School Board approves ‘blended learning’ IGA

By on October 5, 2013

KANELAND—The plan for Kaneland School District to collaborate with other local school districts got a literal thumbs-up vote at a Kaneland School Board meeting in early September.

On Monday, the board officially approved the intergovernmental agreement for an online “blended learning” program with four other districts to form a Blended Learning Consortium.

Director of Educational Services, 6-12 for Kaneland School District  Erika Schlichter had written in a report about the benefits of a collaboration.

“We believe that working in partnership with other districts taking a similarly progressive approach will allow us to offer a more robust program for students,”  Schlichter wrote.

This agreement is between Indian Prairie District 204, Wheaton-Warrenville 200, Naperville 203, Batavia 101 and Kaneland 302.

Indian Prairie School District is taking the the lead as the “designated representative.” They were to contract with Evergreen Consulting Group. The consulting is part of the the districts’ Phase I, which is a preliminary planning that will last through December. Some objectives will be for them to develop a mission and principles for the consortium and strategic plan.

No district has to continue with Phase II, which is the implementation.
Indian Prairie has been given the authority to pay Evergreen $40,000 for a consulting fee, along with travel expenses for up to two Evergreen staff members for two onsite visits during the Phase I process.

The cost is based on the total enrollment of 70,763 for the five districts.

Kaneland has the smallest enrollment, which is 7 percent of the students. They will owe $4,835. The highest enrollment is Indian Prairie, representing 41 percent of the total, costing it $28,758.

“I think we’re getting a really good deal,” Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler said.

Board member Tony Valente last month expressed concern about blended learning in the district.

“I always ask for data,” Valente said. “Where is the data showing this is what we need?”

Board Secretary Gale Paviak spoke on a possible benefit of students who had an out-of-school suspension could virtually be “brought into class.”

“They’re not on vacation anymore,” Paviak said.

Schlichter cautioned that the district is not at that point. However, she noted that the possibilities will continue.

“(We’re) past the days of worksheet packets going home with the students,” Schlichter said.