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Archive for the ‘Board of Education’ Category

Barrington High School will hold a virtual graduation ceremony at month’s end (presumably May?) along with associated activities leading up to it, replacing the usual milestone event held with thousands in attendance at Willow Creek Community Church.

With protocols in place addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, graduation activities will begin Friday with a retooled version of “Decision Day,” according to a school announcement.

Seniors are asked to drive up to the high school at an assigned time with their cars decorated to show their decision on a college, trade school, career, military or other plans after graduation. In past years, seniors celebrated the day with cookies and banners in school.

Members of Barrington High’s Parent Teacher Organization will take photos of the cars, then seniors will receive a graduate yard sign via curbside pickup.

Read more here.

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Barrington School District 220 officials reviewed graduation options for seniors and discussed plans related to millions of dollars in planned construction and renovations, among other topics, during a recent virtual board meeting.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced April 17 that, statewide, public and private school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the year in Illinois. Because of this, SD220 administrators are working on planning a safe way for students and staff to return to the buildings to pick up personal belongings.

The last school day is still scheduled for May 28, Superintendent Brian Harris said. Classes will continue online, and administrators plan to send out a survey in the coming weeks for feedback on how remote learning is going throughout the district.

Barrington High School planned to hold its class of 2020 commencement May 29 at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. But that is not an option anymore, according to Harris. 

Read more here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 is proceeding with an effort to hire an architect and construction manager for $147 million in building projects approved by voters last month.

District 220 board members Tuesday night gave a thumbs-up to administrators to continue working toward finalizing agreements with Chicago-based architecture firm DLR Group and Pepper Construction (of course) in Barrington.

Superintendent Brian Harris said he and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Bein have met with Dennis Bane, national business development leader for K-12 education at DLR, and Lance Tritsch, a Pepper vice president whose specialties include school projects,

Read more here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 intends to spend about $2.6 million on summer building projects. Some of the scheduled work will be new gymnasium flooring for $77,207 at North Barrington Elementary School.

Barrington Area Unit District 220 is expected to spend about $2.6 million this summer on building projects across the system, with the list including construction of a playground, new roofing and parking lot repaving.

Some of the work includes:

  • Roofing repairs for a combined $575,639 at Roslyn Road Elementary School in Barrington, Countryside Elementary School in Barrington and Lines Elementary.
  • Parking lot paving for a combined $638,575 at buildings across District 220.
  • New gymnasium flooring for $77,207 at North Barrington Elementary School.
  • Electrical panel and conduit repairs for $38,720 at Barrington Middle School-Station Campus that became necessary after damage from a water leak.

Read more here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members Tuesday night approved a six-figure flooring project for a grade school as a result of a commitment from the building’s Parent Teacher Organization to pay half the cost.

About $60,000 will be donated by the PTO at Hough Street Elementary School in Barrington toward the flooring project. District 220 will pay the other 50% for the building’s new interior surface.

“The reason we took it on this summer is because the PTO of Hough has offered to pay 50% of the cost of the floor remodel,” Altshuler said during Tuesday’s session, “and as a result we decided it was too good to pass that up, and we have money still in the existing (operations and maintenance) budget that we’re going to use.”

Read more here.

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To comply with social distancing requirements, the Barrington 220 Board of Education is making a few changes to its upcoming Board meetings.

The next regular scheduled meeting will be held at the District Administrative Center on Tuesday, April 7 at 7 PM. The only Board member who will be in attendance is Board President Penny Kazmier, along with Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Harris. Other Board members will participate in the meeting via Zoom video conferencing.

Public comment can be made in one of two ways:

  • Attend the Board meeting to speak in person, while following social distancing guidelines that will be implemented as needed. 
  • Submit your comments via email by sending them to Board President Penny Kazmier at pkazmier@barrington220.org. Please use the subject line “Public Comment”.

As usual, the meeting will be streamed live so the public can view it virtually. If you wish to view the meeting live online, visit: bit.ly/220schoolboardlive

 

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Barrington School District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris, third from right, was among officials to stand with Gov. J.B. Pritzke March 13, 2020 at the Thompson Center in Chicago when the governor announced that all K-12 schools statewide will be closed for a period of time in an effort to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

“This afternoon Governor Pritzker extended the “stay at home” order for all Illinois residents until April 30. 

This means all Barrington 220 school buildings will remain closed to students through at least Thursday, April 30. 

However, school is “open” in the virtual format. During the entire month of April we will continue implementing our Distance Learning Plan (click to see FAQs) on weekdays. The state has deemed these “Remote Learning Days”, which will not have to be made up at the end of the school year.

As we recently communicated, under the Remote Learning Day declaration, students will be held accountable for their assignments. Teachers will grade student work and while students can not fail a class during this time period, if they do not engage, they will receive an incomplete on their report cards. If you have questions, please follow up with your child’s principal. 

During the month of April, Barrington 220 will continue to provide meals to students in need. Meals will be dropped off at students’ homes on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2pm and 5pm. Each Tuesday, two breakfasts and two lunches will be provided per child. Each Thursday, three breakfasts and three lunches will be provided per child. On Thursdays, additional food will also be provided generously from Barrington Children’s Charities. If you wish to add or discontinue drop-off meal service, or have any questions, please contact Yazmin Aceves via email yaceves@barrington220.orgor call (847) 842-3534.

