How can we help struggling students recover from COVID learning loss? Together.

COVID-19 has caused seismic disruptions in education. As is often the case, low-income, urban children have suffered disproportionately. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, tens of thousands of youth missed nearly a year of in-person learning. Children from low-income families also had significantly less access to technology, live online instruction, and support.

Together, these factors – compounded by racial tensions, violence, and other trauma – have taken a devastating toll on children. Now, as we plan for the coming school year, many are asking: how can we help struggling students move forward?

Through the years, we’ve applied five core strategies that have proven successful for our students – strategies that we believe are essential for helping urban youth persevere and excel in this present moment:

1. Give Students Real Hope

As students walk through the doors of Hope Academy, many have already faced significant challenges. Most of our students are living near or below poverty level, and many have experienced high amounts of trauma. That’s why a core aspect of our mission is to foster hope in God for our students, families, and city.

Beginning in kindergarten, students memorize the Hope Academy Declaration, learning that “God loves me—beyond my imagination” and that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Third graders study the story of Joseph, and discover that sometimes God allows hard things to happen as part of his bigger story of redemption. Teachers pray with, disciple, and encourage their students daily to help each child know and walk with God.

At Hope Academy, we’ve seen that perseverance doesn’t come by looking inward, but looking upward. Whether you are a parent, teacher, family member or neighbor, you can point a child to Christ in this season. Start by asking God for help. He is for you, and He has made great promises to be your strength.

2. Partner with Parents

Numerous studies have found that, when parents are actively involved at school, children do better academically, socially, and emotionally–and are more likely to succeed long-term (Kelty & Wakabayashi, 2020) [1].

Hope Academy works especially hard to build strong partnerships with urban families, and to equip and support each parent for the success of their child. Teachers personally connect with parents often throughout the year.

We do a “home visit” with every student and their family during the Minnesota Education Association Break. Each year, parents are required to attend two Saturday school parenting workshops, two parent-teacher conferences, and receive parent report cards to provide accountability and celebrate success.

Years of trust-building, investing in relationships, and accountability have resulted in remarkable engagement at Hope Academy. Even during a pandemic, students were actively involved in their classes (with 96% attendance), and 98% of parents completed their conferences.

Schools and parents—partnering together is one of the most important things we can do for our children’s success.

3. Provide Support and Accountability

At Hope Academy, we call all of our students to high standards; and we provide the support and resources they need to excel.

About two thirds of Hope Academy students receive additional academic, social, and emotional/behavioral support—to help them combat the effects of poverty, trauma, and other challenges. Teachers and staff invest significant additional time to build trust and relationships with students, and to understand the root causes of academic and behavioral challenges.

Though there have been many setbacks for the youth of our city, we cannot lower our expectations. This would be a significant injustice. We can, however, invest more time, attention, and support to help each student rise to the challenge. A Christian academy private school is well-equipped to do just that.

At Hope Academy, we’ll be increasing math and reading support in the classroom this coming school year. Parents, we encourage you to visit the library with your children and to spend time reading together every day. If you don’t have children, consider becoming a tutor or mentor. Your time is one of the greatest gifts you can give to a child.

4. Encourage Continued Growth and Excellence

Research shows that low-income youth typically suffer the greatest learning losses during summer (McCombs et al., 2020) [2]. With support from Hope Academy’s summer school program, students are beating these odds. Each year from June to July, our K-8 students receive critical support in areas like math and reading; expand their learning through new subjects and electives; connect with caring teachers and staff; and continue building friendships with their classmates.

This year and next year, summer school will be more important than ever for helping students—especially students from economically disadvantaged families—combat learning loss, trauma, and other challenges, and prepare for success at the next grade level.

5. Work Together to Increase Access

The past 16 months have reminded us of just how much a remarkable, God-centered education is needed for children in Minneapolis. We’re working hard to connect with more families who live in the highest-need areas of our city (with an emphasis on reaching low-income, families of color), and to welcome more students to Hope Academy in the fall.

