Board of Education announces Hybrid learning model


COVID-19 has brought new challenges for Barrington schools to grapple with. The uncertainty surrounding returning back to school was addressed during the September 15th Board of Education meeting.

Going Back to School


The Board of Education’s Hybrid learning plan relies on five metrics that must be met before proceeding to the next stage of school reopening. The proposed metrics were developed based on the Lake County and Illinois Department of Public Health recommendations.

METRIC 1 averages the weekly cases in all zip codes where students reside (60010, 60110, 60192, 60021). To move to the next stage of reopening, the Hybrid model, the weekly cases must fall in the range of 7-69.

METRIC 2 also draws on the statistics from all surrounding zip codes. To move to the next stage of reopening, the positivity rates – COVID-19 positivity trends in the four zip codes- must fall in the 5%-6.99% range.

METRIC 3 includes the amount of PPE and Sanitation supply needed in stock to move to the next stage of reopening. At the September 15th Board of Education meeting, Dr. Harris said that he was confident about having the appropriate supplies to move to Hybrid learning, “We are in a good position currently on this [metric]”

METRIC 4: This metric relies on the percentage of licensed staff (teachers, social workers, nurses, administrators, psychologists, etc) needed in the building to move onto the next stage of reopening, in this case, 90%.

METRIC 5: Like the fourth metric, non-licensed staff (food service, custodial, security, I.T, bus drivers, etc) need to meet 90% availability to move to phase three.

In order to progress to the next stage of reopening, all metrics must be met. This also means that if the metric fails to adhere to the established guidelines, the district will revert back to the previous stage of reopening. Additionally, for the district to move to the next stage of reopening, the metrics must be met for a minimum of ten days.

Plan for Reopening

September 30th: Student Hybrid Survey Due
October 6th: Board of Education’s Hybrid plan presentation and metrics update
October 19th: “Target” Hybrid start date for all levels

The Board of Education announced the Hybrid schedule for Barrington High School; students will have the chance to resume in-person learning for two days of the school week. Students are assigned to group A or group B based on their last name: group A consists of last names from A-L, and group B is M-Z.

Precautions in Place

Recently, there have been at least two reported cases COVID-19 cases among high school athletes. In a statement to the Board of Education, Dr. Harris explained that cases, like the one described, would be handled in conjunction with the Illinois Department of Public Health, who will initiate contact tracing.

There is currently a 200 limit on the number of students who are able to come into the school at one time. It is currently on an as-needed basis or an invite-only basis. In order to be allowed into the building, students must fill out the self-certification, which can be done by a parent via Infinite Campus. If self-certification was not completed online, then the student can fill out the form in-person and a faculty member will take their temperature. Masks are required and they are to be worn over the nose and the mouth at all times. There are also hand sanitizing stations and desk cleaning stations strategically placed throughout the building. “We also have micro-misters,” Principal McWilliams said. “It is a very fine mist that lands on solid surfaces and kills virus within one minute.”

Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Bein confirmed that schools will be cleaned every night after students and staff have left the building, and deep cleaned on Wednesdays.

“At points of entry students will have to show the self-certification app, they will also be required to wear their IDs as well as a mask.” Principal McWilliams said at the Town Hall meeting on September 29th.

It is also confirmed that there will be a defined traffic flow within the schools with certain hallways only going in one direction to help maintain social distancing. Students will be assigned to one of the many designated eating areas within the school. These efforts are in place to meet social distancing guidelines.

“As we get into the actual lunch periods we have designated several locations in the building as makeshift cafeterias, we are in the process of transitioning those to cafeterias,” Principal McWilliams said.

Current Resources

There are multiple virtual opportunities and resources available to students. Specific classes can come in small groups via request of the teacher and as we shift more into phase three more resources will open. Currently, the in-person wellness center is open via appointment. Some clubs are even allowed to go into the school, like Earth Council, and the theater productions. The ARC and the MRC are also open via a Zoom link found on Barrington High School’s website during certain hours.