MPA Parent Schoology Groups
April 9, 2020
Since we transitioned to virtual learning, parents and guardians are no longer able to connect with one another on campus, at events, or at activities. We know that your relationships are just as important to our school community as your children’s relationships, so we have created a virtual way for you to continue fostering them.
We recognize that some grade levels have private Facebook groups and those are wonderful—as a school community, however, we know that not every family is on Facebook. We do know that every family is on Schoology, so we’ve decided to use that as a tool to further facilitate grade-level parent and guardian communication and collaboration. These groups will be for you and by you; they will not be used for the school to communicate information. We will continue to use Panther Post, institutional emails and division emails to fulfill that need.
These groups are an opportunity for you to share resources, ask questions, post events or photos, and to support one another as MPA parents. Students are not a part of these groups. Your Parent’s Association grade representative(s) can provide additional guidance and ideas on ways to utilize these groups for additional parental support and connections. Read More
Parents Association Virtual Happy Hour
April 8, 2020
The MPA Parents Association invites all parents to gather via Zoom for a virtual happy hour next Tuesday April 14 at 7 PM. There is no agenda! Ask, answer, share, vent, laugh, cry–whatever your mood moves you to do. We all miss the in-person conversations and socializing that a given week at MPA provides. While online gatherings can’t be a true substitute, let’s give it a try!
Join via Zoom >
Call in: +1 312 626 6799
Meeting ID: 626 573 128
MPA Goes Virtual: Elli Carlson
April 8, 2020
This story series illustrates how our community is embracing, growing, and connecting through virtual learning together. Read on to hear MPA senior Elli Carlson’s thoughts as #MPAgoesvirtual!
Away from campus, Elli has adapted to virtual learning in her at-home classroom, making sure it’s super cozy and an enjoyable place to attend her online classes in. In addition to her synchronous classes on Zoom, she is excited to further explore more online tools, such as peardeck.com.
Elli defines “virtual learning” as moving the MPA classroom to an online setting while maintaining the unique dynamics of the learning environment at MPA–and she agrees her teachers are successfully doing that and more.
“MPA teachers have already done a great job of taking initiative around virtual learning. By reaching out and showing students they are thinking ahead, they have always communicated that their doors are always open, in real life and online,” she said. “Thank you, MPA, for making this transition so seamless! We are all very lucky to have so many avenues to communicate in this situation.”
MPA’s First Ever Virtual Spring Auction
April 2, 2020
Save the date for MPA’s first ever virtual Spring Auction! Since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic and MPA’s shift to virtual learning, so much of our world has changed! One thing that has remained the same throughout all of this is the importance of our connection to one another, especially as we work together to overcome whatever challenges or obstacles may be in our way.
In this spirit, our volunteer Spring Auction committee is pleased to announce that this year’s 2020 MPA Spring Auction: Light Up the Night is going virtual! Join us on Friday, April 17 for a fun evening filled with inspirational stories, fun auction items to bid and win, and the most important element that makes MPA so special: community.
We need you now more than ever to ensure every student, family, and staff member has what they need to dream big, do right, and light up the world. Learn more about the event, including answers to some frequently asked questions and the changes to expect this year. Check your email inbox this weekend with more details and ways you and your entire family can get involved! Questions? Contact Jennifer Rogers at 308-765-0524 or via email at email@example.com.
Connect, Play, And Create With MPA’s Virtual Playground
April 2, 2020
Join us to connect, play, and create With MPA’s Virtual Playground! Beginning April 8, join via Zoom from 3:30-4 PM Wednesdays-Fridays for the following sessions:
Wednesdays: PreK-4 Playground (beginning April 8)
Thursdays: All Ages Guest Speaker (beginning April 9)
Fridays: All Ages Fiber Friends (beginning April 10)
Students age 13 and under must join with a parent. MPA Virtual Playground is facilitated by Tracey Joyce, Technology Integrationist and Nicole Koen, Makerspace Coordinator.
