Keeping Kaneland Safe Using ALICE


By: Gabrielle Faletto and Ashley Edwards

This past Wednesday, January 17th, the Board of Education met to discuss new business on the preparation of the 2018-2019 budget, an update on the Kaneland John Stewart co-teaching pilot and an update on the ALICE school safety training.

In regards to the 2018-2019 budget, the administration has developed three options for the Board to select from. Option 1 states that the administration would bring a tentative budget to the Board with approximately $1.5 million of planned reductions, while maintaining a balanced deficit budget and the fund balance being at approximately $7.8 million.

Whereas, option 2 states that the administration would bring a tentative budget to about $1.2 million of planned reductions. With that being said, the approximate deficit budget would be $300,000, reducing the fund balance to approximately $7.5 million.

Option 3 has a less amount of reductions and an even more deficit budget. Knowing that if they choose both option 2 or 3, they may not provide enough savings to balance the budget, the Board ended up approving option 1 with a 7-0 vote.

Moving on, principal of Kaneland John Stewart, Laura Garland, and Fran Eggleston gave an update on the co-teaching pilot at the elementary school.

Typically, three to five years is needed to identify the impact of co-teaching on student performances, but it’s only been about four months. However, there is already a sign of improvement at John Stewart.

With co-teaching already taking place at the high school and middle school level, it is sure to be beneficial at John Stewart Elementary. Having one teacher inform parents about how their child is doing in school is great, but having two different perspectives regarding your child’s performance is even better.

So far, the pilot has had mostly all positive feedback, but Garland, Eggleston and the board members are excited to see how it will be after a year.

The discussion about ALICE at the meeting brought awareness for wants to come regarding 6-12th graders.

Coming up in the following months, new safety tactics will be in place for every student. ALICE stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter and evacuate. This acronym is established to help students and faculty remember what to do in an active threat.

“The great thing about ALICE is that you could use this wherever, at the mall or in big area, you will know what to do,” Officer Sarah Conley said.

This new emergency response procedure is being adopted by Kaneland schools to help insure the safety of the students and faculty. This response system has been in use at Sycamore High School and has given our community time to work off of their template.

At the middle school and high school, teachers have been going through training regarding the philosophy, “what would you do” scenarios and hands on drills by the Sugar Grove police department.   

Moving forward with this training, the teachers will start putting affect on this between the months of January-March. They will start off small with just sharing information about the understanding of ALICE. In April, hands on scenarios and live scenario drills will be held at KHS. Also in April there will be a community open house to help educate parents about what their children are learning to do.

“We don’t want to scare, we want to empower,” Conley said.