When Blackhawk students left the buildings on March 13th, the staff had no idea when they left the building that they would not be seeing their students in person for the remainder of the school year. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way all school districts offer education, and Blackhawk is up for that challenge.

The district quickly found that one of the greatest needs was to provide consistent technology for all students. Technology Director, Jim Cox, quickly began working on a 1:1 initiative, one piece of technology per one student, for the return to school. With this initiative, all Blackhawk students would begin the 2020-2021 school receiving a state-of-the-art iPad.

In order to make this happen, Mr. Cox worked at lightning speed to get the initiative Board approved and get the technology ordered. A significant part of the process was implementing a 1:1 Committee.

The 1:1 Committee consisted of teacher volunteers who met virtually each week with Mr. Cox to plan how the iPads would be implemented in the classrooms. Mrs. Dana Cox, an English teacher at Highland Middle school, said, “Helping with the committee was a very positive experience. We were able to customize the iPad roll- out to best fit each building and include teachers from all content areas in the program’s design.”
When asked about her thoughts being on the 1:1 Committee, Christina Ford, Kindergarten teacher at Patterson, said, “ I am honored to serve on the district’s 1:1 Technology Committee. It has been a great experience to collaborate with other educators regarding how technology will be used across all grade levels. As a primary teacher, I am excited about the possibilities the iPads will provide for our youngest learners. Students will be able to complete and submit assignments electronically, access all our on-line curriculum resources, connect to their teacher’s Bitmoji classroom, play educational games, and more! Most importantly, the iPads will make learning consistent and familiar when students are working between school and home.”

Blackhawk’s New Faces

This year Blackhawk welcomes two new faculty members.

Amanda Pegher will be joining the high school team as a guidance counselor. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock and Duquesne University. For the last three years, she has worked at Pittsburgh Public Schools. Her favorite part of being a school counselor is making connections with students. She said, “I love watching students as they develop their passions and interests, and become successful members of the community.”

When not in school, Mrs. Pegher enjoys spending time with family and friends, working out and adventuring around Pittsburgh. People would be surprised to know that she is a COVID bride who got married during the pandemic. This year Mrs. Pegher hopes “ to establish a good rapport and communication with my students, colleagues, and administration and begin to be a useful and beneficial part of the counseling department.”

Welcome to Blackhawk, Mrs. Pegher!

Jordan Merry will be joining the BIS team as a Third Grade teacher. She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University and spent that last year substitute teaching in the district. Her favorite part of teaching “is being able to create positive relationships with my students and being able to watch them grow as individuals.”

In her spare time, Miss Merry enjoys spending time with family and friends, and drawing and painting. People would be surprised to know that she graduated from Blackhawk in 2015. During her first year she hopes to “be a positive light in students’ development and education. I hope that as they go through their schooling they will be able to look back on this year and remember my class and the impact that it had on them.”

We are glad to have you, Miss Merry!

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