Category Archives: Kaneland

Kaneland preschool screening

KANELAND—Kaneland will conduct a preschool screening on Friday, Sept. 14, at Family Life Church. Kaneland School District children ages 3 to 5, who are suspected of having any delays in developmental milestones, are encouraged to attend. This is not a kindergarten screening.

Child and Family Connections will be on hand to screen children, ages birth to 3, for suspected developmental delays.

To schedule an appointment for any screenings, call the Kaneland District Office at (630) 365-5111, ext. 158.

Kaneland Sports Boosters to team up with Dodge Aug. 16

KANELAND—The Kaneland Sports Boosters are teaming up with Dodge for a great, fun-filled event during “Knights Under the Lights” on Aug. 16.

Sports and athletic activities are a valuable part of the high school experience, enriching the lives of students and their communities. Yet, schools are often short of funds for their sports and athletic programs. Parents are frequently asked to reach into their own pockets for equipment, uniforms, travel expenses and more.

Dodge and its dealers are committed to the communities where they do business, and Dodge supports organizations that work to benefit students, like the Kaneland Sports Boosters. Since 1993, Chrysler Group LLC has helped raise millions for elementary schools across the country through the company’s popular Drive for the Kids program.

Since 1996, Dodge Booster Club Fundraisers have provided support for student enrichment at the high school level and showcased a new generation of Dodge.

The concept is simple: the Kaneland Sports Boosters Test Drive Event Fundraiser is an exciting opportunity that can result in big cash rewards. During the event, participants earn $20 to support the Kaneland Sports Boosters by taking a brief test drive in a new Dodge. All licensed drivers, age 18 or older, are eligible. The whole community can participate. The more test drives you take, the more money for Kaneland sports and athletic programs.

This event is friendly and fun. There is no sales pressure. Participants are not required to buy anything; kids don’t sell anything. Busy parents appreciate the chance to check out the latest automotive innovations and talk about cars with knowledgeable representatives from Dodge.

There will be giveaways and raffles for all participants. Kaneland Sports Booster will also directly award the top girls sport and boys sport who produces the largest percentage of test drivers with 10 percent each of the total amount raised. So get the word out to all your family, friends and neighbors, and come out to Knights Under the Lights. Watch a preseason sports event and test drive a new Dodge to help the Kaneland Sports Boosters support all their Kaneland athletes and programs.

All together now!

Kaneland High School held its Freshmen Class Orientation Day on Tuesday. Besides getting acquainted with the school, the class participated in outdoor games designed to teach trust and working together. Here, a group of students runs through a jump rope at the same time. The event was led by Beth Trafton and John Markovich and included 64 sophomore through senior student leaders. Photo by John DiDonna

Once upon a time …

The Kaneland Fine Arts Group presented Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella on July 13-15 and July 20-22 at the Kaneland High School auditorium. The opening scene from Cinderella (top, right) as well as some of the younger actors (below) performing a dance in the street during Cinderella.

As a community theater event, the show featured performers of all ages with Kyra Trynoski (below) as
Cinderella, Diane McFarlin as the Stepmother, Peter Lopatin as the king and Trisha Mills as the queen.

Photos by Kimberly Anderson

Kaneland preschool screening

KANELAND—Kaneland will conduct a preschool screening on Sept. 14, at Family Life Church. Kaneland School District children ages 3 to 5, who are suspected of having any delays in developmental milestones, are encouraged to attend. This is not a kindergarten screening.

Child and Family Connections will be on hand to screen children, ages birth to 3, for suspected developmental delays.

To schedule an appointment for any screenings, call the Kaneland District Office at (630) 365-5111, ext. 158.

12 Perfect Years

Photo: Kaneland High School graduate Steven Krafft has never missed a day of school in his life. Photo by John DiDonna

Krafft receives perfect attendance, sets sights on NIU jazz guitar
by Cheryl Borrowdale
KANELAND—There may not have been a special recognition at graduation for what Steven Krafft, a 2012 Kaneland High School graduate, achieved this year, but his parents thought it was worthy of a new acoustic guitar—something the aspiring jazz musician had been wanting.

After all, Steven had accomplished what no other student in the district did: 12 straight years of perfect attendance. That’s 2,160 consecutive days of school without ever even being tardy to class, despite a daily sprint down the entire length of the high school—from the jazz band room at the east end to a Spanish room at the west end—during his senior year.

“I was really never sick, so that always helped,” Steven said. “I was just really busy and never had time to be sick.”

Yet his mother, Julie Krafft, said his attendance record reflects his dedication to his music and his studies, not his stellar immune system.
“Even when he’s had a headache or he’s been up late, and most kids would skip school, he just wanted to go,” she said.

She particularly remembers one day in middle school when he had injured his foot and insisted on going to school no matter what.

“I wanted to take him to go get it x-rayed,” she said. “My husband and I feel that school is pretty important, and we always told him that school was pretty important. But he needed an x-ray, and we tried to talk him out of (going to school) that day.”

Steven was so insistent that he couldn’t miss a day, she said, that she rescheduled the appointment for after school and he hobbled around on his foot, which was sprained, that day.

In fact, he was so insistent that he couldn’t miss a day, his parents would occasionally threaten him with it, Steven said.

“They knew that I wanted it, the perfect attendance thing, so it was a punishment basically,” he said. “They always told me to dress warm, to make sure I ate my vegetables, stuff like that, because if I got sick they weren’t going to let me go to school. It was tough love. It worked.”

It became a goal the whole family shared. So when Julie logged onto Konnect, Kaneland’s online gradebook and attendance system, to check on his grades during his junior year, she was shocked to see Steven’s first tardy.

“I told him, and he was really upset,” she said. “We had to get that straightened out.”

It turned out the tardy was a mistake. Like many Kaneland music students, Steven had P.E. on A days and jazz band on B days, but he had accidentally been marked tardy by his P.E. teacher on a day that he was scheduled to be in band. His father, Keith, called the school to get the record fixed.

Steven’s dedication to school was surpassed only by his dedication to music, which he spent an average of six hours a night studying throughout high school. He started taking evening music theory and guitar classes at Waubonsee as soon as he turned 16, trying to get a head start on college and preparing for the audition that the Northern Illinois University jazz studies program requires for admission.

He admits that his attendance record at Waubonsee wasn’t perfect, but it was for good reasons.

“I went to Waubonsee for night classes, and having that on top of Kaneland work, that was a lot of work,” Steven said. “The classes were difficult and I didn’t have time for much else. So I skipped Waubonsee classes a few times when I had finals, just because I was worried about Kaneland. They don’t really take attendance (at Waubonsee), so it wasn’t really a big deal.”

His dedication paid off: he’ll be taking that acoustic guitar with him to NIU, where he’s been admitted to the jazz studies program, one of the top 10 in the nation. To Steven, the best prize is the chance to study with Rodrigo Villanueva, the associate professor who directs the university’s Jazz Lab Band.

Although he’s giving up perfect attendance as his goal now that he’s starting college, that’s because he hopes that he’ll have the opportunity to go on tour at some point during his music studies.

“I’ll see if (NIU) take(s) attendance or anything, but I don’t really think they do that, at least not with jazz studies,” Steven said. “The professor was on tour with Sting, and because he did that, I’m sure that he understands if you want to do something like that with music, because the only way to really learn music is by doing it.”

His mother can’t see him missing class for anything less important than his music.

“He has always said that he’s going to have perfect attendance his entire life, so I see that continuing,” Julie said. “He’s passionate about his studies, so I think he’ll make it. I’ve always taught him that it’s important for every person to attend school and to put a lot of work into it, and he does that. I feel you get out of it what you put into it. He’s put a lot into it.”

Kaneland preschool screening

KANELAND—Kaneland will conduct a preschool screening on Sept. 14 at Family Life Church. Kaneland School District children ages 3 to 5, who are suspected of having any delays in developmental milestones, are encouraged to attend. This is not a kindergarten screening.

