Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fifth summer newsletter


Our thanks go out to staff and teachers who got the class lists put together and sent out on Monday 8/22.  If you have not received an e-mail from your child's homeroom teacher this week, please contact Lynn Wilson at the MPA office immediately so we can make sure we have the proper e-mail address on file and get that information to you.  It was a great test of the accuracy of our email data and enabled us to clean up a small handful of bounced addresses before school starts.

If you haven't RSVP'd for the picnic yet, you can do so here.
 Over 300 MPA students and familes have already signed up!  We hope you will join us for a great kick-off to our school year.


With school starting in just one week, it’s time to start thinking about practical matters – like how the routines for pick-up and drop-off will run this year.  A few small changes to the system have been made this year to help insure the safety and security of our students.  Procedures are available on our website for more details.  Here’s an overview:
  • Buses will not be entering the parking lot this year – they will only drop off and pick up students at the door on Triskett Road.  This saves wear and tear on the parking lot, and it makes the parking lot safer for students who walk or are being dropped off by car.
  • Students who walk home will be released after the bus and car riders have left.  This will help minimize pedestrian traffic in the parking lot and keep these students safer during this busy time of day.
  • Car rider procedures are pretty much the same as last year, as is the flow of parking/traffic in the lot.  Car signs and maps of the traffic flow will be distributed at the picnic on August 28th, and at the Open House on August 29th, so be sure to pick yours up!  You can also find the procedures on the MPA website/MPA Documents page.
  • If you have transportation changes – your bus rider is going to be picked up by car one day, for example – YOU MAY NO LONGER E-MAIL THESE CHANGES TO YOUR CHILD’S TEACHER.  Teachers are very busy during the school day and are often away from their computers for long stretches of time.  If you need to notify the school of a last-minute transportation change, please e-mail Lynn Wilson at Lynn.Wilson@menloparkacademy.com BEFORE NOON, and she will make sure the teacher gets the message.
  • And finally, please keep in mind that despite our best planning, the drop-off and pick-up lines at school are always a challenge for the first few days.  If everyone is patient and respectful of volunteers, staff, and other parents, it will be a much more pleasant experience for everyone.
If you can fasten a seatbelt, peel open string cheese, or retrieve balls from the streets surrounding the playground, we need your help!   We’re looking for folks to help out with drop-off, pick-up, lunch and recess duty, especially during the first week of school.  These daytime volunteers MUST complete the training being provided at several times on August 29th Please click here to sign up to RSVP for the training and also sign-up for lunch/recess help – and thanks in advance for your pudding-opening skills! 

Speaking of volunteers, the volunteer descriptions, FAQs, and sign-ups are now officially ready!  Check out the Volunteer Page on our website or download the documents here.

Once you've looked the opportunities over you can sign up on the new electronic form.
There are plenty of options for every interest and skill set, everything from running Pizza Day to collating Box Tops to helping with work days on the weekends. Please take some time to consider what type of volunteer work you’d like to perform this year – and then sign up to do it!  We need to have each family’s volunteer commitment in place by the first team meeting night, which will be at 6:30pm on September 8th

Also, we need to start thinking about the electives we’ll be offering our students this year.  These are traditionally led by volunteers, and can be about any topic you’d like – anything from public speaking to Lego building to messy science to crafts.  It’s a great way to get to know your child’s classmates, introduce students to topics that aren’t included in the standard curriculum, and have a lot of fun!  If you would to volunteer for a session (which is usually 6-7 weeks long and meets at least once a week), please contact Dr. Bouchard at 
Lorraine.Bouchard@menloparkacademy.com with details on which topic and grade level you’d be interested in leading.

We have a few more staff introductions to share this week:
Annette Coreno (Classroom Teaching Assistant/Lunch & Recess Assistant) writes: I previously worked in the same capacity as a substitute for many years with a public school system. I have lived in the Westpark area of Cleveland with my husband and children for over 20 years and am now very fortunate to have this wonderful opportunity to be able to work in this neighborhood as well. I so look forward to working with each and every one of you once the new school year begins!

Diane Padrutt (art) writes: Although I am originally from the Detroit area, I received my bachelors degree in Art Education from Kent State University, then relocated to the west side of Cleveland after college.  I worked for the Parma City School District for years before staying home with my two young sons.  Returning to Parma part time provided me with both a chance to work with children and art, and to stay home with my sons, all the while working on my pottery (which I display and sell locally).  I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, cooking, traveling, gardening, and waterskiing.  I am very excited about the opportunity to be a part of the Menlo Park Academy family and I look forward to meeting you all!

Important dates:
Sunday, August 28th --            5-7 pm: School picnic at Lakewood Park Kiwanis Pavilion.  Sign up for volunteer teams, pick up your car rider signs, meet other MPA families, and have a good time!  Hot dogs, chips, and drinks will be provided by the school.

Monday, August 29th --          Milk order forms due, and:
12-3 pm or 6:30-7:45 pm: Open house to meet teachers and drop off school supplies.  This is optional – you can choose to drop supplies off at another time the school is open, as long as they are clearly marked with the child’s name and grade.  And if you ordered your school supplies online, rest assured that they have already been delivered to the classrooms and you don’t need to do anything further with them.
            1 pm, 2 pm, and 6 pm: Training sessions for daytime volunteers (choose one to attend)
            2:45 pm and 7 pm: Orientation sessions for Edison ClubALL new and returning families who will - or might - be needing before or after school care MUST attend an orientation meeting.

Wednesday, August 31st – First day of school for 1st-8th graders


Thursday, September 1st – Half day of school for kindergarteners, full day for other students.  Kindergarten students attend from 8:30 to 11:30 am, with one parent or other adult invited to stay from 8:30-9:15. Kindergarteners must be picked up at 11:30, which is just before lunchtime.  Several parents of past kindergarteners have volunteered to lead a coffee hour September 1st at the local Baskin Robbins/Dunkin Donuts (16204 Lorain Avenue, Cleveland - (216) 812-3865).  If you have questions about what to expect as the parent of an MPA student, want to make suggestions about how to make the process easier on future students, or just need a shoulder to cry on while your baby has his or her first day of school, this is the place to be.  Drop by the store between 9:30 am and 11 am – we hope to see you there!


Friday, September 2nd – Partial day of school for kindergarteners, full day for other students.  Kindergarten students attend from 8:30 am to 1 pm, which includes lunch and recess.  Kindergarteners must be picked up at 1 pm.

Monday, September 5th – Holiday – No School
Tuesday, September 6th – Full day for all students
Thursday, September 8th – Parent Volunteer Meeting @6:30pm

See you at the picnic and/or Open House!

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