Register For Summer At MPA!

MPA Music teacher Hannah LawsonWe are pleased to be offering an expanded summer program with a larger choice of academic programs, enrichment classes, athletic clinics, full and half day Panther Camp, and much more for students of all ages! As always, our goal is to provide our participants with the highest quality program in the context of a safe and healthy environment.

Register at All Lower School classes and camps are currently open for registration. More Middle and Upper School options will be added in the coming days.

If you have any questions, please contact Russ Purdy, extended day program coordinator, at 651-748-5571 or

Summer Athletic Camps
Register for our great athletic camp options this summer! MPA is excited to offer a basketball, soccer, and volleyball camp this year. Panther Boys and Girls Summer Basketball Camp is open to students in grades 4-9 from June 14-17. Panther Boys and Girls Soccer Camp is open to students in grades K-6 from June 21-24. Panther Boys and Girls Summer Volleyball camp is July 12-14, and Panther Girls Volleyball Camp for grades 9-12 is July 19-21. Learn more and register here!

MPA PA Hosting Virtual Movie Event

lower school student watching in classThank You!
In this time of re-enrollment, the Parents Association wishes to thank you for your contributions through TADS. In a normal year, because of your donations, we are able to foster a sense of community through events both on and off campus. This year has been more challenging and we have been limited to Zoom socials, Faculty and Staff Appreciation, online movies, and virtual educational events. It is important to us to be good stewards of your funds. Thank you to all the wonderful families that make up MPA!

Virtual Movie Event for MPA, Saturday, March 6
We’ve made it to Spring Break! Please join the MPA Parents Association for a showing of “Inside Out” (Rated PG). It’s been quite a year, with all kinds of emotions and stressors. If you tuned in to Dr. Hudson’s Town Hall, then you may have heard Dr. Jules Nolan speaking about emotions, stress and anxiety and her key point was to talk about your feelings…”Name it to Tame it”. That can be hard. Maybe this movie can help. Common Sense Media calls this movie, a “beautiful, original story about handling big emotions”. Look for an email coming on Friday with the Watch Link and Pass Phrase. The movie can be accessed all day Saturday March 6, so tune in at your convenience. If you don’t get an email by Friday evening please contact Tara Lafferty at

How We Prepare Students To Live, Learn, And Thrive

first graders creating their 3D community modelby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Educators are infamous for creating esoteric terms and anachronyms to describe different approaches to teaching and learning. Project-based learning, or PBL, is one such term but should not be confused with problem-based learning, also PBL. Both PBLs are similar, yet different. Debate exists within educational circles as to whether Design Thinking is a more inclusive term for both PBLs. To further complicate matters, some educators prefer the term “inquiry-based learning”. Confused? Ambivalent? Let me try to translate.

Whether described as project, problem, or inquiry-based learning, this form of learning has roots in what John Dewey (American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer who is often referred to as one of the “fathers of American education”) called “progressive education.” Contemporary educational theorists refer to it as a pedagogy (another educational esoteric term that designates an educational method) that “engages students in creating, questioning, and revising knowledge, while developing their skills in critical thinking, collaboration, communication, reasoning, synthesis, and resilience” (Barron & Darling-Hammond, 2008). Read More

MPA Through The Decades: 2010’s

Much has changed at MPA from the experiences of its first students in 1982 to today. But one thing remains the same: the people who are at the heart of what it means to be a part of the MPA community make it what it is. The teachers, staff, students, parents, alumni, parents of alumni, grandparents, and so many others each embody the MPA spirit to make an impact not only in the hallways and classrooms at MPA, but out in the world.

On Tuesday, March 2, we invite you to join with your decade of fellow MPA alumni to support the MPA students of today and tomorrow. This year, participation matters more than ever before as we have two challenges that could provide $20,000 to MPA in matching gifts. From the 80s, 90s, 2000s, 2010s and today, the MPA panther pride remains strong. If your class’ decade reaches 12% participation, you will unlock a $2,500 challenge gift to support MPA’s next generation. If all four MPA decades reach 12% then it will earn an additional $10,000, totaling $20,000 in matching challenge gifts! Alumni through the decades–1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s, and 2010’s– are sharing why they give in honor of this special day.

Every gift matters, in any amount–your participation is so important to the future of our school and is gratefully received. Thank you for your support of the MPA students of today and tomorrow!

Annie Stewart ’11
In the past, I’ve donated during the Alumni Day of Giving as a way to show my gratitude for a physical space, and for the teachers and staff who make that space into a challenging, nurturing and supportive learning environment. Now, as a teacher in my own classroom, I also donate to support current MPA students. Regardless of where they are in their MPA journey, they are well on their way to carving a path for themselves in the community, and the world. For me there is nothing more exciting than being able to support students in dreaming big and achieving their goals.

