Ensuring safety through existing and enhanced security policies

Ensuring safety through existing and enhanced security policies

In Hopkins, we possess key ingredients of an effective school system: talented teachers and school staff, strong district leaders and systems, amazing students and families, and a clear vision. All these assets are complemented with a strategic plan that provides our north star.

In order to provide all of this to our students and position them for success in the world, we must also have schools where each student feels safe and secure. I want to share what we have done and will do to ensure safe and secure conditions for all students.

Our District’s Core Values – love, authentic inclusivity, vigilant equity – tell us how to show up for and what to provide our students. Our safety goals sit within the context of these values. Therefore, our work begins with reinforcing our core values school-wide, so that each unique student can show up authentically. We believe that each student’s unique identity, culture, and personal gifts and talents should be seen and validated in our schools and classrooms. With this as a foundation, we will continue building conditions to provide for the holistic safety of our students. Holistic safety includes physical, psychological, emotional, and social safety.

Safety measures we currently enforce in Hopkins Schools:

  • School Board approved gender inclusion and anti-racism policies
  • LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC staff affinity groups; Funding for Staff Liaisons including LGBTQ+, American Indian, Somali, Spanish-Speaking, and Hmong
  • Gender and Sexuality Alliances, Black Student Alliance, Jewish Student Union, and other affinity spaces and groups for students, focused more heavily in secondary settings
  • Messages of inclusion in all schools across the district District Holistic Safety Team that meets biweekly; School Safety Team in each school comprised of administrator, counselor, social worker, and other trained staff
  • Ten annual, state mandated fire and lockdown drills enhanced with safety features
  • Supervisory paraprofessionals and safety coaches focused on visibility and relationships
  • Student accountability measures that are interwoven with restorative practices

Safety and security plans for 2024-25 school year:

  • Install a safety and security upgrade to our secondary schools to connect video management systems, cameras and external doors; including bathroom vape detection
  • Launch an Exploratory Team to further define Restorative and Personalized Support for secondary students
  • Staff training on: LGBTQ+ identities and community, Jewish identity and anti-Semitism, race and anti-racism, Crisis Prevention Intervention, and school safety procedures.
  • Refine protocols when working with parents, law enforcement, and other important entities
  • Reduce disruptive incidents as well as student suspensions with annual discipline reports presented to the School Board
  • Review and define updated cell phone policy for secondary schools

In closing, it’s important to share that restorative practices will continue to inform how we work with our students and families. We will work toward increasing the fidelity of our restorative practices and ensuring they help decrease negative school behaviors. Please note: restorative practices are not implemented in place of or in the absence of disciplinary measures. Students are still held accountable for their actions, including suspension at the secondary levels if the behavior warrants school removal. And, because our goal as a public school system is to shape students for a productive future, we must work with restoration in mind.

Ensuring that our students feel safe and secure in our schools is our most foundational work. Because, this foundation provides support for student engagement, quality instruction, and student success. Together, in partnership with our parents and community, we will continue to sustain and strengthen the conditions that help Hopkins schools thrive. Thank you for your partnership!