View All
calendars    es=purple    ms=black    hs=gold







Middle School


High School


Please like Pecatonica CUSD 321's Facebook Page.fbindlogo


  • Happy Friday ~ Tropical Island Day - Happy Friday ~ Tropical Island Day on Friday, February 17 ~ with wave after wave of fun Tropical Island Day themed activities. K-4 students donned sunglasses, Hawaiian shirts, sundresses, flip flops, shorts and all kinds of beach wear. One student looked really “sharp” as he donned a “shark hat”. What do you get when you cross a shark with a snowman? “Frostbite”.  
    (Posted February 24, 2017)
  • Stargazing At The Starlab Dome - The Pecatonica Elementary School (PES) students K-4 visited the Starlab Dome the week of February 13-17 to gaze at the stars and learn about outer space. The classes were so excited about the event!
       Mrs. Laue’s Kindergarteners emerged with big smiles from the Dome. This was their first experience and they were able to see the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper as it appears in the sky.
       Cara VandeVoorde, the Starlab instructor, prepares students and/or quizzes them about the prior year and, amazingly, Mrs. Wenstrom’s 3rd grade students recalled and answered several questions correctly. 
       Many of the teachers at PES focus on Astronomy in their classroom Science Unit Studies during this time which helps reinforce this unit. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to host the Starlab at our school.  
    (Posted February 24, 2017)
  • Greenhouse News - The Pecatonica High School Horticulture Classroom began traveling to the Greenhouse located at the Pecatonica Community Middle School.  On Friday, February 10, the Greenhouse was warm and bright as the students were carefully planting flowers and vegetables such as sweet peppers, tomatoes, daisies, and hot peppers to name a few.  Bags of soil, pots, planting trays, and seeds could be seen everywhere. The students will grow and nurture the plants to be sold around mid-May.
    (Posted February 22, 2017)

  • Instilling Best Practices - On Tuesday, February 7, 2017, the Pecatonica Driver’s Education Program had a special visitor, Trooper JJ Thew, from the Illinois State Police District 16. Trooper Thew spoke to the graduated driving program participants (student drivers who are 16 - 17 years old).  His talking points included:
    -State police officers have jurisdiction in the entire state of Illinois.
    -Parents allow graduated drivers to drive with their consent, but they can legally rescind their consent at any time.
    Driving Restrictions:
    -Mon - Thursday 10pm to 6am
    -Friday - Sunday 11pm to 6am
    Distracted Driving:
    -Number of people in car with (related/non-related passengers)
    -Cell phone usage (No hands free until 19) (no texting at any age)
    Law as of January 1:
    -Scott’s Law, also referred to as the “move over” law, requires drivers to slow down or change lanes when driving by a stopped emergency vehicle. Beginning in 2017, the law also will include any vehicle on the side of the road with hazard lights flashing.
    How To Conduct Yourself During a Traffic Stop:
    -Pull to right completely off the road in a safe area if possible
    -Keep seatbelt fastened and stay in the car
    -Sit still, Stay off cell phone
    -Listen to verbal commands
    -You will always be asked to produce a driver’s license and proof of insurance
    -Be truthful in your answers, let the officer know if you are recording the situation
    Current students, providing they are 16, are under a probationary status for 9 months before they can take their driving test to receive their license. Thank you Trooper Thew for taking the time to talk to our students.  
    (Posted February 17, 2017)
  • Pecatonica Elementary School Has a "Lucky" Visitor - Lucky the hedgehog, from Critter Camp, visited the Kindergarten classes at Pecatonica Elementary School (PES) in honor of Groundhog’s Day on Friday, February 3, 2017. Lucky was so named because when he was brought to the Camp he was starving and malnourished. Lucky’s diet consists of bugs and worms. He was nursed back to health and travels with Beth from Critter Camp to visit classrooms. Lucky was in Mrs. Ballard’s room and the students were able to pet his quills if they wanted to. Beth also donated a book to the PES Library “Frankie Finds Critter Camp”.  Be sure to visit to learn where to find this adorable book and more about this exotic Pet Rescue Sanctuary located in nearby German Valley where Lucky lives. (PS - Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, signaling six more weeks of winter!)  
    (Posted February 16, 2017)
  • Happy Valentine's Day - Love can be a noun, verb or adjective.  
    (Posted February 14, 2017)
  • Girls Basketball Sectionals - by Kevin Kunkel
    -Congratulations to the girls basketball program for winning the school's first ever regional championship in girls basketball on Friday night!!! Now they move on to Sectionals at Pearl City on Monday, February 13, against Eastland. The game will be played at 7:30. Tickets will not be pre sold. Fans must pay at the door. The cost will be $5 at the door.
    -There will be another game at 6:00 which will be Galena and Freeport Aquin.
    -Pearl City High School would like me to announce that the gym will be cleared after the first game to allow our fans and Eastlands to get in. If there is room and people that watched the first game would like to come back in they will be allowed to come back in at no extra cost. The fan seating area will be marked and a students section will also be marked.
    -We will be taking a fan bus for high school students only. Students who would like to ride the bus should be at the high school by 6:00. The bus will depart at 6:15. We will collect the $5 admission fee before you get on the bus. You must be signed up by 1:00 tomorrow if you wish to ride. We will need 20 students to take the bus but will take two buses if we get enough kids to go. Go Indians!!!!
    (Posted February 13, 2017)
  • Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE)- Congratulations to the 2017 Pecatonica High School WYSE Team for taking 2nd Place at the Rock Valley Regional WYSE Competition Friday, February 3, 2017. The team scored 463.5 and will advance to the NIU Sectional on March 2, 2017. Outstanding job to Mr. Ornatek and all the members of the team! Members and personal places: Back Row L- R Sara Lenz (Sr), Kirsten Kendell (Sr), Bryce Hunt (Sr), Rahim Hunt (Sr)-2nd Place Physics, Marcus Burrow (Jr)-2nd Place Physics, 2nd Place Engineering Graphics, Lexi Dean (Sr) Front Row L-R Jazmin Martinez-Margarito (Sr), Kaylene Cuthbertson(Sr)-3rd Place Math, Cassidy Williams (Jr), Gracie Carter (Sr), Chris Herbig (Jr)-1st Place Biology, 2nd Place Chemistry, Nathan Koch (Sr)-1st Computer Science, 1st Place Physics, Erik Durand (Sr)-3rd Place Chemistry, 3rd Place Engineering Graphics, Trey Degner (Sr)-2nd Place Computer Science.
    (Posted February 8, 2017)
  • Early Dismissal - Friday, February 17, 2017, will be an Early Dismissal Day.  (ES~11:05, MS & HS~11:15)
    (Posted February 6, 2017)
  • No School - No School on Monday, February 20, 2017, in observance of President's Day.
    (Posted February 6, 2017)
  • Pecatonica Elementary School (PES) Earns second Kindness Seal! - PES earned a second Kindness Seal by participating in the second annual The Great Kindness Challenge week with fun theme days for students and staff.  They collected Kind Coins for Pakistan this year for their global service project.  A wishing well was located in the PES office and the grand total from that well was $281.64 and will go towards helping build a school in Pakistan! The students received the “Challenge checklist and Jr Checklist for Kindergarten” and as students completed kindness activities on the checklists they could turn the lists in for a brag-tag necklace. ‚ÄčThank you for your support and helping to make the world a kinder place.
    (Posted February 6, 2017)
  • Great Performances by Pecatonica High School Scholastic Bowl (PHS) - 
      The IHSA High School Scholastic Bowl Conference Tournament was held Saturday, January 28, 2017. Congratulations to the PHS Scholastic Bowl Team on their performance.
      The High School Quiz Bowl was held on Sunday, January 29, 2017. The PHS Quiz Bowl Team had an outstanding performance taking on the Durand Bulldogs. That Quiz Bowl Competition will be aired on Channel 17, on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at 6:30 pm. Be sure to tune in to find out who was victorious.
      The PHS Scholastic Bowl Team makes their teachers and community VERY proud! 
    (Posted February 3, 2017)
  • 2016 PARCC Parent Letter - Please click Here.  
    (Posted October 26, 2016)

