Archive for the ‘Video Recordings’ Category

The District 220 Board met last week, and we are here to report that the wheels are coming off the Ficke-Bradford, Collister-Lazzari, Altshuler and Chan Ding, Covid “Fear Mongering Foursome” cart.

If you didn’t attend or watch the meeting(video can be viewed here), it was primarily centered on discussions on Covid Protocols for the upcoming school year. Discussions that D220 parents have anxiously been awaiting so they can decide whether they will leave their kids in the tax funded District or pull them in favor of private, charter or home schooling.

Following are our takeaways from the meeting. We are focusing on the discussions surrounding the masking of your K-5 students, as a majority of the Board gave direction to the Superintendent to come up with a Mask Optional approach for the 6-12 students.

Most disturbing was Chan Dings’ reasoning behind denying parents of grade school students the right to choose whether their children should wear a mask, citing her own fears for her unvaccinated grade school child and wanting her to have an approved vaccine prior to sending her to school without a mask:

“Those parents with kids like me, who are 11 and under, I have one who is in the process of getting vaccinated, I have one who cannot yet get vaccinated, I would like to eventually vaccinate her, but until she is vaccinated, I’m not comfortable with her not wearing a mask while she’s indoors…”

Wang clarified Chan Ding’s comments, stating your daughter can still wear a mask. Chan Ding responded:

“She can still wear a mask but she’s extra vulnerable if unvaccinated kids are around her…”

Putting aside the fact that Chan Ding promised throughout her campaign that she would be an independent voice (…and we all know how long that lasted the minute she showed obvious collusion with Ficke-Bradford, Altshuler, and Collister-Lazzari within seconds of being sworn into office to destroy the decades old tradition and sided with the 3 of them to vote Wilcox out of any officer position on the board despite her 6 years of dedicated and impeccable service to Collister-Lazzari & Altshuler’s 2 years), last we checked, one is sworn to put aside personal motivations when acting on behalf of a community while serving on a school board. Ignoring the voices of in excess of 500 for ones self-serving interests is reason alone to call for a recall of Chan Ding.

We will have to keep a very close eye on Chan Ding moving forward as it appears she is in deep doo-doo with her campaign supporters. Some communications between Chan Ding and a person named Kyla were shared by Kyla on social media and it is apparent that Chan Ding is in major back pedal mode as a result of her position at the last meeting, assuring Kyla that:

“It has been a huge help to receive emails from people with your perspective, as we were getting crushed by emails from anti-maskers… we still need to know there’s a segment of the community that’s behind us doing responsible things… The anti-maskers are incredibly well-organized… This Wednesday, there will be the opportunity to call in a voicemail or show up in person to show the Board and the media who cover the meeting that the other side is just as passionate (and I hope, more respectful).”

It’s obvious now that Chan Ding is not the independent voice she promised to be. She believes there are sides, and she has taken one. She believes that those who asked her for mask choice are “anti-maskers”. She believes that those who came before her last week to advocate on behalf of their children are disrespectful. And she has also advised Kyla that “volume matters” and to encourage people to email and show up to address the Board on a mask mandate.

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Perhaps most disturbing was the very palpable orchestration by Ficke-Bradford to manipulate the votes of Altshuler, Chan Ding, and Collister-Lazzari, when they failed to be able to closely adhere to what was obviously discussed by the four of them prior to meeting.

The pre-meeting discussions were as much admitted to by Chan Ding and reinforced by her jumping in at the very beginning of the discussion to seek a “compromise”. For those not familiar with the Open Meetings Act (OMA), discussions by board members are to be held in front of the public that they represent. Any discussion outside of the public by more than 3 members is a violation of the OMA. While there are ways around this, we doubt that these members are savvy enough to adhere to them.

So, how else could Chan Ding be seeking a compromise at the beginning of the meeting unless she’d already determined that there were members who weren’t in agreement with her? It seems the “Fear Mongering Foursome” was thrown off when the Board was provided four different options to pursue:

  1. Universal Masking
  2. Non-Vaccinated Masking
  3. Phased Masking, and
  4. Mask Optional

Ficke-Bradford reinforced the coercion of the Fear Mongering Foursome, re-directing the opinions of Altshuler and Collister-Lazzari who clearly desired Non-Vaccinated Masking, repeatedly saying each time after they voiced their opinion: “…it sounds to me like you are leaning towards phased masking…” which Chan Ding was in favor of for K-5 students.

