Connect With MPA Parents This October

from the MPA Parents Association,

 

Sip Coffee and Relax by the River
Wednesday, October 20 at 9 AM. Celebrate the start of MEA weekend with a relaxing morning in Stillwater. Bring your chairs and meet at the parking lot by River Market, 221 North Main Street, Stillwater, Minnesota. From there, you can sit by the river with a coffee, take a walk across the lift bridge, ride the Brown’s Creek trail, or head to a nearby park to play.

LS Halloween Party

We are so excited to be able to host a Halloween party again this year! Weather permitting, we are planning an outdoor party. We are happy to share that we can have parent volunteers again this year!  We are in need of volunteers to help with set up, the individual parties, and/or clean up.

Masks are required for all visitors. Vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors need to stay home and not come to campus if experiencing covid symptoms as detailed in the screening app. Guests should maintain 3-6 ft. physical distancing when possible. Visitors must also report any symptoms 48 hours after being on campus for symptom response protocols.

Sign up herehttps://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F084DACA622A5FB6-lower1

Thank You!
The MPA Parents Association would like to thank everyone who participated in and donated to the recent Fall 2021 Faculty/Staff Appreciation Week! Trying to hold a “traditional” Appreciation week during still unsettled times was quite a feat. We are so grateful for the amazing response from families that helped us feed and hydrate all staff during the week. Teachers were also able to get dinner to go or eat on campus on the Thursday evenings before conferences. Special thanks to Chef Chris and everyone at Sage who helped with the dinners. The MPA PA would also like to thank Angie in Development and Cherie in Administration for being our people on the inside and setting everything up for us.

Thank you again to our wonderful community, Tara Lafferty, Shari Jacobus and the MPA PA.

Thank You to Our Gardeners!
Thank you to all those students and families who helped with the Spruce Up on Saturday of last week at the Larpenteur retention pond. Thanks to the massive help and pure commitment we were able to remove much of the blockage in the pond—with the most revolting of smells wafting around as a result! We cleaned up around the pond, removing both trash and many volunteer saplings. We continue to work on this area, with some more tidying up to do, and will be spreading native seed soon, in the hope that we can all benefit from this lovely space!

Thank you again! Michelle Mick and the MPA PA.

Parents Connect

Wednesday Morning Walks
Since there is no school this coming Wednesday, the Parents Association invites parents and guardians to attend our event in Stillwater next Wednesday morning. After MEA, our Wednesday morning walks will resume depending on weather and interest.

Save the Date!
If you enjoyed the last Spruce Up, we have another planned for November, to help Mr. Thomsen’s area. It will involve more tidying up, removing weeds, saplings, and helping to improve the access for students to learn and enjoy. Saturday, November 13th, 2-4 PM, meeting near the US entrance. If you have any questions, do send me an email at michelle_wessely@yahoo.com.

Remember to bring a mask to all events! Hope to see you there!


This October Keep Sipping, Savoring, and Supporting MPA!

PA Message Support MPA Homecoming Week with a Parent Coffee and Ground Decorating

Friday, October 1, 7:45-10 AM: Meet under the big white tent in the west parking lot, rain or shine. Meet other MPA parents, help make the decorations for the outdoor fields, and write messages of encouragement for our athletes.Go Panthers!

Spruce Up our Pond

Saturday, Oct , 9, 2:00-4:00 PM: Clean up the retention pond on Larpenteur Ave. with Michelle Mick, michelle_wessely@yahoo.com. The rain date is October 16th, same time, 2-4 PM. Please bring tools such as waterproof gloves, waders (for anyone who would like to dig in the water), loppers, saws, and share any time you are able! Students can earn volunteer hours for this, as well, so encourage your student to join in!

Savor New Friendships and Share a Taco

Wednesday, October 13, 11:15 AM at Centro: Come have lunch on the patio and make new friends! Let Staci, sbhehe42@icloud.com, know if you plan on coming. You order and pay by phone, so don’t forget to bring your phone with you!

Sip Coffee and Relax by the River

Wednesday, Oct 20, 9:00 AM: Celebrate the start of MEA weekend with a relaxing morning in Stillwater. Bring your chairs and meet at the parking lot by River Market, 221 North Main Street, Stillwater, Minnesota. From there, you can sit by the river with a coffee, take a walk across the lift bridge, ride the Brown’s Creek trail, or head to a nearby park to play.

PARENTS CONNECT

Wednesday Morning Walks

The Parents Association invites parents and guardians to get together Wednesday mornings after drop off with Michelle Mick. We’ll meet at the flagpole near the LS entrance. LS, MS and US families are welcome. Chat with new parents and connect with friends. Younger children are welcome to walk with us.

Monday and Thursday Mornings in the Garden

Get your hands dirty after drop off, helping in MPA’s gardens. No experience necessary. Come and help weed, plant, dig, or sow, all are welcome. How long you stay is up to you. If Michelle Mick is not at the flagpole, go around the corner, in the Library gardens, next to Door #2 or near the retention pond (with the fountain).

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Sign Up

Fall at MPA is filled with traditions…the first day of school, picture day, after school sports, that first missed homework assignment and Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week. Help the PA keep the tradition of supporting our faculty and staff by donating snacks and beverages during this busy week. They’ll be available all week for staff to grab at their convenience. Donations can be brought to your assigned drop off door during morning drop off (LS, MS, or US). To sign up, click the link below:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F084DACA622A5FB6-fall1

Remember to bring a mask to all events! Hope to see you there!


Connecting With The MPA Parents Association

Homecoming CoffeePA
Join us for an all school morning coffee to celebrate Homecoming on Friday, October 1 from 7:45-10:00 AM. Have a hot cup of coffee and, if you choose, show your support for our athletes by helping to decorate the tennis courts and soccer field fence as well as writing messages of encouragement for our student athletes. We’ll be under the tent in the west parking lot, rain or shine. Go Panthers!

Faculty and Staff Appreciation Sign Up
Fall at MPA is filled with traditions…The first day of school, picture day, after school sports, that first missed homework assignment and Faculty and Staff Appreciation Week. Help the PA keep the tradition of supporting our faculty and staff by donating snacks and beverages during this busy week. They’ll be available all week for staff to grab at their convenience. Donations can be brought to your assigned drop off door during morning drop off (LS, MS, or US). To sign up, click the link below:

https://www.signupgenius.com/go/20F084DACA622A5FB6-fall1

Parents Connect: Wednesday Morning Walks
The Parents Association invites parents and guardians to get together Wednesday mornings after drop off with Michelle Mick. We’ll meet at the flagpole near the LS entrance. LS, MS and US families are welcome. Chat with new parents and connect with friends. Younger children are welcome to walk with us.

Remember to bring a mask to all events! Hope to see you there!

Parents Connect: Monday and Thursday Mornings in the Garden
Get your hands dirty after drop off, helping in MPA’s gardens. No experience necessary. Come and help weed, plant, dig, or sow, all are welcome. How long you stay is up to you. If Michelle Mick is not at the flagpole, go around the corner, in the Library gardens, next to Door #2.


Connecting With The MPA Parents Association

Parents Connect: Wednesday Morning WalksPA Connect

The Parents Association invites parents and guardians to get together Wednesday mornings after drop off. Mark your calendars, it will be fun! Wednesday, September 8 we’ll have a 30-minute walk with Michelle Mick. We’ll meet at the flagpole near the LS entrance. LS, MS and US families are welcome. Chat with new parents and connect with friends. Younger children are welcome to walk with us.

After that walk if parents are interested, we can head over to the Farmer’s Market at Aldrich Arena, a short walk from MPA. They have a large variety of great produce and you’ll be supporting local farmers.

Remember to bring a mask to all events! Hope to see you there!

Parents Connect: Monday and Thursday Mornings in the Garden

Get your hands dirty after drop off, helping in MPA’s gardens. No experience necessary. Come and help weed, plant, dig, or sow, all are welcome. How long you stay is up to you. If Michelle Mick is not at the flagpole, go around the corner, in the Library gardens, next to Door #2.

Upcoming garden dates resume on Monday, September 13. Michelle is unable to meet Thursday, September 9.

Remember to bring a mask! Hope to see you there!

News from the MPA Gardens

‘Tis the season to see the beautiful Monarch butterflies fill up, on their way down to Mexico where they overwinter. In the library gardens, this past week there have been lots of butterflies (a kaleidoscope of butterflies!) feeding off the long purple flower at the end of the gardens near the library — the flower is liatris/blazing star, a native, and if you have a chance, do please wander through the gardens, with your student or alone to catch the last glimpse of them before they fly off on their way until next year. This past week we have seen up to 20 of them circling around, landing, dancing in the air — it really is a beautiful sight!


The Magic Of A Noisy Classroom

upper school students giving classroom presentationAfter several months of quiet and sometimes eerie peacefulness, the hallways and classrooms are abuzz with energy and joy this week. And so, it should be as the MPA family comes together again for a new school year. With 139 new students and an overall enrollment of 577, much of our time over the last week has been dedicated to building community and developing relationships with one another.

There are volumes of research demonstrating that when students feel like they belong, self-esteem, positive peer relationships, classroom engagement, academic achievement, positive attitudes toward school and learning, resilience, and many other positive attributes increase. One of those volumes collecting dust in the stacks of the University of St. Thomas Library is my own dissertation on the importance of creating a school culture that is grounded in relationships.

Late last week, I was drawn to a classroom by the laughter emanating from it. Rather than be concerned, I simply smiled, for I learned early in my career as a teacher and administrator that there is magic in a noisy classroom. What on the surface may seem a bit chaotic or messy can in reality be a very intentional experience with students engaged in their own education, building relationships, and learning collaboratively, in a robust and captivating place. Read More


Connect With The MPA Parents Association This School Year

Parents Connect: Wednesday Morning WalksPA Photo
The Parents Association invites parents and guardians to get together Wednesday mornings after drop off. Mark your calendars, it will be fun! Wednesday, September 1 we’ll have a 30 minute walk with Michelle Mick. We’ll meet at the flagpole near the Lower School entrance. Lower School, Middle School and Upper School families are welcome. This week’s walk will include strolling through some of the grounds on MPA, including the prairie area. Chat with new parents and connect with friends. Younger children are welcome to walk with us.
After that walk if parents are interested, we can head over to the Farmer’s Market at Aldrich Arena, a short walk from MPA. They have a large variety of great produce and you’ll be supporting local farmers.
Remember to bring a mask to all events! Hope to see you there!
Monday and Thursday Mornings in the Garden
Get your hands dirty Monday and Thursday mornings after drop off, helping in MPA’s gardens. No experience necessary. Come and help weed, plant, dig, or sow, all are welcome. How long you stay is up to you. If Michelle Mick is not at the flagpole, go around the corner, in the Library gardens, next to Door #2.
Remember to bring a mask! Hope to see you there!


Become A Parents Association Grade Rep!

middle school students smiling togetherThe Parents Association is looking forward to the incoming school year and the Grade Rep program, which is integral in building our school community. If you’re interested in becoming a grade rep for the 2021-2022 school year, please email Julie Bixby at juliebixby1@gmail.com. If you’re currently a grade rep, thank you for all your work in keeping us together over this challenging year. The Parents Association will assume you want to continue as a grade rep unless you choose to opt out by contacting Julie Bixby.


Why MPA Parent Susan Knapp Volunteers

Parker and friends at recessby Susan Knapp (parent of Parker in ninth grade)

For the kids. There is something magical in seeing the joy on the kids’ faces, knowing you had a part in generating that. It’s a great way to get a glimpse into your child’s life at school—at least until they’re teens and don’t want you around at school. See what they’re like with their friends, get to know their class a little better, experience their camaraderie, their joy, and gratitude for the extras volunteers provide.

For the sheer joy of being a part of something bigger. One of the best experiences I’ve had volunteering was being involved in the MS Café. Using my talents and time in ways that I don’t normally has been very rewarding. I loved the teamwork, meeting the challenges, the creativity, and the gratitude and wonder on the kids’ faces as they walked into all of our hard work for the very first time. It was a labor of love and totally worth it. Another great experience was manning the snack room in pre-COVID teacher appreciation week. It’s a very fun way of meeting teachers and staff members, surrounded by sugar and snacks and gratitude. What can be better than that?! Read More


Thank You, Why I Volunteer, And More From The Parents Association

PreK on the story walk with Ms. LageThank You!
The Virtual Book Festival was a great success this year. Thanks to everyone who participated. Thanks to our volunteers, Book Festival Chairs Michelle Mick and Deedee Clendenning, the faculty and staff that helped make it happen, and to all the families who love to read and supported MPA. A big thank you to Valley Bookseller for donating 20 percent of sales and to Usborne books for their contributions.

Approximately 190 books were sold by Valley Bookseller, and Valley’s contribution to MPA is $678.06. Usborne Books sold 208 books and contributed $1,263.52. That makes the Book Festival’s total contribution to MPA’s library $1,941.58!

Join The PA Board
The Parents Association board is looking for volunteers to fill several positions next year. There are varying time commitments, but the experience is consistently rewarding. Over the next few weeks the current PA Board would like to share our reasons for volunteering. Read More


MPA Book Festival Ends May 3!

perk students on story walkThe book festival has started and runs through Monday, May 3. Its goal is to encourage the love of reading and to contribute to the MPA Library. Books are available for purchase from two local booksellers, Usborne Books and Valley Bookseller in Stillwater. Our theme this year is Earth Day, which was April 22. We have opportunities to participate in book and Earth-related fun activities, including story times and prize giveaways!

Below are helpful links with book recommendations and direct links to our book vendors to place your orders.

If you have any questions about this year’s Virtual Book Festival, please contact DeeDee at deedeeclendenning@gmail.com or Michelle Mick at michelle_wessely@yahoo.com.