Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Call for comments - help us revise the tardy policy!

Dr. Bouchard is seeking your input to shape a tardy policy.  We currently do not have a consequence for students who are frequently tardy. About 15-25 families arrive late for school two or more days each week, despite having a half-hour window from 8:00-8:30 to arrive. This creates extra office work, time away from the group for the teacher who needs to interrupt the morning lesson, and reduced time for learning and for building group spirit. 

Here is our challenge question: How might we, the faculty and parents of Menlo Park Academy, reduce the incidence of chronic student tardiness (two days/week or more) so that all students can have a pleasant and organized morning transition into a supportive community of learners?

We are looking for ideas that will help the school to shape the tardy policy.  Suggestions may include educating parents and students, incentives, or consequences that match the “crime.” We want to avoid solutions that require additional time/work for our faculty, that are punitive or shameful, or that are expensive.

Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or e-mail them directly to Lorraine.Bouchard@menloparkacademy.com.  Thanks for your input!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

MPA Newsletter 12/14/2011

A couple of huge thanks are in order this week.  First of all, the donors and bidders in our online auction raised several thousand dollars for the school - thank you so much for your generosity!  Auction items are available for pick-up at the school starting today.  If you are unable to pick up your item, please contact Tanya.Reno@MenloParkAcademy.com to make alternate arrangements.

Next, Mrs. Colby would like to thank all the families who sent in re-enrollment forms and fees for the 2012-2013 school year.  We'll soon be sending out information on open enrollment you can share with prospective new families; for now, thanks for the great response rate and attention to detail on the forms!

Finally, Girl Scout Troop 854 would like to thank everyone who donated items for their service project.  On Monday they delivered five big boxes, eleven Christmas cards, and four smaller boxes of donated items to the women and children at the center.  The girls had a chance to sing holiday songs and meet some of the families at the shelter.  Thank you, MPA, for your contributions to this worthy charity!

Development Information:

Ignore those annoying Giant Eagle commercials - get your gift cards here! For the month of December, Scrip gift card orders are due by Thursday, December 15th.  These orders will be delivered/available for pick-up on Wednesday, December 21st.  This is an excellent opportunity to support the school and get some last minute shopping done at the same time. Log onto www.shopwithscrip.com (MPA enrollment code is B1BFLA8B23626) to place your orders!

If you have already sent in your Annual Appeal pledge form, THANK YOU!  Almost 40% of our families have responded so far, for a total of more than $35,000 pledged.  If you haven't sent in your pledge form, please do so as soon as possible (pledge form is attached to this message, in case yours was misplaced).  Remember, you don't have to send in money at this point, just the pledge form.  If you would like to send in money now, remember that MPA can accept checks, or donations can be made via PayPal.  Just click here to sign in and make your donation.  Pledge forms are due at the end of this month, so if you don't want to receive "The Call" from our development team, get your form in soon!

Student Information:

Just a reminder that the last day of school for the year is Wednesday, December 21st.  Holiday parties will begin in classrooms at 1pm; the school-wide sing-a-long will be in the gym at 2pm.  Families are welcome to attend the sing-a-long, but please remember that bleacher seating will be limited.  Also, we will not be sending home Thursday folders thatweek.

Congratulations to MPA's boys' basketball team on their first game.  Coach Littlejohn says, "Well, the effort was there and we played hard, but too many turnovers led to a loss to Cuyahoga Hts.  So proud of our MPA boys, and we will get better and be ready for this Saturday's game vs. Columbia Station!  GO WIZARDS!!!!!!!"

The MPA Community cares!  If you know one of our MPA families who might be in need of a get-well message, new baby congratulations, sympathy or other message from MPA please let us know.   Or, you can contact Brenda Klein on the Community Building team at wandre_k@yahoo.com.

Mark your calendar - the annual State of the School meeting will be held Thursday, January 12th.  This is an event for MPA parents - most of our students and siblings will not have the interest or patience to sit quietly throughout the meeting.  We are arranging to have limited child care available, but please make your own sitter arrangements if possible.

