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March 30, 2020

Dear Parents and Community Members,

I hope this letter finds you each in good health and spirits. Paraphrasing some Billy Joel lyrics, “These are some times we will remember, but they will not last forever”.

We all want to know, “When will our children be going back to school?”. Nobody has the definitive answer to that question, but we know that given the recent extension of the social distancing decree that it will be no sooner than May. Is there a chance that students will not be back this school year? That is a distinct possibility. One model I viewed indicated that the apex for contracting the virus in Wisconsin may be on the 22nd of May. I hold out hope that we will be able to bring our students and staff together before the end of the year, but at this point there is uncertainty. What about Summer School? Summer School information will be shared, once we have more information on when schools can reopen. 

None of us have experienced the likes of this event in our lifetime (excluding a centenarian or two who lived through the 1918 Pandemic). Therefore, there is not a roadmap of how to proceed, including how we address some of the issues related to schools. I know there are questions. What will happen to graduation? How will credits be assigned? Will my child/children receive grades. I want to assure you that we are considering these issues and will have a plan moving forward. I also want to assure you that we will treat our young people with great fairness, empathy, and concern. Our intention is to not allow this world health event to harm our young people or their academic standing in any manner in which we retain control.

You will notice that our teachers at all levels will begin to phase from primarily enrichment activities to more core level instruction. Please know that while teachers may give feedback to students on their work, we will not be grading work in the traditional means. We have decided this based upon our knowledge that not all students have the same resources, availability of time, or availability of support as their peers.

Please recognize that as much as we want to normalize this period for our students, there are many factors out of our control. We may need to handle some aspects of the school, which are different than the past, and we only ask for your continual understanding that these are unordinary times.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all our staff for the exceptional efforts they are taking in continuing services to our District and Community. The food service program has and will continue to provide lunches for those who request it. Our custodians are being diligent in assuring a sterile environment and will begin projects that ordinarily would be completed during traditional school breaks. Our teachers have demonstrated persistence, creativity, collaboration, and flexibility of which I have not seen in my career. Our support staff, key office positions, and administration have all stepped up to assist when and where they are needed.

I know that these are trying times for parents and families. I know personally how difficult it is to be isolated from those who you love and care about. I would be very interested in knowing what any of you are doing that has helped you keep sane, or somewhat sane,  in this crazy environment, kept engaged during a time isolation, or brought a bit of  joy to you and yours. If you have ideas, please send them to me at draabe@fallriver.k12.wi.us

All the best, wash your hands, stay home, and remain positive.

Dennis Raabe, Interim District Administrator

March 19, 2020

Updates from March 18th School Board Meeting

Dear Community Members,

I first want to thank all of you who generously cooperated in choosing not to attend last night’s School Board meeting. Given that the Government mandated that groups of 10 or more were not allowed, only a day before our meeting, we were in a bit of a quandary on how we could operate under the guidelines. In truth there is some uncertainty as to whether the limitation applies to Governmental functions and to whether a “quorum” dictates having members in physical presence to each other. For the record three of our Board members did choose to attend in person so that we were following the most current conservative view of the law. In the future we expect that the legal minds will clarify parameters for Governmental meetings. Our plan at this point is to make arrangements so that the public would have access to a “phone in” Board meeting and that members not be required to attend meetings in person. I am sure we will hear more soon and make plans accordingly.

The Board agenda last night consisted of many items which were tabled due to the extenuating times we are in.  One main point of discussion was the status of our budget for this school year. As many of you know we have experienced some difficulty resolving where our budget is after the mid-year departure of our Business Manager. Just recently our Interim Business Manager, Paula Glaser, assessed that we are projecting a deficit this year of $350,000. While this is not the news Paula and I wanted to share, it is not unexpected. Most of the personnel and fixed cost decisions impacting this budget were made before the transitional experiences. While we have had a significant shortfall in our budget before, and such shortfalls are not uncommon, deficit spending is not sustainable in personal budgets or in governmental budgets. Therefore, administratively we have identified approximately $100,000 of savings for next year. During the upcoming month the Administrative Staff will be identifying additional savings which will address this budget shortfall.  

The School Board tasked the Administrative team to assure that our District Policies and our Student Handbooks are consistent relative to how possession and use of drugs/vaping in school will be handled. Certainly, the wording will make clear that there is no tolerance for such activity. The wording will also allow the Administration the ability to consider consequences which range from interventions to expulsions.

In closed session the Administrative Contracts for our Building Principals and Athletic Director/Recreation Director were approved. The School Board also approved the contract for our new District Administrator, Dennis Birr. Dennis has served the New Lisbon School District as a District Administrator for the past nine years. He has previously served as a School Business Manager in the Parkview School District. We will have a community welcoming event for Dennis once things get back to normal.

Thank you for understanding our desire to limit participation in last night's meeting. Thank you for your support and understanding as we collectively face the challenges of supporting our school and community.

