Board Meeting 05.31.23


Photo By Katie Pfotenhauer

The board reviews the capital projects for the 2024-25 school year. If something were to happen before the projects could be completed, the administration may request an emergency repair or replacement.

     On Wednesday, May 31, 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. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call, and superintendent and board salutes, there were public comments relating to the condition of the track at Kaneland High School. 

     “I was dumbfounded at the poor state [the track] is in. I took pictures, which I can share with you, but I encourage you to tour the track facility yourself because pictures do not do it justice,” parent Sarah Nosek said. 

     Recently graduated track and field athlete Anthony Urban is familiar with how athletes from Kaneland and other schools view the track. 

     “As a track and field athlete for the school, I think I can speak for all the athletes on the team that we have the worst track we have ever [had]. People from other schools say that too. They do not even want to come to our school for track meets,” Urban said. 

     The updated first item under new business was the approval of capital projects for the 2024-25 school year due to it moving from the consent agenda to discuss the track.

     “We have talked about the track multiple times at the board level because of the quandary. We know you cannot run a sectional meet because there are not enough lanes. We know the outside lane is not used. Our goal was to expand it and make it bigger and better, but the referendum did not pass,” District Associate Superintendent Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs said. 

     One of the capital projects is for sealcoating some areas and replacing pavement in the bus lot for an estimated cost of $500,000. The estimated cost of a new track is $600,000. With that in mind, there was a discussion on which capital projects to move forward with based on what has a greater need.  

     “The parking lot is sinking, especially under the [bus wheels] because that is where all the weight is. That fills up with ice in the winter, and it is a challenge because we have bus drivers slip and fall every year,” said Director of Buildings and Grounds Mark Payton. 

The board decided to direct the administration to move forward with planning the capital projects for the summer of 2024, excluding the sealcoating and pavement replacement until further discussion.

     The next item under new business was the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III spending plan. 

     ESSER funding must address the impact of COVID-19, with Kaneland having $1,276,972 to spend. Students, parents, teachers on the Educators Advisory Committee and shared leadership teams, administrators and Kaneland Education Association leadership gave feedback on what the money should be used for.  

     After approving the ESSER III spending plan, the board moved to the next item. 

     Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School needs additional special education teachers because of an increase in students requiring special education services. 

     “We monitor enrollment [weekly], and I have to give a shoutout to our support staff at each of our sites, especially at the elementary level where we typically see the most important fluctuations,” District Director of Human Resources Dr. Chris Adkins said.

     Following the approval of the two additional staff, the board moved to the last item under new business. 

     The handbooks for bus drivers, food service employees and educational support staff are updated annually. 

     With the minimal changes to the handbooks, the board approved them as presented on the first read. 

     Following the items under new business, Fuchs and District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden gave their reports.

     There are 13 applications for Fuchs and Leden to go through, which will expand the district’s committees.

     “We will have those committees upgraded for next [year]. More people [will be] on the committees, which will be great for additional community feedback,” Leden said.  

     The next board meeting will be held on Monday, June 26.