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Archive for the ‘Video Recordings’ Category

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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The District 220 PTO Presidents’ Council Board of Education candidate forum held March 3rd is available for viewing here.

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At last night’s Board of Education meeting, members heard preliminary design plans for the referendum construction projects at Barrington High School. Of the $147 million which the community approved for the March 2020 referendum, about $62 million is dedicated to the high school. One major outcome of the work at BHS will be improved safety features and enhanced security equipment. This will be accomplished through several projects, some of which include: improved traffic circulation and additional security vestibules at entrances to the building. 

Another major outcome of the work at BHS will be improved educational spaces that will positively impact learning. This will be accomplished through several projects, some of which include: a renovated student services area where students can access services such as deans, counselors and nurses in one location, a culinary arts lab, and new spaces for fitness and wellness. 

BHS is currently in the design phase until approximately October 2021, with construction anticipated to begin in March 2022 and last through February 2025. The Board will continue to discuss the BHS design phase at its next meeting on March 16.

The video can be viewed here.

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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).

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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

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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.

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District 220 released the following via email this morning:

“Over the past several weeks district leaders have been meeting regularly to identify ways to adjust Hybrid plans so improvements can be implemented when the metrics improve and the district can return to the Hybrid mode. Both staff and parent representatives from each school also participated in many of these conversations. At the Dec. 1 Board meeting, principals presented the updated Hybrid plans to Board members, as well as estimated additional costs associated with implementing these plans. The Board will continue the discussion at their Dec. 15 meeting. Please note that a target date to return to Hybrid has not been determined at this time.

The proposed Hybrid changes for each level are as follows:

Elementary Hybrid updates

In the elementary Hybrid 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. Families who wish to continue with Distance Learning would follow their current learning schedule.

Tentative elementary timeline

  • Dec 15: Board discusses costs associated with updated Hybrid plans
  • Dec 16: Elementary principals hold virtual parent meetings to explain updated Hybrid plans
  • Dec 16-22: District sends out parent questionnaire to elementary parents on model preference
  • Jan 8 -15: Elementary principals finalize any classroom assignment changes
  • TBD: One week operational transition for students, parents and staff
  • TBD: Two transition days prior to implementing Hybrid mode

Middle and high school Hybrid updates

In the middle and high school Hybrid plansstudents 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.”

220 also released a “School Year Update” video summary that can be viewed here.

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The following was issued by District 220 this afternoon:

“November 18, 2020

In his superintendent report at the Nov. 17 Board meeting, Dr. Harris and district leaders shared several updates regarding the 2020-21 school year. First, Dr. Harris reiterated that the district will continue following its established metrics. This means the district will remain in Distance Learning (Step 2) until the data shows it is safe to return to the Hybrid mode. Barrington 220 will continue sending out weekly updates on Monday afternoons to indicate when a return to Hybrid will be possible.  

Dr. Harris also shared that on Friday, November 20 Illinois will enter Tier 3 COVID-19 Resurgence MitigationsDue to new restrictions that limit gatherings to 10 people, the next regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1 will be held virtually. It will be live streamed on the Board’s YouTube channel. If you wish to make public comment it can be made in one of two ways:

  • Submit your comments via email by sending them to Recording Secretary Jeanine Stark at jstark@barrington220.org. Please use the subject line “Public Comment.” 
  • Between now and 4:00pm on Tuesday, Dec. 1 you can leave a voicemail at 847-842-3576. This will be played during the public comment portion of the Dec. 1 Board meeting.  

Tier 3 mitigation efforts also place additional restrictions on recreational activity. Upon receiving guidance from Governor Pritzker, the Illinois High School Association, and Illinois State Board of Education, Barrington High School will be pausing all winter sports practices starting on Friday, November 20. Scheduled practices for Wednesday, November 18 and Thursday, November 19 will take place as scheduled.”

Editorial note: After receiving criticism during public comment in their November 4th meeting (seeDistrict 220 board, superintendent certainly got an earful last night), it seams the 220 Board of Educations response last night was to turn off the public comment microphone. Click here to see how the speaker’s comments can barely be heard (if at all from our perspective).

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Released this afternoon from 220:

“At its Nov. 4 meeting, the Board of Education discussed several key issues regarding the future of the 20-21 school year and agreed to extend the adaptive pause of the Hybrid mode until Monday, Nov. 16. 

The Board has scheduled a special meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 11 for the purpose of having a closed session to discuss employment matters, collective negotiating matters and litigation matters. The district will provide further communication no later than Thursday, Nov. 12 about the Hybrid status moving forward. 

The 20-21 school year discussion also focused on key issues such as:

  • Exposure and liability: The Board and district leaders will be having more conversations next week to explore options of how Barrington 220 can implement a Hybrid plan moving forward, with consideration of exposure and liability as the virus spreads in the community.

  • Re-opening Metrics Adjustment: The Board may consider adjusting the metrics in the future in order to make in-person instruction feasible.

  • Academic Calendar Adjustment: The Board is not considering adjusting the 20-21 academic calendar at this time.

  • Budget Expectations: The Board will consider spending beyond the FY21 budget in order to safely allow students back into school.

To view the entire discussion, watch this video from 1:21:34 thru 3:58:54”

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“The district is at a critical point when decisions must be made about how to move forward with the 20-21 school year, given the information available. This will be the focus of discussion at the Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 4. Click here to view the agenda for the meeting.

The Board meeting will begin at 7pm at BMS-Station Campus. Due to public health guidelines, capacity will be limited to 50 people in the room, however anyone who wishes to sign up for public comment may do so. If capacity is reached, you will be asked to wait in an overflow room and then be called in for public comment. Following district protocol, all visitors must wear masks and will be required to complete an on site COVID-19 symptom screening prior to entering the building.

As a reminder, you can view the live stream of all Board of Education meetings by visiting the Board’s YouTube channel.”

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