For 21 years, volunteers, partner organizations, and donors have helped us serve hundreds of families who couldn’t otherwise afford to send their children to a private school, much less a Christian Academy. At Hope Academy, no child is ever turned away for lack of funds. Through our Partner-Student sponsorship program, each family has ‘skin in the game’ and contributes a sacrificial tuition amount (together providing 10% of the cost to educate our students). Hundreds of financial partners generously provide for the remaining 90%—keeping Hope Academy accessible to all. 

Partnering with Hope Academy is a significant way you can support struggling students in Minneapolis. We invite you to learn more here. 

COVID-19 has brought to light many inequities in urban education—inequalities that, sadly, have persisted for many years. But, at Hope Academy, these five strategies are helping urban youth persevere and achieve excellence, year after year.

There is Hope, if we continue to lean on the Lord, work hard, and fight this fight together.

Learn more about Hope Academy’s approach and impact in urban education by watching our Hope in a Half Hour video story.

[1] Kelty, N. E., & Wakabayashi, T. (2020). Family Engagement in Schools: Parent, Educator, and Community Perspectives. SAGE Open, 10(4), 215824402097302. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244020973024

[2] McCombs, J. S., Augustine, C. H., Pane, J. F., & Schweig, J. (2020). (rep.). Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project. RAND Corporation. Retrieved from https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/every-summer-counts-a-longitudinal-analysis-of-outcomes-from-the-national-summer-learning-project.aspx

Is There Hope for Minneapolis?

COVID-19 cases are declining, mask mandates have lifted, and businesses are opening back up again. Summer in Minnesota feels more hopeful this year, doesn’t it?

Many of us are seeing loved ones we haven’t seen in months. We’re celebrating graduations, birthdays, reunions, and simple pleasures like eating at restaurants. Kids are playing sports, and enjoying programs and camps. We’re excited to embrace normal life again.

But, for many of our urban neighbors—especially in Minneapolis—it’s going to be a longer road to recovery. After nearly a year of distance learning only, social disconnection, and inconsistent support, thousands of youth in our city are heading into a new school year unprepared. With fewer resources and supports, low-income children of color have been impacted more severely —suffering up to a full year of learning loss, according to the latest national estimates by McKinsey & Company in December 2020 [1].

The compounded effects of last summer’s rioting and unrest–plus near-record levels of violent crime this year—have continued to deeply impact urban families. So far in 2021, there have been more than 3,000 violent crimes reported in our city, including 46 homicides (City of Minneapolis, July 2021) [2].

What’s the solution?

Education seems to be the logical answer. People with a high school diploma or advanced degree are much more likely to have higher earnings and to avoid incarceration. In America, the median annual income for a full-time employed young adult (age 25-34) with a Bachelor’s degree is nearly two times higher than the median annual income of a young adult with no high school diploma (National Center for Education Statistics, 2019) [3].

Sadly, in Minnesota state prisons, only 29% of inmates have a traditional high school diploma (MN Department of Corrections, 2021) [4].

In 2017, The Alliance for Excellent Education estimated that, across the Twin Cities metro, higher graduation rates for just one  high school class would lead to millions of dollars in additional earned income, millions of dollars in public healthcare savings, substantial job growth, and a stronger overall economy [5]

Academic achievement plays an important role in financial success, and can serve as a powerful deterrent from crime. But, as parents and educators, we have to be careful not to focus on teaching head knowledge at the expense of shaping values and character.

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said:

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”

At Hope Academy, we focus on feeding both the hearts and minds of our students. We believe every child was made in the image of God and is capable of achieving great things.

Through a classical, Christian K-12 education, students are challenged to seek goodness, truth, and beauty as they learn about God and His Creation, study Latin, read the Great Books of Western Literature, memorize our school’s creed, and think critically during Socratic discussions and debates.

