Hopkins Public Schools realizes that families may have questions about COVID-19, the coronavirus. We are working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to track information about the virus and its potential impact on our community. Our priority is to always provide a safe and healthy learning environment for our staff and students.
If you have questions about COVID-19 and its status in Minnesota, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health website. MDH has set up a hotline at 651-201-3920 to answer general questions or concerns. You may also contact the nurse at your child's school.
On March 25, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz announced a stay-at-home executive order that will take effect on Friday, March 27 at 11:59 p.m. and remain in place until April 10. The order asks all Minnesotans to stay in their home unless it is absolutely necessary to leave. In addition, after the stay-at-home order is lifted, residents are being asked to continue to engage in social distancing for three more weeks. These actions are in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. What this means for Hopkins Public Schools is that our Distance Learning plan will go into place on Monday, April 6, after Spring Break, and continue through Monday, May 4, with the potential of going longer.
Here are the important highlights for you to know:
- Student Nutrition: Find meal information here.
- Free and Reduced Lunch Benefits: If your financial situation has changed, you may qualify for free and reduced lunch. To apply, please visit the website or go to HopkinsMN.infinitecampus.org and follow these steps:
- Log in to your Infinite Campus Parent Portal. If you do not have a Parent Portal account, you may request one at: HopkinsSchools.org/portalrequest.
- Select Applications/Forms.
- Select Meal Benefits Application and follow the prompts.
- School-Loaned Student Devices: We have sent students and families home with technology devices because they are critical to your child’s engagement in Hopkins Distance Learning. Please take extra care of them. We trust our families and know that students will do their best to protect the device from damage. We will collect the devices and chargers when students return to school.
- Internet Resources: Our technology team has pulled together a number of resources for families who do not have consistent access to the Internet. Please see this document for more information."
- Learning At Home: Hopkins teachers have been hard at work designing and curating enrichment activities to keep students engaged in learning until distance learning begins on April 6. These materials can be accessed here.
- Distance Learning Plan: Teachers have been working very hard on developing Distance Learning for their students. Our Hopkins District Learning Plan is a comprehensive and evolving document that guides our teachers’ work. Before next Friday, April 3, you will hear from your principal in partnership with our Innovation, Design & Learning department who will share specific information about how to access and begin Distance Learning for your student. All PreK-12 students will access Distance Learning via a landing page on our district’s website. The purpose of the landing page is to center all Hopkins families around a common space where students can find daily Distance Learning from their teachers. See our quick guide.
- Child Care: Child care for children ages 4-12 will be available to parents who are emergency workers and Hopkins Public Schools staff who are required to physically report to work. We will need to verify your employment: When you first drop your child off, please show an employee badge or a letter from your employer on letterhead verifying your employment. E
Emergency Worker Child Care for April 6-May 4: $14/day for before-care, $14/day for after-care with the school-day hours free.
Register for April 6-May 4 here.
- Staff Reporting: We acknowledge these parameters may change as our statewide conditions evolve. Please refer to this staff communication for specific details about your work assignment.
- Schools Resuming: Although Gov. Walz has issued a statewide school closure until May 5; however, the statewide school closure may extend beyond that date.
- School Board Meetings: The School Board Workshop (5pm) and the Regular Meeting of the School Board (7pm) scheduled for April 7, 2020, have been canceled. The agenda items scheduled for that meeting will be folded into the April 21 School Board Meeting. Hopkins will conduct all School Board Meetings remotely until further notice. A link will be shared prior to the Board Meeting to allow the public to view.
- Community Outreach: Outreach Taskforce: We are grateful for the robust, long-standing partnerships in our school community that have supported our families long before the current pandemic. In the context of COVID-19 we recognize that needs are increasing, and are overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from those wanting to help. The Hopkins COVID-19 Community Outreach/ Support Taskforce is setting up systems to help further connect families to resources, as well as mobilize a volunteer pool of staff, parents, and community members -- many thanks to those who have already started to help! If you would like to be added to the volunteer database, please contact Dominique Pierre-Touissaint or Holly Magdanz. If your family is in need of support, school counselors and social workers are able to help and can be contacted by email (preferred) or voicemail. We encourage all families to check out our new resource hub: The Loop: Hopkins District and Community Resources.
- MCA Exams: All remaining MCA tests have been canceled by the Minnesota Department of Education for this year.
- Activities/Athletic Events: All student activities and athletic events, including practices, are canceled. Community Education Adult, Youth, & Preschool Enrichment classes are canceled.
- Stress or Anxiety: The COVID-19 global pandemic is an unprecedented challenge, which can cause increased worry, stress, anxiety, and confusion for students and adults alike. Hopkins Public Schools would like to support parents and caregivers with the following resources.
- Tips for helping your kids cope during the outbreak
General family tips for coping during the outbreak
Tips for talking to your kids about COVID-19
Parent/ Caregiver Guide to helping families cope during the outbreak (by age group)
An example daily schedule to adapt (elementary focused)
We appreciate your patience, flexibility and creativity. Even though we have increased the physical space between us and our students, we will work hard to fill that space with strong and frequent communication.
What will distance learning mean for Hopkins?
Distance Learning for Hopkins will begin on April 6. The practice of Distance Learning is not new, but scaling a comprehensive E-12+ learning system for 7,000 students during a global pandemic is unprecedented. However, our present challenge is also an unprecedented opportunity: How might we transform how we activate and inspire anytime + anywhere learning in Hopkins? Our digital learning coaches, library media specialists, teachers, and administrators, have worked around-the-clock to develop digital learning parameters. Because we know that strong relationships with teachers positively impact learning, the primary focus of week one of District Learning for E-12+ teachers will focus on reestablishing relationships with students and building partnership with caregivers.
Our Hopkins District Learning Plan is a comprehensive and evolving document that guides our teachers’ work. Before next Friday, April 3, you will hear from your principal in partnership with our Innovation, Design & Learning department who will share specific information about how to access and begin Distance Learning for your student. All PreK-12 students will access Distance Learning via a landing page on our district’s website. The purpose of the landing page is to center all Hopkins families around a common space where students can find daily Distance Learning from their teachers.
With the rise of concerns about COVID-19, there have been increasing incidents worldwide of xenophobia and racism targeting Asian Americans and Asian people. Our school community includes people of many cultures and ethnicities. One of our core values is authentic inclusivity. Acts of discrimination, exclusion, or harassment against any culture or ethnicity are not tolerated. Everyone is welcome at Hopkins.
Listed below are some links that you may find helpful regarding COVID-19.
How to Talk to Children About COVID-19 (National Association of School Psychologists)
Links to trustworthy state and national agencies:
CDC info in Spanish: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index-sp.html
MDH info in spanish: Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
MDH info in Somali: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/somali.html
MDH info in Hmong: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/hmong.html