Keeping Vision 2031 as our North Star

COVID-19 as well as the global pandemic of racial injustice have brought havoc upon our individual and collective health — not just physical health, but our mental health and collective psyche. These pandemics also have the capacity to interrupt and potentially damage our society — if we let them. History has shown that in every crisis, there is opportunity. This experience has the potential to expedite Vision 2031, which calls for us to redefine what education looks like.

Hopkins Public Schools looks to Vision 2031 as our North Star, and we are leveraging these crises as opportunities for transformational change. We are committed to creating scholars of the world who are confident and academically competent, who are critical thinkers and problem solvers, who are globally minded and empathetic toward others’ unique and diverse perspectives and beliefs. And when we reach Vision 2031, we’ll know it because our staff and student demographics will reflect each other, we will have disrupted patterns of racial and income predictability from student outcomes, and every member of each graduating class will be matched with a higher education, career placement, or gap year experience allowing them to reach their full potential.

With Vision 2031, we embrace the core values of love, authentic inclusivity, and vigilant equity. Vision 2031 also commits us to valuing optimistic innovation, being intentionally adventurous, and demonstrating humility of heart. Just like effective teachers and school leaders are key ingredients to our scholars’ quality education, our core values are key ingredients to building quality classroom experiences.

Achieving Vision 2031 requires us to evolve to more effectively navigate the unknown. This will be a challenging journey for many of us, including our students. Navigating volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA) environments requires that we sense what the world is asking from us. In many cases, we must shift from operating in our predictable environments to operating in new, unpredictable realities – which requires new behaviors for all of us. Reimagining schools from the ground up is an adaptive challenge that we committed to before the pandemic.

The past few weeks and months have made all of us feel uncomfortable. There have been many problems and complexities, with few solutions immediately at our fingertips. We have had to work creatively to problem-solve the challenge of schooling in the context of COVID-19. How might we get better at feeling uncomfortable? How might we grow our agility, flexibility, and comfort while navigating ambiguity? These are questions we will explore this year, and we will explore them as a community. Now is the time to rebuild our educational system from the ground up. It’s time to double down on Vision 2031.

Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed
Hopkins Public Schools Superintendent