Our goal is to teach students how to think, not just what to think—to help students discern what is true and false, and what to treasure as they engage with the world around them. One of our teachers shares more about classical education at Hope Academy in this video.

“Our hope is not just to elevate our students’ understanding or status, we want them to come to know their Savior, and we want to raise disciples."

Hope Academy Teacher

Teachers and staff also seek to model Christ to their students daily, and encourage each child to grow in faith and the H.O.P.E values of honor, optimism, perseverance, and excellence. Students pray and worship together, mentor younger peers, and serve in the community. Report cards measure growth in both character and academics.

In our 21st year as a school, we’re beginning to see more of the long-term fruit of this work as students graduate from Hope Academy, pursue higher education, advance in careers, and grow as followers of Christ.

Kenneth graduated from Hope Academy in 2018 and is now a first-generation college student at the University of Northwestern-St. Paul, on a full-ride, full-need scholarship. During the 2019-20 school year, he and several Hope Academy alumni mentored younger students through a local youth ministry, and served our South Minneapolis community following the devastating riots.

Israel graduated this spring and will become a first-generation college student in the fall, on a significant scholarship to the University of Minnesota-Carlson School of Management.

Aaleyah also graduated from Hope Academy this spring on a full-ride scholarship to Hillsdale College. At our graduation ceremony, Aaleyah shared:

“In a time when political, ethnic, and ideological divisions are tearing our communities apart, our time at Hope has taught us the truth… We have learned the values that are essential to righteously fight for justice: human dignity, sacrificial love, and forgiveness.” 

We’re so grateful to see Hope Academy students living out these values and fostering hope in God throughout our community. For more encouraging stories, take a look at our Annual Report here:

If you’d like to take a deeper look at Hope Academy, we invite you to watch our Hope in a Half Hour video story—to see how a remarkable, Christian education is bringing hope to Minneapolis at time when it couldn’t be more needed.

[1] Dorn, E., Hancock, B., Sarakatsannis, J., & Viruleg, E. (2020, December 8). COVID-19 and learning loss–disparities grow and students need help. https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/public-and-social-sector/our-insights/covid-19-and-learning-loss-disparities-grow-and-students-need-help.

[2] City of Minneapolis. (n.d.). Crime statistics dashboard. Police Crime Statistics Dashboard – City of Minneapolis. https://www.minneapolismn.gov/government/government-data/datasource/crime-statistics-dashboard/.

[3] National Center for Education Statistics. (2019). Table 502.30. Median annual earnings of full-time year-round workers 25 to 34 years old and full-time year-round workers as a percentage of the labor force, by sex, race/ethnicity, and educational attainment: Selected years, 1995 through 2018. https://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d19/tables/dt19_502.30.asp.

[4] MN Department of Corrections . (2021). (rep.). Minnesota Department of Corrections Adult Prison Population Summary. Retrieved from https://mn.gov/doc/assets/Adult%20Prison%20Population%20Summary%201-1-2021_tcm1089-467125.pdf

[5] Alliance for Excellent Education, December 2017. Retrieved from http://impact.all4ed.org/Infographics/MSA/Minneapolis-Saint%20Paul-Bloomington-MN-WI-MSA-GradEffect-Infographic-FINAL.pdf

Helping Your Child Succeed from Kindergarten Graduation to High School Graduation

Every parent wants their child to succeed.

Kindergarten graduation should only be the first of many future graduations throughout a child’s life and education.

Sadly, for many children in Minneapolis, there will be no high school graduation. By God’s grace, the tide is turning for the youth of our city at Hope Academy. 

Across all classes, a remarkable 96% of our seniors have graduated on time—one in six on full-tuition college scholarships! Graduates are pursuing higher education, advancing in their careers, growing in faith, and becoming leaders and mentors in their families and communities. 

So, where does this all start? Kindergarten.

“Kindergarten launches a child into their capacity to learn for life; and so, in some ways, kindergarten is more important than any other grade.”

