September 9, 2021
Academic and emotional support for students
At the September 8 Board of Education meeting, the Board heard a presentation from Dr. Melissa Byrne, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, and Beth Jones, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, about the academic and social emotional support students are receiving this school year.
Dr. Byrne presented the district's student data collected from the following national assessments: FastBridge, MAP, PSAT and SAT. Benchmark data from Fall 2021 indicate student achievement is consistent with Pre-COVID levels in reading and math in grades K-8. All Barrington 220 students consistently perform above the national averages on each test. This data will be utilized for student identification and intervention moving forward. The funding Barrington 220 received from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) has allowed the district to put in place additional academic support services for students. Click here to view examples of those additional support services.
The district is continuing to focus on integrating social emotional learning into its academic curriculum and across the broader context of school wide practices, as well as strengthening its collaboration with families and community partners. Through the ESSER funds, Barrington 220 has been able to add additional social workers, mental health consultants, security personnel, nurses and MTSS (Multi-Tiered System of Supports) interventionists across the district. The district also has a Wellness Team that provides support to students in the following areas:

  • Attendance/School Refusal
  • Drug/Alcohol Abuse
  • Eating Disorders
  • Non-Suicidal Self Injury
  • Risk of Harm to Self/Others
  • Hospitalization/Post-Hospitalization/Return to School

If you have concerns regarding any of the above issues, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s school counselor or principal. You can also visit the district's mental health resources webpage for resources. The district is working with Hanover Research to conduct a mental health needs survey, which will help identify common needs in the Barrington 220 community. All parents, students in grades 6-12 and staff members are encouraged to participate. All information will remain confidential.
COVID-19 update from Dr. Hunt
During his Superintendent Report at the Sept. 8 Board meeting, Dr. Hunt shared a couple COVID-19 related updates:

  • First, Dr. Hunt clarified that the district is not using any funds to pay for Shield Testing. The costs for Shield Testing are covered through the Illinois Department of Public Health.

  • Second, the district is currently reviewing the current COVID-19 dashboard in order to make the information more clear to the public. Currently the majority of quarantine cases among students are happening because they have been identified as a close contact to a family member, etc. who tested positive outside of school, rather than a peer in school who tested positive.

At its September 8 meeting, the Board heard an update on the Build 220 construction projects happening across the district. Prairie Middle School, Station Middle School and Grove Avenue Elementary are now in the construction phase. Work was prioritized at these three schools in order to eliminate the mobile classrooms at each school. So far the district has committed $34 million of the $147 million referendum to these three schools. Click the links below to view the progress made during the month of August at each building.

Barrington High School, Roslyn Road Elementary, Countryside Elementary, Sunny Hill Elementary, and Hough Street School are all currently in the Design phase, which is the time needed to review concepts, produce construction documents, and receive authorization from the Board to release for bidding. Barbara Rose Elementary, Arnett C. Lines Elementary, North Barrington Elementary, and the Early Learning Center are scheduled to begin the Design phase in early 2022. You can view the Build 220 presentation beginning at 2:15:57 in the meeting video.
BHS earns national recognition from Apple Inc.
In his Superintendent Report at the Sept. 8 Board meeting, Dr. Hunt shared that Barrington High School has been named an Apple Distinguished School for 2021–2024. BHS previously earned the recognition for 2018-2021. Apple Distinguished Schools are centers of leadership and educational excellence that demonstrate Apple’s vision for learning with technology. Apple Distinguished Schools:

  • Use iPad and Mac products to inspire student creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking.
  • Cultivate environments in which students are excited and curious about learning.
  • Have a clear vision for how their technology-rich environments support learning goals among leaders, faculty, and the extended community. 
  • Innovate in areas of culture, team, capacity, community, finance, and measurement.

There are currently only 532 schools around the world that have been named Apple Distinguished Schools.
Board approves priorities for 21-22 school year
Every fall the Board of Education selects its priorities for the upcoming school year. At its Sept. 8 meeting, Board members approved five priorities for the 2021-22 school year related to the following topics (listed in alphabetical order):

  • Budget
  • Community Relations
  • Equity, Race and Cultural Sensitivity
  • School Safety and Security
  • Student Experience

Board holds public hearing on tentative FY22 budget
At its September 8 meeting, the Board held a public hearing on the proposed FY22 budget. The Board is giving preliminary review to a tentative budget that is balanced for the 25th consecutive year. Approximately 83% of the district's revenue comes from local property taxes. The balance comes from state and federal funding, and other local revenues such as registration fees and donations. The final budget is anticipated to be approved on Sept. 21.
9/11 exhibit at BHS to feature rare images and artifacts
In her President Report at the Sept. 8 meeting, Board President Sandra Ficke-Bradford shared that in honor of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, rare artifacts and
images taken by BHS alumnus and official FDNY Ground Zero photographer Gary Marlon Suson will be on display in the Clair E. Smith Gallery at BHS until early November. The exhibit will feature 100 Images and artifacts along with BOSE audio stories narrating the history behind each display. It is a recreation of Suson's 9/11 Museum Workshop in New York, a two-time winner of Trip Advisor’s prestigious “Top 25 Museums in the USA” Award. The exhibit will be open to the public on the dates below. Tours will take place in half hour increments. More sessions will be added as needed. Space will be limited and all COVID protocols will be followed.

  • Saturday, Sept. 11: 9am-1pm
  • Saturday, Oct. 2: 9am-1pm (prior to Homecoming football game)
  • Saturday, November 6: 9am-1pm
D220 Communications Department wins writing award
In his Superintendent Report at the Sept. 8 Board meeting, Dr. Hunt congratulated Samantha Ptashkin, Barrington 220 Director of Communications, for being selected as a winner in the 2021 Illinois Chapter of the National School Public Relations Association’s annual Communications Contest. Ptashkin received an award in the Writing category for a feature story that was published in Quintessential Barrington in 2020. The article is about the district's new Director of Equity, Race, and Cultural Diversity Initiatives, Nate Rouse. Click here to read the full article.