All the best, wash your hands…

Dennis Raabe, Interim District Administrator

Fall River School District

Wednesday, March 18, 2020 1:45 pm

Good Afternoon Parents and Community Members,

A quick update based upon questions I am hearing….

  1. The mandated school closures throughout the state of Wisconsin has been extended indefinitely. While we have no clear idea what that time frame suggests, I am under the impression that students will not be attending school in April. I believe we will continue to get updates from our Government, which we will abide by.
  2. People have asked if we will request a waiver from the State regarding instructional hour requirements. We certainly will. This process is currently being streamlined and we will make our request when the State indicates they have this process ready.
  3. Please know that our staff is committed to providing parents and students with daily enrichment/support/and reinforcement activities throughout the duration of this health event. The exception will be days we are not scheduled to work, including Spring Break.
  4. Recently (yesterday) our Governor has restricted meetings of more than ten people. This puts into question how we handle our School Board Meetings. For tonight’s meeting the School Board and staff will hold the meeting via telephone call in. The Board President and the District Administrator will be at the building. We cannot exclude members of the public from attending this meeting, but we ask that you reflect upon whether your input at this time will be considered vital. I will place minutes from this meeting on the website, as I will meetings in the future. We are currently working on coming up with a means by which we can have all interested community members join in on the Board meeting. We hope to have that in place for the April Board Meeting. Given that the mandate for limiting participation to ten came down yesterday afternoon, we are not prepared for such extensive participation at this time. Please know the posted agenda will be pared down to essential decisions at this time, with the majority of items being tabled for the future.
  5. A reminder that we are currently making grab and go lunch available to all students. Simply fill out the form you received via email and we will include you in this service. Presently we plan to continue this service through the duration of the health event.

As always, there will be more changes in how we do things. These changes will come about due to decisions which will be out of our hands. We are thinking of each of you and are hoping for good health for each of you. PLEASE have conversations with your family members on how important it is that we all use good precautionary practices. This national soft quarantine will only be effective to the degree that you, I, and others take it seriously and behave responsibly.

All the best,

Dennis Raabe, Interim Superintendent

Monday, March 16, 2020, 1:30 pm

Dear Parents,

I wanted to get the following information out to you as soon as possible as I know you have questions. However, please understand that events are changing very quickly at all levels and information given now may be altered a short time from now.

Thank you for understanding that our school and instruction will not be “business as usual”. We are trying to provide our school community with as much support and services as we can during this unique national event.

  1. Our school will be open Monday through Wednesday of this week from 8:00 am to 3:30 pm for parents to pick up any items which were left in school before our abrupt cancellation. Just come to the front doors and you will be buzzed in. Please know we ask you to pick up what you need and exit as efficiently as possible. We want to respect your rights and that of staff to practice appropriate social distancing procedures.
  2. Some classroom teachers will be providing hard copy resources to students for use during this period. Again, you will be notified by classroom teachers if such resources will be made available and when and where to pick up the resources.
  3. At this time, we plan on providing meal services for those students who need it. A form to complete with relevant information has been made available to you via email.
  4. Given that all classroom teachers will be providing educational activities during the period we are out of school, we will allow chrome books to be checked out for those families that don’t have access to technology. Please know that per usual, parents will be responsible for lost or damaged computers. To check out a computer, please contact Jake Hartman, Technology Director, at jhartman@fallriver.k12.wi.us and he will make arrangements with you. All devices are filtered and will be monitored by the school district. School supplied devices are only able to be used by a staff or student username/login. Again, if you have questions please email Mr. Hartman.
  5. At this time, you should expect an email from K-2 classroom teachers each day beginning on Wednesday the 18th which will provide parents with learning activities to be utilized with children, at parents’ discretion, on a daily basis when school is not in session. The 3-5 grade teachers will be providing students with daily activities during the same time span through Google Classroom. Finally, Middle School and High School teachers will be providing students with relevant information via Google Classroom.
  6. Please know there will be no meal services or additional instructional programming during the scheduled spring break time of March 23rd through March 27. All services will resume starting on March 30 through April 3rd.
  7. Please know, at this time, instructional activities forwarded to parents and students will be reinforcement, enrichment, and support. We will not be assessing grades for varied reasons and we will not be trying to advance the regularly scheduled curriculum.
  8. We have cancelled all school and recreational activities during this time frame.

It may be a bit too optimistic to say that we are definitely going to have school open again on the 6th of April. I can assure you that we will follow the mandates and guidance of our health professionals. Please know we care for our young people, our families, and our community members. We will do all we can to support and serve you as we mutually face the health concerns which are on most peoples’ minds.

