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BHMS News from the Principal - October 5 2020

Hello Black Hawk Families, 

Here we are, the first full week of October.  As we enter into week 4, I continue to ask our students, “How is this working for you?” and “ How are you doing?”  I am endlessly amazed at the resilience of our students!  They are figuring out this new way of learning and being together right along with us.  

Parents at home, “How is this working for you?”  I hope you are starting to find a rhythm to this new way of being with distance learning at home too.  In order to stay connected with school and home, you might consider this strategy twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday night), have your student show you directly on their iPad what they are working on in each of their classes.  Ask what’s working well for them and what their challenges are.  Please share the feedback with us both positive and negative.  We are truly in the process of continuous improvement.  We appreciate your partnership in this journey.

Please know, the health and safety of our students and staff is front and center.  All BHMS staff is tasked with completing Home Wellness Self-Screening everyday, prior to coming to work.  As we continue to receive calls to school and specifically our health services office, we are endlessly appreciative of the health related  questions framed with caution, care, and concern in our collective effort to mitigate the spread of COVID at BHMS.  You can continue to support these mitigation efforts by not sending your student to school if any member of the household is experiencing symptoms (even if your student is feeling well).  Please also ensure that your student completes the Home Wellness Self-Screening every morning prior to coming to school.  Our goal is to keep our students healthy and safe while providing an equitable educational experience where each student is learning, growing, and achieving during this uncertain time.

Counselors Newsletter 

The BHMS Counseling staff will be attaching a newsletter to Principal Kusch's News from the Principal periodically. We will also have it as a link on our BHMS Counseling Webpage which you can find under the Academics  >  Counseling. Please check it out as there are many helpful resources for you! Thanks.

BHMS Counseling

Meal Pick-up 

To order meals for your child to bring home for distance learning days, complete the take-home meal kit survey.

If your child is enrolled in the 196 Digital Academy and you would like to receive a five-day meal kit each week, complete the 196 Digital Academy five-day meal kit survey. (Meal kits for the digital academy are the same at each school.)

Please use the lower entrance when picking up meals on Wednesdays between 10:00 - 11:00 AM.

The lower entrance doors have the number 2 labeled above them.

The Every Meal Program (formerly Sheridan Story) offers additional meals.  All are welcome to hand pick chosen meals when ISD 196 issued take home meal kits are picked up on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday at the end of the student contact day or on Wednesday between 10-11 AM.  Every Meal meals can also be picked up by appointment.  Please call our Student Support Specialist, Annie Estes at 651-905-5822. Additional information can be found at

More information on Every Meal

Important Dates in October

October 5th-9th MAP reading test 

Wednesday, October 7th Middle School/Elementary School District Wide Professional Development

Day No School K-8   

Thursday & Friday, October 15 & 16 Teacher Convention No School K-12

October 19th-23rd MAP math test begins

October 23rd Fall sports ends

October 23rd - November 5 School Conferencing Window (details forthcoming)

Help Support Black Hawk

We have a fundraiser night through the Black Hawk Booster Club. Eat at Café Zupas on Tuesday, October 13, between the hours of 5-9 pm. Café Zupas is located in Eagan near the Hyvee grocery store. Make sure you mention you are from Black Hawk. A portion of your meal will be donated to the BHMS Booster Club. 

Picture Day

Lifetouch will be taking school pictures on the dates listed below. More information will be forthcoming.

Monday, November 2           Cohort A

Tuesday, November 3           Cohort B

Wednesday, November 4     Cohort C

Success Beyond the Classroom

(Access their website: Success Beyond the Classroom) is a non-profit organization who partners with schools and the community to bring enrichment opportunities to students.  They have worked hard in the past month to redesign their traditional field trip programming into safe, virtual environments.  In the past, BHMS offered field trips to the Young Authors Conference, and STEMLink.  These trips were sponsored by Success Beyond the Classroom.  We are happy to say these experiences will be offered this year, too.

More information in BHMS News

Media Center

Distance Learning can be challenging for families, but it also provides us with opportunities to explore new resources and supports.  In District 196 we strive to provide the resources necessary for student success to all families.  As part of that mission, we invite all families to take full advantage of the resources provided not just by the district, but also by the Dakota County Public Library.  

The Dakota County Library provides a wealth of diverse resources at no cost to residents.  Many of their resources are particularly helpful to K-12 students and many of the resources are available to access from home. 

We would encourage all families to sign for a Dakota County Library Card.  Currently, you can sign up online or in person.  Visit to learn more. 

This card gives your student access to invaluable resources including not only the physical materials like books, periodicals, CDs, and DVDs available at the library, but also electronic resources such as eBooks and digital audiobooks, databases, and online homework help.  See this extensive list of resources to find out about the most helpful resources for students: 

Later this fall, 8th graders will receive access to their Student Library Card that is connected to their student ID number, which they will be able to use until they graduate from high school.  We would still highly encourage each student to have a personal library card to have access even outside of school to all the wonderful resources at the public library. 

Please visit the Dakota County Public Library page for more information, or reach out to your student’s school library media specialist. 

Is your student looking to get involved in school activities?  Maud Squad is our BHMS club/competition name for the Minnesota Youth Reading Award.  Students across the state of Minnesota read the nominated books and vote for their favorite.  The winning author receives the MYRA award.  The purpose of MYRA’s “yearly read and vote awards programs” is to provide “nominee titles that offer opportunities for Minnesota youth to see themselves and others in the pages, to make new connections, and to engage and enjoy the world of reading.”   See the Division 2 titles here:

COVID19 changes the way we usually run Maud Squad.  If your student would like to be an advisor and help with planning, we will meet next week.  Ideas are needed for homeroom incentives and how to have book clubs, discussions, and activities around the ten titles.  Students can choose which day/time works best for them.

Thursday, October 8, 8:30-9:00 AM, Library

Friday, October 9, 8:30-9:00 AM, Library

Zoom meeting- Friday, October 9, 3:00 PM 

email Ms. Ninteman, the library media specialist if you need the Zoom Link.

 Works Cited:  Minnesota Youth Reading Awards,