“I’m for non-vaccinated masking for 6 to 12 and for masking for elementary, and then for phased masking for all of them…” Collister-Lazzari repeatedly stated, with Ficke-Bradford re-directing, because they had already lost the 6 to 12 discussions when Chan Ding agreed to Mask Optional for those grades with Karam, Wang and Wilcox. While the crowd did become boisterous on occasion, Collister-Lazzari showed herself to be completely incapable of living in reality:

“I don’t think it’s fair to blame the school board for closing school last year… for having kids be at home… I think there was a pandemic and school was closed all over the world…”

So, the inability to open D220 schools is our fault due to Covid and not the school board that she was a member of and that voted to keep schools closed? Yet the new Superintendent came from a school district that remained open during the spring semester, so it can’t be Covid, can it?

According to Collister-Lazzari, we should be rejoicing those kids are going back to school. But she fails to mention that the decision to do so came amidst a mandate from the Illinois State Board of Education that schools return to in-person learning this fall. I think we all know where Collister-Lazzari’s vote would have been on the issue absent the mandate.

Altshuler “shared his heart…” admitting there were hundreds of emails and he was not capable of responding to all of them, in favor of Mask Optional. We know that any insinuation that there was a vocal pro-mask population out there before the meeting was false when Karam responded to Collister-Lazzari’s claim that people in favor of masking may have stayed home to attend the meeting online (as Collister-Lazzari commanded all critics of her and her band of maskers should) sharing that the BOE members had received only seven (7) communications advocating for masks compared to the countless ones requesting the BOE to make masks optional.

Altshuler, further sharing his heart, stated

“… if we say no masking, or mask optional, then I feel like we are prejudiced against the people who want to mask…”

What?! Offering a choice is a sign of prejudice? When questioned by the crowd that it was clearly not prejudicial since people would have the option, pointing out that Altshuler himself was wearing a mask at his own discretion, he responded:

“I have a mask on because I’m not feeling well and I don’t want to get everyone else sick. I’m trying to be a good citizen…”

Yet we know this ‘good citizen’ was not wearing a mask before the public meeting, having seen him walking around inside the building prior to the meeting without one. Rumor has it he didn’t have one on in closed session either.

Perhaps Altshuler was suddenly overcome with sickness when he saw that hundreds of parents and children of D220 had shown up to speak their voice on allowing mask choice to the students of D220? Whatever the cause, we know from Alshuler’s public comments during meetings and on his social media pages that he admonished people to “Stay home if unwell” and “Stay home when we are not feeling well,” so the ‘good citizen’ doc should have followed his own advice and removed himself from the meeting as soon as he was not feeling well. (See Facebook posts of Barry Altshuler – 220 School Board on January 9 and March 5, 2021).

After all, what was the point of his presence when there was no formal vote on the agenda and everyone on the Board seemed to already know that he is in favor of keeping the District, possibly the world, in masks? At one point in discussing a future meeting on the subject, the new Superintendent leaned over to Altshuler and said to him:

“Well let’s be honest, your vote is not going to change… your vote is not going to change to vote unmasked…” and our resident pediatrician responded, “I cannot get to unmasking…”

So, finally some honesty from the ‘good citizen’.

It appears that Ficke-Bradford has lost more than just control of the room (has anyone ever banged a gavel more), she has also lost control of the Fear Mongering Foursome, despite her constant attempts to re-phrase their opinions and to direct their ‘votes’ … “it sounds to me like you are leaning towards…”

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220From District 220:

“At the July 13 Board of Education meeting, the Board discussed COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 school year. Barrington 220 will implement a full five day/week return to in-person learning for all students. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently adopted the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidance for schools as it relates to mask requirements and social distancing. Key takeaways include:

  • Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated.
  • At least 3 feet of physical distance is recommended between students within classrooms, but not if this would be a barrier to in-person learning.

With these recommendations in mind, D220 administrators presented the Board with four options regarding masks for the 2021-22 school year. Those options included:

  • Universal masking for all students and staff
  • Masking for non-vaccinated students and staff
  • Phased masking
  • Masks optional for all students and staff

While it is recommended by the CDC and IDPH that unvaccinated students wear masks in school, the Board decided that students in grades 6-12 will not be required to do so. In addition, ALL students in grades PK-12 will not be required to wear masks outdoors.