Fourth grader Asia George-Huff will play one of Santa's Elves in the Rainey Play December 23rd.  Break a leg, Asia! Also, second grader Dominic Mayhew attended the 2011 Ohio K-12 Grade Chess Championship at University of AkronHe won four out of five matches and was awarded the fifth place trophy on a tie-breaker.  Congratulations on doing so well in this all-day event!  We'd love to share other MPA students' accomplishments with the world.  Send the information you'd like shared with the MPA community to Gretchen Woods at avonhokie@yahoo.com and she'll make sure it gets in the newsletter or blog.


Volunteer Information:

Earn DOUBLE volunteer hours on January 1, 2012 for working at the MPA Concession stand at the Browns Game!  Yes, that's right!  Your family can earn double hours just by providing a volunteer to work at the January 1 game.  And, if you're over 10 hours with the doubling, the hours can carry over into the next month.  It's like double-over-time holiday pay!  Don't miss this opportunity to help out MPA!  Click here to sign upHave questions?  Contact Chris Harrison at chris@handyharrison.com or connie.lindemann@menloparkacademy.com, or Click here for more information.

Sunday, January 8, 2012 will be MPA's annual Open House for prospective families.  We'll need lots of help to make sure our school is ready to be shown off - can you help?  The morning of Saturday, Jan. 7th we'll be cleaning up the school and getting all the chairs/tables/displays set up.  And from 1-3pm on Sunday, Jan. 8th we'll need parents to help check in visitors, conduct tours, and answer questions.  If you can help with either of these tasks, please Sign Up Now or contact Connie.Lindemann@menloparkacademy.com if you have any questions.  This is a great way to get some volunteer time in outside of normal business hours!

Have you ever mentioned MPA to someone, then come up blank when it was time to share the school's web site or phone number?  Check your Thursday Folder this week for folded business cards the Communications Team has created - they're a great way to share information about the school when you're talking with friends and family members.  Just keep one or two in your wallet, and you'll always be able to help our school with effective word-of-mouth marketing. Contact us for extras, too, when you run out! Thanks for your help!


Calendar Highlights:
  • Dec. 15 (Thursday) - Scrip gift card orders due; Kindergarten field trip to Cleveland Botanical Garden
  • Dec. 21 (Wednesday) - Last day of school before winter break; classroom parties and sing-a-long in the afternoon; gift cards ordered in December are delivered
  • Jan. 1, 2012 (Sunday) - Last day to volunteer at the Browns game concession stand
  • Jan. 4, 2012 (Wednesday) - School resumes
  • Jan. 5, 2012 (Thursday) - School board meeting at MPA, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 8, 2012 - Open house for prospective families, 1-3pm
  • Jan. 12, 2012 (Thursday) - State of the School meeting at MPA
  • Jan. 18-19, 2012 (Wed-Thurs) - MPA science fair (details in a future message)
  • Feb. 23, 2012 - "From the Heart" school concert
  • Feb. 27 - March 2, 2012 - Save the date for the MPA Scholastic Book Fair  
  • March 14, 2012 (Wednesday) - K-4th grade math night
  • April 27, 2012 (Friday) - School-wide spelling bee
A final thought: Do you ever visit MPA's page on Facebook?  It's full of timely updates, fun facts and enrichment opportunities, and interesting links.  Don't miss it!  

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

MPA Newsletter, 12/7/2011

Deadline: The deadline for re-enrollment forms for the 2012/2013 school year is Friday!!!!  So far we have received forms for about 200 students, so we know there are still a few procrastinators out there.  We're serious - we can't hold a spot for your child unless the form and fee have been received by the school by December 9th.  The enrollment forms (for returning students and their siblings) are available on the MPA web site here

Development Information:

Bid: Our fundraising auction is live and runs through Dec. 13!  There are gift certificates from local restaurants including Saffron Patch, Chipotle and Romeo's.  Or if you prefer, a custom automotive pin-striping certificate and ski lift tickets are also featured.  These and many other items can be yours, so check it out and start shopping for the holidays at www.biddingforgood.com/mpa.  

