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“The next regularly scheduled Board meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 7:30 PM. Due to new restrictions that limit gatherings to 10 people, the meeting will be held virtually. School Board members and district leaders will be discussing how to proceed with the 20-21 school year beyond winter break, however there will be no formal vote taken at this meeting. 

The meeting will be live streamed on the Board’s YouTube channel. If you wish to make public comment it can be made in one of two ways:

  • Submit your comments via email by sending them to Recording Secretary Jeanine Stark at jstark@barrington220.org. Please use the subject line “Public Comment.”
  • Between now and 4:00 PM on Tuesday, Dec. 1 you can leave a voicemail at 847-842-3576. This will be played during the public comment portion of the Dec. 1 Board meeting.”

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The Board’s web page can be found here.

Please note District 220 is proposing a 4.4% increase to its property tax levy for 2020 (SeeDistrict 220 expects (4.4%) hike in property tax levy), and we strongly encourage taxpayers to voice their opinions.

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Barrington School District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris told school board members Tuesday that with continuing increases in positive COVID-19 cases, the district will continue with most students in remote learning mode.

“We will continue to follow our five metrics,” Harris said, “which means most students will continue to learn at home. I recommend we continue to follow our distance learning mode.”

Board Secretary Angela Wilcox said she understood parents who are upset that their children aren’t in school. According to Wilcox, data shows that schools and elementary school children are not major sources of virus spread. She said she would continue to push for a return to in-person learning.

Board member Barry Altshuler also acknowledged the concerns of parents.

“Our community is split,” he said, but insisted, “our decisions are not financial, not political, not union-based.”

Wilcox concluded the discussion by urging all in the district to focus on making distance learning the best possible and continue to focus on the social emotional learning of students.

Read the Barrington Courier-Review side of Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting here.

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People who gave input in the search for a new Barrington Area Unit District 220 superintendent want someone who can tackle the aftermath of COVID-19 as well as equity, diversity and inclusion.

Those were major themes from 14 focus groups attended by 89 stakeholders — school board members, staff members, students, parents, and community and business leaders — and an online questionnaire answered by 838 people, consultants from School Exec Connect told the school board Tuesday night.

School Exec Connect was hired to search for a replacement for Superintendent Brian Harris, who’s “retiring” June 30. The board will have a first round of interviews with candidates in closed session Dec. 1, followed by second-round interviews later in December.

The next superintendent will have to deal with how to move forward from COVID-19, Shimp said. “Every focus group talked about it. What does post-COVID look like in Barrington? What is the learning loss? What’s the morale? What’s the climate?”

The district this year hired Nate Rouse as its first director of equity, race and cultural diversity initiatives. The school board on Tuesday approved an equity statement that will support its plans to create a more equitable and inclusive school system.

According to the feedback, the district’s top educational challenge is understanding and support of diversity, followed by having instructional methods that engage all students and closing the achievement gap among subgroups of students.

Read more here.

Editorial note: We’d have thought “the district’s top educational challenge” would be getting all 220 students back to the educational levels they would have been at were it not for current circumstances, but that’s just us.

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#Suckers?

Barrington Area Unit District 220 is proposing a 4.4% increase to its property tax levy for 2020, including a 2.3% cost-of-living hike plus new property growth.

That would amount to a property tax levy of $132 million, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Bein told the school board Tuesday night.

However, the actual anticipated levy increase is 2.55%, because the district projects an estimated $7.5 million in new construction, or a 0.25% increase in the equalized assessed value of the district, plus the cost-of-living increase, Bein said. It’s difficult to precisely estimate new construction figures, particularly in Cook County, so levying a higher amount ensures all new growth is accounted for under the state’s tax cap law, he said.

The district’s proposed levy increase is just below the 5% threshold that requires a public hearing under the state’s Truth-in-Taxation law. The district will have a public hearing nonetheless, as it has done for the last decade or so, school officials said.

The board will meet via Zoom Dec. 1 due to COVID-19 guidelines. Anyone who wishes to make public comment can send an email to jstark@barrington220.org with the subject line “public comment,” or leave a voicemail at (847) 842-3576 by 4 p.m. Dec. 1.

Read more here.

Related: “Voters approve $147 million Barrington District 220 borrowing request for building projects” – April 18, 2020 Daily Herald

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The following was issued by District 220 this afternoon:

“November 18, 2020

In his superintendent report at the Nov. 17 Board meeting, Dr. Harris and district leaders shared several updates regarding the 2020-21 school year. First, Dr. Harris reiterated that the district will continue following its established metrics. This means the district will remain in Distance Learning (Step 2) until the data shows it is safe to return to the Hybrid mode. Barrington 220 will continue sending out weekly updates on Monday afternoons to indicate when a return to Hybrid will be possible.  

