At Mounds Park Academy, we know that in order for students to thrive, they must have opportunities to discover their passions and interests. Being involved in extra-curricular activities is expected and encouraged at MPA and that has a profound affect on the culture and character of the school. In fact, MPA looks for students who aren’t afraid to jump in and explore new things. We know that students consistently perform better academically when they’re involved in other parts of the school. They develop broader groups of friends, greater self-confidence, and deeper levels of tolerance and compassion. They become inspired by their experiences and unafraid of taking on new challenges.

Click on any of the groups below to learn more and note that offerings change annually.

GENERAL PURPOSE: Persuasive Communication is an academic class and an interscholastic competitive activity. Students can take Persuasive Communication and the Advanced Argumentation in succeeding years. Interested students not registered for Persuasive Communication are encouraged to consider debate as an extra-curricular activity.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: Students register for either class mentioned above. Students interested in debate as an extra-curricular activity should listen and watch for announcements of organizational meetings.

TIME INVOLVED: If taken as a class, the regular amount of time needed for a semester class. In addition, beginners compete at Tuesday afternoon practice tournaments.

COST INVOLVED: $10 National Forensic League fee (one time) plus $25 copy fee (instead of textbook).


TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: Depends on level of participation. Most students will miss part of fifth period once or twice.

TRAVEL OR DRIVING REQUIRED: Travel to tournaments in the Twin Cities and outstate Minnesota is provided.

PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Complete written and practice speech assignments as given, research on topic, preparation for competition as necessary

PARENT'S ROLE: Support student. Drop off and pick up at meeting place for tournaments.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: Teach and coach students in the art of debate.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Develops multiple perspectives on issues and respect for opponent's viewpoint; familiarity with public policy issues, research and problem solving skills. Beneficial on college applications and resumes.

GENERAL PURPOSE: To raise the school's awareness of the many environmental issues confronting society today. To actively participate in the improvement of the MPA environment.


TIME INVOLVED: Variable; meetings seem to be every week.





PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Attend meetings and help with events.


ADVISOR'S ROLE: Advise, inform, supervise.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Increased awareness of environmental issues, improvement of MPA environment.

GENERAL PURPOSE: Improve students' French language skills (members of club speak only in French during club meetings); promote awareness and understanding of current events in francophone countries; general interest in French culture by listening to French music, watching French movies, and sampling French food.'


TIME INVOLVED: Meet once a week during lunch/recess.





PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Must be interested in the above purpose; attend weekly meetings; enrollment in French class not required, some ability to speak or understand French would be advantageous.

PARENT'S ROLE: Support student participation in the club.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: Facilitate.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Opportunity tap speak and practice French outside of class, fosters interaction and communication between students of all grade levels, promotes awareness of global matters, broadens students' perspectives of other cultures.

GENERAL PURPOSE: To promote dialogue about sexualities, to promote awareness of and education about the nature of sexualities, to engender socialization with similar groups in other schools, to be active in promoting social change around issues of sexualities.

Education: We seek to educate ourselves and others to promote accurate information about GLBTQ issues and limit the negative effects of homophobia and heterosexism, especially within the school community.

Activism: We are dedicated to taking practical measures to help eradicate homophobia and heterosexism at all levels of contemporary society through political action.

Socialization: We seek to provide a safe atmosphere in which members can interact socially. We also identify similar groups in other schools and seek to develop a network of contacts.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: G.S.A. is open to all faculty, staff and students. Membership is not an indication of any individual's sexuality. Participation is open to all at each meeting.

TIME INVOLVED: Weekly GSA meetings are every Thursday during lunch and recess. We discuss current GLBTQ politics and problems and plan events.

COST INVOLVED: There are no dues, but participants may be asked to contribute on a voluntary basis for snacks, movie rentals, social outings, etc.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: None specifically…a brain, a heart and interest.

TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: Where special events are planned students may need some time out.

TRAVEL OR DRIVING REQUIRED: None, except for individual transport to other schools for meetings.

PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Participation in meetings, openness of mind, follow through with organization of events endorsed by the group, respect of confidentiality where needed, make-up of schoolwork missed because of any G.S.A. activity.

PARENT'S ROLE: Parents are encouraged to be interested and supportive. Their ideas, resources and suggestions are welcome where appropriate.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: Advisors will assist students in planning meetings and events, act as advocates and resources, provide guidance during meetings and events, and be present at those school sanctioned activities where a chaperone is beneficial.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Students who are interested in issues of sexualities will find an open, welcoming environment in which to learn, to think, to talk and to be. While not a support group per se, G.S.A. is supportive to students of all sexualities.

STUDENT CONTACT: Any member of the group.

Some important activities GSA students are involved in include the following:

Twin Cities Pride Festival: GSA has had a booth at this event since 2011 to increase awareness that Mounds Park Academy is welcoming and supportive environment. MPA has been the only K-12 school participating in this event.

National Coming Out Day at MPA is celebrated with a display booth in the senior commons. All members of the community are welcome to sign "The River", a large document in which anyone may pay tribute to a relative, friend, colleague or mentor who is GLBTQ. We respect privacy and provide guidelines for contributing to the River. Posters of famous GLBTQ people are placed in the upper school hallways. We aim for a mood that is upbeat and respectful. For example, the message all over the sign says, "Everyone deserves to be honored and respected".

Take a look at the following links for additional information.

Day of Silence at MPA is more somber. It invites members of the community to think about the ways in which GLBTQ people have been shut down, regarded as "other", denied civil rights, silenced by oppression. A display booth focuses on these elements. Students who elect to do so may wear a tag that states that they are being silent to support the message of the day. At the end of the day a breaking of the silence becomes a celebration.

Read the following links for more details about this day.

Lobby Day is an opportunity for older students to attend the rally at the State Capitol in support of GLBTQ civil rights. High school students under 18 may attend with parental permission. It is a good time to learn about the principles of lobbying for any cause, as participants can receive training in how to approach legislators. We listen to famous speakers give addresses from the steps of the Capitol and visit information booths set up on the Capitol grounds.

For additional information, click on the links below.

For some facts and figures about GLBTQ youth:
Visit the following Web site.

GENERAL PURPOSE: We recognize that we are in a position to contribute to the well being of the local community. We hope to do so by working in cooperation with local high schools and colleges to help build simple, decent, affordable housing for low income families. Participation in the student association TCCC requires that we raise $1,000 per year to cover our portion of the expenses. We also hope to educate the MPA community about the importance of eliminating poverty housing.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: Open to all interested parties.

TIME INVOLVED: Weekly meeting on Thursdays at lunch; volunteer time as desired.


SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Ability and/or willingness to learn construction skills.



PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Assist in fundraising and housing construction.

PARENT'S ROLE: Parents are invited to chaperone builds as needed.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: Oversight.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Great opportunity to help families in need.


GENERAL PURPOSE: Math League participates in the Minnesota High School Math League competitions. Students who love math and problem solving will enjoy participating in Math League.

HOW DOES ONE JOIN: Contact Mr. Ethier and come to practices and meets.

TIME INVOLVED: We practice a couple of times per week for an hour. Usually one morning and one after school practice. We participate in five regular season meets, which take several hours.


SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Graphing calculator.

TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: Little or none.

TRAVEL OR DRIVING REQUIRED: We have a bus to travel to and from our meets. No driving is required. Our meets are all in the Twin Cities.

PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Attending practices, doing practice packets, attending our five meets.

PARENT'S ROLE: Pick up your student from MPA after meets.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: Organize practices and make up practice packets. Accompanies team to meets.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Learning to solve challenging math problems, students will learn to think creatively using all their math knowledge and to persist and learn from failures.

GENERAL PURPOSE: Peer Leading is based on the belief that teens provide the first source of support for each other. Peer Leaders are trained to listen, reach out, maintain confidentiality, and be there when needed. Peer Leaders are also trained to know how to access other resources when necessary. Peer Leaders work with students in Grades K –12 in a variety of settings. They facilitate Middle School advisories, participate in class meetings/discussions, act as conflict managers, and plan programs intended to enhance school climate.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: Submits an application that is available in the spring to all interested students. The application is returned to the advisors and applicants are interviewed and selected.

