ELBURN – Helping children, and parents, cross the street at John Stewart Elementary School likely was not how Kaneland School District Curriculum Director Sarah Mumm planned on starting out her first day of school.
But when the Elburn school called the district office to ask for help, she came right over.
Both elementary schools in Elburn found themselves without crossing guards at the start of the school year. John Stewart’s previous crossing guard, in the job for 20 years, decided to retire at the end of the school year. Although the job was posted on the Kaneland School District website back in February, the school had not found anyone for the position by the start of fall semester.
The Blackberry Creek position came open when its crossing guard found a new job and gave her notice earlier this month.
“We are trying to fill the jobs,” said John Stewart Principal Laura Garland.
In addition to the website job posting, the job openings had been noted in newsletters she sent to parents, as well as several other avenues. Garland said another email was sent to parents the night before the first day of school.
Garland said she has received a few responses from parents with leads on potential candidates, and is going to be following up on those.
The job is five days a week, 45 minutes in the morning, from 8:15-9 a.m., and 45 minutes in the afternoon, from 3:15-4. The pay is $13 an hour, and training will be provided by the Elburn Police Department.
Both schools are looking for consistency, so the individual should be willing to commit to the position and the school throughout the entire school year, said Aversa. There is currently a paraprofessional doing the Blackberry Creek job in the meantime, but that is only temporary until someone permanent is found.
The Elburn police department always tries to have a police officer at the school site at the beginning and end of the school day, said Police Chief Nick Sikora.
“It’s been part of our regular patrol for years,” he said. “We make sure that people are paying attention to the school speed zones, and that the students are paying attention to the school guards.”
They are on duty for the village, so If they do get another call or something else comes up, they would need to take it, he added.
“I got the call (about the lack of a crossing guard) last night,” said police officer Aldo Scudiero, who arrived at John Stewart before school the morning of Aug. 14. “I like to interact with the kids and their parents…It’s good for the kids to see that we’re approachable and someone they can have a conversation with.”
Sikora said it was community support officer Noah Hackman’s regular day off, so he was able to come in for a few hours and help out at Blackberry Creek.
“We’re trying to help out as we can,” Sikora said.
Sikora said the principals and assistant principals will fill in, as well, until they find someone to fill the positions.
“It was so exciting to be the John Stewart Cross Guard today,” Mumm said. “I loved meeting and greeting family on the very first day! Today was a nice way to begin my school year.”
If someone is interested in being considered for the positions, they should call or email either John Stewart Principal Laura Garland at 630-365-8170 x73105 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Blackberry Creek Assistant Principal Samantha Aversa at 630-365-8170x73109 or email@example.com.