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Panther Pause Newsletter: April 20 - 23, 2020

Data Analysis and Instructional Alignment Day Friday, April 24.

No Distance Learning for the students. Distance Learning will resume on Monday, April 27.

Hello Black Hawk Middle School Parents / Guardians and Students,

I hope this message finds you well.  As we close out the third week of distance learning, we hope at this point and time that the students have been able to establish some routines and are becoming more acclimated to distance learning.  Establishing and maintaining communication with your child’s teachers is extremely important.  Students should be checking in daily with their Panther Time teacher regarding their attendance.  If you have any questions about the daily attendance or procedures associated with this, please contact your child’s Panther Time teacher.  In addition, returning messages that teachers have left for the students and/or the parents is very important.   Again, communication is the key!     

Take Care,

Richard Wendorff – Principal

Reporting a Student’s Absence

Please report a student’s absence during Distance Learning:


  • Student's name (please spell the student's FIRST AND LAST name when calling)

  • Grade

  • Name of person reporting the absence

  • Reason for absence

  • Phone number where you can be reached on the absence date

Message for the Counselors and School Psychologist

Dear BHMS parents,

Thank you for being our partners in this difficult time.  You are juggling many roles and facing unforeseen challenges while we all manage unfamiliar and unprecedented stress. While “helpful information” has good intentions – it also feels like additional information to navigate. Below we have included what we feel to be the most helpful information and resources for you at this time.

As you are completing your third week of distance learning, we hope you are establishing some type of routine that works for your family. This should include having your student checking in on Schoology for attendance daily and also checking the Schoology calendar/updates/google document from teachers. We want you to know that we as a staff are here for you. If you or your student is still struggling with any part of this, please let us know. 

Check out this article titled The Pandemic Toolkit Parents Need by Psychology Today- We have also included the District 196 mental health website which has many great resources for you as well. As a counseling/psychology staff, we understand that this can be a very difficult time.  Let us know if you need support.  We also have many other resources we can access to help your family. We are all in this together.

Mary Beck-School Counselor 7th grade and 8th grade L-Z - 

Jill Heasley-School Counselor 6th grade and 8th grade A-L 

Amy Nicol- School Psychologist

Library Media News

Overdue Library Books?  

No need to fear!  While school is closed, just put your library books somewhere safe, so they won’t get damaged or lost.  A shelf or the top of a dresser might work well. 

One Book One Minnesota

One Book | One Minnesota is a new statewide book club that invites Minnesotans of all ages to read a common title and come together virtually to enjoy, reflect, and discuss.  The program aims to bring Minnesotans closer together during this time of distance and adversity.  

The first featured book selection is Because of Winn-Dixie by Minnesota’s own Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press).  Access to the book is being offered to all Minnesotans for FREE over the next eight weeks.

Do a family book club!  Organize a club with friends, neighbors, classmates!  Kate DiCamillo will be offering a statewide discussion in May.  Click here for information on videos/photos from Kate DiCamillo, club discussion guides, and more!

Maud Squad and Battle of the Books Continue

Books can be requested through curb-side pickup from DCL. Or see the list below for availability of electronic titles.

Battle of the Books Electronic Titles

Maud Squad Electronic Titles

8th Grade Virtual Dakota County Library Card Reminder

Back in January, all 8th graders set up a Resource Folder and registered their virtual Dakota County Library Card.  In case you forgot how to log in, here is a reminder:  The PIN or card number for your virtual DCL card is 196 + student id (196XXXXXX).  The password should be your collab password with "lib" at the end.  If that doesn't work, call the Dakota County Library: Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm.  The Wescott Library number is 651-450-2900.  If you aren't able to get a hold of anyone, contact Ms. Ninteman

News From The Nurse

Black Hawk Middle School's Licensed School Nurse, Molly McQuown, is available during distance learning for non-urgent medical questions and/or health support. She will be available Monday-Friday during normal Nurse Office Hours (7:30am-3:30pm). Please see the following information for communication via text, phone call, or email:

Phone #: 612-405-2805


7th Grade Science Students

Seventh grade science students will try a new STEM challenge for April. Check with your science teacher’s Schoology page for more details. The challenge is to research, design and make a protective mask. You will need to research the size of viruses, the permeability of different fabrics and reasons behind expert recommendations to wear them. No need to buy any supplies, use what you find around your home. This STEM challenge is aligned with the 7th grade science teaching standards for microbiology. For more information see this site:

 Persuasive Writing Contest – Why Sports Matter - $500 prize

Hey Kids! Love sports and love to write? Scholastic is hosting an online persuasive writing contest with a grand prize of $500. Entries are due by April 24. See the link below for the complete competition information.

Scholastic Writing Contest Information