December 2020
Staff eNews
Details on Return to School in January
When school resumes January 4 after winter break, students will learn online on the #HCSatHome plan through January 15.
 
On Monday, January 18, we will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day and there will be no school that day.
 
We are excited to share that kids are coming back to our buildings! Our plan is to start with Group A hybrid students on Tuesday, January 19; Wednesday will be a day for deep cleaning; then Group B will be back with us on Thursday and Friday of that week.
 
We will, of course, continue to follow all safety measures. This includes desks facing the same way, students spaced 6 feet apart, cleaning and disinfection measures, and mask wearing. Masks will be required for all students in kindergarten and up.
 
We will keep you informed as we move forward.

Christmas Connections
Groundbreaking Celebration
New Hanson Elementary School
Groundbreaking for the new Hanson Elementary School was celebrated earlier in December. A&K Construction is the approved contractor. Groundwork is expected to start early in 2021 with completion expected in summer 2022.
HR Updates
All employees should review their 12/18/2020 paystub to ensure that the address we have on file is correct. In January, finance and HR will be working on your W-2 and 1095 forms so that they can be mailed and it is critical that your address be current. If you need to make changes, please email the following:
 
Jenny Harris – certified – jennifer.harris@hopkins.kyschools.us
 
Mechelle Earl – classified – mechelle.earl@hopkins.kyschools.us
 
New insurance benefit premiums will begin with the January 15, 2021, payroll. Be sure that you review your deductions to ensure that your benefit deductions are correct! These are the only deductions that might possibly have a change based upon your insurance selections and FSA/HRA deductions for the new year. If you have questions regarding your benefits, please reach out to Janice Moore at 270-825-6100 x 22409 or janice.moore@hopkins.kyschools.us.
Cooking Up Memories & Fun!
Kindergarten students mix fun with flavor in their favorite recipes, which are highlighted in West Hopkins’ “Kindergarten Craziness Cookbook.”

Their favorites vary from “chicken sketti,” with detailed, step-by-step instructions, to a sugar cookie recipe that involves looking for a light blue package of refrigerated dough at the grocery, to a “baby bologna” snack, SPAM and potato burrito and more.

“They are learning language skills, math skills with measuring, and then they follow a procedure,” said kindergarten teacher Billy Ward. “It is really a lot of different skills rolled up in one project.” Fellow kindergarten teacher Mary McBride also participated with her students.

Each student received a printout of the cookbook to give to their parent/guardian for Christmas.

“It’s a remembrance book for parents to look back on,” Ward said. “They have a piece of memorabilia from kindergarten and the kids that they started out with. That’s why I encouraged pictures. It’s also a way for parents to get involved with their students in the kitchen and a writing project. … I have had so many positive responses from parents.”
#LionChaser / #GiantSlayer
MNHHS FFA
Madisonville North Hopkins High School FFA was presented with the #LionChaser / #GiantSlayer Award at the Board of Education meeting on Dec. 14. FFA was honored for their outstanding work with community service projects. MNHHS FFA was named a Premier Chapter in the area of Building Communities, ranking in the Top 10 of more than 8,700 chapters in the nation. Teachers Brian Welch and Benton White and students Olivia Burris, Mikayla Baize and Craig Holloman accepted the award. #TeamHopkins
Farm City Educator of the Year
Pride Elementary School teacher Kelly Gates has been honored as the 2020 Farm City Educator of the Year. The award was announced by Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Hopkins County Cooperative Extension and sponsored by Tyson Foods.
 
She has been teaching at Pride Elementary in Madisonville, Kentucky, for more than 20 years and has created an outdoor learning environment for students. The program, called Courtyard for Curiosity, helps students maintain, cultivate, and beautify the school’s courtyard area. 
 
“Mrs. Gates is an advocate for all children. Her classroom is home to many furry friends that the students love and adore,” said Kristy Saint, principal at Pride Elementary. “She creates a sense of responsibility in her students through the care of these animals. Students all over the building want to visit her classroom.”
 
