#11 November 22, 2019

11.  November 22, 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 summary of the discussions and decisions that were made at the Board Meeting that was held this past Monday, November 18th.  First, I’d like to apologize that my technology wasn’t working very well last Friday and my Spotlight wasn’t able to play. Mary, at WWIS, was willing to play it on Monday so that the information could still be shared, thank you!

This month the Board recognized Steve Collins for his dedication to teaching CPR and First Aid throughout our community!  He assists in the teaching to our coaches, staff members, and even one of our high school classes. 

Forrest Street Early Learning Center recently experimented with a new format for Parent Teacher Conferences that they are calling Family Connection Meetings.  The parents all come in at the scheduled time and the teacher goes through the goals and current data on the class with the whole group, while at the same time, giving each parent their specific child's achievement.  The hour long meeting included a game in ELA and Math that reinforced skills appropriate for the grade level. Each family went home with a folder that included activities for them to continue at home that are targeted toward the achievement of their students.  The preliminary feedback from parents that participated was positive and they appreciated getting to meet with the families of all of their child’s classmates.

City Administrator, Brad Chown, and Mayor, Jay Eddy, along with other members of the City Council came to talk to the Board about the potential sale of the open lot adjacent to the District Office, or Third Street school.  They are in need of a new Safety Building, which would house the fire department and EMS services. They have done extensive studies looking at response times in relation to other open properties within the community and believe this site is their most favorable location.  The Board decided that they would like to talk more about it at an upcoming Board development session.

The Director of Curriculum and Instruction, Stephanie Brueggen, highlighted two new exciting partnerships with Western Technical College and local businesses.  Our students will have access to a new Auto Academy opportunity through Gross Motors and WTC, as well as the CNA certification possibilities!

The Board took action to begin to move our facility conversations forward within our community.  There are significant long term capital maintenance needs that were discussed in 2014 during our previous referendum, however, they were not prioritized by the community survey at that time.  As with home ownership, large maintenance projects can sometimes be delayed a bit, however, they still need to be done. The need repairs include boilers, roofs, etc. Further, the Board moved to continue our partnership with Miron Construction and Bray Architects.  An initial meeting will happen in early December. Please watch for many more opportunities to get involved in these conversations!

Soccer will become a District sponsored sport beginning with the 20-21 season.  The total cost of the program has been paid through fundraising efforts and donations from individuals.  The participation continues to increase and the youth group is no longer willing to fund it. Instead of cutting the program, the District will fund it beginning next year.  We will take the total cost of the program and bill the schools that co-op with us based on the number of students that participate from each school. This shares the expense of the program between all of the districts that have students that will benefit.


During the District Administrators Report we briefly discussed the fun events happening throughout American Education Week.

Additionally, music teachers Jody Gawron and Stephanie Cowles were commended for their exceptional work on the Red Creek Veteran's Day Program!  

I’d love to share some positive parent comments about one of our staff members as we wrap up another American Education Week.  This one comes from the High School. We asked if there was an individual that deserves extra recognition and this is what we heard; “Mr. Rukavina, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t hear of some story about him! To make a mark on a teenager like that....awesome!!”  Way to go, Mr. Rukavina - we are so glad that you are here!

As always, if you have any questions or concerns about this information, or anything else within the District, please don’t hesitate to reach out!  Thank you for all you do to support our students; let’s show our Tiger Pride in all that we do!

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