Dec. 1 Board of Education meeting to be held virtually
November 18, 2020

In his superintendent report at the Nov. 17 Board meeting, Dr. Harris and district leaders shared several updates regarding the 2020-21 school year. First, Dr. Harris reiterated that the district will continue following its established metrics. This means the district will remain in Distance Learning (Step 2) until the data shows it is safe to return to the Hybrid mode. Barrington 220 will continue sending out weekly updates on Monday afternoons to indicate when a return to Hybrid will be possible.  

Dr. Harris also shared that on Friday, November 20 Illinois will enter Tier 3 COVID-19 Resurgence Mitigations. Due to new restrictions that limit gatherings to 10 people, the next regularly scheduled Board meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 1 will be held virtually. It will be live streamed on the Board's YouTube channel. If you wish to make public comment it can be made in one of two ways:

  • Submit your comments via email by sending them to Recording Secretary Jeanine Stark at jstark@barrington220.org. Please use the subject line “Public Comment.” 

  • Between now and 4:00pm on Tuesday, Dec. 1 you can leave a voicemail at 847-842-3576. This will be played during the public comment portion of the Dec. 1 Board meeting.  

Tier 3 mitigation efforts also place additional restrictions on recreational activity. Upon receiving guidance from Governor Pritzker, the Illinois High School Association, and Illinois State Board of Education, Barrington High School will be pausing all winter sports practices starting on Friday, November 20Scheduled practices for Wednesday, November 18 and Thursday, November 19 will take place as scheduled.
Principals working to improve Hybrid plans
During the Board meeting, district leaders shared that all principals have been meeting regularly to identify ways to adjust Hybrid plans so improvements can be implemented when the metrics improve and the district can return to the Hybrid mode. The district will provide more details at the next Board meeting on Dec. 1. In addition, the district is researching the possibility of implementing regular COVID-19 testing for when students can return to in-person learning in the Hybrid mode.
D220 continues to accelerate social emotional supports for students
In an effort to provide more support for students during this difficult time, the district has implemented various social emotional initiatives including:

  • A social media campaign designed to reinforce positive social emotional feelings and learning (#MindfullnessMonday, #Wellness Wednesday and #ForwardThinkingFriday)

  • The META mobile app which is a free app that connects students directly to their school counselors via voice or video chat during the school day.

  • Many students are visiting schools for in-person sessions with social workers, psychologists, and counselors. Students and parents should continue to reach out directly to their school staff to set up appointments. 

  • At-risk students are being invited to work on zoom classes within their school building, in small groups under the supervision of classified staff.

  • Shuttle buses continue to run each day to allow at-risk students to come into the buildings for support as needed.

  • Home visits are taking place for students who are not participating in zoom sessions or responding to phone calls or emails.

  • Individual teachers are practicing mindfulness and other ways to connect with their students.

Community resources can be found here on the Barrington 220 website. This includes a link to the BStrong Together website, which provides a weekly newsletter that includes Tuesday Tips for families, articles for students, and parents. The district reminds parents and students to please reach out to someone at their school whenever additional support is needed.
Board approves equity statement
At its Nov. 17 meeting, the Board approved an equity statement that will support Barrington 220's plans to create a more equitable and inclusive school system. The Board has been working on the statement for the past couple of months in collaboration with Nate Rouse, the district's first ever Director of Equity, Race and Cultural Diversity Initiatives. The statement will be fluid, meaning it will be revisited as the district continues learning and growing as an organization to ensure that it continues to support its vision for equity work.
Board approves estimated 2020 tax levy
At its Nov. 17 meeting, the Board approved the tentative 2020 tax levy, which determines how much taxpayer money the district will receive in 2020. Barrington 220 collects property taxes from Kane, Lake, Cook and McHenry Counties, and property taxes account for more than 80% of the district's annual operating revenues. The district expects to receive an overall 2.5% tax increase compared to last year, however it is common for school districts to request more than expected in case new construction is larger than anticipated. For this reason, Barrington 220 has requested a 4.4% increase to ensure new construction is taxed fairly for all taxpayers. It is important to keep in mind, this does not mean the district will receive a 4.4% increase. The actual increase will only reflect CPI plus new construction. Based upon projections, excluding bond and interest, the total expected tax revenue for 2020 is $129,637,470. The next step in the tax levy approval process is a public hearing set for the Dec. 1 Board meeting. The Board is anticipated to approve the final tax levy on Dec. 15.
Search firm presents New Superintendent Profile to Board
At its Nov. 17 meeting, the Board heard a presentation from School Exec Connect about the community feedback which was used to develop a New Superintendent Profile. The profile will be used by the Board of Education as it searches for the district's next leader. Dr. Harris will be retiring at the end of June, after serving more than 30 years in public education.

Over the past several weeks School Exec Connect conducted several virtual focus groups and collected information through an online questionnaire to gather the community input. Over the next few weeks, School Exec Connect will conduct interviews and reference checks using the New Superintendent Profile and recommend candidates to the Board. The Board will then conduct two rounds of interviews and select a finalist. The new superintendent is expected to be named in early 2021 and will begin work on July 1, 2021.
Department of Tech & Innovation more important than ever during the pandemic
At its Nov. 17 meeting, the Board heard an update from the Department of Technology and Innovation about the district's One to World program, which is now in its seventh year of implementation. The program provided a solid foundation for distance and hybrid learning when school closings were announced with little notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some school districts started distance learning with inconsistent or non-existent resources, D220 had a mature one-to-one program in place. In order to improve the Distance Learning experience in D220, this fall the Department of Technology and Innovation held several Parent Universities sessions. The district looks forward to addressing new parent and student technological needs throughout the rest of the school year.

As a reminder, tech support is available M-F for Barrington 220 students and staff on district devices and systems. In-person support is available in each school’s library, as well as the BHS main entrance from 8am-3:30pm. Students and staff can also call Barrington 220 Tech Support at 224-655-1500 between 7am-4pm.
Throughout the pandemic, the Department of Technology & Innovation has continued to produce its web series Learning NOW in Barrington 220. Each episode highlights how the classroom environment has changed with the addition of a technology device in the hands of every student. Click the link below to view the latest episode, featuring Countryside teacher Marie Juengling.
4 Board of Education seats up for election on April 2021 ballot
There will be four school board seats up for election on the April 6, 2021 consolidated election ballot. School Board members serve a four year term. If you're interested in running for a Board seat, former Barrington 220 Board members will be holding a Q&A session on Wednesday, Nov. 18 from 6:30pm to 8:00pm at the Pavilion at Citizen's Park. Masks and social distancing will be enforced. Interested community members can also check out the Cook County “Info for Candidates” webpage, as well as the Illinois Association of School Boards website.