Recordings have been released from last month’s Board of Trustee’s meeting (12.17.2020), and the Village Attorney’s report contained the following update:

“Just really quickly, the Drury litigation versus the Village discovery is now closed. It’s moving in to motion practice, so we’ll hopefully get some kind of ruling in February, March-ish.”

To listen to the recording of the December 17th BOT meeting, click here.

Related:Things may get very interesting after Thanksgiving…

Here is what you need to know about the coronavirus in Illinois, what you can do to stop it from spreading, and what steps state and local governments have or have not taken in response.

Entire state hits Tier 3 lockdown, masks mandated until June 3

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Jan. 3 continued his mask mandate and social distancing requirements for another 150 days. Masks must be worn indoors as well as outdoors if a six-foot distance cannot be maintained. The orders are possible because he issued 11 disaster declarations as a result of COVID-19.

Illinoisans were all being urged to work from home and limit unnecessary travel starting Nov. 20. Tier 3 mitigations were imposed statewide, including a statewide ban on indoor dining and bars, ban on indoor group recreation and other restrictions on retail, fitness centers, offices and other indoor facilities.

Read an enlightening article from Illinois Policy here.

January 6, 2021

Dear Barrington 220 Community: 

Happy New Year! We hope everyone had a relaxing and safe winter break. 

As a reminder, this Thursday and Friday (Jan. 7 and Jan. 8) will be Distance Learning days for ALL students. On Monday, Jan. 11 the district will welcome back small groups of special education and at-risk students, while all other students will continue with Distance Learning for the week. 

As we prepare to implement the Hybrid 2.0 plan on Tuesday, Jan. 19 we wanted to remind everyone of some additional key dates: 

  • Wednesday, Jan. 13: Elementary Hybrid 2.0 teacher assignments announced
  • Friday, Jan. 15: NO SCHOOL for all students, as staff prepare for transition from Distance Learning to Hybrid 2.0
  • Tuesday, Jan. 19: Hybrid 2.0 begins for all students

COVID-19 Symptom Screening App

In an effort to promote a safe and healthy environment for students and staff entering our buildings, all schools will continue using the COVID-19 Symptom Screening app. The web app allows families and staff to quickly and easily report current COVID-19 symptoms. A web app is a website that functions like an app, but does not require a download from an App Store. All staff, visitors and students entering school buildings should use this web app each day before arriving at school. To access our COVID-19 Symptom Screening web app, visit health.barrington220.org on any device. To learn more about the web app, please watch the short video by clicking here.

We look forward to welcoming back the students who will be in our buildings for in-person instruction for Hybrid 2.0, as well as continuing to provide the Distance Learning opportunity for those families who have chosen to continue on that path.”

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)

One of the Fox River Valley Libraries’ newest collections for 2021 is Student Hotspots. These Wi-Fi hotspots will be checked out to students for an entire semester. The hotspots were purchased with CARES Act funds so students have reliable internet service in their home for remote learning. They are now available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Patrons must have a valid student ID and a Fox River Valley Public Library District library card to check out student hotspots. While the library buildings are closed, students or their parents/guardians can simply show a valid student ID during curbside pickup at the Dundee Library, 555 E. Barrington Ave., East Dundee.

Student hotspot loan periods are:

  • Spring semester: Jan. 1 to May 31
  • Summer semester: June 1 to Aug. 31
  • Fall semester: Sept. 1 to Dec. 31

Only one hotspot per household. Student hotspots do not accrue late fees. Student hotspots are not eligible for home delivery.

If a hotspot is needed for a specific semester, patrons can set the hold activation date for the beginning of that semester when placing the hold.

Hotspots can be accessed in the library’s online catalog at www.frvpld.info.

Speed cameras located near schools and parks in Chicago will begin ticketing drivers for going 6-10 miles per hour over the limit starting in March, officials said Monday.

Beginning January 15, drivers spotted going 6-10 mph over the limit in so-called “Children’s Safety Zones” will receive a warning by mail. This “warning period” lasts until March 1, after which speeding drivers will get a $35 ticket in the mail instead.

Areas which have a speed camera are marked by signs and usually have a limit of around 30 mph, with those found near schools generally enforced from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. while those in park zones are often active from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., 365 days a year.