Alicia Carman, Kindergarten Teacher

Beginning with our youngest learners, Hope Academy focuses on educating the whole child and helping each student live up to his or her God-given potential. One of our parents shared:

“They genuinely care how the students are doing. If he even lags behind a little bit, they give him all the necessary help to keep him ahead of the game. It’s just all-around a wonderful school, and I would recommend it to anybody.”

Hope Academy Mom

At Hope Academy, we believe partnering with parents is one of the most important things we can do for a child’s success. Our goal is to provide a community where students and parents feel welcome and loved and where children can thrive in kindergarten and beyond.

“If a parent is confident, that confidence is known very quickly by a five-year-old,”  shared Shalom Mui, one of our Kindergarten teachers.

“My greatest suggestion is to get all of your questions answered as a parent. Feel confident. Feel assured. Know what’s happening in that space so that your child can see and feel that you are confident—that that is a good place God is calling your family to this upcoming school year."

Shalom Mui, Kindergarten Teacher

What else is unique about Hope Academy–and can help your child succeed?

Watch as our parents, students, and teachers share more:

We are so excited to welcome 60 new kindergarten students to Hope Academy in the coming school year. Thanks to the generosity of our financial partners, we are able to keep tuition affordable for all—making a remarkable, God-centered K-12 education accessible to all our neighbors.

If your family is interested in Hope Academy’s programming, we invite you to learn more by contacting our Admissions Team! They would love to speak with you and answer any questions you might have. 

We also want to encourage you with two ways you can help ensure that your child’s kindergarten graduation is the first of many future graduations.

  1. Read with your child every day.
    While we’ve all had to rely on more screens over the past year, one of the best things we can do for our children is to turn off the TV and read. Reading wonderful books will help your child gain more confidence, improve focus and memory, develop a more profound love for learning, and prepare for long-term success. We challenge you to read with your child for 30 minutes each day. You won’t regret it! 
  2. Pray regularly for your child. 
    God’s Word says that we can be confident of this: that the Lord who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6). Our hope for our children’s future ultimately depends on God. And, He Is faithful! Ask God to provide you with wisdom and strength as a parent and to help your child know and love Him, and to grow into oaks of righteousness as they advance from kindergarten graduation to 12th-grade graduation and beyond.  

May God bless you with more joy in Him each day and as you prepare for this coming school year!

4 Ways Hope in God Made a Difference this School Year

If you’ve been around Hope Academy for any length of time, you’ve heard me say many times that “Hope in God changes everything.” To some of you, that may sound like a nice turn of phrase or a mere platitude.

But we all know that times of testing are revelatory, aren’t they? They’re an acid test that shows us what really matters. Especially tough times like this last year reveal whether hope in God is merely words on a page – or if faith makes all the difference.

While this year has been one of the hardest years in our 21-year history, it has also produced some of the most life-changing education that I’ve seen for inner-city youth. Let me share four ways that hope in God made a difference for the children of Hope Academy. Hope in God produced radical risk-taking, radical generosity, radical humility, and radical perseverance.

1. First, hope in God produced radical risk-taking. 

As most of us know, almost every school in our city cancelled in-person learning this last year—for the very children who needed in-person learning the most. Children who are already last in the country fell even further behind. Why was this? Ultimately, it was deemed to be too great a personal risk.

In contrast, Hope Academy staff acted like first responders who ran towards danger instead of running away from it. Hope in God enabled us to offer in-person learning to our students all year.

2. It also enabled radical generosity. 

God’s love enables us to do the most. If you’re like me, when trouble or difficulty comes my way, my natural inclination is to circle the wagons, do the least for others and become more protective of my own limited time and resources.

Let me tell you a story about the radical generosity of one of our teachers, Ms. Johnson. When we were forced to go to distance learning last March, one of our single parents struggled to support the at-home learning of her five children. Ms. Johnson saw the need, stepped up, and volunteered to provide respite care for two of the kids in her own home. This continued over the summer and into the fall. She provided a safe space in her home for the kids, taking them to parks and museums, and even including them in the daily chores.

