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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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District 220 issued to following statement:

“Dear Barrington 220 community,

I appreciate your patience and understanding as we have been navigating Barrington 220’s Roadmap to Reopening for the 2020-21 school year. Thank you to all of the stakeholder groups who have provided the district with feedback and asked questions over the past several weeks. As you can imagine, each family has its own unique situation and there are many factors to consider which not only impact our students and staff, but also the entire Barrington area community.

Over the past couple of months our administrators, teaching staff and support staff have worked together to figure out the best ways to educate our students, given this uncertain reality we all face. Board members have also provided input during Board meetings.

As guidelines from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), 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. Starting the 2020-21 school year in a primarily Distance Learning environment is necessary in order to meet current public health guidelines and keep all students and staff healthy. This is an extremely difficult decision and while I know many families and staff will welcome the change, I realize many others will not.

The Board of Education has scheduled a special meeting to review revisions to Barrington 220’s Roadmap to Reopening and provide further context about the district’s Distance Learning guidelines, which may be adjusted based on further guidance from the agencies listed above.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 pm on Tuesday, August 4 in the BMS-Station cafeteria. Due to public health guidelines, capacity will be limited to 50 people in the room. Masks are required if you choose to attend the meeting in person. Click here if you would like to watch the meeting live on YouTube.

I am confident we will maintain excellent teaching and learning in Barrington 220, while we provide a safe and healthy environment for students and staff. We will continue updating the community as the situation changes.”

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After initially announcing plans to welcome students back to campus when school opens next month, Barrington Area Unit District 220 officials reversed course Wednesday and announced they would offer only remote learning when classes resume.

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.

In a message to the school community announcing the change, Superintendent Brian Harris said officials concluded that the original plan to welcome some students back on campus is not attainable.

“This is an extremely difficult decision and while I know many families and staff will welcome the change, I realize many others will not,” Harris wrote.

The remote learning plan is necessary to meet current public health guidelines and keep all students and staff healthy, he added.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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Audio recordings of Tuesday evenings Board of Trustees meeting have been posted to the Village website. To access the recordings, click here.

Related: Another Roadblock For InZone Project Founder Terrance Wallace, Who Plans To Bring Boys From Violent Neighborhoods To Barrington Hills Mansion

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Terrance Wallace is seen being escorted out of the MacArthur room Tuesday evening during the monthly Board of Trustees meeting.

A youth pastor from Chicago has taken dual-guardianship of several young men from some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods and has allowed them to live in the suburbs where they are offered improved education, discipleship and resources.

Pastor Terrance Wallace, founder of the InZone Projecthelps oversee seven young men living in a suburban home in Wauconda, Illinois, and has brought them into his family in a literal sense. He plans to move over 20 (15 earlier this week) others from the city into a suburban mansion in the affluent Barrington Hills this fall.

Wallace and the family of Angie Mooney, a state education worker, have lived with seven young black men from underserved Chicago communities in Wauconda for over a year. Schools, homes and opportunities are much better in Wauconda compared to the city, Mooney told the Christian Post. 

Plans to bring as many as 25 more boys into the mansion in Barrington Hills, a predominantly white community, this fall has also faced opposition from some community members who argued at a community board meeting this week that “there won’t be oversight” or “protection.” 

“What we’re seeing is a small few who lack the knowledge and experience of having black people in their lives,” Mooney argued. “The education these youth are gaining has created remarkable results in New Zealand and Wauconda. This is what God wanted in Wauconda and will move to Barrington Hills.”

In a Zoom video conference of 193 community members (a recording of which has yet to be made public as promised), 191 responded positively and welcomed InZone’s presence in Barrington Hills, Mooney said. 

Wallace and Mooney discussed their plans to bring the InZone Project to the suburb at the board meeting Tuesday. 

“With what we face as a nation, I think the only way to make America great is to confront our divisions and have conversations with each other,” he said. “We face challenges but I’m strengthened by the Lord to continue to charge forward.”

Read more of The Christian Post story here.

Editorial note: In addition to being a pastor, Wallace’s website states he is a, “motivational speaker, management consultant, innovator, mentor, entrepreneur, change agent and visionary.” 

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Cook County Zoning Board of Appeals members are expected to make a recommendation in September on whether Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District should be allowed to build a new station its leaders say is needed to improve service on the agency’s east side.

