Kaneland school district anticipates return to hybrid learning Jan. 4

Board approves several capital investment projects during Nov. 30 meeting

MAPLE PARK – Kaneland School District 302 Superintendent Dr. Todd Leden provided a brief outlook at the Nov. 30 school board meeting for the next several weeks with the district currently in fully-remote learning.

The current plan for fully-remote learning runs through Dec. 18, the end of the first semester, with the goal to return to hybrid learning by Jan. 4.

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker, however, recently announced no Tier 3 mitigations for the state will be lessened for the coming weeks.

"As you know, the first 14 weeks, our internal [COVID-19] data was exceptional [and] it helped us make a lot of our decisions to continue when many districts couldn't over the first 14 weeks," Leden said. "So, we are asking our staff, students and parents to continue to do the self-certification so we can monitor those numbers between Nov. 30 and Dec. 18, so that we have our own internal data [to look at]."

The district will continue to utilize data from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Kane County Health Department.

"We do have...between 83-85% of our parents that have requested hybrid model, so we are looking to try and get back on Jan. 4. That internal information would help us; that would help us make some of those decisions."

Six capital investment projects, including the installation of public address systems at two elementary schools were unanimously approved by the school board at the meeting.

The collective projects will cost approximately $750,000 total.

The district is planning several things, including the upgrade of univents at Kaneland High School, updating a restroom to accommodate the needs for a middle school student with special needs, replacing the public address system at two elementary schools, updating computer lab tables and replacing greenhouse vents at the high school.

However, the board opted not to approve hiring a lighting specialist to assess for a potential light dimmer rack in the high school auditorium. The estimated cost for the specialist is approximately $45,000, with the dimmer rack ranging between $400,000 to $900,000.

Overall board feedback was to use the current stage lights for the immediate future, largely due to the likely financial commitment in the face of current budget deficits. Plus, current usage of the auditorium might not immediately match needs during the pandemic.

The board also approved a donation valued at $988 to its Kaneland Future Farmers of America organization from O'Connell Farms.