An Exciting Together, We Dream Update

color palette and cafeteria furniture for our new spaceby Jennifer Rogers, Director of Development and Community Engagement

A lot of exciting improvements are beginning to take shape for our new commons, cafeteria, kitchen, and library! This week, we are sharing the work of several teachers, staff members, and students who have been working hard to help pick our new furniture and fixtures for the spaces! Here is a sneak peek of our color palette and cafeteria furniture for our new space.

Generous families have helped us to reach $3.8 million toward the Together, We Dream initiatives! Thank you to everyone who has helped us to reach this milestone! Our goal is to raise $4 million by May 1 in order to begin construction on the library this summer. Thanks to the generous spirit of our community, we are 76% of the way to our overall goal of $5 million for improvements to our school. Learn more at

Participate In Screen-Free Week

Lower schooler playing outsideThis spring, families around the nation will voluntarily turn off their TVs, computers, and other screens to rediscover that life can be more rewarding with less screen time. MPA is challenging Lower School students and their families to participate in Screen-Free Week by leaving your screens off the week of April 29-May 5.

In the course of a year, American children spend more time in front of the TV and other screens than in school. We think that Screen-Free Week 2019 is a great way to jumpstart our kids into more reading, learning, and active play. It’s also a lot of fun!

We encourage your child and family to participate in Screen-Free Week. We understand that technology is part of the educational and work process, but ask you set the goal to refrain from using screens for entertainment. If interested in participating, return your pledge card to the Lower School office by April 26!

If 45 MPA students and families sign up and “survive” the entire week with no TV, computers and other screens, Mr. Purdy has agreed to color his hair neon pink at the Lower School Monday Morning Meeting in May.

If you have any questions or would like to receive additional information about Screen-Free Week, contact Russ Purdy at or 651-748-5571.

Thank you for making Screen-Free Week a success!

The Long-Term Outcome Of An MPA Education

mpa alumni gathered in New Yorkby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I’m one of the few people who actually enjoys painting a room or even a house. Several years ago, we had our 100-year-old house re-stuccoed, which required scraping and painting the wood trim around the windows. In order to save a few dollars, we decided to do it ourselves. More than 30 windows later and a lot of work, the job was done, and the house looked great. Whether its painting, cooking, or refinishing old furniture, I like seeing the rapid transformation of a finished job. In contrast, the work of educating young people is never finished and there are not often opportunities to see an immediate outcome. Read More

Retirement Celebration Save The Date

karen Rossbach teaching lower school artWe are celebrating three long-time faculty and staff members as they retire at the end of this school year. Please join us in showing your appreciation for Karen Rossbach, Dave McGaha, and Laurie Foss, by attending the annual Retirement Celebration on Thursday, May 30 from 4-7 PM at Keller Golf Club. An invitation will follow. Mounds Park Academy extends its sincere gratitude for all they have done for our students and community.

“It sounds so cliché, but I will miss the people the most. I could have never imagined working with people who were so supportive and philosophically on the same page about education. And the children brought me so much joy each day,” says Karen. Read More

Inspiring A Playful And Joyful Performance

families view art at lower school art showby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

It is difficult to be thinking about spring while a snow storm is bearing down on us and we are all enjoying an unexpected snow day. However, spring is my favorite season for many reasons. One of which is the Lower School Art and Music Show. Slowly, over spring break, the gallery and halls of MPA come alive with beautiful works of art created by our Lower School students. Ms. Rossbach works throughout the break to carefully curate and present their art thoughtfully and enchantingly. If you have walked the halls this past week or so, I am sure you will agree with me that it is magnificent.

The theme of this year’s show is inspired by the music of the Beatles, envisioned and interpreted by our very talented Lower School students. Art teacher Karen Rossbach and Music teacher Mari Espeland have yet again collaborated magnificently—as they have for more than 33 years—to integrate art and music, inspiring a playful and joyful performance that cannot be matched elsewhere.

Read More

Allergy Aware Change For The 2019-20 School Year

pretzels are a nut-free snackBeginning last school year, MPA made a commitment to becoming an even more Food Allergy Aware School and has been guided in part by the voluntary guidelines set forth by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We defined guidelines for our school community, enhanced procedures, and provided additional training and resources for faculty and staff related to all food allergies.

