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Local

Kaneland to release teachers after interest in culinary arts, automotive classes decreases

Announcement made at March 11 school board meeting

District 302
District 302

Interest in culinary arts and automotive careers is down at Kaneland.
 
According to Christopher Adkins, director of human resources for the Kaneland School District, there will be classes cut and teachers honorably discharged because of a lack of student interest in the two subjects.
 
“It’s unfortunate that we have to do these things now, at this point in the school year,” Adkins said during the March 11 board meeting. “At the same time, it is viewed to be a little bit of a favor to those affected staff so they have time during the spring, during the spring hiring season, with other districts to find other employment.”
 
Those being let go include Nathan Fookes, full-time automotive instructor at the Fox Valley Career Center, and Fallon Oliver, part-time, culinary arts, at Kaneland High School. Additionally, Tim Baker, law enforcement, is being reduced from full-time to part-time.
 
Adkins stressed that these were honorary dismissals, that they had done nothing wrong and were doing a great service to the students but were victimized because enrollment is such that these programs are no longer going to be offered due to a lack of interest. He said the district had to make a decision.
 
The Board also approved the 2019-20 Minimum Staffing Plan.
 
Many considerations and impacting factors were considered during the planning process, including changes in enrollment as PK-5 will go down by 57 students next school year while the middle school will see a decrease of 43. Although, there will be a significant increase at the high school of 72 students.
 
The plan includes staff additions, including one full-timer (FTE) for kindergarten at Blackberry Elementary in Elburn, 1.5 FTE at the high school because of the increase in students, 2.4 FTE for special education and an additional FTE to the district for a teacher on special assignment who will be involved with the 1:1 Initiative.
 
“This is what we have to do as a minimum to provide services to our students next year,” Adkins said.
 
Lastly, Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, associate superintendent, shared that the recent school safety forum went well but was poorly attended.
 
“We only had about 24 parents in attendance so that’s disappointing,” she said. “(But all parents now know) what is happening with our students and what to expect with preparedness (regarding the ALICE Training).”

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