March 9, 2021

Dear Barrington 220 Community: 

Today the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) released revised public health guidance for schools. 

The key update in this guidance is that IDPH has revised its recommendation for social distancing in schools, defining it as 3 to 6 feet when students and staff are masked, instead of 6 feet that was previously recommended. This revision will give us the opportunity to welcome back all K-8 hybrid students for five days/week, full-day instruction. All Barrington High School students who are participating in the Hybrid model already have the option to attend school five days a week for an entire school day. This has been possible due to lower in-person student attendance at the high school. All students who selected the Distance Learning model will remain in Distance Learning.

We are currently finalizing operational plans prior to announcing the start date for a return to full in-person instruction at all grade levels for our hybrid students. We will send out a communication later this week to inform you of the date. Your child’s school will send out additional details about the transition. 

A few additional revisions to note in the updated health guidance include: 

  • Universal masking must be ensured regardless of whether schools use social distance of 3 feet or 6 feet. 
  • Capacity limits for in-person learning, including non-academic school hour activities such as lunch, are now determined by the space’s ability to accommodate social distancing, and not a set capacity limit number or percentage. 
  • Bus capacity remains at no more than 50 people per bus.
  • Unvaccinated staff should maintain 6 feet social distance as much as possible because adults remain more susceptible to infection than children. 

This guidance has been updated to be consistent with the CDC’s mitigation strategies to reduce transmission of COVID-19 in schools, therefore Barrington 220 will continue to follow these 5 CDC mitigation strategies: 

  • Consistent and correct use of masks
  • Social distancing to the largest extent possible
  • Hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette
  • Cleaning and disinfection
  • Contact tracing in collaboration with the local health department