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American Indian Culture Celebration

Update Hopkins Public Schools

The community’s guide to the District. Hopkins High School robotics team wins the Entrepreneurship Award

The Hopkins High School robotics team, ‘the Technocrats,’ earned its comeback status at the FIRST Robotics Competition Medtronic Foundation Regional, winning the Entrepreneurship Award. The award is given to a team that shows that they are working to achieve a sound footing to support their engineering and outreach efforts and provide sustainablility to the team. Their submission will now advance on to the world robotics championships held in Detroit. Hopkins Public Schools Receives School Finance Award

Hopkins Public Schools received the 2018 Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) School Finance Award for its 2017-18 fiscal year results. The School Finance Award is awarded annually by the MDE Division of School Finance to recognize schools for meeting statutory deadlines for submission of audited fiscal financial data and reporting criteria. This is the 10th year the MDE has recognized Hopkins as a school organization that exhibits sound fiscal health and financial management of policies and procedures.

May 2018

See cultural dance, view the story about the creation of the jingle dress dance, try your hand at lacrosse, and much more. Free food will be served! Saturday, May 19, 12-3 p.m. Hopkins High School 2400 Lindbergh Drive Minnetonka

com m u ni t y HEF Gratitude Gifts Treat a teacher, coach, or staff member at the same time you donate to HEF. Order Gratitude Gifts by Monday, May 21, and we’ll hand deliver your personal message along with a bag of colorful salt water taffy! Orders accepted through Monday, May 21

Hopkins High School Graduation Congratulations to the graduating class of 2018! Thursday, June 7, 7-8:30 p.m. Hopkins High School 2400 Lindbergh Drive Minnetonka Ticket is required for admission.

Rethinking Preschool Hopkins Preschools expands its program to provide even more early education access to families Eight years ago, Hopkins kindergartners needed to know their letters by the end of kindergarten. Now, students are expected to read by the end of the school year. Today’s kindergarten has become more academically rigorous. In fact, to most adults, kindergarten looks like their firstgrade experience. And if kindergarten is the new first grade, preschool is the new kindergarten, meaning that it is more vital than ever before that all students have the opportunity to participate in a strong preschool program. “The standards for both reading and math have increased, and the more you can learn at an early age, the better,” said Amy Phung, a kindergarten teacher at Alice Smith. “Today a preschool experience is essential.”

A teacher and an Eisenhower preschool student play a learning game.

Technology, Engineering, and Math) concepts complement the hands-on learning that students gravitate toward and are embedded throughout the learning day.

Over the last two years, Hopkins early childhood and Changing standards of kindergarten kindergarten staff have explored how well the preschool To meet the needs of all young students, Hopkins Public program aligns with kindergarten standards. Through Schools is aligning early childhood and kindergarten discussions, classroom observations, and collaboration, standards, integrating more social-emotional strategies the group is building a bridge that connects the preschool in the classroom, and expanding experience with the academic expectations preschool programs to give more of kindergarten, without putting pressure on children access. A sliding-fee scale The advantage preschoolers. Preschool teachers remain committed will be incorporated in some to providing an exploratory and play-based of preschool is that programs, making preschool possible learning model, and are adding more literacy for all children, regardless of income. learning to their curriculum to prepare students for it provides students the reading requirements of kindergarten. “The advantage of preschool is with the opportunity that it provides students with the The focus on play-based and active learning is opportunity to master the school to master the school one of the reasons why Rob Mullen chose the routine — these skills are not Stepping Stones preschool program at Gatewood always academic, but they are routine — these Elementary. He describes this year as a “year of foundational,” said Sara Chovan, growth” for his son Ernie, who is now prepared skills are not always early childhood coordinator for and excited for kindergarten. Hopkins Public Schools. “Children academic, but they “The balance between play and active learning who have these experiences are ready is the perfect blend,” said Rob Mullen. “Our to dive into learning on the first day are foundational. son is now more motivated and sees learning of kindergarten.” opportunities in all activities.” Even a few years ago, kindergarten Social-emotional learning was still a place where students could master the softer This year, the Hopkins preschool program has added skills, like socialization and routine. Today, students need another tool to its toolkit — social-emotional learning. to enter kindergarten knowing their letters and numbers, Using strategies like Yoga Calm, breathing exercises, and how to write their names, and be able to use a scissors, stories that express empathy, preschoolers are learning to hold a crayon, and listen to a lesson for ten minutes. The self-regulate their emotions, work through problems, and standards have increased for math, but they have increased discuss their feelings. Grounded in both new and welleven more for reading. established research, social-emotional learning is needed to “It’s a big push, but the kids can do it,” said Phung. “They build empathy. In fact, we are just beginning to understand can read, and they can write, but the preschool experience that skills like empathy and managing emotions need to be is important because there is not enough time to teach taught. Kids don’t automatically figure them out. those foundational socialization skills in kindergarten.” It’s this type of personalized and caring approach to learning Aligning early childhood and kindergarten that attracts parents to Hopkins. After having kids, Carrie All Hopkins preschool programs are accredited by Parent Ross specifically moved into the Hopkins District because Aware and use a curriculum inspired by the Reggio Emilia of its academics and diversity. Being part of the preschool approach, which is a discovery and play-based model that community has made her feel even more confident she made is adapted to the interests of children. STEM (Science, see Rethinking Preschool inside

