Saturday, August 13, 2011

Third summer newsletter


Calendar correction
The original school year calendar listed a school kick-off program on August 25th.  This program has been split and moved to August 28th(during the school picnic) and August 29th (during the open house/supply drop-off/Edison Club orientation/volunteer training).  We will NOT be holding any program on August 25th – and you’re welcome for the newly open date on your calendar!

School picnic August 28th – now with free food!
That’s right, MPA will be providing hot dogs, chips, and drinks at the back-to-school picnic on Sunday, August 28th from 5-7pm at the Kiwanis Pavilion at Lakewood Park Stop by to sign up for volunteer teams, chat with the staff, meet other families from the school, and have a hot dog, all on the last weekend of summer break.  Make sure to claim your name badges when you arrive – they’ll be coded to help everyone meet families whose students are in the same grades.

Stop the presses!  Revised dress code policy for 2011-2012!
All students at Menlo Park Academy are required to dress in a manner that is comfortable, safe, and allows for vigorous play.  The school dress code helps MPA students and staff identify who “belongs” with the school, which helps with security on campus and during field trips. 
In order to offer our students more flexibility while maintaining a uniform look for the student body, the dress code has been updated and expanded as follows:
On regular school days:
·         Updated: Solid-color shirts with collars, long- or short-sleeved. Turtlenecks are acceptable.
·         Khaki, black or navy blue “dress-style” pants
·         Navy blue, black or khaki knee-length shorts may be worn in appropriate weather
·         Girls may wear navy blue, black or khaki knee-length skirts or jumpers
·         White, navy, or light blue sweaters
·         White, navy, or light blue turtlenecks may be worn under shirts or sweaters
·         “Dress-style” shoes that are not open-toed or backless
·         Athletic shoes
·         Boots may be worn to school in winter; if worn in the snow or rain, they must but be removed in school.
·         White, black, khaki or navy blue socks, leggings, or tights


The school has no locker room, so changing clothes completely is problematical. If gym shorts are worn on gym days, the student must bring regular school-day bottoms to put on over the shorts or change into quickly.  On gym days, students may wear the following:
·         Grey, white, navy, or light blue t-shirt or sweatshirt
·         Navy blue or black shorts, sweatpants or leggings  
·         White, black, or navy blue socks
·         Athletic shoes


Updated: Field trip days: light blue shirts with collars, long- or short-sleeved. In cooler weather, may top with a white, navy, or light blue sweater. White, navy, or light blue turtlenecks may be worn under shirts or sweaters.

In the spotlight: Edison Club
Edison Club, MPA’s before- and after-care program, is gearing up for another great year.  The safety and security of kids participating in Edison Club depends on parents understanding and following the club procedures.  That’s why we’ll be offering several sessions of orientation for Edison Club parents – both new and returning – on Monday, August 29th.  Sessions will be held at 2:45pm and 7pm.  We’ll discuss attendance policies, billing, drop-off and pick-up procedures, as well as other important information.

If you have not yet registered your child for Edison Club but have decided to participate in the program, please visit the MPA website to download the registration form.  Please mail the completed form and registration fee to Katie Gerba, 1116 Richmar Drive, Westlake, 44145 BEFORE August 29th.

And in the meantime, we’re still looking for someone to work the door of the Edison Club from 4-6pm every school day to admit parents and check out students.  This would be a great position for an MPA parent or older sibling (high school or college age) who would earn volunteer hours for their family while providing a valuable service to the school.  If you work as the Edison Club door person, your child can attend the club for free, so it’s a great deal, as well!  Anyone interested in the position can contact Katie Gerba for more information atedisonclub@menloparkacademy.com.

Singapore math
As many parents have heard, this year MPA will be implementing a new math curriculum for all grades.  Singapore Math is a program developed from the math programs used in the country of Singapore where the students consistently outperform the US and most other countries on the TIMSS ratings (Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies).

Singapore Math is an approach that uses both drill and memorization, but also creative problem solving which is so important for our gifted learners. The program emphasizes depth and mastery before moving on to new concepts. In so doing, the Singapore approach moves along to more abstract math concepts in a very rational way and, depending on the student's pace, more quickly. Other positive feedback indicates that the Singapore approach encourages greater problem solving skills and creative thinking than the approach of traditional US-based math curriculum programs. 

The program has workbooks for students, textbooks, and relies heavily on the use of manipulatives to aid in visual, hands-on representation of what students are learning.  Teachers will be going through intensive two- day training on the program this month. Look for more information to come from your child’s math teacher as the year begins.

Random acts of awesomeness
MPA wouldn’t be the incredible school that it is without the support of our dedicated, talented parents and family members.  Our thanks go out this week to all the families who volunteered at the Browns concession stand last weekend, and the folks who showed up for the work day at the school last Saturday.  Way to kick off the year right!

Many  volunteers have been an invaluable help throughout the summer, as well.  They include Sandy Howlett, Kathy Thomas, Hal Daugherty, Shawn Watters, Kay Kibbey, Rachel Didytch, Julie Kovalik, Alexander Carman, Scott Carman and the "ever faithful" Bill Rudnickas.  Without these folks, we wouldn’t have as organized a facility, as smooth of an enrollment week, or as functional a building or IT system.  Thanks for all of your talent and hard work, folks!

Look for more information and links to sign-up for Volunteering for the 2011-12 School Year Early Next Week.

Basketball Camp
The Camp has many students signed up to participate and promises to be a great time for all involved.   Anyone still interested in signing up may do so by contacting Coach Willie Littlejohn wbl8305@sbcglobal.net or (216) 287-8786

Social butterflies
We all know that MPA has a website, but did you know the school also has a blog, and a presence on Facebook?  Download official school forms, read more complete information on some of the newsletter stories, or connect with other MPA families, all from your computer or cell phone!  Here’s a cheat sheet with all the pertinent links:

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