Ms. Johnson’s respite care was a true lifeline for the family, helping them navigate some extreme challenges. Instead of kids falling through the cracks, kids were stabilized; and feeling safe, they have flourished this year.

And by the way, speaking of radical generosity, it was your generous giving that made it possible for others, like Ms. Johnson, to do the most this year. Thank you.

3. Third, hope in God has the power to create a radically humble and harmonious community in a polarizing environment.

Have we ever known a more hostile or contentious age than the one we’re in right now? But, if Jesus is King, then our response to this contentious age will be different.

We’ll be quicker to listen, slower to speak, and slower to become angry. We’ll be willing to take the plank out of our own eye before we fixate on someone else’s speck. Willing to follow Jesus’ example and take the lowly position of a servant. Willing to consider others more important than ourselves. Willing to apologize when we’ve missed the mark, and extend grace when we’ve been wronged.

This Christ-like humility is the only thing I know that has the power to bridge racial divides, heal economic disparities, and deescalate political tensions. At Hope Academy, we have one of the most beautiful opportunities to put the gospel on display for a watching world.

4. Fourth, and finally, hope in God cultivates radical perseverance in adversity. 

Starting in kindergarten, Hope Academy students learn that “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Third graders, learning the story of Joseph, discover that God is good all the time, and that sometimes he allows hard things, things we don’t understand, as part of his bigger story of redemption.

And what is the fruit of these seeds that have been planted? While thousands of children in our city failed classes or never showed up, Hope Academy students persevered through the challenges of this year and showed up day after day, with 96% daily attendance for online and in-person learning. When communication barriers and the technology learning curve brought teachers, students, and parents to tears, when parents juggled work, parenting, and school in a pandemic, when teachers put in double the work to teach hybrid classes, God somehow gave us the strength to persevere.

Perseverance doesn’t come by looking inward, but by looking upward. It’s the difference between saying, “you can do this!” and saying, “the God of the universe is with you and for you, and in him you can do this!” This is the perseverance I saw in three of our seniors who were recently awarded full-ride scholarships to Hillsdale College and North Central University. It’s the perseverance that’s needed to pursue educational justice for the youth of our city, despite enormous headwinds and challenges.

Speaking of perseverance, when you work at something for over 20 years, you begin to see a different kind of fruit. Systems change over long periods of time. Most of us are looking for a magic pill. Most of the time I don’t stick at things long enough to see oak tree-like results.

Last week I saw three things that really lifted my spirits, and I know they will lift yours as well.

  1. First, I saw that Hope Academy High School students would rather pray than protest. When presented with an opportunity to join other students in our city who walked out of schools to protest in our city, Hope Academy students rallied classmates to join them in the chapel to pray for the peace of our city and ask God for the courage to love their neighbors and make things better.
  2. Secondly, last week we hired one of our own graduates! She was a member of Hope’s first graduating class of 2012, a National Merit Scholar who went to an Ivy League school, and we just hired her for an important leadership position. She was willing to sacrifice better pay in order to join us in making a great Christ-centered education affordable to all.
  3. And third, last Saturday I was doing new family interviews for next fall’s kindergarten class. And guess who walked in? One of our former students with her 5-year-old son. She’s using her bi-lingual skills as a social worker in St. Paul, and she wants her son to have the same remarkable education that she had.

In Galatians 6, Paul says to us: “Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

God bless you, and let Hope arise!

Watch Russ give this talk at our latest Partner Day:





13 years later, this dad’s dream came true.

When Israel and Maria discovered Hope Academy, they knew they wanted to send their children here one day. While a private, Christian education felt out of reach, they hoped and prayed that God would make it possible–and He did.