Hopkins Ninth-Grade IB Students Present Community Service Projects think about a problem they want to solve, and to consider how they might use their skills and interests to tackle that problem,” said Angela Wilcox, IB coordinator at North Junior High.

Two students explain the research they collected for their capstone project.

If you could help solve any problem in the world, what would you do? That is the question that ninth-grade students were tasked with, and they came up with profoundly thoughtful answers. The work was part of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Program community service capstone project, which all ninth-grade Hopkins students were asked to complete. This particular group of students has had a long time to think about service learning work. They are the first to be fully immersed in the IB Middle Years Program, which was incorporated into the junior high in 2015. Service learning is a cornerstone of this global curriculum. “Starting in seventh-grade, this group of ninth-grade students has been encouraged to

All students came up with a concept that connected an individual passion with a community in need. The all-encompassing project required students to pursue independent learning and engage in critical thinking and problem solving. They presented their overall findings to their schools and the larger community during the first week of April. “This capstone project helped students feel the sense of accomplishment — and the joy — that comes from doing service, and we hope it will encourage students to stay involved in their communities in meaningful ways through high school and beyond,” said Wilcox. The student presentations represented a range of passions and interests. In one project, a group of young men planned a leadership seminar for Eisenhower second-graders. They talked to students about how to be leaders, played basketball with them, and read stories to them about leadership. In another project, three young women who are first-generation Minnesotans interviewed their families about living through

and escaping war in Somalia and then moving to the United States. Another group saw the need to raise awareness for the LGBTQ community and mental health. They created a website that contained their research on how members of this community are more at risk for mental health issues, as well as an online campaign. Regardless of the project, connecting the learning that goes on inside the classroom to the larger world helps students understand that everyone can make contributions and be agents of change. “Service is at the heart of what it means to be an IB student,” said Jennifer Poncelet, IB coordinator at West Junior High. “By serving a community, students develop empathy and understanding. By working in groups of their choosing, students learn how to collaborate, manage conflict, and adapt to the unexpected.”

A group of North Junior High boys present their project, Making Connections, to students, staff, and community members.

Rethinking Preschool, continued from cover the right decision for her family. This year, she noticed that her twins, who attend Stepping Stones Preschool at Tanglen Elementary, are showing more care and empathy for each other while at home. “We have seen improvement in a lot of academics such as writing skills, numbers, and speech, but I feel the most important things preschool has taught our kids have been life skills such as problem solving, conflict resolution,

empathy, and self-regulation,” she said. “I believe having these skills sets them up for a successful future in school and in life.” Expanding Hopkins Preschool Programs Next year, Hopkins is expanding its preschool program at three of its sites to provide families with more access to early learning. In addition to the full-day Stepping Stones option, families can register for Kaleidoscope Preschool and build a full-day or customized part-day at Eisenhower, Meadowbrook, and Gatewood through the Stay & Explore extended-day options. Kaleidoscope tuition is based on a sliding fee scale. “We want to find a way for every single family, regardless of economic status, to participate,” said Chovan. “We can create classrooms that mirror the world we are living in, which includes multiple voices and perspectives, to deepen the learning experience for all.”

