Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MPA Newsletter, 9/28/2011


Welcome, one and all!  Let’s all welcome our newest MPA student, 5th grader Sarah Michelbrink.  Welcome to MPA, Michelbrink family!

Get out the vote: Middle school student council officer election campaigns begin today.  Candidates will give their speeches on October 3rd, and the campaign will end with the election on October 5th.  Best of luck to everyone running for office!

Alley-oop!  Come and learn more about Menlo Park’s Inaugural Basketball Season! All interested boys in grades 4-6 and their parents should attend this meeting on Thursday, September 29th at 6:15. We will be reviewing information about: tryouts, practice schedules, the regular season schedule, and involvement from parents and students.  

Did you remember?  Forms for the Wednesday lunches (pizza, hot dog, and/or pasta) are due Friday, September 30th.  Please send in your form and payment in this week's Thursday folder if you would like your student(s) to participate.  The necessary form is attached to this message. 

Testing, testing, 1-2-3: Parents, please be aware that Third Grade students will be taking the OAA (Ohio Achievement Assessment)tests on Tuesday, October 4th.  These tests measure students on what they know and are able to do in various subjects.  Sample questions are available on the OAA website, but the most important thing you can do to prepare your child for the test is to make sure he or she is well rested and well fed on the testing day. 

I'm ready for my closeup: Picture Day is coming Wednesday, October 19, 2011. School portraits by Lifetouch feature studio-style photography that give students the freedom to create a look that’s truly their own. Look for complete information on the flyer provided in this week's Thursday Folder. Plus visit www.lifetouch.com for clothing suggestions, grooming tips, online payment details and more.

Oh, the weather outside is ...  Just as a reminder, students have outside recess every day unless it is raining heavily, or the temperature falls below 25 degrees.  Light mist = outdoor recess!  Please make sure your child is dressed for the weather (jacket, hat/gloves, leggings or thick tights under skirts, etc.) so they don't get too chilled when outside.  We want the kids to be warm enough to enjoy the fresh air and vigorous play while they are outside.  

It wouldn’t be a newsletter without a plea for volunteers, now would it?  We're still looking for volunteers to be room parents for the following classrooms:  Mrs. Timko (K) needs a co-lead, Mrs. Schroeder (1st) needs a co-lead, Mr. Thompson (1st) and Mrs. Rokas (2nd)need room parents.  Being a room parent is an important - and fun! - job that helps supply your student's class with fun parties and extra activities.  If you’re interested in volunteering, contact Connie Lindemann at Connie.Lindemann@MenloParkAcademy.com as soon as possible.

"You're supposed to get tired planting bulbs.  But it's an agreeable tiredness."-  Gail Goodwin:  With autumn in the air, it’s time to start planting bulbs for next spring.  Why not support MPA while you supply your garden?  For every purchase made on this site, Flower Power Fundraising will give 50% back to MPA.  Brighten the world this spring by purchasing flowers in support of MPA today! Please visit the following link to see how you can help today! http://www.flowerpowerfundraising.com/i/t/225402/t8C6Qm4t1pG2  

MPA on the air: We still have a few slots left volunteering at the WCPN fall membership drive.  A group of at least four MPA volunteers is needed to help answer phones and record pledge information, which gives us the opportunity to have our organization mentioned several times on the air during our shift.  It will be a great (free!) way to improve the name recognition of our school among the public radio audience, as well as help out a worthy cause.  The shifts we’re looking at are on Saturday, October 15th or 22nd, from 5:30-8pm. If you would be interested in helping during one or both of these times, please contact Gretchen Woods as soon as possible at avonhokie@yahoo.com . 

Thanks, and re-thanks: Did you know that a dedicated group of volunteers helps make our school a more environmentally-friendly place?  They take scrap cardboard to the recycling center, collect the recycle paper from each classroom, and so much more.  Thanks to all of you for helping keep the school (and Earth) nicer for our students!

Want to help us win $45,000 for the school?  Visit http://campbellsoup.promotionexpert.com/labelsforeducation/fs/index.html EVERY DAY to enter for our school to win a $45,000 tech makeover (and some goodies for you, too!).  If we all enter EVERY DAY until the contest ends at the end of the year, we'll have thousands of chances to win.

Online updates:  Check the MPA blog for information on what our students have been doing in their technology classes.


