This October Keep Sipping, Savoring, and Supporting MPA!

PA Message Support MPA Homecoming Week with a Parent Coffee and Ground Decorating

Friday, October 1, 7:45-10 AM: Meet under the big white tent in the west parking lot, rain or shine. Meet other MPA parents, help make the decorations for the outdoor fields, and write messages of encouragement for our athletes.Go Panthers!

Spruce Up our Pond

Saturday, Oct , 9, 2:00-4:00 PM: Clean up the retention pond on Larpenteur Ave. with Michelle Mick, michelle_wessely@yahoo.com. The rain date is October 16th, same time, 2-4 PM. Please bring tools such as waterproof gloves, waders (for anyone who would like to dig in the water), loppers, saws, and share any time you are able! Students can earn volunteer hours for this, as well, so encourage your student to join in!

Savor New Friendships and Share a Taco

Wednesday, October 13, 11:15 AM at Centro: Come have lunch on the patio and make new friends! Let Staci, sbhehe42@icloud.com, know if you plan on coming. You order and pay by phone, so don’t forget to bring your phone with you!

Sip Coffee and Relax by the River

Wednesday, Oct 20, 9:00 AM: Celebrate the start of MEA weekend with a relaxing morning in Stillwater. Bring your chairs and meet at the parking lot by River Market, 221 North Main Street, Stillwater, Minnesota. From there, you can sit by the river with a coffee, take a walk across the lift bridge, ride the Brown’s Creek trail, or head to a nearby park to play.

PARENTS CONNECT

Wednesday Morning Walks

The Parents Association invites parents and guardians to get together Wednesday mornings after drop off with Michelle Mick. We’ll meet at the flagpole near the LS entrance. LS, MS and US families are welcome. Chat with new parents and connect with friends. Younger children are welcome to walk with us.

Monday and Thursday Mornings in the Garden

Get your hands dirty after drop off, helping in MPA’s gardens. No experience necessary. Come and help weed, plant, dig, or sow, all are welcome. How long you stay is up to you. If Michelle Mick is not at the flagpole, go around the corner, in the Library gardens, next to Door #2 or near the retention pond (with the fountain).

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Sign Up

Fall at MPA is filled with traditions…the first day of school, picture day, after school sports, that first missed homework assignment and Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week. Help the PA keep the tradition of supporting our faculty and staff by donating snacks and beverages during this busy week. They’ll be available all week for staff to grab at their convenience. Donations can be brought to your assigned drop off door during morning drop off (LS, MS, or US). To sign up, click the link below:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F084DACA622A5FB6-fall1

Remember to bring a mask to all events! Hope to see you there!


Coming Home To MPA

Heads Messagefrom Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Love Actually is one of my favorite movies. I love the opening scene of the movie, which takes place in Heathrow Airport in London. As pictures of families greeting friends and loved ones at the arrival gate are shown, the British Prime Minister, played by Hugh Grant, provides the following voiceover:

“It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there: fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.”

It sounds cheesy and idealistic but I do agree that love is all around us if we are willing and able to see it. I often share that the best part of my day is greeting students at the front entrance of the school each morning. It’s somewhat like the opening scene in “Love Actually” but instead of an airport arrivals gate, it’s like the front door of a home. Home. A place of comfort, love and belonging, of family. For so many of us, MPA is much more than a building or a school. We come together around a common set of values and beliefs as well as a passionate commitment to educate the whole child. Read More


Preparing Students For A Future That Is Difficult To Understand

Katie murr teaching upper school social studiesTo cultivate right makers, you need teachers who are able to connect deep content knowledge to the real world in ways that implore students to use it for good. Katie Murr is one of many exceptional teachers at MPA who have the ability to do just that every single day.

Katie was raised by two public school teachers, including her mother, who holds a Ph.D. in microbiology, and she was immersed in their careers. “They firmly believed in the power of knowledge as the path toward a more meaningful and impactful life,” Katie explained. Never intending to teach, Katie’s early aspirations led her toward law or politics at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. She interned for Paul Wellstone and worked primarily on education policy. “I came to realize that politics is not the place to change education. The classroom is.”

