Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fourth summer newsletter

Help! We need somebody!
Mrs. Lindeman and the staff have identified a few jobs that need to be finished up at the school before our kicks off on the 31st. Please contact her at the school if you would be willing to help out with any of the following:
  • Sprucing up the teachers’ lounge. This may include buying some tableware to keep at the school (expense will be reimbursed), hanging up some pictures in the lounge, and organizing/cleaning the room and supplies. Cookies and bakery donations to help create a "Welcome Back" feel are accepted as well.
  • Assisting the new Art Teacher with organizing materials in the new art room (which is in the old music room). This will include unpacking and organizing all the art supplies we’ve moved out of the old art room.
  • "Goo-Gone" Patrol. Cleaning off the sticky tape residue left from artwork, signs, etc in the hallways, doors and windows. (Two-four volunteers needed for this task)
  • MPA Welcome Back Picnic. Help is needed with building a fire, cooking, serving, and set-up/clean-up. In addition, we need to know how many people will be in attending so we can be prepared. You can RSVP and/or Sign-up to help at the school website for MPA's Back to School Picnic on August 28 @5-7pm Lakewood Park.

Not able to help with these tasks, but wondering how you can help out this year? Have you tired of your past volunteer commitments but aren’t sure where else you could help? Look no further than the newly created description of volunteer opportunities that will be available very soon on the MPA website. It will walk you through what each of the teams does for the school, what skill sets the teams are looking for, and what projects might be available during the year. It’s important that each family read through the volunteer descriptions and choose which area they’d like to work in this year. Sign-ups for volunteer teams will be available next week as well, and each family must choose a team to work with by the beginning of the school year.

More milk choices
MPA will once again be offering parents the chance to pre-pay for milk to be provided for students each day at lunch. But this year, we’re offering additional choices – white or lowfat chocolate milk, and several payment plans. You’ll be able to choose a plan that covers the entire year, half the year, or just two months. Remember – students can’t pay for milk on individual days, just as part of the plan, so it’s important to decide soon whether your family will participate. (Order form attached to this email.) Cost for Milk is $50/year, $25 1/2 year and $12.50 for two months.

Introductions
There will be plenty of new faces to learn on the first day of school – and not all of them belong to kids! MPA is proud to welcome half a dozen new teachers to our staff this year in both upper and lower grades. In order to help our families get to know these new faces, we’ve asked them to introduce themselves:

  • Ashley Schroeder (first grade) writes: I have taught first grade for 5 years, and I spent one school year as an early literacy coach training and coaching teachers in grades K-2. I just moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio this summer, and I live with my new husband, Ryan and our cat Beanie. I absolutely love teaching first grade, and cannot wait to meet my new group of "firsties" in a few short weeks! I am so happy to be joining the Menlo Park Academy team this school year!
  • Denise Machado (teachers’ aide and supervisor of the Edison Club) writes: My background includes a Masters in Education, Bachelors in Psychology, LSW and a Post Graduate Training Program at the Gestalt Institute. I am looking forward to an exciting year!
  • Doug Thompson (first grade) writes: I have lived in Lorain County for the last thirty years, spending the last seven years teaching first grade in Lorain, Ohio. I share a home in Elyria with my wonderful wife Kim. I have a pet bearded dragon named Murray who will be living in our first grade class this year. I am excited to be joining the team at MPA and can't wait to meet all of the wonderful students and parents that I keep hearing about.
  • Eamon O’Donnell (fourth grade) writes: I graduated from Bowling Green State University in 2002 with a degree in Elementary Education. I have spent the past nine years teaching in Catholic school in the Cleveland area, while also receiving a Master of Arts in Education from Baldwin Wallace College. Though most of my experience has been teaching math, English, and science in the junior high, I am very much looking forward to teaching fourth grade at Menlo Park Academy and incorporating my background in technology. In my spare time, I enjoy sports, being outdoors, cooking, listening to music, and spending as much time possible with my wife and two children.
  • Julie Kubek (seventh and eighth grade math) writes: Prior to coming to Menlo Park, I taught high school integrated mathematics and geometry in the Toledo area as well as 7th grade math and pre-algebra at Hillside Middle School in Parma. I enjoy spending time with my husband and three children as well as playing piano, reading and whipping up creations in the kitchen. I look forward to working with MPA's mathematicians and hope to inspire them to be their best!
  • Kym Rokas (second grade) writes: I graduated from Baldwin-Wallace College with a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education, Mild/Moderate Intervention Specialist, and a Reading Endorsement. I have been teaching for 6 years now in a variety of different settings. I am so excited to be leading one of the second grade classrooms this year! Personally, I am married to a wonderful man named Joe. We have a 5 month old baby girl named Lilly and a golden retriever named Bella. As much as I will be missing my baby this fall, I know I will be equally excited to work with your children. In my free time, you can find me on a softball field or a tennis court. I'm so excited to be joining the Menlo Park community this year. Let's make it a good one.
  • Leslie Weber (Middle School social studies) writes: I am very excited to be a part of the Menlo Park Community! For the past four years I have been teaching 8th grade at Marburn Academy in Columbus, Ohio, a school for exceptional students who learn differently. In the classroom I enjoy discussions and relating history to current world issues. My husband and I have been married for three years and we have an adorable beagle/German Pointer mix named Mosby. When I'm not teaching or lesson planning, I enjoy reading historical fiction and watching movies. I can't wait for the school year to begin to meet the students and get started teaching.


Musical classrooms
MPA has seen a lot of construction this summer in preparation for our growing student body. The room which used to house the Edison Club and art classes is now home to a second grade classroom, as is a large portion of the former office and volunteer area. That’s right – second grade will now be held downstairs with the Kindergarten and first grade classes! The art classes will now be held in the former music room, and music classes will be held onstage and in classrooms throughout the school. Edison Club will start each day in the gym, then may go to classrooms. The "room of the day" for Edison Club will be posted on a sign at the entrance each day. Several of the teachers on the second floor have moved rooms, too – so it won’t just be the new kids who have to search for their classrooms the first few days of school! If you’d like to see how the construction has progressed, be sure to stop by school during the Open House on the 29th. We’ll be happy to give you a tour!


Coming soon to a school near you …
Monday, August 22nd - Class lists announced via e-mail.

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

Monday, August 29th -- 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 Club

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.

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

PE is now twice as nice
This just in … MPA will now be offering Physical Education TWICE a week. We’re beginning a special partnership with the local YMCA, which will be coordinating the classes and providing the instructor, Mr. John Mould. Look for more information on this exciting development over the coming weeks as we nail down the specifics of the program.

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