Dr. Hudson

Since our beginning, Mounds Park Academy has been committed to educating the whole child by promoting a balance between arts, academics, and athletics. This edition of MPA Now focuses on athletics, physical education, and time to play.

We believe that academic preparation is but one aspect of education, and that the artistic, physical, social, and emotional development of each child is equally important. Research confirms that students perform better in school when they are emotionally and physically healthy. They miss fewer days, are less likely to engage in risky or antisocial behavior, concentrate better, and attain higher test scores.

Athletics, physical education, and time to play are more important now than ever. With childhood and adolescent stress, anxiety, and depression on the rise, research demonstrates that more physical activity predicted fewer symptoms of major depression. Additionally, researchers believe that increasing physical activity may prevent and treat childhood depression.

Physical activity is also an important gateway to learning, promoting growth in many areas defined as 21st century skills, including communication, empathy, self-regulation, creativity, imagination, and problem solving. Children become able to make decisions, confront uncertainty, overcome fears, and learn to work together.

The World Health Organization and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children and youth engage in a minimum of 60 minutes per week of physical activity. A recent study, however, found that three-fourths of children in the United States are not meeting that guideline. As a point of comparison, MPA Middle School students spend an average of 187.5 minutes per week in physical education, enjoy 25 minutes per day for recess, and nearly all participate in a club, activity, or sport.

Unfortunately, educational policy and practice in recent years, in both public and private schools, has led to a narrowing definition of student success measured by standardized assessment. As a result, recess and physical education have been cut to make time for high-stakes testing and preparation. Not at MPA. We remain true to our mission and steadfast to our commitment to educating the whole child.

Mounds Park Academy Now, more than ever.

Dr. Hudson

Dr. Bill Hudson
Head of School