#15 December 20, 2019

15. December 20, 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 wanted to share with you a brief summary of the discussions and decisions made by the Board during their monthly scheduled meeting that was held on Monday, December 16.

Ms. Megan Finch was given a Board commendation for her recent achievement in earning the National Board Certification.  I talked extensively about this last week, so please ask me if you have questions. Suffice it to say, we are SO proud of her!  She has joined the elite 3% of the nation’s teachers by earning this designation.

The Board accepted  two small, yet powerful, grants that have been awarded this month.  The first is to further develop our SkillsUSA program and the second is a Robotics League Participation Grant.  Ashley Furniture issued a $3,000 grant to provide resources and entry fees for our SkillsUSA team. The second grant in the amount of $2,181 from the DPI will also be used to assist our Robotics League teams.  Ironically, BRF recently hosted its first Robotics competition on Saturday, December 14th at the Field House.  This operation took MANY volunteers as there were over 50 teams participating!  Finally, the Black River Falls Community Band has donated $400 to the middle school band program to fund a marching harness for the drums.

Lindsey Lewis and Mr. Chambers, from the high school, shared a presentation regarding the Standards Based Grading pilot work that is currently happening at the high school.  The focus is trying to move students from trying to “grab points” toward their grade to showing proficiency on the essential learning standards within the classes. Students get detailed information on their progress toward these standards throughout their work and thus it is no surprise at the end of the semester what their scores are.

This school year we have teams of special education and general education teachers pairing up and receiving additional training to team teach more courses to reduce the number of special education students getting pulled out and receiving their core instruction in the special education room.  This inclusive practice work is critically important as we work to get all students the content that they need for each grade level. All students in the classroom benefit when a content area specialist, such as in Algebra or Chemistry, and a special education teacher, who is a specialist in making modifications and accommodations, are team teaching to help all students have access to the curriculum.  

The Board approved a new course for the coming year.  We will be adding Advanced Placement Chemistry to our offerings, which is fantastic to have so many students willing to challenge themselves with this rigorous content!

During the month of November, each of the schools held their Intruder Safety Drills.  The Board reviewed the reports and commended the teams for their preparedness.

January brings the Joint State Education Convention in Milwaukee.  The Board reviewed the listing of resolutions that WASB has collected to be brought forth for further debate during the Delegate Assembly Meeting.  The Board also elected Patty Jacobson to serve as our delegate representative at that meeting.  

I’d like to end again by sharing some positive comments from our recent parent survey.  This week we’ll be highlighting Mary Danielson, a fourth grade teacher at Red Creek. “Ms. Danielson has excellent enthusiasm with the kids and cares about them as individuals.”  Those of you who know her, know that Mary has been involved in many different coaching roles within the District over the years, in addition to her teaching, and that enthusiasm certainly shines through in the work that she does!

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about this, or anything else within the District.  Thank you for all you do to support our students and the work that we do. We within the District are hoping everyone has a very Merry Christmas and has the opportunity to make cherished memories with family and friends!  Let’s show our Tiger Pride in all that we do!

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