Kaneland parent group to urge district for full return to classrooms at first in-person school board meeting in months

Education Service Committee to present report on COVID-19 Impact on Learning

SUGAR GROVE – For the first time in months, the Kaneland School District 302 Board of Education will hold an in-person meeting, and a group of parents is expected to speak during the public comment portion to urge the board to bring students back five days a week.

Kaneland Go Foward- Parents United, a Facebook group comprised of Kaneland parents, has submitted a petition with more than 870 signatures that requests the district present a plan for a full return to in-person learning. The petition asks that students be allowed to return five days a week in early April.

Dr. Todd Leden, superintendent, stated in an email that he is aware of the petition that the group submitted to the board.

“Over the past 12 months, along with the entire nation, Kaneland CUSD #302 has reinvented the educational model due to the coronavirus pandemic, for our students, staff and community based on multiple factors,” he stated. “We are proud of the academic success and hard work of the Kaneland students, staff and families. The Board of Education will consider additional targeted resources for students who have been identified as needing additional support.”

He said that district administration will continue to meet each week to “assess all aspects of the current programming” and create both long- and short-term plans based on guidance from local and state health departments, Gov. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education.

“The recent guidance from the CDC has been reviewed and the two most successful mitigation strategies are the universal and correct wearing of masks and maintaining social distance of 6 feet,” he stated. “In addition to this guidance, district officials meet weekly with officials from the Kane County Health Department to ensure the implementation of the best practice guidance and strategies to ensure the safety for students and staff.”

Leden said that the board decided to return to in-person meetings after COVID-19 restrictions loosened in the state. He said that the Educational Service Committee will present an update on the COVID-19 Impact on Learning report at tonight’s meeting.

“The Board of Education has used the Gov. [JB Pritzker’s] Executive Order as guidance in their decision making and has discussed the option of virtual and in-person meetings prior to each of the past three meetings,” he stated. “Based on recent Phase 4 Restore Illinois mitigation progress, the board has determined to resume in-person meetings.”

The Kaneland Board of Education meeting is at 7 p.m. at Kaneland Harter Middle School in Sugar Grove.

Aimee Barrows

Aimee Barrows is the editor of the Kane County Chronicle.