Us Division Newsfrom Mark Segal, Upper School director

Mark Your Calendars

  • Friday, April 5: US End Of Quarter 3
  • Monday, April 9: US/LS Solar Eclipse Party, 8-10:30 AM, Family Commons
  • Tuesday, April 9: HeadSpace “Mental Health Crisis,” 3-15-4:15 PM, Martin Lenz Harrison Library
  • Wednesday, April 10: No Classes, Eid al-Fitr
  • Thursday, April 11: PA Cultural Celebration Day, 3-6 PM, Family Commons
  • Friday, April 12: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20-12 PM, Room 150-151
  • Thursday, April 18: Senior Performances 8-9:15 AM, Nicholson Center
  • Thursday, April 18: Spring Book Club With Dr. Hudson, 6-7:30 PM, Martin Lenz Harrison Library
  • Friday, April 19: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20-12 PM, Room 150-151
  • Friday, April 19: Pairing Assembly, 2:20-3 PM
  • Friday, April 19: Spring Auction, 6:30-11 PM, Dellwood Golf Club
  • Wednesday, April 24: Spring Musical Preview Performance, 1:35-3 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Thursday, April 25: LS/US Haiti Cultural Celebration, 1-3 PM, Family Commons, Gallery
  • Friday, April 26: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20-12 PM, Room 150-151
  • Friday, April 26: Spring Musical Performance, 7-9 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Saturday, April 27: Spring Musical Performance, 7-9 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Sunday, April 28: Spring Musical Performance, 2-4 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Thursday, May 2: MS/US Grade 8 Parent Meeting, 6-6:45 PM, Recital Hall
  • Friday, May 3: US Parent Quarterly Coffee, 8-9 AM, PCR
  • Friday, May 3: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20-12 PM, Room 150-151
  • Friday, May 3: New Family Panther Party, 4-5:30 PM, MPA Campus
  • Saturday, May 4: Prom, 8-11 PM, American Swedish Institute
  • Wednesday, May 8: MS/US Orchestra Concert, 7-8 PM, Nicholson Center
  • Friday, May 10: US BIPOC Affinity Group Meeting, 11:20-12 PM, Room 150-151

Important Informantion

  1. If your student will be absent, late, or needs to be excused early from school, please reach out to the Upper School office via
  2. Space is still available to attend the 2024 MPA Spring Auction, Together We Can Move Mountains, on Friday, April 19 at Dellwood Golf Club. This is your chance to attend a night of fun, inspiration, and community building while supporting MPA with fellow parents, alumni, and friends.
  3.  While the MN weather remains unpredictable, the spring athletic season has arrived. Even though the athletic department works hard to stick to the established schedule, practice and game schedules can be extremely fluid due to the weather. For this reason, it is suggested that you bookmark the MPA athletics website and ensure that the athletic department has the most up-to-date email addresses for you should there be a schedule adjustment.

For many years, I heard the statement, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” and I really did not know its meaning. Maybe it was because I was too literal or because my focus during my formative years was primarily on anything but work. Regardless, over the past 33 years of my professional life, 28 of them as an educator, I have learned that taking a break from doing schoolwork is crucial for maintaining mental health and achieving academic success. The American Psychological Association states that “constant studying (or grading) without breaks can lead to burnout, decreased motivation, and increased stress levels.” This research highlights the importance of taking regular breaks and confirms data published by the Journal of Educational Psychology that states, “Students who take short breaks during study sessions demonstrate improved focus and retention compared to those who study continuously.”

School (and work) has become more demanding in recent years, and finding intentional ways to step away from assignments and projects provides an opportunity for students to recharge and rejuvenate their minds. Psychologists, including Dr. Jules Nolan, emphasize the importance of incorporating relaxation techniques into student study routines. By stepping away from schoolwork periodically, students are then able to return with a refreshed perspective and greatly increased productivity.

It is critical to prioritize self-care in our student’s study routines as it is our job and duty to support them so they are successful and feel good about themselves. Your students and I appreciate your commitment and partnership as they make their way along their educational journey.

I look forward to seeing you on campus soon.

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