Board Meeting 06.28.21


Photo By Sophie Opp

The Kaneland School Board met on Monday, June 28, at Harter Middle School. Topics discussed included the high school’s Master Facility Plan and current plans for students’ return to school this fall.

     All seven members of the Board were present for the Kaneland District 302 Board Meeting on Monday, June 28. With the only planned Board/Superintendent salutes being moved to an upcoming meeting and no public comments, the Board quickly approved all action items on the consent agenda. 

     It was then time to move on to new business. The first topic discussed by the Board was the approval of the 2021-22 tentative budget for the Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC). As Associate Superintendent Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs explained, Kaneland’s school district is the administrative agent for the FVCC, but they do have their own board.

      Their board consists of all the superintendents from schools that are involved with the FVCC. They already reviewed and approved this budget, but Fuchs overviewed the estimated statement. 

     “[The FVCC] will be given about $40,000 in an educational pathway grant. It could be higher, but again, we don’t know exactly what that’s going to be,” Fuchs said. 

     With the new school year, most of the FVCC staff will be given a raise, one instructor will be retiring, the supply budget will be reduced and the final budget will be presented at the first board meeting in September. 

     Moving forward, Fuchs reviewed the 2021 budget and spendings for Kaneland District 302, as well as the 2021-22 budget that will begin on July 1. 

     “Tonight I am going to ask you to adopt a $65.6 million operating budget and a total budget of $79.6 million,” Fuchs said. 

     This upcoming year’s operating expenditure budget is about $600,000 more than last year’s. After clearing up any final questions, the Board moved on to discuss the update on the Kaneland High School Master Facility Plan. The desired changes range from safety improvements, costing about $1.1 million, to modernizing the academic environment, costing about $13.5 million. Other renovations would include a stadium upgrade, construction of a fieldhouse, improvements to the RTI rooms, roof replacement and more. 

     Ideally, the administration’s top priorities will be completed within the next five years. After discussion about logistics and specific parts of the plan, the discussion of the Master Facility Plan came to a close. Prior Plan discussions lacked the specific details that Board members were expecting, but they appeared receptive to the additional details included in these latest revisions.

     Director of Human Resources Dr. Christopher Adkins then began a presentation on social emotional learning. Beginning with an overview of students’ social emotional needs, Adkins covered many areas of concern. 

     “I think it’s important to note, we have 646 students who haven’t been in school for 18 months…we have seen an increase in our hospitalizations, we have seen an increase in anxiety,” Adkins said. 

     Beyond that, there were many other concerns Adkins touched on. As presented, the goal for this year is to recruit four behavior facilitators to support Kaneland’s staff and students with all of these social and emotional needs. All except Board Secretary Ryan Kerry agreed with this plan; Kerry was skeptical of the long-term benefits. 

     Superintendent Dr. Todd Leden shared several updates as part of the Superintendent/Board report. The Kane County Health Department believes the self-certification and temperature check will not be required this upcoming school year, as it was not as beneficial as originally planned. The extra sanitation that was provided in the 2020-21 school year will also be eliminated, as COVID is not transmittable via surfaces. 

     The vaccine will most likely be available to students 11-years-old and younger beginning in the fall. Finally, masks, social distancing and quarantining (when needed) will still be implemented as of right now. There will be four dates (two in July and two in August) that will allow individuals to come in for vaccinations at both Harter Middle School and the high school.