Official School Board Minutes

Regular Meeting of the School Board
March 2, 2021

The regular meeting of the Board of Education of Independent School District 270 was conducted virtually on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. School Board members present online: Treasurer Steve Adams, Director Fartun Ahmed, Clerk Shannon Andreson, Chair Jennifer Bouchard, Director Tanya Khan, Director John Kuhl and Director Katie Pederson. School Board members absent: None. Student Board reps present: Linda Nyakundi (grade 12). Student Board reps absent: None. Staff members present: Superintendent Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed. Staff members absent: None.

Open Agenda

Bouchard explained that Open Agenda is facilitated through a designated voicemail box for recorded messages to be played at the meeting. Bouchard noted that no Open Agenda comments were submitted.    


Student Board Representatives

Nyakundi updated Board members on events/activities taking place at Hopkins High School, sharing comments focused on individuals’ accomplishments in various sports as well as the scheduling of senior prom.


Mhiripiri-Reed highlighted the accomplishment of Hopkins’ School Nutrition Staff serving 1 million meals to students and community members and provided updates on return to school phases. She also acknowledged the Hopkins School Board and their accomplishments as a part of School Board Appreciation week (February 22-26).

Approval of Agenda   

Pederson moved, Adams seconded, to approve the agenda as presented. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Consent Calendar  

Pederson moved, Adams seconded, to approve the Consent Calendar as presented: A) Approval of Minutes — Regular Meeting Conducted on February 16, 2021 and Special Meeting Conducted on February 16, 2021; B) Human Resources — Personnel Updates; C) Policies in Second Reading: [204, 410]; D) Tentative Agreement with Service Employees International Union Local 284 — Maintenance Employees; E) Hopkins High School Athletic Track Complex Synthetic Surface Rehabilitation. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Treasurer’s Report

Treasurer Adams highlighted expenses of interest. Adams moved, Khan seconded, to approve financial disbursements in the amount of $2,127,230.91 for the period of February 9, 2021 through February 22, 2021. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Summary of Superintendent Review on February 16, 2021

Chair Bouchard provided a summary surrounding the mid-year performance review of Superintendent Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed conducted in an Executive Session on February 16, 2021. Bouchard’s comments focused on Mhiripiri-Reed's strengths and growth areas, highlighting her “tenacity in terms of moving forward with vision 2031”.

Vison 2031 Update

In 2018, Superintendent Mhiripiri-Reed began implementing the stages of Vision 2031. Along with school leaders, board members, students, staff, community members and consultants, Vision 2031 was born. Mhiripiri-Reed and district leaders provided updates on the progress Vision 2031 has made.

2018 Recommendations → Progress generated

School Day and Year Structures → Covid-induced time and space pilots Students of the World → Increased student voice Lab Spaces, Mindsets, and Behaviors → Lab Operating System Career and College Readiness and Connections → Articulated framework, Hopkins Education Foundation (HEF) partnership for specialist Early Learning → One preschool classroom at each elementary Student Success Metrics → Descriptive definitions, instructional data scientist Communications, Marketing and Public Relations → C&M audit, rebrand, transformed website Educators Evolving Roles → Covid-induced role evolution (hybrid, distance learning) Vigilant Equity Through Excellence → Courageous leader institute, equity audit Interim Director of Innovation, Design and Learning (IDL), Ann Ertl shared the learning framework and beliefs the IDL team has developed surrounding the transformation of the Hopkins Graduate as we operate as an Early Childhood -12th Grade plus system. She also highlighted the use of a Lab Operating System as a guidance toward the success of Vision 2031. Director of Principal Leadership, Stephanie Herrera explained the phases and growth of Reimagining Schools within each building sharing an overview of the reimagined concepts. Director of Communications, Jolene Goldade and Assistant Superintendent, Nik Lightfoot, provided updates on the success indicators of Vision 2031. Goldade spoke on the correlation of increased enrollment at the start of Vision 2031 and how the district is adapting “to be the number one choice for students and for families”. Lightfoot explained the indicator that “Hopkins will be an employer for the best, brightest, and most passionate teachers who reflect our student demographics” through the following strategic considerations: Recruitment: Partnerships; Networking; Internal Grown Your Own Programming Selection: Redesigned selection Processes that minimize bias and intentionally seeks reflection of student demographics Retention: Mentorship and networking structures and supports; “stay” interviews; career and growth ladders; evolving into validating and affirming workplace cultures Instructional Data Scientist, Abigail Holm, introduced the Student Success Metrics project and Task Force and its alignment with the district's larger goal to eradicate racial and income predictability and disparities through strength based, interdisciplinary, holistic and cohesive measurements and standardized testing. Board members shared comments and questions surrounding specific tools for measurement outside of standardized testing, the approach of affirmative versus summative assessment, retention strategies for scholars and families, and thanking Dr. Mhiripiri-Reed and her colleagues for their continued work and information.