Cameras use 3D tracking radar to identify any cars traveling faster than the posted speed limit before capturing an image of the vehicle.

Previously, drivers would only receive a ticket for going 10 mph over the limit, while those found going 11 mph or more over the limit will continue receiving a $100 ticket.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot included “enhanced fine enforcement” changing the cameras’ limits as part of a budget which aimed to address the city’s $1.2 billion shortfall.

Read more here.

The next scheduled meeting of the 220 Board of Education is January 12, 2021.

A researcher from the University of Illinois Springfield said data shows schools are safe and should be reopened.

Nearly 1.2 million of the state’s 1.9 million students were fully remote as of Dec. 18, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

In Chicago on Monday, the public schools were opened for in-person education, but there were issues with teachers union members worried about their health. Other districts across the state are eying reopening dates with boards considering votes to bring students back for some form of in-person learning.

UIS professor Gary Reinbold said data he reviewed from nearly a dozen different studies indicates in-person education is safe.

Reinbold said data he’s reviewed is clear, this far into the pandemic schools should reopen for in-person instruction, even if a blended model.

It’s a low-risk activity,” Reinbold said. “It’s certainly not a no-risk activity, but when you start thinking about benefits and costs, the benefits are just so high in having children in school and if the risk seems to be quite low it doesn’t seem to be a difficult decision anymore.”

Read more here.

Related: “D220 to offer families choice to participate in Hybrid or Distance Learning starting Jan. 19

John H. Breseman | Cook County sheriff’s office

A 50-year-old Barrington man was ordered held without bail Sunday while awaiting trial on a first-degree murder charge in the New Year’s Day slaying of his longtime girlfriend.

John H. Breseman is charged with fatally shooting Christina Czuj, 54, during a confrontation in his vehicle while on the ramp from I-90 westbound to Barrington Road in South Barrington.

The Sleepy Hollow woman was found dead in the vehicle at about 1:34 a.m. Friday at Barrington and Palatine roads in Barrington Hills, where police had been called on a report of a shooting. She had suffered gunshot wounds to the back of her head and near her collarbone, authorities said Sunday.

According to state police, a preliminary investigation showed that a man later identified as Breseman placed an emergency call early Friday admitting to shooting his passenger, Czuj. Cook County prosecutors said in court Sunday that Breseman also called his adult son and a former girlfriend after the shooting and made incriminating statements, then later told police “I killed the woman I love.”

A prosecutor said Sunday that Breseman and Czuj dated for about two years, but recent text messages and emails between the two indicated problems in their relationship.

Read more here.

The woman was gunned down about 1:15 a.m. on the ramp from westbound I-90 to Barrington Road, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

A 54-year-old woman was shot to death Jan. 1, 2020, in Palatine.

A 54-year-old woman was fatally shot Friday on an exit ramp on Interstate 90 in northwest suburban Palatine.

The woman was gunned down about 1:15 a.m. on the ramp from westbound I-90 to Barrington Road, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. She was pronounced dead about 15 minutes later.

Read more here.

Related:Sleepy Hollow woman killed in shooting near Barrington Hills,” “Police investigating report of a woman passenger shot dead in a pickup truck on Palatine Rd near Barrington Rd, Inverness

Named for Virgil Gilman, a champion of public access to the Fox River (which crosses the trail), this route follows the right-of-way of two former railroads. (Fox Valley Park District)

There’s something magical about cycling along a car-free path that grows sun-dappled as it wanders into a dense woodland or courses beside a placid river where kingfishers dive. Ironically, these bucolic experiences are tied up with the railroad industry — actually their abandoned tracks.

After car and plane travel took precedence over trains, thousands of miles of rail beds stood weed-choked and disused. But the demise of the railways had an upside: Some of these routes took on a new life as multiuse paths — rail-trails — that encourage safe commuting and exercising, while also protecting natural resources, connecting communities and revitalizing local businesses.

These six rail-trails — all within a few hours of Chicago — provide insights into local history, ecology and geology. But, more important, they are a balm for the soul, wrapping visitors in tranquility, something most of us especially crave nowadays. In addition to cyclists, they welcome runners, walkers, parents with strollers, in some cases, equestrians and, when there’s enough snow and if the trail isn’t cleared, cross-country skiers.

The six trails are:

Read more about these trails in the Chicago Tribune here.

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