One of the benefits of the expansion is that the programs are located in the elementary schools, giving students time to get comfortable with a school setting. Preschool is often the first school experience both students and parents have. Being in an elementary school helps the family adjust to the school process and routine. “I definitely feel our kids are ready for kindergarten,” said Ross. “They have gained a lot of socialization and academic skills that are preparing them for school next year. The kids are getting comfortable with the school culture, and have met the principal and some of the teachers.” Those who are interested in enrolling in fall 2018 preschool should visit or call preschool supervisor Kathy Willett at 952-988-5004.

During free time, students can choose to pursue a variety of activities, including painting.

Hopkins Community Education Adult Enrichment

Building a great place to live

Summer is here!

Treat yourself to new experiences. Rekindle your passion for learning with a new season of classes to explore. Fine art, cooking, fitness, gardening, dance, music, finance, wellness, and more! Connect with others, renew your goals, refresh your palate, and learn for life at Hopkins Community Education.

American Indian Culture Celebration

All are welcome at this free, fun, and family-friendly event! See cultural dance, view the story about the creation of the jingle dress dance, try your hand at lacrosse, and much more. Free food will be served!

Saturday, May 19, 12-3 p.m.

Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka

Start your summer adventure!

To become a vendor, performer, or volunteer, please contact Allegra Smisek at 952-988-4737 or by email at

From the Superintendent, Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed

The Future of Learning and Tomorrow’s Skills Cognitive agility. Fortitude. Curiosity. Technical fluency. Critical thinking. Empathy. Teaming with diverse others. Solving complex problems. Determination. Analytics and diagnostics. Value of failure. Communication. Hunger to learn. Deep self-knowledge. These are the skills of the future. Some of us have referred to these qualities as “soft skills.” The reality is that there is nothing soft about these skills. They truly should be called “hard skills,” as they are difficult to teach and sometimes hard to master. While knowing complex content is still important, accumulating content for information sake is no longer easily transferrable to a job. What’s becoming far more vital is acquiring and mastering these sophisticated skills that will position a young person for success in the future workplace. Our children, the world’s future employees, need less content and more skill. So what should schools and places of learning look like in 2030? How do we help students compete with smart machines? How do we prepare our students to navigate the global connectedness generated by technology? In Hopkins, our teachers realize they are no longer the sole purveyors of knowledge and information. Technology is leveraged as a tool to provide students with learning platforms that help them analyze, diagnose, work in teams, think critically, and create. We have the courage to face our new learning horizon. To chart a new course for moving our students into a future of learning that looks vastly different from how most of us experienced school requires us to examine the traditions we must uphold and those we should release. I have spent a lot of time visiting our Hopkins classrooms, and paying attention to the amazing skill sets of our teachers. I know we have the skill, bravery, and capacity to evolve into a new way of teaching and learning. Social-emotional learning — a pathway to high academic achievement As we look at evolving our teaching practices, it’s important to acknowledge the facts that are well established. Children are social beings. Research from the 1940s tells us that students have several layers of need that must be met before they can successfully master complex and rigorous content. Maslow, an American psychologist who was best known for creating the hierarchy triangle of need, depicts this: students’ physiological needs (food, shelter, clothing) and social-emotional needs (belonging, love, esteem) must be met before they can effectively reach their full potential in a learning environment. A strong teacher-student relationship precedes effective learning. That is why, in Hopkins, I have asked all staff to build relationships before building brains. We will get to complex skill development faster if we prioritize quality teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships. In Hopkins, social and emotional learning is a priority. We will work diligently to equip our teachers to build a culture of respect and dialogue, one that acknowledges students’ relational needs as a building block to stronger academic achievement. Our students are depending on us to make the right teaching shifts as we all make our way into a bright future. Sincerely,