Policies in First Reading

Policy 801: Equal Access to Facilities by Secondary Students
Policy 806*: Crisis Management Plan
(*Require annual review by the Board)

Lightfoot reviewed each of the policies in First Reading, noting there were no recommended changes to either. Andreson moved, Adams seconded to approve these policies (as noted above) in First Reading; further, the Board directs the Administration to prepare the policies for approval in Second Reading at the next meeting (as part of the Consent Calendar). Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Partnership Plan for Full Funding Resolution

Treasurer Adams explained that the Legislative Action Coalition (LAC) has been lobbying for adequate funding for students across Minnesota. Education Minnesota and local unions, Hopkins Education Association (HEA) created a proposed resolution about fully funding our schools. Chair Bouchard looked for a motion to approve the proposed resolution of the Partnership Plan for Full Funding Resolution read by Adams: Whereas, most Minnesotans want similar things for our children, including safe and supportive public schools where all students – no matter what they look like or where they come from -- can thrive and succeed; and Whereas, in 2003, the state made significant changes in how Minnesota funds schools so that total real per-pupil state aid is $503 less per student now than it was in 2003, costing the Hopkins School District nearly $3.4 million in the 2020-21 school year; and Whereas, public schools in Minnesota have faced decades of chronic underfunding; and Whereas, unfunded legislation is negatively impacting funds available for students, staff, and programs, and Whereas, all Minnesota students are in desperate need of more school social workers, nurses, counselors, psychologists, and other support staff; and Whereas, too many students are trying to learn in overcrowded, outdated, and under-resourced classrooms and buildings; and Whereas, we need enriched opportunities for professional development for teachers to be able to have culturally responsible schools and meet the needs of all students; and Whereas, all educators and support personnel working with our students deserve more respect for the contribution to the care and education of our children including better pay, affordable health care, and safe working conditions; Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Hopkins School Board, in partnership with Hopkins Education Association, calls on the governor and Minnesota’s legislature to either remove or fund any and all unfunded mandates and find the courage and the political will to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1 percent and largest corporations and fully fund all aspects of Minnesota’s public schools so all students can receive the opportunities and supports they deserve. Vice Chair Andreson stated that this resolution is a statewide comment on education and that items such as overcrowded classrooms, out-of-date buildings, and under-resourced classrooms, should not be misconstrued as a reflection of Hopkins School District and Community. Additionally, clarifying that Hopkins believes that culturally responsive schools are necessary to meet the needs of all students done so by properly training and supporting staff and is working diligently to do so. Chair Bouchard underlined the commitment of Hopkins’ educators and representative’s advocacy and the importance to fully fund education across Minnesota. Those voting in favor thereof: Pederson, Kuhl, Khan, Andreson, Ahmed, Adams, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Resolution Calling Executive Session - Education Association (HEA) Negotiations

Chair Bouchard and Assistant Superintendent Lightfoot proposed that an Executive Session be called — pursuant to Minnesota Open Meeting Law, Minn. Stat. § 13D.03 — to discuss negotiations strategy related to the HEA (Hopkins Education Association) contract for the 2021-22 & 2022-23 school years. Adams moved, Andreson seconded to approve the following resolution: It is hereby resolved that the School Board of Independent School District 270, Hopkins, Minnesota, meet in Executive Session to discuss negotiations strategy related to the HEA contract for the 2021-22 & 2022-23 school years; that the meeting be held virtually, and commence immediately following adjournment of this Regular Meeting; further, that it be noted that all Board Members, Superintendent, and Clerk were duly notified of intention to call this Executive Session. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.

Board Member Reports

Board members reported on recent educational activities/events in which they have participated.

Andreson moved, Kuhl seconded, to adjourn the meeting at 8:55 p.m. Those voting in favor thereof: Adams, Ahmed, Andreson, Khan, Kuhl, Pederson, and Bouchard. Those opposed: None. Carried.




Kathrine Pederson, School Board Clerk