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Dear Black Hawk Middle School Community,

I want to take this opportunity to welcome you to Black Hawk Middle School. Whether you have been a part of the Black Hawk community for many years, or are new to our school, we look forward to working with you! Student centered decisions are the core of Black Hawk. We are committed to every Black Hawk student being heard, valued, feeling safe, having access to opportunities, and being pushed to achieve challenging, yet attainable goals. Through our work together we will ensure that all students are positioned to make our equity vision a reality. Our equity vision is as follows: All people in our school and community feel welcome, engaged, and valued. We commit to disrupting patterns that lead to inequitable access to engaging and rigorous opportunities for black students. This will be accomplished by building proactive and authentic relationships and partnerships that humanize youth and families. We will prioritize anti-racist strategies to inform planning, instruction, reflection, and adjustment. Together we are better.

I am looking forward to getting to know you and our students, please do not hesitate to reach out anytime!

Sincerely,

Sarah Ouzounian

Welcome to Black Hawk Middle School

Black Hawk Middle School is a vibrant, diverse, and evolving northside Madison school with over 400 students and 60 staff. We hold anti-racist education as our top priority through our equity vision, school level planning, and decision making. Our staff is committed to working toward a more equitable, just, and rigorous educational experience for all students. Anti-racist education at Black Hawk means that all staff are committed to a community of learning - one in which we unpack our privileges and biases in order to strengthen our understanding of ourselves, one another, and the system and institution we work in. We work toward this vision by uplifting and celebrating Black Excellence, developing meaningful relationships with families and students, and centering the cultural strengths of our community. Excellence for all requires many commitments: a spirit of inquiry, collaboration and discourse, asking for and listening to multiple perspectives, addressing the root causes of inequity, and adapting to challenges in innovative ways.

We depend on our families to partner with us. We not only hear them, but listen to them as we make school based decisions. We work to ensure that student and family voice is a driver of our actions and decisions. With strong family partnerships we will accelerate academic outcomes for students. Our staff create supportive partnerships with students by building rapport and trust, showing personal regard for students, holding high standards and offering emotional support and instructional scaffolding, and encouraging productive struggle.

Black Hawk prioritizes student voice and experiences. This is accomplished through asking students what matters to them and giving them opportunities to participate in the design of their schooling experience. Many teachers ask students for input through surveys or classroom circles, then design learning to reflect their ideas and what matters to youth. Black Hawk’s restorative justice lives in our classrooms by centering student voice and giving youth safe spaces to share their concerns. In restorative justice practices, our students have an opportunity to practice communication and advocacy skills and proactively problem solve and build relationships with one another. 

We offer numerous encore class options for our students so that we can honor voice and choice in classes. Class options include: AVID, Band, Choir, Orchestra, General Music, PE, Health, Art, Technology, World Language, and Spanish. Students have the opportunity to apply for AVID and choose which music class they would like to participate in. To fulfill and exceed district requirements each year students take: Music (Band, Choir, Orchestra, General Music), PE, Health, Art, Technology (Project Lead the Way in 7/8th grade) and World Language or Spanish. 

MSCR After School Programming and ULGM's Schools of Hope Tutoring host around 14 clubs students can join Monday through Friday after school. These choices include Black Student Union, Game Club, Anime Club and Cooking Club to name a few! They also match students with tutors during classroom hours and homework help hours. These examples give us a lot to celebrate.