Child and Family Connections will be on hand to screen children, ages birth to 3, for suspected developmental delays.

To schedule an appointment for any screenings, call the Kaneland District Office at (630) 365-5111, ext. 158.

School Board approves temporary roof repair

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—School Board members on Monday voted 5-1 to approve temporary roof repairs at John Shields Elementary School.

Board member Gale Pavlak voted “no” on the item.

A document from Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent of business, states that significant problems in the school’s roof were discovered during a recent repair process.

“The crux of the problem is that the fasteners/clips that hold the metal panels onto the roof are disintegrating, which leaves these metal panels at risk for blowing off,” Fuchs states in the document.

A temporary solution to the roof problem is necessary because the district will not be able to permanently repair the roof prior to the start of the 2012-13 school year. Steve Hougsted of ARCON, the district’s architect, was in attendance at the meeting, and outlined the board’s options for a permanent repair next summer.

According to a document from ARCON, the three repair options involve about 25,000 square feet of roof area (the school’s total roof area is 61,600 square feet). Option one would involve the removal and reuse of every third panel in order to “repair existing underlayment and resecure existing plywood and panels,” with a total projected cost of $238,078.80; option two would involve the removal and reuse of all panels, with a projected cost of $417,163.20; and option three would involve replacement of all panels, with a projected cost of $444,630.

“These options will come back to the board in August for approval to put them out to bid,” Kaneland Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “It is likely that the board will put two options out to bid so that they have all the information they need to make an informed decision regarding the roof repair.”

According to Fuchs’ document, ARCON sought out two estimates for the temporary repair work—the lower of which was $15,760.

“(There is) some concern with needing to spend money on a temporary repair knowing work has to be done the following summer,” Schuler said. “We have the same concern, but unfortunately there just is not time to get the full project done without having people on the roof working while school is in session and kids are in the building. That is not a good option for us.”

School Board, Elburn approve Intergovernmental Agreement

KANELAND—Kaneland School Board members on Monday voted 7-0 to approve an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the village of Elburn.

The board on May 14 held a discussion that included collection of land/cash and capital impact fees, and passed a resolution stating their support of the terms included in the agreement. The Elburn Village Board on June 4 approved the IGA with two revisions: removal of language limiting the agreement to the municipality, which will allow other municipalities to enter the IGA; and the addition of language that permits modification of the IGA should another municipality enter the agreement with “lower payment tables.”

A document from Superintendent Jeff Schuler states that the second revision does not mean payments are lowered if another municipality decides on their own to lower the capital impact payments or land/cash payments. Rather, this is only applicable if the School District “agrees to lower payments through the approval of an IGA.”

I think the hardest part of (the IGA) is predicting what’s best for the community and the school years into the future, long after the individuals making these decisions are no longer serving,” School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said. “We don’t want to encumber future boards by decisions we’ve made now, and we don’t wish to be shortsighted in trying to anticipate what revenue needs and expenditures will require.

“That’s why we paid for the study and rely on its validity. We depend on our communities to represent the School District fairly in their negotiations with developers.”

School Board approves tentative 2012-13 budget

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland School Board members on Monday voted 6-1 to approve the tentative budget for the 2012-13 school year.

The tentative operating budget for the upcoming school year is $48,600,316, with revenues expected to eclipse expenditures by $218,935. Additionally, revenues in the 2012-13 operating funds are expected to see an increase of 1.6 percent, with an education fund increase of 2.2 percent.

“Changes in both revenues and expenditures projected for 2012-2013 are based upon many factors,” Assistant Superintendent of Business Julie-Ann Fuchs wrote in a document distributed to the board during the meeting. “Primarily, on the revenue side, the tax levy has produced an additional $748,236 for the operations from fiscal year 2012 to fiscal year 2013.”

The document notes that expenditure budget increases include health insurance premiums, special education tuition and transportation. Expenditures for the upcoming school year are expected to increase $600,000 from the 2011-12 operating budget.

During the meeting, Fuchs noted that the budget is completely balanced for the first time in four years.

“I am pleased that we have presented a balanced budget to the board. It continues to demonstrate our commitment to sound fiscal management,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “We continue to meet the financial performance targets set by the board and will continue to work hard to maximize the educational value of our money. This budget reflects several months of hard work and collaboration.”

Fuchs’ document also touched upon the district’s budget reduction process last spring, in which it shaved $1.1 million in expenditures from the operating budget, including a reduction of 14 full-time equivalent (FTE) and 1.5 classified FTE staff positions. Since then, several of the cut positions were reclaimed in preparation for high school schedule changes and an increase in enrollment.

“The board has the goal of a balanced budget, and lots of hard work went into the preparation of this tentative budget,” School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said. “Each and every board member takes the guardianship, stewardship and wise expenditures of precious tax dollars very seriously.”

Further board discussion took place regarding the Kaneland Transportation Department’s intention to combine select bus stops for students in grades 6-12. The move would reduce the number of stops on a bus route and yield savings that could reach as much as $50,000. However, a consequence of combining bus stops is that some students will have to walk as far as six blocks to reach their respective stop.

A public hearing and adoption of the District 302 budget for the 2012-13 school year will take place Monday, Sept. 10.

Kaneland 2012-13 school year information

KANELAND—Kaneland Schools will begin the new school year on Wednesday, Aug. 22, with a full day of classes. Full bus service to all schools and full hot lunch service at the middle and high schools will be provided.

Kaneland Elementary Schools
The starting time for all elementary schools is 8:50 a.m. Do not bring your child to the elementary school before 8:40 a.m. Elementary school students are dismissed by 3:30 p.m. Dismissal of students that walk, are picked up by parents or ride the bus, may vary slightly at each school.

Morning kindergarten classes are from 8:50 to 11:30 a.m. Afternoon kindergarten classes are from 12:45 to 3:30 p.m. The Extended Day Kindergarten program will run with the same start and end times as the elementary buildings.

Kaneland elementary schools conducted a mail-in registration in April/May. Parents of students new to the elementary schools, and parents who have not as yet registered their children for kindergarten (children must be five years of age on or before Sept. 1) should contact the appropriate office immediately to register for the coming school year:
John Stewart Elementary School
817 Prairie Valley, Elburn (630) 365-8170
John Shields Elementary School
85 Main St., Sugar Grove (630) 466-8500
Blackberry Creek Elementary School
1122 S. Anderson Road, Elburn
(630) 365-1122
McDole Elementary School
2901 Foxmoor Drive, Montgomery
(630) 897-1961

Harter Middle School—
Kaneland High School

All students new to the district are requested to register before Aug. 20. Registration packets for new students are available online. All students will receive fee statements in the mail, and students are able to access their schedules through Konnect by Aug.13.

Parents of new middle school students are requested to call the Harter Middle School office at (630) 466-8400. Middle school students may purchase physical education clothes and locks the first week of school during P.E. or lunch.

Parents of new high school students should call the Students Services Center, (630) 365-5100, ext. 210, in advance to arrange an appointment to register. High school students will receive their schedules online and fee statements in the mail. For high school students, PE clothes and locks are available for purchase in the Athletic Office during the first week of school.

Harter Middle School hours are 7:25 a.m to 2:40 p.m. Kaneland High School hours are 7:35 a.m. to 2:50 p.m.

Important information for
students/parents new to District 302

If you are in the process of moving into the Kaneland District, register as soon as possible. Contact the appropriate school building to be certain that you meet the state residency criteria to attend the district’s schools. You are encouraged to visit the building before school starts. Each school will host an open house for new students; visit for information.

Also note that, if a student is not registered by Wednesday, Aug. 1, bus service cannot be guaranteed for the first two weeks of school. If your child will be transported to or from an approved child care facility, make sure you have filled out the necessary paperwork by Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Special education programs and
services for new students

In order to identify appropriate programming and service options, parents of children with special needs are encouraged to bring current IEP’s with them when they register their child for school. The IEP enables the district to implement services in a timely manner and is vital for providing a smooth transition for your child to his or her new school.