Gift: Due to popular demand, we are offering one last chance to order Scrip gift cards before the holidays.  For the month of December, Scrip gift card orders are due by Thursday, December 15th.  These orders will be delivered/available for pick-up on Wednesday, December 21st.  This is an excellent opportunity to support the school and get some last minute shopping done at the same time. Log onto www.shopwithscrip.com (MPA enrollment code is B1BFLA8B23626) to place your orders!

Pledge:  If you have already sent in your Annual Appeal pledge form, THANK YOU!  About one-third of our families have responded so far, for a total of more than $30,000 pledged.  If you haven't sent in your pledge form, please do so as soon as possible.  Remember, you don't have to send in money at this point, just the pledge form.  If you would like to send in money now, remember that MPA can accept checks, or donations can be made via PayPal.  Just click here to sign in and make your donation.  Pledge forms are due at the end of this month, so if you don't want to receive "The Call" from our development team, get your form in soon!

Student Information:

Rally: Friday, December 9th, is the first Pep Rally of the year.  We have a lot to recognize - the Lego First Robotics teams, the boys' basketball team, our math and science winners, etc.  Students and teachers will be gathering in the gym at 2:40pm to celebrate our victories and root for our future successes.  Go, Wizards!

Quarantine: Please, please, please - do not send your child to school if you suspect they may be sick.  Students who have vomited or had a fever should wait at least 24 hours after their symptoms are gone before returning to school.  Help keep all of our kids healthy and able to learn - keep the sick ones home!

Lunch: The voice of the people has been heard!  Students, parents, and even the MPA Student Council all requested thatstudents have a longer lunch period, and now they do.  The new lunch schedule is: 11:20-11:45 first lunch, 11:45-12:10 second lunch, 12:10-12:35 third lunch.  Thanks for your input, and let's hope the longer lunch works out well for everyone!

Milk: Speaking of lunch, re-order forms will be going home soon for students who purchased milk for only part of the year.  If you'd like to join the milk program and don't receive an order form, contact Connie.Lindemann@menloparkacademy.com.
 
Memories: Yearbooks for the 2010-2011 school year went home in last week's Thursday Folders.  If you believe you ordered one last year but didn't receive one, please contact Connie.Lindemann@menloparkacademy.com.

Donations:  MPA Girl Scout Troop 854 is still looking for donations for Laura's House.  Suggested items to donate include: Pop tarts, cereal bars, crayons, markers, coloring books, construction paper, fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gels, kids' soaps, pencils, pens, plain paper, reading books for adults and children, small chip bag snacks, and anything fun for the holidays.  Collections will continue until Friday, December 9th.  

Achievements: Parents have sent in a couple of student achievements this week.  First, Grant and Paige Gibeault are appearing in Mrs. Bob Crachit's Wild Christmas Binge with the Medina County Show Biz Company. This is Grant's third production and Paige's second with the theater company.  Shows run December 9-10.  And secondly, one of our eighth grade students, Quintin Kovach, scored a 99.9% on the entrance exam for St. Ignatius High School.  Way to go, Quintin!  We'd love to share other MPA students' accomplishments with the world.  Send the information you'd like shared with the MPA community to Gretchen Woods at avonhokie@yahoo.com and she'll make sure it gets in the newsletter or blog.

Gifts: From Mrs. Marino, our Gifted Coordinator: If you're looking for some toy suggestions for the upcoming holidays, why not take a look at the list on the National Association for Gifted Children web site?  And if you have any toy favorites you think would be enjoyed by other MPA students, why not share the idea on our Facebook page?  


