Frequently Asked Questions
A — At every grade level, MPA fosters a spirit of innovation that fuels creative thinking and allows students to experience the joy of learning. The academic environment is individualized and challenging, but not overly competitive.
Teachers emphasize collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and deep understanding over rote memorization, creating active and engaging learning opportunities with real-world applications. At MPA, academic rigor has purpose and students understand that purpose is to make the world a better place.
MPA students, in partnership with their teachers, dive deep into content, always attempting to answer the "why." Block scheduling supports this approach at the Middle and Upper School levels, allowing more time to grapple with complex topics and sustain discussions that truly matter.
MPA embraces a whole child approach to learning, with specialists in fields such as art, music, drama, technology to students as young as PreK. MPA prepares students for college, and more importantly, for life.
A — Upon enrollment at MPA, there are countless ways for parents to get involved in life on campus, no matter what your time commitment is. Our community is strengthened by parent involvement.
Mounds Park Academy is supported by a strong Parents Association, an organization of volunteers who actively support the MPA mission and promote community within the school. The Parents Association aims to enrich the MPA experience through community building, continuing traditions, supporting faculty and staff, and acting as a resource for all families.
In addition, many opportunities exist for parents to get involved with the daily operations of the school and special events. The support of our parent volunteers, at all grade levels, is central to Mounds Park Academy offering exceptional opportunities.
A — Mounds Park Academy families hail from 63 different zip codes throughout the greater Twin Cities and Western Wisconsin region. Moreover, many of our families have relocated to the area from across the country and from around the world. The school is built upon shared values, not geography, which brings families who are committed to the school's mission together outside of their own physical community.
A — With MPA families hailing from 63 different zip codes in the Twin Cities, they arrive to school via three ways: their own personal transportation, busing, and carpooling. Many families find the commute convenient on their way to and from the cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Other families collaborate and carpool from a variety of suburbs throughout the metro area.
In addition, MPA offers extensive bus services that parents with students of all ages take advantage of. Three MPA bus routes are being offered for the 2018–19 school year under a group stop model. They serve the following areas: Stillwater, Lake Elmo, Woodbury, Falcon Heights, Ham Lake, Lino Lakes, Little Canada, North Oaks, Roseville, Shoreview, St. Paul, Vadnais Heights, and White Bear Lake. MPA provides extra care especially for younger students who are escorted to the bus area by an administrator to ensure that every student boards the correct bus safely. In addition, bus drivers do not leave a bus stop until all children are picked up by parents in the afternoon.
MPA students who live within the boundaries of Independent School District 622 (North St. Paul/Maplewood/Oakdale) are eligible for free bus service to MPA. These routes are planned by District 622. If families living outside ISD 622 are willing to drive to an existing bus stop within the district, they can also ride these buses.
A — Yes, Mounds Park Academy offers an extensive before and after school care program called Panther Club for students in PreK through grade four and Panther Den for students in grades five through eight. The programs are offered on a drop-in basis with no advance registration required.
PreK Panther Club is a DHS licensed, safe and nurturing before and after school program in which children are allowed choices in play areas, arts and crafts, as well as large muscle activities and games. It is included in the cost of tuition for families who wish to utilize it.
Panther Club for students in grades kindergarten through four includes planned lessons, time for study and homework, science activities, arts and crafts, age appropriate games, indoor and outdoor play, and a daily snack.
Panther Den for students in grades five through eight includes time for study and homework, outdoor and indoor play and group games, arts and crafts, and a daily snack.
A — Many activities are planned to help new students and families with the transition into MPA. All new incoming students in grades 1-8 are paired with a buddy student during the summer before entering the school. We try to match personalities and interests in making buddy assignments. In Upper School, social activities are thoughtfully planned by Peer Leaders – current students who take responsibility for welcoming new students to MPA – throughout the summer before new students enter. Students and faculty are very welcoming and curious about new additions to our family, and genuinely enjoy having new students in their classroom. Our families agree that MPA is, without a doubt, one of the most welcoming and inclusive environments they've ever experienced.
A — Mounds Park Academy, in partnership with Sage Dining Services, is committed to offering scratch-made and locally-sourced lunches for students that nourish minds and bodies while emphasizing nutrition, variety, and sustainability. The meals are healthy, plentiful, and tasty. A full salad bar, including an age appropriate version for our littlest students, pasta bar, soup station, and sandwich bar supplement the daily entree.
Plenty of time is given for students at each division level to get through the short line and eat their meal. In Lower School, students sit with their teachers and MPA staff during lunch, ensuring that each student is supported throughout the meal. In Middle and Upper School, students sit in mixed age groups of their choice, offering an expanded social network.
In addition, MPA believes in the importance of giving children time for recess. In Lower School, that means students have 55 minutes for lunch and recess. Even in Middle and Upper School they have 50 minutes for lunch, recess, and/or community time. Children of all ages need time to play and socialize! This is vital to their social, emotional, and academic development.
About the Admission Process …
A — 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. Depending upon the age of the student, those steps may include a play visit, shadow day, family interview, and more. Families are encouraged to visit campus for a variety of events throughout the year!
A — This is a question that many parents ask themselves as they consider a private school education. Often it is a matter of prioritizing one expense over another and cutting back on some incidentals in order to provide this exceptional experience for their children. In addition, for families who qualify, MPA offers financial assistance to nearly one-third of its families on an annual basis, totaling $2.2 million.
more information about affording MPA
more information about financial assistance
A — These deadlines allow for the maximum consideration for each applicant for either admission and/or financial aid funding. New applications for admission and financial aid will be considered as they are received after these respective deadlines and will be based on a space- and/or funds-available basis. Please contact the Office of Admission with any questions.