Board Meeting 10.12.22


Photo By Katie Pfotenhauer

District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden introduces the Art Award to a crowd. Students who get first place get a $50 check, and students in second place get a $25 check.

     On Wednesday, Oct. 12, Kaneland Community Unit School District 302 hosted its 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 except for Dr. Aaron Lawler. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call, District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden took a moment to recognize the district’s principals. 

     “The National Association of School Administrators named October Principal Appreciation Month. The Illinois Principal Association designates the third week of October each year [as Principal Appreciation Week], and Friday, Oct. 21, as Illinois Principal Appreciation Day. I appreciate our principals for all their hard work,” Leden said. 

     Other educators were then recognized with the award for working on the Personalized Learning Committee. 

     Personalized Learning Coordinator Laura Garland presented the group of teachers with the award from the Convening Conference with the Institute for Personalized Learning. 

     “This is a team award that does not belong to any individual,” Garland said. “In Trailblazing Spirit, the team award is identified as districts that understand the need for transformational changes to learning and teaching, who are not afraid to take risks and question assumptions, who advocate for personalized learning as a prevailing approach to educating today’s youth, who forge a path for others to follow, who act as scouts of new strategies and practices for themselves, peers, supervisors and supervisees and who are not afraid to share their learning with others in a professional network, who have influenced hope, commitment and passion to educators and learners alike.”

     The group of about 25 educators has worked for the past two and a half years to further personalize practices across all the schools in Kaneland and plan for the opening of the IgKnight Personalized Learning Academy in the soon-to-be renamed Meredith Middle School. The academy will open in the fall of 2023 for fourth to eighth-grade students. 

     Some students from the district were recognized as Board of Education Art Award winners. Due to the COVID pandemic, they have not recognized students for the artwork they did in the past two years. The winners will have their artwork displayed in the district office for two years, and after that, the art will either be hung up in one of the schools or given back to the family.  

     The master facility plan was discussed for the majority of the meeting. The present board members called Dr. Lawler into that discussion. The main concern was whether or not to respect the data that EOSullivan Consulting collected in the survey sent out to the community. 

     “I would like to see the needs under the $70 million based on what the public has told us they will tolerate. I don’t want to ignore what the public has said, but I also don’t want to eliminate the option of a fieldhouse if there is enough of the public out there who want it and are willing to exceed the [tolerance of $70 million],” board member Addam Gonzales said.   

     Following the master facility plan, the last item under new business was about making changes to the 2023-24 Kaneland High School coursebook. Director of Educational Services 6-12 Patrick Raleigh presented to the board changes that the team would like to make to the coursebook.

     The state is requiring co-op class and co-op on the job to change to workplace experience class and workplace experience on the job. There would be no change to the curriculum, and they are making this change to comply with the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Act. A class they want to add next year is agricultural finance, which would replace agricultural businesses 1 and 2. It would be a one-semester class with no prerequisites required, and it would meet the Personal Finance requirement. They then want to bring back entrepreneurship and small business management. It would replace virtual enterprise. The course would be a semester course with a prerequisite of business 1.