Barrington District 220 says Oct. 26 is reopening target date

  • Barrington Area Unit District 220 has a four-phase plan based on five metrics for reopening schools. The district is currently in Phase 2.

    Barrington Area Unit District 220 has a four-phase plan based on five metrics for reopening schools. The district is currently in Phase 2. Courtesy Barrington Area Unit District 220

  • Parents and students in Barrington Area Unit District 220 hold a "back-to-school" rally at Citizens Park in Barrington Monday evening.

      Parents and students in Barrington Area Unit District 220 hold a "back-to-school" rally at Citizens Park in Barrington Monday evening. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 9/16/2020 5:35 PM

Barrington Area Unit District 220 has devised a plan for the next phase of reopening schools -- still allowing virtual learning for those who want it -- with an Oct. 26 target date based on current metrics.

Superintendent Brian Harris gave a presentation Tuesday to the school board on the five metrics that will be used to determine when large groups of students can return to in-person learning. The four-phase plan is based on recommendations from a district committee that consulted with medical and public health professionals.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The five metrics: the average number of weekly cases per 100,000 people in ZIP codes 60010, 60110, 60192 and 60021; the average seven-day rolling positivity rate in the same ZIP codes; the supply of personal protective and sanitation equipment; the rate at which licensed staff members -- teachers, counselors, social workers, psychologists and school nurses -- can return to school buildings; and the same rate of return for nonlicensed staff members.

The district currently is in Phase 2 of the process, meaning most students are learning virtually, with small groups allowed in school buildings for in-person learning.

The metrics for Phase 2 are 70 to 174 weekly cases per 100,000 people; a positivity rate between 7% and 7.999%; PPE and sanitation supply for two weeks; and 80% to 89% of licensed and nonlicensed staff able to return to school.

To move to the next phase, all metrics must be met for a minimum of 10 days, Harris said.

Current data shows the district exceeds all Phase 2 metrics -- for example, it has a positivity rate under 4.999% and PPE and sanitation supplies for multiple months -- except for the rate of return for licensed staff members, which stands at 80 to 89%.

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District spokeswoman Samantha Ptashkin said that could based on various factors, including medical issues, and will be examined by the district's human resources department.

The metrics for Phase 3, which consist of a hybrid learning model, are 7 to 69 weekly cases per 100,000 people; a positivity rate of 5% to 6.999%; PPE and sanitation supply for one month; and 90% of licensed and nonlicensed staff able to return to school.

Based on current data, the district would be able to move to Phase 3 on Oct. 26, although that could happen sooner, Ptashkin said.

The district will be working during the next two weeks on determining what Phase 3 will look like for students who want to return to school, including how much of their school days might, or might not, include virtual learning, she said.

A full return to all in-person learning would require less than 7 cases per 100,000 people, a positivity rate of 4.999% or less, PPE and sanitation supplies for multiple months, and 95% of licenses and nonlicensed staff members able to return to school.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The district's weekly status for metrics can be viewed at barrington220.org/Page/20457 and will be updated on Monday afternoons, Ptashkin said.

A metrics update will be given at the Oct. 6 board meeting, and a family survey will be conducted Oct. 7 to Oct. 20.

More than 200 parents and students took part in a rally Monday evening asking the district to allow in-person schooling and sports.

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