Thank you for visiting the Black Hawk Elementary School website. I am Chris Richards the building principal at Black Hawk. I have nineteen years of experience in education, twelve of those years as an administrator.

Black Hawk elementary has an excellent staff of dedicated teachers and support staff. We feature a student first environment. During the 2018-19 school year, the staff will continue their focus on student center data approach to education. Teachers will be using student work to discuss what is working well and what areas need improvement.

We have completed four years of partnering with University of Northern Iowa on the Partnership for Comprehensive Literacy commonly referred to as PCL.  Jessica Hellberg has been serving as literacy coach for three years and will help teachers institute the program.  

We are entering our fifth year of implementing the Partnership for Comprehensive Literacy.  The staff has made great strides in adopting the features.  Students are now using a thoughtful log in the classroom.  The purpose is for students to write about their learning.  Ask your students each night what they read or wrote about that day at school.  Each classroom is using literature groups and guided reading groups to help students grow.  Students are reading authentic text in their level.  The strategy allows for differentiation for students. 

Black Hawk uses Envision Math series as the teaching component for learning Iowa Common Core Standards.  We will be entering our sixth year of using Envision with the students.  Mrs. Amanda Mincer is an interventionist at Black Hawk focusing  on math and supporting teachers.   Teachers are learning the guided math process with Mrs. Amanda Mincer, Mrs. Madison Tucker, Mrs Lori Johnson, and Ms. Amber John having received the four day coaching model. 

Black Hawk will enter year two of using FOSS science kits based on the NGSS standards.  We are updating our science materials which will focus on hands on instruction along with reading and writing.  Mrs. Julie Russell will serve the district as a science coach and instructional coach.  She will help organize the science kits for instruction along with supporting teachers in implementing the new materials.

Black Hawk is in the sixth year of Positive Behavior intervention Support commonly known as PBiS. This initiative provides a set of procedures for students and staff to follow while in the building.  We feel it is important to teach Grayhounds to be Safe, Respectful, and Responsible.  If students instill these skills they will have a bright future. 

I have a twitter account @chards74.

If you have any questions, please call Chris Richards at (319) 753-5300 ext. 2201.


Chris Richards