July 14, 2021
Board decides students in grades 6-12 will not be required to wear masks
At the July 13 Board of Education meeting, the Board discussed COVID-19 protocols for the 2021-22 school year. Barrington 220 will implement a full five day/week return to in-person learning for all students. The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) recently adopted the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) guidance for schools as it relates to mask requirements and social distancing. Key takeaways include:

  • Masks should be worn indoors by all individuals (age 2 and older) who are not fully vaccinated. 
  • At least 3 feet of physical distance is recommended between students within classrooms, but not if this would be a barrier to in-person learning.

With these recommendations in mind, D220 administrators presented the Board with four options regarding masks for the 2021-22 school year. Those options included:

  • Universal masking for all students and staff
  • Masking for non-vaccinated students and staff
  • Phased masking
  • Masks optional for all students and staff

While it is recommended by the CDC and IDPH that unvaccinated students wear masks in school, the Board decided that students in grades 6-12 will not be required to do so. In addition, ALL students in grades PK-12 will not be required to wear masks outdoors.

The Board requested that district leaders develop a plan for students and staff that is based on mitigation efforts and public health data. The plan will recommend an approach that phases out masks when students in grades PK-5 are indoors. The Board will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, July 21 to review this plan. The meeting will be held at 6:30pm in the Barrington High School auditorium. Board policy 2:230 requires those speaking during public comment to identify themselves by first and last name and limit comments to three minutes. It is important to note that the district is making decisions based on current public health data and that these decisions are subject to change based on community spread.

Barrington 220 encourages all families to review the recommendations set forth by the CDC and IDPH. The district will continue implementing mitigation measures such as cleaning and disinfecting of school buildings, proper ventilation in all buildings, encouraging people who are sick to stay home, encouraging proper hygiene and maintaining social distance. 
Board holds public hearing regarding ESSER Funds
At the July 13 Board meeting, Dr. David Bein, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services/Chief School Business Official, gave a presentation about how the district plans to utilize funds allocated to the district through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Funds. The federal fund was created to help safely reopen and sustain the safe operation of schools, and address the impact of the pandemic on students. Barrington 220 received $6 million in ESSER III funding, which will be allocated to the following areas:

  • Air Quality/Cleaning: $2.8 million
  • Student Learning: $1.3 million
  • Social Emotional Learning: $1.2 million
  • Curricular: $500,000
  • Summer School: $200,000
D220 seeks community feedback on classroom furniture
At the July 13 meeting, Board member Barry Altshuler shared an update on the district's Build 220 projects. Construction is well underway at both Prairie Middle School and Station Middle School, where new classroom additions are being built to replace the mobile classrooms. In addition, construction on a new front entrance is underway at Grove Avenue Elementary, which will provide a more secure entrance to the building.

In addition to the construction projects, Barrington 220 is seeking feedback on the furniture that will be purchased for any of the new classroom additions or common areas that are part of the Build 220 projects. An array of furniture samples will be on display at Countryside Elementary School July 27- July 29 from noon to 3pm and 4pm-7pm each day. Community members are invited to check out the new furniture and provide feedback.

At the July 13 meeting, the Board also approved a bid to refurbish the boiler at Barrington High School. The total cost of base bid and alternate awarded to a single bidder is $467,000. An estimated total of around $62 million will be spent on Build 220 projects at BHS. Construction projects at BHS are anticipated to span from March 2022 - February 2025.