Dr. Rhoda Mhiripiri-Reed Superintendent

Empty Bowls Fundraiser Continues to Help Hopkins Community in 20th year People from across the area flocked to the Hopkins Center for the Arts on Tuesday, March 13 to have their fill of hot soup and show their support for the 20thannual Empty Bowls fundraiser. This year the event raked in $71,125 in donations that benefit ResourceWest and the ICA Food Shelf. Of the donations, roughly $48,000 was collected by the “Soup-er Supporters,” which include the Minnetonka Rotary and 150 businesses and civic organizations, and city, school, and community leaders. The all-day event displayed glazed bowls created by Hopkins staff and students, community members, and local potters, and served up a variety of soups donated by local restaurants and the Hopkins School Nutrition Department. This fundraiser is an important initiative that helps fill the empty bowls in our community. Since 1999, art students and community potters have created hundreds of uniquely designed bowls and raised over $1 million for those in need. Ingredients for success: • 1,594 full bowls of soup were served (and over 1,600 rolls from Great Harvest Bread Company) • 1,170 bowls created by community potters and Hopkins students and staff • 34 teachers from Hopkins Public Schools art and music departments helped ensure the event was successful • 357 volunteers gave their time • 202 entertainers such as musicians, choirs, and students performed at the event • 46 fine art pieces were auctioned • 34 sponsors generously provided in-kind services

2018 Royal Bash Raises a Record-Setting $275,000 The 19th-annual Hopkins Education Foundation’s (HEF) Royal Bash set a new record, raising over $275,000 during the event on Saturday, Feb. 24. The sold out, winter-themed gala “Snow Much Fun” brought together 444 guests in support of Hopkins Public Schools. This social event is the largest source of funding for HEF, which provides grants for engaging and innovative projects proposed by Hopkins students and staff. Guests danced the night away to music provided by DJ Instant Replay, enjoyed an elegant dinner, and bid on exciting prizes during the live and silent auctions. This year the Royal Bash expressed a special appeal to donors in order to raise funds for a student wellness initiative called “Student Wellness = Student Success.” HEF is undertaking a two-year health and wellness initiative to expand the District’s current role of supporting the “whole student.” Of the total funds raised, $93,500 will be used to fund grants focused on self-regulation, stress management, nutrition, and physical fitness.

District Life Changer

Catie Nelson Wagner

Hopkins preschools are a cornerstone of our District. Our high standard of excellence is due to many things, but perhaps the most important element is our world class teachers, and nobody embodies that caring spirit quite like Catie Nelson Wagner. “Catie is an extremely gifted, knowledgable teacher who works tirelessly for the preschool children and families at Gatewood,” said Kathy Willett, Hopkins preschool supervisor. “She is a magnificent example of a dedicated staff member who has found her calling in working with young children.” After moving back to Minnesota from Colorado, Wagner could not wait to become a member of the Hopkins Public Schools community. She started her Hopkins career as a Ready 4 K preschool teacher at Gatewood Elementary back in 2013.

One of her primary goals while teaching here in Hopkins is to create an inclusive space where everyone feels appreciated and valued within the classroom and beyond. She wants people to know that their voice matters. “Preschool in general is a fabulous age; the students have so much energy, curiosity, and great ideas. As a class, we spend a lot of time exploring these ideas and building on them,” Wagner said. Background: After completing her bachelor’s degree in psychology, science, and English from the University of Minnesota, Wagner moved to Colorado and obtained a master’s degree in early childhood education with a special education endorsement. She has since moved back home and has been a Hopkins preschool teacher for the last five years. Is there an early childhood philosophy that stands out to you? When your child asks “Why is there a moon?” don’t reply with a scientific answer. Ask them “What do you think?” They will understand that you are telling them that they have their own mind and their own interpretation and that their ideas are important to you. Then you both can look for answers sharing the wonder, curiosity, and challenges. Proudest moment? Often when I see former students, they seem to remember fondly what they did in preschool. They recall a specific activity, a song, a field trip, the room, or even a ball they found in the woods when we were on a nature walk. Hearing the children tell their stories of when they were in preschool to their friends or younger siblings is wonderful and creates a trusting space. Stats: • Bachelor’s in psychology, science, and English from the University of Minnesota; master’s degree in early childhood education with a special education specialist license from the University of Colorado, Denver. Wagner has been working with students in schools for 11 years as a special education paraprofessional and most recently as a preschool teacher.

Where are they now?

