Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘His Master’s Voice’ Category

January 6, 2021

Dear Barrington 220 Community: 

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a relaxing and safe winter break. 

As a reminder, this Thursday and Friday (Jan. 7 and Jan. 8) will be Distance Learning days for ALL students. On Monday, Jan. 11 the district will welcome back small groups of special education and at-risk students, while all other students will continue with Distance Learning for the week. 

As we prepare to implement the Hybrid 2.0 plan on Tuesday, Jan. 19 we wanted to remind everyone of some additional key dates: 

  • Wednesday, Jan. 13: Elementary Hybrid 2.0 teacher assignments announced
  • Friday, Jan. 15: NO SCHOOL for all students, as staff prepare for transition from Distance Learning to Hybrid 2.0
  • Tuesday, Jan. 19: Hybrid 2.0 begins for all students

COVID-19 Symptom Screening App

In an effort to promote a safe and healthy environment for students and staff entering our buildings, all schools will continue using the COVID-19 Symptom Screening app. The web app allows families and staff to quickly and easily report current COVID-19 symptoms. A web app is a website that functions like an app, but does not require a download from an App Store. All staff, visitors and students entering school buildings should use this web app each day before arriving at school. To access our COVID-19 Symptom Screening web app, visit health.barrington220.org on any device. To learn more about the web app, please watch the short video by clicking here.

We look forward to welcoming back the students who will be in our buildings for in-person instruction for Hybrid 2.0, as well as continuing to provide the Distance Learning opportunity for those families who have chosen to continue on that path.”

Read Full Post »

Several suburban school districts are planning to roll out a saliva-based COVID-19 screening program in hopes of reducing the transmission of the virus among students and staff members. Unlike the tests administered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the surveillance testing adopted by districts such as Naperville Unit District 203 and Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 is not diagnostic but is used to detect high viral loads for early identification of potential COVID-19 cases. (courtesy of the University of Illinois)

A growing number of suburban school districts are preparing to roll out a COVID-19 saliva screening program aimed at curbing the spread of the virus as students return to in-person learning.

Naperville Unit District 203 is the latest to sign off on the testing, following the lead of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, Glenbard Township High School District 87 and others that have recently approved contracts with Safeguard Surveillance LLC.

The goal is to reduce transmission in schools through early identification of potential COVID-19 cases, particularly those which may be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said. The voluntary tests will be offered weekly to all staff members and secondary-level students participating in a hybrid learning model, which is on track to start the week of Jan. 25.

District officials hope at least 70% of eligible students and employees will opt in to “help us be ahead of any sort of spread within our schools as we bring more people into our buildings,” Bridges said. “The more participation we have in this, the better.”

The school board on Monday unanimously authorized a maximum $2 million agreement with Safeguard Surveillance to provide testing kits for up to 12 weeks. At an estimated $11 per sample, Bridges said the total cost will likely come in below that amount.

Read more here.

Related:220 won’t consider COVID-19 testing at this time (as opposed to New Trier, thus our response)

Read Full Post »

The next scheduled meeting of the 220 Board of Education is January 12, 2021.

A researcher from the University of Illinois Springfield said data shows schools are safe and should be reopened.

Nearly 1.2 million of the state’s 1.9 million students were fully remote as of Dec. 18, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

In Chicago on Monday, the public schools were opened for in-person education, but there were issues with teachers union members worried about their health. Other districts across the state are eying reopening dates with boards considering votes to bring students back for some form of in-person learning.

UIS professor Gary Reinbold said data he reviewed from nearly a dozen different studies indicates in-person education is safe.

Reinbold said data he’s reviewed is clear, this far into the pandemic schools should reopen for in-person instruction, even if a blended model.

It’s a low-risk activity,” Reinbold said. “It’s certainly not a no-risk activity, but when you start thinking about benefits and costs, the benefits are just so high in having children in school and if the risk seems to be quite low it doesn’t seem to be a difficult decision anymore.”

Read more here.

Related: “D220 to offer families choice to participate in Hybrid or Distance Learning starting Jan. 19

Read Full Post »

The Observer takes a look back at another year gone by, as we present the most frequently read news stories and editorials in 2020. Click on any title to read and revisit stories from this past year.

Racism allegations follow as plan to move 25 kids into Barrington Hills home stalls

Although the leader of an organization helping disadvantaged minority youths contends race is a factor in his delayed plan to move into a Barrington Hills home with 25 children of color, village officials say the zoning code is the only issue.

This June 30 article received 11 comments, and 12 Facebook shares.

Time to stop giving 220’s Harris passes

A week ago today hundreds of parents and students in Barrington Area Unit District 220 gathered at a rally in Citizens Park to ask the district to allow in-person schooling to resume. Some spoke while others displayed signs such as, “Open our schools for in-person learning,” or “Face 2 Face learning is essential” (seeI am asking for a choice’: Barrington 220 parents, students rally for in-person learning” and “Hundreds turn out for Barrington rally calling for end to remote learning, restart of student sports”).

No one commented on this September 21 editorial, but a record 86 people shared it on Facebook.

