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1525 S. Grove Ave.

An advisory board of parents of children with special needs told the Barrington Unit District 220 school board Tuesday night a new facility in the works for a program that prepares high school graduates of varying abilities to live as independently as possible was inadequate.

The parents suggested parts of the district’s new administration building or the old one as alternatives. The school board did not commit to a course of action in front of the standing-room-only crowd, but it scheduled a meeting with the group for 8 a.m. this Thursday, June 20, at the administration building at 515 W. Main St. in Barrington.

Members of the advisory board BEST 220 said the 1,658-square-foot leased space being prepared in the office building at 1525 S. Grove Ave. in Barrington is far from the upgrade they were hoping for in the transition program’s planned move from a house on Sturtz Street next to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, where it’s been for 12 years.

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At its June 5 meeting, the District 220 Board of Education approved the purchase of the residential property located at 36 East Dundee Road, which sits between the Early Learning Center and BMS-Prairie.

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is selling the property to the district. BCFPD had proposed a fire station for the site, however the Cook County Board did not approve the proposal.

It’s reported that District 220 will be paying an estimated $562,800 for the 1,462 square foot ranch-style home built in 1955. Records indicate the roughly 1-acre parcel last sold for $500,000 in December of 2016 to the BCFPD.

“The district expects the land to be used to improve traffic flow and parking at the two campuses,” a recent 220 press release states. The way District 220 has been managed in recent years, we expect this will likely be over a million-dollar expenditure before it’s all said and done.

Related: County board denies plans to build fire station near two Barrington schools

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More than 700 seniors from Barrington School High made up the class of 2019 and went through the final tradition together Friday — commencement.

Family and friends gathered at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington Friday for the graduation ceremony.

The class of 2019 had 709 graduates, and 96 percent are heading this fall off to colleges and universities around the country, Samantha Ptashkin, director of communications for Barrington School District 220, said in an email.

She named the Boston College, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Chicago, among others well-known learning institutions as next-chapter schools for the Barrington High School grads.

(Editorial note: It’s unclear why Ms. Ptashkin or the reporter chose to single out these four fine institutions, but it’s our guess one will likely regret that decision.)

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1525 S. Grove Ave.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 will lease space in a village office park in a move that officials say will improve a program helping students with special needs prepare for adult life after graduating from high school.

Students 18 to 22 years old who meet eligibility requirements set by the state and federal government may attend the district’s transition program. The special education students have an opportunity to receive vocational training and development while gaining skills to allow them to live as independently as possible.

District 220’s transition program has been based in a Sturtz Street house next door to St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Barrington since 2007. The district has rented the house from the church for $1,000 per month, Superintendent Brian Harris said.

But as the transition program has evolved, so has its space needs, Harris said. District officials conducted a search that ended with the 1,658-square-foot space in an office building at 1525 S. Grove Ave., north of Dundee Road, that will need minor work to accommodate the students in 2019-20.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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After voters rejected a $185 million referendum last month, members of the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education dissected the election results and information gleaned from discussions with community stakeholders during their meeting May 21.

Board President Penny Kazmier said the earliest possible election dates to pose another referendum are March or November of next year. March is the presidential primary, where a Democratic nominee will be chosen, November is the general election, and in both the turnout is likely to be significantly more than it was in last month’s election.

Overall, Kazmier said referendums were more successful in November 2019 than in April.

Superintendent Brian Harris said the Illinois General Assembly is moving toward placing a referendum for a constitutional amendment on the November ballot next year to replace the state’s flat income tax with a graduated one where higher incomes are taxed at a greater rate.

“There are some things we have no control over,” Harris said. “There is some concern about the increase in taxes the state of Illinois is considering. It has nothing to do with us but in the total tax burden (a referendum) is a piece of what they could have control over at the local level.”

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Many suburban school districts are fortunate to work with private foundations that help raise money for special projects and coordinate diverse volunteer programs. An effort under way in Barrington Area Unit District 220 calls attention to these efforts and demonstrates how creative and supportive communities can be in helping to meet the needs of their students.

The nonprofit Barrington 220 Foundation has announced it will provide a donation to support an outdoor science laboratory where students can work first-hand with scientific principles on a 67-acre conservation area across from Barrington High School. Our Robert Susnjara reported this week that the students will learn to monitor the health of streams, research soil composition and prairie habitat and study renewable resources.

Read the full Daily Herald editorial here.

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A private foundation supporting Barrington Area Unit District 220 has agreed to help fund a proposed outdoor education initiative and expansion of an entrepreneurship program into the middle schools.

Click on image to enlarge

Mary Dale, executive director of the Barrington 220 Foundation, said the nonprofit will provide a to-be-determined donation for the district’s proposed outdoor science laboratory off Hart Road. The lab would be on part of an undeveloped 67 acres the district owns, and officials say it could cost up to $750,000 to build.

Dale said the foundation also will donate $27,000 to District 220 for creation of the business incubator for eighth-graders at the two middle schools, allowing those students to have a “bridge” between similar programs in fifth grade and high school.

She said the two major projects were recommended for the funding after a vetting process by a committee that included residents and foundation officials. Foundation board trustees gave the final approval, with the selections revealed at a recent soiree at Barrington’s White House.

Read more here.

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