February 23, 2018: School Board Meeting Re-cap

Hello, Black River Falls Community! This is Dr. Shelly Severson with the School District of Black River Falls here to share this week’s installment of our Spotlight on Schools!  This week I’m going to share the highlights of the monthly school board meeting that was rescheduled due to weather and held on Thursday, February 22.

The board offered a commendation to Tasha Koresh and Jenel Berkowitch as they have worked together to revive the Black River Falls Elementary PTO!  These ladies have coordinated family movie nights and fundraisers all with the goal of making a strong connection between families and their child’s school experiences.  Thank you so much for your time and efforts, ladies!

The board heard a presentation from Mr. Becker and the Black River Country Bank to build a community-wide financial literacy effort which would include assistance from any of the lending institutions that are interested in participating.  They also heard from Mrs. Torkelson and the Co-op Credit Union with a proposal to continue to operate the Tiger Credit Union that is currently housed at the high school. Action will be taken in March on the topic.

Several high school parents shared some frustrations they have experienced with what they perceive to be a lack of consistency in the discipline at the high school level.  The Board directed me to do an investigation into the matter.

The class of 2019 will participate in their commencement activities on June 9, 2019.

We had two students, Emma Goodenough and McKayla Gilbertson, who came to talk about a milk carton recycle project that they have helped implement in each of the schools within the district.  They are a part of a Green & Healthy School Initiative Team from the high school.  We are expecting more from them as the team moves forward!

The board received an update on our mid-year strategic plan goals, as well as letting them know that our parent, student, and staff feedback surveys are now all active.  That data will be available in the coming weeks.

The district has been approached by an organization called Jobs for America’s Graduates, or JAG, as they are interested in exploring a program in our community.  The focus is on engaging at-risk high school aged students to successfully complete high school while at the same time gain a much deeper level of career exploration and emphasis on employability skills.  We will see where the conversations lead us!

The board looked at data from the Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance which collects a wide variety of information from all Wisconsin public schools so that comparisons can easily be drawn in regards to spending, staffing ratios, community economics, achievement, diversity, etc.  If anyone is interested in the report, please let me know!

The board discussed the school safety plans, and it was discussed that the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is interested in bringing all three districts in Jackson County together to gain consistency in expectations, training, and education.  We are excited to partner with them!  

A few random announcements were shared:

A large group of staff members participated in a dyslexia simulation and training and thought it was excellent information.  The presenter will be coming back in March to specifically work with our support staff members.

This week is FFA week!  This is a great time to celebrate the significant contributions to our community through this organization!

Next week is the statewide ACT testing.  If you recall, the ACT test is now required to be taken by all juniors in the state, whether they are college-bound or not.  The testing date is February 27.  The freshmen, sophomores and seniors will not have school that day.
Finally, there is a Business Partner Roundtable happening at the district office on February 27.  We have invited a wide variety of businesses to come and have conversations about how we can strengthen our partnerships and create mutually beneficial relationships. 

As always, thank you so much for your support of the School District of Black River Falls!  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact me!  Let’s show our Tiger Pride in all that we do!
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