Calendar highlights:
  • Sept. 29 (Thursday) – 6:15 Boys’ Basketball Team organizational meeting in the gym
  • Sept. 30 (Friday) - Fourth Grade trip to Milan, Ohio to learn about Thomas Edison
  • Oct. 3 (Monday) - Middle School student council officer election speeches
  • Oct. 4 (Tuesday) - Third Grade OAA testing
  • Oct. 5 (Wednesday) - Middle School student council officer elections
  • Oct. 6 (Thursday) - MPA Board of Directors meeting, 6pm
  • Oct. 12 (Wednesday) – Second Grade field trip to Lake Erie Nature and Science Center
  • Oct. 13 (Thursday) – Volunteer team leader meetings with Dr. Bouchard and Mrs. Lindemann
  • Oct. 14 (Friday) – Teacher in-service day - no school for students
  • Oct. 18 (Tuesday) - Kindergarten field trip to Apple Hill, Third Grade field trip to historic downtown Cleveland
  • Oct. 19 (Wednesday) – Picture Day!  More information from Life Touch to follow soon
  • Oct. 20 (Thursday) - MPA Board of Directors meeting, 6pm

Update From the Computer Lab….

Kindergarten – We have been talking about the parts of a computer. This week we focused on the mouse and the students we allowed to use the computers for the first time in the lab. They practiced their “click” and “double-click” while painting with the TuxPaint. TuxPaint is a free download that can be found at tuxpaint.org. Thank you, fabulous helpers, for making the first trip to the computers possible.

1st and 2nd grade – We have been talking about the difference between internet programs and programs that are run from our computers. We also started to practice saving documents. This is in preparation for their first project called Top Ten Tech. First grade will be creating a word document listing the top ten technological advances, ever. Second grade will be creating a powerpoint presentation of the same topic.

3rd and 4th grade – Our focus so far has been on saving files. We talked about saving them to the hard drive, a flash drive, or to “the cloud”. We compared the pros and cons of each method. 3rd and 4th grade are also pondering the top technological advances with their own Top Ten Tech project. 3rd grade will make advanced powerpoint presentations, while 4th grades learns how to use MS Publisher.

Middle School – Each middle school class has been getting experience with Spreadsheets. They are loving the possibilities of programming cells to make calculations for them. Also, new to our Tech program this year, all middle school students have been given Google Docs accounts. With each account comes an email address. So, your student has an e-mail address with the format firstname.lastname@menloparkacademy.com. With this account, the students will only be able to e-mail addresses with the menloparkacademy.com domain name. More importantly, they will be able to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations using Google Docs. Anything created on Google Docs will be accessible from any computer with an internet connection. Students will also be able to share documents with each other which will make group work easier from afar.

All Grades – We have a subscription to www.BrainPop.com. Our username is mpa2011 and the password is gifted247. Students are welcome to watch BrainPop videos at home. They are both fun and educational.

Let me know if you have questions or concerns.
Carol Scheuer
carol.scheuer@menloparkacademy.com

MPA Newsletter, 9/21/2011


Welcome, one and all!  Let’s all welcome our newest MPA student, third grader Anna Rose.  Welcome to the MPA family, Rose family!

Don’t forget: Curriculum night is Thursday, September 22nd, beginning at 6:30, and there is a teacher in-service day (no school for students!) on Friday, September 23rd.

In this week’s folder: check out the sign-up sheet for our new once-a-week lunch program, featuring pizza, hot dogs, and pasta on a rotating schedule.  You'll also find a summary of the ongoing fundraising programs at MPA, everything from Box Tops for Education, to magazine subscriptions and renewals, to a search site that pays a penny for every online search our MPA families perform.

It wouldn’t be a newsletter without a plea for volunteers, now would it?  We’re still looking for a volunteer (or volunteers) to lead the Community Building team.  This team is responsible for many of the activities which were formerly the responsibility of our PTO.  We have many helpful volunteers on the team – they just need a leader to point them in the right direction.  If you’re interested in learning more, contact Connie Lindemann at Connie.Lindemann@MenloParkAcademy.com as soon as possible.

Who ya gonna call?  Speaking of volunteer teams, here’s a list of all the teams and team leads:

  • - Marketing and Communication – Gretchen Woods and Karen Peacock
  • - Fundraising – Jessica Tonsing
  • - Finance – Willie Littlejohn
  • - IT – Scott Carman
  • - School Day Support – Heather Syracuse
  • - Facilities – Tom Doughman
  • - Community Building – position open
  • - Academic Enrichment – Jennifer Ingraham
  • - Legal – Stephanie Melnyk


Elvis says, Thankyouverymuch … Our MPA volunteers have been busy installing MPA memorial bricks at the entrance to the playground, setting up a private medical corner in the office, and sprucing up the teachers’ lounge.  We’ve had people organize storage closets, help take cardboard out for recycling, and stuff hundreds of Thursday folders.  And the school day support volunteers have been busily loading and unloading students from cars and buses, working in the office, watching over recess, and helping out in the lunch room.  It’s a regular hive of activity around here most days, and the staff and students are grateful for all of the assistance our volunteers provide. 