For information, contact Fran Eggleston, director of Special Education, at (630) 365-5111, ext. 111.

Fees for the 2012-13 school year are as follows: textbook rental and instructional materials, early childhood technology fee, early childhood textbook rental and instructional materials, kindergarten technology fee, kindergarten textbook rental and instructional materials, grades 1-5 technology fee, grades 1-5 textbook rental and instructional materials, grades 6-8 technology fee, grades 6-8 middle school extracurricular activities, middle school clubs, middle school drama (school plays), textbook rental and instructional materials, grades 9-12 technology fee, grades 9-12 parking permit fee (must receive permission to drive to school), extracurricular activities, poms/cheerleading, high school clubs, high school class play/musical, driver education, plus $20 permit fee (made payable to Secretary of State).

Payment must be postmarked by Monday, Aug. 20. Fees may be paid online at

Textbook rental and instructional material fees have been frozen since 2007; only extra-curricular and parking fees have increased or been instituted.

Student insurance options
The district has recently added student accident insurance coverage to the district’s policy. However, the student’s primary health insurance carrier will be the first means of coverage.

School lunch program
This year, the cost of hot lunch is $2.05 for students in grades 6-12, milk sold separately.

Hot lunch is not available at the elementary schools. Students in grades 1-5 will be required to bring their own lunches on a daily basis. Milk will be available for $.30. An optional annual payment of $48 is also offered, along with a per-semester option (first semester, $25; second semester, $24). Lunches will be provided to students eligible for free lunches.

Examinations and health requirements
The School Code of Illinois requires that proof of a physical examination be provided at registration for all students entering the Early Childhood Program, kindergarten, sixth grade, ninth grade, and for all students who are enrolling at Kaneland from another state.

Dental examinations are required for all kindergarten, second-graders and sixth-graders, and vision examinations are required for all kindergarten students, and students entering Kaneland from another state. Forms for the physical examination are available in the school office or online ( To be valid, these examinations must have been administered by a licensed physician within one year of the entry date into the grades cited above.

The physical form needs to include the immunizations, health history and diabetes screening (based on height and weight). Beginning 2012-13, any child entering sixth and ninth grade shall show proof of receiving one dose of Dtap vaccine, regardless of the interval since the last Dtap, DT or Td dose. Immunizations are available from the Kane County Health Department. Call (630) 264-7665.

Early childhood and kindergarten students must provide proof of having received lead screening, and all Kaneland students in K-12 must furnish proof of having received all required shots for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), polio, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus (DPT) and chicken pox by Oct. 15.

In addition, students entering the early childhood program must furnish proof of having received HIB and Hepatitis B shots by Oct. 15, and students entering 5th grade must also furnish proof of having received Hepatitis B shots by Oct. 15.

Kindergarten students must show proof of having received one dose of Varicella on or after their first birthday, or show proof of having had the disease by the health care provider.

Any questions regarding health records should be addressed to the nurse of the school your child is attending. Any questions regarding immunization requirements should be addressed to the Kane County Health Department, (630) 264-7665.

Silver better than gold for Kaneland Krier

by Hope Ziegel
KANELAND—The Kaneland Krier last month won 15 awards in the 2012 High School Communications Competition, as announced by the National Federation of Press Women on May 14.

The Krier is Kaneland High School’s newspaper, and is run and organized by students.

Cheryl Borrowdale, journalism teacher and advisor for the paper, was very proud of the students’ hard work.

“I’m really proud of what we have accomplished at Krier. Putting on a student paper is a lot harder than most people expect, mainly because there are a lot of aspects to make sure are right,” Borrowdale said.

The following are students who received awards: Ameilia Likeum, Emily Gulanczyk, Heather Shelton, Kaprice Sanchez, Diana Nuno, Morgan Buerke, Brittany Larsen, Alexandra Vickery, Lanie Callaghan, Casey Jacobson, Nick Stollard, Tyler Keenum and Austin Paulson.

Likeum, a freshman, was thrilled to go to the ceremony and to win in the feature photo category.

“I really liked the speaker. He really explained what it was like to be a real journalist,” she said.

Students were even more pleased to find out that they had won the Silver Pen Award. This was KHS’ first time winning the award.

“We are proud, we know the students of Krier are incredible,” said Diane McFarlin, Kaneland High School assistant principal. “We are proud that their incredible work gets this kind of recognition.”

The next level of the competition is that all of the first place winners are sent to one judge for the national competition.

Kaneland won two national awards this year. One award went to Ameilia Likeum for her feature photo, and the other to senior Diana Nuno and sophomore Kaprice Sanchez for their feature story.

“I’m the most proud of the recognition. I put my whole heart into the story and I worked very hard to bring it up to its full potential,” Nuno said. “While nothing’s perfect, I’m proud of the work I did and I’m glad judges agree.”

As national winners, all three students will be invited to the national ceremony in Arizona.

As the Kaneland Krier concludes the 2011-12 school year, the students’ hurry to finish the last issue of the year.

“(The Krier taught me) how to lead. It’s the greatest responsibility I’ve been given. When editors come to me for advice, I feel honored to be considered a mentor,” Nuno said. “When they come ask me for my opinion, or when they have a problem and they come to me when our adviser isn’t available, is surreal. I used to be the student asking a question every two seconds. While I’m still not expert status, it’s weird to know so much because of my experience.”

Kaneland Foundation hosts inaugural cross country race

5k Cross Country Race
Friday, June 22
8 p.m.
Kaneland High School Campus
47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park

KANELAND–The Kaneland Foundation will host its inaugural 5k Cross Country Race on Friday, June 22, at 8 p.m. at the Kaneland High School campus/football stadium, 47W326 Keslinger Road, Maple Park. There will also be a Kids Track Run at 7 p.m. and a 1 Mile Fun Run/Walk at 7:30 p.m.

The 5k and 1 Mile runs will cover a flat cross country course entirely on the Kaneland Campus. Racers will finish on the Kaneland track for a spectator-friendly and exciting event.

The 5k will be timed and awards will be offered in age groups and overall categories. Prizes will be awarded to the top three overall male & female finishers in the following age groups for the 5k Cross Country Race: 14 and under, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-65, 65 and over.

All runners who register by Friday, June 15, will receive a T-shirt for participating. Packet pick-up begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 22, near the track at the Kaneland High School Campus.

No registration fee is required for the Kids Track Run, but a signed waiver must be on file.
There is $10 registration fee for the 1 mile Fun Run/Walk. A signed waiver must also be on file.
There is a $20 registration fee for the 5k Cross Country Race. A signed waiver is required.

Download the race applications at or register and pay on-line from the website. For more information, call (630) 365-8295 or email To mail in forms and money, address it to:

Beth Sterkel
Kaneland Foundation
47W326 Keslinger Road
Maple Park, IL 60151

Openings remain in Extended Day Kindergarten

KANELAND—Kaneland Community Unit School District 302 is proud to announce the opening of their Extended Day Kindergarten Program for the upcoming school year (2012-13). They have completed the initial application collection process and have 137 applicants. All 137 applicants have been placed for next year. At Kaneland John Shields, Kaneland John Stewart and Kaneland McDole Elementary buildings, they are able to run two sections of extended day kindergarten and one section at Kaneland Blackberry Creek.

At this time, Kaneland is opening the remaining sections for a first-come first-placed entrance process. A few of the schools have openings in each section. Kaneland is excited to offer these spots to other students that have not yet applied.

At Kaneland McDole Elementary, nine openings remain; Kaneland John Shields has three openings, and Kaneland John Stewart has seven places remaining.