TIME INVOLVED: The group meets every week during Upper School lunch. Throughout the year participants are asked to be at some evening activities including mentoring new students, new parents, Parent Association meetings and Kindergarten Family Night. In addition, each peer counselor must attend the training retreats in September and February.



TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: Students will miss a class from time to time to facilitate their Middle School advisories. Peer counselors are expected to clear these absences with their teachers.

TRAVEL OR DRIVING REQUIRED: To and from scheduled events or get togethers.

PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: To meet with their assigned Middle School advisory on a regular basis. Meet with any student who requests a peer counselor for support or conflict resolution. To attend weekly meetings and training sessions.

PARENT'S ROLE: To ask about the Peer Leader program and provide encouragement.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: To provide ongoing training, coordinate advisory involvement, facilitate meeting agendas, and foster positive personal and group growth.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Increased communication and leadership skills, a wonderful opportunity for personal growth, for supporting peers, building community, and increasing understanding of teen issues/concerns.

STUDENT CONTACT: Current Peer Leaders.

GENERAL PURPOSE: Quiz Bowl is an academic competition modeled after the National College Bowl program where extensive knowledge and quick reflexes are needed for success - the purpose is to have fun.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: By attending practices on a regular basis.

TIME INVOLVED: Two or three 45 minute sessions per week. Meets at zero hour.

COST INVOLVED: Three or four dinners on nights we have Quiz Bowl.


TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: Three nights for regular competition. There might be additional nights for quarter finals and finals. We leave school at 3:30 p.m., have dinner out, go to North High School for competition and get back to MPA around 9:30 p.m.

TRAVEL OR DRIVING REQUIRED: The students are driven in buses to and from meets.

PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Attending practices and the three scheduled nighttime matches.

PARENT'S ROLE: To pick up kids at 9:30 p.m. three times during the season if they don't drive.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: Arranges practices and accompanies team to competitions.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: It's a good way for like-minded students to meet, to have fun, to excel by using their wits and their intellect.

GENERAL PURPOSE: To allow MPA students the opportunity to participate in the sport of sailboat racing

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: Talk to the advisor. No previous sailing experience needed. Open to students in 7th-12th grade.

TIME INVOLVED: Practices are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 3:45 - 6:30 PM. The coach is very understanding of school commitments so not all practices are required. Races are Saturdays and are optional but recommended. There is a fall and a spring season - you can do either or both.

COST INVOLVED: $425 per season, $20 per Saturday race

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: A life jacket is required. Other equipment such as foul weather gear is recommended.

TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: None, unless the team qualifies for a traveling regatta.

TRAVEL OR DRIVING REQUIRED: Practice is at White Bear Yacht Club and transportation will be worked out on an individual basis. Races are all around the Twin Cities.

PARTICIPANT’S RESPONSIBILITIES: Go to as many practices and races as you can and be open to learning a new sport.

PARENT’S ROLE: Transport sailor to races, help with transport to practices.

ADVISOR’S ROLE: Help coordinate transportation, answer questions for new sailors.

BENEFIT TO STUDENTS: Sailboat racing is a life-long sport. Sailors learn independence, responsibility, teamwork, and sportsmanship. Sailing is the only co-ed high school or college sport.

GENERAL PURPOSE: SCC serves as a platform for students to lead discussions and debates on domestic/international issues. SSC creates a sense of global citizenship amongst students and increases social literacy through dialogue, guest speakers and action projects.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: Contact Ms. Murr or any other group members. All interested parties are welcome to join.

TIME INVOLVED: Attending weakly meetings during lunch.

COST INVOLVED: None for participants.




PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Researching chosen topics and leading discussions/debates.


