Archive for the ‘His Master’s Voice’ Category


“At the Nov. 21 Barrington 220 Board of Education meeting, the Board heard an update from district leaders about Barrington 220’s annual report card, which is assembled by the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The report card reflects data from the 2022-23 school year in areas of student achievement, growth, attendance, indicators of college and career readiness, as well as school climate and culture. During the 2022-23 school year, Barrington 220 students performed better than more than 90% of students across the state.

Illinois has five summative designations for schools: Exemplary, Commendable, Targeted, Comprehensive, and Intensive. All Barrington 220 schools received either exemplary or commendable status, and it is important to note that the schools that received commendable designations are very close to earning exemplary.

One area of focus for the district is improving student attendance, which weighs heavily on a school’s summative designation status. Chronic absenteeism has increased in Barrington 220 and across the state since the pandemic. In addition, the district is focusing on how it can accelerate growth for all students through rigorous academic opportunities. Click here to listen to the presentation.”

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220 BOE 2324

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Informational Reports (Seen here)
  • Consideration to Approve Revised Personnel Report (Seen here)
  • Motion and Approval of Resolution Authorizing Social Media Litigation
  • Motion to Approve Professional Development for B. Altshuler, L. Collister-Lazzari, E. Chan Ding, and D. Clopto (Only?)
  • Changes to 2024-25 Academic Calendar
  • Framework 220
  • School Improvement (See here), and
  • Fine, Visual, and Performing Arts Discussion*

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live-streamed on the district YouTube channel.

* “District 220 Board plans to seek community feedback about new fine, visual & performing arts spaces at BHS

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Free K

“At the Oct. 17 Barrington 220 Board of Education meeting, the Board supported the district’s recommendation to implement free full-day kindergarten at all Barrington 220 elementary schools, beginning at the start of the 2024-25 school year. Full-day kindergarten will extend core instruction (math, science, literacy, etc.) throughout the school day. It will eliminate the district’s fee-based Kindergarten Enrichment Program.

In addition to implementing full-day kindergarten at all elementary schools, the Board supported the district’s recommendation to create a free full-day kindergarten lab program at Barrington High School. This opt-in program will also begin at the start of the 2024-25 school year. The ‘K-Lab’ will include two kindergarten classes (46 students total), and it will provide unique learning opportunities to students, thanks to its location at BHS. Students will be enrolled in the program utilizing a lottery system similar to the district’s Spanish Dual Language and Chinese Immersion programs. More details about the K-Lab will be provided in the coming months”.

Click here to listen to the Board meeting presentation.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve BHS Course Offerings
  • Ratification of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the Board of Education and the Barrington Education Association, IEA-NEA
  • Enrollment Status 30-Day
  • Full-Day Kindergarten Update, and
  • Fine, Visual, and Performing Arts Update

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live-streamed on the district YouTube channel.

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High school students’ scores on the ACT college admissions test have dropped to their lowest in more than three decades, showing a lack of student preparedness for college-level coursework, according to the nonprofit organization that administers the test.

Scores have been falling for six consecutive years, but the trend accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. Students in the class of 2023 whose scores were reported Wednesday were in their first year of high school when the virus reached the U.S.

“The hard truth is that we are not doing enough to ensure that graduates are truly ready for postsecondary success in college and career,” said Janet Godwin, chief executive officer for the nonprofit ACT.

The average ACT composite score for U.S. students was 19.5 out of 36. Last year, the average score was 19.8.

The average scores in reading, science and math all were below benchmarks the ACT says students must reach to have a high probability of success in first-year college courses. The average score in English was just above the benchmark but still declined compared to last year.

Many universities have made standardized admissions tests optional amid criticism that they favor the wealthy and put low-income students at a disadvantage. Some including the University of California system do not consider ACT or SAT scores even if submitted.

Godwin said the scores are still helpful for placing students in the right college courses and preparing academic advisors to better support students.

Read more here.

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Gender Queer

A pile of challenged books appear at the Utah Pride Center in Salt Lake City on Dec. 16, 2021. Attempted book bannings and restrictions at school and public libraries continue to surge, according to a new report from the American Library Association. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

By Kevin Bessler

(The Center Square) – As Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues to discourage libraries from removing controversial books from their shelves, a grassroots organization says the state of Illinois should turn its attention elsewhere.

On Jan.1, Illinois will become the first state in the country that would cut off state taxpayer funding to any libraries that remove books currently on the shelves. Under the new law, Illinois public libraries can only access state grants if they adopt the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights, which stipulates that “materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.”

On Tuesday, Pritzker attended an event at the University of Chicago to commemorate National Banned Books Week. The school plans to build a collection of books that have been historically banned, creating an accessible library open to the public.