Apply at your local school for the Extended Day Kindergarten Program. Any further applicants at Kaneland Blackberry Creek Elementary will be placed on a waiting list at this time. Please note that when you apply, all core Kindergarten fees must be paid in full. More specific information about this program and a registration form is available from the main page of our website,

Should you have further questions, direct them to Dr. Sarah Mumm at (630) 365-5111, ext. 112 or

Congratulations Class of 2012

Triplets Tyler, Trever and Samantha Heinle getting ready to receive their diplomas.
Photos by Patti Wilk

Kaneland High School’s Class of 2012 held their graduation ceremony on Saturday at the NIU Convocation Center in DeKalb. Class President was Ashlyn Slamans, and Class Valedictorian was Malory Groen.

Graduate Kylie Siebert gets a hug from a little friend.

The 2012 class flips their tassels, symbolizing that they are now high school graduates.

Moving forward

Elburn/Kaneland IGA approved as board president breaks tied vote
by Lynn Meredith
ELBURN—Village Board President Dave Anderson on Monday broke the tie and carried the motion for Elburn to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with the Kaneland School District.

Trustees Jerry Schmidt, Bill Grabarek and Dave Gualdoni voted against signing an agreement to require developers to pay land/cash dedications and school impact fees. They opposed the IGA based on the concern that the playing field among municipalities in the Kaneland district would not be level if only Elburn agrees to make developers pay.

“We’ve got concerns. We’re all afraid of being undercut by another municipality,” Grabarek said. “The fear is that some other municipality in the district pushes for lower fees with the school district. They would be driving down fees and putting a greater pinch on the taxpayers and the school district.”

The parties spent a year or more of working to get all eight municipalities to sign an IGA with the school district. The IGA ensures that the schools would get enough money to meet the additional financial and user demands on the district and its facilities and services.

All but one municipality—Sugar Grove—agreed to sign.

“We passed a resolution in support of the IGA,” said Cheryl Krauspe, president of the Kaneland School Board. “We worked hard, and we thought we had it done. We thought we had everyone on the same page. It would have made things a lot easier at this juncture. If we compromise with one municipality, the taxpayers will feel it. We don’t have the authority that the villages do to set these fees. We just paid for the study of what the real costs are.”

The issue of the IGA is a hot one because the village is in the process of setting impact fees and land/cash requirements for the Elburn Station development. Sho-Deen representative Dave Patzelt said he believes the fees are too high and based on a faulty method. A new study conducted by Roger Dahlstrom last year had figures higher than what Patzelt feels the true cost of educating a Kaneland student is.

On a four-bedroom house costing $250,000, the impact fee the developer would pay would be $6,000, the maximum allowed. For lower priced homes, the fee would be 75 percent of the CIP. The developer would not pay a real estate tax lag. In all, this represents a 25 percent reduction from the 2011 IGA, which all municipalities, with the exception of Sugar Grove, agreed to sign.

Those on the board who opposed the IGA objected to language that made renegotiation somewhat unclear, and the fact that Elburn was the only party in the agreement.

“What’s the incentive to come to Elburn?” Trustee Jerry Schmidt asked. “If we approve this, we’re throwing three years work (to get the Elburn Station development approved) out the window. It’s not a level playing field, and I just can’t vote for it.”

Hastert agreed that if all municipalities weren’t party to it, the agreement was imperfect.

“If we sign a two-party agreement, everyone else will ignore this IGA. This is a hot issue; the time is now (to make agreements with developers for impact fees),” Hastert said. “Our agreement may be the catalyst to get the others to sign on.”

Ken Anderson voted to enter into the IGA based on the concern that the taxpayers will be asked to pay for schools if the developers don’t.

“We need to protect our existing residents,” Anderson said.

With the board vote deadlocked at 3-3, President Anderson served as the tie breaker, voting in favor of the IGA. In the case of a tied vote, the president is allowed a vote.

“We’re making sure that the developer pays its fair share to educate our kids. We’re setting a precedent,” he said.

The Crosby Show

Photo: Casey Crosby dishes toward the plate in his major league debut on Friday in a 9-4 loss to the New York Yankees at Comerica Park in Detroit. Crosby becomes the first Kaneland High School athlete to make the major leagues. Yankee Derek Jeter was the first hitter he faced on Friday. Mark Cunningham/Detroit Tigers

Former Knight lefty officially becomes current Tiger southpaw
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Never has a pitching appearance that lasted 3.1 innings been so noteworthy or celebrated.

Elburn and the surrounding area will forever remember the name Doug Fister, as it was his left side strain that forced the Detroit Tigers to sideline him last week with a 15-day disabled list stint. The club then called up Kaneland High School Class of 2007 member Casey Crosby on May 30.


“I felt like I was going to black out. I was all excited and couldn’t stand still.”

– Detroit Tiger Casey Crosby, on receiving the news of promotion to Major League Baseball last week.


Crosby, the 181st player selected in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft, received the call from the Tigers to go up to “The Show” and made his first start on Friday, nearly five years to the day he was selected by the Tigers.

Crosby recalled the details of the whirlwind week by phone at Comerica Park on Tuesday.

“They called around 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time and I was in Rochester (N.Y.),” Crosby said. “There is no explanation or way to prepare yourself. I felt like I was going to black out. I was all excited and I couldn’t stand still.”

Crosby’s first start was a national television broadcast done by Bob Costas and John Smoltz.

It was only against the New York Yankees.

While Crosby was replaced in the fourth inning of his major league debut, the southpaw is up with the big club and ready to help the Tigers in their American League Central division race.

“When I got into the locker room I saw (pitchers) Drew Smyly, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander, and they said congrats.”

Crosby now serves manager Jim Leyland on the mound and was at ease when dealing with his tactics and his clubhouse.

“He’s definitely a player’s manager,” Crosby said. “He likes it loose in there, not tight. He talks with everyone before the game.”

While he flummoxed hitters like Curtis Granderson and Alex Rodriguez on changeups, he fell victim to a bases-on-balls epidemic and surrendered a grand slam to Granderson, falling behind 5-1 in the second inning en route to getting tagged with the loss.

Going into the game, Crosby was able to have a degree of comfort due to a lineup switch.


“(Casey) is a humble kid who has come a long way.”

– KHS baseball coach Brian Aversa


“Omir Santos was the catcher that night and he caught me in Toledo (Class AAA), so he was familiar with me, and we were able to talk about what we would do,” Crosby said.

Crosby was prepared to go into Friday’s start for battle, regardless of the intimidating nature of the AL East powerhouse lineup.

“I knew entering in that it’s a big league linup and it’ll be tough. You just go in there and they are like any other hitters and you can get them out. You just try to make it through,” Crosby said.

Crosby had plenty of well-wishers that not only made a short trip to Comerica Park, but from here, as well.

“I felt like a little kid. (Casey) is a humble kid who has come a long way,” KHS baseball coach Brian Aversa said.

Aversa was able to be at the helm for Crosby’s senior season on the diamond in 2007. He was just one of approximately 25 people of a group that included family, friends, coaches and teammates like Jake Razo.

“It was so cool to see, and it’s all up to him now if he performs well. He’s shown he can pitch at this level,” Aversa said.

Crosby knows the sheer odds he had to wade through to get to Detroit. He plans to bounce back after taking the loss on Friday.

“You’ve seen the stats on players that make it to the majors after being drafted. It’s definitely cool to know you’re one that made it. You know how to succeed and you know how fail once you pitch on this level. You don’t dwell on it and you move on and that the experience is for the better.

Crosby is scheduled to face the visiting Cleveland Indians on Thursday, June 7.



• Crosby’s Tigers jersey No. 45 was most recently worn by Ryan Perry, Aquilino Lopez, Alexis Gomez and Lino Urdaneta.

• As of Friday, Crosby becomes the 12th player from the fifth round of the 2007 draft to make the majors, which includes Cardinals pitcher Mark Rzepczynski.

• As of Friday, Crosby becomes the 6th player from Detroit’s 2007 draft to make the majors, joining Rick Porcello, Danny Worth, Luke Putkonen, Charlie Furbush and former Cub DJ LeMahieu.

