Unit District 220 schools and live in a nurturing environment with support.

Terrance Wallace wants his InZone Project in the 12,000-square-foot home on roughly 28 acres so the inner-city Chicago children of color, who are under his legal guardianship, can live in a nurturing residential environment with support. The plan is to relocate InZone from Wauconda to Barrington Hills, with the boys there before school starts in August.

Wallace, who hosted the online forum that drew about 200 visitors, said he first contacted Barrington Hills in April 2018 to make village officials aware of his plan and did not receive a response for several months. He said officials have continued to ignore his recent emails, and he has questioned whether discrimination is behind Barrington Hills’ inaction.

In a statement before the forum, Barrington Hills officials reiterated that few details were provided when the InZone proposal arrived in 2018. Wallace was directed to consult the village’s codes to ensure compliance with use of the residentially zoned land.

Village Attorney Patrick Bond told the Daily Herald that the issue solely is about how Barrington Hills’ zoning code applies to the plan.

During a question-and-answer portion of Thursday’s town hall over Zoom, Wallace eventually bristled at text queries on who would own the property and pay taxes on the six-bedroom, six-bathroom mansion that includes an indoor basketball court, a library and an outdoor pool. He said he’ll be the owner and that no one needs to know how the deal was worked out.

“Someone is asking questions about property taxes,” Wallace said. “Again, I don’t feel I need to disclose to you, me paying. As a homeowner, do you pay your property taxes? I don’t think you would be asking me this question, No. 1, if I was not Black and if I didn’t have all my boys.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

Related: “Fact checking

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On Monday night, CBS Chicago reported a story that included audio and text stating the following:

“Over 20 acres of tree-lined property nestled in affluent Barrington Hills feature tennis courts and a sprawling home purchased by Terrance Wallace, the InZone Project founder.” (InZone Project Founder Says He’s Been Hit With Red Tape In Efforts To Bring Black And Brown Boys From Chicago To Live In Barrington Hills Mansion.)

There is no recorded public record of a recent sale of the property on 541 Merri Oaks Road. Public records do indicate that the property is currently owned by a Trust and has been under the ownership of the Trust or related parties since 2002.

Public records indicate that 2019 Real Estate Taxes were approximately $32,000, down from approximately $50,000 for 2018, and in both years, a homeowner’s exemption of $6,000 was taken. (Note: To take a general homestead exemption in Lake County, IL, the Property must be the principal residence of the owner as of the first of the year in which the exemption is claimed and this exemption can only be received on one property.)

If Mr. Wallace has other financial arrangements with the owner, it is not available in public records we can find.

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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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Barrington athletes work out in small groups by following along with a video on the screen inside the stadium. The IHSA has approved small-group workouts as part of its return-to-play initiative.

Similar to many restaurants and businesses, local high school athletic departments have cautiously waded back to work this summer. The new normal, as permitted by the IHSA, allows for schools to offer voluntary strength and conditioning workouts. Sports-specific drills are not currently permitted.

Athletes have their temperatures checked at the start of each session and are asked if they have any specific symptoms. When training begins, they are required to maintain a social distance of 6 feet and train in groups of no more than 10 people, including the coach.

Glenbrook South athletic director Steve Rockrohr estimated 500 students are participating in workouts. At Barrington, about 225 students are participating, according to athletic director Mike Obsuszt. At both schools, the groups of 10 are co-ed and feature athletes from a range of sports. Rockrohr and Obsuszt said they think more students would have participated had additional sessions been feasible. 

Pioneer Press contributor Ryan Nilsson spoke with Rockrohr, Obsuszt and Timothy Christian athletic director Jack LeGrand to learn how the conditioning workouts were going. Stevenson athletic director Trish Betthauser answered the same questions via email.

Read more here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials have created a new staff position to lead equity, race and cultural diversity initiatives.

The district plans to have the administrator hired in time for the 2020-21 academic season. Applications are being accepted for the job, which officials say was made possible through a restructuring of administrative positions and will not increase the size of the staff.

As part of the official job description, the director of equity, race and cultural diversity initiatives will have duties including promotion of an inclusive school climate and fostering healthy youth development.

In addition, the administrator will provide leadership regarding the development, coordination, facilitation and delivery of diversity-related programs, services and support for students and employees across District 220.

Another essential job function will be to lead a focus on social justice initiatives and cultural awareness.

Read more here.

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