December 8, 2017: The Green Team

December 8, 2017

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’d like to talk with you about a club from the MS that is committed to reducing the environmental “footprint” of the middle school.


Mrs. Roberta Kostka, one of our school counselors at the middle school facilitates a group called The Green Team.  The Green Team is for students who are dedicated to creating a more sustainable school. Many students think that helping to take care of the environment is too big of a project and not something that they, as kids in their early teens, can have an impact.  What they try to instill in the students is to convince them that even the smallest things help make big improvements. The Green Team works with the custodians to collect recyclables from throughout the building so that they can continue working on improving our environment.  At this time 16 students are on a rotating schedule to help with this project. Students are assigned one or two times a month during Focus where they can assist with the recyclables. While it may sound like a punishment or consequence for poor behavior, there is one student that it is a privilege or reward that the student works hard to earn each day!  Mrs. Kostka worked with the Focus teacher to make sure that the student had their homework completed regularly and his behavior was meeting their expectations. If he has his homework finished for the day he comes down during Focus and helps the custodians out in other areas - Commons set up, gym setup/floor cleaning or whatever is needed.


Overall this group is a great way for students to make a connection with other adults and have a sense of involvement here at school!  In addition to the Green Team at the MS, there is a group of adults throughout the district that are working on evaluating some of our processes throughout the district.  The state of Wisconsin has set some requirements that schools can strive toward in an effort to be certified as a Green and Healthy School.  One of our first projects is to work on a way to recycle the hundreds of milk cartons that are used throughout the district.  This committee, headed by HS Science teacher Clare Knodle has met with our garbage hauler and they have brainstormed some first steps to get us moving in the right direction!  When you talk about going “green,” there truly are so many small steps that can be taken by everyone, and of course, there are some big-ticket items that take a great deal more planning and preparation to implement.  The moral of the story is that we have to start somewhere and we are excited that there are students and staff motivated to move forward!


Before we sign off today, I want to remind everyone that the Madrigal Dinner is happening tomorrow night at the HS.  In my opinion, there is nothing that sets off the holidays quite like the music!  We are very proud of the work that has taken place from the students, the entire HS music department, parent volunteers, the food service staff, and finally all those that play one of the many roles needed to pull off such a huge community event!


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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