By Chris Johnson


On Monday, Aug. 22, the hallways within the Pecatonica School District will begin receiving visitors, as students prepare to head back for the season.

During the summer, the halls within the schools still saw traffic, as upgrades and maintenance projects kept staff busy through the off-season.

With all students at the high school level joining others at the middle school in electronic education, the expectations for a productive school year exist. Chromebooks will have its impact. The hand out of Chromebooks occurred as part of a process over the past couple weeks. Students who received their Chromebooks were required to sit through a slide presentation on correct, safe and allowable usage.

The District has the capacity to track usage of all of the student’s systems. During the presentation, students were advised that the loss of the teaching unit could occur if incorrect usage occurs. It could also lead to Saturday detentions and the need to inform parents.

The School District’s capacity to handle the extra load was enhanced over the summer with the additional use of fiber optics. With a larger demand required the District took the step to assure the service would be available and usable.

In additional action, the Board was informed that Freshman Orientation would take place prior to the start of the 2016-2017 school year. Incoming students were given their chance to cruise the hallways to discover the location of their lockers and the rooms where they will be spending their days.

The School Board also approved an enhancement to the student’s overall well-being, as they agreed to the purchase of an additional boiler unit.

Superintendent Bill Faller said the need was real and the purchase was required to assure student comfort, especially if the thermometer drops too low.

“There are five boilers in the boiler room at the high school. Last year we had to replace one. This year we are asking for an additional one. It takes at least three functioning boilers to effectively heat the building.”

Faller said of the five currently in use, three are fully operational and a fourth one is temperamental.

“We can make it through 20-degree below weather, but we need three to do it. Of the five we have, one is new from last year, one is finicky and one is dead. We are looking to replace the one that is dead.”

The boiler unit weighs approximately 1100 pounds and will be installed by crane. The unit was purchased off a bid of $34,000. The boiler purchased in 2015 was, reportedly, almost $10,000 more.

The School Board was also informed that an important landscaping tool finally made its way to the Middle School. Principal Tim King said he knows the mower unit the Board approved will do the job effectively.

“We got the new mower in to help out our maintenance team. It does twelve miles-an-hour and can cut 7.2 acres an hour.”

The School Board in final action approved the joint diesel fuel bid in an effort to potentially save thousands of dollars a year.

Faller said the School District works with others because it makes things much more affordable.

“We know that the better volume we purchase, the better price we will get. We are working with the Township, the Pecatonica Fire Protection District, the Win-Bur-Sew Fire District, the Park District and the Winnebago School District.”

Faller said it is something that is done every year.

This year, additional outside entities that agreed to get on board helped drop the cost even more, Faller said.

The Pecatonica School Board released its schedule for upcoming Board Meetings, with the next meeting scheduled for Monday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m. Typically, the Board will meet on the fourth Monday of each month. The schedule is adjusted, at times, to accommodate holidays.

The dates of all upcoming Board Meetings is available on the District’s website,

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