Kane County Chronicle

Kaneland school board OKs improvement projects for schools, high school track

During the June 27 meeting, the Kaneland Board of Education directed administration to move forward with the planning, including seeking public bids as needed, and a maintenance agreement for the water tower, for several capital projects at an estimated cost of just under $2.7 million.

Some of those projects will include the repaving and sealcoating of the parking lots at John Shields Elementary School and Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove along with the maintenance of the water tower. The track at the high school also will receive some major improvements, including the removal of rubber coating, the repairing of cracks in the asphalt substrate as well as a recoating and repainting of the new track surface. The nearby tennis courts on the high school campus also will receive surface work.

Board member Jennifer Simmons asked how often the track resurfacing would need to be done moving forward, especially with on-going discussions regarding the district’s master plan.

“We would be looking for a five- to seven-year window and then decide what we are going to do with the master plan,” said Mark Payton, director of buildings and grounds for Kaneland. “A typical track resurfacing is probably seven years.”

In addition to approving the capital projects for 2023-2024, the board also approved the tentative budgets for the Fox Valley Career Center as well as for the district for 2022-2023 during Monday’s meeting.

Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, associate superintendent for Kaneland, explained that the district’s tentative budget is projecting a deficit of approximately $3.3 million in the operating funds.

She said such a deficit will be closely monitored throughout the remainder of the summer and could change as more information comes from the state.

One high school senior will have the opportunity to learn a lot about budgets and the aforementioned deficit and much more as Superintendent Todd Leden shared plans for a student rep joining the Board of Education for the forthcoming school year.

The student rep will have the dual responsibility to report to the school board as well as to the students they represent. While serving in an advisory, non-voting capacity, and restricted from closed sessions as well as committee participation unless otherwise directed, this new rep will meet with the principal or superintendent prior to each board of education meeting in preparation for items to be discussed. More details, specifically regarding applying for this position, will become available closer to the beginning of the school year in August.

In other items of discussion from the meeting, students at Harter Middle School and Kaneland High School will have a homeroom period built into their schedule every day moving forward.

Patrick Raleigh, director of educational services 6-12, said that building committees have met throughout the year to plan and pilot a homeroom period for the 2022-2023 school year.

He explained that teachers would provide one pre-written lesson to their homeroom class each week that is centered around one of the five Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) competencies as well as social-emotional learning. Additional time in homeroom will be committed to a variety of topics appropriate to each grade span.