Welcome to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul! With any relocation, there are many moving parts as families transition their lives somewhere new, often on short notice. Finding a welcoming school community is one of the most important factors in a successful relocation.
Mounds Park Academy has become a premier destination for relocating families because of the close knit, warm community and international flair. With 3M, Ecolab, The University of Minnesota, Medtronic, Boston Scientific and many other corporations and nonprofit organizations nearby, MPA is home to numerous Twin Cities transplants from across the United States and around the world.
Relocating families may be unfamiliar with the unique culture at each of the Twin Cities independent schools, and therefore it can be difficult to truly get a sense of which school or schools will offer the best fit for their children. At MPA, relocating families may find that perusing our social media pages helps overcome this sense of unfamiliarity. MPA’s social media provides a sense of our community’s culture of inclusivity and welcoming disposition. From capturing the Homecoming Pep Rally on Facebook, to documenting our annual senior walk on YouTube, to reporting athletics scores via Twitter, to promoting student voice with Instagram takeovers, MPA’s social media tells our story and helps families new to our area understand the warm and diverse environment on our PreK-12 campus. Click here to connect with MPA students, parents and alumni.
We look forward to helping your family find the right school community to make your relocation as smooth as possible.
The admission process for relocating families follows the same basic principles as for local families, with accommodations for the family conversation and shadow visit made, if necessary. Relocating families are encouraged to visit Mounds Park Academy in person for a personal tour, shadow visit and family conversation. However, if that is not possible, the personal tour and family conversation may be conducted via Zoom.
Families who have just learned of a possible relocation and may have missed the standard admission deadlines should contact the Office of Admission at firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-748-5577 about space availability and beginning the application process. The Office of Admission considers late applications from relocating families; however, space may be limited.
Click here to learn about the items required to be considered for admission.
The Twin Cities are comprised of Saint Paul, the state capital, and Minneapolis, Minnesota's largest city.
In the heart of Minnesota, ranked the #2 state in the nation in 2021, The Twin Cities have a rich culture and a wide variety of activities for all ages. From professional and college sports teams and top companies, to beautiful parks and recreation areas, there's something for everyone.
The Twin Cities have a strong arts community. The Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis offers exceptional live performances while the Minneapolis Institute of Art inspires with extraordinary exhibitions and one of the largest art collections in the country. There are also two professional orchestras in the Twin Cities, the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
The Twin Cities is home to some the largest companies in the United States, including Target, General Mills, Medtronic, and 3M. And MPA is centrally located with easy access to most corporate headquarters.
The Twin Cities metro area, with a population of more than three million, has many educational, cultural, and economic resources. Diversity in the Twin Cities is growing, as immigrants from Southeast Asia, East Africa and Central America bring their traditions and cultures.
Day and weekend trips from the Twin Cities are easy to make and host breathtaking views, fabulous hiking trails, and impressive wildlife. Northern Minnesota, full of lakes, forests, cliffs, and waterfalls, is two hours away. Lake Superior, the biggest of the Great Lakes, is four hours away. Chicago is six hours away.
The Twin Cities have four seasons. Summers are sunny and warm and the many lakes have opportunities for all types of water sports. Fall is cool and festive. Winter is cold and snowy, yet full of activity, sports, and festivals. In the spring, Minnesotans enjoy bike rides (Minneapolis has been ranked the most bike-friendly city in the nation!), outdoor markets, and baseball games.
In addition to being ranked the #2 best state overall, Minnesota was also ranked the #2 state to start and raise and family, and we are proud to be home to so many. MPA is committed to partnering with families to navigate every stage of their children’s lives–of course, in their education, but also in their overall growth as they explore who they are meant to be throughout their MPA journey. The following are several neighborhoods that some of the highest concentration of MPA families hail from.
North Oaks, 55127: If MPA was a neighborhood school, this is where it would be located. It has a very worldly feel to it, with many executives landing here from all over the world. There are older and newer areas, and all of the streets are treelined. The lots are large, but it still has a neighborhood feel to it. We have two bus stops in North Oaks, but many families choose to make the easy drive. Nearby, White Bear Lake, the loveliest little town with shops and restaurants, and Dellwood are also lovely—zip code 55110—but there is no bus service to that area.
