middle school students in the makerspaceWELCOME BACK! I hope you all had a lovely Spring Break and took time to relax, recharge, and maybe even read a good book. While many folks travel to escape the cold of Minnesota “spring,” some of us just took advantage of time a little less hectic and a lot less hurried. In whatever way your family spent their time, I hope it was fulfilling and just the break you needed to prepare for the sprint ahead.

In just one week, we will finish our third quarter and find ourselves welcoming the last nine weeks of the school year. This year has flown by and it’s hard to believe before too long, I’ll be sending our eighth graders on to Upper School, and we’ll be welcoming our newest class of Middle Schoolers!

As always, encourage and support your student to finish strong. Our quarter ends on March 31, and it is imperative that students finish all assignments, do well on assessments, and make sure to leave “no points on the field” (a.k.a. no missing assignments)! While grades are important, establishing strong work habits and an ethic of personal responsibility is the goal. If you have concerns, questions, or wonderings about your student’s progress, please reach out to teachers. We are always happy to hear from you!

NOTE: The end of the quarter is Friday, March 31. Late assignments and past due work will not be accepted after this date. Additionally, Monday, April 3, is a Grading Day, and this is a day of NO CLASSES at MPA!

Middle School Matters: A Community Book Study
Thank you for your flexibility in delaying the start of our book study together. Below, you’ll see our new dates with a TBD for our final meeting. I’m hoping we might plan an evening, in-person gathering to celebrate our learnings together and the end of the school year. Until then, keep reading and we’ll see you after spring break in Zoom world!

Middle School is a time of rapid changes, new experiences, and sometimes, perplexing encounters in a new world in which we (parents!) did not grow up! In partnership with Ms. Cooper, our school counselor, and Ms. Meras, our new Middle School Dean, I will be hosting a community book study this spring. We will do a shared reading of Middle School Matters: The 10 Key Skills Kids Need to Thrive in Middle School and Beyond–and How Parents Can Help by Phyllis L. Fagell.

We will meet four times, in alignment with the four sections of the text, via ZOOM, to discuss, share, wonder, worry, ponder, and problem-solve alongside teachers, experts, and other community members the mystery and magnificence of the middle school years. We invite you to have dinner with your family, put your feet up, pour a drink of something you enjoy, and meet us online, on the following dates at 7:30 PM, from the comfort of your living room!

Thursday, March 23, 2023 (Values and Integrity)
Wednesday, April 19, 2023 (Social Skills)
Thursday, May 18, 2023 (Learning)
Final Session–TBD (Empowerment and Resilience)

We will have guest speakers and experts for each of the four sections of the text and will share our own personal journey in raising spirited, well-balanced, resilient, kind, and good humans.

You can purchase the book in any format of your choosing, and in whatever way you’d like. Here are a few options:

You can also just drop in for a listen, join the conversation, and build community. I am hoping with a later evening gathering time, and the flexibility of Zoom, that we’ll have the opportunity to connect and grow our community in a way that makes space for the various family and scheduling demands we all juggle.

Join Zoom Meeting >
Meeting ID: 332 737 0417
Password: MSMatters!

Please RSVP to let us know if you’ll be joining us here.

We understand that families may make vacation and time-away decisions that make sense for their family and not necessarily with the school calendar. While we support your travel and quality time, please also work with us to recognize that missing school can be challenging for your students, and we should work together to help them in keeping up with academic assignments, assessments, and projects.

Please review the MPA Planned Absence Policy and work diligently to communicate your family’s plans with the Middle School office, as well as help your student to communicate directly with their teachers. It is an important lesson in self-advocacy and self-management for a Middle School student to attempt this task independently.

Students are not penalized for missing school; however, they are responsible for the work missed as determined by their teachers. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out.

GRADE 5 SCIENCE FAIR: You are invited!
Our amazing fifth grade class has nearly finished their SCIENCE FAIR projects. Please join us for a celebration of their innovation, creativity, and exploration, next Thursday, March 30, 2:20-3 PM in the Family Commons. This is a special time for them and a great time to share in their joy and learning!

CLASS of 2029 WASHINGTON D.C. Trip Planning Meeting!
If your student is a current sixth grader (rising seventh grader), please join us for our first official informational meeting for our annual trip to Washington DC – Spring 2024! All of our seventh grade classes travel to D.C. as the culmination of their study of US History over sixth and seventh grade.

Please plan to join us on Tuesday, March 28, at 7 PM, for a Zoom meeting to receive details about dates, cost of travel, and early bird pricing incentives from our travel partner World Strides. All who attend will be placed into a drawing to receive one of two $250 scholarships for the trip!

Join Zoom Meeting >
Meeting ID: 930 1949 3672
Password: DCorBUST!

You won’t want to miss the early bird registration discount and hear about all the great things ahead!

Our amazing rising fifth grade will be kicking off their fourth-grade sponsored food drive in conjunction with the Neighborhood House in St. Paul. It’s a culminating service project after reading Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate, a story about a Sudanese refugee who moves to Minnesota.

We have been invited to support our future classmates by donating non-perishable food items from now until April 4. The window is small, but our hearts are big! Please send any items you can serve those in need!

We are beginning our planning for the Moving-Up Ceremony on Tuesday, June 6, 2 PM. Please mark your calendars now for this special occasion to celebrate our eighth-grade class and to welcome our newest Middle School classmates from Lower School.

All parents and families of our grade eight students are asked to submit three photos of their students to be shared in the slideshow! All eighth grade students will have photos included and this is your chance to celebrate your amazing kid.

Please send three photos to Ms. Lassonde (jlassonde@moundsparkacademy.org) at your earliest convenience. The three photos should include one of each of the following:

One from when they were young,
One that captures their passion and personality, and
One from Middle School with their friends

The sooner you send these, the sooner we can begin putting together the most amazing keepsake slideshow!

NOTE: The PASSION PROJECT Showcase will immediately precede the Moving-Up Ceremony on the same day, at 1PM. Please save the date/time on your calendars now–the end of the year will be here before you know it!

Be well. Take care of one another. Happy Spring!


  • March 31: End of Quarter 3
  • April 3: NO CLASSES, Grading Day
  • April 4: First Day of Quarter 4, End of FOOD DRIVE (send items NOW!)
  • April 14 7/8 Spring Dance, 6-8PM
  • April 21 MPA Annual Spring Auction
  • April 26 MPA Spring Musical Opening Night!
  • April 28 NO CLASSES, Teacher Professional Development Day
  • May 4: Middle School Family Dinner, Rising Grade Level Meetings Grades 4-8, Middle School Vocal Concert, 7 PM
  • May 11 Middle/Upper School Orchestra Concert, 7PM
  • May 17 Middle/Upper School Band Concert, 7PM
  • May 22-26 Washington DC, Grade 7 Trip
  • May 29 NO CLASSES, Memorial Day
  • June 3 MPA Commencement 2023
  • June 6 PASSION PROJECT Showcase, 1 PM, Middle School Moving-Up Ceremony, 2 PM
  • June 7 Last Day of School, Early Dismissal 10:30 AM
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