The Future of Hopkins: From Great to World Class

Over the next year, Hopkins Public Schools will be on what Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed describes as the "Great to World Class" trajectory. Read about our strategic vision and how you can get involved in Mhiripiri-Reed's spring column.
March 07, 2018

Hello, Hopkins parents, families, and community! I hope you are thriving this winter, and getting out to enjoy the snow and every sunny day! My children are delighted to be back in a climate that has snow — Sterling is taking snowboarding lessons and ... the rest of us watch. I'm not much of a winter person, but as long as I have my warm boots and mittens, I'm set.

The Great to World Class trajectory
I'd like to talk with you about Hopkins' future and our path toward continuous improvement. While our enrollment is declining slightly, our District remains exceptional. Our early childhood and preschool programming reflects our belief that birth to age 5 development is key to closing opportunity and achievement gaps. Our language immersion and K-6 experiences are infused with art, music, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), physical education, health, and talent development, all representing our focus on the whole child. Our two amazing junior highs, to quote North's motto, are driven to help students discover their awesome possibilities, and staff are doing that work within the world-renowned IB (International Baccalaureate) framework. Finally, when you walk into Hopkins High School, you feel the vibrancy of our students, you see the dedication of staff, you experience the rigor in our learning spaces — it's truly the place to be.

So, if Hopkins is so great, why change? Why evolve? I recently heard the CEO of a leading-edge organization make a proclamation that by the year 2020, the successful organizations across our globe will have been redesigned for 21st century success, and the rest will be disrupted or forced to dissolve. This absolutely applies to our public schools. We must increase our competitive edge. More importantly, we face a moral imperative to erase the predictability of race and income in student outcomes, create pathways for advanced students to excel, and design a way for all of our students to acquire tomorrow's skills. These reasons compel us to consider transformative change, and we'll need to join together to move forward.

I am calling this the Great to World Class trajectory, and I invite you to join this journey. Since mid-February, a Request for Proposal has been in the Sun Sailor as well as on national platforms. This proposal describes our need for a strategic transformation consultant who will push our thinking, help us gather input, and guide us as we disrupt what we know in order to design our next concept. I anticipate us being in disrupt and design mode starting this spring and continuing on into the fall, with the hope of collectively designing our next concept for the 2019-20 school year.

During this time, we will need to keep in mind that change is uncomfortable, that no idea is a bad idea, and that if we are going to teach our students to embrace failure, we ourselves must at least be willing to experience discomfort and ambiguity. Overall, this will be an exciting time that we experience together, and I can't wait to hear what world class means to you.

Thanks for reading!


Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed


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