Middle School at Mounds Park Academy
MPA's Middle School for students in grades five through eight is a place where learning comes alive, where students are challenged and pushed to excel and succeed, and where it is cool to be smart, easy to shine, and okay to make mistakes. Every student needs a school they can call their own, a place of security and adventure, and MPA is just that school.
Our Approach to Teaching and Learning
Middle School brings a gentle push. Students are expected to be increasingly responsible for their own academic journey. This is done in small classes with phenomenal support from exceptional teachers. They love being in the middle because it is here where they are encouraged to discover their passions and follow them through increasingly complex, interdisciplinary courses. Able to take risks in a safe environment, they become ready to push their own limits.
Instruction in the Middle School is inquiry-based and child-centered. Students are active in their learning, participating in ways that acknowledge their contribution to the learning process. Most importantly, it is a safe place, both physically and emotionally, and students are joyful learners.
MPA teaches to the whole child. Students take a wide variety of classes from subject-matter experts, including world language, visual art, drama, choir, instrumental music, and physical education every year to round out their education. The curriculum is integrated between subjects when possible so that learning is connected and reinforced.
Students venture away from our Saint Paul campus frequently in Middle School to apply, deepen, and expand their learning. Whether they are studying Karst geology in Lanesboro or local citizenship in their neighborhoods, students clearly see that what they are learning in the classroom has significance in our world. They are encouraged daily to think big about how their knowledge impacts our shared future. At MPA, this is considered the ultimate form of rigor.
The program is rooted in a deep understanding of the developmental needs (social, physical, emotional, and intellectual) that students bring to school. Adolescents vary significantly, and the faculty receive ongoing training in research-based best practices to meet their needs.
Innovation Term is a signature Middle School program that offers students an intensive learning experience in a single class of their choice. One week. One class. Zero grades. This is inquiry-based, experiential learning that goes far beyond what can normally happen in the classroom. Students in small, mixed-grade classes go into the community, work with subject-matter experts, and ignite some serious passions along the way.
The AnnMarie Thomas Makerspace (the only of its kind in the Twin Cities) allows students to use creativity and critical thinking to bring their dreams to life, limited only by their own capacity for innovation.
A strong emphasis on character development continues in Middle School where it is woven throughout every facet of the students' day. In addition, a formal program creates the opportunity to dive deeper through common language, monthly assemblies, small group discussions, self-reflection, and goal setting. Students are safe, valued, and respected among their peers, allowing them to be who they are truly meant to be and enabling them to focus on college-preparatory academics and activities.
Furthermore, students' social and personal skills are strengthened through advisory and seminar courses, and a wide range of extracurricular and athletic opportunities.
Middle School 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 for a private middle school education. 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.