Volunteer Information:

Copier: Mrs. Lindemann is looking for a few good men and women to help out with some office tasks on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  On Wednesday afternoons we need help with copying materials for Thursday folders, as well as general office help and filing.  On Thursday mornings we need help collating materials and filling the Thursday folders.  We're also looking for volunteers to help with the front desk during the day.  Occasionally Mrs. Wilson needs a day off, and we need someone to be on call to fill in for her during the day.  The volunteer for this position will need to have a completed BCI on file and will need to sign a confidentiality agreement.  If you can help with any of these needs, contact Connie.Lindemann@menloparkacademy.com.

Desk: We're also looking for a volunteer to help staff the desk during Edison Club in the afternoons.  This volunteer would answer phones, help check children in/out of the club, and admit parents to the building.  If you're able to assist with this during any days of the week, please contact Edison.club@menloparkacademy.com.

Tour:  Sunday, January 8, 2012 will be MPA's annual Open House for prospective families.  We'll need lots of help to make sure our school is ready to be shown off - can you help?  The morning of Saturday, Jan. 7th we'll be cleaning up the school and getting all the chairs/tables/displays set up.  And from 1-3pm on Sunday, Jan. 8th we'll need parents to help check in visitors, conduct tours, and answer questions.  If you can help with either of these tasks, please contactConnie.Lindemann@menloparkacademy.com.  This is a great way to get some volunteer time in outside of normal business hours!

Pie: MPA's K-4 Math Night will be on Pi Day, Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at 6:30 p.m.! We will be looking for volunteers to help out that evening, including setting up beforehand, during the event, and cleaning up afterward. We are also looking for parents who can donate PIES (get it?!) or T-SHIRTS for K-4 Math Night, or provide them to MPA at cost. If you can help or need more info, please contact Latha at LMS54321@gmail.com. Thank you!


Calendar Highlights:
  • Dec. 9 (Friday) - Collection of items for Laura's Home Women and Children's Shelter ends; all re-enrollment forms and fees due for returning students
  • Dec. 13 (Tuesday) - Bidding for Good auction ends
  • Dec. 15 (Thursday) - Scrip gift card orders due; Kindergarten field trip to Cleveland Botanical Garden
  • Dec. 21 (Wednesday) - Last day of school before winter break; classroom parties and sing-a-long in the afternoon; gift cards ordered in December are delivered
  • Jan. 1, 2012 (Sunday) - Last day to volunteer at the Browns game concession stand
  • Jan. 4, 2012 (Wednesday) - School resumes
  • Jan. 8, 2012 - Open house for prospective families, 1-3pm
  • Feb. 23, 2012 - "From the Heart" school concert
  • Feb. 27 - March 2, 2012 - Save the date for the MPA Scholastic Book Fair  
  • March 14, 2012 (Wednesday) - K-4th grade math night
  • April 27, 2012 (Friday) - School-wide spelling bee
A final thought: Do you ever visit MPA's page on Facebook?  It's full of timely updates, fun facts and enrichment opportunities, and interesting links.  Don't miss it!  

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MPA Newsletter, 11/30/2011

Development Information:

Bid: Our fundraising auction on Bidding for Good is up and running!  There are gift certificates from local restaurants including Saffron Patch, Chipotle and Romeo's.  Or if you prefer, a custom automotive pin-striping certificate and ski lift tickets are also featured.  These and many other items can be yours, so check it out and start shopping for the holidays at www.biddingforgood.com.  The auction will run through December 13, 2011.

Pledge:  If you have already sent in your Annual Fund pledge form, THANK YOU!  Be on the lookout for an "I supported MPA" badge that you can wear with pride.  If you haven't sent in your pledge form, please do so as soon as possible.  We've got some fun prizes to encourage families to send in their pledges quickly:
  • The first CLASSROOM with 100% pledge participation will get a Young Audience program for that class**
  • The first GRADE LEVEL with 100% pledge participation will get a bingo party.
  • When the SCHOOL reaches 100% pledge participation, we will have Jungle Terry do a program for the school!
** Interested in the Young Audience program?  You can learn more about the programs available here and here.  Remember, you don't have to send in money at this point, just the pledge form.  If you would like to send in money now, remember that MPA can accept checks, or donations can be made via PayPal.  Just click here to sign in and make your donation.  Pledge forms are due at the end of this month, so if you don't want to receive "The Call" from our development team, get your form in soon!

