Anderson FamilyWhat do you love about MPA?
We love the whole child approach MPA takes to learning and development … pushing each child to pursue the best version of themselves that they can be, but in a manner uniquely designed for who that child is. This is the case not just academically, but also socially, artistically, athletically, and musically. And, MPA wraps a supportive, welcoming, positive community around all of it to make asking big questions and sharing ideas safe and possible. It’s a killer mash-up that means we have a kid who jumps out of bed in the morning excited to go to school and nearly always enthusiastically answers “GREAT!” when asked “how was your day?” Really, what more could parents ask for?

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
MPA’s “there’s more than one way to solve the problem” approach is a game changer. For example, our daughter shared a story just this week about a lesson she working on in math. She said she was struggling to understand it as presented in class but thought she had found a different way to solve for the answer that she told her teacher about. In some schools, the teacher might have said “no, that’s not how you do it.” At MPA, her teacher said, “Great idea! Why don’t you try your approach with some of the problems tomorrow and see if it works.”

That is the essence of MPA—challenging our kids to excel and learn and grow in an open-ended way that spawns innovation and creative thinking. Dreaming big about possibilities, being willing to test ideas, understanding that “failing” is okay and part of progress, driving resiliency, and starting all over again is the MPA way.

If your child has attended another school, how has your experience at MPA been different?
Our daughter attended a different school for PreK. She dreaded going in the morning, wasn’t challenged academically, and in general just wasn’t energized by the community around her. It was fine, but it was FLAT. At MPA—it’s the polar opposite: ALIVE, ENGAGING, CHALLENGING, ENERGIZING, you name it. It is just night and day. We have never regretted our decision to send our daughter to MPA and plan to do so until the day she graduates.

What would you tell another family considering MPA?
We would tell them that it’s worth it. Our daughter started years ago as a quiet kindergartner and is now blossoming into a self-assured, happy, risk-taking, courageous kid and that is largely in part to MPA. We wouldn’t trade our family’s experience for the world; it’s changed Julia’s life for the better, forever.

In what ways has MPA prepared your child for life in the 21st century?
MPA uses technology and digital citizenship in almost every aspect of the learning model. Whether it was doing a presentation via green screen or printing state maps on the 3D printer in the Makerspace for the Parade of States, students learn to apply technology into how they think, learn, and solve problems, which is critical for thriving in our digital world.

What do you hope for your child in 20 years?
We hope Julia is living a life that is fulfilling and rewarding and built around who SHE is and her unique talents and gifts, not who anyone wanted her or expected her to be. We hope that she has a career that is rewarding, hopefully a family whom she loves and loves her, and that she finds time to give back to the world around her.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your MPA experience?
We would just like to thank everyone at MPA: the teachers, the administrative staff, the other families, just everyone. We know every day that Julia is at MPA she is safe and genuinely cared for, whether we are there or not, because of the community she is part of. We will be forever grateful!

Mounds Park Academy, a PreK-12 private school in Saint Paul, is currently accepting applications for the 2019-20 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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