School District discusses ethnicity report

By on July 18, 2014

KANELAND—The Kaneland School Board recently had an ethnicity and employee report as an information item on its regular meeting agenda.

The employee and ethnicity report, prepared by Dr. Julie-Ann Fuchs, assistant superintendent for business at Kaneland, shows a breakdown of ethnicities relating to Kaneland staff and students.

The June 2014 report shows that there are 96 percent white employees, 4 percent minority employees and 18 percent minority students
There are a total of 832 Kaneland employees.

Latinos account for 13 working in the district, or 1.56 percent, with 11 percent students; American Indian or Alaska Native is 1 in the district, or 0.12 percent, with no students with this background; Asian accounts for 4 in district, or 0.48 percent, with 2 percent students; African American includes 3 workers, or 0.36 percent, with 2 percent students; Caucasian represents 802, or 96.4 percent, with a student population of 82 percent; Two or more races is 1, or 0.12 percent, with students at 3 percent; and unknown is 8 in district, or 0.96 percent with no unknown students.

There was discussion about ethnicity, or the lack of minorities working in the Kaneland School District, at multiple School Board meetings this past school year. Board member Tony Valente advocated for qualified minorities to work in the Kaneland School District.

“I think we need to do a better job to at least interview minority candidates,” Valente said at the Feb. 10 School Board meeting. “At least show role models to our kids.”

Kaneland Superintendent Dr. Jeff Schuler this week responded to the question on if there is a plan to have more minorities working for the Kaneland School District.

“I think there is a desire always, in most organizations—most school district organizations—to look at how your staff demographic matches a little bit closer to your student demographic,” he said.

Schuler anticipates that there will be a bigger pool of teacher retirees in the next three school years, which means open positions. He added that there could be more minorities working in the district through university partnerships, like with Northern Illinois University.

“We’ve got a pipeline with (Northern Illinois) University where we have an opportunity to work with teaching candidates before they’re actually at the point where they’re looking for a job,” Schuler said. “So I think that partnership opens up a pipeline into the School District.”

A job fair is another avenue Schuler anticipates getting more minority staff in the district.

Dr. Sarah Mumm, director of Educational Services K-5, had said in a meeting last school year that there were 1,000-1,500 applicants for one elementary classroom teaching job.

“Our practice in the district has been to hire what we believe is the strongest candidate for our position,” Schuler said.