Thank You To Our Volunteers!

middle schools students volunteering at book festivalWe hope you enjoyed the Book Festival last week and appreciate your support! It takes a lot of volunteers and staff to put on such an event and our amazing MPA community is always ready to help. On behalf of the Parents Association, thank you to the following parents, staff, faculty and students for helping make the 2019 Book Festival a success.

Thank you to Seema Anwar, Alex Bolduan, Thomas Connors, Christine Daves, Andy Gibert, Fabiola Grubhofer, Lauren Hernandez, Erica Huppert, Kimberly Jakway, Vern Kissner, Susan Knapp, Nicole Koen, Nancy Lage, Christine Larson, Richard Liu, Sandy Martinek, Tara Matthews-Lafferty, Pat McLees, Yukiko Miyokawa, Jenn Milam, Prashant Nayak, Heidi Nelson Baldwin, Chef Doug Pittman, Susan Robertson, John Schneider, Cari Simonson, Becky Tesdahl, Melissa Tuura-Johnson, Lisa Vale, Natalie Waters Seum, Maddy Wolfe, Renee Wright, Wen Yu, and Evie Zeruhn. Read More

See You At The White Out Dance!

white out dance games 2018We are looking forward to seeing you at the 2019 White Out Dance on Friday, March 8!

From 3–5 PM, students in grades PreK–6 are invited to show off their winter spirit, wear white to school, and join in on a night of fun! There will be crafts, games, dancing, and so much fun for everyone!

Meet in the Lansing Sports Center after school. All Lower School students must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. Can’t wait to see you there for an afternoon of fun!

Summer Enrichment with Ms. Mastel

Student at the 2018 American Girl campCalling all American Girl fans, as well as dragon, fairy and unicorn lovers! Join Lower School and Middle School Drama Teacher and Director Ms. Mastel for three summer enrichment classes during the week of June 17-21!

In the American Girl Club, students will use the American Girl stories as inspiration for this interactive class. Join us as we play games, do crafts, and create treats from various time periods in history. “What I love about this class,” shares Ms. Mastel, “is that it teaches students about history and friendship through arts and crafts, games, and even cooking.” It is for students in Grades 2-4, and will be from 10:40 AM-12:10 PM.

Imagination Station is for students in Grades 2-4, and will be held from 12:50 PM-2:20 PM. Dragons, fairies, unicorns, and other creatures from our imagination are the foundation for this fun and exciting class. From building fairy houses and writing unicorn poems, to acting out Chinese fairy tales with dragons, the sky is the limit if you use your imagination. When asked what her inspiration was behind the class, Ms. Mastel replied, “When my daughter was in kindergarten, some of her friends started a ‘fairy club,’ which I thought sounded like a lot of fun! I asked her what they did in their club and began brainstorming my own ideas and then extended it out to other magical creatures when planning this summer class.”

Last, but certainly not least, are you ready for a fun-filled week of summertime fun? Join Ms. Mastel for a water day with a slip-and-slide and sprinklers, pitching a tent and roasting marshmallows, creating a lemonade stand, and playing numerous outdoor games. If this sounds up your alley, sign up for Classic Summer Fun for Grades K-4, from 2:30-4 PM!

We’re so excited to celebrate summer in Minnesota with you. For more information and to register, visit!


Seeking Student Voice

Students presentingWhat does the term “student voice” mean today? Internationally recognized expert in youth voice and student engagement, Adam Fletcher relates that it goes far beyond the important work of helping students develop their own voices. The concept now implies a much deeper commitment, suggesting that educators have an ethical imperative to engage students in new ways that are vital to school improvement. With student voice integrated into the core values at MPA, even our youngest children help to significantly impact their educational environments and experiences.

MPA’s PreK teacher Debbie LaChapelle describes how her small but mighty students shape their education. One four-year-old girl, for example, requested a PreK art show like the older children have. LaChapelle picked up on the idea, credited the student with it, and shifted her curriculum to include an annual art exhibit. “I witness in my students pride, confidence, respect for themselves and others, empathy, and leadership,” she shares. “When their ideas and thoughts are accepted and validated, it illustrates to them that they matter and can make a difference.”

Kari O’Keefe provides another example of how first graders design their educational environment. “From the moment you walk into the classroom, one sees that the room belongs to the students. They have created everything from the alphabet and number line to the bulletin boards and borders. They came up with classroom expectations and labeled special areas of the space. They have a true sense of ownership as they’ve helped to create every aspect of their classroom.”

