Students Give, Get, And Grow Through Community Involvement

first graders reading to a blood drive donorThe world starts small when you’re a kid. In a relative bubble of family, friends, and school, it can be challenging for children to think beyond their own backyard, or to reflect on how they can support or contribute to a community that’s different from their own. Cultivating a service mindset in students early is a powerful key to unlocking a larger world view, while also preparing them for college and creating distinction in their educational experience.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Making Caring Common project published a groundbreaking study focused on inspiring community service as part of the college admissions process. The researchers advocate for how service can help students focus on meaningful ethical and intellectual engagement, while creating a platform for long-term success. The study emphasizes that, through their volunteerism, students should be encouraged to:

  • engage in meaningful, sustained community service that is authentically chosen, consistent, and well-structured, and that provides opportunity for reflection both individually and with peers and adults;
  • take collective action that tackles community challenges;
  • have authentic experiences that focus on “doing with” not “doing for”; and
  • engage in service that develops gratitude and a sense of responsibility for the future.

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Meet Hana Miller ’21!

hana miller '21What do you love about MPA?
At MPA you are not taught what to think, you are taught how to. The teachers at MPA recognize the importance of creating people who can think for themselves, not just repeat a string of facts about the Civil War. You are encouraged to ask questions, to challenge ideas, and to think differently. At MPA you are not only accepted for who you are, but you are supported and encouraged to be an individual, not just a grade.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
MPA inspires students to not only fight for what they believe in, but to actively work to better it. Just this morning, the Kindergarten class came up to the high school to ask us to protest with them because they had learned about how pollution was affecting marine life. Read More

Travel 12,000 Miles At Culture Day!

flags decorating the halls for culture dayJoin Us For Culture Day At MPA! On October 23, 3-6:30 PM, travel 12,000 miles in one evening! Enjoy Peruvian, Armenian, and Korean-pop dances while sipping masala chai and munching on mini quiche. Try your hand at American graffiti art or relax to beautiful instrumental music while getting a henna tattoo.

You don’t want to miss this hands-on experience! Sign-up for a cooking demonstration in our new kitchen:
Learn how to make Gata–an Armenian sweet bread, 3:30-4 PM
Learn how to make Idli’s–savory Indian rice and lentil cakes, 4:30-5 PM

The kitchen can accommodate a maximum of 10 people, so please sign-up in advance by emailing

Food and drink tickets ($1 each) will be sold at the event. Try drinks and delicacies from around the world, have fun making crafts, enjoy the cultural entertainment and fashion show, and learn about our world–bonus points if you can identify all the flags decorating the hallway!

Help make all this possible by signing up here.

Parents of alumni and alumni, we would love to have you on campus for Culture Day at MPA as well! Join us to experience the brand new commons, cafeteria, and kitchen on campus in an experiential, fun, and delicious way!

Meet Joan and Kevin Frankel!

the frankel familyWhat do you love about MPA?
We love the small class sizes and the individual attention our children get from their teachers. Because of the small class sizes, the teachers really get to know our kids’ strengths and weaknesses and focus on improvement. We also love the fact that our kids are encouraged to participate in arts and athletics and not solely focus on academics. We believe this is important for a well rounded education.

How is your child encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
At MPA, our children have been encouraged to try new activities they might not have tried if they were at a bigger school. The block schedule in Upper School has also allowed our daughter to take many more electives. This diversity in activities and classes allows them to realize the joy of learning something they may have never thought they could do. Read More

Enriching Our Lives, Starting With One Monday At A Time

lower school warming up at the Monday morning meaningby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Although Mondays can often be tough, attending the Lower School Monday Morning Meeting is a great start for my week. This past Monday was no exception. As I walked into the new Family Commons, I was greeted by the music of Trombone Shorty and the entire Lower School dancing and practicing their body percussion moves for Grandparents and Special Friends Day. It was pure joy and much more effective in waking me up than the third or fourth cup of coffee I was drinking. It had the same effect on other adults in the building as many poked their heads into the Commons as they walked by, leaving with big smiles on their faces. There is something about music that can transform our mood and lift our spirits instantly.

