Early Childhood AND PRESCHOOL EDUCATION
The Mounds Park Academy private PreK program in St. Paul is designed to provide a flexible, family-friendly, developmentally-appropriate foundation for children who are age three by September 1 of the academic year through kindergarten. At MPA, our private school experience is designed to inspire and energize. Students of all ages, including those in preschool, feel great about school and treat each other with respect.
MPA's Approach To Early Childhood Education
PreK at MPA supports the intellectual, emotional, and social development needs of young children in a positive and nurturing environment. The early education program focuses intently on discovery, creative exploration, and natural curiosity by facilitating the education of the whole child in an exceptionally joyful environment. Mounds Park Academy students dream big, roll up their sleeves, and take risks to build their creative confidence. Rooted in MPA’s independent school mission for all grades, PreK-12, the following are cornerstones of the PreK program philosophy:
- We provide a classroom environment where each child is valued and where warm, nurturing relationships are evident.
- We address all areas of the young learner including cognitive, physical, and social/emotional development.
- We plan a relevant early education curriculum that provides structure as well as flexibility in responding to the needs of individual children.
- We present concept knowledge in an integrated and embedded fashion.
- We provide a safe, welcoming, nurturing, and engaging environment.
- We provide parents with feedback and assessment information regarding their child on a regular basis that includes conferences, written summaries, and a portfolio.
- We develop emerging literacy skills and offer exposure to a wide base of quality children’s literature.
This philosophy is also rooted in the National Association for Young Children’s guidelines for developmentally appropriate practice. Children are viewed as active participants in their learning and are encouraged to try a wide variety of activities. Each child’s developmental level is respected, and instruction is geared toward the individual’s needs. Social and emotional development and group skills are emphasized and shaped by guided play and group participation.
Campus & Learning Environment
The classroom environment is carefully planned and organized into learning centers: art and writing, sensory, dramatic and symbolic play, large group, quiet reading, math manipulatives, blocks, and small group areas.
Students and parents are able to take full advantage of the many opportunities provided on the Mounds Park Academy campus. PreK students are integrated, where appropriate, into private school life at MPA including participating in monthly character education assemblies and Lower School Monday Morning Meetings to build community, share student successes, and cover division-wide topics. And PreK families are integrated into all Mounds Park Academy events and programs from a robust athletics program to Book Festival, parent education, volunteer opportunities and much more.
School Year Program Details
The PreK program at MPA features small class sizes with one preschool teacher for every 10 students with no more than 20 children enrolled. On average, the teacher to student ratio at MPA is 1:7, which is a hallmark of a private school experience. The early learning program is flexible allowing for both full and part-time students. The class meets from 8 AM to 3 PM Monday through Friday following the MPA school calendar. Tuition includes lunch and before and after school care each day starting at 7:30 AM and after school until 5:30 PM, as needed by parents. Financial assistance is available starting in kindergarten. Students must be fully potty trained to be enrolled in MPA's PreK program. The program is licensed by Minnesota’s Department of Human Services (DHS) Division of Licensing and evaluated in writing annually by our staff.
Summer Program Details
Beginning in the summer of 2022, MPA added a summer option to our PreK program. Summer PreK keeps the school year program's small class sizes, continues the 1:7 teacher to student ratio and incorporates the same joyful, active programming offered during the school year, but with significantly more time dedicated to outdoor adventures. Students spend much of the day outside developing an appreciation for nature, building gross motor skills, engaging in social emotional growth and honing character development, both on MPA's 32 acre campus and beyond. Summer at PreK students must be 36 months by July 1 and fully potty trained.
Preschool Admission Process
The admission process is made up of a series of steps that will help us get to know students who are considering Mounds Park Academy. We also encourage families to join us on campus for a variety of events throughout the year as that is the best way to learn about all of the wonderful opportunities Mounds Park Academy has to offer.