March 31: Student Engagement

Spotlight on Schools: Student Engagement

March 31, 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! I’d like to take today’s spotlight time to talk about student engagement and involvement in the wider circle of activities that schools have to offer.

Secondary schools and colleges alike emphasize the importance of extracurricular activities, but sometimes it can be difficult for students to see just how the extra time and dedication will benefit them. From strengthening the mind to promoting better time management skills, extracurricular activities can help students succeed in much more than just their academic endeavors.

A stronger mind
Academic rigors such as in-depth reading and complex problem-solving go far to strengthen the mind, but extracurricular activities will take this mind strengthening even further. High-endurance sports, for example, will train students to maintain patience and resilience in the face of intense difficulty.

Training in professional skills
These activities can also work to build professional skills that a classroom alone cannot always foster. A leadership-oriented club, for example, will help students to learn essential skills in management and delegation, while a debate or speech club will provide additional public speaking practice for students. Sports most often have the effect of fostering strong team-building skills and training students in holding long-term goals. In short, extracurricular activities can arm students with many of the skills future employers will be looking for.

A wider social circle
Extracurricular activities are not solely about imparting stronger professional skills and supplementing education. These programs are also fun and offer students the opportunity to spend time with others of similar interests. Students can meet friends from different social groups by joining the musical, student government or debate group.

Better time management
Ironically enough, many students find that adding more commitments to their already coursework-filled schedules has the effect of improving time management. The student who is busy with coursework but also needs to balance two other extracurricular activities is more likely to plan out time dedicated to each activity and less likely to procrastinate during downtimes. An extracurricular activity might even have the effect of “recharging” the brain after a day of rigorous schoolwork, allowing students to return to homework assignments with a refreshed mind.

Exploration of interests
Extracurricular activities allow students to pursue interests outside of a standardized academic context. A student with a flair for mathematics, for example, might become a member of the school’s math team. This decision could help them decide if math will be something to pursue in higher education. Students can also use these activities to explore interests they’ve never encountered, exposing students to a more perse range of interests.

The School District of Black River Falls has over 45 different sports and clubs, plus there is a process in place if students have an extreme interest that they would like to start a club for! Our goal is to provide opportunities for our students to become well rounded and build their toolbox for future success!

Before I close, just one reminder, if you are interested in a commemorative brick from the Third Street School, you are welcome to take one. After Friday, April 7th, you are welcome to take any remaining bricks.

In keeping with our routine this year, I’d like to share another quote from American Education Week. We asked staff “Why the School District of Black River Falls was the right fit for them?” Kindergarten Teacher Wendy Everson has the following to say: “Never once, when I was looking for a teaching position 23 years ago, did I think I would end up teaching in my hometown of BRF! I loved growing up here as a kid and am extremely proud to have been part of the district staff my entire career. I am so proud that my own kids get to be part of the BRF school community. This district has so much to offer! I can’t think of living or working anywhere else!”

As always, if you have any questions about this, or anything else within the District, don’t hesitate to contact me. Thank you so much for your support of the School District of Black River Falls! Go Tigers!


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