We’re all in this together. Parents, caregivers, teachers, paras, admins, nutrition staff, bus drivers… all want to see our students thrive and reach their potential. School has become the epicenter for not only education, but also shelter, mental health, food security, social emotional learning, mentoring and more. Students have worked hard to overcome the challenges of the past two years, each travelling their individual journey along their Pathways to a Healthy Future. This year’s Special Appeal addresses the important and imminent mental health needs that have arisen in classrooms all across our district, and all dollars raised will be implemented directly towards those needs.
Right now, the focus is on rebuilding missed opportunities for direct human connections and increasing each students’ sense of belonging. As part of their social emotional growth and brain development, young people crave connections with others. Fragile relationships have been stretched to the limit, impeding learning and increasing distress. Moving forward means a concentrated focus on rebuilding; investing time to reinvigorate the joys of learning, create positive experiences between students and their school community, and foster connections that make lasting impressions.
Just as each student is an individual, each school community has its own ‘personality’ and needs. The 2022 Special Appeal allows schools’ leadership teams the freedom to decide how best to support their students. Each school will receive an equal share of your contribution to Pathways to a Healthy Future. Each has chosen to apply these funds to that which will have the largest direct impact. These tools include proven prevention and mitigation strategies to achieve long-term mental well-being and re-create a solid foundation for learning.
Right. Now. The Right Thing To Do.
Alice Smith: Create Community and Service Resource Room
Safe calm, happy, place for students and families in crisis. Students during the school day will have time and space to recenter with trusted adults. Adults can use the space to fill out job applications, do their taxes, work with counselors, etc. while their children play.
Eisenhower and Gatewood: JK Movement
Successful nationally recognized intensive mentorship program based in St. Paul; builds confidence and improves academic performance, effecting change in the minds, bodies, and spirits of young people.
Glen Lake: Glen Lake Go & Grizzly Ridge
Continue to reimagine education through engaging Project Based Learning experiences for all students, such as a recent visit to Amy’s Cupcakes to learn what it takes to run a small business. “Grizzly Ridge” will be a two-day event of outdoor bonding experiences at Glen Lake Golf Course, including Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, curling and dogsledding.
Meadowbrook: Children’s Theater Company Bridges Residency
Use storytelling, arts, and creative writing to support up to 3 grade levels of learners and their emotional health. Transforms them into the storytellers of their own lives, re-imagine versions of traditional tales and perform a final project.
Tanglen: Relationship-Building and Fun
Address students’ desire for connection and community. Create as many fun, positive, learning ‘extras’ that make school joyous and memorable, including a Kindness Retreat to inspire empathy and comradery.
North Junior High: Create a Greater Sense of Belonging
In response to students’ requests for a sense of community and belonging among groups of their peers, purchase outdoor furniture such as multiple picnic tables, plus team-building supplies and games to create a welcoming, relaxing space for all students.
West Junior High: Student and Staff Wellness, Create Connections
- Youth Frontiers (nationally recognized successful program for 30+ years): Student ‘retreat’ for grades 7-9; provide experiences that inspire character, civility and community, focused on timeless values like kindness, courage and respect.
- CREATE for Education Rebuilding Community Training for staff and admin leaders: Nurture a healthy, caring school community that supports social and emotional learning and teacher and principal wellness. They will in turn train the rest of the
Hopkins High School: Reinvent Student-Centered Planning and Teaching; Support Mental Health & Wellness for Students and Staff
- Mental Health First Aid (nationally recognized program from National Council for Mental Wellbeing):
Train a subset of staff and students to recognize symptoms of mental health problems, provide initial help, and then guide towards appropriate support.
- University of Minnesota’ Center for Reading Research: Reenergize the community by developing an understanding of strong and effective MTSS (multi-tiered systems of support); dedicate time for educators AND students to co-create a collaborative, supportive, and relevant curriculum for all.
Update: Your Recent Investment in Pathways to a Healthy Future
Despite the delays caused by the pandemic, subsequent distance learning and in-person health mitigations, Hopkins Public Schools staff persevered in the journey along Pathways to a Healthy Future. Thank you, HEF donors, for your continued commitment to Hopkins students and your understanding of these delays. Find details of these projects on here.
- College Admissions and Career Placement Specialist position has now been filled
- Calming Corners are in place in all Elementary Schools
- Food Shelf, in partnership with ICA, and Washer & Dryer are available to students at HHS
- Second Breakfast Cart is up and running at Hopkins High School
- Project Based Learning has been completed or is in process at five of six Elementary Schools; just one project had to be cancelled