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Kaneland plans ahead for full in-person return this fall

SUGAR GROVE – The Kaneland School Board is pressing ahead with plans to resume full in-person learning in the fall.

While elementary and middle school students returned to a five-day face-to-face schedule after the spring break, Kaneland High School will continue to use the hybrid model until the end of this semester.

“Our plan is a full return,” District 302 Superintendent Todd Leden told the school board during a meeting April 12 at Harter Middle School.

One of the big challenges will be transportation in the largely rural district, Leden said.

State guidelines allow no more than 50 people on a school bus, including the driver, meaning that buses will be forced to make multiple trips, resulting in delays.

The district also will need to improvise when it comes to finding adequate space for students to eat lunch, again because of social distancing guidelines, Leden said.

Parents addressed the board at the start of the meeting, indicating their displeasure that the high school has not already returned to a full in-person schedule.

However, it was clear that the board is sticking with its decision and is now focusing on the fall.

The board approved a plan to add a 0.5 full-time equivalent at both Blackberry Creek and John Stewart elementary schools in order to provide needed staffing for kindergarten classes.

Director of Human Resources Christopher Adkins told the board that there has been an increase in kindergarten enrollments at both schools.

Adkins said the added 0.5 FTE will allow the district to offer three full-day classes at each site. The cost is estimated at $60,000, but is expected to be offset by tuition payments from students in extended day kindergarten.

“The administration will continue to monitor enrollments at all sites and levels throughout the summer,” Adkins said.

The board also approved Adkins’ recommendation to increase a half-time post in the Education Services Department to full-time. The cost is estimated at between $19,000 and $25,000, depending on the insurance situation.

The board also sought to mitigate some of the pandemic’s effects on students by approving a summer school program designed to help them retake courses they had failed at no cost.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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