Our website provides access to
announcements, calendars, school features and important information
for community, staff and students


Rewarding Excellence in Teaching & Leadership - We are proud to present our very own “Golden Apple” winner, Mrs. Laura Wanke ... It was an exciting morning Thursday, March 10, 2016, as The Golden Apple Award Committee marched upstairs followed by family, administrators, BOE members, co-workers, and the RRStar & WREX TV crew to Mrs. Wanke’s 2nd grade classroom to present her with “A Golden Apple”. Mrs. Wanke was surprised yet humble as she accepted the well-deserved symbol of her excellence and dedication to teaching and leadership. Once she recovered from the shock, she exclaimed to her wonderful whale students, “You did it!” Mrs. Wanke’s students quietly sat and worked on a cloud/rainbow project during the lively recognition. Congratulations Mrs. Wanke for making her wish come true by investing the time and energy that is required to accomplish the achievement of becoming a Golden Apple Recipient.

Congratulations to the amazing teachers and staff at Pecatonica Elementary School, 2015 Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon School!  In Illinois, the only way a school can be nominated for this prestigious honor is through special recognition from the Illinois State Board of Education. They recognize schools for one of two awards, Exemplary High Performing School or Exemplary Achievement Gap Closing School. The final selection is made after an application process, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Education.  The Blue Ribbon Award, which began in 1982, has only ever recognized two Winnebago County schools, one other elementary school and a private high school. The rest of the awards have been throughout other parts of the state. This year 15 schools were named Exemplary High Performing National Blue Ribbon Schools in Illinois.  Pecatonica Elementary School is one of only 332 schools nationally to receive this award!!!  

*Blue Ribbon Award Acceptance Encore Live Event on November 11, 2105 - Principal Carrie Brockway and Gretchen Lagerhausen accepting the Blue Ribbon Award for the Pecatonica Elementary School District #321.  This award was presented in Washington, D.C. our Nation's Capital. 

excellenceaward 2012 ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD
Pecatonica Community Middle School was awarded the 2012 Academic Excellence Award from the Illinois School Board of Education. 454 schools earned the Award. To earn the award a school must meet the following criteria:
  1. Made Adequate Yearly Progress in 2011 and 2012 as required by No Child Left Behind.
  2. In schools serving grades 8 and below, 90 percent of students must have met or exceeded state standards in both reading and mathematics for the three most recent school years.

excellenceaward 2012 ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD
Pecatonica Elementary School was awarded the 2012 Academic Excellence Award from the Illinois School Board of Education. 454 schools earned the Award. To earn the award a school must meet the following criteria:
  1. Made Adequate Yearly Progress in 2011 and 2012 as required by No Child Left Behind.
  2. In schools serving grades 8 and below, 90 percent of students must have met or exceeded state standards in both reading and mathematics for the three most recent school years.

excellenceaward 2011 ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD
Pecatonica Elementary School was awarded the 2011 Academic Excellence Award from the Illinois School Board of Education. 438 schools earned the Award. To earn the award a school must meet the following criteria:
  1. Made Adequate Yearly Progress for two years in a row.
  2. 90 percent of students must have met or exceeded state standards in both reading and mathematics for three consecutive years.