Board Meeting 04.24.23


Photo By Katie Pfotenhauer

District Director of Educational Services 6 12 Patrick Raleigh shares with the board the Discovery Education Science Techbook that middle and high school students will use. There was concern about how this would impact special populations, such as visually impaired or dyslexic students, but there are tools on the techbook to help with accessibility.

     On Monday, April 24, 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. The meeting was a closed session and there were no public comments. After the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call, the board moved to new business, with the first item being the health insurance renewal. 

     The Kaneland Employee Benefit Trust Fund (KEBTF) leads the annual health insurance review. The KEBTF currently has $1.6 million in reserves, but the recommendation is to have between $2.4 million and $3.2 million. 

     “When claims and bills come in, we pay them. The money goes in and out. The committee is responsible for monitoring that, and at the beginning of the year, [the balance] was low, but we have been moving in a positive direction for the last couple of months,” District Associate Superintendent Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs said. “We believe that COVID [impacted] that fund, so we are waiting to see the long-term [effects] to see if the balance goes up.”  

     After the board approved the health insurance renewal, the next item under new business was the approval of the science units of study, materials and associated new adoption funding for the 2023-24 school year.

     The requested funds are $400,000 for the 2023-24 school year. Discovery DEX, a science platform with PDF activities, videos and interactive sessions, will be implemented for all grades. For middle and high school students, the Discovery Education Science Techbook will be the interactive textbook the students use as Kaneland continues to go digital. 

     “When we look at how the budget is broken down and talk about some of those materials, the techbook is the textbook,” District Director of Educational Services 6-12 Patrick Raleigh said. “[To help with accessibility], there is speech to text, interactive videos and other modalities that can present the information.” 

     Following the approval of the science units of study and proposed expenditure plan, the final item under new business was the need for an additional Cross-Categorical Instructional (CCI) classroom.

     Kaneland offers minimal support to self-contained settings for special education students based on need. At Kaneland McDole Elementary School, there is one CCI classroom for students who require a self-contained classroom. Eight students are currently enrolled, but for the 2023-24 school year, there will be 12 students enrolled, requiring an additional classroom per the state guideline to cap the classroom size at eight students.

     Following the approval of one certified full-time teacher and one full-time paraprofessional for the additional CCI classroom, District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden and senior and student ambassador Lindsay Yost gave their reports.

     The organization of the newly elected board will take place at the next board meeting. 

     “There are three different meetings scheduled on [May 8]. There is the first part of the organizational meeting, the second part where the new board is seated and then there is the regular May 8 board meeting,” Leden said.