Important Update: January Phase-In Details

Dear Hopkins Families: 
We hope your winter break is off to a great start. As we communicated last week, the
Minnesota Department of Education announced changes to Minnesota’s School Safety Plan. We have carefully reviewed these changes and are developing plans to bring elementary and secondary students back to their schools at different capacity levels, as informed by the guidelines.

We are excited to share our plans for January and beyond.
  • Jan. 19: Early learning/preschool through grade 2 students return for in-person learning. 

  • Jan. 25: Students in grades 3-6 return for in-person learning. 

  • Feb. 1:  Scholars in grades 7 and 10 will return to in-person at 25% capacity (in-person learning for 1 day a week).

  • Feb. 8 and 9: Scholars in grades 8, 9, 11 and 12 will return to school at 25% capacity (in-person learning for 1 day per week).
  • For K-12 students, Fridays will be distance learning days. We will reevaluate this at the elementary level the week of Feb. 22 in order to consider adding Friday as a 5th day of in-person learning. 
  • Hopkins will continue to provide full-time distance learning as a E-12 option. 
  • Elementary students in the support model will receive in-person instruction Jan. 4-8 and then transition to distance learning starting Jan. 11. These students will return to in-person learning when their grade levels are called back.

Based on these adjustments, the elementary calendar will change in the following ways: 

  • End of term will be Jan. 8

  • Jan. 11 will be a Grading Day (no school or distance learning)  

  • Jan. 12-14 are teacher planning days (no school or distance learning)

  • Jan. 18 (Dr. Martin Luther King Day, no school; no change from current calendar)

Please look for a brief survey from us tomorrow asking you to choose your learning model preference for each child that you have enrolled in K-12. Your response will tell us your learning model preference for the second half of the school year. Please respond promptly, as this information is critical for planning. As you make your decision, we want you to know about several adjustments the Minnesota Department of Health has made which impact our elementary models. Elementary guidelines are no longer informed by county-level health data (the 14-day case rate ranges previously provided), and social distancing between elementary students has changed from six feet to a suggested three feet. This change is based on data that young children are less susceptible to the virus and have lower transmission rates than older children and adults.

At the secondary level, our mitigation measures will include six feet of distance between scholars and staff as well as reduced building capacity, depending on health data. Increased measures for both elementary and secondary staff include wearing masks plus face shields, and staff will be provided an option to have a COVID-19 test every two weeks.

As we look forward to increasing in-person learning, we know that COVID-19 brings a level of challenge and uncertainty. Families should continue to be prepared for classroom or even building-wide pivots to Distance Learning for a period of time as we manage staffing challenges or the need to quarantine a class due to a positive case. We learned a lot this fall, and we have the creativity, resilience and flexibility needed to make safe, in-person learning possible for our scholars.

More information will be shared with you by your building principal in the coming weeks. We look forward to connecting with your student in the New Year.

Until then, be safe!

Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed 
Superintendent of Schools