Kaneland Board Meeting 5/24

The+board+was+presented+two+options+for+the+back+to+school+plan+last+night.+This+has+been+heavy+on+the+minds+of+students%2C+parents%2C+and+staff%2C+and+more+answers+have+been+provided.

Photo by District 302

The board was presented two options for the back to school plan last night. This has been heavy on the minds of students, parents, and staff, and more answers have been provided.

The District 302 Board Meeting on Monday, May 24, began with the mourning of the loss of Mr. Leo Imbrey, a long-time Kaneland bus driver. He will be greatly missed, but the district is very thankful for his years of service.

The next few minutes were taken to present certificates to a few honorable mentions. The first certificate was awarded to Jillian Novay for her hard work regarding the Care Closet. This has been a very beneficial resource during the pandemic for families in need, providing them with food, school supplies and much more. 

Two students from the Fox Valley Career Center (FVCC) were recognized for creating a Kaneland graduate profile, and the final salute was to the Dunham Foundation for supporting Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI). 

The board then left time for the public to express their comments or concerns. The first to speak was Kaneland Education Association (KEA) president Raney Good. She thanked the board and administration for all they have done this year, especially given the complications presented by the COVID pandemic. Good will be stepping down from her position as KEA president on June 1. KEA chief negotiator Susan Acksel also spoke to thank the board, administration and KEA for all they have done. 

Next, Kaneland High School parent Dianna Book addressed her concerns with Standards-Based Grading, which she feels is ineffective for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). 

“This grading system does not work for kids with IEPs,” Book said.

For the past few years, Standards-Based Grading has been a controversial subject for parents, students and staff. Many do not agree with the structure and prefer a more traditional grading system.

The Kaneland High School’s master facility plan was then brought to the public’s attention. Two architects from Wold Architects and Engineers that have worked with the district since 2006 presented proposed changes to the high school. The ideas they offered were related to improving classrooms, bringing new use to the Meredith building, adjusting student traffic routes and creating a safer and easier entrance for the FVCC. The general goal of the plan is to enhance student learning. 

“It’s really all about academics…and creating what we call a future-ready environment,” architect John Maurer said. 

Because of the apprehension and unanswered questions from the board, there will be updates concerning this plan in June.

At last, it was time to discuss the Return to Learn Plan for this fall. During this past year because of the COVID pandemic, it was a struggle for administrators to find the best possible way for students to learn while also keeping the in-person learning environment safe and practical. The presentation from the district administration showed the different options for the 2021-22 school year. 

The administration is waiting to make their overall decision until Phase Five guidance is released. Director of Educational Services K-5 Dr. Sarah Mumm, Director of Educational Services 6-12 Patrick Raleigh and Director of Human Resources Dr. Christopher Adkins presented two options: an overall three-feet distance plan and a strict three-feet distance plan. 

“Our ultimate goal is to really make sure we have all students back on campus in safe learning environments,” Mumm said. 

After review, the choice was the overall three-feet plan. This means students would come to school five days a week, while still following the mask mandate. The rules for social distancing will be implemented but less strict, depending on the scheduling needs of students.  

The meeting closed with more public comments. Maple Park resident Tonia Groezinger shared her opinion regarding the Kaneland Facility Master Plan and the potential use of funds. She disagreed with some of the modern modifications suggested.

“The school does not need to look like a Google corporate office….I am much more likely to pass the referendum for a fieldhouse or use the money to fix leaks. My kids in high school do not need to be sitting in recliners with a TV screen,” Groezinger said.