Essential Planning For 2021-22

upper school and fourth grade chemistry doing a lab togetherby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Growing up, I loved the summer vacations of our family. They were wonderful cross-country car trips that my mom and dad would spend months planning, engaging my sister, brother, and me in the process. (We still laugh that my little brother sat on a cushion between the two bucket front seats on the entire ride out to Boston and back.) Those road trips never quite worked out the way they were intended, but were, nonetheless, spectacular and we always had a marvelous time.

President Dwight Eisenhower is famous for saying, “Plans are worthless but planning is everything.” Like our summer road trips, a plan is essential, but what is most important is the planning. As we look forward to the 2021-22 school year, we are building upon the successes we’ve enjoyed this year as well as the lessons we have learned. A year ago, we began with a core set of values drawn from our school’s mission statement. Given the uncertainty, we knew that we needed a plan that was flexible and agile so that we could pivot quickly if necessary. Tying ourselves to a set of values enabled us to successfully adapt as the circumstances warranted. Read More


“Almost, Maine” Honored By Hennepin Theatre Trust

scene from winter show, Almost MaineThe Upper School Winter Show, “Almost, Maine,” took part in the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Spotlight Education program this year. As part of the Spotlight Education program, the show was evaluated and recognized with multiple honors!

Production Honors

  • Achievement in Theatre: Honorable Mention
  • Overall Production: Outstanding
  • Overall Performance: Honorable Mention
  • Ensemble Performance: Honorable Mention
  • Acting Performance: Honorable Mention
  • Costume Crew: Honorable Mention
  • Overall Technical Team: Outstanding
  • Light & Sound Crew: Honorable Mention

Read More


What Google’s Discovery Means For An MPA Student

Kindergarten student working in the Makerspaceby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

Not long ago, Google decided to do some self-reflection. Cofounders Sergey Brin and Larry Page set out to determine the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees. As a company that mostly hired top computer scientists, I imagine they were more than a bit surprised to find that of these eight qualities, expertise in STEM was not first nor second, but eighth! The top seven were: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others’ different values and points of view); having empathy toward, and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.

What can we learn from Google about the future of creating smart, successful, in-demand graduates? The skills that students learn from the humanities and liberal arts are in high demand. In addition to the skills listed above, Google’s follow up research identified having curiosity toward teammates’ ideas, harboring emotional intelligence, valuing equality, being generous, and cultivating emotional safety as additional key skills for their employees. Read More


Summer Registration Is Open!

summer campers in science campWe are pleased to be offering an expanded summer program with a larger choice of academic programs, enrichment classes, athletic clinics, full and half day Panther Camp, and much more for students of all ages! As always, our goal is to provide our participants with the highest quality program in the context of a safe and healthy environment.

Register at moundsparkacademy.org/summer. All Lower School classes and camps are currently open for registration. More Middle and Upper School options will be added in the coming days.

If you have any questions, please contact Russ Purdy, extended day program coordinator, at 651-748-5571 or rpurdy@moundsparkacademy.org.


Virtual Maker Fest Is Saturday, February 20!

Amelia Dickson's digital artworkWe are so excited for Virtual Maker Fest 2021 this weekend! On Saturday, February 20 at 11 AM, join us on Zoom as community makers to showcase their projects, passions, and hands on how-to demonstrations. Participants will be able to view the presentations by visiting different breakout rooms, ask questions, and discuss with our guest presenters. We are looking forward to seeing you there to celebrate our creative community!

Join via Zoom >
Meeting ID 913 0516 4223
Passcode: makerfest

Discover MPA Student And Maker Amelia Dickson
We interviewed MPA student and passionate maker Amelia Dickson so you can get to know her ahead of time! Don’t miss her Virtual Maker Fest presentation on Zoom Saturday, February 20 at 11 AM! Discover Amelia’s artwork and learn more about Virtual Maker Fest >


Seeking Host Families For International Students

two international students in the makerspaceDo you have room to spare? Space in your heart for another family member? A desire to expand your family’s perspective of the world? MPA is seeking host families for international students for the 2021-22 school year. For one exceptional prospective Middle School student in particular, we are seeking a current family to host her.

Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has created for our new international students, they are truly finding great success, experiencing near-daily “firsts,” and loving their MPA journey. Between the adults in their school and home lives, our students feel supported, nurtured, and loved while living so far from their families. This is vital to their success and the strongest testament to everything our MPA host families and staff do to care for our international students. Read More


MPA At The Harvard Speech Tournament

Ryan in the QuarterfinalsMPA Speech participated in the Harvard Speech Tournament for the first time this weekend, and the team’s run went all the way to the Quarterfinals! Senior Ryan Ghose made it out of preliminaries, into Octafinals, and into Quarterfinals in a preview of this year’s National Tournament. The category in which he made it to Quarterfinals is Humorous, and he was also next out in Dramatic Interpretation. Seniors Salmah Elmasry and Emma Cohen also competed, placing in the top half of their fields of more than 300 other students.

Students from approximately 450 schools and 46 states competed. In Ryan’s Octafinal and Quarterfinal, he competed against students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida all the way to James Logan High School in California. He finished thirteenth overall. Congratulations to our team!


We Are In Good Hands

Kindergartners gifting Dr. Hudson a scarf by Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

I was pleasantly surprised Tuesday by a visit from Ms. Petersen’s kindergartners who presented me with a very nice MPA blue scarf. As we sat on the floor together in the hallway outside my office (six feet apart, of course!), they shared that they are spreading kindness throughout the school this month. The scarf was an act of kindness to thank me for my efforts to safely open school this year. As one of them put it, “You were a great leader and protector,” in the classroom.

For many, the future looks grim. Some people have lost faith in our society and feel hopeless and helpless. However, when so much seems to be outside of our control, I believe we must seek aspects of our lives we can control. Taking action now on something that will have a positive impact in years ahead can help us move through those feelings of hopelessness. In the midst of uncertainty, for instance, investing in the education of our children is essentially an act of hope and kindness.

Over the years, many MPA families and alumni have expressed their faith and confidence in the future by making a planned or estate gift to the school. These types of gifts might include making MPA the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan, creating a charitable gift annuity, or most simply, by making a bequest through your will. There are many ways you can designate a future gift through your estate planning. Contact the Development Office to learn more about what options might work best for you. Read More


Upcoming Parent Education Event

middle school student playing an orchestra instrumentSave the date for this upcoming  grades 7-12 Parent Education Event. The Upper School Parents Association is virtually hosting a parent education event on Monday, March 1, from 7-9 PM. This session will cover ways to work with children during this period of social distancing, the lack of being able to socialize, issues with too much social media, depression caused by isolation, lack of social normal activities, and other concerns parents are currently facing. More details and a Zoom link will be communicated when they are available. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

 


Math League Going To State For Third Consecutive Year

student doing a geometry problemThe MPA Math League team had their final meet of the regular season on Monday. The top scorers were senior Sean Park with 10 points, junior Leo Yu with eight points, sophomore Anthony Troullier with seven points, senior Steve Min with seven points, senior Amit Manicka with six points, and junior Amy Xiang with five points. The team earned 20 points on a challenging team round, thanks in part to sophomore Qiya Zhang solving a really tough geometry problem with less than a minute remaining!

The team finished the season third in the state in class AA and 15th in the state overall among schools from all three classes. In our division, individually, Sean Park finished 4th for the season, Leo Yu finished 11th, Anthony Troullier finished 12th, Lareina Gu finished 19th, and Amy Xiang finished 20th. The team will earn an invitation to the state tournament for the third consecutive year.