Board Meeting 01.30.22


Photo By Katie Pfotenhauer

KHMS Principal Brian Faulkner reads what was said about District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden at the annual awards banquet for the Illinois Principal Association. Faulkner is one of the state directors for the Illinois Principal Association Kishwaukee Region.

     On Monday, Jan. 30, Kaneland Community Unit School District 302 hosted its regularly scheduled board meeting at 7 p.m. in the sixth-grade team room at Kaneland Harter Middle School. All board members were present at the meeting except for Dr. Aaron Lawler. The meeting was a closed session. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call, Spelling Bee coordinators were recognized for helping with the Spelling Bee. Personalized Learning Coordinator Laura Garland and KHS Assistant Principal Carri Oslager were also recognized for graduating from the Learning Forward Academy cohort.

     “[Through the Learning Forward Academy cohort], they find their problem of practice, which is something they want to study for two and a half years, [and during that time] they attend the conference, other online sessions and work through their problem of practice,” District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden said. 

     Garland and Oslager graduated in December and will continue to work with Kaneland Connects as their problem of practice. 

     Leden was then awarded Superintendent of the Year by the Illinois Principal Association Kishwaukee Region by KHMS Principal Brian Faulkner. 

     “I am very thankful for the Illinois Principal Association and the Leden family team who allows me to stay out late at night and come to all these [meetings]. It is an honor to work with the Kaneland team, and [I am] proud to be a Knight,” Leden said. 

     After Leden received his award, the board moved on to new business. The first item under new business was the financial projection.

     “The [budgets are] running very tight compared to where I would like to see them, but [everything is] more expensive. We usually have a little more comfort and flexibility in those numbers, and it is not there,” District Associate Superintendent Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs said. 

     Following the financial projection update, the board reviewed the need to purchase school buses for the 2023-24 school year. 

     In the 2022-23 school year, the district replaced five 71-passenger school buses, and the school needs to replace five more buses for the 2023-24 school year. 

     The cost of preowned one-year-old buses is $95,625 each, and that would total $478,125. They can get $16,500 from trading in buses, bringing the net total to $461,625. While this works for now, it may cause problems in the future. 

     “[The Midwest Transit Equipment, Inc.] is telling me that schools are no longer doing one-year leases because they are too expensive,” Fuchs said. “The [new] batch of buses will be from 2022, which is the same year of the [buses] we just got in November. The [buses we are getting] should have been from 2023, but with nobody doing one-year leases, [the company] does not have any [one-year-old buses].” 

     There are also questions surrounding whether or not the district can get a better trade-in value for the used buses. 

     “Are we getting the full value out of these buses that we are trading in, or are there other options, like auctioning off [the] buses? The $16,500 seems like a low number, and I know I am not in the bus business, but have we looked to see that this is the maximum value we can get out of them?” board member Addam Gonzales said.  

     With concern raised, the board is tabling this new business item until the next board meeting on Monday, Feb. 13. 

     The last item under new business was moved from the consent agenda to approve a custodial bid.  

     The district has been using American Building Maintenance (ABM) Industries Inc. ABM already has a relationship with Kaneland and has the lowest bid. The board followed the recommendation to execute a contract for custodial services with ABM. 

     Following the approval of the custodial bid through ABM, the superintendents and student ambassador and senior Lindsay Yost gave their reports.    

     “For fine arts, the Kaneland Winter Percussion’s first performance will be on Sunday, Feb. 12, at Plainfield Central High School,” Yost said. “This week, on Thursday, Jan. 19, there will be a winter concert for the band at 7 p.m. at Northern Illinois University because of renovations in the auditorium. Choir also has their concert on Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. at NIU.” 

     There have also been many recent wins for sports and clubs. The boys varsity basketball team is Interstate Eight Conference champions, wrestling placed third at their Interstate Eight Conference tournament and the chess team just won first place at their sectional tournament.

     Following the reports, parent Tonia Groezinger made a public comment.

     “One thing that was suggested by myself and three other parents at the [Citizens’ Advisory Committee meeting] was to figure out a new system for after-school pickup for the children who do [not take the bus at the elementary schools]. All the parents there with me were from different elementary schools, and we [agreed] that it is an absolute mess,” Groezinger said. 

     The next board meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 13.