• As a Kaneland senior in 2006, Crosby nabbed 75 catches for 1,185 yards and 18 TD’s as a wide receiver for the Knights’ football squad that made it to the Class 5A semifinals.


Friday, June 1, 2012 Comerica Park, DETROIT, Mich. Detroit Tigers (24-27) vs. New York Yankees (27-23) 56 degrees, cloudy Wind: 14 mph, out to left Home plate umpire: Jerry Layne Yankees P: CC Sabathia (6-2) Crosby’s box score: Top 1: Derek Jeter singled to center, Curtis Granderson struck out looking, Mark Teixeira lined out to left, Jeter to second on passed ball, Alex Rodriguez struck out looking 0 runs, 1 hits, 0 errors NY Yankees 0, Detroit 0 A Danny Worth RBI single gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Top 2nd: Robinson Cano walked, Nick Swisher walked, Cano to second, Andruw Jones fouled out to third, Jayson Nix walked, Cano to third, Swisher to second, Chris Stewart flied out to shallow left, Jeter walked, Cano scored, Swisher to third, Nix to second, Granderson homered to deep right, Swisher, Nix and Jeter scored, Teixeira flied out to left 5 runs, 1 hits, 0 errors NY Yankees 5, Detroit 1 Top 3rd: Rodriguez struck out swinging, Cano grounded out to shortstop, Swisher flied out to left 0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors NY Yankees 5, Detroit 1 A Ramon Santiago home run and a Prince Fiedler RBI single cut the Yankees lead to 5-3 in the bottom of the third inning. Top 4th: Jones grounded out to shortstop, Nix doubled to shallow right, Nix stole third Stewart singled to shallow center, Nix scored Luis Marte relieved C. Crosby 1 runs, 2 hits, 0 errors NY Yankees 6, Detroit 3 Final score: NY Yankees 9, Tigers 4 W: Sabathia (7-2) L: Crosby (0-1) SV: Rafael Soriano (7) IP H R ER BB K HR WHIP ERA Crosby 3.1 4 6 6 4 3 1 2.40 16.20 76 pitches, 40 strikes

Elburn native cuts singer-songwriter album in Nashville

Photo: Charles Cain playing with the NIU Jazz Band. Courtesy Photo

by Keith Beebe
ELBURN—The Elburn-to-Nashville pipeline might not be thought of as a road to potential success and stardom, but it’s a path that suits Charles Cain just fine.

Cain, a former Elburn resident, 2009 Kaneland High School graduate and multi-instrumentalist, recently released his album “Civil Ghost,” an effort that took Cain a year to fund and two weeks to record. And in early May, he rang in his 21st birthday by playing a debut show in Nashville—the songwriting capital of the world, and the city where Cain currently resides.

Cain’s music is described as “rich, soulful indie music.” As for how he was bitten by the music bug, Cain’s mother Lora said it was probably due to the abundance of music that was played in their home during his childhood.

“We always had music on in the house, from the time he was little,” she said.

Charles Cain with his first drum set in 1998. Courtesy Photo

“My parents would play it loud, I remember that,” Charles said. “I’m told I would sing and dance to George Thorogood when I was 2, but mostly I remember my dad’s favorite: Van Morrison. He was always playing that. My older brother, Jonathan, studied piano, too, so music was all around. Always. In one form or another.”

Lora said the musical gene in Charlie’s family largely stems from his grandmother, Darlene Stoffa.

“She’s Elburn’s Betty White. She played piano while we kids all sang,” Lora said. “I learned to play piano, and I would play, and both our sons play piano. That’s Jonathan’s primary instrument, but he is also an aviator, so he is pursuing his career in business, often helping his little brother with music and finance decisions.”

As a young musician, Charles was involved in band and drumline. Following high school graduation, he attended the Chicago College of Performing Arts and studied jazz percussion. Charles said his attraction to percussion as a major was instinctive.

“(As a child) I told my mom I wanted drums for Christmas, and that Christmas she found a set of used drums at a used instrument store,” he said. “It’s my favorite Christmas memory. Drum set came very naturally to me even when I was really young.”

In terms of ensemble work, Charles cut his teeth in the group Bugs as Trees, which also featured keyboardist Alec Watson. Watson’s playing can be heard on several tracks on “Civil Ghost.”

“Alec is a world-class keyboard player. He studies at the Dave Brubeck Institute in California,” Lora said. “Alec literally travels the world performing. He wanted to play keyboards on Charles’ album, so we flew Alec to Nashville.”

Lora said songwriting is the next step in Charles’ career.

“Publishing is a great field for him. He’s a phenomenal musician and that’s his passion, but money is easier to attain in songwriting,” she said. “He is hoping to keep his music performance a passion and not the way to pay the mortgage.”

“(Songwriting) was always in me, but I didn’t share it until I was ready, which was in my mid-teens,” Charles said. “I’m always writing. It never ends. It’s in my head at all times. I never really sleep.”

“Civil Ghost” is available on iTunes, and can be heard on Spotify and

NIB-12 roster to drop by 1 in 2014

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Northern Illinois Big XII action is going to look different in a couple of years.

Kaneland athletics director Leigh Jaffke was informed by e-mail on Friday that Dixon will leave the NIB-12.

“Their superintendent suggested they look elsewhere,” Jaffke said on Tuesday. “They were open and upfront and now the conference has to look for new options.”

Jaffke also said Streator High School was looking for a new conference on suggestions of its superintendent but could not find appropriate suitors.

“According to bylaws, Dixon has two years left in the conference, and the conference will see who’s out there. We’d like to expand and get eight and eight on either side,” Jaffke said.

Jaffke said the conference had been talking with two schools recently, but the locations by the Indiana and Iowa border was an obstacle.

“The travel would be insurmountable,” Jaffke said.

With Dixon’s departure, the West Division is left with five teams: Geneseo, LaSalle-Peru, Ottawa, Sterling and Streator.

Our moms are the best!

For Mother’s Day, Kaneland John Stewart Elementary School third-grade teacher Sue Biddle assigned each of her students to write a persuasive essay on whey their mom is the best. Here is what they wrote:

by Alexis
My mom is the best in the whole wide world because she buys me everything I need. She also is the best cook in the world. The first reason my mom is the best in the world is she buys me everything! I can remember one time when my mom got me a desk and school supplies. She got me books so I can read in my room. The next reason is mom buys me the best clothes, like cute dresses. Another reason is she makes good cakes. When it’s my birthday, she is like a star! Mom makes delicious spaghetti with little meatballs. Yummy! Truly that’s why my mom is the most awesome on Earth. Do you agree?

by Erik
My mom is the best mom in the universe because she is a great cook and she buys me stuff that I need and want. First of all, my mom is a great cook. My mom cooks food that I like, like tamales and enchiladas. My mom learned to cook because my grandma taught her.
Second of all, she buys me stuff that I need. She buys me things like clothes and snacks. She also buys me things I enjoy playing with, like a toy horse. Definitely, that’s why my mom is the best.

by Miguel
My mom is the mom in the universe because she is a great cook and she takes care of me.
My mom is the best mom in the universe because she is a great cook. My mom is a great cook because bakes tasty cakes. My favorite cake is vanilla cake with vanilla frosting.
She makes things for dinner, like spaghetti.
Another reason my mom is the best is because she takes care of me. She always helps me with my homework and my reading. We read together every day. We both like Franny K. Stein, and she’s really good at math.
All in all, that’s why mom is the best mom in the universe. Don’t you agree?

by Jake
My mom is the best mom in the galaxy because she makes amazing food. She also takes me and my family on trips.
The first reasons my mom is the best is because my mom’s food is really tasty. I like my mom’s food because I get to eat my mom’s special pasta with bacon. I also like my mom’s chicken bake.
The pasta colors are green, red and tan, and it is just so good.
The second reason is because I like to go on trips with my family. My mom gives us ideas. I also like when we go to her favorite places, like the dunes. There are lots of beaches and sand hills. I also like swimming with my family.
These are the two reasons I love my mom.

