October 4, 2020

Robbin Hopkins

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictAvondale School District
City:Auburn Hills

How long have you lived in your district?

6 years

Have you received any endorsements?

no

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I am a lifelong resident of Michigan. I attended the Pontiac School District. I attended Oakland Community College and Oakland University and I am a graduate of Wayne State University (BA Sociology) and Thomas M. Cooley Law School (JD). I live in Auburn Hills and have one student in the Avondale School District. I currently work for the State of Michigan as an Adult Services Worker. I worked with youth and families in the Child and Family Services Department for 10+ years. I am product of the public school system. I am running for the school board because I believe the board sets the path for the district. The teachers cannot do it alone, there has to be a vision for the district with policy that benefits all the youth and holds leadership accountable to ensure there is equity and equality in education for all students. Avondale has a diverse student population but lacks diversity on the Board, in administration and with the teaching staff. I am running to promote diversity and inclusion in education. I feel I can give valuable input to the board. This is my way of serving my community. I enjoy being a part of the decision making process regarding how to best prepare our children for their adult lives.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Minority students are more likely to receive negative treatment in education; less likely to be selected for advance placement opportunities and are disproportionately disciplined. Avondale’s staff is is not representative of the student population. Minority students need to see professionals that reflect their race, ethnicity and culture.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

More opportunities to learn in a method that is conducive to the individual student by creating an environment where students want to participate.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Utilizing a team approach in decision making while building skills that allow students to actively make choices early in their educational career is imperative to longterm success.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

None at this time.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

Diversity and Inclusion ; Educational Injustice towards minority students; and Career Path Readiness

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

Budget, Technology and Curriculum issues.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

Making sure that students are able to learn during this pandemic rather in school or virtually. Equitable resources for the entire student population. Keeping the youth safe in school and out of school must be a priority.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Technology, facilities and staffing are a priority.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Standardized testing has historically been detrimental to minority students and highly prejudicial in urban school districts. Testing should be individualized with necessary accommodations to fit the students needs.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

Increasing the cultural representation in curriculum.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

If the mental health of the student is ignored failure of the student is very likely. The school must address the whole student to ensure success.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

The punishment should reflect the crime and not be biased.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Lack of resources to provide educational opportunities reflective of the student’s individual needs.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

The staff and administration should be reflective of the student population. Increase incentives to attract minority and male teachers.

Any other information you want to include or share?

Thank you for this opportunity.