Student Information:

Enroll: Have you sent in your child's re-enrollment forms and fees for the 2012/2013 school year?  Mrs. Colby has asked us to remind parents AGAIN that we can't hold a spot for your child unless the form and fee have been received by the school by December 9th.  (Is there some way to make that phrase blink, too? That's the only thing it's missing!)  The enrollment forms (for returning students and their siblings) are available on the MPA web site here. 

Celebrate:  Menlo Park Academy will receive a Constant Quality Award by the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools (OAPCS) next week at the state conference in Columbus.  The award is given to those charter schools that receive the Excellent rating for three years in a row.  Way to go, Menlo!

Return:  Please make sure you have signed your child's report card envelope and returned it to school.  Mrs. Wilson will be calling all of the families whose envelopes have not been received, so please reduce her work load by returning yours soon.  Thank you!

Pay: Please remember that if your student "dresses down" on Wednesday, you need to send $1 back to school in that week's Thursday Folder.  And "dressing down" just means "not wearing dress code clothes," so your student is welcome to dress "up" or "down."

Rejoice: Yearbooks for the 2010-2011 school year are here!  They're being sent home in Thursday Folders to families who pre-ordered one last year.

Donate:  MPA Girl Scout Troop 854 would like to thank everyone who has donated items for Laura's Home Women and Children's Shelter. We are still looking for donations of the following types of items: Pop tarts, cereal bars, crayons, markers, coloring books, construction paper, fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gels, kids' soaps, pencils, pens, plain paper, reading books for adults and children, small chip bag snacks, and anything fun for the holidays.  Collections will continue until December 9th.  

Support:  The MPA Kindergarten classes are running a service project called "Operation Warmth" to provide "warm" items to soldiers serving in Afghanistan.  Check your Thursday Folder for more specifics on the types of socks, gloves, hand warmers, hats, scarves, and food items they're collecting to send overseas.  The kids will also be writing letters to the soldiers and sending a blanket for Addyson Kuszma's uncle, who is serving in Afghanistan.  Please bring all donations into school by Monday, December 5th so they can be mailed in plenty of time to reach the troops for the holidays.  Thanks for helping support our brave men and women overseas!

Perform: MPA Kindergartner Emmy Rosbough will be dancing the part of an angel in Northern Classical Ballet's The Nutcracker on Sat, December 10thWe'd love to share other MPA students' accomplishments with the world.  Send the information you'd like shared with the MPA community to Gretchen Woods at avonhokie@yahoo.com and she'll make sure it gets in the newsletter or blog.

Schedule: Classroom holiday parties will be held the afternoon of Wednesday, December 21st, and will be followed by a school sing-a-long in the gym.  Families are welcome to attend the sing-a-long, but be aware that seating on the bleachers will be limited, so please don't bring your entire extended family!

Welcome: There's a new face at MPA - Todd Gorius, our new Intervention Specialist.  He'll be helping the school serve students with learning differences, designing and implementing interventions and specialized instruction.  He'll also make sure we remain in compliance with all laws and regulations in this area.  Welcome to the team, Todd!