Super Mom
by Grace
My mom is the best mom in the universe because she is a good cook and buys me things I need. One reason I believe my mom is the best mom is because she is a great cook. My mom makes awesome chocolate cake for special occasions. My mom makes awesome zucchini chocolate chip cake any time she wants.
Another reason I believe my mom is the best is because she buys me things I need. She buys me beautiful dresses. She buys me water, juice and other drinks.
That’s why I believe my mom is the best in the universe. Do you think that, too?

by Christian
My mom is the best mom because she is an amazing cook and she loves art.
One reason I like my mom is that she’s a great cook. She is a great cook and she makes her famous noodles for me. She makes really good peanut butter sandwiches. Yum!
Another thing is that my mom likes art. My mom likes Keith Horima. My mom taught art in my class.
Do you like my mom?

The Best Mom Ever
by Ashlee
I think my mom is the best mom ever because she is great at making good dinners for me, and she is really smart.
One reason my mom is great at cooking is that she makes good dinners every night for my dad and me. My mom goes online for healthy dinner recipes. One of my favorites is when she makes chicken pot pie. It has peas, chicken and carrots, too. My mom follows the directions to get it right.
Another reason my mom is the best is that she is smart when helping me do my homework. My mom helps me do math, and she did math work when she was a kid, so she knows how to help me with every problem.
Truly, my mom is the best mom because she is so kind and sweet to me.

The Best Mom Ever
by Sadie
My mom is the best mom ever because she is a great cook and is very kind.
One reason my mom is the most wonderful mom is she is a great cook. She cooks great-tasting things, like nachos. I like her nachos because she puts brown beans on them and makes dip. Sometimes she mixes brown beans in the cheese, which makes it taste awesome. I like how the chips get heated.
Another reason why I think my mom is the best mom is because she is very kind. She is kind because she buys me stuff like stuffed animals and birthday presents. My mom sometimes also lets me stay up later than my bedtime. I like to stay up late.
As you can see, I think my mom is a great cook and is very kind.

My Mommy
by Jorge
My mom is the most special mom in the world because she is a hard worker and a loving person. She buys me things that I need and enjoy.
The first reason my mom is so special is because she is a hard worker. She is a hard worker because she works all night at her job. She works at Taco Bell. When she comes home, she works there, too. She makes dinner and she cleans the house.
The second reason my mom is so special is because she is a loving person. My mom is a loving person because she takes me out to have fun. My mom makes my favorite food: pancakes.
The third reason my mom is special is because she buys me things that I need to live, and things that I enjoy. She buys me clothes and food, and she buys me water and a D.S.I. I like pizza because she orders my favorite: pepperoni.
In fact, I love my mom for all these reasons and more.

The Best Mom Ever
by Troy
My mom is the kindest mom ever because she helps me bake and helps me do my home work.
One reason my mom is the kindest mom is because we bake together. I like to bake with my mom because we make lots of things, like pot pie. It has carrots, peas and a crispy crust. Yum!
Another reason my mom is the kindest mom is because she always helps me with homework. My mom is the kindest mom ever because she helps me with my math.
In fact, my mom is the best mom ever. She is a great cook and helps me with my school work.

by Edgar
My mom is the best mommy on Earth because she teaches me and takes care of me.
One reason my mommy is the best is that she teaches me how to respect my daddy’s boss’ house. She tells me to not hit the wall and make a hole. She doesn’t let me break the doors and makes me keep it clean. When I play inside with my toys, I am careful. When I go to sleep and my toys are on the floor, in the morning my mommy says, “Pick up your toys.”
The second reason is that my mommy takes care of me. She holds my hand on the sidewalk. She makes sure my seat belt is on when we are in the car. She picks out my clothes in the morning.
Definitely that’s why my mommy is the world’s best. She helps me learn, and takes care of me. I am so lucky I have my mommy.

by Ella
My mommy is the most delightful mommy in the universe because she is caring and protective.
One reason my mommy is delightful is she is caring. When my mommy cooks, it is really good. When my mommy cooks, she never burns anything.
Another reason my mommy is delightful is she is protective. My mommy said when I am able to stay home, I can’t answer the door. If I am outside, my mommy is outside, too.
Clearly my mommy is delightful because she is caring and protective. Don’t you agree?

by Makenna
I think my mom is the most excellent mom in the universe because she cooks good and makes me look my best.
My first reason my mom is an excellent mom is because she cooks very good. When my mom makes popcorn, it’s amazing because she puts a lot of butter and salt on it. Also, she warms the popcorn to the perfect temperature and uses the stove to make it.
The next reason why my mom is excellent is she always makes me look my best. My mom makes me look excellent, like how she did for the music concert. Also, she paints my fingernails and curls my hair.
That’s why my mom is the best mom in the universe

by Cale
My mom is the most amazing mom ever. She buys me good stuff and makes great dinners.
The first reason my mom is amazing is because she buys me good stuff. My mom buys me football gear and clothes. She bought me a Blackhawks jersey.
The second reason my mom is amazing is because she makes great dinners. She tries to make my favorite dinners. They are good and they taste great.
My mom is the most amazing mom because she makes me great dinners and she buys me great stuff.
Don’t you think my mom is great?

The Most Fun Mom in the Universe
by Aubrey
My mom is the most amazing and fun mom in the universe because she is talented at arts and crafts.
First, my mom is amazingly talented at art. My mom is a realistic artist. She went to college to learn about art. She did life drawings, still-life drawings and also other types of drawings. She helps my friend and me draw. My mom helps us by making still life, and then we draw it.
Another reason is that my mom is fun at crafts. She does Girl Scouts with me. She finds projects for our Troop 4283 to do. Our Troop planted a tree at Lion’s Park. It is fun to see the things my mom sews, like pillows and my outfits. She makes good party invitations.
At last, my mom is fun and amazing. She helps me when I am sick. She packs my lunch and helps with my homework. My mom drives me tumbling and soccer. She makes food I like
She makes foods I like. I love, love, love pancakes. I also like pizza.
Once again, my mom is the most amazing and fun mom in the universe. I love my mom.

Super Mom
by Mason
My mom is the best in every galaxy because she cares for me and is super funny.
One reason is that she cares for me no matter what. One time I feel out of a two-story window and my neck open. So when I was in the hospital, she was with me every step of the way.
Another reason she’s the best is that she’s super funny. One time we got glasses with mustaches on them, and she put one on. It was really funny.
Now you know why my mom is the best in every galaxy and is so funny. So, do you agree?

My Mom
by Rose
My mom is the best mom ever because she is very talented and very protective.
One reason why my mom is talented is because she has four children, two jobs, and is still alive. For an example, for you to have four children and two jobs, you have to be neat and fast. My mom is talented because she is always on task. Another reason why my mom is talented is because she always wants to have time with me, but she is always so busy. Sometimes my mom calls off work for me and we play something, like we are going to the zoo together and my stuffed animals are the animals.
Another thing that my mom is is protective. For an example, she is protective she always says prayers with me at night. Also, she tucks me in at night. The last thing that she is protective about is she buys me foods and drinks so I can live. Also, she is always there for me.
That is why my mom is talented and protective. Don’t you agree?

