Archive for the ‘His Master’s Voice’ Category


The District 220 Board of Education meets tonight at 7 PM. The meeting will be held in person at the District Administrative Center. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

The number of people in the room will be limited to 50, as suburban Cook County and Lake County are in Phase 4 under the State’s Restore Illinois Plan. The livestream of all meetings are viewable via the Board’s YouTube channel found here.

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Barrington Community Unit District 220 officials are discussing whether to continue offering a remote learning option to students beyond the current school year. According to a recent survey, about a quarter of district students would be interested in continuing virtual classes.

A quarter of Barrington Community Unit School District 220 students are interested in continuing remote learning beyond this school year, according to a recent survey.

Now the district is following up with a questionnaire asking families with students in kindergarten through 12th grade if they would commit to the program for the entire school year.

The survey was intended to “gauge interest” in a virtual program that could be offered during the 2021-22 school year, Superintendent Brian Harris said.

Virtual learning would be a choice-based program, such as the current Chinese Immersion or Dual Language programs, said John Bruesch, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning. Administrators are asking for a yearlong commitment from families in order to plan staffing and sectioning for the potential program.

Without knowing the number of participating students and the schools they would otherwise attend in-person, the district can’t determine if additional teachers are needed or if the program could be run by reassigning existing teachers.

“It really depends on where they’re coming from, what building, and we don’t know that until people actually choose to opt in,” Harris said. “Then we can really solidify the numbers.”

School board member Gavin Newman expressed concerns the program could lead to “rampant cheating.” “I’ve heard in a lot of (Advanced Placement) classes at the high school, (for) the kids that are there, it’s just not a level playing field,” he said.

Read more here.

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A wave of incumbents will return to school boards across the suburbs, alongside some newcomers, amid ongoing criticism over how school leaders have handled pandemic learning and the gradual resumption of in-person classes — an issue that sparked some of the most contentious elections in recent memory.

Emotions ran high this election season due to the pandemic affecting communities across the suburbs differently, as local school boards struggled to keep pace with evolving health guidance while facing criticism from parents and teachers alike.

In District 220, where 11 candidates were vying for four board seats, two of the winners — newcomer Erin Chan Ding and incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford — were endorsed by the Barrington Education Association. But union-backed candidates Lauren Berkowitz Klauer and Thomas J. Mitoraj lost.

Instead, voters picked Katie Karam and Steve Wang — endorsed by the GOP-backed ACTION PAC, or the Advancing Change Together in Our Neighborhood political action committee. They, along with fellow slate member Malgorzata McGonigal, criticized the school board for staying in remote learning last fall.

“It was more emotionally intense than any election that I remember for Barrington 220,” said Chan Ding, of South Barrington. “When to reopen schools, the approach that we should take, and the national partisan nature of that debate also filtered into our local school board election. There was an anti-teachers union sentiment that we have never seen this intensely before.”

Chan Ding said that by electing two candidates each from opposing camps, voters have signaled their desire to have a wide range of viewpoints and ideologies represented on the board. “We know that our approaches are different and at the same time we know that our goals are similar,” she said.

The divisiveness seen in this election has been long prevalent in the community, said Wang, of Barrington.

“The goal is to make sure that we provide the best possible environment for our children and to make sure that our community heals from all of this divisiveness over the last several years,” he said.

Read more here.

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220 Board 2019

Members of the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education Barry Altshuler, from left, Mike Shackleton, Sandra Ficke-Bradford, President Penny Kazmier, Superintendent Brian Harris, Angela Wilcox, Gavin Newman and Leah Collister-Lazzari are pictured July 30, 2019. Shackleton, Ficke-Bradford, Kazmier and Newman were up for reelection in 2021. Kazmier and Newman did not run. Ficke-Braford unofficially retained her seat in the April 6, 2021 election while Shackleton did not. (Steve Sadin / Pioneer Press)

One incumbent and three others who would be new to the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education are emerging as top vote-getters in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results from the Cook, Lake and Kane county clerks’ offices.

The district, with its headquarters in Barrington, serves surrounding towns that are in part or all of each county. Also, a small portion of the district is in McHenry County but unofficial results do not include any totals from McHenry because of what the clerk’s office there called “some anomalies in [Tuesday’s] unofficial election results.”

The top four vote-getters include incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford, the current board vice president, with about 12% of the combined Lake and Cook county vote, and newcomers Erin Chan Ding, with about 13%, and Katie Karam and Steve Wang, both with about 12% of the vote, according to unofficial results from each county clerk’s office.

The race had been rancorous, with charges by the League of Women Voters and others of strong partisan involvement in what some expected to be a non-partisan race, and complaints by some parents and candidates over what they saw as unseemly endorsements from the Barrington Education Association teachers union. The union endorsed Ficke-Bradford, Chan Ding, Klauer, and Thomas Mitoraj.

