Welcome to the 2008-09 school year in the Hopkins School District. More importantly, welcome to the excellence we provide, along with numerous exciting opportunities for learners of all ages—from birth through adulthood. Whether you are a parent, a community member, or a business owner, I invite you to discover—and in some instances, rediscover—what the district has to offer students, families, and community members.
We have much to welcome as we approach the new year:
- First and foremost, a year that will not include budget adjustments. We have successfully recovered from the fiscal challenges of the past two years and due to the diligence of our school board and John Toop, the district has a healthy fund balance.
- Innovative ways to effectively interact/communicate with families.
- Effective teaching methods for a diverse student population. Increased achievement—through programs like AVID (a program that motivates and prepares secondary students for college)—is becoming a reality.
Preparing Learners for the Future
It is exciting to be involved in preparing learners for their future. The enormity of this responsibility is worthy of great respect and admiration, as it is no easy feat. The significance of education becomes more pivotal each year. As Americans face the current economic challenges, the goal to prepare students for their futures as literate global citizens becomes ever more critical to the success of our democracy, our families, and our students.
Excellence Every Day
In Hopkins Public Schools, it is expected that every school will demonstrate student excellence every day. Community members frequently comment that their graduates' success is directly linked to the quality and excellence associated with the rigorous programs and quality of staff in the district. Excellence is not just an expectation; rather, it is a way of life in Hopkins Public Schools.
During the 2007-08 school year:
- At the senior-high level:
- Hopkins High School (HHS) ranked in the top 5 percent of high schools in the nation, according to Newsweek;
- HHS ranked near the top in the number of Advanced Placement (AP) exams taken—600 HHS students took 975 AP exams, with 84 percent receiving scores of 3 to 5;
- HHS had 127 Advanced Placement Scholars, including one National AP Scholar (Hopkins has had nine National AP Scholars since 2003);
- HHS had 5 National Merit Finalists and 14 National Commended Scholars, plus a Latina student received the National Hispanic Recognition Award, and an African-American student received the National Achievement Scholarship;
- the TwinWest Chamber of Commerce became partners with students, making them members and assigning them to a business;
- a new mentorship program was developed for students; and
- students earned top honors in debate, writing, yearbook, newspaper, music (band, orchestra and choir), art, drama, culinary arts, technology, and extra curricular academic competitions.
- At the junior-high level:
- Pat Schmidt, Hopkins North Junior High School principal, was named Minnesota's Middle Level Principal of the Year, and is one of three finalists for the national honor;
- 9th-grade students maintained the highest average score (4.09) among eight surrounding districts on the state written composition test (the Minnesota average score was 3.5);
- curriculum was reviewed to ensure that students develop necessary AP course skills for high school; and
- students earned top honors in music, science, art, writing, and extracurricular academic competitions.
- At the elementary level:
- a Chinese immersion program opened within Eisenhower Elementary School;
- kindergarten options were expanded to include a full-day program;
- elementary curriculum was enhanced by technology, and field trips; and
- students earned top honors in writing, music, and extra curricular academic competitions.
What Awaits in 2008-09
As we head into the 2008-09 school year, we will strive to continue the excellence demonstrated last year. A primary area of focus will be on 21st-century skills:
- Staff and administrators are examining how to embed critical thinking skills into the curriculum.
- The district is continuing with its commitment to successfully teach every student how to effectively use computers/technology:
- Classrooms are being upgraded to reflect 21st century needs with the installation of ceiling-mounted projectors, video streaming, web simulations, and interactive technology white boards.
- Students at various grade levels at each elementary school will have a laptop computer for their use for one year.
- Hopkins students are graduating with technology skills that have been integrated throughout the E-12 curriculum.
Excellence: Every School. Every Student. Every Day
In Hopkins, excellence is the expectation of parents, peers, businesses, and post-secondary institutions. We believe in excellence: every school, every student, every day.