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Principal's Blog

Vanessa Bilello's Principal Blog

Ashoke Ghosh

Updates from the Hopkins' Office

Dear Families,

Last Thursday, we celebrated one of my favorite days of the year at Hopkins- Community Reading Day. On this day, members of our community from Town Hall, Project Just Because, Central Office, School Committee, HPTA, Hopkinton Fire and Police Department, and elsewhere around town joined our fourth and fifth graders to share in a story. This is an exciting opportunity for students to connect with community leaders about literature. Thank you to all of them, for taking time out from their busy days to support our students here at Hopkins and sharing the love of reading with them!

Diversity and unity are critical themes celebrated regularly in our building. We strive to create an environment emphasizing how differences serve to strengthen the fabric of Hopkins School. Learning style, language, religion, economic status, family structure, race - these and so much more create the unique individual identities that our nine to eleven year olds must honor in themselves- and each other. In order to truly embrace our vision of Hopkins School as an environment where “passionate learning is built on a foundation of compassion,” we believe that empathy and understanding of differences is paramount. When we support one another on our learning journey, the result is an even stronger community. Our Community Reading Day title for this year, Jacqueline Woodson’s latest picture book, The Day You Begin, honors this journey.

Both Elmwood and Hopkins School chose this title this year and it illustrates the importance of these themes for Hopkinton in 2019. As Jacqueline writes, “There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you. So what are you going to do?” The New York Times hailed this latest title by the prolific and popular Ms. Woodson as, “A lovely, poetic book that soothes back-to-school concerns about not fitting in by encouraging children to tell their own stories.” We believe that we must always encourage children to find and tell their own stories, since one powerful way they grow during their time at Hopkins is in their understanding of their place in their communities- whether it is classroom, town, or global.

Community Reading Day also serves as an important reminder for everyone at Hopkins- that you are never too old to listen to a good book! The research is clear about the difference that reading for pleasure makes in children's academic outcomes. Too often, 4th and 5th grades families think that children should always be reading independently on their own. Please, share in a read with your child- even if it is one you listen to together in the car as you race from activity to activity, they will see that you know the value of a good book!

A couple more important updates:


  • Dismissal change notes have gone digital! The message is on our school website for reference. You can also access the form here. As a reminder, all changes MUST be submitted by 1:15 PM (11:00 on Early Release days) so the office has time to process requests and ensure that children are notified.


  • 2018-2019 Hopkins' Memory Books are now on sale! The Hopkins' Memory Book is a professionally printed soft cover "yearbook" with 52 full-color pages highlighting school activities. The Memory Book is designed and photographed by students on the Memory Book Design Team! Students will have their friends sign their book on "signing day" and it will become a personalized, treasured keepsake! Memory Books are $22 and 100% of profits fund special technology needs and other programs at Hopkins School. Please visit the HPTA website between March 1 - 31st to place an order.


  • Hopkins' School Store opens this Wednesday! Organized and staffed by Principal's Cabinet, we will be selling Hopkins' items at lunches. Items will include Hopkins' waterbottles, pencils, latex-free large erasers and even yo-yos! Prices range from $12 for waterbottles down to .75 for a Hopkins' pencil. All items will have the student-designed Hawk logo and proceeds go directly back into the school gift account to purchase recess and lunch-time supplies like chess boards, four-square balls, lunch time board games and more!




Vanessa Bilello

Principal, Hopkins School

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