April 20, 2018: March School Board Meeting

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! Today I’m going to share a recap of the school board meeting that happened Monday, March 16.

We were thrilled to recognize Peter and Jone Hoffman as well as Jim and Andrea Hoffman for their incredible generosity and initiative to build the Red Creek Fields. The Tiger Softball team will be moving to make those new fields their home. Of course, Mother Nature has not been working with us to be able to have any kind of a grand opening yet...but we know that our community will benefit for years to come due to their extreme generosity!

The Physical Education Department was the Focus on Purpose and came to update the board about their curriculum work and their focus on lifelong fitness.

The Board also accepted a gift from McDonald’s Courtesy Corp. of their musical themed artwork that they removed when they did their remodel. It looks great at the HS! Additionally, Austin Rayburn, HS Tech. Ed. teacher received $525 worth of tools for his construction class.

Mary Jo Rozmenoski, Mary Jo Radcliffe, and Patty Jacobson were all sworn in to their new three year board term.

This summer over twenty of our high school football players will be traveling with coaches to North Dakota State University for a team football camp. They have fundraised and received money from the Athletic Boosters to help fund their trip.

Mr. Dobbs shared some of the changes to the elementary schedule for the coming school year. The most significant difference is to cluster all of the specials classes together at each grade level so that all teachers at that grade level have common planning time. Additionally, it creates more substantial pieces of uninterrupted instructional time for the core areas of reading, math, science, and social studies. One of the drawbacks of this change is that students will now have music and phy. ed. for 45 minutes two times per six-day rotation instead of three times for thirty minutes each.

The board heard a presentation from Upper 90, a company that specializes in helping organizations capture utility cost savings as well as rebates by changing out some older systems to higher efficient models. The board approved the group to move forward with collecting bids but have not committed to any projects. The most significant project is to upgrade all of the lighting to LED lights. Some other smaller topics are to improve the variable speed controls to run more efficiently when the buildings are unoccupied, some additional sealing to the building envelope, and finally looking at some stratification fans for several of our gymnasium spaces.

Mary Rykken, our high school phy. ed. teacher of twenty-eight years, announced her retirement as well. She will be greatly missed--she has positively impacted hundreds of students as a teacher and coach in our community!

During the district administrator's report, I shared that we had three buses get stuck in the snow on Monday even with the two-hour late start. One bus was able to be dug out by the driver and the parent, a second was towed out, and the third was pulled out through the generous help of the family. Thanks so much to Joel and Kim Harkner for giving Tony a hand! HOPEFULLY this is the end of the winter weather that we need to consider. Our spring athletes are chomping at the bit to get going!

As always, thank you 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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