COVID-19: A Transformational Moment For Parents
April 2, 2020
“The most valuable thing that will come from this pandemic is that we don’t have time to save our kids from negative emotions anymore.” Mounds Park Academy school psychologist Jules Nolan shared this observation in a recent virtual MPA parent education session.
In recent years, Nolan has observed an unfortunate parenting style that involves parents “over saving” their children from experiencing negative emotions. The unintended consequence of this well-intentioned approach is that too many young adults fall apart at the first sign of a challenge. With the COVID-19 pandemic, parents do not have the time, resources, or emotional energy to assuage every moment of their children’s boredom, loneliness, frustration, and anger. This is a good thing.
Nolan likens the COVID-19 situation to wartime, where every family member has to take responsibility for the functioning of the family. She calls it “an opportune moment to embrace the idea that our children are an important part of our family—but they are not to be the centerpiece of the family.”
Over the next several weeks, kids will become skilled at being sad, bored, lonely and disappointed. They will gain experience in tolerating uncertainty, navigating frustration, and overcoming boredom. These skills are connected to regulating emotions, and predict strong outcomes for kids such as good performance in school, college, and life (Durlak et. al., 2011). Nolan sees our current reality as “a rich garden, ready for cultivating the social and emotional skills that kids really need to develop.” Read More
Kindergarteners Send Joy To Senior Living Friends
April 1, 2020
The MPA kindergarten class kicked off virtual learning with a community-centered homework assignment! Kindergarten teacher Ms. Petersen contacted two local senior living facilities and asked if the students could partner with them in order to foster relationships while social distancing and help the kindergarten students continue their CHAMP journey away from campus.
To go along with their letter “J” activity, each student wrote and illustrated a joke for the senior living residents. The assignment also encouraged them to practice spelling and creative details in their drawings. The students then mailed their jokes to Ms. P, and also used this opportunity to explore their own address, discuss how mail is processed and delivered, and learn more about the history of stamps and stamp collecting.
Ms. P is delivering the jokes to the senior living facilities, and even has permission to hang them on the windows outside! The students are ecstatic to be providing joy throughout the community during this time, executing their CHAMP behavior by communicating with an isolated population. Have a good laugh and see all of their jokes here!
Opportunities To Connect And Volunteer Virtually
April 1, 2020
We’ve heard from many families in recent weeks as we’ve planned for and unveiled virtual learning. One theme that keeps coming up is that MPA families want to spread the joy and love they have for school, while supporting teachers who are working hard to continue meaningful education across divisions. Sign up today to become a volunteer. Here is a sample of some of the ways you can get involved!
- Guest lecture: Share your knowledge to students of all ages by becoming a guest speaker during one of our live class sessions.
- Support recruitment: Sign up to have a virtual conversation with a prospective family.
- Spread the MPA love: We are gathering families willing to help with care packages, family meals, write letters to families or others in need.
- Build a virtual community: Sign up to be a host a for a virtual family gathering with other MPA families. We know physical distancing is important, but let’s make sure our social connections remain.
- Stay social: Social media engagement is more important now than ever. Follow, share, and like on all MPA social media platforms.
- Support virtual learning: Help us ensure parents and students have support at home to continue their education by becoming a tutor.
- Help teachers and parents provide STEAM activities at home: If you have a background in science, engineering, computer programming, or the arts, connect with us about how to create video content for students of all ages.
- Share your knowledge: Parents with a background in health care, education, or knowledge of public health and pandemics could share their knowledge during upcoming parent education events.
- Be a Buddy: Join our network of Buddy Program families to connect with new families and help them navigate their transition to MPA.
- Donate: Your support helps us to navigate the challenges we face and to fill the gap for families, employees, and expenses associated with our virtual learning implementation. Your gift today will support our Community Care Fund means Panthers can stay connected, continue to learn, and that everyone has the resources they need for a meaningful education during this time of uncertainty.
Questions? Contact Jennifer Rogers, director of development and community engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org or 308-765-0524.