Bright flowers for bright minds:  With autumn in the air, it’s time to start planting bulbs for next spring.  Why not support MPA while you supply your garden?  For every purchase made on this site, Flower Power Fundraising will give 50% back to MPA.  Brighten the world this spring by purchasing flowers in support of MPA today! Please visit the following link to see how you can help today! http://www.flowerpowerfundraising.com/i/t/225402/t8C6Qm4t1pG2  

MPA on the air: Help us get the word out about MPA by volunteering at the WCPN fall membership drive.  A group of at least four MPA volunteers is needed to help answer phones and record pledge information, which gives us the opportunity to have our organization mentioned several times on the air during our shift.  It will be a great (free!) way to improve the name recognition of our school among the public radio audience, as well as help out a worthy cause.  The shifts we’re looking at are on Saturday, October 15th or 22nd, from 5:30-8pm. If you would be interested in helping during one or both of these times, please contact Gretchen Woods as soon as possible atavonhokie@yahoo.com . 

Now online  many of our teachers have gotten classroom websites up and running for the year.  If you haven’t heard from your teacher about his or her site, keep your eyes open for a message about it soon.  In the meantime, please use the Progress Book login you should have received last week to check on your student’s file and make sure it is accurate.  If not, please contact your child’s teacher to correct the information.

Calendar highlights:

  • - Sept. 22 (Thursday) – Curriculum night at MPA, beginning at 6:30 pm
  • - Sept. 23 (Friday) – Teacher in-service day - no school for students
  • - Sept. 26 (Monday) – Girl Scouts organizational meeting, 7pm, MPA gym
  • - Sept. 28 (Wednesday) – Middle school group “D” field trip to see The Life of Galileo
  • Sept. 29 (Thursday) – 6:15 Boys’ Basketball Team organizational meeting in the gym
  • Oct. 5 (Wednesday) – Second Grade field trip to Lake Erie Nature and Science Center
  • Oct. 13 (Thursday) – Volunteer team leader meetings with Dr. Bouchard and Mrs. Lindemann
  • Oct. 14 (Friday) – Teacher in-service day - no school for students
  • Oct. 19 (Wednesday) – Picture Day!  More information from Life Touch to follow soon.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

MPA Newsletter, 9/14/2011


Can we have your (doctor's) autograph? A request from Mrs. Wilson – please remember to bring in any medications your child requires – including EpiPens, inhalers, and cough and cold medicines – in the original packaging and with a Medication Administration Record signed by the child’s doctor The form was sent home via email, and can be requested from Mrs. Wilson by phone or email.

Spread the word! If you currently forward this newsletter to other interested family members, let us know – we can add additional addresses to our distribution list.  Please send the e-mail address you’d like to add to the newsletter distribution list to info@menloparkacademy.com .

Parents of students new to MPA – we need your IEPs ASAP!  Please contact your student’s previous school to make sure any relevant IEP or 504 paperwork from past years gets forwarded to Lynn Wilson at MPA.

Hot dog!  We're looking for volunteers to work at the MPA concession stand at the next Browns home game, which is Sunday, September 25th Find more information at https://sites.google.com/site/menloparkacademy/parent-central/cleveland-browns-concession-stand.

Early birds - Please remember that any students who arrive at the school early MUST be enrolled in the Edison Club, or must remain in their parents’ car until 8am.  For the safety and security of our students we cannot have unescorted students roaming the halls before the school opens for the day.

Do we really need to go over this again? PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD IS READY TO EXIT YOUR CAR WHEN YOU REACH THE FRONT OF THE DROP-OFF LINE Finishing breakfast, saying lengthy goodbyes, and finding books/backpacks/lunches/umbrellas/coats – all of that slows down the drop-off line and potentially makes children late for school.  Please take care of all these tasks BEFORE you get in front of the school, and the drop-off line will run much more smoothly.  Thank you!

New this year – rather than having an actual magazine fundraising drive (with order forms and incentive gifts and all that), we’re having a passive fundraiser.  If you’re planning to renew any magazine subscriptions, purchase a new subscription, or order a gift subscription, please use the MPA fundraiser code 1074398 at https://www.qsp.com/store/lightreg.aspx MPA gets a percentage of each order placed with our code, and it can really add up.

