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January 2023


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Magic Show Brings the Dangers of Vaping to Students and Families

Blackhawk is so proud to welcome a presentation regarding the truth about the dangers of vaping from professional speaker Robert Hackenson Jr. Mr. Hackenson has brought his positive and entertaining message to 47 US states and around the world. He combines his skill as a magician with the important message for kids and parents regarding misconceptions that exist around vaping. If you have questions about vaping or have concerns about someone you love vaping, then please consider this opportunity to learn and promote a healthy lifestyle for your family.

Blackhawk families can see this presentation Tuesday January 17th at 6:30 PM in the Blackhawk auditorium.

Some of the topics commonly covered in Mr. Hackenson's presentations include:

  • Marketing messages of tobacco and vaping companies vs. the Truth
  • Consequences of smoking that you already know
  • Why students still choose to smoke
  • The Vaping Craze & what students don’t know
  • Power of influence & perception
  • Dangers of smokeless tobacco
  • Looking to your future
  • How to make smart choices

Blackhawk students will see this presentation on Tuesday, January 17th (8th grade) and Wednesday January 18th (6th and 7th grades)

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Musically Speaking: The Blackhawk Choir!

What are the goals for the Blackhawk Choir?

There are so many goals for the Blackhawk Choir! We wish to provide a place to grow in musical skills, creativity, and performance experiences as an individual and as an ensemble. This year's choir t-shirt features our new district motto, "Learning and Growing Together" which will serve as the focus of our goals as a performing group.

Are there any requirements for students to join choir?

The only requirements for students to join choir are a love of singing and committing to our dedicated rehearsal times.

What is the average skill/experience of the average Blackhawk Choir member?

Students come to choir with a wide range of skills and experiences. Some members have experience in taking voice lessons and performing in musical theatre. For other students, their first Blackhawk choir rehearsal is their very first experience!

What type of songs do the choir sing? How are the songs determined?

The choir sings a wide variety of songs: traditional choral music. musical theatre, songs in different languages, and even pop tunes. Students performed "What a Wonderful World" for the school board back in November and most recently performed "Somewhere in My Memory" (from the movie Home Alone) for our holiday school assemblies. Songs are determined in collaboration with what will help them grow in their vocal and musical skills as well as student interest.

What types of performances are planned for the choir or have already occurred this year?

Students performed for School Board Appreciation Day in November. This was a great first performance of the school year and a wonderful opportunity to thank our District 2 School Board for all that they do. Students performed for Tioga and Johnson Elementary students as well as their peers at Blackhawk in our annual holiday assemblies. I am proud of their dedication, hard work, and courage to perform for such large audiences.

Students will be participating in a Tri District Choral Festival with Wood Dale and Fenton in January. This festival will allow for students to further their vocal experiences and collaborate with fellow singers from neighboring districts.

Students had the option to sign up for participating in Solo & Ensemble which will take place in Roselle this year. This is an opportunity for students to sing a solo art song or musical theatre song. Students will receive a rating with comments on areas of strengths and areas for growth. Students will earn medals representing their rating and achievement.

We will soon be preparing for our annual Spring Musical, "Beauty and the Beast" with rehearsals throughout the months of January and February and performances taking place in March. We are so excited to get our musical back up and running this year!

Students will have the opportunity to perform in a choir concert in May as well as perform for the Blackhawk Promotion Ceremony at the end of school year.

What are your experiences with leading or being a singer?

Singing has always been a huge part of my life. That may be an understatement...singing IS my whole life! I started voice lessons in the 4th grade and have been in choir throughout all of my schooling: middle school, high school, and college. I was always involved in my high school theatre program with a variety of productions: The Sound of Music, Into the Woods, Grease, and more.

I currently perform with my 10 piece family polka band in several different languages: German, Czech, Polish, and English. I also perform as the jazz singer for a twenty piece jazz ensemble. I had the wonderful opportunity to be featured on a PBS television show with my family polka band. I was fortunate enough to be a choir singer for "A Christmas Carol: The Concert" which also aired on PBS for several holiday seasons. I've performed for several church services, weddings and even air shows with audiences of over 500,000 people. I am so happy to have these enriching performances and memories to share with my students. I hope to help them develop the skills needed for the same opportunities in their futures!

