Archive for the ‘Video Recordings’ Category

ProftYesterday’s commentaries on recent District 220 news on the, “Chicago’s Morning Answer,” program can be found here.

Related:District 220 goes too far (again)

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A controversial book’s inclusion on a middle school summer reading list has fueled outrage among some parents in Barrington Community Unit School District 220.

The graphic novel “Gender Queer” by Maia Kobabe has sparked similar debates at schools across the country, including Downers Grove High School District 99 and Antioch Community High School District 117. Earlier this year, the American Library Association named “Gender Queer” the most challenged book of 2021.

The book has been in the library collection at Barrington High School but is now undergoing a school-level review. That could result in a district-level review by a committee consisting of a parent, an administrator, a teacher and a school library information specialist, officials said Thursday.

Any district-level review and recommendation by the committee to the school board could lead to the book’s being left on the shelf, reclassified, restricted or removed from the collection.

In a letter to the school district community Thursday, Superintendent Robert Hunt said the controversy stems from an email to middle school parents encouraging students to read over the summer. The email included links to two book award lists created by the American Association of Illinois School Library Educators: the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award 2023 and the 2023 Illinois Lincoln Award List.

“Gender Queer,” a memoir about struggling with self-identity and coming out as asexual and nonbinary to family and friends, appears on the Lincoln list.

Hunt’s letter follows a contentious school board meeting Tuesday night at which many parents railed against the book’s inclusion on the summer reading list and in the high school library. One held up a sign with the crossed-out word “PORN” over the phrase “in our schools.”

“This is exactly (how) I would expect a pedophile to behave when approaching a child to normalize sexual behavior, to abuse them,” Nelda Munoz, who has children in fourth and sixth grades, said after reading a passage from the novel. “Stop sexualizing our kids. Stop abusing them.”

Read more here.

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Most of the public comments voiced during Tuesday evening’s District 220 Board of Education meeting centered around inappropriate content contained in district libraries, and in Summer reading recommendations by staff.  Here is one example:

“Good evening, I’m (name), and I have a fourteen and a sixteen year old here in the District, and I recently became aware of books available in my school to my kids, which you have discussed.

They’re titled, ‘This Book Is Gay,’ and ‘Gender Queer.’ My opposition to these books has nothing to do with their LGBTQ content, but of their pornographic nature.  They discuss in detail how two men can pleasure each other, how to give a proper hand job, and a comic book cartoon demonstrating masturbation and oral sex between men.

These books have mature content that is considered R-rated and I consider X-rated, and I would be just as upset if these books with these pornographic images had heterosexual content as well. Perhaps that’s in the school library, I don’t know.

So, children’s brains gave not developed enough psychologically or emotionally to fully interpret this mature or only for adult content. Research has shown that exposure to pornography can impair a child’s developing brain, social interactions, emotional skills as well as impulse control issues up until their mid-twenties.

Our school libraries are not public libraries. Schools are supposed to be safe environments for our kids (exasperated sigh).

This pornographic content has no place in our schools. Our younger than seventeen age kids can’t go see an R-rated movie on their own, nor should they be allowed to check out these books without parental consent.

Why are these books even in our school libraries, because they’re award winning? Well, they’re not age appropriate, and that’s what we need in our schools. And who’s responsible for putting these books into our schools so our kids have access to them?

Speaking at the High School level I would like to see a system in place where parental consent is required to check out books that would be considered R-rated. And this needs to be a simple process for our kids.

We moved to Barrington in 2008 because of its conservative family values and D-220’s reputation of academic excellence. (Recording briefly cuts out) No parent would willingly send their children to school knowing it was not a safe place for them physically, socially or emotionally. Yet, my kids have access to pornography in school.

The sexualization of our children needs to stop. We need to preserve their childhood innocence. Please, (more static).  I’m losing trust in you.”

This person’s comments can be heard here.  All public comments begin here.

