Board Meeting 10.24.22


Photo By Katie Pfotenhauer

The Board of Education acquired new equipment that created technical difficulties at the beginning of the meeting. The microphones created an echo on the live stream.

     On Monday, Oct. 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 except for Meg Junk and District Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden, but they were phoned into the board meeting. Following the Pledge of Allegiance and roll call, Kaneland Foundation Executive Director Rebecca Greenlee went through the grants the foundation has given out. 

     One grant was for the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) room to create a more inviting, comfortable and collaborative space. Social worker Gabrielle Haugen’s grant was for bulk fidgets that were split between the social workers. Counselor Anne Kuntz provided the Key Club with leadership training with the grant money she received. Career Technical Education (CTE) department chair and graphic communications teacher Nicole Larsen used her grant money for software updates. 

     Following grants, two Sugar Grove residents made public comments sharing similar concerns about the master facility plan, one of them being Cassie Blickem, a parent with two kids attending Kaneland schools.  

     “How [the last meeting ended] created the two sample ballot measures that are in the meeting materials for tonight. Both options are contrary to the advice of the consultants, the recommendation from the superintendent and his team and the 650 community responses you have received. I hope you can correct that tonight,” Blickem said. “I think the process was thoughtful and complete. I hope it directs you tonight to pass a motion for one referendum question that asks for an amount less than $70 million and prioritizes the top six community-ranked projects, including the [FVCC].”  

     After the first opportunity for public comments, the board moved on to new business. The first topic was the annual property tax levy presented by Jennifer Eubanks, an administrative assistant and finance manager at the Northwestern Illinois Association.

     The board approved the tentative levy with the recommended amount of $54 million. By law, the board has to adopt and file the levy by Tuesday, Dec. 27. A hearing and final approval of the levy are planned to happen at the board meeting on Monday, Dec. 12.

     The Illinois Association of School Boards resolution committee recommends that adopted fund balances for township governments should be no more than 2.5 times the amount of their annual expenditures. The committee does not recommend adopting alternative school bus funding for zero or low-emission school buses or increasing the distance of 500 feet to 1500 feet of any store selling firearms from a school, preschool or daycare. The board agreed to go with the recommendation from the committee. 

     The next item under new business was renaming the Kaneland Meredith Middle School. A survey sent out to students, staff and families received 144 responses. After they met and went through the suggestions, the recommendation is the name be the Kaneland Meredith Academic Center (KMAC). 

     The board then had to approve the donations from different groups. Parent groups from all schools had $69,620.04 in donations, SignFX donated $704, Clean Air Asbestos and Mold Control LLC donated $1,000 to the KHS Theater Department and the Kaneland Foundation donated $5,176.84. 

     The board then moved to the superintendent report as the consultant from EOSullivan was running late. 

     Senior and student ambassador Lindsay Yost gave an update on what has been going on at the high school.

     “Our football team has won the last two games, and we will be advancing to the playoffs. The first game is Friday, Oct. 28, at KHS, and the game will start at 7 p.m. against Riverside-Brookfield [with a $5 admission]. Girls volleyball coach Cynthia Violett recently got her 300th win against Marengo,” Yost said. “The boys cross country team took second place at regionals, and the girls cross country team took second place at the conference and fourth place at regionals. The Kaneland Marching Knights took third place [at the Illinois Marching Band Championships competition at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign]. The fall play, Failure: A Love Story, also happened this past weekend.”

     Going back to new business, the board then talked about the master facility plan.

     The price of option one increased from $57.6 million to $60.3 million due to the price of modern learning environments, infrastructure and mechanicals increasing. Board members voted to continue with option one but took out the IgKnight Academy as it was ranked lowest by the community members. This changed the price of option one from $60.3 million to $57.5 million. 

     Option two also had a price increase from $122.3 million to $125.6 million, but with a vote of four to three, the board decided not to move forward with option two. 

     “We realize it is a time of high inflation and that some people are hurting financially. We have needs at the school district, and we can not ignore the responsibility to get this taken care of,” said District Board President Teresa Witt. 

     Disappointed in the outcome, Blickem used the second opportunity for public comment.

     “The IgKnight Academy was the tenth-ranked project, and that is what reopened the discussion. The [FVCC] was the fourth-ranked project, and there was no opportunity to discuss it further. It will be hard for me to vote in April for a $70 million project that does not include the [FVCC],” Blickem said.

     The next board meeting will be held on Monday, Nov. 14.