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A Message from Principal Kusch - 11.12.21

A Message from Principal Anne Kusch

Hello BHMS Families, 

What a pleasure it was to meet and greet so many families at conferences last week! We appreciate the continued partnership with all of you so we may support all of our students in finding success at Black Hawk Middle School. With only three weeks left in the trimester, we remain dedicated to creating a safe environment for ALL students. We know when students feel safe and connected, they can do their best thinking and learning.  

As we know, the formation of identity and independence is in full swing during middle school. Students are consistently testing limits and pushing boundaries both at school and home. As adults we are here to teach, coach, support, and guide them. In my September message, I discussed the essential partnership of school and families in supporting students as they navigate, learn, and in some cases, re-learn expected school behavior. We continue to ask for you to have ongoing conversations with your student at home about expected school behaviors and what they can do to contribute to a positive learning community. 

Here at BHMS, these conversations continue to take shape in a variety of ways: in the classroom, between classes in the hallways, in the lunchroom, and before and after school. We work hard on supporting students with self regulation across all of these settings. We ask questions like: What does expected behavior look like (in the classroom, hallway, lunchroom, on technology)? Sound like? And feel like? We hold these conversations with students 1:1, in small groups, in the classroom, and with families as partners. We continue to need your help.

For example, we’ve asked students to keep their phones put away during the school day. Although cell phone use has diminished in the learning environment, it continues to be a concern in the hallways and at lunch. As a school, it is impossible for us to control and monitor appropriate cell phone use. After all, these are personal devices owned by families. Knowing what social media platforms your student is engaging with and knowing what they choose to post and message is critical in supporting their growth and development. 

At school we are focused on ensuring students are using their iPads appropriately. The bottom line is we need each other in order to support students in making positive choices, and when they make errors, supporting them in learning from those mistakes.

Please take some time to again talk to your student about expected behaviors at school and how they can lead by example by making positive choices. Reconsider if your student needs to have a cell phone at school, and please monitor their activity closely as we don’t want personal choices made on social media disrupting the learning environment for others.

Also consider reviewing the options you have as parents to restrict what apps your student can access on their iPads. Directions to do so can be found at

As a community, we can work together to make decisions that support a safe, calm, positive learning environment. 

Vision Screening

We will be doing vision screening for our 7th graders on Tuesday, November 16. Please remind your student to bring their glasses with them to school for the screening. If you have any questions, please email our school nurse, Britta Nelson, at

Take the Minnesota Safe Learning Survey

The University of Minnesota and Minnesota Department of Education are inviting students in grades 6 through 12, families and educators to share their experiences with school over the past year. The Minnesota Safe Learning Survey, which was also administered in February and May 2021, is being given this last time to provide a picture of the landscape in education across Minnesota. Districts will receive local information to compare with statewide data. The survey closes November 24. Take the survey at


Please join us for ActioNow, a districtwide event that targets the African American 196 community, from 6 to 8 p.m. November 17, at Apple Valley High School. It is a series of talks where students, staff and community members are able to come together and share their experience in the district. The information will be collected and shared with the Equity department and used to help take action and make change in our school district.

For more information or to register, visit

What's Happening at Black Hawk? Catch up on all the Announcements for Parents and Students

Read this message and more News at