By Chris Johnson


A decision made by the Trustees with the Pecatonica School Board of Education approved a plan, in an earlier session, which would allow for the opportunity for even better developing relationships between instructors and their Kindergarten students. Some discussion had been held in regards to possibly making changes that could have led to fewer Kindergarten classrooms, meaning larger student-to-teacher ratios.

Where it is now is working out perfectly, according to Elementary School Principal Carrie Brockway.

“I want to thank the Board for an earlier decision to keep the Elementary School at four Kindergarten Classrooms. As is the case each year, “Kinders” seem to come out of the woodwork. At mid-summer, we had 55. When classes started, we had 63.”

Brockway said the number could be at 61 now, with a late adjustment.

As a result of the better student-to-teacher ratio, Brockway expressed her feelings that it will lead to a better learning experience for the new students.

Recess, reportedly, also went off without a hitch Brockway said.

A lot of work was done on the Elementary School during the summer months, as the facility received a face-lift for the season.

It was a team effort, one that allowed the staff to work with the District’s maintenance team directly at times. Brockway said everyone seemed to help out.

“We did a lot of painting at the Elementary School. The teachers and staff worked so hard. I’d say at least half of the teachers had a brush in their hand.”

It was reported that a local group of students donated their time and effort to assure the south-side playground area had an updated look.

“The map at the Elementary School is about 99 percent complete,” Brockway said.

Middle School Principal Tim King reported to the Board that his school had also received some needed work. He also reported that the teachers got into the school spirit before students got back to their desks.

“There is a lot of competition between our teachers in how the classrooms look. At the start of the school year, we had some classrooms that were decked-out so well. Some of the instructors even put pictures of their classrooms on the web, through social media. Things went well. When I asked some of the kids how things were going, or how things went, they said it was a great day!”

Chromebooks were issued to all students at the Junior High School, which means more information now becomes available for students.

They have to abide by the rules, since the teachers have been given access to special software that can map a student’s travels upon the web, King said.

“This will be the second year of Google Classroom. It’s basically an online planner. The teacher puts in the information and it pops up for the kids. It has the assignments listed and the days they are due. The teacher can also have a screen up on their desktop in order to see everything the kids are looking at on the internet.”

Trustees were presented with the District’s spending plan, as they were informed that a budget of $10.8 million will be required.

Superintendent Bill Faller said, as is required by law, certain steps have been met to allow taxpayers access to the information.

“The Board voted to place the budget on display and have set up a date of Monday, Sept. 26, to vote on it. We have to approve a budget each year. We have to make it available for viewing, for anyone who wants to look at it. We are still positive, but there are some unknown variables.”

Faller said certain funds for mandated categoricals such as Special Education and Transportation are an example of variable influencers.

The Pecatonica School Board will meet next at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 26, to take action on this year’s budget, in addition to regularly monthly proceedings.

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