Meet Aneesh Syal ’18

high school student in classWhat do you love about MPA?
MPA is one big group of people, striving for the same goal: to make this world a better place. All of us come from different backgrounds, different families, and different religions yet we all work together to help one another. I believe the soul of MPA is embedded within the students, teachers, and administration. The reason I love MPA is because the people.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
MPA constantly reminds us that while we are fortunate enough to receive a wonderful education, we have to constantly check ourselves. We are developing as a society, and I believe MPA students are on the front lines of this. We stand up for what we believe, we do what we preach, and most of all we listen to our peers. MPA gives us the motivation and ability to do what we want. Read More

Curiosity Continued

upper school science labby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I have often heard that people like to read my weekly messages. That is always welcome news as it can be time consuming and sometimes stressful in the midst of my other duties and demands on my time. However, I truly enjoy the opportunity to reflect on a particular topic relevant to education or taking place in the world and connect it with what is happening at MPA. At times, I am struck by something that happens in a classroom or event that gives rise to a deep appreciation for our exceptional teachers and the unique educational experience provided at MPA.

It is particularly rewarding when something I write resonates with the community. My message two weeks ago, “Cultivating A Curious Mindset,” did just that. Since then, I have had a number of conversations with parents who connected what I wrote with their experiences in the workplace. In a moment of serendipity, Dr. Mike Mercer, Lower School parent of Henry and Charlie, shared that on the day I wrote about curiosity, he covered the same topic with his medical students. He shared with me a very powerful article entitled “Curiosity” written a number of years ago by Faith T. Fitzgerald, M.D. from the UC Davis Medical Center. Read More

2019-20 Financial Assistance Application Open

middle school students in classThe financial assistance re-application for the 2019-20 school year is now open. If you are a current family who plans to request financial assistance for the 2019-2020 school year, please submit your application, including supporting documents, by Friday, January 11.

You should have everything you need to complete the application today, given you will use your 2017 tax return to do so. The application can be accessed in your TADS account. Please be sure to select the 2019-20 application year. Click here to re-apply and select Minnesota > Saint Paul > Mounds Park Academy. Read More

Computer Science Education Week At MPA

computer science week at MPAby Ariel Kitch, PreK-12 Technology Integration Specialist

“I made a 12-sided shape!” one of the fourth graders screamed jubilantly while programming a tiny turtle to move in patterns across his screen. You would be surprised how motivating it can be to move the tiny turtle forward with a few lines of Python code, nonetheless create a dodecagon with a for-loop. Our study of Python Turtles in fourth grade is part of Computer Science Education Week here at MPA, a national event aimed at raising awareness of computer science in schools.

We have been celebrating the study of computer science in my technology classes by trying out coding in many different forms, but also through practicing the set of processes referred to as “computational thinking.” Computational thinking acknowledges that computer science is about more than just programming or studying computers themselves (although they are all around us these days)–but about our capability to harness the power of computers to solve problems. Some of the skills of computational thinking, such as persistence, critical thinking, and collaboration, could be simply referred to as “life skills.” Others, such as pattern recognition, debugging, algorithms, and abstraction, help us to structure our solutions to fit the unique strengths of computer processing power. Read More

Important Safety Reminders From MPA

lower school drop offIt is MPA’s responsibility to provide the safest campus environment possible for you and your children—this is our number one priority. We’d like to share some important traffic safety reminders.. Please share this information with all of the drivers in your home, in addition to others who may provide transportation for you. Thank you very much in advance for your cooperation and understanding

Drive-Thru Lanes
We realize it can be a frustrating time in the morning and afternoon as students unload/reload all of their things for the day and that many drivers are in a hurry to get to work or an evening commitment. We’d like to ask, in the interest of safety, courtesy, and efficiency, that parents refrain from pulling in front of another car or “leap-frogging” to the front. Please do not pull in front of another person who is paused to allow their child to exit (or enter) the car with their belongings. Read More

Spanning Geographical And Experiential Divides

Us history classroomby Mark Segal, Upper School Director

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

Hidden in a corner near the Hart Commons is a classroom that few who are not part of the Upper School are aware of. The location of the room was intentionally selected as it is quiet, out of the way, and allows for small group collaboration for the students who use it as their classroom. Together, students in the room are studying many things including:

  • Architecture from the ancient Egyptians into the 21st century through the philosophic idea that western civilizations have been the primary “drivers of architecture through the ages;”
  • Modern Standard Arabic where they are learning to read and write the Arabic alphabet and developing a proficiency in the language; and
  • The ethics of making decisions by focusing on medical practice, medical research and development, and health care case studies.

The aforementioned students are enrolled in interactive, synchronous courses though the Malone Schools Online Network (MSON) that bring students together with dedicated high school or college faculty from across the United States. Five years ago, Mounds Park Academy joined this wonderful collaborative of independent schools, which offers their students the opportunity to take a variety of courses beyond what normally would be available to them through the most up-to-date video conferencing technology. Building Utopia, Arabic II, and Medical Bioethics are just a few of the more than 30 courses offered through MSON. Read More

MPA Debate At State

MPA debate at stateMPA debate finished its season on December 1 at the State Tournament at South Saint Paul High School. Overall, the team placed third in the tournament ahead of Minnetonka and Stillwater and behind Rochester Mayo and Eastview High Schools!

In the novice division, the team of juniors Katie Goodno and Ben Lash narrowly missed advancing with an excellent 4-1 record. In junior varsity, the team of junior Quincy Lewis and sophomore Luke Zscheile advanced to quarterfinals, the team of sophomore Hana Miller and junior Charles Grimes advanced to semifinals, and the team of sophomores Ellen Vergin and Isak Dai were the champions in a division of 49 teams. Congratulations, Panthers!

Lori Evert And Per Breiehagen Visit MPA

Lori and PerMPA was delighted to welcome Lori Evert and Per Breiehagen, author and artist of “The Wish Books,” to campus! The series has been featured on the New York Times Best Sellers List, and the students were so excited to meet the creators. There are six books, including “The Polar Bear Wish,” “The Reindeer Wish,” and “The Christmas Wish.” All are colorful Nordic tales inspired by courage, friendship, and the spirit of adventure, starring Lori and Per’s daughter, Anja.

The pair read stories to the Lower Schoolers, answered their wonderful questions, and signed their books. Per also visited with an Upper School digital media class to talk about his career as a photographer. His work has appeared in publications by National Geographic, Disney, Audubon, and Rolling Stone.

A warm thank you to Lori and Per for visiting MPA! See all of the photos at!

College Counseling at MPA: Andrew Guiang ’08 Shares

Andrew Guiang '08MPA’s college counseling process is driven by careful consideration of each student’s unique set of interests, priorities, and aspirations, balanced with an understanding of the current college admission landscape. MPA alumni Andrew Guiang ’08 shares the most valuable part of the college search process at MPA and how it prepared him for his future. Read the Q&A with Andrew below and more about college counseling at MPA here!

Q: What was the most valuable part of the college search process at MPA? What did you appreciate about MPA’s approach?

A: I liked that, at MPA, it’s cool to be smart, and that fact makes applying to college that much easier. I also like that MPA has a good mix of people who stay local or go away for college, which makes the application process less stressful, since there’s no pressure to choose one region over another. Read More

Purchase Your Tickets For “The Consul”

students create set pieces for the consulTo see the set pieces made my MPA students in “The Consul,” purchase your tickets here!

The Arbeit Opera Theatre was thrilled to collaborate with MPA and our community to put on this opera. Thank you to all of the students and volunteers who helped out! This 1950s-based show deals with issues of immigration and human rights and is intended for audiences of 13 years or older.