Some of the community already know me or know a little about me, but I would like to introduce myself. My name is Dennis Birr and I am the new superintendent at the Fall River School District. I spent most of my educational career teaching math at Arrowhead HS and Reedsburg HS. After that I spent 3 years as the business manager in the Parkview School District, before serving a little over 9 years in New Lisbon as their superintendent and business manager, a similar role to what I now have here in Fall River. I also work part time on Baird's School Financial Services team.
My wife, Cindy, and I moved to Fall River just over a year ago wanting to be closer to our oldest son Dan and his family. Cindy is continuing to teach elementary physical education in the Sauk Prairie School District. Little did I know when we moved here that this opportunity would present itself.
Living here, and having grandkids in the school make this my home, my school and my community. The education that our students receive is extremely important to all of us, but even more so when it affects those you care about.
I try to lead with 3 C's, connect, communicate and collaborate. Nothing of value gets done without a lot of good people, who are invested in a work, doing that work as a team. I hope to help everyone continue the great things are doing for our students.
The administrative team has been working on plans for summer school and for reopening this fall during our weekly meetings. We will take a big step in that preparation at the July 22 school board meeting, where the board will give input and adopt a plan to reopen the school, hopefully five days a week for all students. Although we know this is an ever changing situation that we are in and we must be prepared for anything that gets thrown our way.
Our goals for reopening are:
1. Keep students and staff as safe as possible.
2. Address learning loss from this spring.
3. Prepare for in person schooling using reasonable precautions, but at the same time be prepared for a possible reclosing of school.
A lot of the first two weeks on the job have been a lot of meeting with people and answering questions. I have met one on one with many staff and school board members to get their thoughts on what is good with the district, what we can work on to be better and how I can help them be successful. I really have enjoyed getting to know them better and hear about the Fall River School District.
My hopes have been confirmed so far, that Fall River is what a small school district should be, one that is much like a family, a place where there is a personal touch and people care about the individual as a person, not just as a student. I am really glad to be here. I do look forward every morning to come to school.