The Intellectual Heart Of MPA
April 11, 2019
Editor’s note: We sat down with Nancy Lage, librarian, to ask her a few questions about Together, We Dream: The Campaign for MPA and what impact she sees a new library having on our community.
How will the new library enhance your program and better meet your students’ needs?
The new library will impact our program by providing students more flexible spaces for multiple age groups to learn and collaborate. These spaces can transform how we all work together as a learning community. There will be an expanded technology infrastructure for interactive instruction as well as designated spaces for evolving student artwork and exhibits. A modern and developmentally appropriate children’s room is being designed and inspired by nature. Several of the reading and research spaces will have comfortable seating, natural lighting and individual study spaces as well as a conference room and access to the adjoining outdoor courtyard—all of which will enhance school-wide literacy, activities and events.
What part of the new space are you, as an educator, most excited for?
The library is the intellectual heart of MPA; the primary foundation for knowledge, stories and skills. Moving the new library to the center of the school makes the entire design very exciting to me. Not only will it offer easy access to students, faculty and families, but it will be infused with fresh spaces that provide students a place for personal reflection and self-awareness through literature and knowledge.
How will this library make dreams come true?
The inspiration for this new library began many years ago. To see it happening is truly a dream come true for me, and for so many community members. I am certain that this new library will enrich students’ experiences and encourage life-long learning and the exchange of ideas. My sincere hope is that it will continue to meet the changing needs of the MPA community now and in the years to come. Everyone is welcome to join in the dream!
Honor where we’ve been. Power our way forward. Make a gift at moundsparkacademy.org/donate/together.
Summer Enrichment with Mr. Purdy
April 10, 2019
Learning should truly be a magical, creative, hands-on process. “The Science of Harry Potter” summer enrichment class does just that and is the perfect vehicle for what Mr. Purdy likes to call “Imaginerring”—the joy of combining science and imagination. In class, you will use science and your imagination to create a Golden Snitch catapult, use chemistry to brew magic potions, create Troll Bogey magnetic sand, and so much more. Get ready to bring science to life! This class is for grades two through four, and will be held June 17-21, 10:40 AM-12:10 PM.
When it comes to teaching and learning, no one puts it better than Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus series when she says, “Take Chances, Make Mistakes, Get Messy.” In the “Let’s Make a Mess” summer enrichment class, we will do just that. If we can make it goop, platter, foam, pop, or fizz we will. Besides having a lot of fun getting messy, we will learn the science behind what makes it pop, fizz, splatter, and foam. Students in grades kindergarten through four are welcome to enroll in this class, and it will be held June 17-21, 9-10:30 AM.
Visit moundsparkacademy.org/summer to sign up for these fun summer enrichment classes!
From the Board’s Perspective: Sharing MPA
April 10, 2019
by Beth Finch, Parent of Alumni, Current Parent, Trustee
As someone who has spent the past 20 years in education from starting a school to working to close the achievement gap in underserved neighborhoods, I am somewhat of an education fanatic. I have travelled the country observing the impact of high performing schools. I understand the importance of quality programming, strong teachers, and a talented leader to successfully operate and deliver great outcomes for kids.
When exploring Mounds Park Academy for our three children nearly 11 years ago, expectedly, my school evaluation rubric was activated. With our youngest graduating next year, I now reflect on how fortunate we have been to call MPA home.
Through the years, I have looked for opportunities to share our love for MPA with others. When we approached our neighbors, Sally Doherty and Karen Weiss, about considering MPA, there was no hesitancy in affirming our MPA allegiance. However, Sally had worked closely with a local superintendent providing pro bono financial and general management assistance. She asked all the right questions and had her own very thorough questions and process. Karen and Sally engaged with Dr. Hudson and the leadership team to come to their own unique reasons for choosing MPA—but that all began with our recommendation.
Two Seniors Far Surpass Previous Bridge Record
April 5, 2019
A story of creative risk-taking and turning challenges into opportunities.
Fifteen sticks of basswood, a tube of glue, a bunch of instructions, guidelines, and some hints: these are the only materials given to students in Upper School physics for the infamous Bridge Project. The students have four weeks to build a bridge that will hold the most weight possible and garner votes for craftsmanship, creativity, realism, beauty, and best name, before putting the bridges to the test.
“I’ve been doing it since the mid-nineties,” says Marc Shapiro, Upper School physics teacher. “I do it because it’s a great way to apply things that we have learned during the first semester of physics. It’s a new, different kind of project than any other thing that we do, and we get to learn about structures and forces along the way.”
This year started out like previous years, with the students hard at work on their bridges. After the bridge testing, however, it was clear that something special had happened; two MPA seniors, Gabby Law and Henry Peterson, set an outstanding new record that would go down in MPA Bridge Project history as the bridge that held the most weight. Their bridge weighed 21.05 grams, and held an astonishing 319 pounds, which was 6,900 times its own weight. The previous record held just under 2,400 times its own weight.
Summer Enrichment With Ms. Koen
March 19, 2019
“Look what I made in the workshop!” and “I’m excited to design my own project!” will be regular phrases said by students who take Ms. Koen’s Beginning Carpentry enrichment course this summer. In Nuts and Bolts: Beginning Carpentry, students will learn how to safely use the tools and materials in the Makerspace, while creating a game or toy of their choice.
Students in grades 1-4 will start the week by using the scroll saw to create a wooden toy, while students in grades 5-8 will build a step stool, bird house, or tool box. Both age levels will have the opportunity to design and bring an idea to life.
The Lower School class is June 17-21 from 9 AM to 12 PM, and the Middle School class is June 17-21 from 1 PM to 4 PM. Space is limited, so visit moundsparkacademy.org/summer to sign up to secure your spot today!
Creating The Future
March 13, 2019
A Message From MPA’s Board Of Trustees
by Matthew Larson, MPA Parent, Board Treasurer, Board Chair-Elect
MPA’s faculty and staff are creating and nurturing our children’s dreams and providing the skills and mindsets it will take to fulfill them every day. Our school’s mission is held in deep regard and is sincerely felt throughout its classrooms and hallways. The future spaces and opportunities that Together, We Dream will create will be game changing for our students, faculty, staff, and entire MPA community. If I may speak on behalf of the MPA Board of Trustees, we believe Abraham Lincoln said it well: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Read More