Looking back, Katie now realizes that she was destined to be a teacher. “I always really liked teachers, probably because I wanted to be one whether I knew it or not,” Katie reflected. She attended Eagan High School where two teachers truly inspired Katie—they were known to her at the time as Mr. Vergin and Ms. Kunze, both of whom are now her colleagues at MPA. Early in their careers, they taught Katie social studies and world language, and coached her in debate and speech. “Mike taught me everything I know about patience and evaluating information critically. And Kari is one of the finest educators I’ve ever known. You learn just by being in her presence.” Read More


Maintaining The MPA Experience

from Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

It always seems as though the battery on my cell phone is running low. Maybe it’s because I have an older model, or often forget to close apps and plug it in. It is probably the combination of all those factors, although I often blame it on Waze, a crowd-sourced GPS traffic app I use every day that requires a great deal of power to operate.

I think we can all agree that the last 18 months of the pandemic have drained our collective batteries. COVID-19 has been like the Waze app—always open, always draining, hard to close down. Similarly, political discord, social unrest, racial tension, and climate events have also acted like apps that are constantly open and continually draining our reserve. My kids chastise me to close out my apps when I am done using them. (I wish they would do the same with their dirty dishes!) I have decided to follow their advice. Instead of allowing the pandemic to dominate my home screen, it will become just one of many apps on my phone. We must take COVID-19 very seriously, to be sure, but we must also move forward.

That said, our priority is to be on-campus for in-person learning all year. While we are carrying forward many lessons learned during the pandemic, we know how important it is for students to bring their whole selves to school each day. The Minnesota Department of Health (and all available public health guidance) agrees that the benefits of being physically present in school are significant and creating conditions that help safeguard in-person instruction is a priority.

We’ve designed our plan with the MPA mission in mind. Not only are we committed to keeping in-person learning available to students, but we know that preventing on-campus spread may help to reduce the amount of community spread within the Twin Cities. We want to “do right” by doing our part. Layered mitigation remains our shared responsibility: symptom monitoring, prompt reporting of symptoms and exposure, minimizing gatherings and travel, and higher risk activities (particularly for the unvaccinated) in addition to masking, hygiene practices, enhanced ventilation, onsite testing, and the variety of other strategies we have successfully employed during our COVID response.

Thanks to our shared commitment to all of our recommendations and guidelines, we’ve been able to not only have students be in person and learning with their teachers and classmates, but they’re experiencing all that an MPA education has to offer including safe athletics, robust support services, continuity of theatre classes and curriculum, resumed music education, clubs and activities, and a return to many on campus events.

We should celebrate our community’s commitment to vaccinations: 97% of eligible students and 98% of eligible adults have been fully vaccinated. Once vaccines become available for younger ages, which may be much sooner than we thought, we strongly urge parents to seek vaccines for those under 12 as well. When that occurs, we look forward to relaxing a number of protocols that are currently in place.

Read More


Upper School Division News

from Mark Segal, Upper School Director

According to the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), “a recent U.S. Surgeon General report indicates that one in five children and adolescents will face a significant mental health condition during their school years.” Those who suffer from these conditions may face barriers to their learning or social-emotional relationships with peers and their school. The Surgeon General continues that, “key responsibilities of schools include creating a safe and nurturing school environment, supporting the physical and mental health of children, fostering their social and emotional well-being, and being prepared to address teen suicide through effective communication and support.” The Mounds Park Academy faculty prides itself on building strong relationships with their students, knowing their students well, and being prepared to support students as they make their way through the adolescent developmental journey.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) shared last August that social media platforms saw a significant increase in COVID-19 materials and information and misinformation left adolescents exposed to associated challenges. The NCBI says that “the social media infodemic has been linked to anxiety, feeling powerless, and catastrophizing situations.”

This past Tuesday and Wednesday upper school students participated in the SOS Signs of Suicide Prevention Program. MPA students received psychoeducation about the signs of suicide and how to help someone who may be having difficult thoughts or feelings. Students also completed an eight-question screener to identify those who need immediate assistance. This is the third time that we have partnered with students and faculty from the University of Wisconsin River Falls Psychology program. They met with students individually throughout the day and contacted parent(s)/guardian(s) of those who needed additional support and provided referrals to some for outside care.

Offering this support system at MPA provides students with the opportunity to engage openly in conversation and find important resources rather than face a stigma that may exist. These supports foster stronger and more authentic relationships which, in turn, allows students to see greater success in their academics and social connections.
I look forward to seeing you on campus soon,

Important Information

MPA Covid-19 Symptom Response
As we continue to navigate the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we ask for your diligence in working with our Covid-19 symptom response and contact tracing team. At the first sign of symptoms, parents should complete the daily AUXS app symptom screening and/or email covid@moundsparkacademy.org. When a negative Covid-19 test is required for student clearance, results must be provided prior to the student’s return. All symptomatic community members, regardless of vaccination status must remain at home pending those results. Thank you for your partnership. For any questions, please contact Jennifer Rogers at jrogers@moundsparkacademy.org.