Dr. Harris also shared that on Friday, November 20 Illinois will enter Tier 3 COVID-19 Resurgence MitigationsDue to new restrictions that limit gatherings to 10 people, the next regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1 will be held virtually. It will be live streamed on the Board’s YouTube channel. If you wish to make public comment it can be made in one of two ways:

  • Submit your comments via email by sending them to Recording Secretary Jeanine Stark at jstark@barrington220.org. Please use the subject line “Public Comment.” 
  • Between now and 4:00pm on Tuesday, Dec. 1 you can leave a voicemail at 847-842-3576. This will be played during the public comment portion of the Dec. 1 Board meeting.  

Tier 3 mitigation efforts also place additional restrictions on recreational activity. Upon receiving guidance from Governor Pritzker, the Illinois High School Association, and Illinois State Board of Education, Barrington High School will be pausing all winter sports practices starting on Friday, November 20. Scheduled practices for Wednesday, November 18 and Thursday, November 19 will take place as scheduled.”

Editorial note: After receiving criticism during public comment in their November 4th meeting (seeDistrict 220 board, superintendent certainly got an earful last night), it seams the 220 Board of Educations response last night was to turn off the public comment microphone. Click here to see how the speaker’s comments can barely be heard (if at all from our perspective).

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The 220 Board of Education meets tomorrow evening at 7:00 PM at the BMS-Station Campus. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

220 issued the following release late this afternoon in advance of the meeting:

“Due to the most recent public health guidelines, capacity will be limited to 25 people in the room, however anyone who wishes to sign up for public comment may do so. If capacity is reached, you will be asked to wait in an overflow room and then be called in for public comment. Following district protocol, all visitors must wear masks and will be required to complete an on site COVID-19 symptom screening prior to entering the building.

As a reminder, you can view the live stream of all Board of Education meetings by visiting the Board’s YouTube channel.”

With the number of staff Dr. Brain Harris brings in tow with him to these meetings, chances are there will be seating for ten or less people people for public comment at any given time, so you’re advised to arrive early if you wish to speak.

The District’s YouTube channel can be found here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 said Thursday it will continue to follow its five-metric plan for reopening schools during COVID-19, a move endorsed by its teacher union. That means the district will not return to hybrid learning next week, as some parents and school board members hoped.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 will not modify its reopening plan but instead continue will all-virtual learning for the foreseeable future, a move endorsed by its teachers union despite a push to reopen from some parents and some school board members.

Three school board members said last week they wanted to move away from the metrics and reopen schools as soon as possible. The topic was discussed at a meeting Monday that included school administrators, two school board members, the Barrington Education Association, which represents teachers, and the Barrington School District Employee Organization, which represents educational support professionals.

The school board met in closed session Wednesday evening to discuss the topic. School Board President Penny Kazmier didn’t respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Melissa Atteberry, president of the Barrington Education Association teachers union, said the vast majority of its 715 or so members don’t want to eliminate any of the five reopening metrics, particularly given the current surge of COVID-19 cases across the region.

“We understand this is difficult for parents and for students. It’s difficult for staff and the whole community,” Atteberry said earlier this week.

Charles Parkinson, president of the Barrington School District Employee Organization, declined to comment.

Read (little) more here, but expect no comments.

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District 220 issued the following release this morning:

“November 12, 2020

Dear Barrington 220 Community: 

In our COVID-19 update earlier this week, we shared that we would provide further communication today about the Hybrid status moving forward. 

We wanted to inform you that Barrington 220 will continue to follow our established five metrics. This means the district will remain in the adaptive pause until the data shows it is safe to return to the Hybrid mode.

Please understand that while we had hoped to return to Hybrid on Monday, Nov. 16, the safety of our students and staff must remain our top priority as the virus continues to spread within our community and surrounding communities.

In order to keep everyone informed, we will continue sending out weekly COVID-19 updates on Monday afternoons.”

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District 220 included the following in an email sent Monday to the community:

“A special Board meeting will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 11, which is being held for the purpose of having a closed session to discuss employment matters, collective negotiating matters and litigation matters. This is a closed session meeting, which is not open to the public.”

According to the agenda, the category of the meeting (seen here) reads:

“6:00 P.M. – CLOSED SESSION – Notice is hereby given that the Board of Education of Barrington Community Unit School District 220, Lake, Cook, McHenry and Kane Counties, Illinois, will hold a closed session meeting at the Administrative Center, 515 W. Main Street, Barrington, Illinois, for the purpose of discussing: Employment matters, the performance of a specific employee, collective negotiating matters, litigation matters, security procedures, student disciplinary matters, and the purchase, lease or sale price of real property.”

So why did they announce a closed meeting so publicly?  Suffice it to say they’ve certainly piqued our curiosity.

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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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