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BHMS News from the Principal - August 14, 2020

Hello Black Hawk Families!

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time.  Below you will find information on many of the questions you may have as we prepare to kick off the 2020-2021 school year.  We know this will be a school year for the history books!  We will embark on this journey together and support one another during these challenging times. Building relationships with students is key to our success as educators.  We will strive to be innovative and accessible as we create new ways to connect when we cannot be together in person.  Building relationships with our families is equally important.  You, as parents/guardians are our most important partners.  We must view these uncertain times as rich with possibilities and full of opportunities to discover ways for us ALL to learn and grow.  We cannot do this hard work alone.  We must do it together.  Please watch for weekly updates from the BHMS Main Office moving forward.  

Your perspective, support, and feedback are critical to the success of our children and the greater Black Hawk community.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the main office should you have questions.  If you would like to speak with me directly, please reach out to Roxanne Chlan, my secretary, to set up a time to connect. or (651) 683-8525.  


Principal Anne Kusch

ISD 196 Flexible Learning Plan

The District 196 Flexible Learning Plan was approved for the start of the 2020-21 school year.  This allows schools to pivot between the three learning models: all distance, hybrid, all in person, as dictated by the guidance from the MN Department of Health.  As of today, the plan is to begin the 2020-21 school year in the hybrid model.  The information in this document is in draft form.  The learning models are fluid and can change depending on Dakota County COVID-19 health data. Information from the District can be found in the documents below.                                                          

Board Meeting Presentation 8-10-2020

Restart 2020


Health and Safety Precautions

Daily At-Home Self and Symptoms Check for all Students and Staff

Each day staff and parents should check each of these symptoms and items before school. If a student or staff person exhibits any of these symptoms, they should stay home and contact their doctor for follow-up on testing or a doctor’s visit: 

  • Daily temperature check to be under 100.4 F
  • Chills and a repeated shaking with chills
  • Cough, congestion, or runny nose
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of taste or smell 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Students or staff should stay home if they:

  • Have one or more symptoms of COVID-19
  • Live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19
  • Have been in close contact (within 6 feet for greater than 15-minutes, with or without a mask) with anyone who has been instructed to isolate due illness or a positive test
  • Have been advised by a medical provider that they may have been exposed to COVID-19

Masks: All staff and students and visitors are required to wear masks at all times (except lunch). Everyone can wear their own mask, but if a person arrives at school without one, a mask will be provided. In either case, wearing a mask is required.

Social Distancing: Classroom desks and workspaces will be spread out to use the full square footage of each room and maximize social/personal distance.

Hallway and Traffic Pathway Modifications:  Students will find directional arrows on the walls and carpet, spaces dots, and possibly some “up only” or “down only” staircases to prevent congestion.

Drinking Fountains: The use of drinking fountains will be discouraged unless students are filling a water bottle.

Clorox/Cleanser Wipes: We request and will accept donations of these. These can be sent to school and left at the main office.

Pathways: An industrial safety firm (IEA) has been employed by the district to identify areas for shielding (main office), create signage, standing-space dots, one-way traffic flows, one-way stairwells, etc. to ease student traffic flow and facilitate spacing.

Buses:  Spacing dots will be used. Only siblings can sit together and may need to do so to maximize spacing to other students.

Lunch:  We are fortunate to have a large cafeteria that can hold 550 students on a regular day. At half-capacity, our cafeteria can have 225 students. Each table will have dots to designate which seats can be used for social distance by students to maximize spacing. Students will have touchless transactions with cashiers. All meals will be packaged (grab and go).

Before School and After School Hours:  Unfortunately, during this time, Black Hawk is not a place for students to congregate before or after school. Due to social distancing precautions combined with limited supervision, we ask that students are not dropped off before 8:15 AM and must exit school by 2:45 PM.

Operational and Learning as of 8-14-2020

Back-to-School Mailing:  We are currently revising several back-to-school forms. With frequent and sometimes unpredictable changes, we will post all back-to-school documents on the BHMS website as they become available. Thank you for your patience.

Back to School

School Hours:

  • Doors Open: 8:15 AM
  • Arrival of Buses at BHMS: 8:35 AM (approx.)
  • Start of 1st Hour: 8:45 AM
  • End of 6th Hour: 2:25 PM
  • Cohort C  Zoom Sessions: 2:30 – 3:30 PM
  • Doors Close: 2:45 PM

Note: Unfortunately,during these uncertain times,  Black Hawk cannot be a place for students to congregate before or after school. The social distancing precautions combined with limited supervision pronibits students from being dropped off before 8:15 AM and they must exit the building by 2:45 PM.

First Day of School:  Monday, September 14th  - Cohort A in school, Cohort B at home, Cohort C online

Student Attendance Rotation:

Cohort A:  Last name letters A – K (attend school on Mondays and Thursdays)

Cohort B:   Last name letters L – Z (attend school on Tuesdays and Fridays)

Cohort C:   Students/Families opting for full-time, at-home via District 196 Online Academy

Weekly Calendar:

Monday: Green Day, Cohort A students in school (Cohort B at home)

Tuesday: Green Day, Cohort B students in school (Cohort A at home)

Wednesday: All students at home. Staff Planning, teacher workshops, Schoology alignment, afternoon help sessions, deep cleaning

Thursday: White Day, Cohort A students in school (Cohort B at home)

Friday: White Day, Cohort B students in school (Cohort A at home)

No Lockers (students will use backpacks):  With approximately 50% capacity in the school daily, this allows for each student to carry their own backpack throughout the day. Students should plan on being self-sufficient with their backpack and it’s contents and plan on taking everything home, every day.             

No Locker Room Lockers (Phy. Ed.):  Students will not use locker rooms. Students are tasked with dressing in athletic, multi-layer clothing, with tennis shoes on the days they are in school for Phy. Ed. Students will participate in Phy. Ed. in the clothing they wear to school. Swimming sessions will not start until November; allowing for changing and pool deck protocols to be developed. 

Cohort A & B Daily Schedule and Passing Time:  Students in Cohort A & B will start the day with Panther Time then progress through their 6 classes including lunch.  Class sessions have been shortened to approximately 44 minutes in length. Students will progress from class to class using predetermined pathways for safety and social distancing.  The groupings of students will change with each class.

Passing times will be supervised and social distancing practices will be taught and reinforced.

196 Digital Academy Students (Cohort C):  One, 30-minute synchronized zoom session each week, for each class

Online Academy (Cohort C) Afternoon Zoom Session Rotation:  This information will be forthcoming.  Thank you for your patience.

Student Schedules:

Our tentative plan is to make student schedules accessible Campus the week of September 8th. This is when students and parents can view and print schedules from home. Thank you for your patience.

After-School Activities:

This information will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience.

Back-to-School Events

This information will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience.

5th-to-6th Grade Transition

This information will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience.

Back-to-School Day

This information will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience.

Information on Change in School Start Times:

All high schools, all middle schools and five elementary schools will have adjustments in start and end times for the 2020-21 school year. The student start time for middle school, with the exception of VMSS is 8:45 AM.

The overall District 196 decision to change start and end times at high schools, middle schools and some elementary schools is due to the transportation needs for our students during this unprecedented time in our district.  The goal for transporting students is to provide safety and to be on time for arrival and dismissal across our district.  In order to achieve this goal, it is necessary to change start and end times at multiple schools across all levels (K-12).  Beginning this fall, buses will only be able to transport 50% of their students on each route.