February 27, 2022

Dear Barrington 220 Community, 

This evening I would like to update you with important information regarding changes announced Friday in recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in addition to changes at the state level. 

The CDC announced that it is relaxing mask guidance for communities where hospitals are not under high strain and which are considered to be low or medium risk. As part of the change, the CDC has dropped its recommendations for universal school masking and will recommend masking only in communities at a high level of risk. Barrington serves students from four counties (Cook, Lake, Kane and McHenry), all of which are currently at a low level of risk according to this new guidance.

In addition, the CDC no longer requires wearing of masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. Therefore effective Tuesday, March 1, Barrington 220 students will no longer be required to wear masks on school transportation. This will give our staff a chance to talk to students on Monday in order to prepare them for this transition. 

Also, on Friday Governor Pritzker lifted the IL school mask mandate based on the CDC guidance shifting from universal masking to a mask optional environment in school districts. 

Please keep in mind that even though the CDC is no longer recommending Barrington 220 students, staff and visitors wear a mask on school transportation or inside school buildings, anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask is welcome to do so. As I have stated in the past, this is an individual choice and we must respect one another’s decisions. 

As we have seen over the past two years, the pandemic is constantly evolving and guidance may change in the future. It is possible that we will have to add mitigations if there are significant increases in transmission rates in our schools. However, these latest changes indicate a positive step forward in this process. We will monitor transmission levels in our schools prior to giving consideration to reducing other mitigations that are currently in place within our buildings. I am excited to move forward and focus on educating our students, especially as we embark on a strategic planning process for the district called Framework 220, which will help define the future vision of our schools.