Board of Education
An update from Barrington 220: September 2, 2020
Dr. Harris shares back to school update with Board
At its Sept. 1 meeting, Dr. Harris shared an update with the Board of Education about the start of the 2020-21 school year. Dr. Harris focused on the following topics:
Prior to the start of the school year, all teachers engaged in professional development which included training in best practices for online/virtual instruction. Over the past two weeks, the district has offered Parent University sessions which focus on Distance Learning related topics such as Seesaw, Schoology, How to Manage Technology at Home and Navigating the Social Emotional Needs of Students. Click here to view recordings of each session.
The Illinois State Board of Education has granted school districts five additional Professional Development (PD) days during the 20-21 school year for the use of staff planning and training to meet the needs of educating staff in a Distance Learning environment. Barrington 220 plans to use one of those days on Wednesday, Sept. 16 for staff development. This will not be a student attendance day, however students can choose to use the time to work independently to complete asynchronous instructional activities and catch up on homework.
It has been critically important at the beginning of the school year to seek multiple modes to engage students. While virtual instruction has been the primary mode to begin the year, principals have sought many opportunities to bring students on campus following current health and safety protocols. Those opportunities include: in-person learning for special education and at-risk students, elementary "Meet the Teacher", BHS Freshman Orientation, SAT testing at BHS, 6th grade tours of middle school campuses, and various athletic teams have started practices at the middle and high school levels.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING (SEL):
SEL is a critical aspect of students returning to learn for the 2020-21 school year, especially in a Distance Learning format.
At the elementary school level, each day starts with a 10-20 minute daily morning meeting. This general routine time allows the teacher to guide students through the day’s schedule, lessons, activities, materials needed for the day, answer any questions the students may have, and it includes SEL activities and community building.
At the middle school level, Colt Time allows students and staff to connect on guided SEL lessons, along with meeting the personal and academic needs of the students, and it establishes a trusted adult connection for every student.
At the high school level, students began the year meeting with their advisory faculty so they could establish a trusted adult within the building for academic and SEL needs.
In addition, Barrington 220 is using the META app to provide social and emotional support to students in grades K-12. The META app is a free mobile app that connects students directly to their school counselors via voice or video chat during the school day.
Bus routes are currently running for students receiving in-person special education services. Additional routes will be added for in-person support for certain student groups as needed. Transportation for intermittent needs is also underway, such as student testing/assessment. Similar to the spring and summer, the district will run meal routes to deliver food to families in need.
The district is exploring additional opportunities to bring students on to campus during the month of September, following all proper health protocols. In addition, the district has established a committee which is working on metrics which would allow for a gradual return to in-person learning. In the next week, the district plans to begin using a health self-certification web app, which students and staff will be required to complete daily before entering any school building.
VIDEO: First day of school
Board discusses student fees for 2020-21 school year
Public hearing held on tentative FY21 budget
At its Sept. 1 meeting, the Board held a public hearing on the proposed FY21 budget. The Board is giving preliminary review to a tentative budget that is balanced for the 24th consecutive year. In anticipation of how the pandemic may impact projected revenue, the tentative budget reflects about $1,000,000 in expenditure reductions. The final budget is anticipated to be approved on Sept. 15.