Upper School Student Support Services
The purpose of MPA’s Upper School Student Support Services Team is to provide support and guidance to our students who are experiencing challenges that are impacting them at school. These difficulties may be emotional, social, academic, behavioral and/or health-related in nature. This also team consults and guides students’ teachers and families.
Students with documented disabilities are eligible for a support plan. These individualized plans are created using an existing IEP and/or 504 Plan and include an overall student profile as well as accommodations based on assessment information, family input, and MPA’s guidelines. The support plan is then shared with the student’s teachers so that accommodations can be provided in the classroom.
Mental Health Support For Anxiety and Depression
Students seeking mental health support regularly connect with the school counselor and school psychologist to process and work through some of the challenges they are experiencing. Additionally, grade level meetings are a place for the school counselor and school psychologist to discuss (with the student’s permission) any supports they need from their teachers or classes. The school counselor and school psychologist are a resource for all students, but especially students with a specific mental health diagnosis.
Academic Support For ADD, ADHD, and Dyslexia
Students with diagnosed learning challenges work directly with the learning specialist on a regular basis to make sure they are supported and successful in their classes. Other additional supports include extended time on tests and/or taking examinations in a separate location to help a student focus. The Student Care Team regularly checks in with the learning specialist to see how students with learning challenges are doing in class, and to ensure they are receiving the supports they need.
Grade Level Meetings
Upper School teachers meet for bi-weekly grade level meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to closely monitor student progress, celebrate student achievements, and plan for upcoming grade level activities and events. This regular communication ensures that MPA teachers are connected with all Upper School students. Confidential information is shared only on a need-to-know basis and only when it is in the student’s best interest.
Student Care Team
If there are ongoing or significant concerns regarding a student, a referral is made to the Student Care Team for additional consultation and support. This team meets weekly and consists of the Upper School director, director of guidance, counselors, and the learning specialist; teachers are included as needed. This group gathers information, develops and initiates a plan to help support the student, and does periodic checks to monitor student progress.
Meet the Team
Mark Segal, Upper School Director
Randy Comfort, Upper School Director of Guidance
Ashley Cooper serves as our 7-12 school counselor. She partners with teachers, parents, staff and administrators to support students' social and emotional health. Ms. Cooper meets with students individually and in group settings, provides in-service education on various mental health topics, collaborates with families and teachers on student support plans, and provides community referrals. She holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities and an M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Bethel University.
Dr. Jules Noland is available to students and parents of all grades, and conducts student assessments as the need arises. Parents may contact her directly at email@example.com or 651-426-4297. She is a licensed psychologist, nationally certified school psychologist, and president-elect for the Minnesota School Psychologists Association. Dr. Noland brings expertise in child and adolescent mental health, behavioral issues, school performance, learning issues, and effective teaching and parenting strategies.
Liz Schwalen serves as our Upper School Learning Specialist, a resource to students, families and teachers. She provides a variety of support in the Upper School including individual check-ins with students with support plans, guidance on the assessment process, consultation and support of classroom accommodations, testing accommodations, and more.
Family Resource Links
Helping Children Cope with Frightening News
Child Mind Institute
Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event
Child Mind Institute
Explaining the News to Our Kids
Common Sense Media
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
National Association of School Psychologists
How to Help Children and Youth Process the Capitol Insurrection
Spark and Stitch Institute
Teaching Resources to Help Students Make Sense of the Rampage at the Capitol
The New York Times and a variety of educational organizations
Leading Conversations After Crisis