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Archive for the ‘District 220 referendum’ Category

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

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The District 220 PTO Presidents’ Council is hosting a virtual candidate forum today beginning at 9 AM for candidates running for a seat on the Barrington 220 Board of Education.

There will be four Board seats (a majority) up for election on the April 6, 2021 consolidated election ballot. Board members serve a four-year term.

Incumbents Sandra Ficke-Bradford and Barrington Hills resident Michael Shackleton are running as are candidates William Betz, Erin Chan Ding, Katie Karam, Lauren Berkowitz Klauer, Jonathan Matta, Malgorzata McGonigal, Thomas Mitoraj, Steve Wang, Robert Windon.

The forum is from 9-11 AM. Click here for instructions on participating.

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The District 220 PTO Presidents’ Council will be hosting a virtual candidate forum in order for community members to learn more about the candidates running for a seat on the Barrington 220 Board of Education.

There will be four Board seats (a majority) up for election on the April 6, 2021 consolidated election ballot. Board members serve a four-year term.

The forum will take place on Wednesday, March 3 from 9-11 AM. Click here for more information.

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Born and raised in Barrington (Hills), Katie Karam is a mother-of-three who has devoted her time in recent years to volunteering for the Barrington 220 School District. Leadership roles on the PTO have given her valuable insight into what it takes to keep our district running at the schools level daily. With three children who will be attending three different Barrington schools this year, Katie has a vested interest in the future of our district. That’s why she has stepped up to become one on a crowded list of candidates running for four open seats on Barrington 220’s Board of Education (BOE).

The BOA has big decisions on the horizon with a brand new Superintendent of Schools, lessons to digest from the COVID-19 pandemic and management of the $147 Million voters approved to spend on school improvements, district-wide. Barry Altshuler, Leah Collister-Lazzari and Angela Wilcox will remain in their positions. Board President, Penny Kazmier and Gavin Newman are not seeking reelection. Incumbents, Sandra Ficke-Bradford and Mike Shackleton are among those who will be on the April 6th, 2021 ballot.

“My parents, Marimarie and Frank Konicek, are the best role models I could ask for. They taught by example and raised us with a love of family, community, running, and philanthropy. One of my Dad’s favorite mottos is, “No pain, no gain” and I have applied this to so many aspects of my life.

Katie says she’s running with serious concerns about learning loss and the state of our students’ mental health due to the Barrington 220’s approach to education during COVID-19. She also wants to ensure fiscal discipline and transparency about how district tax dollars are spent, among other goals. Here’s more about Katie’s background and her reasons for running.

Read the full 365 Barringtom profile here.

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Barrington Community Unit School District 220 is looking to get more Barrington High students back in the building for full-time in-person classes.

“We have plenty of space at (Barrington High School),” Superintendent Brian Harris said during a school board meeting. “We’ve had a lot of kids that originally reported they were going to come in person and did not. They have changed their position and have chosen now to be in full remote.”

The district reopened the school for in-person learning Jan. 19, using a hybrid model in which students alternated between attending class in the building and virtually.

However, a recent attendance study shows that, particularly among high school students, there’s a gap between those who said they wanted to attend in person and those who actually show up.

In the study, district officials looked at two days in which different groups of students were expected to be in the schools. Those numbers were then compared to actual attendance.

For early learning and elementary students, the percentage of attendance was near what officials expected — 92% for early learners and 96% for elementary students. In the middle schools, 84% of the students planned for were in the building. But in the high school, the actual attendance was just 68% of what was expected.

Read on here.

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This rendering shows planned work at Grove Avenue Elementary School in Barrington. Click on image to enlarge.

A multiyear upgrade of 12 Barrington Area Unit District 220 buildings is expected to start this summer with construction that will allow three schools to stop using mobile classrooms.

Grove Avenue Elementary School, Barrington Middle School’s Prairie Campus and Barrington Middle School’s Station Campus, all in Barrington, will get additions and various upgrades.

The district hired the architecture firm DLR Group and the construction company Pepper Construction for the multiyear project.

According to preliminary estimates, construction costs would be $17.7 million at the middle school’s Station Campus, which was built in 1966; $13.2 million at Prairie Campus, built in 1992; and $8.6 million at Grove Elementary, built in 1953.

Construction bids for the two middle schools will be presented for approval to the school board Tuesday.

Read more here.

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The Barrington Village Board approved the local school district’s annexation agreement and special use planned development amendment requests, paving the way for an addition to be constructed at Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus.

Barrington School District 220 is looking to make improvements at its schools over the next several years following passage of a $147 million referendum in the March 2020 election. The first project is building an addition and making minor site improvements to the existing Barrington Middle School-Prairie Campus, officials said.

The 13,500 square foot addition will create eight classrooms, six of which will replace existing mobile classrooms, according to village documents. New collaborative learning spaces and restrooms are part of the addition. Site improvements include modifications to the bus access drive and new landscaping, plan documents stated.

District 220 also sought approval to annex the property at 36 E. Dundee Road into Barrington as part of its project. The property is in unincorporated Cook County and had included a single-family home but that’s been demolished. The land is located between parking lots for an early learning center and the middle school, according to village documents.

Read more here.

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Faced with an unexpected surplus after schools shut down last spring, Naperville Unit District 203 plans to repay taxpayers a total of $10 million to help ease the financial burden of the COVID-19 crisis.

The statewide stay-at-home order halted in-person operations from March through the end of the 2019-20 academic year, saving the district money in areas of utilities, transportation, food service and staffing, Chief Financial Officer Michael Frances said.

The reduced expenses resulted in an unplanned budget surplus of about $14 million, he said. The school board this week unanimously approved allocating $10 million of those funds toward providing property owners with a one-time reimbursement.

“I think this is something the board has set as a high priority, looking at just being fiscally responsible with taxpayer dollars,” Vice President Donna Wandke said. “This is something that almost no other school district in the state, or at least the area, has done. It’s really exciting that we have the opportunity to do this.”

Read on here.

Editorial note: District 203 can’t be the only district that saved on utilities, transportation and other costs, so when will CUSD 220 report theirs?  Don’t hold your breath.   

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Several suburban school districts are planning to roll out a saliva-based COVID-19 screening program in hopes of reducing the transmission of the virus among students and staff members. Unlike the tests administered at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the surveillance testing adopted by districts such as Naperville Unit District 203 and Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 is not diagnostic but is used to detect high viral loads for early identification of potential COVID-19 cases. (courtesy of the University of Illinois)

A growing number of suburban school districts are preparing to roll out a COVID-19 saliva screening program aimed at curbing the spread of the virus as students return to in-person learning.

Naperville Unit District 203 is the latest to sign off on the testing, following the lead of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, Glenbard Township High School District 87 and others that have recently approved contracts with Safeguard Surveillance LLC.

The goal is to reduce transmission in schools through early identification of potential COVID-19 cases, particularly those which may be asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic, District 203 Superintendent Dan Bridges said. The voluntary tests will be offered weekly to all staff members and secondary-level students participating in a hybrid learning model, which is on track to start the week of Jan. 25.

District officials hope at least 70% of eligible students and employees will opt in to “help us be ahead of any sort of spread within our schools as we bring more people into our buildings,” Bridges said. “The more participation we have in this, the better.”

The school board on Monday unanimously authorized a maximum $2 million agreement with Safeguard Surveillance to provide testing kits for up to 12 weeks. At an estimated $11 per sample, Bridges said the total cost will likely come in below that amount.

Read more here.

Related:220 won’t consider COVID-19 testing at this time (as opposed to New Trier, thus our response)

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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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