We hope you are having a wonderful summer! We’d like to share updates with you about the 2021-22 school year -- including junior high and high school start times -- and provide a preview of future transformations being considered for the 2022-23 school year and beyond.
Start times for junior high and high school
For the 2021-22 school year, we will run a schedule close to our pre-COVID start times for secondary. The school day for our junior highs and high school will begin at 7:55 a.m. and end at 2:35 p.m. There will be no change to the elementary school start and end times.
Details about the secondary start time decision: This summer, the Hopkins District explored a later start time for our junior highs and high school. Research tells us that a later start time is not only best practice, it is better for adolescent brain development. In addition, in a recent family survey, our secondary families and scholars supported a later start time.
With this in mind, we explored the possibility of making a start time change for this school year without impacting the start time of our elementary schools. After careful review, we found it was not possible to make significant adjustments to start times for our secondary schools for this 2021-22 school year without enduring a financial burden and without impacting start times for elementary students.
We are committed to continuing the exploration of best practice start times for our elementary and secondary families. See the end of this message for details on how we’d like to engage all families in decisions for the 2022-23 school year.
Applied Personalized Learning on Fridays at the junior highs and high school
Our instructional design teams are continuing to meet about ways we can leverage time creatively on Fridays to create rigorous, engaging, and highly personalized experiences for our junior high and high school scholars. Your principal will share more details soon. Although we will offer flexible scheduling options on Fridays, the 7:55 a.m. - 2:35 p.m. schedule will always be an option for families.
Important Upcoming Communications
- Transportation Survey: Next week, you will receive a survey from our transportation department asking you if transportation services are needed for your child(ren). It is very important that you complete this survey if you need transportation; busses will be provided to families who opt in.
COVID-19: We know you have questions about masks and mitigation measures. We’re watching all the data very closely. On July 28, the Minnesota Department of Health released its initial guidance. Our pandemic response team is considering this information carefully and will provide recommendations for the 2021-22 school year in early August.
Online Academy: Hopkins Public Schools is seeking accreditation to offer a permanent online education option for scholars. Watch for more information coming soon. For the 2021-22 school year, we will offer distance learning for all of our scholars in a format that is similar to last year and that will evolve into our online academy format. Look for enrollment options in August.
Upcoming Parent/Caregiver Engagement Sessions — join us!
The pandemic has helped accelerate our Vision 2031 priorities to transform our system into what school should be for our scholars to succeed in a complex world. This fall, Hopkins will explore school schedules, grade configurations, and the possibility of a year-round school. Please join us for engagement sessions so we can collectively decide what our Hopkins Public Schools will be for the 2022-23 school year and beyond. Look for information early this fall on how you can sign up and be a part of our transformation.
Thank you for partnering with us as we prepare for a great school year. We look forward to seeing you and your child in the fall! Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, Superintendent