Spring’s Impact On Learning

upper school students outside for biology classby Renee Wright, Lower 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 enjoy reading their thoughts and reflections about life at MPA.

The March break stimulates thoughts of spring in Minnesota, stirs up feelings of excitement, and renews the soul. Spring has always been my favorite season, marking the end of a brutal winter and the transition into warmer temperatures. As a child I watched for puddles to appear and looked for the first sighting of a robin or baby bunnies or ducklings in our backyard as a sign that spring was on its way. Spring seemed so mysterious to me as a child, and as an adult I continue to feel the same. The transition from winter to spring magically transforms nature, which impacts the human spirit. Read More

Meet Ryan Ghose ’21

Ryan Ghose in classWhat do you love about MPA?
Waking up every morning excited about what I’m doing that day, whether it be a fun activity during class, play rehearsal, or a school dance.

How are you encouraged to dream big and do right at MPA?
I am encouraged to dream big and do right through everything MPA offers. My extracurriculars allow me to explore anything and everything I set my mind to. The volunteer work I have been doing on campaigns and for organizations I believe in continue to inspire me to do right for my peers and my community.

What would you tell a family considering MPA?
If you have a child that loves to learn and wants to explore their environment, MPA allows your child to do that in a supportive and understanding environment.

In what ways has MPA prepared you for life?
I’m prepared for life because MPA provides the tools for me to build an understanding of the world around me, and how I fit into that world and how I can contribute to it.

What do you dream for yourself in 20 years? 
Leading and working in a marketing position while maintaining my love of the performing arts.

Is there anything else you’d like to share about your MPA experience?
As an MPA lifer, I have seen this school change dramatically from when I started in 2008. From this, I know two things for sure: every year MPA becomes an even better school and I become an even better person.

Mounds Park Academy, a PreK-12 private school in Saint Paul, is currently accepting applications for the 2019-20 school year. For more information about admission and to schedule your tour, visit moundsparkacademy.org/admission. We look forward to getting to know your family!

Math League Finishes Second In State

MPA Math LeagueCongratulations to the MPA Math League for finishing second in the state in Class A in the state tournament! Minnesota Valley Lutheran finished in first place and Breck finished in third place.

“I am really proud of how our team performed at the state tournament,” comments Coach Ethier. “Everyone on the team contributed to their second place finish, and everyone contributed to their success during the season.”

Coach Ethier also shares that it wasn’t too many years ago that they had trouble fielding a team of eight to compete at the meets, and that this year they had 11 different students who were part of the scoring team in at least one meet, and 18 students who came to most of their meets. “It’s been great to see the growth of our Math League program over the years,” says Ethier.

Juliana Wu, a senior and co-captain of the team, shares similar feelings. “This is the highlight of my senior year,” she said, “It was the first time in four years we went to state. Our team is awesome this year; we work really hard and all share an interest and a passion for math.”

Congratulations Math League and Coach Ethier!

What Students Discover When Learning By Doing

French immersion iterm group in quebecby Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

For most Middle School students, this week is their favorite time of the school year. It is i-Term, a signature MPA program that offers students an intensive learning experience in a single class that aligns with their interests and fuels their passion for learning. For some, it primarily means a week without homework and without grades. For all, this inquiry-based, experiential learning experience reflects a core attribute of an MPA education that has been with us since our founding 37 years ago.

Inquiry-based learning, project-based learning, and service-learning are relatively new terms in the educational world and seem to be in vogue as schools look for creative and innovative ways to more fully engage students in learning. The Nellie Mae Education Foundation defines project-based learning as “an instructional approach that addresses core content through relevant, hands-on learning—challenging students to solve ‘real world- problems.” According to the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Washington, “Service-learning refers to learning that actively involves students in a wide range of experiences, which often benefit others and the community, while also advancing the goals of a given curriculum.” Read More

Thank You For Supporting The Parents Association!

PA volunteers at book festivalThe Parents Association would like to say thank you for your dues. The $75 per family that you see in the re-enrollment system funds our budget so that we can provide our students, faculty and staff, and our families with great opportunities and events throughout the year.

