Archive for the ‘School Districts’ Category


Just as high school classes are continuing via e-learning, so too are spring sports — well, kind of.

There are no spring state sports tournament series — the Illinois High School Association reluctantly canceled them last week due to the COVID-19 pandemic — but area coaches are still coaching. Instead of face-to-face, they are coaching via Zoom practice sessions, virtual workouts, film work and video meetings to keep athletes engaged and busy.

As a result, many suburban districts have elected to pay coaches their usual stipends, even though a traditional spring season has not transpired. Last month, the state board of education suggested coaches be paid their stipends.

The amount varies between districts, with Barrington High School stipends ranging from about $6,000 to $10,000 per season and $3,000 to $11,000 at Glenbard South, for example, depending on whether the coach is an assistant or a head coach.

Read more here.

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Barrington School District 220 officials reviewed graduation options for seniors and discussed plans related to millions of dollars in planned construction and renovations, among other topics, during a recent virtual board meeting.

Governor J.B. Pritzker announced April 17 that, statewide, public and private school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the year in Illinois. Because of this, SD220 administrators are working on planning a safe way for students and staff to return to the buildings to pick up personal belongings.

The last school day is still scheduled for May 28, Superintendent Brian Harris said. Classes will continue online, and administrators plan to send out a survey in the coming weeks for feedback on how remote learning is going throughout the district.

Barrington High School planned to hold its class of 2020 commencement May 29 at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington. But that is not an option anymore, according to Harris. 

Read more here.

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The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is planning to build a third fire station at 1004 South Hough Street

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) is once again trying to acquire a property to build a third Fire/EMS station in a location that makes no sense whatsoever.

A little over a year ago, BCFPD tried to locate a Fire/EMS Station between the Barrington Middle School, Prairie Campus and the Barrington Early Learning Center on Dundee Road (Rt. 68) just east of Barrington Road. Thankfully that location was rejected after Barrington School District 220 and many residential neighbors spent considerable time and expense convincing Cook County Zoning that the location was completely inappropriate.

Now having been rejected at the Dundee Road location, the BCFPD is trying yet again to locate a Fire/EMS Station in an inappropriate location – 1004 South Hough Street (a map of the location can be viewed here). The property they have under contract is in unincorporated Cook County, zoned R-3, single family residential. The property is completely surrounded by single family homes. What BCFPD is attempting to do is not permitted under the property’s current zoning; in order to build in this residential neighborhood, the BCFPD must obtain a zoning variation from Cook County.

Zoning laws exist to protect all of us from changes like these. Like you, I live in this community because of its respect for peace and quiet, through our zoning laws and our shared respect for those laws.

Along with ALL of my neighbors, I am opposed to locating a fire station directly next to our homes. The 24 hour operations with increased noise, emergency vehicle traffic and 24 hour lighting is absolutely out of place for a residential area.

As taxpayers, we should question the need for adding a third station. Spending taxpayer funds does not seem to be an issue for the BCFPD Trustees. BCFPD says they respond to approximately five calls per day which they currently handle from two locations. That’s between two and three calls a day per station. And they need a third station?

I respect and honor our dedicated first responders, so if they truly need another station, let’s take them at their word. However, in their application to the Cook County Zoning Board, they reference the need for this third station location primarily to enable them to provide coverage for Inverness, South Barrington and Willow Creek Church, plus certain unincorporated areas of Cook County within their coverage area. There are eight Fire Stations within a five mile radius of this proposed location.

There are acres upon acres of vacant land without homes immediately adjacent much closer to BCFPD’s stated primary coverage areas along Barrington Road between Dundee Road and the I-94 tollway. Why would BCFPD choose yet another inappropriate location when there are many, many possible locations south along Barrington road, if needed? Locations that could easily work and would not be disruptive to families who purchased their homes in a residentially zoned area with the expectation they would be able to enjoy a peaceful, residential setting to live and raise their families.


Tom McGrath

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Pritzker’s new executive order will include the following changes, effective May 1:

Face coverings

Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over age 2 who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.

New essential businesses

Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries can reopen as essential businesses. They must follow social distancing requirements and require that employees and customers wear face coverings. Animal grooming services can reopen.

Nonessential retail

Retail stores can reopen to fulfill telephone and online orders through curbside pickup and delivery even if they are not designated as essential businesses.

Essential businesses and manufacturing:

Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.


Educational institutions can establish procedures for pickup of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.

Outdoor recreation

State parks will begin reopening in phases. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and when ensuring social distancing is followed.

Editorial note: Despite owning very expensive boats (See, “Gov. Pritzker’s speedboats among most expensive on Geneva Lake”), JB should know a minimum of three (3) people are required be law to water ski (driver, skier and for safety always a spotter). Apparently he doesn’t want people skiing, or maybe it’s because he can’t…

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 is proceeding with an effort to hire an architect and construction manager for $147 million in building projects approved by voters last month.

District 220 board members Tuesday night gave a thumbs-up to administrators to continue working toward finalizing agreements with Chicago-based architecture firm DLR Group and Pepper Construction (of course) in Barrington.

Superintendent Brian Harris said he and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David Bein have met with Dennis Bane, national business development leader for K-12 education at DLR, and Lance Tritsch, a Pepper vice president whose specialties include school projects,

Read more here.

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Members of Barrington High School Class of 2019

While still holding out hope for in-person graduation ceremonies this summer, Northwest suburban high schools have begun making preparations for virtual commencement exercises.

On Monday, Barrington High School Principal Steve McWilliams said a virtual graduation is an option, in lieu of what was a planned commencement Friday, May 29, at Willow Creek Community Church. But McWilliams said the school is awaiting further guidance from the state about social distancing and crowd-size limitations.

The Saturday, May 16 senior prom is canceled, he said, but a committee of administrators and parents has formed to see if the event can be rescheduled in July or August. If not, he suggested it could be part of next fall’s Homecoming, or even winter break.

“I can’t emphasize this enough: once we know what the expectations are, what the standards are, we are going to do our very best to celebrate you, the senior class,” McWilliams told students in a YouTube video Monday afternoon.

Read more here.

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J.B. Pritzker listens intently in the background as Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot dictates policy in Springfield.

Dr. Brian Harris, Superintendent of 220 schools, issued the following update Friday shortly after J.B. Pritzker announced Illinois public and private schools would closed for the remainder of the school year: 

“Dear Barrington 220 Community,

This afternoon Governor Pritzker canceled in person classes at all Illinois schools for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Given the current public health crisis and the need to put everyone’s health and safety above all else, I’m sure this news does not come as a surprise. However, I share your disappointment, as I know many of you, including myself, were holding out hope that somehow our students and staff would be able return to our school buildings before the end of the year.

I know this announcement brings forth many questions about how to pick up items left in our school buildings, summer school, BHS graduation and other big end of the year events, just to name a few. Please know the district has been working on a plan for all situations. More information will be coming from your school principal on these topics and many others over the next few weeks.”

What we cannot begin to comprehend is why Pritzker chose Friday afternoon to devastate the moral of thousands of students, teachers and parents. 

He makes his daily update addresses each afternoon, so what harm would have come from announcing the news today instead Friday? The answer is none, and that’s inexcusable. 

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