Family of five from North OaksWhat do you love about MPA?
I love that students can follow their interests and try new things at all ages. It is perfectly normal for a soccer player to be involved in a theater production and compete on the robotics team. Kids are encouraged by the teachers and their peers to try things outside their comfort zone. It is a safe space to discover new interests and be passionate about learning.

How are your children encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
Acceptance of individuality and inclusivity is core to MPA. It creates a safe space to try different things. My girls were not interested in sports, but in Middle School they were encouraged to join a team. They discovered they loved the camaraderie of being on a team and adrenaline rush of competition. They learned sportsmanship, team first, and that winning at all costs isn’t really winning.

If your children have attended another school, how has your experience at MPA been different?
Our kids came from a Montessori foundation in early elementary school and transitioned smoothly to MPA. They were ready for a larger school and a more structured (yet still very hands-on) learning environment. MPA also offered more robust athletics and arts, which was all on campus during and after school. Combined with the busing from our home in North Oaks, that was very convenient.

What would you tell another parent considering MPA?
The school is a big family. The teachers love and guide the students. They know and care about every child. We are fiercely inclusive. The parents are partners with the school and with each other. We know each other and our kids’ friends. The MPA community has been great for my children, but also for me.

In what ways has MPA prepared your children for life in the 21st century?
MPA does a wonderful job of teaching students how to think and to communicate both in writing and speech. They spend so much time discussing ideas and exploring the creative process that innovation and experimentation is second nature. They have tried, failed, and tried again. They have grit, which will serve them for a lifetime.

What do you hope for your children in 20 years?
I hope they continue to have a passion for learning. I hope they are doing a job that they love that supports them and their family in the lifestyle they want. I hope they are happy and fulfilled.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your MPA experience?
My kids are all very comfortable with adults thanks to years of small classes and one-on-one interaction with their teachers. They are also very adept at persuasive communication, debate, and negotiation. There are times as a parent I wish they weren’t so skilled. The elementary school PowerPoint on the key reasons we should adopt another dog was hard to resist!

Mounds Park Academy, a PreK-12 private school in Saint Paul, is currently accepting applications for the 2018-19 school year. For more information about admission and to schedule your tour, visit We look forward to getting to know your family!

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