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The White Out Dance Is Coming Soon!

white out dance 2018We are very excited for the ninth annual White Out Dance! On Friday, March 8, from 3–5 PM, students in grades PreK–6 are invited to show off their winter spirit, wear white to school, and join in on a night of fun! There will be crafts, carnival games, and dancing featuring the one and only DJ Dad Makai Catudio! There will be complimentary pizza, snacks, and water for students, too!

Meet in the Lansing Sports Center after school. All Lower School students must be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

Parents, join in on the fun and sign up to volunteer at the dance here!

Conduits For Joy

Upper school student and fourth grader reading together at the reading assemblyby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

It’s true. I am a voracious reader. Throughout my life, I have loved books and can think of few greater pleasures than a good one. Reading fueled my imagination and took me to places I could have never visited. Getting lost in a book and losing track of time is pure joy. For these reasons and many more, the MPA Book Festival, produced by our incredible Parents Association, is one of my favorite MPA traditions. The Book Festival began in April 2000. It was started by the collaborative efforts of parents of alumni Elaine Johnson and Karla Myers, and the library staff. It was also the year MPA librarian Nancy Lage brought in Mary Grand Pre, the illustrator of the American version of “Harry Potter.” Part celebration and part fundraiser for the library, the Book Festival symbolizes so much of what is special about our community.

When I was a child, the library was my favorite place. In the small town I grew up in, the library was an old “mansion” in the center of town. It was warm and comforting, a bit mysterious, and had a wonderful smell. It was my happy place. In college, my use of a library changed dramatically. It served more of a social purpose than an academic one. One of my first experiences of social justice advocacy was participating in a sit in at the college library over its unjust policy banning soft drinks. (Ah, youthful ignorance.) During my graduate work, I practically lived in the library. Buried amidst the stacks, I once more found my happy place. Read More

Join Us Tonight For Book Festival Family Night!

book festival family night 2018Join us tonight for Book Festival Family Night! From 3-6:30 PM on campus, you’re invited to an evening of crafts, games, complimentary dinner and more book-buying. A portion of the proceeds from book sales benefit our MPA library. Used books will also be available for purchase during the week for only .25 cents!

The 2019 Winter Wonderland Book Festival has been wonderful all week. Today is the last day the Bookstore in the Gallery will be open from 8 AM-3:30 PM. The booksellers have an excellent selection of books we love.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this wonderful annual MPA tradition!

Free Food For Thought Friday

Logan Segal serving himself lunchThis Friday, March 1, is our third Free Food For Thought Friday! For those that are unfamiliar with what this is, it is an opportunity for parents and students who normally don’t take hot lunch to try MPA’s lunch program for free. This Friday, along with the regular menu, there will be a calzone bar with homemade calzones!

If you and your student enjoyed the experience, Middle and Upper School students can add lunch for the remainder of the school year for $430—equivalent to just $5.75 per day. Lower School students can add lunch for the remainder of the school year for $380—equivalent to just $5 per day. Contact Amanda Platson, student billing coordinator, at or 651-748-5502 to do so.

Summer Enrichment With Ms. LaChapelle

Painted rock with a heartDo your children like the outdoors? Are your children passionate about letters and the alphabet? If so, they should join PreK teacher Ms. LaChapelle this summer for two enrichment classes June 17-21!

The Alphabet and Beyond is “a class for students to learn or master their knowledge of the letters in the alphabet and begin to learn letter sounds,” shares Ms. LaChapelle. “In addition, students will have the opportunity to write the letters.” Join us as we refine letter recognition skills, work and review letter sounds, and review simple sight words in a fun and engaging way. Get ready to become the alphabet master! This class is for children in grades K-1, and will be held from 10:40 AM-12:10 PM.

A Little Bit of Dirt is a nature and art class. This hands-on class will explore nature and the great outdoors, use nature for art projects, and of course, spend time playing in the dirt! Let your appreciation for the great outdoors shine through! This class is for grades K-2, and will be from 12:50-2:20 PM.

Visit to learn more about our Summer Enrichment Programs and register!

Special Guest Justice Alan Page Visits Lower School

Justice Alan Page reading to kindergarteners Last week, Justice Alan Page visited the kindergarten classroom where he read his newest book, “Grandpa Alan’s Sugar Shack,” to the kindergarten and third grade classes.

After the reading, the students had a chance to ask him questions and hear about his experience as both a justice and a pro-football player.

A warm thank you to Colleen Tierney, a kindergarten mom, for making this possible! It was such a treat to have Justice Page as a visitor and have him read his newest children’s book. Thank you, Justice Page! To see more photos of his visit, click here.