This year, your contributions supported Faculty and Staff Appreciation, Lower School Holiday Events, Middle School Cafe, Book Festival, the White Out Dance for grades PreK-6 and individual grade level events. Also, through our micro-funding program, we were able to fund the purchase of Robotics kits for fifth graders and the MPA Robotics team. In the coming months, we will fund graduation decorations, the Moving Up celebration, kindergarten graduation and more grade level events. Your funds are essential to help us build community, continue MPA traditions, support our faculty and staff, and be a resource for our families. Thank you!

Creating The Future

Nick, Andrew, and Alex LarsonA Message From MPA’s Board Of Trustees 

by Matthew Larson, MPA Parent, Board Treasurer, Board Chair-Elect

MPA’s faculty and staff are creating and nurturing our children’s dreams and providing the skills and mindsets it will take to fulfill them every day. Our school’s mission is held in deep regard and is sincerely felt throughout its classrooms and hallways. The future spaces and opportunities that Together, We Dream will create will be game changing for our students, faculty, staff, and entire MPA community. If I may speak on behalf of the MPA Board of Trustees, we believe Abraham Lincoln said it well: “The best way to predict your future is to create it.” Read More

Spring Sailing For MPA

Sailing teamfrom Toby Sullivan ’19, sailing captain

Spring sports have begun! Of course, you have all the normal sports to choose from, but here at MPA students in grades 7-12 also have something different—sailing. Did you know that we have been one of the top teams in the state recently? Did you know that we race locally, regional and nationally? Did you know that sailing is a co-ed sport?

If you are looking for a sport that has life-long potential and is tons of fun, come join the MPA Sailing Team. You do not have to know how to sail—we will teach you everything you need to know to be able to be part of our team.

Sailing is a two-season sport. You can sail in the fall or the spring or both. Practices are on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at White Bear Sailing School (carpools are arranged) and races are on Saturdays at various locations. Practices and races are loose so if you cannot make one, it’s ok. If you don’t want to commit right away, come and try out three practices for free. We’ll get started after spring break.

If you have questions or want more information talk to senior Toby Sullivan (tsullivan19@moundsparkacademy.org) or team advisor and MPA math teacher Ms. Sullivan (wsullivan@moundsparkacademy.org).

Career Speakers Needed & Appreciated

High school students in classWe are seeking volunteers to speak with our Upper School students to share information about their jobs, and the stories of their career preparation and paths. MPA 10th graders recently completed Myers-Briggs assessments to tie in with their current general career interests. Next we hope to give them the chance to hear from people in fields that might hold interest for them. While all students in the Upper School are invited to participate, 10th graders will be attending as a required part of their advisory program.

Our first event is scheduled for Wednesday, April 17, 11:30 AM-12:10 PM (taking advantage of lunch/advisory meeting time). However, we envision expanding this program in the future, so even if you can’t participate on this date, please let us know of your interest and we will keep you posted on further developments and opportunities to be involved.

Read More

Your Gift Matters

Green family in the cafeteriaby Jennifer Rogers, Director of Development and Community Engagement

I grew up in rural Nebraska. Despite often wishing for more and to have anonymity that isn’t often found in small communities, I didn’t realize how much I missed that sense of belonging until our family found MPA last fall. Since then, I’ve experienced the joy of being a part of this tight-knit community of dreamers and doers. Through Together, We Dream: The Campaign for MPA, I’ve had the chance to talk with many supporters who’ve shared why they give. They often cite the impact their gift has on the school, and how they hope to make a difference in the lives of their children, and the entire community. Just as it is in most communities, giving here is both deeply personal and meaningful. Read More

There’s Power In Being Kind To Yourself

upper school student paintingby 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.

I recently celebrated a milestone birthday. It was one of those birthdays where AARP sends you both a birthday card and a membership card in the same envelope. It’s not hard to believe that I have now entered my sixth decade, but rather that I have been an educator for as long as I was a traditional student. Regardless, my experiences as a student are the ones that I often find myself replaying in my mind and on which I rely as I work with MPA students and my own fifth-grade son. The reality is that it is not my successes that draw me back to my childhood, but the challenges that I experienced. The times I did not meet the expectations that I set for myself or were given to me by others. Read More