Farm City Breakfast was not held in-person this year. "Agriculture is a significant economic driver in Hopkins County. Even though we're not meeting in-person, we are still grateful for the opportunity to recognize these individuals and farm families for their valuable contributions to our community," said Libby Spencer, President of the Hopkins County Regional Chamber of Commerce. 
Happy Feet Christmas
Hopkins County Happy Feet held its drive-thru Christmas Project on Dec. 10 to provide shoes and $100 gift cards to 120 of our middle and high school students. This is a collaborative project with our Family Resource Youth Service Centers. Happy Feet is still taking donations to support this cause. Please go to their Facebook page for more information. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this effort to help our students!
Faulk Family Toy Donation
Hopkins County Board of Education member Steve Faulk and his family donated baby dolls and other toys to the Hopkins County Schools Family Resource Centers. The donation was in memory of his sister, Karen Wilson. This is the 2nd annual year for the Karen’s Christmas Baby Dolls project. These toys will be distributed through the FRYSCs at the elementary schools. Other recipients include Woodford County Schools, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, The Nest, Rockcastle Regional Hospital, Midway Children’s Christmas Drive, and Ronald McDonald House. Thanks to Mr. Faulk and everyone involved in making this generous donation for our kids!
Central Office Welcomes New Technology Staff

Hopkins County Schools’ Technology Department recently welcomed two new employees to the Central Office.
Courtney Walker is the department’s administrative secretary. Jada Pettus is a technology digital learning coach.
MobileMind Achievements
Congratulations to Jesse Stuart Elementary School teacher Megan Durbin for being the first teacher in our district to complete more than 100 courses in MobileMind for Google! She has completed 117 courses and passed the Level 1 and Level 2 certification. MobileMind is a professional learning hub for educators. To learn what our teachers think about MobileMind, please read below:
Using Mobile Minds was really easy and an awesome way to build digital skills. I like that the lessons are in small chunks so that you can fit them in wherever you have a few extra minutes. I also liked that I could choose my own learning path to focus on skills I needed. I could even learn about specific Google Apps. I feel like these courses really helped me prepare for my Google Certification Exams, and Mobile Minds even PAID for the tests! 
Megan Durbin, Jesse Stuart
MobileMind is an excellent platform to use when learning about G Suite tools for teaching and practicing the application skills necessary to become a Google Certified Educator. MobileMind allows you to choose your level of learning so the information presented is easy to understand and can immediately be put into practice. The videos are concise and you receive helpful feedback on the application tasks.
Dana Martin, Hanson Elementary

Mobile Minds was the perfect program for me because it taught allowed me to learn important skills on the go. After working through Mobile Minds, I am more confident in my ability to design creative instruction that better meets the needs of my students digitally. 
Megan Epperson, Browning Springs Middle
Mobile Minds was very simple to use. The mini-sessions were not difficult and I was able to sharpen my knowledge of the Google suite . During the courses, I was able to choose one program (i.e. Google Forms) and learn how to fully use that resource. The Mobile Minds program lessons started at the beginning; so, I was able to make sure I knew how to create a form, the options for creating quizzes/assessments, how to use it for surveys as a leader, and how to use it for differentiation in the classroom. I found the lesson on differentiation very useful! Once completing the pathway for forms, I was able to explore docs, slides, sheets, and other google platforms. I can honestly say that I learned something new about each of them. Overall, I can say that I learned a lot more about using the technology available to me through the Mobile Minds mini-lessons.
Michael Powers, James Madison Middle
I love MobileMind! I am a SPED teacher, and I work with Elementary students. When I found out that were going to be teaching virtually, I panicked. I am not as savvy with technology as others my age. MobileMind helped me to learn about different tools to utilize for my students. The micro courses were easy to follow, and very informational. The challenges are awesome! They require you to get in there, and practice using these tools. The G Suite Tools are amazing and will allow for us to have more engaging virtual lessons. I would recommend others to complete these courses, and to sign up to become Google Educator Certified. I am so thankful that the district provided us with this learning opportunity! 
Jessica Coker, West Hopkins
I really enjoyed the training on Mobile Mind! I have learned lots of things to incorporate into my classroom, not only while we are virtual, but things that will be useful in the future as well!! I have now earned my level 1 certification and I am already registered to take my level 2 certification! I'm so glad we had this opportunity!
Terri Turner, Earlington Elementary
I liked Mobile Minds because it let me practice skills that are useful in the classroom, and not just for the certification test. Anyone involved in distance learning can learn useful information about tools to help themselves, and more importantly, their students. 
Keaton Frazer, West Broadway Elementary