Sara Goldfine Baratz: 2000 graduate

Stats: Owner and designer at Goldfine Jewelry • BFA in textile and design, with a concentration in jewelry design, University of Kansas fun facts Sara Goldfine Baratz has an affinity for jewelry. She creates gorgeous, fashion-forward work for her customers, which has translated into a successful design career. Her entrepreneurial acumen allowed her to open up shop in Minneapolis in 2011, and today, her Goldfine Jewelry brand can be found in boutiques across the Twin Cities and around the country. Favorite hangout spot during Hopkins High School? The Mall, as well as the photography black room and the dance line room. What Hopkins teacher made a difference? My dance line coach Jill Petschl-Russell. I think her tough love tactics really inspired me to have strong work ethics, resilience, and persistence. How did Hopkins prepare you? Hopkins prepared me by providing an incredible community within the school that has endured the test of time. I realized then that relationships are one of the most valuable assets in life.

Community Spirit Julie Engle

You could say that Julie Engle bleeds blue. As a child she attended Tanglen Elementary and North Junior High, and she graduated from Hopkins High School in 2000. Deciding where to live when it was time to have a family of her own was an easy decision. There was no doubt that she wanted to raise her kids in her childhood community. This is her home. When she learned some parents in her community were choosing to open-enroll their children to other school districts, she took charge. She suspected that parents were making these decisions before knowing all the facts, and she wanted to present them with the Hopkins she had come to know and love. Two and a half years ago, she and fellow mom, Lara Erpelding, started Parents for Hopkins, a grassroots group of Hopkins parents who provide information to families considering Hopkins Public Schools. Your proudest moment volunteering? Every conversation I have with parents that are considering Hopkins is rewarding. It opens the door for a real discussion about any thoughts or concerns they may have. What people have influenced you most? Nicole Schachtman, Lara Erpelding, and Michelle Kuhl for their open and honest conversations. I volunteer because … I love helping people and want to do what’s best for my children. I want them to grow up in a neighborhood where all the kids go to the same school and know each other. That’s how I grew up and I loved it.

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Eric Mueller: 1983 graduate Stats: Self-employed photographer, artist, and teacher • B.A. in English, Carlton College; and M.A. in film production studies, University of Iowa

fun facts Capturing life through a creative lens is all in a day’s work for Hopkins grad Eric Mueller. A Twin Citiesbased photographer and artist, Eric has traveled the world snapping all of its wonders. He spent 25 years in the film and TV industry, and in 2014 took on his passion for photography full time. He also teaches. Fun fact: Eric was part of the first graduating class of Hopkins High School. Favorite hangout spot during Hopkins High School? We’d always hang out in the Mall or sometimes on the steps of the library. What Hopkins teacher made a difference? One of my favorite teachers was Mr. Mossberg. He had a way of connecting with students so that you felt he understood you. His classes gave me confidence when I got to college. How did Hopkins prepare you? One of the best things that Hopkins did for me was to get me involved with film and television production. It gave me an appreciation for visual storytelling.

Anne Kort (Longar): 2012 graduate Stats: Student, enrolled in an Earth and atmospheric sciences master’s program at Indiana University studying paleontology • B.S. in Earth science, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities fun facts It’s not every day that a student gets an up close and personal look into a mammal fossil with a CT scanner, but that’s exactly what former Royal Anne Kort is doing. A student in Indiana University’s master’s program studying paleontology, Anne is digging up the past to learn more about the animals that once roamed the Earth. Favorite hangout spot during Hopkins High School? The ceramics room. What Hopkins teacher made a difference? Mr. Swenson and his AP U.S. History class had the biggest impact. APUSH was my first really difficult class, and Mr. Swenson taught me all the study skills I needed to survive college. How did Hopkins prepare you? The wide variety of classes taught by such excellent teachers made me feel like I had endless options. I took everything from AP calculus to ceramics, and my teachers really cared about the material and my learning. I realized then that I could do anything with my life. Update May 2018

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Permit No. 161 Hopkins, MN 55343

May Events Daddy & Me Free Fun Event (kids birth-five years). Details: 952-988-5000 Thursday, May 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Minnetonka Police and Fire Station Thursday, June 14, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Hopkins Police Station

