Letter: Valente inconsiderate of KSB meeting attendees, disrespectful to expertise of Kaneland administration

By on March 1, 2012

On Monday, Feb. 13, I attended the Kaneland Board of Education (BoE) meeting, with the agenda item of interest for me being the proposed areas of cuts to meet the 2012-13 school year budget.

During the meeting, there was an extensive presentation by Erika Schlichter, director of Educational Services 6-12, regarding the Response to Intervention (RTI) program as it relates to development and implementation in the high school, with an overview of data from the Harter Middle School.

As Ms. Schlichter attempted to move through her presentation, she was interrupted by board member Tony Valente repeatedly with extremely pointed questions about information that was not part of the presentation, taking the presentation off track and requiring those in attendance no choice but to sit quietly and wait for his pontifications to conclude. While the questions Mr. Valente asked are justifiable and deserving of a response, taking such a blatant approach is inconsiderate of those in attendance and disrespectful to the expertise of the Kaneland administration.

On an aside, having children in the Kaneland schools and seeing firsthand the RTI program come to fruition, along with networking among other districts, it is clear that the implementation of the RTI program in this district is far above many other districts. Anyone questioning the accolades Kaneland has received for their implementation of the RTI program is encouraged to perform some due diligence to ease their concerns.

While Kaneland faces harsh budgetary times, all time and money needs to be spent wisely. It seems that if Mr. Valente, like the other members on the BoE, could strive for a more unified approach and cohesive communications with the Kaneland administration, the ability to make the most of the district’s time and money would then be at the forefront for everyone involved.

Susan Hazen