Kaneland will not continue with intergovernmental consortium

By on January 17, 2014

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.