from Dr. Jenn Milam, Middle School director

Mark your Calendars

  • Friday, January 12: US Class of 2028 Parent Coffee, 8-9 AM, PCR
  • Monday, January 15: Indexed Tuition Re-Application Deadline
  • Monday, January 15: No Classes, Martin Luther King Day
  • Thursday, January 18: MS Grade 7/8 BIPOC Affinity Group, 2:20-3 PM, Panther Center
  • Friday, January 19: MS/US End of Quarter 2
  • Saturday, January 20: Minnesota State Future Cities Competition, Dakota County Technical College
  • Monday, January 22: No Classes, Professional Day
  • Thursday, January 25: MS Grade 5 Music Share, 2:20-3 PM, Recital Hall
  • Thursday, February 8: Middle School Snow Tubing, Badlands SnoPark (Wisconsin)
  • Friday, February 9: No LS/MS Classes, Conferences
  • Friday, February 9: LS/MS Conferences, 8 AM-5 PM
  • Thursday, February 15: LS/MS Evening Conferences, 3:30-8 PM
  • Friday, February 16: No Classes, Professional Development (Panther Care Closed)
  • Monday, February 19: No Classes, Presidents’ Day

HAPPY 2024! I hope this finds you having had a wonderful winter break with lots of rest, fun, and time with those you love the most! I also hope that 2024 presents you with a fresh start, a renewed energy, and a centeredness that can feel so elusive after the hurried holiday season. While it can be tempting to set lofty goals toward self-improvement and milestone attainment, I encourage you to be kind to yourself and search instead for peace, contentment, comfort, and fun! Catherine Price, author of The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again, writes, “If we want to be sure to save enough of our time and attention for the things that matter to us the most, we need to know what those things are—and create space for them” (p. 170).

When so much of the world is in flux of some kind, and there are indeed many transitions ahead for our division, my wish for 2024 is that we do our best to stay focused on the important things, to care for one another, and to follow the K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, silly!) method for making space for things that matter most to each of us.

Middle School Office Staffing, Reminders, and Updates! 
With the departure of Mrs. Lassonde, Ms. Meras and I will be managing the divisional office tasks, duties, and day-to-day activities. If you need to report an absence, we request that you email If it is urgent, please email either of us individually ( and ( and we will get it ASAP. As a reminder, the office phone number is (651) 748-5565.

Additionally, if you or someone you know loves middle schoolers, a dynamic work environment, and is yearning to be a part of a great team, we would love it if you would share our Middle School Assistant job posting here.

Priority review of applications will begin on January 12! Thanks for your support, kindness, and for sharing in your networks!

Quarter Two: Ending soon!
On Friday, January 19, quarter two will officially draw to a close. We worked diligently as we approached the winter break to ensure that all students had made their best effort to complete all assignments and assessments. As we settle back in after our long break, please help your Middle School students to reset their positive work habits, use those planners, and work to refine our study skills and organizational needs. Please help your student by making sure they are writing their assignments in their planners (every day!), completing homework as best they are able on the day it is assigned (and asking for support if needed the next day!), and checking in on Schoology occasionally for clarification, if needed.

MPA Future Cities Goes To State: Saturday, January 20
Our top three teams will be going to the Minnesota State Future Cities Competition on Saturday, January 20. We will compete against all the other top teams in Minnesota at Dakota County Technical College in this all-day marathon of judging, sharing, and presenting. Please join me in wishing our top three teams—Pangaea, La-Ville-De-Vie, and VannBassert—the best of luck on the next steps in their Future Cities journey!

Fifth Grade Music Share Thursday, January 25
Please join us at 2:20 PM in the Recital Hall to celebrate our fifth-grade musicians and their growth since the start of the year. This is a treasured event and one that always warms the heart!

Conferences: February 9 and 15
Our next Lower and Middle School Conferences will be held at the start of February. We will be sending scheduling instructions and details soon—please watch your email for registration/scheduling instructions by the end of this week.

MPA will once again be using Pick-A-Time for conference registration. You will need to schedule your student’s conferences between noon on Friday, January 19, and noon on Friday, January 26. Families with two or more students at MPA may sign up a day earlier, starting at noon on Thursday, January 18, to help you secure back-to-back conferences for your children. Once the system re-opens at noon on Monday, January 29, families can schedule up to two additional conferences for a total of five conferences. The scheduling window will close completely at noon on Wednesday, January 31. A letter with more information will be coming home soon. Kindly note, no additional conferences will be scheduled after January 31.

i-Term 2024: Billing, details, and volunteers!
As we begin our new year, plans are underway to make this year’s i-Term the best yet! All i-Term fees will be billed to your TADS account in February. Additionally, as we begin planning field trips, adventures, activities, and more, we will be looking for parent volunteers to join us. This fun-filled week of experiential learning takes lots of coordination and logistical acrobatics, and we’re always grateful for parents and community members who are willing to join in on the fun! As a reminder, i-Term this year is the week just prior to spring break: March 4-8, 2024.

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