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Blackhawk Traffic Items

We aware that drop off and pickup of students in our or any school parking lot in America is a crowded and challenging event practically every day. We want to thank all of our families for their consistent patience being practiced each day in our parking lot. Here are a few items for everyone to consider to keep everyone safe following expectations

  • Please make sure to always pull forward into the unloading zone toward the back of th building when dropping off students regardless of the time of morning. This will avoid backups onto Church Rd. which can be dangerous and cause delays in village traffic.
  • Please do not drop off or pick up students on Church Rd. as this can be dangerous for your child, other children, and other motorists.
  • Please do not use Timber Lane for pickups or drop offs as it creates dangerous conditions for students when crossing Church Rd. In addition, this is actually a private drive.

As safety is our ultimate priority during pickup and drop off, we hope you will help us by adhering to these Blackhawk traffic expectations.

Blackhawk Middle School Alumni Spotlight!

This month's Blackhawk Alumni Spotlight is on Michael McLean, who was promoted from Blackhawk to Fenton High School in 1996. Michael currently works for Caterpillar as a senior design engineer. His job lets him work with people all around the world to create, test, and build new products that go into big yellow Caterpillar equipment.

Michael developed an interest for building and creating new things, a big part of engineering, as a team member of District 2’s "Odyssey of the Mind" team. In this after school program, a team of seven kids worked together to creatively solve a STEM problem and present their solution in a yearly competition against other schools nationwide. After Blackhawk, Michael graduated from Fenton and went to the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign where he earned a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating college, he worked as an engineering consultant where he got to work on all kinds of design projects such as frames for Harley motorcycles and military vehicle sensors at Lockheed Martin. He currently enjoys working as a senior design engineer for Caterpillar in Peoria.

One of Michael's favorite memories of attending Blackhawk is the elective classes offered at the time. He loved using his hands to create a desktop basketball set in woodshop and a candle holder in metalshop. In home economics, students learned to sew an apron and how to speak in front of an audience in drama class. Michael shared Blackhawk did a wonderful job of exposing him to many life skills to grow into a well rounded adult. Other positive Blackhawk experiences for Michael include his friends, school dances, the eighth grade play & musical, and the eighth grade trip in a fancy bus all the way to Springfield Illinois.

When asked if he had any advice for our current Blackhawk students, Michael shared: "It sounds simple but that’s because it really is the best advice…Believe in yourself, and don’t give up when something gets difficult. Studying engineering in college was very difficult, and I contemplated changing majors a few times. I researched many other majors but couldn’t bring myself to give up on the career I really wanted. Looking back, enrolling in summer school for extra help and graduating college a semester late was a small speed bump to earning what I really wanted."

We thank Michael for sharing his thoughts about his middle school years and wish him the best of luck.

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January Important Dates

Jan. 16th MLK Day No Student Attendance

Jan. 17th PowerSchool Parent Workshop 2:00-3:00 BMS auditorium

Jan. 17th Parent Vaping Presentation 6:30 PM BMS auditorium

Jan. 18th MAP Testing

Jan. 18th Fenton Fine Arts presentation for 8th grade students

Jan. 19th MAP Testing

Jan. 19th Fenton counselors meet with 8th grade students

Jan. 20th 8th Grade Promotion pictures

Jan. 20th BMS Dance Team competition, Thomas MS, Arlington Heights

Jan. 21st BMS Jazz Band performance at Harper College 7:45 AM-12:15 PM

Jan. 24th Tri-District Chorus @ Fenton 10:45-1:45

Jan. 25th. Alexandra Diaz author visit

Jan. 26th Fenton registration for 8th grade during 6th and 7th periods

Feb 1st 2nd BMS Boys' and Girls' volleyball tryouts

And in Sports...

The Blackhawk athletic department has set the dates for the 2023 volleyball teams tryouts. Both boys' and girls' teams will tryout on February 1st and 2nd. Both 7th and 8th grade boys' tryouts will occur together just as both 7th and 8th grade girls' tryouts will occur at the same time.

Families are reminded that sports physicals must be completed by a doctor and turned in to the Blackhawk health office before a student can tryout. Please take advantage of these January weeks to get your child's physical if you intend to have your child tryout