The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

  • 6/24 Board Meeting
The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

The site of Kaneland High School's student news publication.

Kaneland Krier

Board Meeting 2.12.24

Photo By Jasper Paulson
Assistant Superintendent of Business Jackie Bogan asks for approval from the Board of Education of the bids the administration is seeking for next school year. These bids will be from companies in the community willing to provide needed services to Kaneland schools.

On Monday, Feb. 12, 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 except for Board President Addam Gonzales.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Superintendent Dr. Todd Leden recognized the KHMS Jazz Band and band teacher Rebecca Andersen for their performance at the Illinois Music Education Conference on Thursday, Jan. 25. 

“It was a great experience for those kids,” Andersen said. “Not many groups get to do that. We were one of two middle schools, so it was a pretty good deal.”

While the video from the conference was playing, KHMS Principal Brian Faulkner expressed his pride for how well they performed. 

“It was pretty amazing that our school was representing the state of Illinois,” Faulkner said. 

Following the salutes, the board approved the consent agenda and moved to the first round of public comments, during which four people spoke. Aurora resident Jerry Elliot voiced his concerns about where his tax money is going. 

“Out of the taxes I paid last year, $4,636 of it went to you,” Elliot said. “The board’s ability to manage that money is a concern to me.”

Sugar Grove resident and parent Scott Stalcup was also concerned about money. Specifically, he worried about how much would contribute to growing the Kaneland IgKnight Learning Academy (KIPLA). 

“I find it hard to justify the spending of huge amounts of funds to [such a small] amount of students when you can spend that money to renovate a hallway at the high school, renovate a classroom or you could renovate bathrooms,” Stalcup said. “This would then impact the kids at the high school and the middle school students that are moving up. That feels more impactful for the future of the district.”

KIPLA fifth grader Joey Corbett, though, loves the structure that the academy gives him.

“I like that we get to choose when we do [each subject]. It’s not just chaos,” Corbett said. “I can move on my own and even learn with other grade levels, which is really cool.”

 Personalized learning is something that the other schools in the district attempt to integrate but do not offer as heavily. KIPLA parent Kathryn Soderstrom notes that a personalized approach to learning can benefit certain students’ futures. 

“Students taking an active role in their educational process is crucial to develop active critical thinking and engaged learners,” Soderstrom said. “This will set an educational baseline for high school, college and working environments.”

After public comments, the board moved on to the new business portion of the meeting. 

The first item of new business was the approval to seek bids for the 2024-25 school year. 

“As the district is preparing for the 2024-25 school year, part of the process is to seek bids for items purchased annually,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Jackie Bogan said. 

 Bogan asked the board for permission for the administration to seek bids on fuel, special education transportation, cafeteria food and supplies, athletic training, copier paper, snow removal, fire systems inspections, garbage disposal and recycling. 

Following the approval of the bids, the second item of new business was the review of the referendum survey results. Leden, KHS Principal Dr. James Horne, Bogan and Director of Buildings and Grounds Mark Payton gave feedback from the community to the board. 

“The two most important [projects], according to the community, were the infrastructure and mechanical systems and the modernized learning environments,” Payton said. 

After they shared the feedback, Director of Communications David Chavez shared his ideas for communicating the next referendum to the public. He explained that there was a lot of feedback from the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) about the communication of the previous referendum and how he hopes to improve it. Chavez is going to add a section to the district website that will be completely dedicated to the referendum information. 

“Right now, the website is going to be converted to a website where we mainly get feedback,” Chavez said. “The community can come and see what’s going on right now with the timeline and see the results of the surveys that we’ve taken.”

This portion of the district website is currently under development but will be available to the public soon.

Leden closed the discussion on the referendum by providing an overview of the timeline for future steps. There will be a KHS staff meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 21, to discuss the staff’s perspective and needs for the future regarding the referendum. The Referendum Planning Committee, Leden and Horne plan to meet with small groups within the district, like the transportation staff and department chairs. Through these meetings, the Referendum Planning Committee hopes to determine the projects that the referendum will include before it is brought back to the board in June. 

The final item of new business was the presentation and approval of the KHMS Coursebook. Director of Educational Services 6-12 Patrick Raleigh explained that there are no new courses, but there will be minor edits in the course descriptions of some classes. 

Raleigh explained that the middle school will explore the possibility of adding more challenging classes for middle school students during the 2024-25 school year. 

“We will be spending the year carefully investigating the impact of offering high school credit for courses taken at the middle school,” Raleigh said. 

If they find it beneficial to KHMS students, the proposed courses could be added to the 2025-26 school year. 

Following new business, Leden led the board report, announcing that there will be a Parent Resource Fair and Special Needs Craft Fair on Saturday, April 27, which are opportunities for community members to learn about resources for families and people with disabilities. The fair will be at KHMS, with more information coming in future meetings. Leden also noted that there will be no school on Monday, Feb. 19, because of Presidents’ Day. 

Senior and Student Representative Katie Pfotenhauer informed the board of KHS updates, including the girls bowling team getting fifth place at Regionals, the boys varsity basketball team’s win on their senior night and other sports updates. Pfotenhauer also discussed this week’s spirit week leading into the Northern Lights Ball on Saturday, Feb 17. 

Following the board report, there was a second round of public comments, and many comments revolved around the decision to not expand KIPLA into the ninth grade for the 2024-25 school year. 

“Making eighth graders at KIPLA switch from their personalized learning to KHS could harm their progress made throughout this school year,” KIPLA parent Jennifer Crocker said. 

The meeting concluded with a final public comment from Stalcup, finishing his earlier comment on how the board should prioritize their money in relation to KIPLA. 

“If you were to expand to ninth grade, you’re going to need staff to fill out the classrooms, which will cost more money on top of the infrastructure costs of the building,” Stalcup said. 

The board then moved to a closed session at 8:49 p.m. The next board meeting will be held on Monday, Feb. 26.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jasper Paulson
Jasper Paulson, Broadcast Executive, Ad and Business Design Executive, and Co-Copyeditor Executive
Name: Jasper Paulson   Position: Co-Copy Editor, Broadcast Executive, Ad and Business Design Executive   Graduation year: 2025   A few sentences about me: I might seem like I’m busy, but I always have time to talk about a good book. Other than journalism, I do marching band and dance nearly all year round. I’m looking forward to my senior year here and can’t wait to see what wonderful things the Krier is going to do while I’m still here!   My favorite…   Movie: Any of the Saw movies Show: Heartstopper Animal: Hyena Hobby: Reading! Book: False Prince by Jennifer E. Nielsen Food: Not a food, but Coca Cola Song: Tell Me that You’re Okay by NOAHFINNCE Band / Artist: NOAHFINNCE