#4 September 27, 2019

4.  September 27, 2019

Hello Black River Falls community!  This is Dr. Shelly Severson, Superintendent of the SDBRF, and I’m here to share this weeks’ Spotlight on Schools.  This week I’d like to share with you a brief recap of the monthly school board meeting that was held on Monday, September 16th.

The Board was very pleased to recognize John Dick, Salena LeMieux, and Dawson McAndrews for their work in the Talking Circles that they were critical in establishing and maintaining.  We have talked for years about creating some type of setting where students have the opportunity to work with some strong mentors and learn more about Ho-Chunk traditional cultural stories and to use those stories as a springboard for open dialogue into relevant life topics.  Our challenge has always been in finding some exceptional adults willing to do the work to organize the curriculum and dedicate the time to making it happen! We are very appreciative of John, Dawson and Salena sharing their expertise. These Talking Circles are open to both Native and non-Native students.

The Board recognized the following organizations for their donations of school supplies as we started the year; the Krohn Clinic, Purpose Financial, the Wright Place, and Pine View Care Center.  Once again our generous community pulls together! 

I shared a conversation that I had with Dr. Lahmayer with the Board; Dr. Lahmayer stopped at the district office to talk about the Spring Creek School Building that is on, you guessed it, Spring Creek Road!   Dr. Holder currently owns the building and has taken impeccable care of it over the years. Dr. Holder is concerned about what will happen to the building after he is no longer around to care for it. Dr. Lahmayer is interested in having the building moved to the Red Creek site.  He has a vision that would showcase the “evolution of education in our community…Spring Creek to Red Creek”. Both gentlemen completely agree that this should happen without taxpayer dollars being involved. The Board discussed some additional plans to explore some outdoor pathways through the woods surrounding the elementary site and a possible clearing within the woods for an outdoor educational space.  Perhaps the Spring Creek building could sit on this clearing and serve as an outdoor classroom space? The Board agreed that I should continue exploring what possibilities exist. There will definitely be more to come!

The Board approved moving forward with the renovations to the property recently acquired on HWY A to be able to transition our transportation department from its current site to this new facility next summer.  There is some remodeling, wiring, and concrete work that needs to take place.

The Board recently took a Facility Tour through the HS, particularly the lower levels and the music area, and the lower level of Forrest Street.  We had conversations about what our next steps might be. For now, quotes on several different solutions to the water at the HS are being sought.  

Currently, our transportation office cannot communicate with the buses if they are in Hixton as the bandwidth simply won't carry that far.  We are purchasing a repeater and placing it on the tall antenna owned by the County, which will help to broadcast the signal directly to the buses in the far reaches of the District.  They are asking for us to pay for the electrical usage only. This is a significant safety factor and are pleased we've come up with a solution! I have an announcement that I also want to make sure you hear; our annual Homecoming festivities were originally scheduled for next week ending with the football game on Friday, October 4.  The team we were supposed to play, Westfield, has had a significant number of injuries to an already small team. They have cancelled the rest of their Varsity football season, thus leaving us with no game.  We have decided to re-schedule the entire week of Homecoming to now be the week of October 14th through the 19th with the football game between the Tigers and Wisconsin Dells happening on October 18th. We hope to see many of you there!

I’d like to share with you some of the feedback that families shared with us during our feedback survey.  Amy at the front desk at Forrest Street is simply fantastic. She is so smiley and kind and remembers my child’s name after only a few interactions.   This means a lot to me as a parent!  This type of feedback means a lot to us as a District as well - thanks for sharing!

As always, if you have any questions about the Board Mtg. or anything else within the District, please don’t hesitate to contact me.  Thanks for all you do to support our students and let’s continue to show our Tiger Pride in all that we do!

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