Due to the rising number of students at MPA with life-threatening peanut and/or tree nut allergies, and the rising rate of food allergies in general, MPA will prohibit foods with peanuts and/or tree nuts throughout the school and at all school events beginning July 1, 2019. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies are a growing food safety and public health concern that affect an estimated 4%–6% of children in the United States. One in five children with a food allergy will have a reaction at school. It is important to note that in the United States, fatal or near fatal reactions are most often caused by peanuts and tree nuts.

Read More

Parents Association Open House & Upcoming Events

pa coffee gatheringWe invite the MPA community to attend the MPA Parents Association Open House on Friday, April 19 from 8-9 AM in the Porter Conference Room. Come enjoy coffee and a light breakfast as we discuss our accomplishments this past year and plans for the upcoming school year. Please attend as we would love to get your feedback and ideas. If you are interested in taking on a PA Board or Event Chair position for next year, come to the Open House for more information or contact Kim Jakway at We would love to see you and really appreciate your help! Read More

MPA Is Seeking Host Families

Sarah McFarland talking to an international studentDo you have room to spare? Space in your heart for another family member? A desire to expand your family’s perspective of the world? MPA is seeking host families for several international students for the 2019-20 school year.

Our new students this year are finding great success, experiencing near-daily “firsts,” and loving their MPA journey. Between the adults in their school and home lives, our students feel supported, nurtured, and loved while living so far from their families. This is vital to their success and the strongest testament to everything our MPA host families and staff do to care for our international students.

We would love it if you and your family considered hosting an international student for next school year. As you and your family consider hosting, some logistical questions may arise. The information below is by no means an exhaustive list, but it may answer some of the initial questions you have and prompt additions ones as well:

  • Host families are responsible for providing transportation to and from school and school-related activities.
  • Host families are responsible for providing transportation to and from the airport when the student travels.
  • Host families will work with their student in scheduling rides for social events.
  • A 10-month stipend of $9,000 will be directly deposited in equal installments of $900/month on the first of each month for the previous month, September through June.
  • An early installment of $500 will be deposited on August 1 in preparation of your student’s arrival; the remaining $400 will be deposited on September 1.
  • The daily stipend rate of $30/day will be taken from and disbursed to host families who are providing respite care for a student, as needed.
  • All international students will receive the MPA school lunch. Host families and students do not need to pack lunches.
  • Host families are responsible for providing two meals on all weekdays and three meals on all weekend days.
  • New-to-MPA students are being asked to arrive over the weekend of August 17-18, 2019.
  • New students will have New International Student Orientation on August 20-23.
  • Returning MPA students will probably arrive on/near August 26, preparing for the first day of school on August 28.

By hosting an international student, you and your family have a unique opportunity to bring the language, culture, and perspective of another country into your home, allowing for a truly rich, intercultural experience. The students will love to share their lives with you while becoming a part of your family, exploring Minnesota, and enjoying MPA student life all at the same time.

We hope you’ll consider opening your hearts and homes to one of our international students. If you have any questions, feel free to contact Sarah McFarland, International Student Program Coordinator and Advanced Language & Culture Teacher, at or 651-777-2555.

Click here to fill out a Host Family Application, and here for more information. Thank you so much for considering!

Summer Enrichment with Mr. Purdy

Lower Schooler in science classroomLearning 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 to sign up for these fun summer enrichment classes!

Gifts From All Ages

Isaac and Thomas, two second gradersTwo second grade students, Isaac and Thomas, were recently inspired to raise money to donate to Together, We Dream: The Campaign For MPA.

Thomas proudly brought in his hard-earned $10 donation because he is so excited about the improvements to our school and wanted to be a part of them. He said, “At the groundbreaking, I heard you were trying to raise $5 million. After I went home and thought about it, I decided I had ten dollars that I needed to donate to the construction.”

Isaac’s mother, Michelle, shared that during spring break, Isaac collected trash throughout his neighborhood in exchange for a little bit of money from her. She said, “He really wanted to contribute to the current campaign having seen his classmate Thomas do the same thing with his pocket money.”

When one gift inspires another, big dreams can come true. Thank you, Thomas and Isaac!