Looking Ahead

  • Tues, 9/21: SOS Screenings, 9th grade and new 10th grade students
  • Wed, 9/22: SOS Screenings, 9th grade and new 10th grade students
  • Thurs, 9/30: Upper School Conferences, 4:00 – 7:00 PM, via Zoom
  • Fri, 10/1: Upper School Homecoming BBQ & Bonfire, 5:00 – 8:00 PM, Benz Courtyard
  • Sat, 10/2: Homecoming, all day, on campus
  • Wed, 10/6: Class of 2022 Cum Laude Induction, 7:30 AM, location TBD
  • Thurs, 10/7: Upper School Conferences, 4:00 – 8:00 PM, via Zoom
  • Fri, 10/8: No Classes, Upper School Conferences, 8:00 – 4:00 PM, via Zoom
  • Wed, 10/20: No Classes, Fall Break
  • Thurs, 10/21: No Classes, Fall Break
  • Fri, 10/22: No Classes, Fall Break


Middle School Division News

from Dr. Jenn Milam, Middle School Director

Growing More Comfortable MS News
As we find ourselves in Week 5 together, we are learning more about each other and our needs, limits, and boundaries. As I have shared with all of you, it is important that middle schoolers feel safe to push boundaries and test limits (it often feels like it’s their job most days!) and it’s also important for them to realize that their actions, words, and habits impact those around them. We are working, diligently and often, to reinforce what it means to be back in school together, as an entire middle school, grades 5 through 8, and conduct ourselves as the caring, compassionate, and academically motivated students we all aspire to be.

As I make my way to each grade level and aim to set expectations, I would appreciate your partnership in reinforcing some fundamental commitments that we hold at MPA in the Middle School:

  • Every student’s learning is important. And it is not acceptable that one’s student’s behavior hinders their own learning and/or the learning of others.
  • Students should arrive to class on-time, prepared, with all materials required to be a fully present and active participant.
  • Students will respect all other human beings and expect respect in return.
  • Language that is insulting, demeaning, hurtful, and disrespectful is not acceptable at MPA.
  • Physical contact that harms another student, intentional or otherwise, will not be tolerated.
  • Teachers are leaders in the learning environment, and they deserve respect.
  • Poor choices, inappropriate behavior, and not following directions can, and will, result in consequences, including detention, a conversation with parents, and removal from privileges.
  • We are a community, and we all rise by being the best version of ourselves we can be.

I want to acknowledge that, for many of our students, the last 18 months have completely up ended our routines, our work, our learning, and our comfort in being together. It will take some time for us to settle in and come to honor the community expectations we have set forth. I hope you will join me in sharing these expectations with your student and welcome the invitation to partner with me, and your student’s teachers, to help them realize their full potential.

A Reminder: Middle School Dismissal 
I am, so far, grateful for the ease and efficiency with which we are dismissing at 3:00pm in the West Lot. A few reminders to keep us moving and allow all of us to get to our next destination safely, and in a timely way:

  • Please do not stop along the curb near the busses to allow your student to enter the car. I ask that you pull around to the curb close to the building to keep cars from backing-up on Larpenteur and/or in the driveway.
  • I am always, very lovingly, encouraging your students to “hustle” to get into the car and keep things moving. I don’t do this to be hurtful, but rather because I realize that many times folks are on their way to the next thing, and we need to keep the line moving.
  • I also appreciate everyone staying in the car line (unless parking and waiting outside the door, which you are welcome to do!) and not “leap-frogging” or “budging” ahead in the line.

Finally, while I know there can occasionally be issues that hold us up as parents and we get to school a bit late, we are beginning the practice this week of taking all students not picked up by 3:15pm upstairs to either Study Hall or Panther Den. Our dismissal staff and faculty have meetings after school and cannot be downstairs waiting indefinitely. We also cannot leave your Middle School student outside to “wait” for you without an adult. Please make every effort to be on time unless you have previously determined that your student is going to Study Hall, Athletics, or Panther Den.

If you run into an issue and cannot make pick-up time, please call the office before 2:30pm and let us know and we will send your student to Study Hall or Panther Den.

Mrs. Lassonde and the Middle School Office
Mrs. Lassonde is available by email at jlassonde@moundsparkacademy.org and by phone at (651) 748-5565. We need to hear from you if you need an early dismissal or late arrival for an appointment, an absence from classes, or have any other question or concern, please reach out.

