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Inside Hopkins

  • The Class of 2024

    6 GIU 2024 · They started their high school experience in the pandemic and are entering a world that is rapidly changing and sometimes feels more polarized than ever. What does the Class of 2024 think of their high school experience and what the future might hold for them? We sat down with three seniors who talk about everything from globalization, phone addiction, social media’s impact on relationships, and even their favorite sandwich. They have a lot to say! They’re articulate, well-rounded, intelligent, and kind. Class of 2024, the world is yours and we were lucky to have known you! Congratulations! Guests: Adina Locketz Tara Paschke Shaheim Porter  Resources:
    Ascoltato 23 min. 21 sec.
  • Preview: Celebrating Hopkins Graduates

    23 MAG 2024 · Get ready for our upcoming episode airing on June 6! In this special Graduation Day episode, our host Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Redd will talk to graduating seniors about their Hopkins journeys, favorite memories, and future plans. Don't miss out on this special episode celebrating the milestone of high school graduation and the exciting paths that lie ahead! Resources:
    Ascoltato 1 min. 43 sec.
  • Thank you, Chef!

    9 MAG 2024 · What’s for lunch? It’s a common question, but the answer really matters. And in Hopkins, what is for lunch (and breakfast) is delicious. All of our kitchens produce meals from scratch, partner with local farms for fresh ingredients, and cook meals that incorporate diverse culinary traditions. In this episode we talk about the impact of universal free meals and explain why it’s still important to fill out meal benefits applications every year.  Guests: Andrea Schaak, Assistant Director of Nutrition Sarah Wohlforth, Cook Supervisor Brenda Nichols, Cashier  Resources:
    Ascoltato 20 min. 34 sec.
  • I Love You More Than Pickles

    25 APR 2024 · In this episode of Inside Hopkins, we are sitting among greatness. Out of 159 candidates from across Minnesota, these four remarkable educators advanced to the semifinals for the 2024 Minnesota Teacher of the Year award. And just before this episode was recorded, we learned that two of our guests made it to the finalist stage. In this conversation we explore our guests' unique “why” for choosing to teach, the importance of relationships, the challenges and joys of the classroom, and why our students love our teachers more than pickles! The Minnesota Teacher of the Year will be named on May 5 at a recognition banquet in Saint Paul. Guests: Laura Jensen, Reading Teacher, North Middle School Ellen Wu, Kindergarten Teacher, Alice Smith Elementary Sarah Gleason, Third-Grade Teacher, Meadowbrook Donghong Wang, Kindergarten Teacher, XinXing Resources:
    Ascoltato 28 min. 16 sec.
  • There Are No Weeds in This Garden

    11 APR 2024 · You are bigger than your biggest mistake. How does it make you feel to hear that? It might give you the feeling that you can start over or try again. It might cause you to reflect or feel relieved. Restorative practices in our schools help our students understand each other and where they are coming from. While restorative practices can be used as a strategy for conflict resolution, they’re also used for community building and developing trust. Our guests explain why restorative practices are important and result in more learning happening in the classroom. We also explore how restorative practices can be used as a response to a new law that requires schools to use non-exclusionary practices PreK-3.  Guests: Natalie Sawatzky - Principal, Meadowbrook Elementary Maria Bearre-Boynne - Restorative culture coordinator Suzanne Pakenham - Student success advocate, Meadowbrook Elementary Resources:
    Ascoltato 23 min. 34 sec.
  • Not Your Pandemic Online Learning School

    21 MAR 2024 · VirtualEDU is the only online school in the state of Minnesota to offer both fully online and blended (in-person + virtual) pathways. School leaders at VirtualEDU have turned the concept of online learning on its head by creating virtual learning environments that are supportive, community-based, and culturally affirming. Our guests, who all taught in in-person environments prior to joining VirtualEDU, talk about how this type of learning environment is changing their beliefs about what is important and why they believe virtual learning is here to stay. Guests: - Dr. Tiffany Nielsen-Winkelman, Learning Design Futurist and Assistant Director of Innovation, Design & Learning - Demond Johnson, Associate Principal - Regina Johnson, Learning Facilitator  Resources:
    Ascoltato 25 min. 29 sec.
  • The Quiet Powerhouse You’ve Never Heard Of

