Board Meeting 08.08.22


Photo By Abbey Mondi

Consultant Ed Sullivan spoke to the Kaneland Board of Education on Monday, Aug. 8, about the results of his recent surveys. The surveys that were sent out to Kaneland community members regarded some potential updates and budget considerations for possible improvements in Kaneland schools.

     On Monday, Aug. 8, Kaneland Community Unit School District 302 hosted their regularly scheduled Board Meeting at Kaneland Harter Middle School. Most district board members were present with the exception of Vice President Jennifer Simmons and Dr. Aaron Lawler. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, roll call and approval of the agenda, new administrators in the district were introduced.  

     Tanya Pechnik will be the new assistant principal for student services and special education at Kaneland High School. Former special education teacher Jay Bodine will be leaving the high school to become the vice principal at Kaneland Harter Middle School.

     During the public comments portion of the meeting, community members in attendance mainly expressed concern about the 1.3 million dollar working cash fund bonds discussed in the previous meeting on July 25. Sugar Grove resident and former Kaneland parent Jerry Elliott conveyed his confusion about this issue due to the excess money left over from past school year budgets. 

     “We are budgeting to spend less this upcoming year, yet we have $155,000 more to spend than last year, so why would there be a need to have another emergency [fund] of 1.3 million dollars?” Elliott said. 

     A significant part of the meeting involved discussion of the need for building and renovating Kaneland facilities. Ed Sullivan, a consulting agent from EOSullivan Consulting in Libertyville, surveyed 1,400 Kaneland community members about new ideas to improve the district. Ideas included modernized learning environments, student resources and supports, Fox Valley Career Center renovation, a new IgKnight Learning Academy, collaborative spaces, infrastructure and mechanicals, improved athletic facilities, a new field house, campus reorganization and a new high school entrance. 

     Sullivan was able to get feedback by conducting surveys through in-person presentations, online surveys and scientific phone surveys.  

     “The public generally supports nearly all the individual projects. There are three of them that rise to the top, those being investing in infrastructure and mechanicals with a net positive of 60 percent, investing in resources and supports at a net 49 percent positive and modern learning environments at a net 48 percent, ” Sullivan said. 

     The data also showed negative responses from the Kaneland community. Sullivan shared these results with the board by explaining, “Receiving the negative is the collaborative spaces that are a net negative two percent, a new high school entrance with negative five percent and the IgKnight Learning Academy with negative nine percent.”

     Also discussed was an update to the district’s COVID-19 mitigation plan. The cleaning protocols will remain the same, and there will still be hand sanitizing stations throughout the schools. However, there will not be contact tracing or daily emails about COVID-19 cases sent to staff and families.

     There is a minimum requirement of 50 people per site for SHIELD testing to occur, so it may not be available in Kaneland schools because it depends on how many families are interested in doing it this school year. However, there may be a new option of testing called unobserved tests. Students may now be able to take the test at home and drop it off the next day to be tested.

     There is concern about how accurate the COVID-19 case counts will be based on how a parent calls in when their child is sick, but Associate Superintendent Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs is optimistic. 

     “We do hope that if a Kaneland parent finds that their student is positive, they will try to help stop the spread,” Fuchs said. 

     The next Board Meeting will be held on Monday, Aug. 29.