Middle School Show–Congratulations To Our Cast And Crew!
We are delighted to begin rehearsals for our Middle School show and congratulate all who were selected as cast and crew members. Please work with your student to know the rehearsal schedule, note it in their planners, prepare and have a plan for pick-up, and communication. Just like sports, students are responsible for arranging transportation, pick-up, and snacks with parents.

If you have questions or need information, please email Ms. Mastel (hmastel@moundsparkacademy.org) or have your student stop by to see her in her classroom.

Parent-Teacher Conferences—Save The Dates
Our PickATime system has been open since last week. If you have not already scheduled conferences and wish to do so, you have until the end of this week. Conference dates are:

  • Thursday, September 30, 3:30-7PM
  • Thursday, October 7, 3:30-8PM
  • Friday, October 8, 8AM-4PM (NO CLASSES)

All conferences are being held via ZOOM and each family is offered the opportunity to sign-up for up to five, 10-minute conferences with their student’s teachers.

If you are not scheduled by the end of this week, you will not be able to schedule conferences for this session. If you need assistance, please reach out to Mrs. Lassonde (jlassonde@moundsparkacademy.org) or call the Middle School Office.

MPA COVID-19 Symptom Response Protocol–Important Reminders
As we continue to navigate the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we ask for your diligence in working with our COVID-19 symptom response and contact tracing team. At the first sign of symptoms, parents should complete the daily AUXS app symptom screening and/or email covid@moundsparkacademy.org. When a negative COVID-19 test is required for student clearance, results must be provided prior to the student’s return. All symptomatic community members, regardless of vaccination status must remain at home pending those results. Thank you for your partnership. For any questions, please contact Jennifer Rogers at jrogers@moundsparkacademy.org.

Planners: Use Them–Check Them–Be Accountable
Student planners were distributed last week, and we have been working diligently on learning to use them consistently, productively, and in a way that supports self-regulation and success. Please ask your student about their planner, ask them to show you their progress, and remember that their planner is their first line of organizational super-power!

Please Send Snacks
Middle Schoolers are always hungry. ALWAYS! And each day, most teachers take time, either during advisory or Block 3, to offer a snack time. For obvious reasons, we cannot provide snacks for all students (allergies, preference, preparation, etc.) but we welcome you to coordinate with your student a snack they can bring to school to give them just enough to make it to lunch.

On this note, eating breakfast is often hard for Middle Schoolers – they are tired, not awake enough to eat, are using every minute to sleep/snooze before coming to school. Especially if your student is not eating breakfast, their snack is ESSENTIAL!

Excellent ideas for snacks include, but are not limited to:

  • Carrots and hummus
  • String Cheese and crackers
  • Goldfish
  • Yogurt tube and fruit (already cut and prepared)
  • Sliced apple and sunflower butter (no peanuts/tree nut butters)
  • Celery and ranch dip
  • Small half of sandwich

On a related note, if your student is staying after school for a sports practice, they also NEED an after-school snack that they may eat in preparation for an hour and a half of activity. NO ONE likes a “hangry” (pre)teen…it would be wonderful if students came prepared for their day not just academically, but nutritionally, as well.

Water Bottles–A Necessity 
A full day of learning is a full day that requires water – PE, academic classes, arts classes, lots of movement and activity! Students need water bottles, and they need to drink water consistently. Please send a water bottle, that can be kept at school, labeled with your student’s name, with them each day. We do not have cups, disposable water bottles, or any other way for student to remain hydrated!

Parent Coffees Coming Soon
I recognize that not being able to be in the building and on campus can lead to feelings of disconnection – it’s difficult for me, too, to not have you with us. Please look for emails invitations in the coming week for Grade Level Coffee gatherings with me – I look forward to conversation, fellowship, and community building with you!

  • Sept 30 All School Parent-Teacher Conferences, 3:30-7 PM
  • Oct 7 All School Parent-Teacher Conferences, 3:30-8 PM
  • Oct 8 All School Parent-Teacher Conferences, 8 AM-4 PM, NO CLASSES
  • Oct 20-22 Fall Break – NO CLASSES
  • Oct 29 End of Quarter 1 – All Assignments and Assessments Due
  • Nov 1 GRADING DAY – NO CLASSES
  • Nov 2 Quarter 2 Begins


Lower School Division News

from Renee Wright, Lower School DirectorLS News

Monday Morning Meetings In Lower School
On many Mondays Lower School students gather for a Monday Morning Meeting. Our first Monday Morning Meeting of the school year took place on Monday, September 20 at 8:30 AM via Zoom. Coming together for these meetings unites the Lower School and sets the direction for the week ahead.

