Kane County Chronicle

Kaneland mulls over adding high school student representative to participate in school board meetings

Kaneland School District 302 is considering adding a student representative from the high school to participate in Board of Education meetings for the next school year.

During the May 23 meeting, the board, along with Superintendent Todd Leden, ruminated the representation, which would begin in the fall. A recommendation will be voted on at the June 27 meeting.

Leden talked about a few options, including creating a student representative position, exploring and expanding the responsibilities of current student groups and developing a student advisory committee at the high school with representation from a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior.

“I’d like to hear from the student body,” board member Addam Gonzalez said. “I’d like to get their perspective on things.”

After officials discussed the options, the recommendation will be the addition of a student representative from the high school’s student council to attend future meetings.

“If a person is interested, maybe we try to tailor it to have it be one student who comes from the student council so that the student has the group to go back to for greater group thinking conversations,” Leden said. “And when you talk about how that person integrates that back to the school, if just one person by themselves is going back trying to facilitate those kind of conversations, it would be a challenge. But one student has the student council to go back to, who is part of student council and has a built-in group for however often they need.”

Board member Aaron Lawler, who introduced the idea earlier this year, said a student would bring a missing perspective to meetings.

“The nice thing about it is with students there are often times we have questions about what a student thinks, so it brings that perspective to the table,” he said. “It’s twofold. It’s also good for the student. We’re trying to find opportunities for students all the time to celebrate them and find ways for them to be more active. I think they would bring a different perspective and would ask questions.”

Ryan Kerry was the lone board member who voiced skepticism about the addition.

“It seems very cumbersome and I’m not sure we’re going to get the value of the feedback you’re looking for,” he said. “It’s just one kid (out of 343 who just graduated). I’m not convinced of the benefit.”