Board Meeting 03.13.23


Photo By Katie Pfotenhauer

District Associate Superintendent Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs shares with the board the reasons for recommending they keep the driver’s education fee at $250. For the 2021-22 school year, Kaneland had 209 students enrolled in driver’s education.

     On Monday, March 13, 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, but Dr. Aaron Lawler arrived late. The meeting was a closed session. After the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call and superintendent and board salutes, there were public comments relating to the April 4 referendum.

     “This proposed project is poorly timed by the board members when you know inflation is rampant and people are barely getting by,” Sugar Grove Township Treasurer Jerry Elliott said. 

     Following the public comments, the board moved to new business. The first item on the agenda was the approval of the driver’s education fee with a public hearing.

     For students who participate in the driver’s education program through the school, the fee is $250. 

     No audience members made comments during the hearing. The board approved keeping the fee at $250 for students for the 2023-24 school year. The next item under new business was the discussion of possible uses of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funds with a public hearing. 

     Schools across the nation received ESSER III funds due to the impact of COVID-19. The purpose of these funds was to address the academic, social, emotional and mental health needs of students due to the pandemic. 

     Even though there were no comments made by audience members during the hearing, the board is still looking for input.

     “In public comments and emails to us, people are concerned about the mental health recovery of students post-COVID and the increased learning gap,” District Board President Teresa Witt said. 

     After discussing the ESSER III funds, the board moved to the next item.

     At the Feb. 13 board meeting, the board members asked for more information about updating the copy machines. District Director of Technology Tim Wolf answered any questions about the copiers. 

     The district averages 800 thousand copies per month and is on its fifth year of a five-year lease with Canon for copier services.

     “[Currently], they are still functioning machines, but the amount of repairs we have [now] versus the first year has gone up. Just like a car, the number of repairs [increase as the miles increase],” Wolf said. 

     The board is not renewing the lease at this point, as they request more information. 

     The next item under new business was the presentation by District Director of Human Resources Dr. Chris Adkins on the minimum staffing plan for the 2023-24 school year.

     With the current enrollment trends, early childhood and elementary will remain flat, KHMS will see a decrease of 10 students and Kaneland High School will see an increase of 16 students.  

     The recommended positions for coaches to add to the 2023-24 school year are KHS assistant girls track and field coach, KHS junior varsity boys soccer coach, KHS girls wrestling head coach and KHMS assistant wrestling coach. 

     It is also recommended that KHS have a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) department chair and that KHMS have an MTSS team leader. 

     Following the presentation, the board approved the minimum staffing plan. The final item under new business was the honorable dismissal of staff. 

     With the changes in enrollment and registration, KHS music teacher Deanna Cates is honorably dismissed, and seventh-grade English language arts and science teacher Terri Helfers is being honorably reduced from full-time to part-time. 

     Following the new business items, District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden and student ambassador and senior Lindsay Yost gave their reports. 

     “We are going to add three [school tours for the referendum] over Spring Break on [Tuesday, March 28, Wednesday, March 29 and Thursday, March 30]. On the tours we have hosted thus far, there has been positive feedback of actually getting into the building and seeing the [reasons for the updates],” Leden said. 

     Following Leden’s report, Yost gave the update for KHS. 

     “Student Council is hosting its second annual Relay for Life event [from Friday, April 28, to Saturday, April 29]. It is an event where students, staff and community members walk the track for 24 hours straight. At this event, there will be food trucks, music and games. [The purpose is to] raise money to donate to the American Cancer Society,” Yost said. 

     The next board meeting will be held on Monday, April 10.