Over the past 13 years, God has used Hope Academy to open tremendous doors of opportunity for this family. Be inspired as they share their story:





Their son has attended Hope Academy since kindergarten and will be graduating this spring—on a significant scholarship to the University of Minnesota. He will be a first-generation college student in the fall, studying entrepreneurial management at the Carlson School of Management.

Your support is transforming generations, and making dreams come true. Thank you!

5 tips for choosing a school for your child

Five Words of Advice When Selecting a School for your Child

By Russ Gregg, Head of School, Hope Academy

Let me begin by commending you for investing your time to research and select a great school for your child. Your choice of a school for your children is one of the 2 or 3 biggest decisions you will make in your lifetime.

Thirty years ago, my wife and I moved into the Phillip’s neighborhood in South Minneapolis. We raised our three children here. All are now college graduates, with successful careers, leading beautiful families. Based on my many years of experience, I want to share five words of advice for you to consider when choosing a school for your child.

First, Look for a True Education.

All schools used to be based on objective truth. Almost 100 years ago, the poison of relativism began seeping into American schools, capturing the minds and hearts of our youth. The Bible describes this enslavement as “being taken captive by hollow and deceptive philosophy.” School leaders today have largely rejected God and suppressed objective truth, replacing it with the false concept of relative, individual truths.

All education built on a fundamental lie will ultimately crumble and harm all those who have subjected themselves to it. Like those living in a city whose wall of protection has crumbled, the great hope for your children is to rebuild a wall of righteousness based on the unshakeable, unchanging truth of the Word of God.

Second, Look for an Academically Challenging and Spiritually Vigorous Education.

Beware of the soft bigotry of low expectations. A great school will not tolerate differing standards of education and behavior– a suburban standard and an urban standard. Great schools believe all students should be prepared to go on to college if they so choose.

This is why all students at Hope Academy study Latin for five years. They study Algebra as 8th graders and do a year of Calculus as seniors. All students at Hope Academy are expected to read and discuss great books, like the works of Shakespeare, Homer’s Odyssey, and Pride and Prejudice.

Look for a school that believes that all students are capable of practicing virtuous, moral behavior with God’s help. And look for a school that cultivates wonder and worship in your child. God created your child to love and enjoy God.

Third, Look for a Vibrant Community of Parents and Teachers.

What’s the single best predictor of school success? Engaged and involved parents.

Remember, you’re not just sending your child to a school. You’re really joining a school family. Ideally, that should sound inviting and empowering to you.

Jesus taught us something very important about all education. He said, “when a student is fully trained, he will become like his teacher.” This is an inviolable principle. You can’t avoid it!

Look very carefully into who will be teaching your child. If Jesus is correct, then your children will grow up to resemble their teachers.

Fourth, Look for Educational Accountability.

You may be the one person in a million who doesn’t require accountability, but all the rest of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, know we need accountability. All the most successful people in the world are keenly aware of their own weaknesses, and they purposefully invite accountability into their lives.

The parents at Hope Academy make a solemn pledge to be involved and engaged in their child’s education, and they are willing to be held accountable to that pledge. Therefore, 97% of Hope Academy parents attend their child’s Parent/Teacher conference, and those who miss their conference get it rescheduled the following week.

Finally, Look for a Sacrificial Education.

As in most things, beware of anything that’s free. We all know there is no such thing as a free lunch, or a free cruise to the Bahamas. Beware of any schools that cost you nothing. There’s something dynamic about a school where everyone has some skin in the game.

Let’s review my five words of advice in selecting a school. I strongly suggest that you look for:

  • A true education built on the truth of the word of God.
  • A rigorous education that cultivates wisdom, wonder, and worship.
  • An authentic educational community of parents and teachers.
  • An accountable education, where accountability is welcomed and not resented.
  • Finally, a sacrificial education, where everyone has some skin in the game.

