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Archive for the ‘District 220 referendum’ Category

The Barrington CUSD 220 Board of Education meets tonight at 7:00 PM at 215 Eastern Ave. Some of the topics for discussion and/or vote on their agenda include:

  • Consideration to Approve Construction Manager Contract with Pepper Construction Company
  • Consideration to Approve Architect Contract with DLR Group
  • Consideration to Approve Superintendent Search Firm Contract
  • Tentative 2020-21 Budget Discussion

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Those wishing to watch the meeting via YouTube can find the link here.

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The following is from Brian Harris:

“The district leadership team is also holding a virtual town hall on Thursday, August 6 from 6:30pm-8:30pm to answer questions.

During the first half hour of the zoom meeting, I will share details in a presentation. During the remainder of the meeting community members will be able to ask questions and receive answers in real time from myself, principals and several other district administrators.”

Town hall link: https://barrington220.zoom.us/j/86115363666

If you would prefer to phone in to the meeting, dial 312-626-6799, and use Town Hall ID 861 1536 3666 when prompted.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris went into great detail about why distance learning will be used to start the 2020-21 school year, but parents and students voiced their concerns at a meeting Tuesday night.

Like a growing number of suburban school systems, District 220 last week reversed course on its plan to let parents choose between in-person and online classes. Harris said the remote learning will go to at least Oct. 16.

A maximum 50 people were allowed to attend Tuesday night’s meeting in the Barrington Middle School-Station Campus cafeteria. Some parents held signs outside the school entrance showing their displeasure with the decision to start 2020-21 with the distance learning.

District 220 officials said two significant problems emerged as they planned to bring back students last month: the inability to maintain social distancing and meeting staffing needs.

Harris said that while a survey showed 70% of parents wanted their children in school, about 50% of the district’s staff had concerns about returning to work. He said a longtime contract clause states teachers cannot be forced to work in unsafe conditions.

Read more here.

Editorial notes: As many as 1,500 people tuned in to the meeting at times. “Like” verses “Dislike” ratings by audience members were even until 220 turned the feature off.

Finally, text chat comments posted by audience members were frequent and often very critical of 220 until they turned the feature off to silence their critics at around 7:00 as seen below:

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The District 220 Board of Education will holding a very special meeting this evening at 6:30 PM at the Barrington Middle School Station Campus. A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Due to public health guidelines, capacity will be limited to 50 people in the cafeteria at a time. Another 50 people will be able to watch the live stream of the meeting from the Station library. Any additional people will be asked to wait outside the building and will be called in if they signed up for public comment.

Masks are required if you choose to attend the meeting in person.

If you are not able to watch the meeting live, the video will remain on our YouTube channel to watch at any time. 

Related: “District 220 announces school year to start “primarily” via distance learning; some say board caved to teacher’s union

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District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris

After announcing earlier this month that the new school year would start in-person with an option for remote learning, Barrington School District 220 officials revised that Wednesday and said it will now be all virtual.

“As guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education, the Illinois Department of Public Health, county health departments, and other health organizations continue to evolve, we have concluded the ‘Roadmap to Reopening’ as presented at the July 14 Board of Education meeting is not attainable,” Superintendent Brian Harris said in an electronic letter to parents and stakeholders distributed Wednesday.

Following that July 14 meeting, district families were given about 10 days to decide whether their children would attend school in-person – wearing masks – or spend five hours a day doing distance learning when the new academic year starts Aug. 20.

That had been the message Harris delivered at the board meeting as he presented the district’s Roadmap to Reopening plan to board members and nearly 900 viewers who watched the virtual meeting on YouTube. He said then that, “we really want to get all our kids back in a safe environment.”

But in his notification Tuesday, Harris said the only option, for now, is to drop the plan for kids to return to the school buildings.

Read the Chicago Tribune account of what happened here.

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Anticipating a drop in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Barrington School District 220 school board members agreed to trim the district’s budget for next fiscal year by $1 million.

The move, approved at the June 2 board meeting, would put a hold on filling vacant positions and cuts about $300,000 from budgets for supplies for the district’s schools. District officials said the cuts were necessary to prepare for a likely decline in property tax revenue as a result of the stay-at-home order and business shutdown due to the pandemic. 

Specifically, the budget cut puts a hold on six flexible teaching positions the district relies on to deal with larger class sizes. SD220 has also put a hold on filling 12 vacant support staff positions, including teacher’s aides and non-teaching positions, said Superintendent Brian Harris.

Read more here.

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Barrington Community Unit School District 220 will issue approximately $43.7 million in tax-exempt bonds to fund projects approved by voters in March as part of a $147 million referendum, and local investors have an opportunity to purchase them on Tuesday, June 23.

“We are excited to give the Barrington 220 community the opportunity to invest in our district,” Superintendent Brian Harris said in an announcement of the upcoming bond sale. “The bonds will start the first phase of projects, which will enhance the tools and safety measures to better serve our students, teachers and staff for the future.”

Issued through the Illinois Finance Authority, Barrington 220’s bonds carry a “AAA” rating by S&P Global, will have maturities from 2021 to 2039, and will be sold in increments of $5,000.

Multiple firms are serving as underwriters for the offering and will have access to the bonds. Individuals who are interested in purchasing bonds can contact a financial advisor at Baird, (847) 551-8151 or (847) 501-2000; Mesirow Financial, (312) 595-4261; Piper Sandler & Co, (800) 552-0614; Raymond James, (847) 610-5077; Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Incorporated, (800) 659-2168; or UBS Financial Services Inc. (847) 277-2124.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 Superintendent Brian Harris has racked up several achievements in his six years at the job, including a change in student start times and a successful ballot measure to fund $147 million in building improvements.

However, Harris’ time as District 220’s boss is ending. He’s retiring after the 2020-21 academic season.

District 220 board members Tuesday night will begin to discuss how they want to approach finding Harris’ replacement.

Read more here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 received good news about its financial strength this week.

District 220 officials received word the district has maintained its AAA bond rating status from S&P Global Ratings, making it one of just 85 school systems across the country with the designation.

In addition, District 220 is one of only 22 school systems in Illinois with an AAA bond rating.

As an AAA bond-rated school district, Barrington 220 will receive the lowest competitive interest rates when seeking to borrow money through bond financing.

District 220 has achieved an AAA rating for the past 12 years. Superintendent Brian Harris said the rating “is a direct result of the fiscal responsibility and conservative approach used by staff and the board of education.”

Editorial note: Many have a different opinion than that of Dr. Harris.  Much different.

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Dr. Brian Harris

District 220 issued the following release this morning:

At its June 2 meeting, the Board of Education shared that after more than 30 years in public education, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Harris will retire at the end of his contract on June 30, 2021. Dr. Harris has served as the Barrington 220 Superintendent of Schools for the past six years. “Barrington 220 is an exemplary, student-focused district that ‘inspires all learners to achieve excellence’. It has been exciting to lead and live that vision every day,” Dr. Harris said.

The Board plans to discuss the search process for Barrington 220’s new superintendent at its next regularly scheduled meeting on June 16. Dr. Harris said he looks forward to working with the Board during the 2020-21 school year to incorporate a smooth transition. “Dr. Harris will leave big shoes to fill,” said Board President Penny Kazmier. “His leadership and contributions to Barrington 220 are too many to count.”

We’ll have much more on this oh so predictable move when time allows.

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