September 6, 2019: Spotlight on Schools

September 6, 2019

Hello Black River Falls community!  This is Dr. Shelly Severson, Superintendent of the SDBRF, and I am back for another year of our  Spotlight on Schools. I would be remiss if I didn’t immediately share some gratitude with WWIS for allowing us to reach out to the community through this Spotlight time on Fridays.  In our recent community survey we heard positive feedback that people found these interesting and informative. Thank you WWIS for giving us this opportunity!  

Today marks our fourth day of school in the new school year and things are really hopping!  We had a busy season of hiring again, but are super excited about some of the people joining our fantastic team!  It was fun to see that several BRF Alumni, that have worked in other districts previously, applied and were hired to rejoin the Tigers!  It is always a goal of ours to send our high school graduates off to explore the world some, try different experiences, and then would love for them to come back and invest in our community!

Turnover in schools has greatly increased since the law changes in 2010.  There was a time that teachers joined a district and stayed because their seniority mattered a great deal.  With the new laws, their seniority is not as important. This provides opportunities for professionals to “job shop” a bit and move around until they find the ideal fit for them.  We work hard to make Black River Falls a fantastic place to live and work, and we’ve got a lot of long term staff that recognize what a gem we are here! Turnover is challenging, but not always a bad thing.  We’ve gained some wonderful educators from other districts as well!

This summer found us with a huge project list for our maintenance staff as we worked on the lower level locker rooms at the high school, painted huge sections of the buildings, and cleaned and polished everything to a shine!  We have a very competent crew, led by Mr. Kent Weinman, that allows us to do more of the projects internally as opposed to hiring outside contractors. This saves District funds and allows those dollars to stretch further. We replaced a large portion of the high school roof, which was badly needed.  The rest of the roof will come out of another budget year. As you homeowners know, roofing is expensive work!

We always make our budget based on estimated numbers of students, which is difficult when we are talking about 4k and kindergarten aged students.  Unfortunately that’s the way school finance works. We were excited to see that our real time enrollment this week was only two students off from our estimations!  

In short, it is GREAT to be back and walk the halls and hear the enthusiasm from the classrooms!  Tonight the Tiger football team takes on GET beginning at 7:00 pm. Perhaps you’d like to stop and check out the Friday Night Lights, it’s a great community gathering!

I’d like to wrap up the message today by sharing some feedback that one of Mrs. Boerger’s parents shared with us last spring.  “Mrs Boerger is a wonderful teacher. I had her when I was a child and now my son has her. She has definitely changed his life and helped him in ways other teachers weren’t able to.”  Mrs. Boerger teaches 3rd grade at Red Creek School and is an absolute GEM!

 If you have any questions about any of this information, or anything else for that matter, please reach out and let me know!  Thank you for all you do to support our students and let’s continue showing our Tiger Pride in all that we do!

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