Nick Dugas ’11
“I give to Mounds Park Academy because I realize more and more, year after year, how essential my time there was in helping me become the person I am today. This ongoing discovery process of realizing how important my MPA education was is a gift that continues to give, and I give back to help future students and alumni have that opportunity.”

Amanda Magistad ’12
I give so that future generations of students can receive the same quality education I did and develop into thoughtful and inquisitive global citizens.

Essential Planning For 2021-22

upper school and fourth grade chemistry doing a lab togetherby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Growing up, I loved the summer vacations of our family. They were wonderful cross-country car trips that my mom and dad would spend months planning, engaging my sister, brother, and me in the process. (We still laugh that my little brother sat on a cushion between the two bucket front seats on the entire ride out to Boston and back.) Those road trips never quite worked out the way they were intended, but were, nonetheless, spectacular and we always had a marvelous time.

President Dwight Eisenhower is famous for saying, “Plans are worthless but planning is everything.” Like our summer road trips, a plan is essential, but what is most important is the planning. As we look forward to the 2021-22 school year, we are building upon the successes we’ve enjoyed this year as well as the lessons we have learned. A year ago, we began with a core set of values drawn from our school’s mission statement. Given the uncertainty, we knew that we needed a plan that was flexible and agile so that we could pivot quickly if necessary. Tying ourselves to a set of values enabled us to successfully adapt as the circumstances warranted. Read More

What Google’s Discovery Means For An MPA Student

Kindergarten student working in the Makerspaceby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Not long ago, Google decided to do some self-reflection. Cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page set out to determine the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees. As a company that mostly hired top computer scientists, I imagine they were more than a bit surprised to find that of these eight qualities, expertise in STEM was not first nor second, but eighth! The top seven were: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others’ different values and points of view); having empathy toward, and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.

What can we learn from Google about the future of creating smart, successful, in-demand graduates? The skills that students learn from the humanities and liberal arts are in high demand. In addition to the skills listed above, Google’s follow up research identified having curiosity toward teammates’ ideas, harboring emotional intelligence, valuing equality, being generous, and cultivating emotional safety as additional key skills for their employees. Read More

Summer Registration Is Open!

summer campers in science campWe are pleased to be offering an expanded summer program with a larger choice of academic programs, enrichment classes, athletic clinics, full and half day Panther Camp, and much more for students of all ages! As always, our goal is to provide our participants with the highest quality program in the context of a safe and healthy environment.

Register at All Lower School classes and camps are currently open for registration. More Middle and Upper School options will be added in the coming days.

If you have any questions, please contact Russ Purdy, extended day program coordinator, at 651-748-5571 or

Virtual Maker Fest Is Saturday, February 20!

Amelia Dickson's digital artworkWe are so excited for Virtual Maker Fest 2021 this weekend! On Saturday, February 20 at 11 AM, join us on Zoom as community makers to showcase their projects, passions, and hands on how-to demonstrations. Participants will be able to view the presentations by visiting different breakout rooms, ask questions, and discuss with our guest presenters. We are looking forward to seeing you there to celebrate our creative community!

Join via Zoom >
Meeting ID 913 0516 4223
Passcode: makerfest

Discover MPA Student And Maker Amelia Dickson
We interviewed MPA student and passionate maker Amelia Dickson so you can get to know her ahead of time! Don’t miss her Virtual Maker Fest presentation on Zoom Saturday, February 20 at 11 AM! Discover Amelia’s artwork and learn more about Virtual Maker Fest >

Seeking Host Families For International Students

two international students in the makerspaceDo 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 international students for the 2021-22 school year. For one exceptional prospective Middle School student in particular, we are seeking a current family to host her.

Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has created for our new international students, they are truly 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. Read More

We Are In Good Hands

Kindergartners gifting Dr. Hudson a scarf by Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I was pleasantly surprised Tuesday by a visit from Ms. Petersen’s kindergartners who presented me with a very nice MPA blue scarf. As we sat on the floor together in the hallway outside my office (six feet apart, of course!), they shared that they are spreading kindness throughout the school this month. The scarf was an act of kindness to thank me for my efforts to safely open school this year. As one of them put it, “You were a great leader and protector,” in the classroom.

For many, the future looks grim. Some people have lost faith in our society and feel hopeless and helpless. However, when so much seems to be outside of our control, I believe we must seek aspects of our lives we can control. Taking action now on something that will have a positive impact in years ahead can help us move through those feelings of hopelessness. In the midst of uncertainty, for instance, investing in the education of our children is essentially an act of hope and kindness.

Over the years, many MPA families and alumni have expressed their faith and confidence in the future by making a planned or estate gift to the school. These types of gifts might include making MPA the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan, creating a charitable gift annuity, or most simply, by making a bequest through your will. There are many ways you can designate a future gift through your estate planning. Contact the Development Office to learn more about what options might work best for you. Read More