The zoning panel Wednesday concluded a two-session public hearing that featured testimony on the proposal, which calls for a 10,000-square-foot station on roughly 5 acres at 1004 S. Hough St. The land sits just outside the borders of Barrington Hills and Barrington in unincorporated Cook County.

The advisory panel is being asked to recommend a special-use permit allowing the station in a residential neighborhood zoned for single-family homes.

Barrington Hills resident Thomas McGrath, whose Hawthorne Road house is on the western border of the site, submitted a petition signed by fellow homeowners opposed to the proposal.

“Believe me, the 50 people who signed the petition who live in the exact location they want to put this fire station do not believe it will increase their happiness or their well-being, so (the district) does not meet that standard of (county) approval,” McGrath said.

Read more here.

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Police chief Joseph Colditz is seen here escorting people out the Village Board meeting Tuesday night.

BARRINGTON HILLS, Ill. (CBS) — A man’s fight to bring boys from violent Chicago neighborhoods to Barrington Hills hit another roadblock Tuesday.

Terrance Wallace, founder of the InZone Project, is trying to buy a large mansion to provide a home for as many as 15 Black and Brown boys.

He has been working on approval from the Village of Barrington Hills since 2018, and he claims he has submitted the proper paperwork.

The topic got contentious during a meeting Tuesday night. Several people spoke on Wallace’s behalf, while others questioned his motives.

Read more from CBS Chicago here.

Editorial note: Last month it was 25 boys, now it’s 15. Also, last month it was reported Wallace owned the home and now he is, “is trying to buy,” it.

 

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“The Village has received multiple requests, concerns and comments regarding InZone and the property occupied by Terrance Wallace.  The Village is in the process of investigating the proposed use and is gathering additional information regarding any such use.  

The Village has retained special counsel, Ancel Glink, to assist with the InZone inquiry as well as pending zoning applications for approval of non-residential uses.  The Village’s counsel has been in contact with Mr. Wallace and is attempting to schedule a meeting to discuss InZone’s proposed uses.  An initial meeting was scheduled with Mr. Wallace to review his proposed use of the property.  However, Mr. Wallace requested that the meeting be cancelled

The Village’s counsel will continue its efforts to meet with Mr. Wallace to obtain additional information to evaluate the proposed use of the property under the applicable local ordinances including but not limited to the building codes, safety codes, and zoning codes.  All properties in the Village must adhere to the Village Code.”

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members plan to interview consultants this week in an effort to decide who should help them find a replacement for Superintendent Brian Harris, who’s retiring after the 2020-21 academic season.

District 220 board members at a meeting Aug. 11 are scheduled to hire a consultant to assist in the search. The school board will hold a special meeting Thursday morning at district headquarters in Barrington — with officials together physically — to interview three candidates narrowed from a larger field.

In the running to help find District 220’s new leader are recently retired Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Mary Dudek, GovHR USA and Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates.

Dudek, who was director of curriculum and instruction for Cary Elementary District 26 when she joined District 220 as the HR head in 2011, retired last month. Northbrook-based GovHR assisted the village of Barrington in the hiring of Village Manager Scott Anderson in 2019 and Fire Chief John Christian last month.

Read more here.

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Sisters Colleen, Meghan, Maureen and Caitie Smithe, from left, say three key words have helped them carry their family-run furniture company into a fourth generation: fresh, young and relevant. They were each only a year apart, at one point covering all four grade levels at Barrington High School. They got on each other’s nerves and learned to talk quickly at the dinner table if they wanted to get a word in.

Chicagoans came to know and appreciate the three Smithe brothers who starred for years in quirky TV commercials touting their family-run furniture company.

Their interactions were zany, their dialogue lighthearted, their catchy jingle — “you dream it, we build it” — recognizable throughout the region. And they represented Walter E. Smithe with a sense of drive and zeal that can only exude from the third-generation stakeholders of what has become a household name.

“They were loved,” said Colleen Smithe, the youngest daughter of Walter Smithe III. “People really did love seeing them on their TVs.”

That’s why when she and her three sisters — Maureen, Meghan and Caitie — were asked a few years ago to transition into the role their father and uncles held for so long, they weren’t immediately receptive.

How, they wondered, would longtime customers respond to four new female faces on their television screens? How could the Itasca-based company break the mold and reach a new audience while still carrying its message into a fourth generation?

Read more here.

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