December 8, 2021
Board discusses universal masking in schools
At the Dec. 7 Board of Education meeting, the Board discussed options moving forward with regards to universal masking in schools, once Governor Pritzker’s mask order is lifted. At its next meeting on Dec. 21, the Board will continue the conversation on the criteria that will be used to develop a matrix which would guide the district in reducing mitigation efforts in schools, such as universal masking. Examples of criteria under consideration might include: student positivity rate, vaccination rate, and/or community spread. Once the criteria have been decided, the district will work with local health officials for additional input.

It is important to note that this matrix will only be used once Governor Pritzker lifts Executive Order 87, which requires universal masking in all IL schools.

The goal of the Board of Education is to keep as many students in school buildings as possible during this school year. Test to Stay, which provides an opportunity for students who have been identified as close contacts to test so that they do not have to quarantine, is currently only available if both the positive case and the close contact were wearing masks. Therefore, if universal masking is lifted, the number of students in quarantine would greatly increase.
Dr. Robert Hunt, Superintendent of Schools, plans to reach out to leaders from other school districts to advocate that Test to Stay be available to students even if both the positive case and the close contact were not universally masked. You can listen to the Board's entire discussion beginning at 1:26:36 and again at 3:07:22 in the video.
BHS construction to begin this spring
At the Dec. 7 Board meeting, the Board heard an update about the design plans at Barrington High School. Out of the $147 million being spent on various Build 220 projects across all schools, $62 million is allocated to projects at BHS.
Dr. Craig Winkelman, Deputy Superintendent, shared a presentation with the Board that details the plans for interior projects, exterior projects and safety and security projects at BHS.
Construction is set to begin this spring, starting with the relocation of the tennis courts, which will expand the parking lot and provide a way for cars to exit the campus without having to go around the entire building to get to Hart Road. Work on relocating the BHS Health Office will also get underway this spring, as part of a larger effort to consolidate all student services (nurses, counselors, psychologists, etc.) into one designated area, rather than spread throughout the building.
The renovation of the student services area will continue this summer. In addition, construction will begin on a new atrium addition to the building, as well as the baseball field and Fields of Dreams complex. You can listen to the entire presentation beginning at 2:22:36 in the video.
Exterior rendering of the new atrium addition
Interior rendering of the new atrium addition
Rendering of the second floor in the new atrium addition
Board approves Countryside and Roslyn roof bid
At the Dec. 7 Board meeting, the Board approved a bid for $1,693,830 for the roofing projects at both Countryside Elementary and Roslyn Road Elementary. This means the Board has now approved a total of $6,718,301 in construction bids for both schools. An estimated total of $13,384,828 will be spent at both schools, which includes all construction costs and non-construction items such as safety and security, furniture and technology. Preliminary construction is underway for both schools and will tentatively wrap up in October 2022 at Roslyn and February 2023 at Countryside. As much work as possible will be done in the summer months in order to minimize disruption.
Board holds public hearing for estimated 2021 tax levy
At its Dec. 7 meeting, the Board held a public hearing for the tentative 2021 tax levy, which determines how much taxpayer money the district will receive in 2022. Barrington 220 collects property taxes from Cook, Kane, Lake, and McHenry Counties, and property taxes account for approximately 84% of the district's annual operating revenues. Each year school districts request a tax levy increase, in order to match the expenditure increases for cost of living increases, service and material increases, and other expenditure increases. If approved, the district expects to receive a 1.5% tax increase compared to last year, however it is requesting a 2.5% increase in the event new construction is larger than expected. Based upon projections, excluding bond and interest, the total expected tax revenue for 2021 is $132,396,948. Final Board action on the tax levy is anticipated at the Dec. 21 meeting. You can listen to the public hearing beginning at 10:43 in the video.
In his Superintendent's Report at the Dec. 7 Board meeting, Dr. Robert Hunt shared several district updates:
ICYMI :Dr. Hunt's "First 100 Days Town Hall"
On Wednesday, Dec. 1 Dr. Hunt hosted his "First 100 Days Town Hall" at Barrington High School. The evening provided community members an opportunity to engage in a dialogue regarding important topics in Barrington 220. Click here to view a recording of the event.
Sunny Hill principal set to retire in June
Dr. Hunt shared that Dr. Cynthia Armendariz-Maxwell, Principal of Sunny Hill Elementary School, will retire in June. Dr. Armendariz-Maxwell has been the principal at Sunny Hill since the 2016-17 school year. She previously worked as Barrington 220's Director of ELL, Grants, and PK-12 Language Programs.
Hough teacher to be featured speaker at educational conference
Dr. Hunt congratulated staff member Katie Muhtaris, who will be a featured speaker at an educational conference next week in Schaumburg. Her session at the Raising Student Achievement Conference is titled, "Meaningful Creativity with Technology Tools". Muhtaris is an iDAL (Instructional Digital Age Learning) Coach at Hough Street Elementary School. An iDAL Coach provides job-embedded and ongoing professional development for teachers, staff and administration.
Board President's Report
In her President's Report at the Dec. 7 Board meeting, Sandra Ficke-Bradford addressed a recent incident in Barrington in which a swastika was found painted on a sidewalk on West Main Street. Ficke-Bradford denounced the incident and reaffirmed the Board's equity statement.
Board approves e-Learning plan, Blended Learning, Competency-Based Learning waivers
At the Dec. 7 Board meeting, the Board approved the district's request to apply for three waivers from the Illinois State Board of Education, the e-Learning waiver, Blended Learning waiver and Competency-Based Learning waiver.

E-Learning: In October 2019 Barrington 220 approved its first e-Learning plan in order to allow students to complete the school day from home on an inclement weather day or other emergency (i.e. power outage). In order to approve this plan, the district had to apply for an e-Learning waiver. This waiver expires every three years, which means it is expiring at the end of this school year and the district has to renew it. 

Blended Learning: During the 2015-16 school year Barrington 220 introduced its Blended Learning Program. Blended learning is when students learn in part through online learning and in part through face-to-face instruction, with the two learning modalities connected. When the program was introduced, the district applied for and received a five year waiver of school code to accommodate its blended learning program. The district is currently in the last school year of the waiver and it needs to apply for another one in order to continue its Blended Learning Program in future years. 

Competency-Based: This waiver affords Barrington 220 the opportunity to develop competency-based opportunities for students. Competency based learning allows students to master skills at their own pace, assessing them on what they've learned, rather than solely how well they perform on tests.