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Hopkins Schools’ strong start plan for the 2020-2021 school year

Aug 31, 2020

As the start of the 2020-2021 school year draws closer, Hopkins Schools recently released its plan.

Hopkins has based the plan in line with the Minnesota Department of Education and state guidelines. They will decide which model to follow based on reported COVID-19 cases every 14 days. They will also be prioritizing elementary school students so they’re able to return sooner than junior high and high school students. 

Hopkins has established two options for families to choose, depending on what best serves them. The first being the Royal Distance Learning Academy, where it’s a semester or full year of online learning, five days a week. The second option is hybrid learning by grade level, where two to four days a week, students would be in the classroom and other days, at home. 

The Royal Distance Learning Academy is K-12, where students will learn with dedicated online learning teachers. They will still have a consistent schedule of meeting with teachers and will do a lot more self-guided activities. For all students and families, Hopkins will provide student meals that you can request. For K-6, they will also be giving childcare for Tier-1 workers. 

The section option is the hybrid model, there will be specific hours for each school. This option will prioritize students with learning disabilities, IEP’s, and 504’s. K-6 will have up to four days a week with in-person learning. For students in junior high and high school, the administration will have different phases for re-opening which will be chosen based on the number of COVID-19 cases. 

The first phase is strictly distance learning, which is what students will be starting out with for the first two to four weeks. 

Phase two is the support model, where students who will have been identified as needing more support, based on extra academic help and mental health issues, will be invited to do in-person learning. 

Phase three is the pod model. This is where small groups of students will attend school for in-person learning one day a week while still using online learning methods, such as Canvas. 

Phase four is 25 percent capacity, students would attend a four-class schedule, one day a week. Phase five is 50 percent capacity, students would attend a four-class schedule, but now two days a week. 

For all phases & in-school learning, classrooms will be sure to space desks and tables six feet apart. Also, any student or teacher who is doing in-person learning will be required to wear a mask. 

Students and their families are offered prepackaged meal kits that they can pick up. Parents will pay for meals through Infinite Campus. If they are in school, they will be on the desk for the kids, eliminating the risk of contamination with self-service.

Hopkins will also offer fee-based child care for K-6 as long as staff and space are available. It will also be based on the model that is in place, whether that be in-school days of hybrid or 100% capacity if we end up going back to school

With these plans and systems in place, Hopkins will make sure they are prepared for any amount of COVID-19 cases. It won’t be easy, that’s obvious. But hopefully, the structure that’s in place will help everyone deal with these uncertain times, and make the lives of the Hopkins community a little closer to normal.

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