Kaneland D302 to put $57M referendum on spring ballot

Kaneland High School in Maple Park.

The Kaneland District 302 School Board voted Monday night to add a $57 million referendum to the April 4 ballot.

The board had approved the referendum amount by a narrow margin at its Oct. 24 meeting.

The referendum question originally totaled $60.3 million, but the board decided last month to remove $2.7 million for the IgKnight Personalized Learning Academy.

If passed, the referendum will be used to improve school facilities across the district, including several changes to Kaneland High School such as modernizing classrooms and student support services, improving facility infrastructure, building a new entrance and campus reorganization.

Superintendent Todd Leden said the district plans to host public informational sessions ahead of the election.

“We can inform, we can use district resources to inform, we can use district facilities, copies, information to inform, but what we cannot do in our official capacity is advocate,” Leden said. “Any advocacy would have to be when we’re not in our roles.”

Also at Monday’s meeting, district officials presented the findings outlined in the 2022 Illinois Report Card, which was released last month.

“The first thing I wanted to share was that our seniors that are choosing post-secondary education, that are moving on to the post-secondary world, is between 80% to 82% over the last four years,” Leden said.

According to the report card, total district enrollment this year is 4,053 students, up slightly from 4,031 students from last year.

The district’s class sizes averaged about 20 students, according to data.

“[Teacher retention] has been over 90% for the last two years, which is the highest two-year period in the look back that the school report has on these topics, which is 10 years,” Leden said.

Director of Educational Services Sarah Mumm said test scores were up among elementary students.

“We’re bouncing closer to where we ended pre-pandemic,” Mumm said. “In first, second, third and fourth [grades] we were actually at or higher than where we were pre-pandemic in math.

“And then in reading we were at second, third and fifth [grades] right at or slightly above where we were before the pandemic hit. So we’re excited to see some of those scores kind of creeping back up.”

Kaneland’s full Illinois Report Can be found here.