Raise funds while raising flowers: Welcome to the Menlo Park Academy's Fall Fundraiser!  District schools receive funds from their local tax base. At MPA, we are called upon to recognize that we must actively help our school thrive. Help us leverage our fundraising dollars to provide a well-rounded gifted education to all MPA students. For every purchase made on this site, Flower Power Fundraising will give 50% back to Menlo Park Academy.  Brighten the world this spring by purchasing flowers in support of MPA today! Please visit the following link to see how you can help today! http://www.flowerpowerfundraising.com/i/t/225402/t8C6Qm4t1pG2  Thank you for your support!

Try, tri again: Did you know MPA is operating on a trimester system this year?  There will be three grading periods for the year, ending on November 18,February 23, and June 5.  But parents don’t have to wait until the end of the trimester to see how their students are progressing. Check out this week’s Thursday Folder for the logon and password necessary to access Progress Book for your student(s).  The interface is not complete yet and may have some errors, so please be patient with us as teachers finalize class lists.  If you notice any mistakes in your student’s record, please contact the school at info@menloparkacademy.com .

Bounce on in ... An MPA basketball team is now being formed for boys in grades 4-6.  If your son is interested in participating, come to the informational meeting Thursday, September 29th at 6:15 in the school gym And keep your eyes open for more information soon on forming a girls’ team next year!

Girls (Scouts) just want to have fun.  An informational meeting for potential girl scouts and their parents will be held on Monday, September 26 at 7pm in the gym Contact Katharine Pfister or Sara George for more information: cuteladybug0267@aol.comkatherinepfister@aol.com .

Save the date!  Curriculum night is scheduled for THURSDAY, September 22, beginning at 6:30pm This evening is a chance for parents to meet teachers and learn about the curricula planned for the year in each subject (including the new Singapore Math).  This is a well-attended event, so please mind the volunteers from the Facilities team as they direct you in the parking lot.  Child care will not be available, so please leave your children at home if possible.

Grades K-4 Curriculum Night schedule:
6:30 – Time in homerooms
7:00 – Welcome and introduction to Singapore Math curriculum, Cafeteria
7:40 – Visit Specials classrooms, and visit middle school rooms of older siblings
8:00 – Finished for the evening
Grades 5-8 Curriculum Night schedule:
6:30 – Welcome and introduction to Singapore Math curriculum, Cafeteria
7:00 – Report to homeroom
7:10 – Follow student schedule
7:50 – Visit Specials classrooms, and visit lower school rooms of younger siblings
8:00 – Finished for the evening

Calendar highlights:
Sept. 22 (Thursday) – Curriculum night at MPA, beginning at 6:30 pm
- Sept. 23 (Friday) – Teacher in-service day - no school for students
Sept. 29 (Thursday) – 6:15 Boys’ Basketball Team organizational meeting in the gym
Oct. 13 (Thursday) – Volunteer team leader meetings with Dr. Bouchard and Mrs. Lindemann
Oct. 14 (Friday) – Teacher in-service day - no school for students
Oct. 19 (Wednesday) – Picture Day!  More information from Life Touch to follow soon.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MPA Newsletter, 9/8/2011

MPA WEEKLY EMAIL
Morning mayhem – or at least that’s what the traffic situation has been around MPA this past week.  In order to make sure cars waiting to drop off students aren’t backing up traffic on the streets surrounding the school, please follow the same traffic pattern in the morning that we use in the afternoons.  Using all of the lanes in the parking lot as a waiting area will help keep all of our students (and cars!) safer.  And please make sure that your child is ready to exit the car by the time you reach the front of the line – awake(!), bags gathered, wearing coat and shoes/boots, etc.  Thanks for helping us make arrival run more smoothly!


Hungry children don’t learn well … which is why we want to make sure your child has enough time to finish their lunch each day.    Please keep in mind that children who can’t open their own lunch containers will end up having less time to eat because they have to wait for help from a volunteer.  The lunchtime volunteers have milk to distribute, messes to clean up, and bathroom trips to monitor – and with only two hands per person, it’s difficult to get to all the pudding cups and Go-Gurts in a timely manner.  Items that cause the most problems for younger children include juice pouches, yogurt tubes, pudding cups, and individual fruit cups (which are particularly sticky when they spill).   Many children have an easier time opening Ziplock-type bags, reusable plastic containers and water bottles.  We've also spent a lot of time distributing napkins and utensils, items which could easily be packed by parents.  If you could please keep this in mind when you pack your child’s lunch, we’ll all be able to enjoy a more leisurely lunch break.  Thanks for your help!