Volunteer Information:

Thank: Thanks to all the volunteers who helped out with the Facilities team work day and the curriculum book sale, including Teri Ross, Sheila Buchanon, Mandy Czech, Sara Atkins, Kari Bast-Payne, Cathie Leimbach, Heather and Jay Keirn-Swanson, Racheal Seibert, Nicole Harrington, Tina and Vic Garlauskas, Kay O'Donnell, Peggy Kleckner, Deanna Campbell, Shelley Rice-James, Mason Boor, Jackie Rivera, Sid & Dan Stech, Ed Burwell, Ed Gundayao, Shawn & Laura Koski,  Karen Ammari and Stacey Camera.  We got the school spruced up, cleared out a lot of storage space, and raised some money for the school, too!  And the MPA staff would also like to thank the volunteers who provided food during the days of the parent-teacher conferences, including Carol Ryan, Madeline O'Malley, Mandy Czech, Maureen Mingus, Rachel Didytch, Sid Stech, Natassa Pricscilla, and Collette Dalton.  Thanks for helping make two very long days much more enjoyable!

Serve:  The last Browns home game is Sunday, January 1st, 2012.  Help MPA make its goal of 100% volunteer staffing of our concession stand - click here  and select the January 1st game to volunteer! 

Submit Volunteers, if you purchase something for the school and expect to be reimbursed, please keep in mind two very important points.  First, all purchases must be pre-approved by an MPA staff member.  And second, receipts must be submitted to the school within 60 days of the purchase.  Purchases that do not meet both of these criteria will not be reimbursed.  Thanks for your understanding.


Calendar Highlights:

Compete:  The MPA boys' basketball schedule is now available:
Game #1 December 10th -  vs. Cuyahoga Hts. @ 3:00pm at the Cuyahoga Hts. Rec Center
Game #2 December 17th – vs. Columbia Coleman @ 12:30 at Midpark Sports Center in Middleburg Hts.
Game #3 January 7th – vs. Columbia Hershey @ 12:30 at Midpark Sports Center in Middleburg Hts. (Also, Team Picture Day at 11:00am)
Game #4 January 14th – vs. Olmsted Falls @ 11:00AM at Big Creek Elementary School in Middleburg Hts.
Game #5 January 21st - vs. Berea Heat @ 3:30 at Midpark Sports Center in Middleburg Hts.
Game #6 January 28st - vs. Middleburg Hts. Cavs @ 12:30 at Midpark Sports Center in Middleburg Hts.
Game #7 February 4th - vs. Berea Hornets @ 12:30 at Midpark Sports Center in Middleburg Hts. (Note: This game may be rescheduled).
Game #8 February 9th - vs. Middleburg Hts. Knicks @ 7:30pm at Midpark Sports Center in Middleburg Hts. (Yes, this is a Thursday night game!!!).
Game #9 February 18th – vs. Columbia Station Ross @ 2:30 at Berea High School.
Game #10 February 25th – vs. Fairview Park Warriors @ 1:30 at the Fairview Park Gemini Center.
Other dates to remember:
  • Dec. 2 (Friday) - 3rd grade trip to Severance Hall; 6th grade trip to Playhouse Square for A Christmas Carol
  • Dec. 3 (Saturday) - FIRST Lego League robotics competition at Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights
  • Dec. 5 (Monday) - Collection of items for "Operation Warmth" ends; 1st grade trip to Shore Cultural Center for'Twas the Night Before Christmas; 2nd grade trip to Beck Center
  • Dec. 9 (Friday) - Collection of items for Laura's Home Women and Children's Shelter ends; all re-enrollment forms and fees due for returning students
  • Dec. 13 (Tuesday) - Bidding for Good auction ends
  • Dec. 21 (Wednesday) - Last day of school before winter break; classroom parties and sing-a-long in the afternoon
  • Jan. 1, 2012 (Sunday) - Last day to volunteer at the Browns game concession stand
  • Jan. 4, 2012 (Wednesday) - School resumes
  • Jan. 8, 2012 - Open house for prospective families, 1-3pm
  • Feb. 23, 2012 - "From the Heart" school concert
  • Feb. 27 - March 2 - Save the date for the MPA Scholastic Book Fair.  
A final thought: Do you ever visit MPA's page on Facebook?  It's full of timely updates, fun facts and enrichment opportunities, and interesting links.  Don't miss it!