from Dr. Jenn Milam, Middle School director

Mark Your Calendars

  • Monday, December 4-Friday, December 8: MPA Book Festival, 8 AM-4 PM, Gallery (12-4 PM on December 8)
  • Tuesday, December 5: MS Coffee Talk, 6-7:30 PM, Library
  • Wednesday, December 6: Founders’ Day Breakfast, 7-8 AM, Family Commons
  • Wednesday, December 6: PreK-12 Pairing Assembly, 2:20-3 PM
  • Wednesday, December 6: MPA Cocoa and Books, 3-4 PM, Family Commons
  • Thursday, December 7: Future Cities Competition, All Day
  • Thursday, December 7: MS Grade 5/6 Affinity Group, 2:20-3 PM, Panther Center
  • Wednesday, December 13: MS Grade 7/8 BIPOC Affinity Group, 2:20-3 PM, Panther Center
  • Thursday, December 14: MS Grades 6-8 Band, Orchestra, Vocal Concert, 6:30-8 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Wednesday, December 20: Last Day of School before Winter Break
  • Wednesday, December 20: MS Grades 5/6 Feed My Starving Children, 8-11:30 AM, Off Campus
  • Wednesday, December 20: MS Grades 5/6 Bowling, 12-3 PM, Off Campus
  • Thursday, December 21-Tuesday, January 2: No Classes, Winter Break
  • Wednesday, January 3: Classes Resume

As we are firmly into quarter two and winter seems like it has finally come to stay, we find ourselves in that weirdly beautiful interim just before the break when days get shorter, nights get longer, and even the simplest tasks require a little extra effort. We hope you are finding energy from a restful November break and are offering support to your students as they, too, navigate lower energy, the need for more sleep, and the increase in academic rigor that comes with the progressing school year.

We ask that you continue to encourage consistent routines, sufficient sleep schedules, healthy eating, and positive social behavior. The winter months take some adjusting to, and our young people often don’t/can’t communicate the need for a little extra TLC—even if given from a distance!

i-Term 2024: Course Placement Forms are due Monday, December 4!
Your i-Term course assignments have been sent home! Please return the signed sheet to the Middle School office by Monday, December 4. As each i-Term course carries a fee, it is essential that parent/family confirmation is received, as we will assess course fees via TADS in January 2024.

Please note that all course assignments are final at this time as we will begin making course plans, field trip reservations, and confirming community partners. Students cannot make changes to their i-Term course assignments.

If you have any questions, please contact Jenn Milam, Middle School director, at or 651-748-5598.

Future Cities Is Competing!
Next Thursday, our eighth graders will share their visions for cities of the future at MPA! This internal competition will showcase the brilliant work of our eighth-grade collaborative teams as they worked to envision a city 100 years in the future that is fully electric.

If you would like to be a part of the judging process, we would love to have you! You do not need to be a scientist, engineer or city planner to be a judge—just a part of the MPA community. There are rubrics to help you assess student work objectively. The top three teams will compete at the state competition in January. Help us make these difficult decisions. The MPA competition will take place on Thursday, December 7, 2023, 8-9:15 AM, 10:05-11:20 AM, and 12:15-1:30 PM. You can attend one, any, or all these times. Presentations will entail watching each group’s presentation, examining the models, and asking prepared questions (or questions of your own). You will be amazed by our students and their hard work! If you’d like more information or want to help, please reach out to Mr. Milam at

Attention Class of 2028 (that’s you, eighth graders!)
Mr. Mark Segal, Upper School director, and his team have put together some awesome opportunities for you to get to know MPA’s Upper School and all it has to offer you as you look toward ninth grade. The first of those is the “Feed Your Mind Dinner & Panel Discussion” on Wednesday, December 6. It’s not too late to RSVP! Please complete this form ASAP for this special event, where a delicious MPA meal will be served while you hear from Upper School students, faculty, and administrators. Bring your questions, wonderings, and worries! You won’t want to miss this event designed especially for YOU!

Founders’ Day Pancake Breakfast
Please join us on Wednesday, December 6, for our annual Founders’ Day Pancake Breakfast! Come in your PJs, students and families, to be served fluffy pancakes by our Board of Trustees and Administrative Team. It’s a yummy, and super fun, event you don’t want to miss! Breakfast starts being served at 7 AM—plan to arrive early!

Middle School Quarterly Coffee Conversation: Tuesday, December 5
On Tuesday, December 5, Ms. Meras and I will host our Quarterly Middle School Coffee in the Library at 6 PM. Please join us for conversation, questions, wonderings, and fellowship if you are able, and we’ll enjoy each other’s company for a bit. If you have any specific things you’d like to discuss, please send them to me ahead of time and we’ll be sure to make time for that.

Winter Music Performance Is Almost Here
On Thursday, December 14, at 7 PM in our Nicholson Center, we will enjoy a musical performance by our sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. That means it’s time to make sure your student has the appropriate black attire for our concerts. School concerts at MPA are considered a formal occasion and Middle School ensemble members are asked to dress in concert black. We want to affirm your identity and attire choices. Here are some options you can choose from:

  • a long sleeve black dress shirt
  • a pair of black dress pants (no leggings, yoga pants, etc.)
  • a long black dress or long black skirt with black tights or hose
  • a black belt
  • black dress socks (if not wearing tights)
  • a pair of black dress shoes (no heels higher than an inch)

For the winter concert, you may add accents/accessories of blue, silver, and gold!

PRO TIP: Do not wait until the week of the concert to ensure your students’ clothes fit! They are growing fast these days and ensuring you have appropriate concert attire may require a trip to the department store.

Winter Service Learning and Fun: Wednesday, December 20
On the last day before winter break, it is a tradition that our fifth and sixth graders visit Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) for a morning of fellowship and service. We will board buses to FMSC to work to prepare meals for children and families experiencing food insecurity around the world. Then, we will return to campus for lunch and venture out again for an afternoon of FUN with friends—this year, we are bowling at Sun Ray Lanes!

We ask that all fifth and sixth-grade students bring $5 to offset the cost of bowling that afternoon, and MPA will cover the rest. Please send cash with your student to school in an envelope to give to Ms. Nagle. If you’d like to join us for this fun day, please reach out to Ms. Nagle at to let her know you’d like to accompany the group.

Be well. Take good care of each other.

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