December 22, 2021
At the Dec. 21 Barrington 220 Board of Education meeting, the Board voted on initial criteria that will be used to develop a matrix which will guide the district in reducing mitigation efforts in schools, after Governor Pritzker lifts the universal masking requirement in IL schools. The district is aware of the current trends with COVID-19 and is embarking on this work to be prepared when the time is appropriate for mitigation reduction. The Board of Education asked Dr. Hunt to continue work on defining the criteria further. The criteria include:

  • Building Transmission Levels
  • Vaccination Rates/Immunity Rates
  • Hospitalization Rates
  • Vaccination Ability

You can listen to the full discussion beginning at 1:15:02 in the Board meeting video.

At the meeting it was also noted that last week the CDC published a report that endorses the Test to Stay strategy, which provides an opportunity for students who have been identified as close contacts to test so that they do not have to quarantine. The results are based in large part on data from Lake County, where Test to Stay has been piloted in many school districts including Barrington 220. The report found that infections did not increase when using Test to Stay. That being said, Test to Stay 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. Last week, Dr. Hunt sent this letter to Governor Pritzker and Dr. Ezike of IDPH, advocating for the ability to use Test to Stay for students and staff that are determined as “close contacts” when masking requirements are deemed inconsistent (in and outside of school).
2022 summer school fees to remain flat
At the Dec. 21 Board meeting, the Board approved 2022 summer school fees, which will remain the same as 2021 fees. The 2022 Summer School Program will offer traditional in person summer courses at all levels, in addition to the BOSS (Barrington Online Summer School) Program at the elementary level and IVS (Illinois Virtual School) courses for high school students. More information about summer school, including courses, will be made available in 2022.
Board approves kindergarten enrichment fee for 2022-2023 school year
At the Dec. 21 Board meeting, the Board approved the Kindergarten Enrichment fee for the 2022-23 school year, which will be $3,776. The fee for the current school year is $3,724. The district increases the fee annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Additionally, the district is moving the Kindergarten Dual Language Program from the Early Learning Center beginning with the 2022-23 school year. The program will be relocated respectively to the students’ home schools at Lines, Grove or Roslyn in order to ensure a consistent elementary experience. Currently, the Dual Language Program at the ELC ends at 1:40pm. The result of this transition is students participating in the Dual Language program will have the opportunity to also participate in the Kindergarten Enrichment program from 1:40pm-2:40pm. Students that opt to stay for enrichment will be assessed a proportionate fee of $944. The Kindergarten Enrichment Program allows students to attend class for an entire school day, instead of the standard half day. In addition to lessons in the standard academic areas, the full day includes lunch, recess, enrichment activities and play-based learning.
Board approves construction bids for Hough and Sunny Hill
At the Dec. 21 Board meeting, the Board approved bids for the Build 220 construction projects at Hough Street Elementary and Sunny Hill Elementary. An estimated total of $9,897,218 will be spent at both schools, which includes all construction costs and non-construction items such as safety and security, furniture and technology. Major construction is expected to begin in summer 2022 at both schools and tentatively wrap up in February 2023 at Hough and November 2022 at Sunny Hill.
At the Dec. 21 Board meeting, the Board also approved the sale of $22 million in bonds for upcoming Build 220 projects. This is the third and last sale of bonds for the $147 million referendum, which was approved by voters in March 2020.
Board approves 2021 tax levy
At the Dec. 21 meeting, the Board gave final approval to its share of the local property tax rate for 2021. 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. The district expects to receive a 1.5% tax increase compared to last year, however it is common for school districts to request more than expected in case new construction in the tax base is larger than anticipated. For this reason, Barrington 220 has requested a 2.5% increase to ensure new construction is taxed fairly for all taxpayers. The actual increase will not exceed CPI plus the amount associated with actual new construction. Based upon projections, excluding bond and interest, the total expected tax revenue for 2021 is $132,396,948.
Device study reaffirms Apple iPad is best learning device for D220 students
At the Dec. 21 Board meeting, the Board heard an update from the district's Department of Technology & Innovation, which conducted a six month study to determine the best learning device for Barrington 220 students. The study began last June and focused on four different devices including: apple iPad, Google Chrome devices, Windows devices, and Apple's M1 Macbook Air laptop. The study concludes that the iPad performs better in the vast majority of categories used in Barrington 220 for learning and teaching activities. Further, most other devices studied cost more than the iPad. You can listen to the entire device study presentation beginning at 1:57:40 in the Board meeting video.
In his Superintendent's Report at the Dec. 21 Board meeting, Dr. Robert Hunt shared several district updates:
ISBE seeking feedback on state assessments
The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) is currently seeking feedback from stakeholders, regarding potential improvements to the state assessment system. Barrington 220 will be sending out the survey to stakeholders in January 2022.
Board to discuss strategic planning in January
Dr. Hunt is tentatively scheduled to provide the Board with a report at the January 11 Board meeting regarding themes that have emerged from feedback sessions he conducted with stakeholders this past fall. In addition, representatives from Hazard Young Attea & Associates (HYA), an education consulting firm, will be present at the meeting to provide an overview and seek Board feedback on the district's strategic planning process that is anticipated to begin in February 2022.