    7 MAR 2024 · The Hopkins Public Schools Legislative Action Coalition (known as LAC) is a grassroots advocacy group of parents, community members, school board members, and high school students. But it’s also more than that. Within the group is a legacy that includes and involves many of the legislators who are currently in office today. The Hopkins LAC is the birthplace and powerhouse for Minnesota legislators and a model for other districts. In this episode, our guests talk about the work they do behind-the-scenes to ensure that legislators understand the education priorities of Hopkins Schools and other districts in Minnesota and what bills they would like to see pass. We also discuss school funding and why school districts, including Hopkins, are needing to cut budgets after receiving increased funding from the state last year. Guests: Shannon Andreson - Hopkins School Board Chair Catherine Callahan - LAC Liaison Steve Adams - LAC member and former Hopkins School Board Chair Resources: Interested in joining or learning more about the Hopkins LAC? Contact Catherine Callahan at
    Ascoltato 22 min. 57 sec.
  • A Robot Wrote this Episode

    22 FEB 2024 · Okay. That’s not true. But a robot could have. That’s what we are talking about in this episode – the evolution of AI technology and the growing need for expertise in computer science and coding. These skills will be in high demand in the job market and are changing quickly. According to our guests, AI advancements like ChatGPT are the biggest technological shift that adults will see in their lifetime and may even be the biggest technological shift our students will see in their lifetime. What is AI’s place in education, and how can we help our students use the technology for good? What are we doing in Hopkins to ensure that our students are not only developing technology mastery, but are also learning to become critical thinkers and problem solvers within the context of technology? And how can we bring more women and people of color into the field of technology? You don’t want to miss this powerful conversation. Guests: Jen Wallace - Media Specialist, Glen Lake Elementary Carol Tracy - Media Specialist, VirtualEDU Lorne Kelly-Collins - TechEd teacher at Hopkins High School Resources: Coding Resources for Caregivers: (for parents/caregivers to learn alongside their children) and
    Ascoltato 27 min. 3 sec.
  • Watch Me Grow!

    8 FEB 2024 · In Hopkins, we call ourselves an E-12+ system because we know and believe that early childhood learning is an essential component of the school experience. In this discussion, we explore why those early years are so crucial for child development. According to our guests, it is in early childhood and through preschool programs that students develop a love of learning and begin to develop skills like curiosity, creativity and critical thinking. Early childhood provides community and connection to our families. In Hopkins, preschool programs are offered in all of our in-person elementary schools, creating a sense of belonging for little ones and setting the stage for positive school experiences. In this episode, we also discuss early childhood special education. Across the country, we are seeing an increase in students under the age of five who qualify for services. We discuss the reasons for this and also the ways in which Hopkins is meeting the needs of all scholars. Guests: Sara Chovan, Early Learning Assistant Director Kathy Willett, Preschool Supervisor Jennifer Muller, Early Childhood Special Education Lead and Teacher Resource Links in late February through March)
    Ascoltato 22 min. 2 sec.
  • You ARE a Math Person

    25 GEN 2024 · There is no such thing as a “math brain.” And yet, it’s common for people to say, “I am not a math person.” According to our guests, you ARE a math person. Everyone is. In this episode, we explore people’s unique relationship with math and offer strategies for addressing math phobia. Math is more than simply ticking the boxes and moving on. Hopkins educators integrate creativity and conceptual learning into math, encouraging scholars to embrace mistakes and acknowledge the multiple perspectives within a math context. Our guests delve into the tangible benefits and potential drawbacks of accelerating math education, shedding light on the essential math skills scholars will need for the future. Whether you loved this subject as a child or not, this episode will have you rethinking your relationship with math. Guests: Matthew Bruflodt, Hopkins High School Math Teacher Else Goll, Personalized Math Specialist Sara Lacey, West Middle School Math Teacher Resource Links: Boaler, J. (2022). Jossey-Bass. Boaler, J. (2015). Penguin Books. Stanford University (2024). YouCubed. ( Liljedahl, P. (2020). Corwin. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2014). NCTM.
    Ascoltato 25 min. 41 sec.

Welcome to Inside Hopkins, where we unravel the stories of innovation and education. Hosted by our superintendent, Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, our podcast offers an exclusive peek behind the scenes, featuring...

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Welcome to Inside Hopkins, where we unravel the stories of innovation and education. Hosted by our superintendent, Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed, our podcast offers an exclusive peek behind the scenes, featuring conversations with staff, students, experts, and partners, giving you an insider's view of the inner workings of a school district.

Our audience is as diverse as our content – parents, students, district residents, alumni, staff, and even fellow education leaders from different districts. Join us on this journey as we push the boundaries of education and lead the way in innovation. Inside Hopkins is your passport to the future of education!
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