My Mom
by Samuel
My mom is the most fantastic in the world because she is a great cook and is protective.
One reason I believe my mom is a great cook is that she makes delightful soup. Mom makes me all kinds of soup. The soups are homemade with carrots, broccoli and peas in it. It tastes the best. She is also a great cook because my mom makes amazing brownies. They taste so good.
Another reason is that she is real protective. My mom is protective because she does not let us talk to strangers. She does not let us cross the street unless we look for cars. Also, she won’t let us stay at home alone unless we are 12 years old. She won’t let us outside unless we stay in the yard.
Now you see why my mom is the best. Don’t you agree?

by Alyssa
My mom is the best mom ever because she is creative and is a good cook.
First, my mom is creative. She designs homes in work and she does a great job. She has her own website. She put every room in the house. My mom is also good at drawing and painting. She painted a tree on the wall in my room.
Another reason is my mom is also a perfect cook. My mom makes really good pancakes for breakfast. She also makes great pizza.
That is how my mom is the best mom ever. Don’t you agree?

by McKenna
My mom is talented in cooking and reading. One reason my mom is talented in cooking is because of the good food she makes. My mom makes the yummy lunch I bring to school. I think what is yummy in my lunch are my sandwich and my Cheese-Its and my cookies. Don’t you think that sounds really good?
Another reason is my mom is a good reader. When I was little, my mom taught me how to read. That’s how I got better at reading and became a good reader. Are you a good reader? I read a chapter book called “Harry Potter.” I read to my mom sometimes, and my mom likes it.
Now you know my mom is the greatest mom in the world, and why my mom is so talented.

by Danielle
My mom is the best person in the universe because she is a good cook and buys me stuff I need.
The first reason my mom is the best is that she cooks the greatest dinners. My favorite delicious dinner is meatball sandwiches that she makes from scratch. The huge meatballs are tucked into Italian bread with dripping tomato sauce. It tastes like I am in heaven. My whole family thinks meatball sandwiches taste good. I beg for them every night. That’s how good the meatballs sandwiches are. Wouldn’t you agree?
The second reason my mom is the best is she buys me stuff I need. Sometimes my mom gets me stuff I don’t ask for. She picks out awesome clothes and shoes. She also buys me little gifts when it’s not my birthday.
Now you know why my mom is the best in the universe, because she cooks amazing and buys me stuff I need.

by Tyler
My mom is the best mom in the galaxy because she takes time off to watch my baseball games, and cooks very good meals.
The first reason my mom is special is because she puts family first. She always washes our dishes so we can eat our food on the clean dishes before we play baseball.
Whenever my mom is doing something, she stops and goes to a game or a practice. Before we play baseball.
Another reason why I love my mom is she cooks meals that I love. The first reason why she cooks pizza, white sauce, cheese and pepperoni.
Another reason why I love my mom’s meals is because of the cheeseburgers she makes with BBQ, meat and spices.
Now you know why I love my mom so much.

Elburn board fails to vote on school impact fees

by Susan O’Neill
Elburn—Progress on the Elburn Station development came to a halt on Monday night, after four Village Board trustees declined to vote on an agreement with the Kaneland School District.

Elburn Station is a proposed transit-oriented development that would add more than 2,000 residential units, as well as commerical properties, in an area ranging from the Elburn train coachyard, Anderson Road, Keslinger Road and Route 38.

The agreement, which had been negotiated between village and School District officials, included capital impact fees to help pay for the new students the development would bring. Although the agreement initially focused only on the Shodeen development, the final draft version was a village-wide agreement between Elburn and the district.

When trustee Ken Anderson made a motion to vote on the agreement, no one else would second it. The motion died on the floor. The other trustees present were Jerry Schmidt, Jeff Walter, Bill Grabarek and David Gualdoni. Ethan Hastert was absent.

“One issue I have is there’s no clause that protects Elburn from another plan being negotiated (between another municipality and the School District) that is lower,” Walter said. “I want to see a guarantee that we would go to the lower fee structure.”

The other trustees raised similar concerns. Several years ago, all of the municipalities within the Kaneland School District agreed to the same fees, to level the playing field for developers looking to build within the district.

Last fall, however, all of the district’s municipalities except Sugar Grove agreed to a revised fee structure for the schools. Sugar Grove declined to participate. That agreement included higher fees than the one Elburn is currently considering.

Sugar Grove Village President Sean Michels said the village’s decision last year not to participate in an across-the-board agreement with the School District boiled down to capital infrastructure improvements needed for different developments.

“We support a strong School District, but we’re trying to look at development as a total package,” Michels said. “We have to balance the needs of all the taxing bodies.”

The four Elburn trustees said they are concerned either that Elburn will end up paying the lion’s share of the cost to educate the children in the district, or that developers will build somewhere else to avoid the fees Elburn charges.

“Let’s make it a level playing field,” Gualdoni said.

“I don’t want to see a failed development because it’s cheaper to build in Sugar Grove,” Grabarek said.

Village President Dave Anderson and trustee Ken Anderson found themselves in the minority on this issue.

Dave Anderson said that the board should not put the burden of development onto existing Elburn property owners.

“They are all our kids; we’re all responsible,” he said. “We’ve got an opportunity to do it right. I don’t want to inhibit growth, but it should not be at any cost.”

He asked the other board members, “What’s the quickest way to kill a village?”

Answering his own question, he said, “Let your School District go to pot. This will come back to haunt us.”

Ken Anderson asked the others what they would do if another municipality decided not to pay the School District anything.

“That’s not looking out for our future kids or the future of this town,” he said. “Do two wrongs make a right?”

Further complicating the issue, Shodeen developer Dave Patzelt expressed surprise that the 25 percent fee reduction in impact fees did not apply to all housing units within the development. The discount in the impact fee structure begins with homes valued at $300,000 or more, and gradually increases until it reaches the full 25 percent reduction.

“The discount sounds good, but in reality, it’s not a discount,” Patzelt said.

He said he was not interested in moving forward with the development under those conditions.

At one point during the discussion, Patzelt said that his company believes in quality schools and paying a reasonable fee for the schools. He offered to create an escrow account, which would be used to pay directly for the students his development brought into the village. That is when Ken made his motion to vote on the School District IGA.

Ken Anderson on Tuesday expressed surprise at the board members’ reactions on Monday.

“It looked like we were on the same page last week,” he said.

Ken said he didn’t have a problem with having a flexible agreement, so that if new numbers or new data became available, the fees could be adjusted up or down.

“It should work for the benefit of the village and the schools,” he said. “The schools still cost money to run. That doesn’t change because the economy is bad. They’re still paying teachers and they’re still maintaining buildings.”

The board opened up the public hearing on the annexation and planned development agreement on Monday, and will reconvene it next week.

“I would strongly recommend that the IGA with the School District be done before the annexation agreement with Shodeen,” Village Attorney Bob Britz said.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting is set for Monday, May 21, at 7 p.m.

School Board states support of original IGA terms

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—Kaneland School Board members on Monday voted 7-0 to state their support of the terms included in a proposed Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) between the School District and the village of Elburn.

The IGA would be a 10-year agreement, with land/cash value remaining at its current level. Capital impact fees would continue to follow the Roger Dahlstrom model, with payments prorated at 75 percent. There would be no clause to lower those payments if another municipality reached an agreement containing lower fees.

Superintendent Jeff Schuler said the board’s message was simply meant to inform Elburn that they support the terms of the IGA.

“Since the Elburn Village Board did not approve the IGA last night, their board is going to discuss what they feel they can agree to. The School Board will then have to decide if an IGA makes sense with those terms. Certainly the School District feels strongly about the terms as they are currently written in the proposed IGA,” he said.

Schuler in November 2011 issued a document stating Kaneland’s commitment to the following principles:

• Tables produced through Dahlstrom’s updated study reflect actual costs associated with new growth
• The cost of growth should not be absorbed only by existing residents, and should be paid for by new growth through appropriate impact fees
• Deviation from the current model or reduction in impact fees increases the burden on existing residents
• A quality Kaneland education—one delivered in adequate facilities—is essential to the growth of all eight municipalities served through the current IGA
• A Kaneland education costs the same for all students, regardless of where they reside. Deviation from Dahlstrom’s tables by any municipality impacts the School District’s ability to provide an appropriate education to all its students

Without an IGA in place, municipalities working toward an annexation agreement must determine the amount of land-cash and capital-impact payments collected on behalf of the School District. Schuler said he views the IGA as an agreement between the village and School Board that clearly identifies the cost of growth that will otherwise be shifted to existing residents.

