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Panther Pause Newsletter: May 18 - 22, 2020

Hello Black Hawk Middle School Parents / Guardians and Students,

I hope this message finds you well.  As we begin to think about closing out this school year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the BHMS students and their parents/guardians for doing your very best with distance learning. The staff understands what a challenging situation this has been for all concerned and we appreciate your efforts to continue to finish the school year in a positive way. 

We are very interested in finding out from your perspective how the distance learning experience has been.  I would encourage you to take the Family survey (formerly the Parent Survey) as the feedback you provide will help the staff plan as we move forward. 

Please note the end of the school year (news) items in the Panther Pause today.  As always, thank you for your support!

Richard Wendorff


Family Survey
(formerly the Parent Survey)

This annual Family Survey (formerly the Parent Survey) is designed for you to respond and provide input about your student's experience at BHMS.  It encompasses a wide range of areas that we feel are very important to gather valuable information which will be used for future planning. This year there are additional questions related to Distance Learning. Thank you for your honest input as we navigate this new reality.

We appreciate you taking the time to complete this. 

Take the Family Survey

President’s Educational Award

Congratulations to the 104 eighth grade students who are this year’s recipients of the President’s Education Award Program for Outstanding Academic Excellence.  The students who earned this prestigious award have maintained at a minimum a 3.5 grade point average (GPA) the last three years at Black Hawk Middle School.  

Although we are not able to acknowledge these high-achieving, scholarly students in a formal “live” ceremony, we have proceeded with a “virtual” online ceremony that will be available for parents, students and the staff to view beginning on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.  For the 104 students who are the recipients of this award and their parents/guardians you can expect a packet in the mail containing the certificate, program and congratulatory letter. 


Student Collection of Belongings/Items from Black Hawk

We are in the process of completing the plan for the students to gather their belongings from school. Additional information regarding the specific pick-up schedule will be forthcoming in next week’s Panther Pause and will be posted on the BHMS website on Friday, May 22.  We have established the week of June 1-5 for this to occur.

End of School Year Goodbye
Drive By Panther Parade

The Black Hawk Middle School staff believes that it is very important to extend the opportunity and provide end of the school year closure with the students.  In essence, to be able to say and wave goodbye for the summer.  Therefore, we have scheduled Wednesday, June 10, beginning at 1:00 p.m. as the date and time that this would occur. This plan would involve the parents/guardians with their children present in the car to drive by Black Hawk Middle School. The staff will be standing outside of the school to acknowledge the students. Other logistical information regarding the implementation of this event will be forthcoming in the next addition of the Panther Pause and will be posted on the school website on Friday, May 22.



  • Orders can still be placed at  until 5/20.

  • Not sure if you’ve ordered? Check with your Panther Time Teacher or Ms. Amend-Marshall.

  • Yearbooks will be distributed with locker contents pickup in June. More info to come.

 Watch this video for a sneak-peek because… It’s in the YEARBOOK!

Distance Learning Attendance –
Reporting a Students Absence

Please continue to encourage your child to check in with their Panther Time Teacher before 3:00 P.M.  It is very important that while they are participating in distance learning that they receive credit for their attendance.  

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



Thank you to the students who have already submitted their W.E.B. applications. If you've forgotten, there's still time to complete it. See the link below for the application. 

Have you ever been told you’re a natural leader? Do you love making new connections? Do you think you have something to offer to incoming 6th graders at Black Hawk? WEB is the place for you! If you are interested in becoming an eighth grade WEB leader, please view the links below. WEB applications are now open and are due Friday, May 15th! If you have any questions, please message or email Ms. Beck, Mr. Fritz, Mr. Anderson, Ms. Lipinski or Mr. Beckman. 

  1. WEB Recruitment Presentation

  2. WEB Application


Parenting can be stressful during Covid-19  

Saturday: May 16, 2020

Time: 4pm -6 pm CST

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 886 5173 5185

Password: parenting

Parenting During the Time of COVID-19:

The World Health Organization (Who) has parenting tip sheets in over 90 languages. They include information on the following topics.

One Book – One Minnesota Update!

Thanks for reading together, Minnesota, now meet the author! Kate DiCamillo will host a statewide virtual discussion about her book Because of Winn-Dixie, the first featured title in our statewide book club One Book | One Minnesota. Kate will be in conversation with Saint Paul Public Librarian Eric Byrd, answering questions from readers across Minnesota in this one-of-a-kind event on May 20, 2020.

Register for free here.

Library Media News

Black Hawk Middle School had the honor of being chosen as one of the schools for an author visit from An Na, which was scheduled for the beginning of April.  Unfortunately, COVID-19 changed that plan.  Fortunately, Dakota County Library has generously sponsored a virtual event with An Na.  Even if you haven’t had a chance to read her books, you’ll still enjoy her talk.  It’s also a great way to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and increase understanding with Mental Health Awareness Month.

Here is the information from DCL:  Dakota County Library is excited to announce our upcoming virtual program: “Author Talk with An Na.”

Meet award-winning author An Na and join her for a two-part virtual event to hear how her own experiences inspired her novels that address the Asian American experience and mental illness. Sponsored by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment. Registration required. Registrants will receive an email with a link to the Zoom presentation prior to the event.

Register here for Part 1 on May 21 at 7 pm CST:

Register here for Part 2 on May 26 at 7 pm CST:

Biography: An Na was born in South Korea and grew up in San Diego, California. She is the author of four novels, including The Place Between Breaths, The Fold, Wait for Me, and A Step from Heaven, which was a National Book Award Finalist and won the ALA’s Michael L. Printz Award. Her honors include the International Reading Association Award and the Parents Choice Gold Award, and her books have been named as ALA Best Books for Young Adults, Kirkus Best Books and a New York Times Notable Book. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts in the Writing for Children and Young Adults MFA program. For more information, visit