In an era when many schools are cutting their music programs in favor of more time for STEM-related classes, you may wonder why MPA places so much emphasis on music. In Lower School, students have approximately 90 minutes of music class a week. All Middle School students have year-long music or choir, are required play an instrument, and have either band or orchestra. Upper School students are required to have three credits in the fine arts, which includes instrumental and vocal music.

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The Athletic Brain

mpa varsity soccer playerHow School Sports Lift The Mind, Build Skills And Improve Mental Health

Health trends in the U.S. have turned particularly grim in recent years. According to the America’s Health Rankings 2018 Annual Report, obesity continues to rise and is a direct link to heart disease and cancer, which are contributing to the growth in premature death rates. Suicide has increased 16 percent since 2012, and more Americans are reporting poor mental health for 14 or more days in a month. The connection between physical and mental health is more evident than ever—and, supports a compelling case for encouraging students to incorporate athletics with academics throughout their school career.

Sports as a Catalyst For Mental, Physical Development

Research published in the “International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health” outlines how school sports improve overall health and well being, highlighting that “sport provides an equilibrium between group demands and individual demands, between aggressive behaviors and self-control. It fosters a sense of belonging to a group, and teaches coping with both victory and defeat.” Read More

Grandparents And Special Friends Day Is October 16!

special friends on campusLower and Middle School Grandparents and Special Friends Day will be held on Wednesday, October 16. If parents plan on attending with their child please RSVP by emailing or calling 651-748-5530. Please include your name and the student name(s) that you will be visiting. Please wear your parent badge. We can’t wait to see everyone on campus for this special event.

9 AM
Registration, coffee, morning treats
Family Commons
9:50-10:30 AM
Kindergarten-6th grade music performance
PreK-8th grade, Nicholson Center
10:40-11:30 AM
Classroom time with your student
11:30 AM

Spread The Word About The MPA Preview

middle schoolers doing a fun activity in classInvite a friend to join us and experience the joy at MPA’s largest PreK-12 admission event, the MPA Preview! Held on Sunday, November 3 at 2 PM, this event will be a structured program that will allow prospective students and parents to get a sense of what makes MPA an exceptional place to learn and grow.

Our visitors will rotate among several lessons taught by expert faculty. These will be hands-on, experiential lessons that are abbreviated versions of the original, modified to be appropriate for all ages. Between lessons, they will be guided by student and parent ambassadors so that you have an opportunity to see our state-of-the-art facilities.

Kindly invite your friends and neighbors to RSVP in advance for this engaging program at If you have any questions, contact the Office of Admission at 651-748-5577 or We can’t wait to meet them!

Join Us For Family Movie Night

lower schoolers happy in the new family commonsDo you remember the days of the Drive-In Movie Theater? Lower School families are invited to join us for a night of family, friends, and movie fun as we celebrate “National Lights On Afterschool” day with an MPA “Drive-In” Family Movie Night!

Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and pillows as we watch “The Emperor’s New Groove” in the new Family Commons on October 24 from 6-8 PM. Students must be accompanied with an adult. Popcorn will be provided!

Family Movie Night is sponsored by MPA Youth & Family Programs. Please contact Russ Purdy at or 651-748-5571 with any questions.

Raising Kind Children

4th grade students introduce the CHAMP character traits at the first CHAMP Assembly of the yearby Renee Wright, Lower 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.

I have many fond memories from childhood and a deep respect for my parents for teaching me important lifelong values and lessons. Kindness was a cherished virtue for my family, and many conversations in our home centered on being a kind, caring, and compassionate person. While my parents and grandparents modeled kindness and compassion, I can recall a time as a youngster when I struggled to apply their teachings in a real-life situation. Neighborhood children were teasing and making fun of a young boy. Being a shy and somewhat introverted child, I watched and chose not to say anything or otherwise intervene. Later, that bothered me. When I finally spoke to my parents about what was happening, they coached me to stand up for this boy and show him the kindness he deserved. I took their advice and the next time I witnessed unkindness toward him I told the neighborhood children to stop their behavior and bravely told the boy I wanted to be his friend. I can still see the smile that spread across his face when he heard my words. I believe I made a difference for that little boy. I am sure you can recall similar situations growing up. My parents’ teachings and my reflections on childhood have led to my strong commitment as an educator to teach students to be kind, caring, and compassionate. In my opinion, learning kindness is as important as mastering timetables. Read More