220 won’t consider COVID-19 testing at this time (as opposed to New Trier, thus our response

Wednesday District 220 emailed the following notice to the community:

Over the past couple of weeks, the district has been looking at the possibility of using COVID-19 testing as one additional component of several virus mitigation efforts. At the Dec. 1 Board meeting, the Board decided it would not consider using COVID-19 testing at this time due to high costs and the fact that it would not be a full proof [sic] measure in preventing the spread of the virus.  Click here to watch the Board’s full discussion about COVID-19 testing.

New Trier Township High School District 203 did not hesitate at all when in October they announced, “…they will pay up to $1.3 million to conduct COVID-19 saliva screenings for students and staff.” As a result of their proactive measures, some students are back in classroom today, December 4.

There were 2 comments on this December 2 editorial, and 3 shares on Facebook.

Homicide investigation on Old Sutton Rd just south of Otis Rd, Barrington Hills

Barrington Hills police and firefighter/paramedics from Barrington -Countryside FPD responded about 3:34 a.m. Saturday March 7, 2020 to a report that multiple people were shot at or near a home in the block of 300 Old Sutton Road. Police and firefighter/paramedics received a report that there were multiple gunshot victims. At least two victim were transported to a local hospital. At least one victim was possibly dead at the scene.

We got one comment to this March 7 story, but 35 shares on Facebook.

Fact checking

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.

There were no comments or shares on this July 1 article..

NEW! Solitude Ranch w/Indoor Pool, Event Friendly! $599 per night

Sneak away from the big city for a peaceful stay at ‘Solitude Ranch,’ a vacation rental in Barrington! This ranch is one-of-a-kind, offering 3,567 square feet of space complete with 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, an upscale kitchen, sunken den, wall-to-wall windows, and even an indoor pool!

There were 3 comments made about this March 7 ad, but no shares

Barrington District 220 reverses course, switches to online classes only

Reversing course on its plan to let parents choose between in-person and online classes, Barrington Area Unit School District 220 announced Wednesday that it would offer only remote learning when school opens next month.

There was one Facebook share, and 9 comments to this July 29 article (most of which objected to our choice of graphic used).

Read Full Post »

After the initial rush to file for office last week, the field of candidates for school districts throughout Cook County grew even larger, fueled by widespread debate about how to approach the COVID-19 pandemic.

A whopping 12 candidates filed to run for four open board positions in Barrington Unit District 220, and nine candidates did so for three open spots in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211. Monday was the last day to file nominating papers with the Cook County clerk’s office.

Throughout the fall, District 220 had especially intense conversations regarding when to reopen for in-person learning, with vocal complaints from some parents. “I think there’s certainly been a heightened sense of interest, and that may have supported more people to run,” said Board President Penny Kazmier, who is not running for reelection after 16 years on the board. “My hope is that the people running for office aren’t running on a single issue.”

Here are the candidates running in the major school districts in Cook County.

• Barrington Unit District 220: Incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford and Michael Shackleton and newcomers Lauren Berkowitz Klauer, Erin Chan Ding, William Betz, Alex Michael Strobl, Jonathan Matta, Katie Karam, Thomas J. Mitoraj, Steve Wang, Malgorzata McGonigal and Robert Windon for four open positions.

Read on here.

Read Full Post »

Increased busing is expected to cost $1.9 million under Harris’ “Hybrid 2.0” plan.

Barrington School District 220 school board members gave thumbs up – literally – to the district’s revised hybrid learning plan that was presented by Superintendent Brian Harris at the meeting Tuesday and sets a date for students to have more days of in-person instruction.

Under the “Hybrid 2.0” plan, families can choose to have their students physically in school buildings starting Jan. 19.

In approving it, board members also acknowledged Harris’s estimate of nearly $2.7 million in additional costs to implement the plan, much of that for bus transportation.

The new hybrid plan (SeeD220 to offer families choice to participate in Hybrid or Distance Learning starting Jan. 19) adds more in-person days for all students, who have already been divided into A and B groups. Middle and high school students were in school buildings two days a week under the current hybrid plan, attending either Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday. The new plan adds Wednesday, and each group would alternate attending on that day..

However, under Hybrid 2.0, elementary school students will be in school every day for two-and-a-half hours, either morning or afternoon. Pre-K students would attend daily for two hours, during morning or afternoon sessions, officials explained.

The extra busing needed to take the pre-K and elementary school students back and forth accounts for a substantial portion of the $2.7 million extra cost of the new hybrid program, officials estimate. In fact, the increased busing is expected to cost. $1.9 million – though one board member suggested a large portion of that cost may eventually be reimbursed by the state.

Total additional costs also include $525,000 for 15 additional certified teachers, $70,000 for four more support staffers and $187,000 for technology infrastructure and additional curriculum materials. Harris and other administrators said they are confident they can hire the additional staff needed to implement the new hybrid plan.

Read the Barrington Courier-Review version of the story here.

Read Full Post »

Adepero Oduye is shown in a scene from the R-rated movie “Pariah,” which is included as an option for film class at Barrington High School.

The mother of a senior at Barrington High School complained to the school board about a movie students watched that portrays a sex toy.