ADVISOR'S ROLE: The organization is largely student run. The advisor does just that - advises when asked, attends meetings, assists with organization.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Develops a sense of global/national awareness and global citizenship. Helps to cultivate researching skills and brings to light multiple viewpoints. Spotlights topics that aren't built into school curriculum.

GENERAL PURPOSE: Improve Spanish listening and speaking skills of students. Although issues in the Spanish world are particularly relevant, we will talk about any topic in Spanish Club because it will improve one's Spanish language skills.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: A student is required to be enrolled in a Spanish class or have taken Spanish at MPA. To join, one simply attends meetings; it is crucial to attend every meeting.

TIME INVOLVED: Once a week or bi-weekly.



TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: May need to miss class in order to go to a hearing.


PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: None required, finding interesting subject matter to discuss with the group would be welcomed.


ADVISOR'S ROLE: Help with discussion and give opinion, shed new light on issues where advisor would have more experience than students.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Improve Spanish listening and speaking skills.

GENERAL PURPOSE: There are 13 events from which students can select to participate in and compete including public address and interpretation of literature. Students prepare for interscholastic competition.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: Sign up for speech team and get information in late fall. Meet with speech coach some time before winter break.

TIME INVOLVED: Practice with coach two times per week. Participate in a minimum of three tournaments out of a possible seven on Saturdays during January, February, March and April.

COST INVOLVED: $10 National Forensic League membership fee.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: A formal suit and shirt.

TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: Practice times after school, Saturdays and time to write and/or memorize a speech.

PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Prepare at home on own between practices; two practices minimum per week with coach and a minimum of three tournaments per season.

PARENT'S ROLE: Facilitate practices at home and with coach, commit to a minimum of three Saturdays that their student can compete, drop off and pick up child at meeting place on Saturdays.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: Coach student on speech presentational skills, help edit written speeches, schedule busses, hire judges, register students for tournaments, pay fees associated with judges/tournaments, and attend Section 4A meetings.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Increase communication and presentation skills, meet students from other schools, lettering(MPA), awards from National Forensic League, increase self-confidence. Always beneficial on college applications and resumes.

Watch a video about MPA's award-winning speech program:

GENERAL PURPOSE: This show performs for the MPA community each spring; it is an effort to learn and practice large-scale theatrical technique, particularly musical comedy.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: Auditions for roles are held in late October/early November. Crew positions are open to all who are interested and who show up for crew calls. Due to conflicts between play and sports practice times, students cannot participate in the spring play and in spring sports.

TIME INVOLVED: Cast rehearses M-F, 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.; some Saturdays, also. Rehearsals begin in late January and the show performs in April. Crews work as called.

COST INVOLVED: Personal items for the cast (shoes, undergarments, etc). Approx. $50.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT NEEDED: May need special shoes, tights, etc. Determined by choice of show.

PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: To be present for all cast and crew calls/rehearsals. To learn and perform the show. To do whatever is necessary for the success of the show.

PARENT'S ROLE: Provide transportation to and/or from rehearsals, crew calls. We depend upon our parent volunteers in many ways - from making costumes and scenery to picking up props and helping to strike the set.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: Select, cast, direct, and produce the show.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: A chance to practice theatrical techniques learned in class and to learn some new ones. An opportunity to work with a large group of students across five grade levels. An opportunity to perform a large-scale work produced in a large venue.

GENERAL PURPOSE: To promote student activities, provide student input to the school leadership and support community service.

WHEN AND HOW ONE BECOMES A PARTICIPANT: Elections in fall and spring.

TIME INVOLVED: Extensive, especially at times such as Homecoming and SnoDaze.



TIME OUT OF SCHOOL: Occasionally miss class to set up for events.

TRAVEL OR DRIVING REQUIRED: No, though attendance at school events is expected.

PARTICIPANT'S RESPONSIBILITIES: Significant, depending on office.

PARENT'S ROLE: Support the students.

ADVISOR'S ROLE: To help troubleshoot and maximize students' potential.

BENEFIT TO STUDENT: Learn leadership and communication skills.

STUDENT CONTACT: Elected officers