Few school districts share a cafeteria between its elementary, junior high and high school students, but that's exactly the kind of tight-knit environment that's being served at Pearl City schools.
The tiny Stephenson County community has only 550 students in its connected school district.
Pearl City's district is finishing 2005 academically strong, with test scores above the state average in math and science. Students and teachers continue to reap the benefits of a passed 2001 referendum.
The nearly $8 million decision built pearl city this three-story facility and other classroom renovations.
Despite financial challenges from a stable population, Pearl City's superintendent says there are advantages in the small district.
"We might not have the same available programs as the bigger high schools in the area, but we have dedicated teachers who work great with our students one on one to assist their learning," Pearl City Superintendent Bill Faller said.