School officials said they take the complaint seriously, but emphasized that students always have a choice about what to watch for the film class.

Heather Ewalt lodged her complaint in a voicemail that was played as part of public comment during the Barrington Area Unit District 220 board meeting held via Zoom on Tuesday night.

Ewalt’s comments focused on what she called “reckless incompetence” from Superintendent Brian Harris for keeping students in distance learning. She mentioned the movie’s depiction of a sex toy as an example of Harris’ failed leadership, she told the Daily Herald.

The 2011 R-rated movie “Pariah” is a coming-of-age story of a Black lesbian teenager, a theme that Ewalt said she doesn’t have a problem with. But she objected to some of the film’s scenes, including one in which the main character wears the sex toy (“dildo” was the term used).

“I have an issue with the hyper-sexualization of our children,” she said. “This is high school, it isn’t college. I wouldn’t even want to watch it in college, but I’m conservative.”

Ewalt’s son watched the movie at home because he’s learning remotely, and her three younger children could have caught glimpses of it, she said. “I hope they didn’t,” she said.

Read more here.

Ewalt’s public comments via voicemail can be heard here.

Related:FIRE D220 Superintendent Brian Harris” signs seen in Barrington

Read Full Post »

Barrington Area Unit District 220 has a plan for a return to hybrid learning Jan. 19, citing revised guidance from the Lake County Health Department and the anticipation that the COVID-19 vaccine will be available for educators sometime next month.

The Jan. 19 date accounts for keeping schools closed for a period after winter break, as advised by the health department due to expected travel and gatherings, Superintendent Brian Harris told the school board Tuesday night.

An online petition asking for Harris’ firing and/or resignation has garnered more than 1,700 signatures, including from outside the district. Harris, who is retiring in June, didn’t return a request for comment regarding the petition.

“The board has received and read the petition,” board President Penny Kazmier said Wednesday. “I understand that these COVID times have been very difficult on everyone, but Dr. Harris continues to have the support of the board of education.”

The board spent five evenings in the last two weeks meeting with superintendent candidates and feels “really good” about the interviews, Kazmier said. The new superintendent is expected to be named in early 2021.

Read more of the Daily Herald report here.

Related: “D220 to offer families choice to participate in Hybrid or Distance Learning starting Jan. 19

Read Full Post »

District 220 issued the following release this afternoon:

“At the Dec. 15 Board of Education meeting, Dr. Harris shared that Barrington 220 families will have the choice to participate in a Hybrid mode or Distance Learning beginning Tuesday, January 19. The decision was made after receiving new information from public health officials which indicates that it is safe for students to return to a Hybrid mode if school districts continue to implement the following five CDC mitigation strategies with fidelity: 

  • Consistent and correct use of masks
  • Social distancing to the largest extent possible
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Contact tracing in collaboration with local health department

The date of Tuesday, January 19 was chosen for the following reasons: to allow for mitigation time recommended after winter break due to travel and family gatherings, as well as time for operational transitions related to transportation, food service, and staffing.

Over the past several weeks school principals and district leaders have been working to improve the Hybrid plans at each level. Please read the information below to learn more about each plan.

Elementary Hybrid 2.0

In the elementary Hybrid 2.0 plan students would attend school in-person five days a week, for 2.5 hours each day. Those 2.5 hours would focus on literacy, math and social emotional learning. Students would still be divided into two groups, “Group A” and Group B”. Group A would attend in-person instruction in the mornings and Group B would attend in-person instruction in the afternoons. You can view the schedule in the image below. 

Elementary families who wish to continue with Distance Learning will be placed in full remote classrooms and students will continue following their current learning schedule, which includes synchronous and asynchronous instruction.

All elementary families will be sent a questionnaire tonight asking them to select if their student will participate in Hybrid 2.0 or Distance Learning for the spring semester. In addition, they will be asked to indicate whether or not their student will be using district provided transportation. Please complete this questionnaire by 11:59 pm on Sunday, December 20.

In addition, all elementary principals will be holding virtual meetings this evening to explain more details about the Hybrid and Distance Learning options. If you did not receive information about this meeting, please contact your principal.

Middle and High School Hybrid 2.0

In the middle and high school Hybrid 2.0 plans students would remain in two groups, “Group A” and “Group B”. However, it would include Wednesdays as an additional in-person instruction day. For example, one week Group A would be in person all day Monday-Wednesday, while Group B would be in person all day Thursday-Friday. The following week Group A would be in person Monday-Tuesday and Group B would be in person Wednesday-Friday. Students who choose to continue Distance Learning would continue to follow the schedule they are currently following, as teachers will be providing concurrent (simultaneous) instruction to students who are remote and in person.

*All middle and high school families will receive a communication this week which will show whether they selected Hybrid or Distance Learning back in October. Families who wish to change their selection for January will have to make the change in Infinite Campus. The communication will explain how to do this. A second communication will be sent out after winter break regarding transportation for middle and high school students.

Timeline

220 released a video which can be seen here.

Read Full Post »

A subscriber forwarded this snap taken this morning in Barrington.

Related:Right to Choose for Barrington School District 220

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: