A Place For Joy, Connection, And Purpose

Nancy sage bringing lower schools students through the new librarySince returning from winter break, being on campus has been extra exciting and bustling in the brand new library! We asked MPA Librarian Nancy Lage to reflect on the first few weeks of the library being open. “Our beautiful new state of the art library is located in the heart of the school. It has exceeded all of my expectations and I’m so grateful that our entire community will now have the opportunity to enjoy it,” she said. In between flurries of classes eager to use the new spaces on campus, she had wonderful recollections to share. But if you have not been in the new space yourself, we invite you to experience it firsthand!

Do you have a favorite new library moment so far?
It’s been so rewarding to watch students, parents, and colleagues walk in the new library for the first time. Many people feel a lot of emotion. They look around and see how beautiful the new spaces are, and it gives them an overwhelming feeling of joy, excitement, and inspiration. To see the expressions on their faces is just priceless–I wish everyone could have the opportunity to see what it’s like when people walk in and see the facility for the first time. I think those emotional moments that took me by surprise are my favorite.

What are students saying about it?
I hear them say “It’s beautiful, my favorite spot in the school, awesome, I love it, it’s so bright, I love the natural light, it’s a great use of space… can I live here?!” A student recently entered the library and just stood there. When I asked if I could help her with something, she said, “I’m just looking at all the spaces and trying to decide which one I like the best!” And parents have a lot to say, too. A parent recently stopped in and said, “When I walk into the library, I feel the spirit of the school. This space is so inspiring.”

How are classes in the library enhanced?
The new library was built on doing what’s best for students. It’s a place of opportunity, a learning center where students use the best resources and technology available in a safe and nurturing environment. Not only do we have spaces for reading, research and collaborative learning, but we have a fireplace that provides warmth and comfort, individual study spaces, a vibrant and whimsical children’s room, gallery spaces for student artwork, and a brand-new display space for social studies and world language departments to share cultural projects.

Describe how you feel in the new space in three words.
In terms of how I’m feeling: inspired, grateful, energized. When thinking about the space itself: joy, connection, purpose. How it’s affecting students: imagine, explore, dream.

What are you looking forward to?
First of all, there’s been a dramatic increase in the number of students coming in to use the new spaces and resources, which is fabulous! I’m looking forward to working with students in this new facility to encourage and help enable them to become independent readers and learners. I want the whole community to benefit from all the enrichment this dynamic new library provides!

The ROI Of An Exceptional Education

middle school students presenting their future cityby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

A January 14 article published in the Washington Post reported on a study from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce that found that “over the course of a career, a liberal arts education is remarkably practical, providing a median return on investment 40 years after graduation that approaches $1 million.” With the rising cost of college, it is right that parents consider the return on their investment, particularly when there seems to be a prevailing bias towards STEM, often at the determent of the humanities or liberal arts. But the return on investment of a truly exceptional education cannot limited only to a paycheck.

I have several books stacked on my bookshelves at home and in my office as well as on night table that are half-read. My Audible account has a cue of books I am making my way through and I’ve recently been introduced to a great app called “Blinkist” that summarizes nonfiction books in short, digestible audiocasts. My thirst for news and current events is satiated by another app, “Flipboard,” that I consume alongside my oatmeal and coffee in the morning. My thinking these days has been highly influenced by two books in particular, “Range” by David Epstein and “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek. Read More

Thank You For A Magical Middle School Cafe!

the middle school posing at the middle school cafeA huge thank you to everyone who made the MS Cafe possible last week. Thanks to all of our tireless parent volunteers, Sage for the wonderful food, our fantastic custodians and MPA’s faculty and staff that helped out in many ways. It was a joy-filled week for students and parents alike. Thank you to everyone who helped out, in big ways and little. It certainly takes a village to make the Cafe happen and MPA’s is the best! View photos from the magical week here.

Sign Up To Show Your Appreciation

lower school teacher talking to her classMPA Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week is coming up, February 3-7! This week is an opportunity to show thanks and appreciation to our wonderful faculty and staff during Lower and Middle School Conference week. Please sign up to donate your time, treats or both. Thank you for showing your appreciation with us!

Purchase Your Spring Auction Golden Ticket!

mpa spring auction 2019 guestsIntroducing a brand new opportunity for you to support MPA and potentially win one of nine incredible Live Auction items, each worth thousands of dollars at this year’s 2020 MPA Spring Auction: Light up the Night! 100 Golden Ticket raffle tickets will be sold for $150 each, with the winning ticket holder picking the Live Auction item of their choice. These Golden Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will go on sale February 1. You may purchase up to five Golden Tickets for your family, and additional tickets as gifts for loved ones or MPA faculty and staff. Live auction items include:

  • US Open Premium Seating
  • Dinner with Bill Hudson, Head of School
  • 7 Night Stay in Paris at Rue Du Four
  • Find Adventure in Montana Cabin Stay
  • Xcel Energy Center Box Seats to Jingle Ball 2020 Concert with Multiple Headliners
  • Explore Donegal, Ireland the Coolest Place on Earth
  • St. Thomas Fun Under the Sun
  • Colorado Escape over MEA
  • Evening of Wine with the Piedmont Guy

Read More

Join Us For Open Gym At MPA

girls basketball in the lansing centerThe Lansing Sports Center will once again be open most Saturday mornings this winter for MPA families and their friends. If you know a family who might be interested in learning more about our school, this would be a great opportunity to welcome them to campus!

Saturday, January 25, 9 AM-12 PM
Saturday, February 1, 9 AM-12 PM
Saturday, February 8, 9 AM-12 PM
Saturday, February 15, 9 AM-12 PM

You are welcome to come and use the track, sports center and fitness center. If you have any questions, please contact the Athletic Office at 651-748-5630.

Invite A Friend To The MPA Preview This Sunday

students working on a robotThe MPA Preview is this Sunday, and we would love to have your friends and neighbors on campus with us! Please extend our invitation for the MPA Preview on Sunday, January 26 at 2 PM. Visitors will see what’s possible when students are inspired to dream big and do right at MPA! This event will allow families to truly experience the joy of learning that our students do each day by rotating among hands-on, experiential lessons taught by expert faculty. Between lessons, they will join student and parent ambassadors for an opportunity to see our state-of-the-art facilities.

Please have them RSVP here!

Join Us For MPA Maker Fest 2020!

students and maker at maker fest 2019Join us for MPA Maker Fest 2020 on February 22 from 1-3 PM in the AnnMarieThomas Makerspace and Family Commons, where you can either host your own table or come as a spectator! Maker Fest is free is open to everyone–students, parents, grandparents, alumni, parents of alumni, faculty, staff, friends, family, and more!

You can sign up here to share your Maker talents, either individually or with a group to have your very own display table at MPA Maker Fest. This is the perfect opportunity to “show and tell” something that you have created and share your accomplishments with the community. We can’t wait to see your creations!

Contact Nicole Koen at nkoen@moundsparkacademy.org with any questions.

MPA At The Future Cities State Competition

the MPA team at the future cities state competitionCongratulations, Middle School Panthers, for placing fifth at the Future Cities State Competition and earning Honorable Mention! They also took home the following awards: Best Model, Safe Drinking Water Award, Most Environmentally Friendly Powersource, and Rookie of the Year.

Future City starts with a question—how can we make the world a better place? Middle school students imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future that showcase their solution to a citywide sustainability issue. Way to go, Panthers!

Meet Juliana Wu ’18

Juliana wu visiting campus What do you love about MPA?
I love the inclusive environment MPA offers to each and every student that goes there.

How were you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
I started to play cello right after submitting my college application during my senior year. Now, it has become one of my favorite ways to get away from the heavy workload at Carnegie Mellon and a great hobby of my life in general. Thinking back, it is still a bold and somewhat “reckless” decision that I made to begin a new instrument at the end of high school, but without the encouragement of MPA, I wouldn’t have made that decision and I would have missed out on a lot of the fun I have playing cello. Read More