Our Monday Morning Meeting follows an agenda which encourages student participation. To start the meeting students get moving for “Brain Dance” led by Ms. Espeland. Brain Dance is composed of eight developmental movements that fire up the central nervous system and encourage the brain and body to work together. Often times, students are moving to the music they are learning about in music class. This week students were moving to the music of Esperanza Spalding, a well-known jazz string bass player, singer, composer, and teacher. Students also meet new faculty/staff during the “Who’s Who at MPA?” segment of the meeting. This week students met third grade teacher, Mrs. Colianni. She shared information and virtual photos about herself and her family. Another important agenda item is “Student Splash” when students present what they are learning in the classroom. This week fourth graders presented information about our Conflict Manager program which empowers fourth graders to help Lower School students solve conflicts on the playground. Other fourth graders shared a science lesson on variables. During the “Word Wizard” segment of the agenda a fourth grade student is quizzed on the meanings of the Words of the Week. It is inspiring to see our fourth graders show their vocabulary skills as word wizards. Lastly, as a way to chart the course for the week students hear about events of the week during the “Joyful Journey” segment of the meeting. This week the students heard about Homecoming and the special things they can look forward to next week. These meetings last about 30 minutes and end with the MPA School song as a way to show school spirit and start the week on a high note.

Monday Morning Meeting is a wonderful way to start the week. The meetings are a beautiful collaboration between teachers and students. Everyone benefits from the Monday Morning Meeting experience. Lower School students experience and get comfortable with public speaking and find it rewarding to present at the meeting. Teachers believe the meetings build community within Lower School. These meetings are a highlight of the week for everyone!

Conflict Managers
Fourth graders at Mounds Park Academy received conflict management training during the first few weeks of school for their role as Conflict Managers. Each day for the rest of the school year two fourth graders (on a rotating basis) will assist Lower School students with conflicts as they arise on our playground. This is a wonderful leadership opportunity for the fourth graders and a terrific service to our LS students. It is honorable to see how seriously our fourth graders take this responsibility.

Homecoming Happenings
September 27 – October 1 is Homecoming Week at Mounds Park Academy! This is an exciting time to come together as a community to show school spirit and celebrate our fantastic school. Lower School students will be involved in many of the special events throughout the week as a way to help students experience the Homecoming tradition at MPA. Below you will find the list of Lower School events throughout the week and special opportunities your child may want to participate in.

  • Monday, September 27: Pajama Day for all LS students.
  • Friday, October 1: Spirit Day! Students should wear their Homecoming T-Shirt and non-uniform bottoms. We encourage the MPA colors blue and white!

Recess Events:

  1. Recess Photo Booth: Students will have the opportunity to get their photo taken with MPA spirit props at the Homecoming Photo Booth during recess. Photos will be made available to families on Schoology.
  2. Thursday, September 30: All Lower School Students will gather together at the end of recess to sing and sign the MPA School Song as one group. Ms. Espeland will lead the song and our communication office will document this special event with a video. This will also be shared on Schoology for parents to enjoy.

Coloring Sheet
Lower School students took home an MPA Panther coloring sheet this week to promote Homecoming. Encourage your child to color the Panther and return the sheet to school during the week of September 27. We will hang their beautiful pictures in the LS hallway for everyone to enjoy!

Ways To Foster Lifelong Reading Habits

  1. Provide a wide variety of reading material. Children need to experience reading fiction and non-fiction, magazines, graphic novels, and comic books. Children need access to lots of texts to help them discover their interests. You never know what will absorb a child when reading.
  2. Celebrate all reading. Children will read more if given choices in what they read. Do not push children to read harder books, give up picture books or comics, or limit their reading choices when they are selecting books for pleasure. Praise them for reading and show interest in the books they choose.
  3. Limit screen time. The more time children spend using electronic devices and watching television, the less they read. Encourage children to read books or magazines in print to develop reading stamina.

Credit: Eight Ways for Parents and Teachers to Foster Wild and Lifelong Reading Habits, by Donalyn Miller. Miller is an education and literacy consultant.