1001 Highway 7 Hopkins, MN 55305 952-988-4000 Time Value

Tanglen Elementary Block Party & 50th Anniversary Celebration Friday, May 18, 5-8:30 p.m. – Celebrate 50 years of Tanglen Elementary. The entire community is welcome! L. H. Tanglen Elementary, 10901 Hillside Ln. W, Minnetonka

Residential Postal Patron ECRWSS

Orchestra Spring Concert – Sinfonia, Symphony Strings, Philharmonic Orchestra, and Chamber Orchestra Club play their spring concert! Tuesday, May 22, 7:30-9 p.m. Hopkins High School Auditorium, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka Hopkins High School Choir Finale Thursday, May 31, 7-9 p.m. Hopkins High School Auditorium, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka 2018 GED Graduation – Details at Monday, June 4, 7 p.m. Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Mainstreet, Hopkins Hopkins High School 2018 Graduation Thursday, June 7, 7-8:30 p.m. Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka. Ticket is required. Last Day of School for Students – Grades K-12 Friday, June 8

Get Connected, Stay Connected Find us on Facebook: Once Again Names Hopkins a ‘Best School District in America’ Once again, Hopkins Public Schools has been named a “Best School District in America” by, a website that helps parents find the right school for them. Hopkins earned sixth place in the category “Best School District in Minnesota,” an increase from last year when Hopkins earned eighth place. Hopkins achieved this ranking due to its high score on a variety of factors including SAT/ACT scores, student-teacher ratio, the quality of colleges that students consider, and reviews from students and parents. Hopkins did well in a number of other categories rated by Hopkins earned third place in the category “Best Places to Teach in Minnesota,” fifth place in the category “Districts with the Best Teachers,” and eighth place in the category “Safest School Districts in the Minneapolis Metro.” The 2018 Best Public Schools ranking is based on eight different factors that have varying weights. also uses data from the Common Core, the U.S. Department of Education, the Civil Rights Data Collection, and parent surveys to develop its overall ranking.

Hopkins Preschools Full-day options available for 2018-19! Build our half-day Kaleidoscope Preschool classes into a fullday experience with Stay & Explore extended-day options at select sites. Our curriculum is designed to inspire a love for discovery and learning in your child. Register for fall Kaleidoscope preschool, then choose extended-day options to customize your child’s schedule! Now enrolling: Call us at 952-988-5004 or visit

Hopkins High School Student Amarya Ward-West Receives Beat the Odds Scholarship Minnesota. She is the first member of her family to attend college. “In a school of remarkable people, Amarya sets herself apart,” said Hopkins High School Principal Doug Bullinger. “Given her story and her success, I don’t think there is a more inspiring student in this school. I look forward to seeing the success she has after Hopkins.”

Ward-West (center) poses with the other Minnesota Beat the Odds scholarship recipients.

Hopkins High School student Amarya Ward-West is a recipient of Minnesota’s Beat the Odds scholarship. Sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), the scholarship is given out to five Minnesota high school students each year who have overcome tremendous adversity in life to achieve academic excellence, demonstrate leadership in their communities, and aspire to attend college. The summer before ninth-grade, Ward-West was in a car accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down. She was in a coma for three months, and when she came out of it, she needed to relearn how to do things that once seemed so simple. Four years later, she is a thriving Hopkins High School student who takes honors and Advanced Placement courses. With a GPA of 3.98, she has been accepted to the University of

Students are nominated for the Beat the Odds scholarship program by a teacher, counselor, or other adult. The criteria for earning the scholarship are based on the student’s character, academic achievement, commitment to social justice issues/ community, and the tremendous odds he or she beats every day. As a Beat the Odds recipient, Ward-West will receive: • A $5,000 Beat the Odds scholarship, allocated during college matriculation, and a laptop computer. • Induction into the CDF family and invitation to join CDF’s leadership development ladder. • Professional, autobiographical videos of her story.

Hopkins May Update 2018  

Hopkins Public Schools May 2018 Update newsletter featuring Rethinking Preschool, Hopkins IB Students Community Service projects, Empty Bowl...

Hopkins May Update 2018  

Hopkins Public Schools May 2018 Update newsletter featuring Rethinking Preschool, Hopkins IB Students Community Service projects, Empty Bowl...