The Board requested that district leaders develop a plan for students and staff that is based on mitigation efforts and public health data. The plan will recommend an approach that phases out masks when students in grades PK-5 are indoors. The Board will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, July 21 to review this plan. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm in the Barrington High School auditorium. Board policy 2:230 requires those speaking during public comment to identify themselves by first and last name and limit comments to three minutes. It is important to note that the district is making decisions based on current public health data and that these decisions are subject to change based on community spread.

Barrington 220 encourages all families to review the recommendations set forth by the CDC and IDPH. The district will continue implementing mitigation measures such as cleaning and disinfecting of school buildings, proper ventilation in all buildings, encouraging people who are sick to stay home, encouraging proper hygiene and maintaining social distance. ”

If you wish to watch last night’s four hour meeting, the video can be found here,

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220 Green

The Barrington District 220 Board of Education will be holding two meetings today.  Both notices were posted to the district website sometime after noon yesterday (those familiar with the Illinois Open Meetings Act take note).

A special meeting of the Board will be held starting at noon at the District Administrative Center, 515 W. Main St.  beginning with closed session.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The Board then meets again at 7 PM at the same location for their second regular monthly meeting. A copy of that agenda can be viewed here. This meeting will be live-streamed on YouTube.

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Alex Stroble (seated at center) seen submitting his public comments to District 220 Board of Education members at Tuesday night’s meeting.

By way of setup, you may recall Alex Strobl, who was introduced to Observer readers during the April Board of Education election. Alex had been a candidate for the BOE but pulled his name from the ballot after some unfortunate interactions with sitting BOE members (Kazmier, Bradford and  Altshuler) attempting to groom candidates for the upcoming election. Strobl spoke out against the hypocrisy of those members in criticizing Suburban Action candidates, Karam, McGonigal and Wang for running in a PAC where sitting member and candidate Bradford was running with an agenda endorsed by the BEA teacher’s union and had been part of a selection committee for candidates, along with Kazmier and Altshuler, that included interviews of candidates Strobl and Ding. Following some public personal attacks on his character and misstatements by those sitting members, Strobl came out with his own public statements explaining the actions of Kazmier, Bradford and Altshuler during the candidate selection process. Thereafter, these three BOE members have on multiple occasions, without notice to Strobl or to the public via the posted agenda, taken the opportunity to discuss Strobl at great length in front of the public during BOE meetings, and without providing Strobl an opportunity to respond or defend himself. Altshuler took another such moment to publicly criticize Strobl following the swearing in of the new BOE on May 4th. This past Tuesday, May 18th, Strobl appeared at the meeting of the District 220 Board of Education, and attempted to read a response into the record. The following was spoken by him during his 3 minute allotted time for public comment:

“Hello my name is Alex Strobl and I am here today in person to respond to the multiple times my name, motives, perspective and character have been discussed, unannounced, in this forum, the last of which was May 4th. I am requesting the exact same time that Barry Altshuler used during the May 4th Board meeting. The nine minutes Barry spent reading his prepared statement was not on the agenda nor was I informed that I would again be discussed. The exactly nine minutes I am requesting mirrors the time Barry was provided but does not include the time that was spent discussing me during the April 6th board meeting; together that would total over thirty minutes. Over thirty minutes our elected school board spent discussing a community member who was not present nor given the opportunity to be present. I am requesting that time be provided now, and only a third of it.

I ask that you hold a vote to allow me the nine minutes requested.”

After this request, the BOE members looked mutely upon Strobl, providing no response to his request, so he proceeded:

“I am requesting that my full response statement be put into the Board notes public comment section. I apologize for speaking quickly, but some of the members of this Board seem to want to silence me. To anyone interested, I will submit the full response in the area papers as well as several Barrington Facebook groups. I am here to again share with our Barrington 220 Community that I stepped forward, sharing my letter, because of the hypocrisy I witnessed during a non-partisan school board election. As I have stated, Barry Altshuler, a board member, put me in touch with a group that acted in a capacity to vet, select and prepare candidates along ideological lines. On that call, was the School Board President at the time (Penny Kazmier) and the School Board Vice President (now President Sandra Bradford). During that meeting Sandra was never asked any questions, was introduced as a Board member, and then at the end of my interview several members stayed on to provide additional help for the group. Sandra was one of those people… here is the Zoom Call photo (holding up a paper). Candidates don’t stay on to help! Again, this was a call that I was directed to by Barry and where Penny was present. Any reasonable person can see what’s going on here and what has transpired. This hypocrisy was my motivation. The rules can’t be different for some. No school board members, which are non-partisan positions, should be a part of such things. It violates the Board’s own Code of Conduct. Barry, to compare this behavior to putting up lawn signs is disingenuous and laughable.