Ultimately, all schooling comes down to trust. As a parent, you must find a school for your children led by people you deeply trust. Unless you are home-schooling, you will be entrusting your greatest treasures in the world to a school for the next 13 years. In the strongest possible terms, I advise you not to send your children to a school unless you have complete trust in the leaders of that school.

Choosing a school for your children is one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. We pray that God will help you and your family as you make this life-changing decision!





 





 

 

 

 

What difference does God’s love make?

His love gives us a new perspective.

Every child at Hope Academy learns our school’s creed, which proclaims: “I am created in the image of God, and he loves me–beyond my imagination.” As students and teachers recite these priceless truths, we learn to see ourselves and each other from God’s perspective.

His love gives us courage.

In Hope’s creed, we also learn that, “God calls me to love and serve the Lord Jesus Christ…to not do harm against another, but to love and encourage others, and to serve my community. For I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Our staff, families, and partners have done this in beautiful, heroic, myriad ways, fueled by God’s life-changing love.

His love fills us with hope.

As we’ve faced the many stresses of this year, my spirits have been lifted remembering, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us” (Romans 5:3-5). Amen!

May you be encouraged and filled with the love of Christ today.
Let Hope Arise

How School’s Going this Year

While this has undoubtedly been the most challenging school year we’ve faced, we’re also seeing God do some extraordinary things at Hope Academy.
Be encouraged as you watch this mid-year update:





By God’s grace, your prayers and support are enabling us to provide the love, structure, and learning that children so desperately need right now. Thank you for investing in the youth of our city.

3 million missing from school | The difference you’re making.

With up to three million children missing from school nationwide, we’re extra grateful for 14 weeks (and counting!) of mostly in-person learning, and the stability and normalcy it’s brought to our students and families. Here are just a few ways we’ve seen God at work through your prayers and support:

  • 545 urban children are receiving a remarkable, God-centered education at Hope Academy.
  • Students are actively engaged in their classes, with 95% attendance.
  • Each child has a technology device and safe access to their schoolwork.
  • 97% of parents completed their parent-teacher conferences.
  • Hundreds of parents were equipped at Parent Involvement Day. Workshops covered topics like: helping children cope with trauma, communicating effectively with teens, and staying mentally and physically healthy during winter.

 

  • Staff have distributed $32,000 in Crisis Relief Funds to families and connected them to other resources in the community.
  • We’ve added a second school social worker to help families with the immense challenges of this year.
  • Students and families are being blessed with new books, gifts to open on Christmas, and a special holiday meal to enjoy.

In this especially challenging year, you are helping to make Hope possible for hundreds of children and families in Minneapolis. We thank God for you and pray this season brings you more joy in Him.

Update from Hope Academy in Week 8!

Dear Hope,

We’re thanking God to be in week 8 of this school year, and wanted to share an update. Though it has been by far the most challenging and complex school year, we praise God that we’re able to continue caring for the majority of students in-person (about 70%), as well as providing online schooling for those who need it (about 30%).

Even with face masks, desk dividers, and new protocols, children know they are loved, and are adapting to this year’s new normal. Students are happy to see their teachers and friends again, and flourish with structure and routine.

Last week, teachers did a virtual “home visit” with each family in their class, connecting, encouraging, and praying for one another. Next Saturday, we’ll host a virtual Parent Involvement Day, providing a variety of workshops parents can choose for their growth and equipping.

This fall, we’re also grateful to have launched initial HopeTech courses in woodworking, coding, robotics, and more. This is part of a broader initiative to better prepare students for the future of work by exposing them to the trades and technology, in addition to their classical coursework.In all of this, we praise God that He is our Rock, our Refuge, and our Hope in times of trouble. As the world continues to swirl around us, He is constant, eternal, and unchanging. If you are praying, giving, or otherwise supporting our community in this time, thank you. You are making a world of difference for children and families in our city. If you’d like to learn more or get involved in these ways, please see the links below.

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love, and Christ’s perseverance.” 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Let Hope Arise,


Russ Gregg
Co-Founder & Head of School