October 19, 2018: October Board Meeting

Hello Black River Falls Community! This is Dr. Shelly Severson, Superintendent of the School District of Black River Falls, and I’m here to share this week’s Spotlight on Schools! This week I’d like to share with you a brief summary of the discussions and decisions made at the monthly school board meeting which was held Monday, October 15th.

The Jackson County Dairy Promotion group gifted Brad Markhardt $250 for use within his Ag classes. Brad and his FFA and AG students do an exceptional job keeping connected to community organizations and to the FFA Alumni!

The Board engaged in some discussion surrounding a professional development opportunity within the District that is called SEED, or Seeking Educational Equity and Diversity. Dr. Marcus Lewis came to share some of his research and perceptions of his work within the program. The Board agreed that they would like more time to learn about it and will discuss it further at the upcoming Board development session.

As the next step in the Strategic Plan, the District will be working this year to create a quality community survey that is meant to gather critical feedback from the broader community. We have a great process in place to receive annual feedback from families, our students, and the staff; however, we know that around 60% of our community population does not have students within our system and thus, engage with us differently. Please watch for your opportunity to share your thoughts and perspectives with us. We continue to work hard to align our work to our community values and want you to take pride in the work that we do!

Marc and Jenny Rukavina gave an update to the Board on our World Languages Department. All students must take spanish in 7th grade, from there it is a choice. We have an increasing number of students completing Spanish V, which is the Advanced Placement Spanish curriculum. This gives students the skills they will need whether it is communicating with spanish speaking family members, post secondary education, or entering the workforce in which spanish speaking is important.

We have a couple of field trips that were approved; this spring the Tiger Varsity Softball players will travel to be a part of the Cal Ripken Experience at a spring training camp in Myrtle Beach. Additionally, we have 15 FCCLA students that will be traveling to Louisville, Kentucky to participate in their Cluster leadership meeting.

The elementary principals provided an update on the schedule changes implemented this school year. The classroom teachers feel very positively regarding the increased length of time for their instructional blocks and the minimizing of the interruptions throughout the day. The Music, Art, and Phy Ed teachers are also appreciating that they see the students for 45 minute blocks as opposed to the previous 30 minutes. However, they are disappointed that they see them less often. The change in the schedule is a work in progress and they continue to have conversations and make adjustments where necessary.

The Board also set the tax levy and finalized the budget in preparation for our Annual Meeting. While all of our school board meetings are open to the public, the state law requires that each District also hold an Annual Meeting of their electorate in which the budget is presented and anyone is allowed to ask questions and/or bring topics before the electorate for discussion. This year our Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 22 beginning at 6:00 pm in the Lunda Theater. All are welcome!

Before signing off today, I want to leave you with a comment from last years Family Feedback Survey. Mrs. Connie Jessie is a second grade teacher at Red Creek Elementary and a parent had this to say: “Mrs. Jessie is an excellent teacher. This year has been such a great year for my child. He loves going to school and she has made learning so much fun for him this year.”

As always, if you have any questions about this, or anything else within the District, please don’t hesitate to ask! Let’s show our Tiger Pride in all that we do!

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