“The IGA ensures that this cost burden is not compromised through the negotiation of the annexation agreement,” he said. “It is written to protect the needs of the village, School District and all existing taxpayers. We feel strongly that the agreement should be approved.”

Board approves Kindergarten extension program

KANELAND—School Board members on April 30 voted 7-0 to approve a Kindergarten extension program.

According to a memo from Superintendent Jeff Schuler, Kaneland wants to implement the extension program because of the “lower enrollments across the district at the Kindergarten level for the 2012-13 school year.”

School Board President Cheryl Krauspe said the program is tuition based, so it will be cost neutral to district taxpayers.

Schuler’s document states that the program will be piloted through one section at each of the district’s elementary schools. As a result, Kaneland can “accommodate about 90 (roughly 33 percent) of the Kindergarten students currently registered for the 2012-13 school year.”

The extension program will not replace the core curriculum currently in place at the Kindergarten level, but rather will “continue to be offered as a half-day program” and provide extensions to core concepts, including “academic areas, play-based sessions and social skills sessions.” According to the document, transportation will be provided through the district’s morning and afternoon transportation schedule.

“It feels like we have been taking so much away in cuts recently-we have been forced to-that it is certainly nice to have the hope that we will be able to serve all those that are interested in the kindergarten extension program, and that it will become a value-added service for the residents of the School District in the years to come,” Krauspe said.

Trivial pursuit for a cause

Attendees of the McDole Trivia Night and Fundraiser (above) plan their silent auction bids. The event was held Saturday at Open Range Grill/Bliss Creek Golf Course in Sugar Grove. The Kaneland McDole Elementary School Trivia Night Fundraiser was the first ever fully coordinated fundraising effort between faculty, staff, administration and PTO.

PTO Co-President Kris Leudtke (left to right), PTO Co-President Michelle Moser and fourth grade teacher Kindra Schumacher check out the silent auction items.
Photos by Patti Wilk

School impact fee agreement delayed

Elburn tweaks agreement, pushing final vote
by Susan O’Neill
Elburn—The Elburn Village Board made further modifications to the intergovernmental agreement between the village and the Kaneland School District regarding fees for the Elburn Station development, pushing the vote out possibly another two weeks.

The Kaneland School Board is scheduled to vote on the agreement at its next regularly scheduled meeting, on Monday, May 14.

This will be the first time, since the dissolution of a district-wide school impact fee agreement, that a municipality in the School District will directly enter into an impact fee agreement with a developer.

Based on discussions between the developer and the School District, the district has agreed to reduce the land/cash fee from $80,000 per acre down to $34,000 per acre. In addition, the district has waived transition fees, which were originally created to cover school expenses for the additional students from residential development until the property taxes began coming in.

The result of these concessions, including a reduction in the impact fees per household, is a 25 percent reduction in the total amount of fees Shodeen will pay compared to those in the previous district-wide agreement. Under the old agreement, for example, the fees on a four-bedroom home valued at $300,000 in 2011 were $10,000. Fees for the same house would now cost Shodeen an estimated $6,240.

Shodeen Construction President Dave Patzelt said he thinks the fee reductions are fair, based on the current overall weak economy. In addition, he said that the current philosophy is that transportation-oriented developments, such as Elburn Station—where there are denser, more walkable neighborhoods—generate fewer children than subdivisions in which the houses are more spread out and have larger yards.

The board on Monday agreed to change the term of the agreement to coincide with the length of the annexation agreement, a time-frame of 20 years, and that it will begin when the first building permit is issued.

In addition, Patzelt asked that the board include in the agreement the option to modify the current fees if, in the future, another municipality within the Kaneland School District negotiates lower fees with the district.

What about Kaneland?

Maple Park debates how TIF District should impact Kaneland
by David Maas
Maple Park—At a special meeting held last Thursday, the Maple Park Village Board met to discuss the potential intergovernmental agreement with the Kaneland School District, which would impact how the district collects its TIF District money.

Earlier this year, Maple Park enacted a TIF District inside the village. A TIF District is a method designed to stimulate economic growth. As economic growth occurs within a defined boundary, the tax revenue increases from within the boundary are used to fund further development costs to properties within the district. Simply put, businesses and development within the boundaries of a TIF District are provided with added municipal support and infrastructure, funded with the increasing tax revenues within the TIF District itself.

This can create a confusing situation for other taxing bodies that also receive tax revenues from properties within a TIF district.

“In a TIF, the School District is funded differently than other taxing bodies,” village TIF attorney Herb Klein said. “While other taxing bodies’ funds are locked at the 2011 tax rates, before the TIF was implemented, the School District will be paid for each student that moves into a TIF.”

In this case, the district will receive funds, up to 25 percent of the tax increment collected that year.

“Without an agreement, it would be the school’s job to keep track,” Klein said. “If we entered an agreement, that may not be the case. In an agreement, the village could chose to give the district a set percentage each year, or something entirely different.”

The trustees discussed various options, as well as if something should be put into place now, or wait and see where things go.

“It is up to the board to decide what they want to do in this case,” Klein said.

While some of the board members are for an agreement now, others feel they should wait.

“This village is growing,” Village Trustee Suzanne Fahnestock said. “We want the district to grow with us. People make a decision to move into a town based on a school district. We value our children and our schools; we need to be supportive of our district. We need an agreement.”

“Kaneland is a regional school district,” Village Trustee Steve Nowak said. “There are places in the region that may be nicer for people to live in. We can change that sooner without an agreement.”

It was decided that before any decisions are made, the board should look at the models for the various options, and proceed from there.

“All of the models we come up with will get some form of opposition from residents,” Village President Kathy Curtis said. “I also think opinions (from) the board will change after we look at the projections.”

New rule for school: Whooping cough shot for 6th-, 9th-graders

KANE COUNTY—Beginning this fall, for school year 2012-13, the state of Illinois is requiring that all students entering sixth and ninth grades provide proof of a dose of the whooping cough (Tdap) vaccination in addition to the school physicals required at these grades.

Numerous outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) have occurred recently among school children in Illinois, and the numbers seem to be on the rise. While Kane’s numbers are not quite as high as some of those in neighboring counties, there have been 37 cases so far this year, compared to 54 last year.

“As we approach the end of the school year, I want to encourage parents of next year’s sixth- and ninth-graders to schedule those physicals and shots,” said Kane County Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert. “You will be taking steps to keep them healthy and at the same time meet the school requirements.”

Because pertussis is so highly contagious, the infection often spreads rapidly through school environments. It is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing and may cause illness that persists for weeks to months. Pertussis does not typically cause severe illness in healthy students, but can prolong absences from school and extracurricular activities.

In addition, pertussis can be transmitted from healthy students to infants and individuals with chronic illnesses, for whom pertussis can be life threatening. Vaccinations are available from your personal physician, from one of the Federally Qualified Health Centers and from some pharmacies.

More information on the new requirement is available by visiting, by contacting your school or calling the Health Department’s Bee Wize Immunization Program at 866-BeeWize (1-866-233-9493).

“We are encouraging parents not to wait until the last minute to get the vaccination for their sixth and ninth graders,” Kuehnert said. “Now is an ideal time to make an appointment and avoid the rush.”

Protection against pertussis begins to decrease over time. This puts pre-teens, teenagers and adults at risk for the illness. To address this increase in pertussis disease among older students, proof of one dose of a booster vaccination called Tdap (for protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) is being required by the state for all students in grades six and nine. However, all students in grades six through 12 should have a record of a dose of Tdap, as it is likely to be required in the future.

Some other immunizations that also are recommended for this age group include the meningococcal vaccine, a second chickenpox shot (if they never had chickenpox disease), and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine series. During flu season, it is also recommended that everyone older than 6 months receive a seasonal flu vaccine.