Ficke-Bradford said she wasn’t sure if the BEA endorsement hurt or helped. Chan Ding said she thought the endorsement had little effect overall, but she found it personally affirming that the teachers group saw her as someone with whom they could work.

Read more of the Barrington Courier-Review report on the 220 election here.

Editorial note:  So far, the Daily Herald, Barrington Courier-Review/Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times or the Northwest Herald have not commented on what Alex Strobl shared with this and other publications last weekend.

Additionally, forty-five minutes of Tuesday evening’s Board of Education meeting were devoted to the topic (See “District 220 Board discusses Strobl documents”), so we’re really looking forward to their reports (though we’re not holding our breath).

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“In his Superintendent report Dr. Harris also shared that for the first time ever Barrington High School will be celebrating homecoming in April! The activities will kick off on Friday, April 16 at 4:30pm with the freshman football game, followed by the varsity game at 7:30pm.

The Broncos will take on the Hoffman Estates Hawks. Homecoming Ambassadors will be announced at half-time during the varsity game. On Saturday, April 17 at 7:00pm the senior girls will take on the junior girls during the annual Filly football game.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will not be the annual homecoming parade down Main Street. In addition, at this point in time the varsity game on Friday night will have very limited access to the general public. All student participants (athletes, homecoming court, cheerleaders, dance, and band members) can receive up to four guest tickets.  A survey was sent to high school seniors and juniors earlier this week in order to gauge interest in attending the game. BHS will be sending out additional details to interested students about tickets and entry procedures.”

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Though results are not yet final, the 220 teachers union was only successful in getting two of four candidates (Erin Chan Ding and incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford) elected to the District 220 Board of Education.

Voters throughout the Northwest suburbs sent educators a message Tuesday — for the most part endorsing the gradual reopening approach most districts have taken in response to the pandemic.

In school district after school district, candidates who put a priority on listening to the health experts were elected, apparently often with the help of teachers unions.

This was the case in Glenbard High School District 87, Stevenson High School District 125, Palatine-Schaumburg Townships District 211 and Northwest Suburban High School District 214.

But there were exceptions: In Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 and Barrington Unit District 220, voters split their choices between measured reopening candidates and those who were strongly critical of the remote learning environment.

Voter concerns about the impact of the pandemic on local students did not turn out many incumbents.

Out of 34 incumbents in contested races on school board ballots throughout the Northwest suburbs, only three appeared to have been defeated, according to unofficial tallies — Janice Krinsky in Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, Michael Shackleton in Barrington Unit District 220, and Aurora Austriaco in Maine Township High School District 207.

Unions openly backed candidates in Glenview Elementary District 34, Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59, Glenbard High School District 87, Palatine-Schaumburg Townships High School District 211, Northwest Suburban High School District 214, and Glenbrook High Schools District 225, among others.

Those union candidates were successful virtually everywhere. The lone exception was in District 220 where union-backed candidates Lauren Berkowitz Klauer and Thomas J. Mitoraj lost.

Read more here.

Related:Here’s a SHOCKER! District 220 “TEACHERS UNION endorses 4 candidates of the 11 running for a seat on the Barrington School District 220 board.” Follow the money…

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220 4.6

The District 220 Board of Education spent the last forty-five minutes of their regular meeting last night discussing the information shared by Alex Strobl (See, “So you wanna run for Barrington CUSD 220 Board?” and “220 Gate, part two?”) on this and other websites.

To view the YouTube recording, click here.

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220 r

Upper from left, William Betz, Sandra Ficke-Bradford, Erin Chan Ding, Katie Karam, Lauren Berkowitz Klauer, and lower from left, Jonathan “Juan” Matta, Malgorzata McGonigal, Michael Shackleton, Steve Wang, Robert Windon are candidates for the Barrington Unit District 220 school board in the 2021 election. Not pictured is candidate Thomas J. Mitoraj

Returns from outside the Cook County portion of Barrington Area Unit District 220 show newcomers leading veterans in the race for the school board’s four open seats. Leading vote-getters also included candidates backed by the Action PAC and Barrington Township Republicans, early returns show.

Cook County voters put newcomer Erin Chan Ding in the lead late Tuesday.

Ding is followed by fellow newcomer Katie Karam with 1,966 votes. Running third is newcomer Steve Wang with 1,953 votes. Both Wang and Karam were endorsed by Action PAC and the Barrington Township Republicans.

Current board vice-president Sandra Ficke-Bradford, who is backed by the teachers union is running fourth with 1,817 votes, early returns show.

In fifth place with 1,810 votes is Malgorzata McGonigal, a third candidate endorsed by the PAC and the Republican organization.

All three of the Action PAC candidates criticized the board for maintaining remote learning last fall.

Read more here.

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220 Green

We received file last night that appears to be a continuation of a recent post (seeSo you wanna run for Barrington CUSD 220 Board?”).  The PDF file can be viewed and downloaded here.

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With so many candidates running for various offices, we’d like to remind readers of the candidates The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses:


If you haven’t already, Please Vote tomorrow! 

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