This is an unprecedented time for public school districts. Schools have completed their second year navigating the pandemic. What we discovered after the first year is that our students really needed to be in school, they yearned for safe and structured opportunities to socialize with their peers, and they desired quality relationships with trusted adults.
On June 2, Hopkins High School bid farewell to 536 excited graduates. Our seniors hadn’t had a typical school year in the last 3 years. They faced personal and social isolation during distance learning, and attended school wearing masks for two years. Their larger context also presented great difficulty; when will we know the impact that events such as the Russian war, racialized violence, and school shootings have had on the psyche and worldview of our young people?
In addition, we also achieved a great deal within the district. Here are a few of the incredible accomplishments of 2021-22:
- Hopkins VirtualEDU: Transitioning out of a COVID-19 response, this fully accredited K-12 online academy offers programming grounded in project-based learning with the goal of social change. Soon to begin its second year, VirtualEDU welcomes K-12 students who thrive in a restorative online learning community.
- Hopkins High School’s Collaborative Lab School (CLS): In partnership with Thrive Ed, HHS is launching the Collaborative Lab School (CLS) program this fall. The CLS program will empower 10th-12th grade scholars to be decision-makers and co-designers of their education, and experience choice in when, how, where, and what they learn.
- Outdoor Immersion: Gatewood Elementary will now expand its environmentally-focused education school wide, Gatewood is perfectly positioned for outdoor learning with its beautiful forests, farm animals, gardens, and greenhouse. Swing by and greet the two new goats — Cinnamon and Sugar!
- Unified Hopkins Preschool: Next year, Hopkins Preschools will become one program — unifying Stepping Stones and Kaleidoscope preschools to offer families increased access to an extended preschool day, and ensure 3- to 5-year-olds have a high-quality experience.
What is consistent across all spaces: We care both about system-wide alignment as well as school-by-school agency and innovation. In all of our classrooms, students will see themselves reflected in the curriculum, student voices will be centered, and what students learn will reflect real-world problems that require students to practice the strong academic traits of the Hopkins graduate.
Our scholars live vibrantly in the present, but they also think about what their futures will hold. They are future-forward, and we must be too. Hopkins Schools promises to continue the hard work of innovating and reimagining public education.