Volunteers needed immediately in the following areas:
  • Electives, especially for Kindergarten and Friday classes for middle school
  • Two additional people to help with morning arrival, unloading students from cars and making sure kids get off the buses and into the school
  • Two or three additional people to help with lunch and recess, especially on Wednesdays.
Contact Connie Lindemann if you can help.  connie.lindemann@menloparkacademy.com


Quick reminder – the first volunteer team meetings are tonight at 6:30 If you’ve already signed up for a team online, come in to school to meet your teammates and brainstorm projects.  If you haven’t signed up for a team yet, come in to learn more about the teams and projects to help you make an informed decision.  Volunteers are an important part of the MPA experience – so get involved!  Also, we were able to get a break on the price of BCI checks performed at the meeting – they will now cost $43.10 That’s a good deal, so please consider getting your BCI completed tonight (if you haven’t already).


There’s still time to order official MPA spirit gear We’ve arranged with Ackmera Identiy Partners to offer a variety of shirts, jackets, hats and scarves in adult and youth sizes, all embroidered with the MPA logo.  Order forms were sent home in the Thursday folder last week.  Submit your order form by September 14th for delivery by September 30th


Calling all parents of boys!  Cub Scout Pack 110 will be holding an organizational meeting Tuesday, September 13th, at 6:30pm in the MPA gym.  This is a planning meeting for the parents of current and prospective Cub Scouts in grades 1-5 (ages 6-10).  Come learn how your son can participate, and how you can get involved.  


What can you expect your child to cover in this year’s curriculum?  Want to know more about this “Singapore Math” you keep hearing mentioned?  What the heck is a “Responsive Classroom,” and why do we need them at MPA?  These questions and more will be answered during Curriculum Night, September 22th at 6:30pm More details to come – but make sure to set the date aside on your calendar!


Several parents have asked about what after-school activities the school will be offering this year.  Unfortunately, space limitations make it difficult to host activities directly after school without interfering with teachers’ classrooms and work time Edison Club, our after school care program, will periodically offer a variety of enrichment activities as part of their schedule.   Otherwise, after-school clubs may be offered by some teachers on a limited basis as their schedules permit.  We will send home information about these opportunities as they arise.  The Tri-C Arts Prep Program offers many classes and gives MPA students a discounted rate.  A separate email with all their offerings and registration information will be sent out on Friday 9/9/11.


Menlo Park Academy will once again be offering violin classes as an elective during the school day Musicians of all ages and abilities are welcome!  See the attached form for information and fee schedules.  You can also register online at http://www.ardismusic.com/stringprograms/menloparkacademy.html .


Calendar highlights:
  • Sept. 8 (Thursday) – Volunteer Team meeting, MPA gym, 6:30 pm; BCI checks available from 5:30-7:30pm in the gym
  • Sept. 13 (Tuesday) – Cub Scout organizational meeting, MPA gym, 6:30 pm
  • Sept. 14 (Wednesday) – Order forms for MPA spirit wear due
  • Sept. 22 (Thursday) – Curriculum night at MPA, beginning at 6:30 pm (details to follow)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back-to-School Newsletter, August 30, 2011

Many thanks to the volunteers who made the Back-to-School Picnic such a success – we couldn’t have registered and fed close to 500 MPA students, family members, staff, and teachers without all of your help!  And thanks to all the volunteers who participated in the Open House this week.  Whether you helped usher families through the open house or came in for the school day volunteer training, you’re part of what makes MPA a success.  Thank you – and be sure to report your volunteer hours online here!

If you haven’t had a chance to look over the volunteer information for this year, now’s the time to get started!  You can find the position descriptions, FAQs, and sign-up forms on the MPA website here.   All families must choose their volunteer positions by the first volunteer team meetings, which will be held Thursday, September 8th, at 6:30 at MPA.  BCI checks will be available onsight at MPA through Security Hut from 5:30pm-7:30pm to coincide with the volunteer meeting. Cost is $48.49 and you will need your driver's license.  Please note:  Cash only, they do not accept credit cards for payments.  The BCI only takes a few minutes to complete.   If you haven't had your BCI yet, please take advantage of this convenient way to attend the meeting AND get your BCI completed