All the best,

Dennis Raabe, Interim Superintendent

Fall River School

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Fall River School District Families,

The Governor of Wisconsin, Tony Evers, has directed the Department of Health Services (DHS) to mandate the statewide closure of all K-12 schools beginning Wednesday of next week and extending through April 5th. This is in response to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Based on local cases of positive COVID-19, Fall River School District will be closed for students STARTING MONDAY MARCH 16th. All staff will still be in attendance on Monday and Tuesday. Classroom teachers and/or the District Administration will update parents as to information which is pertinent to this situation. We are uninformed at this time as to how these days will be treated by the Department of Public Instruction. When we receive clarification we will make decisions relative to instructional opportunities for our students.
As always we appreciate your understanding and support as we move forward. This is uncharted territory for all of us. However, please know that your District and those who serve you will do everything we can to make this experience as manageable as possible.
Beginning Monday we will also suspend all after school, club, and recreational related activities. 
We will continue to share information with our parents as we make decisions and become aware of direction from the State and Department of Education. All the best and wash your hands. :) --
Dennis Raabe 
Interim District Administrator 
Fall River School District 

Health and Safety Update 3/13/20

Dear Parents and Community Members of the Fall River School District,

The safety and health of the students, staff, and our community is of the highest priority as we consider what precautions and steps we will engage in regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Our custodial staff has worked with vendors to assure that the District has an ongoing supply of cleaning, hand cleaning, and sanitizing products. Our custodial and food service staff recognizes the importance of having the highest level of cleaning and preparation  procedures in order to reduce the risk of germs and disease at school. Certainly, the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus has heightened their diligence.

We are seeking daily updates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the Coronavirus and are sharing this information with staff as applicable. We have also been in contact with the Columbia County Health Department and will continue to do so regarding any recommendations they have relative to the containment of this virus. We are also monitoring feedback from state and federal agencies regarding information which will impact the District and those they serve.

Most experts expect that cases of the virus throughout the nation will increase. In the event that we have significant increases in illness, or if there are local cases of Coronavirus, we will work closely with our public health officials and adhere to their directions. Because the situation is rapidly changing please know our plans today may be changed tomorrow due to events out of our control.

I know it is unlikely that any of our parents have not been informed of the everyday preventive actions which we can all take to prevent the spread of viruses. However, reminders at this time are always a good thing. 😊

Don’t panic!

Know the personal health risks for you and your loved ones

Sneeze into your elbow

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water

Cover your nose and mouth when coughing

Avoid contact with others who have cold or flu-like symptoms

Keep sick children home

It is an understatement to suggest that events are changing quickly. As a staff we have discussed what steps we might take should it be determined that schools in our area will be closed. Please know we will keep all parents informed as needed. Have a great day, wash your hands, this too shall pass. Thank you for your understanding, patience and cooperation during this unique national health event.



Interim District Administrator
Fall River School District

Following are links you might find informative and helpful:

Columbia County Health Department Website

Wisconsin Department of Health Services Website

Center for Disease Control Website


Health and Safety update: 03/03/2020

In Fall River School District the health, safety and well-being of our students and staff are our top priorities. With the recently elevated discussion regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the news, we want to take a moment to reinforce preventive safety measures and reference our process and communications.

At this time, there have only been a small number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States. As a school district, we are closely monitoring the situation and taking guidance from Columbia County Health Officials, Wisconsin Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There is currently no recommendation to close schools in the United States.

We all play a role in reducing the likelihood of a coronavirus outbreak in our school district community. We encourage everyone to practice good habits, including:

  • Wash your hands regularly, especially after using the restroom and before preparing or consuming food. Using soap and hot water, wash for about 20 seconds. Be sure to also wash your fingertips.

  • Avoid coughing or sneezing into your hands or in the air. Always try to cough or sneeze into a tissue, and then throw the tissue away. Then wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue, cough/sneeze into your arm. 

  • As much as you can, avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose.

  • If children are feeling sick, please keep them home from school. Allow them some time to feel better so that they do not risk infecting others. It is recommended that students are fever free for 24 hrs. without medication and are symptom free. 

If you have any questions, please contact Mr. Zacho or Mr. Verrier 920-484-3333. 

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Information https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-in-us.html

Mr. Zacho & Mr. Verrier

2019 Annual Meeting Information

Data and Goals publication

2019-20 Annual Meeting

Budget Booklet (a couple images are from 2018-19)

2019-20 Budget Publication

Trees for Threes

The Fall River School District will be planting two new trees at the new Prairie Street Complex thanks to grant money from a new Milwaukee Bucks program.

The Bucks and American Transmission Company partnered this year on a program called "Trees for Threes." For every three pointer the Bucks make at the Fiserv Forum this year the program sponsors the planting of a new tree in Wisconsin. The Bucks made 573 three-pointers at home this year.

The Fall River School District applied for the grant and received money to buy two trees.  Congratulations!

****We are Live!!****
A live look of the ongoing Referendum construction on Prairie Street is available below:

Prairie Street Complex - Referendum Progress - Live link

The “Referendum Information” page is available on our District web-site  to keep our District stakeholders aware of progress, as well as opportunities to be involved in the process.  The most current information regarding bid packages and upcoming meetings are located there.

The Fall River School District Academic Standards notice and Educational Options Information is: Here


Thank you for your support of the Fall River School District!



Upcoming Events

Monday, March 16 -?????
*No School
*All Activities Cancelled

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