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Returning to In-Person Learning - Information for All Cohort A/B and Digital Academy Families

April 16, 2021

Hello Black Hawk Families, 

As many of you are aware, the District 196 School Board voted Monday night 6-to-1 to return all 196 secondary schools to in-person learning starting Tuesday, April 20th.

Monday, April 19th, will serve as a transition day and Wednesday, April 21st, will remain a scheduled Professional Development Day for teachers; these are both non-school days for students.  

During Monday, April 19th, and Wednesday, April 21st, students should work on ongoing projects, assignments or other homework. Students should check the Schoology folders for each class. Students do not need to take attendance on these two days.

Cohort Switch Option Information: 

We have two learning model options moving forward:

  1. In-person learning, 4 days each week (M, T, Th, F) 

  2. Digital Academy – Live Zoom inclusion in BHMS class sessions, 4 days each week 

You have the option to switch from in-person to Digital Academy, or Digital Academy to in-person.  

By default, students who are currently in-person students (hybrid, 2 days per week) will automatically be changed to 4-days per week in-person attendance. Also, any student currently in the Digital Academy will stay in the digital academy unless a parent calls the BHMS office (651) 683-8521.

With full in-person learning scheduled to start on Tuesday, April 20th, we need a quick turn-around on your decision about changing cohorts. 

**Parents have until 3 PM today, Friday, April 16th, to call the BHMS office (651) 683-8521 and request a change. **


Download a Printable Version of the following information

Reduced Student Spacing in Full Enrollment: 

During the hybrid model, students were kept 6 feet apart in the classroom. With the shift to 4 days per week, that distance will decrease to 3 feet. Contact tracing protocols will continue, requiring schools to quarantine students who have had close contact with a COVID-positive student.  A close contact is defined as someone within 6 feet of a COVID positive person for a cumulative time of 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period.

Quarantine Information: 

We anticipate the reduced, 3 feet of spacing between students, will increase close contacts and more quarantine situations for students. In addition, by doubling the amount of weekly school days with doubling the in-school population of students, we anticipate placing more students in quarantine to help minimize the spread of COVID. Please know we will work hard to keep as many students in school as we can while following the direction, rules and guidelines given to us by the district and the MN Department of Health.

We will need your understanding if you are contacted with information that your child is a close contact that warrants them to quarantine. These calls are challenging and difficult to make.  We appreciate your partnership as we perform this required task as mandated by the Department of Health.

Schooling for Students in Quarantine: (or just home sick) 

Students who are in quarantine for symptoms, are home as a precaution due to an illness, or are put into quarantine due to a close contact at school will temporarily attend school in the same way as Digital Academy students, via Zoom and Schoology. When the quarantine time is over, in-person attendance can resume.

Health and Safety Precautions: 

Daily At-Home Self and Symptoms Check for all Students

Every morning before school please do a quick health assessment with your student. 

If a student 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 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

Weekly Calendar/Daily Schedule:

We are shifting to a Day 1 (Green Day) Day 2 (White Day) schedule

  • Monday: Green Day

  • Tuesday: White Day 

  • Wednesday: All students learn from home and take attendance in Campus

  • Thursday: Green Day

  • Friday: White Day

An Explanation of the Full Enrollment Format and Cohorts 

For all students each week has four days of “live” instruction. Wednesday is an online asynchronous school day.  

Cohort A and Cohort B Students: Full In-Person Learning 

  • Attend school in-person on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday

  • On-line asynchronous (Schoology, ongoing homework) on Wednesdays

  • Complete attendance in the Campus app from home on Wednesdays 

Digital Academy Students:

  • Attend “live” zoom class sessions (all six, plus Panther Time) on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday (students follow their full daily schedule on zoom, starting at 8:45 AM)

  • On-line asynchronous (Schoology, ongoing homework) on Wednesdays

  • Complete the Campus “Daily Check-in” every day (including Wednesdays) from home

General School Hours: 

  • Doors Open: 8:20 AM

  • Arrival of Buses at BHMS: 8:20 – 8:35 AM (approx.)

  • Panther Time starts at: 8:45 AM

  • End of 6th Hour: 2:25 PM

  • Teacher Office Hours: 2:30 – 3:30 PM

  • Doors Close: 2:45 PM

Note: The school is not to be a place for students to congregate before or after school. The social distancing precautions combined with no supervision mean that students are not to be dropped off before 8:15 AM and must exit the building by 2:45 PM unless they are involved in after school activities. 

Daily Bell Schedule: 

Class times and lunch times will remain the same.

Class Groups and Passing Times: 

Students in school will progress through Panther Time (advisory) and their six-period day. Class sessions are between 43-47 minutes in length. Students will move from class to class and the groupings of students will change with each class.

Because students will use backpacks and carry all items with them throughout the school day (no locker use), less passing time will be needed for students. 