Last minute back-to-school info:
Dismissal for Students who are Walkers:  As noted in last week's newsletter, students who are designated as walkers can be picked up at the door on the side of the school building.  Students WILL be dismissed the same time as buses and cars: 3:15pm.  Please do not walk with your child through the parking lot.  For the safety of everyone, please utilize the sidewalk between the church and school buildings and walk to Triskett Road. There are sidewalks on Triskett, Orchard Park and Grapeland that can be utilized for your walk home. 
  • Milk service begins on the first day of school for grades 1-8 and will begin on Friday for Kindergarteners.  If your family has not returned your form yet but would like to participate in the milk program, please contact Lynn Wilson at MPA as soon as possible about the availability of this program.
  • For parents of students who are car riders: please place the carpool sign on the lowered car visor on the passenger side of your car when you come to pick up the student.  Parent volunteers need to be able to read the sign from a distance to help facilitate loading the cars.  You may need to use a binder clip or a rubber band to help hold the sign in place.
  • Car riders who have not been picked up by 3:45pm will be sent to the Edison Club after school program, incurring all standard Edison Club usage fees.
  • Kindergarten parents: 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!
  • Mrs. Scheuer, Technology Teacher, and Chris Whitman, a parent volunteer, will be forming teams for the First Lego League (FLL) competition for 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th graders shortly after school resumes. They are also looking to recruit parents to either coachadditional teams or co-coach our two teams (no experience required!!).  Look for a flyer in the first Thursday folder for details!
  • We’d like to start electives for all grade levels as soon as possible this fall.  Electives will be held on Wednesday for all grade levels, as well as on Thursday and Friday for students in grades 5-8.  Dr. Bouchard will be coordinating this program, so please contact her with your topic ideas (and grade level) as soon as possible.  You can e-mail her directly at Lorraine.bouchard@menloparkacademy.com.
  • MPA will not be continuing last year’s Wizard Store reward program.  Thank you for all of your past donations of items for the Wizard Store, but the office will not be able to accept further donations of these types of items.  If you have small items you’d like to donate, please contact your student’s teacher to see if they can use them as part of any classroom reward system they may be using this year.
  • This year gym class will be held twice a week, beginning with the first week of school!  Here’s the current schedule for gym class, so you’ll know which days your child needs to wear “gym appropriate” clothing:
o   Monday: Mrs. Timko’s Kindergarten, all classes in grades 1-3.
o   Tuesday: Mrs. Snyder’s Kindergarten, all classes in grades 4-8.
o   Thursday: Mrs. Rokas’ second grade class, all classes in grades 4-8.
o   Friday: All Kindergarten classes, all first grade classes, Mrs. Cerankowski’s second grade class, all third grade classes.
Dress down days will be held on most Fridays.  As in past years, please send $1 to school in your family’s Thursday folder for each student who wishes to participate in that week’s dress down day.

Speaking of gym clothes and dress down days, many families have contacted the school with questions about the changes that were made this year to the school dress code Here are answers to a few FAQs that came up over the past few weeks:
  • On days when the student participates in gym class, students may wear either standard dress code appropriate clothes (i.e. knee-length shorts) or “gym” clothes such as athletic shorts, sweatpants, or leggings.  If the student wears baggy “basketball-style” shorts, or very short athletic shorts, the student will be expected to either cover them up with standard dress code pants, or QUICKLY change into and out of the gym shorts before and after gym class.  MPA does not have any locker rooms, so students who need to change for gym class will do so in the restrooms.  Students may wear sweatpants, long exercise pants, or leggings all day on gym days – it’s just the really baggy or very short shorts that will need to be covered up or exchanged for standard pants.
  • On days when the student participates in a field trip, a solid LIGHT BLUE color collared shirt should be worn.  This shirt can be long sleeve or short sleeve, have a turtleneck shirt underneath it or a sweater over top of it – but the main shirt should be light blue and have a collar.  Some field trips may require different dress (for example, a trip to go hiking and stream stomping); if this is the case, the teacher(s) leading the field trip will communicate this to students and parents prior to the field trip.
  • On dress down days, the following types of shirts are prohibited: shirts with spaghetti straps, and shirts with words or images that condone improper or disrespectful behavior or have images that are inappropriate for school.  Shirts with appropriate words or images are permitted


    Important dates:

  • 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
  • Thursday, September 8th – Volunteer Meeting, 6:30pm at MPA with Dr. Bouchard and Mrs. Lindemann, 5:30-7:30pm BCI Checks at MPA. 
Fun fact:
MPA has 285 students enrolled for the 2011-2012 school year.  That’s so many we have THREE lunch and recess periods to accommodate everyone!
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