Reading Our Way To Success

middle school boys reading togetherby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? Who doesn’t love a good Dr. Seuss book? Last week I read to both the PreK and Kindergarten classes, choosing from among my childhood favorites. The PreK class loved Mr. Brown as much as I loved sharing it with them as I did with my own children. There is something about coming together and forging a relationship by sharing a good book, even if it is not necessarily a great literary work!

Excitement is building as our new library inches towards opening. Throughout the next several weeks, over 30,000 books will find a new home. For this to happen, we’ve needed to temporarily close the library in order to make the move. In the meantime, Lower School library time is being filled by administrators reading to our students. In addition to reading to the PreK students, I also read another of my favorite books, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, to the Kindergarteners. Read More

Thank You For Showing Your Appreciation!

parent volunteers wrapping gifts for faculty and staffA huge thank you from the Parents Association to everyone who participated in the Faculty and Staff Gift Wrapping event on Monday!

It was so much fun to gather together and wrap presents for the staff. There were 23 staff members who brought in gifts for parent volunteers to wrap–which is up from 19 last year–and the total number of gifts wrapped or bagged was…drum roll, please…346, which is 96 more than last year! This was such a great way to come together as a community!

Navigating Mindful Technology Use

Tracey Joyce at the ISACS conferenceOn November 8, MPA’s PreK-12 academic technology integrationist, Ms. Joyce, presented at the ISACS conference in Louisville on the topic of “Digital Wellness: Tech with Intention.” She has presented on Digital Wellness locally for a parent series at Visitation School and at the local ISACS conference last spring. Her discussion covered how the design thinking process can help educators discover the best way to use technology with intention. She also shared apps, extensions, and activities for how to bring mindfulness into educators lives and the lives of students.

On December 13, from 8-9 AM in the PCR, Ms. Joyce will have another opportunity for Lower School parents to learn more about mindful technology use at the Lower School Parent Education event. “We as adults are so influential in the lives of our children, and have a lot to learn so we can model good practices,” she said. She also notes that children are aware of their parents’ technology habits and device use. “Even when the reason for technology use is ‘for work,’ it is still time being taken away from them, and they notice that.” Read More

RSVP To Experience MPA

middle schools students and teacher working together You and your entire family are warmly invited to attend the MPA Preview on Sunday, January 26 at 2 PM. See what’s possible when students are inspired to dream big and do right. This event will allow families to truly experience the joy of learning that our students do each day. Rotate among hands-on, experiential lessons taught by expert faculty. Between lessons, join student and parent ambassadors for an opportunity to see our state-of-the-art facilities.

As you consider MPA and your options, please make plans to attend this event. This PreK-12 offering is one not to miss!

Discovering Confidence On And Off The Court

Catherine Moore '20The following essay is adapted from MPA Class of 2020 member Catherine Moore’s Senior Speech.

I have been at MPA since kindergarten and during my time here, I have done and been many different things. In the early years, my aspirations ranged from being a veterinarian—a job that many regular people would think is a good life goal—to astronaut—again, a good job, though harder to get there, but still fairly normal … to finally … a mermaid. Clearly, my interests would wander, changing with whatever creative thought passed through my head. Luckily, MPA gave me a place to explore my less realistic, yet aspirational side. I don’t know about doing right, but I definitely dreamed big.

My afterschool interests varied, too. I tried soccer and swimming, joined basketball and played volleyball. I loved everything about sports … especially the competitiveness. I enjoyed being physical and loved my will to win. I engaged in as many sports as possible. Eventually, however, it was volleyball that caught my attention and gave me an anchor and a steady focus. In many ways, some of the most important lessons I have learned have come from being on a volleyball team, whether that was here at MPA or on a club team. Read More

MPA Named Top STEM School In The US

lower and middle school students in the makerspace togetherby Mark Segal, Upper School director

Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month, you will find a guest Head’s Message here from one of MPA’s division directors. We hope you enjoy reading their thoughts and reflections about life at MPA.