“Tyrants and fascists rise up and authoritarian regimes take hold, and what’s the first thing that they do? They ban the books that disagree with them,” Pritzker said.

Shannon Adcock, president of the advocacy group Awake Illinois, says it is another example of state government overstepping its bounds.

“We have local library boards and trustees, we have local school boards of elected school board members that are there to take an oath to represent their constituents and to be stewards of their local tax dollars,” Adcock told The Center Square.

Read more here.

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1525 S Grove

1525 South Grove Avenue

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve 2024-25 Academic Calendar
  • Consideration and Approval of Settlement of Altria Group Portion of Vaping Litigation.
  • Consideration that the Board approve and authorize the Superintendent or designee to sign the purchase and sale agreement for real estate for purchase of 1525 S. Grove Avenue, Unit 103, Barrington, Illinois, in substantially the form presented to the Board and further authorize the Board president, secretary, Superintendent or designees, and the Board attorney to prepare and execute all documents necessary to effectuate the purchase.
  • BHS Course Offerings, and
  • Fine and Performing Arts Presentation

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live-streamed on the district YouTube channel.

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As the new school year is well underway, a parent’s rights advocacy group is urging Illinois families to know what their options are concerning sex education being taught in some schools.

The vast majority of Illinois school districts are not opting into controversial sexual education curricula, according to Awake Illinois. But the districts with the largest student populations are.

In 2021, Gov. J.B. Pritzker enacted a law aligning the state’s public schools with the National Sex Education Standards, saying the measure will modernize the subject with age-appropriate content for grades K-12.

Among the standards for grades K-2 are defining gender expression, different kinds of families and types of sexual abuse. Grade 3-5 goes into anatomy, gender identity and sexual orientation. Grades 6-8 will learn about different types of sex, different types of sexual exploitation and trafficking. Grade 9-10 will learn about the history of “reproductive justice.” Grades 11-12 will learn about power and privilege within sexual relationships.

“Modernizing our sex education standards will help keep our children safe and ensure important lessons like consent and internet safety are taught in classrooms,” Pritzker said in a statement announcing his signature.

The law was praised by sex education advocates.

“As a sex educator who has personally been targeted by misinformed critics for providing those necessary tools, I understand the urgent need to expand access to sex education that is medically accurate, LGBTQ+ affirming, culturally inclusive, and age-appropriate,” Justine Ang Fonte, an intersectional sex educator, said in 2021.

Opponents said the law goes too far.

Awake Illinois found through the Freedom of Information Act that of 758 school districts surveyed by the Illinois State Board of Education, 206 have opted in during the last school year. Awake Illinois founder Shannon Adcock said parent advocacy is working.

Read more here.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Second Reading of Board Policy
  • Consideration to Approve 2023-24 Budget
  • Consideration to approve settlement in pending litigation filed against the District and various District employees in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois relating to a 2017 incident.
  • Safety and Security Update
  • Full-Day Kindergarten Update

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be live-streamed on the district YouTube channel.

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How Illinois public school measures fail to add up

Contradictory metrics statewide point to poor accountability and grade promotion standards in Illinois. Low-income parents seeking alternatives are hamstrung as lawmakers weigh ending Illinois’ only school choice program.

In 2021, just 33% of Illinois’ 11th grade students could read at grade level. Only 29% could perform math proficiently.

One school year later in spring 2022, 87.3% of that cohort of students graduated. Illinois also celebrated its highest graduation rate in a decade.

Something is wrong here.

Illinois public schools continue to receive more funding despite producing poorer academic proficiency among its students. That as poor school accountability allows record graduation rates despite dismal proficiency rates.

Illinois parents frustrated by the academic failures of public schools deserve options. But Illinois’ only school choice program, which allows low-income families the choice to send their children to private schools on donor-funded scholarships, is set to end at the end of 2023, unless state lawmakers move to save it during their fall veto session.

Contradicting metrics for Illinois’ class of 2022

The four-year graduation rate in Illinois hit a decade high in 2022 at 87.3%. That doesn’t mean student performance was at a decade high.

The final state test administered to the graduating class of 2022 was the SAT in spring 2021 during their 11th-grade academic year. On that exam, only 33% could read at grade level and 29% could perform math proficiently.

The first year Illinois implemented the SAT to measure 11th-grade student proficiency was in 2017 when almost 40% of students scored at proficiency in reading and over 36% in math. Proficiency among high school juniors has declined each year since then, in 2022 resulting in the lowest percentage of students proficient since the SAT became the standard.

Record-low proficiency. Record-high graduations.

Adding to poor proficiency measures, many students in the class of 2022 missed 10% or more of their school days during their senior year. Nearly 44% of the graduating class of 2022 were labeled chronically absent during the 2021-2022 school year.

Read more here.

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