Members of this board have questioned the legality of what some board members have done. They have also questioned my integrity, my intention, my character, my timing, and my ability. And they won’t even give me the same time to respond. All of these things are meant to distract from the unethical behavior they engaged in. For example, much to my surprise during the May 4th meeting, Barry Altshuler decided to use the Board’s platform to distance himself and talk about me without ever letting me know. Barry posited that I must be upset with him. I was never upset. I was disappointed. And I continue to be disappointed. Just at the last meeting the Board disregarded their own written policy that encourages participation of community members in the decision-making process when at that meeting they rushed to fill Board positions which do not reflect the diversity of this community and did this without community input. They held public comment until after those positions.

(Bell rings)

Sounds like my time is up. I want to again thank those who stood up for me, Mike Shackleton, Angel Wilcox and Katie Karam. I’ll be sticking up for myself from hereon out. Do not mention my name again without calling me first.”

Whereupon Strobl provided the remaining script of his comments (see below) to the BOE secretary. Member Wang asked President Bradford if the Board was permitted to give Strobl more time, which she glossed over saying the Board would need to vote on it and that they needed to take the comments of the remaining public first. Two other residents spoke and without entertaining a vote on Member Wang’s request to allow Strobl more time, President Bradford called public comment closed.

Now, Strobl’s written comments submitted to the BOE on May 18:

“I am here to again share with our Barrington 220 Community that I stepped forward, sharing my letter, because of the hypocrisy I witnessed during a non-partisan school board election. Specifically, a Daily Herald article published on March 27th decrying party politics in Barrington’s local elections, when through experience, those pointing the finger were actively engaged in partisan politics, with the power of three board members (to include the president and vice president) and in secret. This hypocrisy was my motivation. The rules can’t be different for some.

As I have stated, Barry Alstshuler, a board member, put me in touch with a group that acted in a capacity to vet, select and prepare candidates along ideological lines. On that call, was the School Board President at the time (Penny Kazmier) and the School Board Vice President (now President Sandra Bradford). Both were there in their board member capacity.

Members of this board have questioned the legality of what some board members have done. They have also questioned my integrity, my intention, my character, my timing, and my ability. All of these arguments are meant to distract from the unethical behavior they engaged in.

I did not want to distract from this core point, namely the unethical and hypocritical behavior. As a result, I did not attend the April 6th meeting. I had made public my experience and felt that was enough. I want this unethical behavior to stop – or at the very least the hypocrisy of it to stop – and for the people of this community to be aware of what is going on in Barrington 220. The April 6th board meeting was an embarrassment. I want everyone to know that I called Penny several times during that meeting and sent her a text at 9:25PM that read “Hi Penny, I’m happy to come down right now and talk to you. This is not right.” I never received a response or a follow up. Everyone who was watching the meeting that night got to see, on full display, some of what I encountered in my interactions. The brazenness and victimization of some of the members was both shocking and sad. That said, in my mind there was a new board elected, people knew what happened, and it was time to move on.

Apparently that sentiment was not shared. And truly, to my surprise, during the May 4th meeting, Barry Altshuler decided to use the Board’s platform to continue to again have an open discussion, but not about the issue at hand, rather about me. It was a thinly veiled attempt to clear himself from any responsibility by shifting focus, and trying to close everything up. This is reprehensible and one of the many glaring hypocrisies of some of the members of the board. The same man who minutes prior lectures others on “no surprises – we have to avoid blindsiding each other” and “you should have come to hear my side – nobody asked me” uses the power of his platform and tax payer time to read a prepared and disparaging character statement about a community member. This was not on the agenda and I was not informed that I would again be discussed by the board. What Barry, Sandra, and Penny did was wrong and people have a right to know what their elected members are doing.

Barry, in the statement you read on May 4th, you questioned how I felt about you. You posited that I must be upset with you. I was never upset. I was disappointed. I was disappointed that the man who took care of my children – who reached out to me to ask me to run – never had the common decency to follow up with me because I was not part of his, or his group’s, agenda. I was disappointed that after my call with Penny – when I got to see behind the curtain – I got to see that all those people who felt their voices didn’t matter – were right. I was disappointed to see the meeting on April 6th and the brazenness of unethical members. I was disappointed that at no time did those three board members reach out to me – except for Penny – and then only to compel me to write a follow-up statement to free her of responsibility from her own actions.

