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 6.24.24

Assistant Superintendent for Business Dr. Jackie Bogan reviews the 2023-24 budget and previews the 2024-25 tentative budget. In a 6-0 vote, the board approved the total tentative budget of 92.3 million dollars and the tentative operating budget of 78.1 million dollars.
Photo By Emma Weintraub
Assistant Superintendent for Business Dr. Jackie Bogan reviews the 2023-24 budget and previews the 2024-25 tentative budget. In a 6-0 vote, the board approved the total tentative budget of 92.3 million dollars and the tentative operating budget of 78.1 million dollars.

The June 24, 2024, Kaneland school board meeting consisted largely of presentations by members of the Kaneland administrative team on the district’s 2024-25 tentative budget, a summary of student learning including School Improvement Plan (SIP) data and an overview of the communications plan for the 2025 referendum. 

The meeting also included discussion around farmland lease renewals, the approval of the Fox Valley Career Center’s (FVCC) 2024-25 tentative budget, the approval of policies from the Policy Reference Education Subscription Service and board / superintendent salutes. All board members were present except Dr. Aaron Lawler.

To begin the meeting, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Todd Leden recognized Associate Superintendent Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs and the business office for the certificate of excellence awarded to them by the Association of School Business Officials International for the 2023-24 school year. 

Next, the board recognized spring athletics. Coaches and athletes from the middle school track and field team and from the high school baseball, lacrosse, boys tennis, and girls and boys track and field teams gave overviews of and highlights from their seasons. Many athletes and coaches also thanked the board, parents and coaches for their dedication and support. In addition, Director of Athletics and Activities David Rohlman shared statistics relating to the number of athletes awarded Academic All-Conference and Academic All-Conference Honorable Mention. Notably, about 60% of varsity athletes earned one of these honors during the year.

“We clearly instill in this community the importance of being a student-athlete, and I think these numbers reflect that. It is a pleasure to be associated with them,” Rohlman said.

Assistant Superintendent for Business Dr. Jackie Bogan then previewed the 2024-25 tentative budget for District 302. She presented the budget calendar, 2023-24 budget, 2024-25 budget highlights and assumptions/information, and the revenue/expenditure and operating fund summaries. By a vote of 6-0, the board approved a tentative operating budget of 78.1 million dollars with a total tentative budget of 92.3 million dollars. Board members expressed concern regarding the projected deficit of 3.8 million dollars in operating funds. Before the final budget is presented to the board in the fall of 2024, Dr. Bogan will work to reduce the deficit in the budget plan.

The board also approved the FVCC 2024-25 tentative budget 6-0. This was already approved by the FVCC board, which is comprised of the superintendents of member districts.

Three of Kaneland’s farm leases were due for renewal on their three-year contracts. The Kaneland High School FFA club currently has no rent, while the Bradley Cessna farm is rented at 150 dollars per acre and the Keifer Brothers farm is rented at 225 dollars per acre. Board members discussed the possibility of raising the rent for the Bradley Cessna farm, but ultimately voted 6-0 to keep the rent price the same for the Bradley Cessna land, but to raise the price of the Keifer Brothers land to 235 dollars per acre. 

Dr. Sarah Mumm, Kaneland’s Director of Educational Services EC-5, presented testing data for grade levels K-5 from the 2023-24 school year. Kaneland elementary students are projected to meet or exceed state levels for the state-mandated Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR). Dr. Mumm specifically highlighted the district’s fifth-grade performance with their strong progress in reading and writing. Along with sharing district-wide testing success, Dr. Mumm also reported on areas of improvement and action steps, including revising curriculum and assessments. 

Director of Educational Services 6-12 Patrick Raleigh then shared i-Ready statistics for grades 6-8 and grade point average (GPA) statistics for grades 9-12. For each of these, he highlighted celebrations and areas for next steps. Advanced Placement scores are not out yet, so data could not be collected from those assessments. Starting next spring, Illinois students will take the ACT instead of the SAT as a requirement for graduation. Board Vice President Bob Mankivsky brought up a concern about whether or not students would still take the PSAT, which could impact their chances of receiving the National Merit Scholarship. 

Next, McDole Elementary Principal Brain Zerfas, John Shields Elementary Principal Kara Salto, John Stewart Elementary Principal Samantha Aversa, Blackberry Creek and John Stewart Elementary Schools Assistant Principal Keith Tankersley, IgKnight Personalized Learning Academy Principal Laura Garland, Harter Middle School Principal Brian Faulkner and High School Principal Dr. James Horne each shared the results of their individual SIP goals. Many schools reported various successes. Raleigh also reviewed the results of the district’s common SIP goal.

Dr. Leden briefly reviewed the Kaneland referendum timeline. He specifically pointed out that the referendum planning team is hosting back-to-school and community forums in August to kick off the community outreach efforts. 

Director of Communications David Chavez then gave a presentation on the communications plan for the referendum. He shared an example of a short video and different marketing channels that could be used to share information with the community. These included the referendum website, newsletters, social media, news outlets, door-to-door promotion, town halls, community events and targeted presentations. 

A few board members shared feedback on and suggestions for the communication plan. Board member Jennifer Simmons suggested that there should be an email address that is only used as a way for the community to provide feedback and ask questions about the referendum. Board President Addam Gonzales brought up the idea of teachers, specifically from the high school, sharing information about the referendum with students in hopes of them going home and encouraging their parents to vote in favor of it. 

“There may be teachers out there who are interested in [the referendum], particularly in the high school… that are able to communicate to the kids,” Gonzales said. “I just feel like we have a closer reach with our teachers and our staff members.”

Board member Aaron McCauley reported to the board that he participated in a Zoom meeting with high school coaches to discuss what they wanted and needed from the referendum. He communicated their interest in meeting with the district architect to examine the cost and feasibility of certain improvements to athletic facilities. 

“There [were] probably about eight to twelve coaches that I spoke to,” McCauley said. “I got to hear and I got to see in their faces the excitement of what they were looking to do with this referendum, and they had a lot of great and collaborative ideas that don’t mix with what the graphic is right now.”

Because the search for a high school principal is ongoing, Dr. Leden informed the board that a special meeting may need to be held to approve a candidate before the next board meeting. He also gave a reminder that as of the next board meeting, meetings will now start at 6:00 p.m. instead of 7:00 p.m.

Mankivsky requested a review of district bullying policies as a topic for future agenda items after Geneva District 304 faces a lawsuit regarding how they handled bullying. Simmons also wanted to review the graduation policies for students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

There were no public comments.

The next board meeting will be held on Monday, July 29.

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About the Contributors
Audrey Walker
Audrey Walker, Co-Editor-in-Chief of Print and Ad and Business Executive
Name: Audrey Walker   Position: Co-Editor-in-Chief of Print and Ads & Business Executive   Graduation year: 2025   A few sentences about me: I love rewatching my favorite TV shows and movies, shopping for cute clothes, thrifting, hanging out with my friends, and playing with my dog. I’m excited to work on the Krier this year with my buddies!   My favorite…   Movie: 10 Things I Hate About You Show: Gilmore Girls or Sex and the City Animal: Dogs Hobby: Running Book: The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud Food: Chocolate Song: Lover, You Should’ve Come Over by Jeff Buckley Band / Artist: Lana Del Rey or TV Girl

Emma Weintraub, Lifestyle Editor and Podcaster