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Our communities take great pride in our Barrington 220 schools, for good reason. We continue to be one of the highest-rated school districts in the entire state as we empower personal excellence in every learner.It’s our hometown community feel that helps make us unique.

People and service organizations throughout our community partner with our schools, connected by our shared goal of preparing our children for their bright futures. And as a unit district, we are all united. This gives our students the unique advantage of benefitting from the resources of a larger district while being able to learn and grow in smaller, more welcoming environments full of tradition. That’s why many of our students return home after college to raise their families here.

We work together to ensure all our children receive a top-rated education in inclusive learning environments while meeting their social emotional needs.

We dream big with our students, innovating and being creative to give them the best possible opportunities. This has led to innovative programs like our Business INCubator Program, which has served as a model for schools nationwide, STEM education in every school, our new Kindergarten Lab Program, immersive language programs, our BHS-TV Program, and robust college and career pathways.

While the district has won numerous awards, it’s the positive feedback we hear from parents and students that shows we are on the right path.

We constantly hear from parents that when their 220 graduates head off to college they thrive compared to their college peers, and parents are grateful for how Barrington 220’s education prepared their children for their post-secondary lives. We are consistently ranked as one of the best school districts in Illinois, earning the title of 2nd Best Unit District in Illinois in Niche’s 2024 ratings. Our high school was named one of the best high schools in the nation in the 2023 US News & World Report rankings. Our athletic program at Barrington High School has won 56 state trophies in the past 20 years.

We’ve achieved all this while continuing to honor our community’s commitment to fiscal responsibility.

Our Board of Education and administration work diligently to ensure as much money as possible is spent in classrooms, spending less than half the state average on administrative costs. We are good stewards of the public’s tax dollars, maintaining a responsible fund balance that is more conservative than many districts so we don’t unnecessarily tax our residents. This allows our district to have the 2nd lowest tax rate of all peer school districts. We are in our 27th consecutive year of a balanced budget with a AAA bond rating from S&P, one of only 88 school districts nationwide to earn that recognition.

Thanks to the community’s support for our referendum in 2020, our Build 220 initiative has made tremendous progress in renovating our aging school buildings and transforming learning spaces for students. However, that plan only funded 25% of our district’s overall capital investment needs of $500-$600 million. Much work is still needed in our buildings to ensure our students learn in schools that meet our community’s high expectations.

Areas of many of our buildings have not been addressed in decades, including the east side of our high school campus. Since our last referendum, we’ve improved safety and security, but there is much more that can be done to enhance safety and security throughout our district. And our buildings are full, leading to additional facility needs as we look to the future.

One of the long-standing requests from the community continues to be a fine arts center at the high school.

This has been a need for many years, and it was identified as one of the top needs by the 4,000 stakeholders who participated in our Framework 220 strategic planning process. The current antiquated auditorium, which was built in 1960, still has much of the original equipment as well as the seats from the original Barrington High School auditorium that were made in 1948. It has aged to the point where it is nearly unusable. It’s not ADA compliant, the power supply doesn’t allow for the lighting and design available to much smaller districts, and the chairs can’t even be repaired anymore. Safety is also a concern, with old lights shorting out, catwalks that are not compliant with current code, and a small lobby that leads to overcrowding. In addition, theater attendees walk through our school building to reach the auditorium and share bathrooms with our students, neither of which is ideal.

For a district that takes so much pride in our schools, we must do better.

Most students throughout our district use the high school auditorium multiple times per year and would benefit from a fine arts center. Our high school offers such great arts programming—we even have graduates on Broadway—imagine what opportunities we could provide our students if we provided them with an adequate space with modern technology. And our entire community would benefit, as so many service organizations and community groups look to use that space.
That’s why our community is collaborating on a plan in 2024 to potentially address these needs.

Doing so would allow us to alleviate safety concerns, address accessibility, improve programming, and increase opportunities for all our students. We could better protect the community’s investment in our buildings and support the desire to be able to use our high school for more community-wide events, similar to surrounding high school facilities. All these things lead to an even higher quality school district, which leads to higher property values for our residents, and a stronger community. 

Please participate in our community engagement which will be conducted through the first half of 2024. Together, we will develop a community-driven plan for how we can address these challenges so all our Barrington 220 students have access to the quality education they deserve.

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The Barrington 220 Board of Education's 2024 Referendum Advisory Committee will assist the Board in identifying the key components to be included in a referendum question proposed for the November 5, 2024 election ballot. The final decision of what will be asked on a referendum question rests with the Board.

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