I continue to be disappointed while watching the board meeting on May 4th as the board disregarded their own policy manual which (in section 3:10) states that the board values “participation by students, staff, parents and community members in the decision making process.” Yet at that meeting the four of you rushed to fill board leadership positions which do not reflect the diversity of this community. You did this without community input, holding public comment until after you filled those positions. And then I was further disappointed – but not at all surprised at this point – to watch the positions be filled straight down the 4-3 vote to include removing Angela Wilcox, a respected board member, from her current position without any discussion. Again, no discussion, no community input, just straight down the line.

Finally, I was disappointed that after this power grab Barry felt it was appropriate to use his position and time to once again speak about me – to speak at me – without ever having the common decency to inform me – a community member – that this was going to happen. These are the people that are writing Diversity and Inclusion statements – people who don’t want real diversity or inclusion. These are the people that claim to want the community to come together and then vote a straight line without any discussion that, once again, not only removes an experienced and respected member of the board from her previous position but selects a president who misrepresented her role in all of this.

Sandra has written that she was invited as a candidate to this group meeting. During that meeting, she was never asked any questions, was introduced as a board member and then at the end of my interview and after I was asked all of the ideological questions I previously referenced, several members stayed on to provide additional help. Sandra was one of those people – here is the Zoom call photo. Candidates don’t stay on to help. A call again that I was directed to by Barry and where Penny was present. Any reasonable person can see what’s going on here and what has transpired.

Attack and belittle me all you want. It does not erase what happened or what is going on in this community. Barry Altshuler put me in touch with what he called a “progressive” group that he said would help get me elected. On that call both the President (Penny Kazmier) and Vice President (and now president Sandra Bradford) were present in their board capacity. This was a meeting where a single candidate was being vetted/chosen/selected/prepared along partisan lines. At no time did the board members recuse themselves or distance themselves from what was happening – during or after.

No school board members, which are non-partisan positions, should be a part of such things. It violates your own Code of Conduct (2:80:1 & 2:80:2). It’s at best poor form and at worse an overstepping of power. Barry, to compare this behavior to putting up lawns signs is disingenuous and laughable.

The board members I mentioned – to include Barry – talk about the fact that there was 11 candidates and that I could have run with any other group. But the fact is that at least three of those 11 candidates never had a chance – they just didn’t know it. They were up against your machine and a group of parents forming in response to it. You can see that clearly by who actually got elected. And let’s think through that election. Even if I won, I did not want to lose time with my family and work so that I could show up to meetings where four members would railroad an agenda – like you just did in filling those new positions – and then put me behind a banner so I didn’t even show up on camera like what happened to Katie Karam. I am thankful there are people to fight the good fight on this board but I could see the writing on the wall.

I wanted to work with community members from all walks and all perspectives to try to solve problems for our children and community, not spend four years bearing witness to hard lined agendas. Barry and Sandra talk about unity and seemingly take every action to further divide the community. They didn’t start this polarization but they further stoked it – as evidenced by past actions and now Sandra as president and Angela removed. You seem to have no interest in uniting this community and your actions demonstrate that at every step.

I agree that it is in everyone’s best interest for the board to unify. That said, teams are built on trust not retreats. And the foundation of trust is honesty. It was never about good candidates or diverse perspectives; it was about the right agenda. It is this hypocrisy that I am here to highlight. Community members attacked other current members on this board for working with groups in the community while they were themselves doing it, in secret, and with the power of three members of the board to include the president and vice president.

I own my ignorance. I thought non-paid, non-partisan, board positions would attract a different kind of attention. In talking with people across this community I think many others suffer from that same naiveté. No one should have any misgivings about what’s going on here moving forward.

I want to again thank Mike Shackleton and Angela Wilcox for sticking up for me on April 6th and I want to thank Katie Karam for sticking up for me again on May 4th.

I will be sticking up for myself from here on out.

Do not mention my name again without calling me first. Thank you for your time.”

To watch the portion of the video queued to the comments, click here.

Related:So you wanna run for Barrington CUSD 220 Board?

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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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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.


220 released a video which can be seen here.

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