While we miss our students at our schools, we know this is what we have to do to keep everyone safe during this uncertain time. Over the past couple of weeks, the Barrington 220 community has come together in remarkable ways. Whether it’s delivering meals to families in need, or teachers driving through our students’ neighborhoods to spread some cheer, we will continue to work together and navigate this challenge.”

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“Dear Barrington 220 Community,

First and foremost, I want to say thank you. On Tuesday, March 17 registered voters in the Barrington 220 community overwhelmingly passed a $147 million bond referendum, which will greatly impact the future of our schools.

According to preliminary results, the question was approved by voters with 63% yes votes and 37% no votes.

Especially at a time like this, when our nation and our community are facing unprecedented challenges, it is amazing to see the Barrington area stand behind our schools. Together we will get through this pandemic challenge and our community will be stronger than ever before.

This vote is the culmination of a three year community engagement process, which involved collaboration and feedback from parents, students, teachers, administrators, Board of Education members, community members, and architects, about the future of our schools. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, along with your community support at the polls, Barrington 220 will be able to:

  • Significantly enhance safety and security at every school
  • Better prepare our students for a successful future
  • Protect the community’s investment in our school buildings by repairing things like roofs, windows, electrical systems, plumbing systems, heating and air conditioning

We will soon begin working with our architects and engineers to develop detailed project plans and drawings. Construction will likely begin in Spring 2021 and will happen in phases over several years.

Thank you again for your support in making sure Barrington 220 remains a destination school district in the years to come.”

The 220 email can be viewed here.

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We have several concerns with the referendum that the Barrington School Board chose to place on the March 17 ballot, but for the sake of time, we’ll forego listing them all and get down to our primary objection, which happens to be our most timely one.

A few short months ago, District 220 issued the following press release:

“Barrington 220 is proud to announce it has been named one of the 2019 Top Workplaces in the Chicago area by the Chicago Tribune. The list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey administered by research partner, Energage, LLC. The anonymous survey measures several aspects of workplace culture, including alignment, execution, and connection. Click here to see the full list.”

Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of Schools, wrote the following of 220’s top workplace distinction:

“I am very proud of our staff for making Barrington 220 a great place to work. Their dedication and passion are reflected each day in the outstanding education we provide to our students.”

In fact, District 220 is the only school district listed on the Chicago Tribune’s list of Top 150 Workplaces in the Chicago area. We think that’s admirable, but the reality sets in all too quickly for parents, students, teachers, staff and, above all, taxpayers when considering another list.

In the most recent ranking of best high schools in Illinois by U.S. News and World Report, Barrington High School ranked 35th.

Those high schools ahead of Barrington in the Chicago area were: Adlai E Stevenson HS (6), Libertyville HS (10), Hinsdale Central HS (12), John Hersey HS (13), Deerfield HS (14), New Trier Township HS Winnetka 15), Glenbrook North HS (16), Lincoln Park HS (17), Prospect HS (18), Neuqua Valley HS (19), Buffalo Grove HS (20), Glenbard West HS (21), William Fremd HS (22), Vernon Hills HS (23), Glenbrook South HS (24), Lake Forest HS (25), Highland Park HS (26), Evanston Township HS (27), Westinghouse HS (28), Metea Valley HS (29), York Community HS (30), Naperville Central HS (31), Naperville North HS (32) and St. Charles North HS (34).

When considering the two lists we’ve shared, we must ask why District 220’s board and, more specifically, Dr. Brian Harris, can be so pleased with Barrington’s lackluster rank among other high schools.

There was a time when New Trier and Barrington High Schools were the gold standards to be considered when families were relocating to the Chicago area. As one can see, New Trier is still well respected, and we challenge our Board of Education to commit to trying to improve the Barrington High School that we once enjoyed and was so widely envied.

Passing the proposed referendum will not accomplish this. Perhaps when the Board begins such initiatives, we’ll look forward to endorsing them.

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From District 220

“Based on the rapidly evolving situation of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and recommendations from public health officials to limit public gatherings, Barrington 220 is closing all school buildings to students the week of March 16. In addition, all activities and events at the buildings are canceled through spring break.

However, students will be “in school” virtually and we will implement our Distance Learning Plan (click here to see FAQs) on Monday, March 16 through Thursday, March 19. This means students will be learning from home next week and these days will not have to be made up at the end of the school year. As you are aware, Friday, March 20 was a previously scheduled day off for students.

Spring Break will run as scheduled March 20-March 29. As a precautionary measure, next week Barrington 220 will request in a separate communication that families and staff voluntarily complete an online form, if you have plans for international travel over spring break, or during the month of April. Students and staff will be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days from the time they leave an area with widespread or ongoing community spread (CDC Level 3 Travel Health Notice).

We will make sure students bring home all their devices, chargers and any materials they would need to complete assignments TODAY. All K-12 students, including kindergarten students, will use their devices for Distance Learning next week. In the event a student forgets learning materials/devices at school, please contact the school next week.

As required by Board Policy 4:180 Pandemic Preparedness, Barrington 220 has created this Pandemic Preparedness Plan. This document is subject to change, as the situation develops. In addition, I encourage you to visit our Coronavirus web page for the latest information: www.barrington220.org/coronavirus

Thank you in advance for your support as we implement what is best for our students and staff during this unprecedented time. We understand this may cause challenges for some families, however we believe this is in the best interest for our school community at this time. We will consult with our local health officials over spring break to evaluate when it is safe for our students and staff to return to our facilities. If necessary, Barrington 220 is prepared to continue the Distance Learning Plan after spring break. We will continue sending out regular updates as needed.”

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