Lake Elmo, 55042: Lake Elmo is another very popular area for MPA families to live. The commute in is easy and there are beautiful parks and convenient shopping nearby, such as wonderful downtown Stillwater. Lake Elmo also houses large lots, but is not as diverse of a community as North Oaks. We may serve this area with a bus route depending on the ridership.
Saint Paul, 55116/55105/55102: Many MPA families live in the Saint Paul area. MPA has a few bus stops that serve this area, too. It possesses more of a city and urban feel, with very walkable shops, restaurants, and coffeehouses. The lots are small, but there are some beautiful, older homes. This is a wonderfully diverse area.
Woodbury, 55125/55129: Woodbury is another very popular area for MPA families to live. It is densely populated with a wide variety of shops and restaurants. It has a strong community feel and easy access to both the airport and the city.
To assist relocating families in their home search, MPA has established a connection with the real estate agents listed below. Each of these professionals is familiar with the needs of relocating families and is an expert on the real estate industry in the Eastern part of the Twin Cities metro, closest to Mounds Park Academy. They are well connected to the MPA community and eager to provide your family with outstanding guidance as you relocate to this community.
Welcome to Minnesota! With any relocation, there are many moving parts as families transition their lives somewhere new–one of them being your first Minnesota winter. The following list will help set your family on a path to thrive, not just survive, through your new favorite season here.Gear
- Winter coat (the longer, the better!): Columbia, Canada Goose, The North Face, Eddie Bauer, Patagonia
- Winter boots: The North Face, Sorel, Timberland, Hunter, Bogs
- Water-resistant winter gloves and mittens
- Winter hats: Love Your Melon, founded by Zach Quinn '11
- Warm, long-lasting socks: Hippy Feet, founded by Sam Harper '12
- Various outdoor gear and equipment: Askov Finlayson, where Adam Fetcher '02 led the company’s climate policy initiative, “Keep The North Cold”
- A car with all-wheel drive
- Windshield wiper brush with scraper
- Insulated food/beverage containers
- Sledding, skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing at local parks, trails and mountains: Afton Alps, Theodore Wirth Regional Park, Minnehaha Park, Battle Creek Regional Park, Lake Elmo Park Reserve , and many more!
- Ice skating on many of the 10,000 lakes
- Watching several winter professional sports teams with arenas in the Twin Cities
- Visiting indoor museums, theatres, and water and amusement parks in or near the Mall of America
- Attending many local wintertime festivals
- Middle and Upper School Alpine (downhill) Ski Team
- Middle and Upper School Nordic (cross country) Ski Team
- Boys Hockey Team
- Grade level outdoor adventures, such as snow tubing
- Northern MN i-Term adventures, such as dogsledding
- Winter experiments in the outdoor learning labs
- Sno Daze Spirit Week
Helpful Terms & Tips
- Snow emergency: declared after a snowfall of more than two inches. In case of a school closure, MPA will send an email, text message, and phone call to your phone number on file.
- Snow route parking ban: A temporary parking restriction on roads designated as snow routes.
- Wind chill advisory: wind chill temperatures can be dangerous with prolonged exposure
- Indoor recess: MPA stays indoors at -10 degrees windchill
- Winter Storm Warning: hazardous winter weather in the form of heavy snow, heavy freezing rain, or heavy sleet
- Hotdish: A Minnesota staple meal guaranteed to warm you up!
A campus tour is your opportunity to see the heart and soul of MPA. Over the course of your tour, we'll introduce you to the people and show you the spaces that matter most to you. You'll come with questions and leave with a better sense of MPA.
On-campus and virtual tours are offered daily by appointment. Please email or call us to schedule your personal tour. We know that relocating families may only be in the Twin Cities for a brief visit prior to moving, and we are happy to accommodate your tight schedule with abbreviated tours or tours on non-school days, if needed. In the meantime, explore MPA virtually!
The Cowen Family relocated to the Twin Cities from Chicago in the summer of 2019. "MPA spoke to us and to our children instantly. Having attended both private/independent and public schools previously; we appreciate the combination of academic rigor and whole child approach." read more