November 8, 2019 was a big day for the MPA community. Many of you remember the community energy and excitement as we celebrated the Volleyball Team as they competed in their first State Volleyball Tournament. This, however, was not the only thing we celebrated that day. November 8 was also the day that Mounds Park Academy was named one of the top 500 STEM high schools in the United States by Newsweek. Given there are more than 37,000 high schools, this is a very significant honor. Many of our fellow awardees are STEM schools or have STEM programs, while MPA believes that integrating science, technology, engineering, art, and math into all aspects of an MPA education aligns best with our whole-child approach. Here, we add an “A” intentionally, referring to the disciplines together as STEAM.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2016 there were nearly nine million STEM/STEAM jobs representing 6.5% of the US workforce. Looking ahead, those numbers are expected to grow 70 percent faster than other occupations and many educators are encouraging students to take an interest in the subjects and courses that will provide a solid foundation in these areas. This is fabulous advice and fits well with MPA’s educational approach that allows PreK through 12th grade students to explore topics and ideas through multiple disciplines, examining problems and situations with insight from science, math, art, and humanities. Read More

MPA Fifth Grader Doing Right In The Community

fifth grader Maggie mcgrortyMPA fifth grader Maggie M. was recently featured in The Gazette for doing right in the community! When she noticed that her neighborhood didn’t have a caution sign for turtles crossing the road near a local pond, she immediately stepped in to find a solution. Inspired and empowered by her community and peers at MPA, Maggie wrote a letter to Stillwater Mayor Ted Kozlowski.

In her letter, Maggie elaborated why installing a sign was important not only to her, but to the entire neighborhood. She even offered to fundraise for the installation of the sign in order to make sure the problem was solved as soon as possible. Mayor Kozlowski was so impressed by Maggie’s initiative that he wrote back asking to meet and decide where the sign should go! Maggie knew exactly where turtles cross the road by a pond across from the Stillwater Country Club, and also knew it is highly traveled by cars. Today, the sign is now prominently displayed, bringing attention to the turtles passing through, thanks to her.

Maggie’s advice to her peers who also want to make change is to think about what you are able to do, and secondly, what you want to do. “Look for things around you that help you become inspired,” Maggie said.

Join Us For A Rescheduled Screening Of “Angst”

angst the movieDue to technical difficulties during a previous screening of “Angst,” MPA will have a re-screening on Wednesday, December 11 at 8:15 AM in the Recital Hall. This screening is for adults only. We hope you will join us! No RSVP is required.

Producers Scilla Andreen and Karin Gornick have one goal that Mounds Park Academy wholeheartedly supports: to start a global conversation and raise awareness around anxiety. Through candid interviews, they utilize the power of film to tell the stories of many kids and teens who discuss their anxiety and its impacts on their lives and relationships, as well as how they’ve found solutions and hope. In addition, the documentary provides discussions with mental health experts about the causes of anxiety and its sociological effects, along with the help, resources, and tools available to address the condition. The film includes interviews with children, teens, educators, experts, parents, and a very special interview with Michael Phelps.

Thank you in advance for helping spread this invitation throughout your networks! If you have any questions, please contact Jenn Milam, Ph.D., MPA Middle School director, at jmilam@moundsparkacademy.orgor 651-748-5598.

Panther Club Parents’ Night Out

upper school student doing stem activities with lower schoolersWhether you have holiday errands to do or would like a night to yourself, Panther Club and MPA Robotics has you covered. Drop off your children and enjoy the night! Parents’ Night Out is Friday, December 13 from 6-9 PM. Activities will take place in the Family Commons. All Lower School Students are welcome! With the help of Upper School Robotics, the group will play with Lego Robotics, Minecraft, the Robotics Team’s robot, and watch Big Hero 6. Feel free to bring a pillow to get comfy for movie time. Milk and cookies will be served with the movie.

Panther Club Parents’ Night Out is $10 per student. To sign up, please contact Russ Purdy, extended day coordinator, at or 651-748-5571.

Meet MPA Parent Michelle Mick

Michelle mick, mpa parentWhat do you love about MPA?
The community of wonderful people, the faculty, staff, parents, students–everyone has the common goal, to “Dream Big, Do Right.” This is breathed through the entire MPA experience, so much that when I pick Isaac up at the end of the day, he shares stories of all the wonderful experiences that have encouraged him to continue to dream big and do right. This school is the epitome of all we could but dream of– a wonderful, solid, first-class education, providing opportunities for the students to be recognized as individuals and also allowing them to learn how important each of their contributions are, building towards a higher purpose for which they have all been a part of.

What initially attracted you to MPA?
That the Lower, Middle and Upper School divisions are all on the same campus, that there is a synchronous connection between the divisions, and that there is respect by all who are part of the MPA community.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
Every day, Isaac is encouraged to do the right thing, given the options of how best to handle situations, whether it is in the classroom, the corridor on the way to lunch, or out at recess. In the classroom, Isaac is asked to approach situations where he is given the confidence and self-belief that he can achieve it, encouraging him to dream big. Read More