The entire meeting can be heard here.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Topics for discussion in their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve the Negotiated Agreement Between the Board of Education and the BSEO (2022-2026)
  • Consideration to Approve Revised BHS Athletic Program Donation Agreements
  • Consideration to Approve District Administrative Center Roof Bid, and
  • Consideration to Approve Appropriating up to $299,752 for Initial 2023 Summer Capital Project Engineering and Architectural Preparation

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street. Some of the topics on their agenda are:

  • Consideration to Approve BMS – Prairie Campus Parking Lot Bid
  • Consideration to Approve Food Service Renewal
  • Consideration to Approve Barrington High School Bids (?), and
  • Consideration to Approve Project Work Order #8 to the Pepper Construction Company Master Agreement for BHS Addition & Renovation in the amount of $34,409,093

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here. The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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220 Board 2021

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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220 Admin

The District 220 Board of Education meets this evening at 7:00 PM at the District Administration Center, 515 W. Main Street.  A copy of the agenda can be viewed here.

The meeting will be livestreamed on the district YouTube channel.

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At the January 31st Board of Education meeting, Beth Jones, the Assistant Superintendent for Student Services and Support, presented the results of a social emotional learning survey conducted by Barrington 220 in collaboration with Hanover Research in September 2021.

The survey was made available to students in grades 6-12, parents, and staff. The survey presents findings in the following areas: physical health, mental health, social emotional learning and current services the district offers.

Click here to view the full presentation. You can listen to the report beginning at 3:35:35 in the meeting video.

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“At the Dec. 7th Board of Education meeting, the Board discussed options moving forward with regards to universal masking in schools, once Governor Pritzker’s mask order is lifted. At its next meeting on Dec. 21, the Board will continue the conversation on the criteria that will be used to develop a matrix which would guide the district in reducing mitigation efforts in schools, such as universal masking. Examples of criteria under consideration might include: student positivity rate, vaccination rate, and/or community spread. Once the criteria have been decided, the district will work with local health officials for additional input.

It is important to note that this matrix will only be used once Governor Pritzker lifts Executive Order 87, which requires universal masking in all IL schools.

The goal of the Board of Education is to keep as many students in school buildings as possible during this school year. Test to Stay, which provides an opportunity for students who have been identified as close contacts to test so that they do not have to quarantine, is currently only available if both the positive case and the close contact were wearing masks. Therefore, if universal masking is lifted, the number of students in quarantine would greatly increase.

Dr. Robert Hunt, Superintendent of Schools, plans to reach out to leaders from other school districts to advocate that Test to Stay be available to students even if both the positive case and the close contact were not universally masked. You can listen to the Board’s entire discussion beginning at 1:26:36 and again at 3:07:22.”

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220 Stakeholders

(About two dozen) parents and other stakeholders of Barrington School District 220 listen Dec. 1, 2021 as Superintendent Robert Hunt speaks during the first of two town hall meetings where he discussed his days in the leadership role so far. The Wednesday meeting was held in the Black Box Theater at Barrington High School in Barrington. (H. Rick Bamman / Pioneer Press)

Robert Hunt marked his first 100 days as superintendent of Barrington School District 220 by holding two town hall meetings where he gave parents and other district stakeholders and overview of his leadership progress – so far.

“Each and every day, I’m excited to be in Barrington,” Hunt said Dec. 1 at the first of the two community meetings. “One, selfishly as a parent; I’m happy to send my kids every single day to the elementary school they go to and be a part of the community. my children are flourishing. Two, I think there’s so much opportunity here. There’s a commitment and genuine care on the community and school district side and if we get to a point that we’re leveraging that, we’re going to continue to do great things.”

About two dozen parents, teachers and residents gathered in the Black Box Theater at Barrington High School for the Wednesday evening meeting to hear a short overview on the new superintendent’s progress in SD220, a K-12 school district with more than 8,100 students, and to ask questions about district challenges, teaching strategies, COVID-19 pandemic protocols and the class action lawsuit the district is included in. A town hall was also scheduled for the next day at a different district school.

The lawsuit, filed in October in Macoupin County, challenges mask mandates and COVID-19 public health safety protocols issued by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Illinois State Board of Education and over 100 state school districts, including SD220.

“I encouraged staff to focus on a personalized approach to educating our kids, supporting them emotionally, socially and academically,” Hunt said.

Hunt was hired in January and started as schools chief as of July 1 after. He had spent nine years as superintendent of Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. In October 2020, Hunt was named “Ohio Superintendent of the Year” by the American Association of School Administrators. His annual base salary at Barrington 220 is $250,000 and his contract runs through June 30, 2025.

Read the full Barrington Courier-Review story here, or watch the forty-minute “Town Hall” meeting here.

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