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Panther Pause Newsletter: April 13 - 17, 2020

Hello Black Hawk Middle School Parents/ Guardians, Students and Staff,

I hope you are doing well!  As we close out to the second week of distance learning, we hope that the transition to it from a student and parent perspective has become more efficient and comfortable.  As always, please continue to communicate with your child’s teachers if you are experiencing issues or have concerns.  I am very proud of the BHMS teaching staff and the ongoing collaboration among them in creating unique learning opportunities for all students through distance learning.  Though our preference would be to have the students present at school, we will strive to provide the best possible distance learning experience for them.  I would also like to convey to you that on behalf of the BHMS staff, we miss the students very much.  Given these circumstances, let us continue to move forward to support the students and each other during this time.    

Take care,

Richard Wendorff, Principal

Site Council Minutes



April 10, 2020

Site Council Members Present during Video Conferencing:  Rich Wendorff, Jay Williams, Jeff Erickson, Lori Mallory, Shana Fouts, John Rosten, Dave Herem, Roger Huling and Lori Baertsch.  Minutes submitted by Roxy Chlan.

Mr. Wendorff, Principal welcomed everyone. He discussed the following:

1.  Distance Learning update from the perspective of parents, students and staff.  

2.  Annual Parent and Student Surveys. He reviewed the process and timeline. A decision was made to move forward with them after May 4 at a date and time to be determined.

3.  BHMS Principal Selection Process and Timeline. 

4.  Thank you to the Site Council Members who have served past and present.

Mr. Williams, Assistant Principal, discussed the status of the end of the school year student recognition programs which includes the Panther Pride and Presidential Academic Awards.

Mr. Smith, Assistant Administrator, shared information regarding FeePay potential refunds, hot spots for students and Summer School registrations.

Mr. Huling, Digital Resource Teacher, shared the distance learning technology challenges and video conferencing updates.  More information will be forthcoming regarding videoconferencing.

Ms. Baertsch, BHMS Booster Club President, shared the planning process for the facilitation of budgetary funds for the balance of this school year. At this point and time they are in a holding pattern. They are seeking volunteers to serve on the board.  She thanked many of the incoming 5th grade parents for their willingness to sign up to volunteer.

Grade Level April Happenings

6th Grade:

Science:  Students have been working on laws of motion and will continue with energy throughout the month of April. We are still taking March science challenges (please upload a short video of you testing out your project).  Keep up the great work.

Math: Math 6 will continue to work on geometry topics. Students will be finding area and volume of two and three dimensional figures. Pre-Algebra will be solving two-step and multi-step equations and inequalities. 

ELA: English and Reading have worked together during our non-fiction text unit. Students researched a non-fiction topic in English and created bibliographies. In reading, these stories will be put into book collage to create keepsakes. Students followed non-fiction text structures will be adding non-fiction text features studied in class.

Phy. Ed: Keep staying active! Get outside and Continue to use your fitness Journal.

Electives: In Comm Tech students are learning to write an email.  Just like a letter, they are learning hints and tips for proper etiquette when writing to a teacher. This can be useful, down-the-road, when writing an email to a coworker or boss. 

7th Grade:

The 7th Grade Staff has been very impressed with our BHMS 7th Students and Parents in our early venture towards Distance Learning together.  Please remember, we are very understanding of all the variables out there.  For some students that are able to do the work and get it all turned in, we want to support that by correcting it, giving feedback if needed, and updating the gradebook.  For others, due too many circumstances, we want to help work with you in getting  what you can do academically, and/or help you over any 'hurdles' (whatever those might be) that are getting in the way.  Please feel free to email teachers about difficulties on assignments, accessing assignments, or issues that are not allowing you to be successful in getting assignments done. 

Remember, when the academic work is coming at you from many teachers, try not to feel overwhelmed.  View it as we are trying to make sure we are offering/giving you your Trimester 3 academics as best we can.   If you can accomplish this work, great.  If there are obstacles not allowing for it, we understand. 

8th Grade:

As Distance Learning continues, we invite our families and our students to reach out to Panther Time teachers with questions or concerns.  Parents, we are grateful for your patience, flexibility, and willingness to join our teaching team to better support students find connections and academic success during this unprecedented time.

We encourage our students to regularly check teachers’ Schoology pages (Updates and Calendars and Learning Folders) for announcements and assignments. We will also email families the weekly snapshot of our distance learning plan for the week.

We miss all of our 8th grade students!  We believe in them and know that they are capable and doing their best!  Let’s keep the momentum going!

Play the Market!

Mr. Herem has obtained a bunch of passes to play the stock market game for FREE! If you are interested in investing $100,000 (fictional) in the stock market email Mr. Herem at 

Check out this link to learn more:

Hello Poets!

The Star Tribune newspaper is running a poetry contest that anyone can enter.

We all know you have the time to come up with some rhymes!

 Star Tribune Poetry Contest

Library Media News

Maud Squad and Battle of the Books

Our competitions will continue!  eBooks and eAudio of many of the titles have been purchased.  We will send out a list of which books are available at BHMS through MackinVia and which ones you can get through Dakota County Library.  More information will be sent in a Schoology announcement as soon as we work out a few more details.

Looking for a Happy Read?  Click on your MackinVia app or download the app from self-service.  Select “BLACK HAWK MIDDLE SCHOOL, EAGAN, MN.”  Your username is your student id number, and your password is your collab password.  There are over 1,000 books to choose from, but if you’re looking for something that will touch your heart and make you laugh, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery is a classic to lift spirits.  This is a multiuser eBook, so many people can read it at the same time.  After reading the book, try the 1985 movie version available through other platforms.  

Missing the Library?

Audible has free books for you to listen to. Check it out! Another source now free for students for audio books:

Dakota County Library 

Dakota County Library is here for you. What does this look like?

All digital content remains accessible online—ebooks, audiobooks, research tools and databases, virtual programs, and online library card registration

Library staff will be available by phone or email, Monday – Friday, 9 am – 5 pm. You are always welcome to contact me directly (contact info below), or the main Wescott Library number is 651-450-2900.

Libraries remain closed through at least April 10, but all physical materials currently checked out aren’t due until May 31.

New 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


 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