Tag Archives: Gale Pavlak

School Board approves technology purchase

KANELAND—Kaneland students will soon have more technology at their fingertips.

The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted to 6-1 approve the purchase of student devices at a total of $225,000.

The objective of the purchase is to have a 3-to-1 ratio, which means there will be three students for every one device during the next school year.

Board member Tony Valente was the lone vote against the purchase.

“I don’t object to enhancing our technology needs,” Valente said. “There’s no specific plan to specifically use these devices in specific curricular ways.”

Valente said that he would like a tie to how the Common Core would be used with the computers.

Board member Peter Lopatin pointed out that the purchase is necessary in “today’s world,” while School Board Secretary Gale Pavlak said that she would like to see how the devices are going to be used in the classroom.

According to a report by Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler, approximately 679 student devices would need to be purchased. Elementary school students would have 91 iPad minis and 205 Chromebooks. Harter Middle School students would have 147 Chromebooks. Kaneland High School students would have 236 Chromebooks.

The Kaneland School District’s mission is to “graduate all students college, career and community ready.” Schuler expanded on that idea in the report and noted that digital devices and resources need to be used to prepare students for those three mission areas.

“College readiness requires students to be good digital citizens, have basic skills in the use of documents and spreadsheets and the ability to complete effective search methods on the internet,” Schuler stated in the report. “Digital citizenship specifically includes appropriate use and choice of digital tools, as well as the ability to problem solve the use of new tools using previous knowledge.”

Board member Pedro Rivas labeled himself as an “IT individual.”

“I can appreciate the technology aspect,” Rivas said. “We’re going to have to do it sooner or later. And we’re here.”

Kaneland will not continue with intergovernmental consortium

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted against continuing onto the next phase of an online and blended learning intergovernmental consortium with neighboring school districts.

The only board members who voted to continue with the consortium were Board Secretary Gale Pavlak and Peter Lopatin.

Board members had previously given a literal thumbs up to collaborate with four other districts, including Indian Prairie 204, Wheaton-Warrenville 200, Naperville 203 and Batavia 101.

Erika Schlichter, director of Kaneland Educational Services for grades 6-12, had written a report about the consortium.

“The objective of the consortium was to design a collaborative, high quality online/blended program that would expand educational options for students in our districts,” Schlichter wrote.

The consortium’s Phase One took place last September through December.

The consortium had contracted with Evergreen Consulting Group. The cost to the Kaneland School District for its Phase One involvement is $4,835.

Schlichter’s report noted that Phase One objectives included development of a mission and guiding principles, and a strategic plan of goals, as well as creation of an implementation schedule this month, with courses to launch in August.

The report noted that to become a voting member, each district would have to pay $85,000 as an initial investment, while an initial proportional amount would be $11,450. The total first-year investment would then be $96,450.

“It’s unfortunate,” board member Teresa Witt said. “I would love to have the money laying around to support it. I just don’t see that I could allocate that kind of money.”

Schlichter acknowledged that the specifics of Phase Two is something “hard to be definite about.”

Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler spoke favorably on working with the consortium.

“I see it as a new path,” Schuler said.

Districts give school board members heartfelt thanks

KANELAND—Nov. 15, 2012, has been designated as School Board Members Day in Illinois, and Kaneland School District 302 is joining other districts across the state to thank these community volunteers for their commitment and contributions to our public schools.

“School board members serve their communities without monetary compensation to make public education the best it can be for every child,” said Dr. Jeff Schuler, District 302 superintendent. “Their policies and oversight guide the district as tough decisions are made on complex educational and social issues that affect the entire community and the lives of individual students.”

As community trustees for the schools, school board members have oversight in District 302 for an annual budget of $59 million; 4,800 students in grades PK-12; more than 600 employees; and six campuses (buildings).

“Each year, the demands become greater for school board members to help lead our community’s schools as they prepare students to be productive citizens and the leaders in a new 21st century global economy,” Schuler said. “Without the efforts of school board members, local citizens would have less input into the way schools operate today. This is an excellent example of grassroots governance. The least that our community can do is to say thank you to these volunteers.”

The men and women serving the Kaneland School District are Cheryl Krauspe, Elmer Gramley, Ken Carter, Teresa Witt, Joe Oberweis, Gale Pavlak and Tony Valente.

“(School board members’) service ensures that decisions about local public schools are made locally by those most familiar with the needs of our community,” Schuler said.

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 approves health insurance renewal

by Keith Beebe
MAPLE PARK—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 4-0 to approve a health insurance renewal that will allow the board to eschew its grandfathered status within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 in order to eliminate any unnecessary financial burden.

Board Members Gale Pavlak and Joe Oberweis chose to state “present” during the vote. Board Member Tony Valente was absent from the meeting.

With the health insurance renewal, the School Board of Education approved renewal rates for 2011-12, including life insurance, medical and dental. The board will also implement a four-tier structure for health insurance premiums that will go into effect on Nov. 1, which will allow employees to have rates from the two-tier system for a third of the upcoming year. The four-tier system would be implemented for the latter two thirds of the year.

“Health insurance costs continue to challenge the School District,” Superintendent Jeff Schuler said. “The amount of money allocated to health insurance benefits is something we will need to carefully monitor in the coming years, as it will impact our ability to allocate resources to other areas of our educational program.”

The reason for retaining the two-tier structure for one third of the year is to ease the financial impact that staff in the Family tier for health coverage will experience in a four-tier system (18.2 percent, or an increase of $567.60 per year).

Staff members included in the Employee and Spouse, and Employee and Children tiers will see a decrease of 52.3 percent ($1,629.84 a year) and 59.4 percent ($1,849.44 a year) in the four-tier system.

“The committee worked hard this year to explore cost containment strategies,” Schuler said. “That will need to continue as we look to future years.”

School Board sets schedule, seats new members

by Keith Beebe
KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board on Monday voted 7-0 to approve the 2011-12 School Board meeting schedule. Board reorganization also took place during the meeting and addressed election of officers and appointment of committee liaisons.

Cheryl Krauspe and Elmer Gramley will remain president and vice president, respectively. Teresa Witt will take over the board secretary position.

Board meeting dates will take place on the second and fourth Monday of each month except June (second and third Monday), July (second Monday only), August (second and fifth Monday), October (first Tuesday and fourth Monday), December (second Monday only), January (second and fifth Monday), March (second Monday only) and April (second and fifth Monday).

New board members Jim Oberweis, Tony Valente and Gale Pavlak were also seated during the meeting.

“From all indications, everyone is ready to get to work,” Krauspe said. “We are feeling our way through this next two weeks with board liaison assignments. I have asked them to work with me to finalize it.”

According to a document provided by Krauspe, tentative board liaison assignments include Krauspe and Gramley representing the Kaneland Foundation, Pavlak and Witt representing the Citizens’ Advisory Committee, Valente and Gramley representing the Facilities Planning Commission, Oberweis and board member Ken Carter representing the Finance Advisory Committee, Gramley representing the Kaneland Hall of Fame, Valente serving as IASA delegate, Pavlak representing the Insurance Committee, Krauspe, Witt and Gramly serving as municipal officers, and Krauspe serving as Kishwaukee regional governing board representative.

“Appointments to liaison committees are (still) tentative,” Krauspe said.