middle school student readingfrom Jenn Milam, Middle School Director

The winter interim…
We hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break away with family and were able to spend some time doing what you love with those you care about most! As I shared at lunch announcements today, we have 12 days of school until Winter Break…let’s make the most of those and work hard each day, in every class!

Parents, motivation can lag this time of year…truly. It’s darker longer, the sun shines less, we’re all a little weary and tired. Please, encourage your kiddos to show up, every day, do their best every day, and respect themselves and their school community. It has been a difficult 18 months and yet, we are thriving, having plays, performances, and celebrating milestones! Resilience is key, perseverance is essential, and your support and commitment to holding your students accountable is imperative in our partnership. We are grateful you’re a part of our community!

While all middle school students are vaccine eligible and have received vaccinations, we still need to be mindful and responsive when symptoms/illness/the sniffles arise!

Just a reminder that any/all symptoms through our AUXS app and/or via email to COVID@moundsparkacademy.org.

Please do not email your divisional offices, directors, or teachers of an absence due to symptoms. It is important that all notifications are sent to Jennifer Rogers, our COVID Health and Safety lead, so that you can be supported and informed of possible next steps including, but not limited to, the need to remain home, secure a negative test prior to return, and/or quarantine per CDC guidance.

All music ensembles and classes have worked very hard since the beginning of school and have made a lot of progress in their playing skills. We are currently preparing for our Winter Concert. It has been an absolute JOY making music with one another again; and we are ecstatic to be presenting a live concert once again!

The concert will be held Wednesday, December 8 at 7 PM in the Nicholson Center for the Performing Arts. Students should arrive to MPA for the concert by no later than 6 PM. Call time allows ensembles the chance to warm-up and prepare for our performance. The following are call times and locations for specific grades/ensembles:

Seventh and Eighth Grade Musicians:
7/8 Choir, 6 PM, Nicholson Center
7/8 Band, 6:25 PM, Band Room
7/8 Orchestra, 6:25 PM, Orchestra Room

Sixth Grade Musicians:
Sixth Grade Band, 6 PM, Band Room
Sixth Grade Orchestra, 6 PM, Orchestra Room
Sixth Grade Ukulele Consort, 6:25 PM, Room 145

This year, student musicians are expected to wear concert black tops and bottoms for our concert. Additionally, we ask that heels on shoes be no higher than one inch, with jeans, leggings, and athletic pants not preferred. Recognizing and valuing everyone’s personal expression, we invite each musician to wear articles of clothing most comfortable for them–with all items of clothing being in black.

We so look forward to having our community together again to share in the fellowship of making music. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out for support. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to a member of our Middle School music faculty.

For more information about in-person and virtual concert attendance, click here.

WINTER DANCE–Seventh and Eighth Graders WELCOME!
On Friday, December 10, from 7-9 PM we will welcome our seventh and eighth graders to campus for our first dance of the year! Our 7/8 Student Council will work with our new advisor, Jocque Warner, to plan a fun winter-themed dance–we’ll listen to music, play board games and bean-bag toss, and enjoy the evening together.

There is a $10 charge for admission to the dance and students who plan to attend the dance must be fully vaccinated or present a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the dance. If your student has recently received their vaccination and you have not submitted verification, please do so ASAP to COVID@moundsparkacademy.org. If you wish to submit a negative COVID test to attend as your student is unvaccinated, you may do so to the same email address.

Please also note that students are expected to be fully masked while on campus.

Wow, what a wonderful ride this year’s Future City Competition has been. We are so proud of all our eighth grade teams. Every team had something special and unique to their vision to share with the world. It is an exciting time to work alongside young people because they have big ideas about our future and how to make it better!

Mr. Milam shared that this is, hands-down, the best of the best of all the years he’s been teaching! The difference between third and fourth place was 1 point! One point out of a possible 208 points. So close!

The top three teams are moving onto the state competition in January. We have a few weeks to shore up the models, the videos, and better prepare for very challenging Q&A sessions from statewide judges. I think we are going to be very successful this year. We are so grateful for all your support, parents and families, and also that of our judges, mentors, and collaborating faculty members!

Please join us in congratulating our teams moving on to the Minnesota Future Cities Competition:

First place: ZENAIDA: Group members are Izzy V., Andrea P., Abbey M.
Second place: GREENWATERS: Group member are Mina K., Sam G., Zara G.
Third Place: LA CITTA DEL’AQUA: Group members are Liam K., Truman W., Coba D., Boyd M.

We’ll also welcome 9 All-Stars to the teams to help refine, polish, and perfect our vision for cities of the future! AWESOME WORK, EIGHTH GRADERS–our world is in good hands with your ideas!

SWIM CLUB @ MPA: Get your fins ready!
Thank you for your interest in the MPA Swim Club of 2022! We are planning to start practices at the Maplewood YMCA on Wednesday, January 5. Please read the following carefully:

Practices will be held on Wednesdays. Lower school swimmers will be in the water from 3:30-4:15 PM. Middle school swimmers will be in the water from 4:15-5 PM.

Please join the SWIM 2022 Schoology page. All future communication will be sent via Schoology. The access code is 46B8-Z7F4-RJMCW.

There will be a zoom meeting to discuss and review details on Monday, December 6, at 7 PM. A link for the meeting will be posted on the Schoology page.

The fee for participation will be $250. Please mail a check to (or send to school with your student):

Mounds Park Academy
2051 E Larpenteur Ave
St. Paul, MN 55109
Attn: Dan Haase, Athletic Director

Coach Olga and I look forward to answering your questions on December 6 and seeing your swimmers in the water in January!

“BREAK A LEG!” to all Middle School Show Cast and Crew
With just a few hours to go, we will open our Middle School Show for three performances. I want to thank Ms. Mastel, Ms. Jaques, parent volunteers, and especially our amazing Middle and Upper School students for their hard work, their time, and for sharing their passion with all of us so that we can be back together in the theater! BRAVO!

December 2-3: Middle School Show-One Acts!
December 8: Middle School 6-8 Music Performance, 7 PM
December 10: 7/8 Winter Dance, 7-9 PM
December 20-January 2: Winter Break-no classes
January 3: Classes Resume

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