Lessons and Premise of Content Scope and Sequence: 

All students (Cohort A, Cohort  B, Digital Academy) will have a regular BHMS daily schedule with six classes each day.

Teachers will create two to four weekly online lessons with assignments, resources, activities, and assessments that are the same for all teachers of the same course. Students will follow lessons for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. 

Students in all groups: Students learning in-person and Digital Academy are all grounded and following the same online lessons. For students learning in person, the teachers will use classroom time to support these online lessons.

Zoom or office hours/e-mail contacts will support the same lessons for students in the Digital Academy. 

Lessons and courses will be crafted to maximize student autonomy for completion. Because teachers are in class sessions all day they will be less available to students at home. 

Wednesdays provide opportunities for students to come to school for support, explore extensions and enrichments as well as review and preview past work and work to come.

Student Schedules:

Student’s will follow the 3rd trimester classes on the same schedule they received in the fall. Students are returning to their same full-slate of courses.

Download the 4-Day Daily Schedule

Attendance (how this will be done): 

In-Person Students: Teachers will take attendance Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday in Panther Time for students who are in-person learning.  Students will take their own attendance in the Campus app on Wednesdays.

Digital Academy Students: Students in Digital Academy will take their own attendance in the Campus app each day Monday-Friday.

Lunch Information: 

Students will have assigned seats to help with any needed contact tracing.  Students will shift from sitting two to a table to four to a table in order to achieve the new 3-feet of spacing.

Note: Lunches will continue to be pre-packaged for grab-and-go distribution. There will be one hot lunch and one cold lunch option each day. Ala carte items will be very limited and only individually wrapped items for grab-and-go.

After-School Activities: 

Winter III Sports (swimming/diving) will end on April 30th.  Girls basketball club will end on Friday,  April 23rd.  Dance club ends the week of April 26th.  Spring sports will begin on May 3rd and end on June 4th. The spring sports options are for students in 7th and 8th grades and include boys tennis and girls & boys track & field; 6th grade is welcome to join boys tennis.  Co-curriculars will meet 4 days per week unless otherwise designated by the advisor. The registration fee for sports is $50 and can be paid via the MyPaymentsPlus system. The nature of sports is more intramural (or intrasquad) as we will not have matches or meets with other schools. 

Parent Drop-off (morning) and Pick-up (afternoon): 

With both A and B cohorts attending school together, we know that the amount of car traffic will increase and possibly double. If you are transporting your student to and/or from school, exercise care and caution:

  • Do not be distracted: kids, cars, and buses are everywhere

  • Be mindful of children on bike or walking

  • Drive the speed limit

  • Be patient, expect this to take time

Mid-Day Student Pick-Up Information: 

If you need to pick your BHMS student for a mid-day appointment, the BHMS front office is to be informed of this in advance. When this occurs, students are required to come to the BHMS main office to “check-out” so that we have accurate attendance and knowledge of your child’s departure.

Parents who are picking up a child should stay at curbside as we are limiting our in-school visitors. When you arrive, call 651-683-8521 and we will send your child out to the front entrance. 

No Lockers (students backpacks): 

Students should plan on being self-sufficient with their backpack items and plan on taking everything home, every day.

No Physical Education/Locker Room Lockers: 

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. 

PE classes will swim, starting with 6th grade on Tuesday, April 20th.  Students should bring: a towel and bathing suit (2 piece suits are okay as long as a t-shirt is worn over the suit).  Any student is allowed to wear a t-shirt or full covering as needed while swimming.  We will not use PE or street lockers to store wet items.  Students will need a plastic bag to transport their swim gear back and forth between school and home.  This unit will last two weeks, providing students 2 opportunities a week to swim.  Any questions, please contact the 6th grade PE teacher 

Illness Management: 

Students may need to be picked up at school if they become ill. Our school nurse is well prepared to do school-level symptoms checks. Sometimes sick students are assessed and can return to class.

If a student shows signs of COVID-19 symptoms, a parent/guardian will be contacted to come to school to bring the child home. Follow-up communication and direction will be provided by the school nurse.

Masks: All students are required to wear masks at all times (except lunch). It is a strict responsibility of students to make sure they wear the mask properly to cover from above the nose to below the chin at all times. Everyone can bring and wear their own mask, or 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. But, in full enrollment this spacing is reduced from 6-feet to 3-feet.

Hallway and Traffic Pathway Modifications:
Students will find directional arrows on the walls and carpet, spaces dots, students walk up the back staircases and down the front staircases to prevent congestion.

Drinking Fountains: The bubblers (spout for drinking) will be disabled. We now have three fountains that have water bottle filling spouts that are sensor-automated and can still be used (touchless). 


Whenever possible, please make appointments to see a staff person, please call 651-683- 8521 to arrange an appointment. 

Item Drop-Off: 

Any parent bringing an item to school mid-day will find a drop box in the front door vestibule.