Dates To Remember 

  • September 27 – October 2: Homecoming Week
  • September 30, October 7, October 8: Parent/Teacher Conferences
  • October 8: No Classes
  • October 20 – 22: No Classes/Fall Break


The Responsibility of Bold Innovation

from Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of SchoolHead's Message

I have to admit I am a big fan of dystopia books, film, and television. Favorite books include “The Stand” by Stephen King and “Swan Song” by Robert McCammon, movies such as “The Day After Tomorrow” and “I Am Legend”, and television shows like “The Leftovers” and “The Walking Dead.” It’s not that I like gloom and doom or enjoy blood and gore. Rather, I see dystopian literature, films, and television as windows into the human condition, what humans are capable of in the face of horrific conditions, great suffering, or terrible injustice, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Living through the last several weeks, let alone the last 18 months, has been all too much like a dystopian novel. Wildfires in the west, hurricanes in the south, the drought here in Minnesota combined with the lingering effects of the pandemic, all present a series of challenges that are testing the fabric of our society. Like characters in a dystopian movie, we are learning a great deal about ourselves, what we value, and what we are willing to do to endure.

Imagine my surprise last week when dystopia seemed to invade my professional life when I came across the article “Schooling in the ‘Fifth Season’” by Justin Reich in the latest edition of one of my favorite education journals, Educational Leadership. What caught my attention was a quote from a study conducted by the United States Change Research Program, “Humans are re-engineering the geo-chemistry of the planet to be inhospitable to our current civilization. As average temperatures rise and extreme weather events become more common, there will be more fires, more floods, more freezes, more novel disease events, and accompanying migration, civil unrest, and conflict.” (Reidmiller, et al., 2018) While I’m not sure I agree with this assessment, I believe that conducting school no just like we did 18 months ago would be a mistake. Educational systems must be inherently structured to pivot and change and to become more agile and proactively responsive. Read More


Connecting With The MPA Parents Association

Parents Connect: Wednesday Morning WalksPA Connect

The Parents Association invites parents and guardians to get together Wednesday mornings after drop off. Mark your calendars, it will be fun! Wednesday, September 8 we’ll have a 30-minute walk with Michelle Mick. We’ll meet at the flagpole near the LS entrance. LS, MS and US families are welcome. Chat with new parents and connect with friends. Younger children are welcome to walk with us.

After that walk if parents are interested, we can head over to the Farmer’s Market at Aldrich Arena, a short walk from MPA. They have a large variety of great produce and you’ll be supporting local farmers.

Remember to bring a mask to all events! Hope to see you there!

Parents Connect: Monday and Thursday Mornings in the Garden

Get your hands dirty after drop off, helping in MPA’s gardens. No experience necessary. Come and help weed, plant, dig, or sow, all are welcome. How long you stay is up to you. If Michelle Mick is not at the flagpole, go around the corner, in the Library gardens, next to Door #2.

Upcoming garden dates resume on Monday, September 13. Michelle is unable to meet Thursday, September 9.

Remember to bring a mask! Hope to see you there!

News from the MPA Gardens

‘Tis the season to see the beautiful Monarch butterflies fill up, on their way down to Mexico where they overwinter. In the library gardens, this past week there have been lots of butterflies (a kaleidoscope of butterflies!) feeding off the long purple flower at the end of the gardens near the library — the flower is liatris/blazing star, a native, and if you have a chance, do please wander through the gardens, with your student or alone to catch the last glimpse of them before they fly off on their way until next year. This past week we have seen up to 20 of them circling around, landing, dancing in the air — it really is a beautiful sight!


A Commitment To Growth

from Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School Head's Message

On Wednesday morning I had the pleasure of attending the first Lower School CHAMP assembly of the new school year. If you are not familiar with CHAMP, it stands for “Character Happens At Mounds Park.” My day began greeting students as they entered school wearing a rainbow of designated colors unique to their grade level. The assembly would ordinarily take place in person, but instead students gathered via Zoom to engage joyfully in song, learn about the attribute of the new year, and listen to a book read by librarian Nancy Lage. Afterwards, classroom teachers invited students to share their thoughts and experiences on the theme.

Now in its eleventh year, the CHAMP program will continue to focus on its primary philosophy of guiding students to act with a specific set of traits to produce responsible citizens. As explained by Renee Wright, Lower School Director, classes will continue to focus on the eleven attributes in order to endorse real-life application of Friendship, Compassion, Respect, Inclusiveness, Courage, Self-control, Responsibility, Cooperation, Mindfulness, Integrity, and Perseverance. The focus this year will be on being accountable and students will focus on being accountable to self, family, school, and community. Read More