Wednesday, October 26, 2011

MPA Newsletter, October 26, 2011

Student Information

Give Them a Hand(book): The school board and administrators are pleased to announce that the 2011/2012 school handbook is now available online here!  Please note that all MPA parents and students must read and understand the handbook, then sign and return the acknowledgement page at the end of the handbook.  As stated in the handbook, the acknowledgement form also serves as blanket permission for your student(s) to participate in all field trips.  Parents will receive at least 24-hours notice in advance of trips.  If you do not want your child to participate in a specific field trip, please communicate this to the teacher/school in writing or by email.
Party Time!: MPA's Fall Character Festival will be held during school this Friday, October 28th.  There will be parties in the classrooms and a costume parade at 2pm for all grades.  Parents are welcome to observe the parade, which will be held outside, weather permitting, or inside the school if the weather is bad.  Parents who are volunteering at their students' classroom parties can do the setup for the parties beginning at 2pm. Parent volunteers should coordinate this with teachers to make sure that any allergies or other student needs are addressed.  And parents, please remember to tell your child's homeroom teacher if the child will be leaving school with you at the end of the day - we want to make sure everyone gets home safely.

Dressing Up: Students should NOT wear their costumes to school in the morning on Friday, October 28th.  They can bring in a costume based on any character found in a book - costumes must be able to be put on in the classroom (not in the restroom) by the students with no assistance from an adult.  Please limit the number of "props" to go along with the costume, and do not send in anything that could even remotely be viewed as a weapon (pretend knives, guns, swords, ninja weapons or throwing stars, brass knuckles, etc.).  

Dressing Down: Just a reminder that dress-down days have been moved to Wednesdays, effective today.  Donations from students participating in dress-down day will still be returned in the Thursday folder (paying on Friday for dressing down the Wednesday of that same week).

Enroll-ing Along: Hard to believe, but it's already time for current MPA students and their siblings to start thinking about enrolling for next year.  The forms for new and returning enrollment have been sent out in Thursday folders; see below for a quick summary of the timeline:
  • November 1st - December 9th - re-enrollment applications and deposits will be accepted for current students and their siblings
  • December 12th - January 5th - enrollment applications and deposits will be accepted from students on this year's wait list
  • Sunday, January 8th - MPA open house for new students; beginning of open enrollment period
Please contact Nancy Colby at if you have any questions about admissions or enrollment.

Spare Time: Join MPA families for an afternoon of bowling at Mahall's 20 Lanes in Lakewood.  We'll be meeting Saturday, November 5th at 1pm for an afternoon of fun and friendship.  Bumper bowling will be available.  Payment will be made at Mahall's, but please RSVP to so we know how many people to expect.  Visit the MPA blog  here for pricing and more information.
Keep Out: Please do not drive through the MPA parking lot during the school day.  Between recess, gym classes, and other outdoor activities, kids could be outside in that parking lot at virtually any time of the school day.  If you arrive after the beginning of school, or know you will be leaving before the end of the day, please park on the streets near the school instead of in the parking lot.  Thanks for helping to keep our kids safe!

It's that time of year: The St. Mel "Holiday Boutique" will be held in the church hall on November 12th and 13th.  There will be Holiday Crafts and Gift Items, Special Activities, and a cafe.  Admission is free, and the event supports St. Mel Parish.  For more information, contact Gail: 216-216-219-1266 or Barb: 216-990-3320.

Conference Time: Mark your calendars for November 21st and 22nd, which are teacher in-service days (no school for students).  These days are used for holding parent-teacher conferences.  If you know you will be unable to attend on either of those days, please contact your child's teacher(s) directly to schedule an alternate date.  We'll be sending out more information on scheduling conferences closer to the actual days.

Make-Up Day: Wednesday, November 30th will be school picture makeup day.  If your student missed the first photo session, please make sure they attend this one so they will appear in class pictures and the yearbook!

Volunteer Information:

Full House: A GIANT "Thank You" goes out to all the volunteers who helped out at the Browns game last week.  Our concession stand was fully-staffed with parents, and even a few teachers!  Volunteers included Ashley and Ryan Schroeder, Doug Thompson, Devon Lavinder, Stephanie Boyd, Kris Payne, Adnan Kazazic, Tom Doughman, Erich Hahn, Brad Dean, Laura Szczecinski, Jessica and Shawn Tonsing, Angela Mitchell, and Chris Harrison.  Way to go - and we hope your kids enjoy the free dress-down day this week!  Let's keep that level of participation going for the rest of the season!

Station Break: Here's a message from Maggie Gibson, the volunteer coordinator for 90.3 WCPN: "We really enjoyed having parents and staff from Menlo Park Academy volunteer during the October pledge drive!  Their hard work is much appreciated.  $2,024.30 in pledges was called in while all of you were here on October 15, and $6,325 was pledged while you and your colleagues were here on October 22!  This contributed to the drive total of $507,494!  Thank you so much for your efforts in recruiting a terrific group of volunteers.  Please pass along our thanks to those volunteers for their good work and time given! Thanks from the MPA administration, too, for your time helping the station (which in turn helped publicize our school).

Weekend Warriors: MPA is trying to free up some storage space by selling off unneeded textbooks, workbooks, and other classroom materials.  We'll be having a sale at the school on Saturday, November 19th, from 9am to 2pm.  We'll need a few volunteers to help set up the sale the day before, work during the event, clean up afterwards, and transport any leftover books to the recycling center.  Click here to sign up to help with any of these events (great for working parents who are short on volunteer hours!).  And please distribute the flyer included in Thursday folders to local libraries and businesses that might be able to post it on a community bulletin board.

Buff, polish, shine: MPA will be having a Facilities work day on Saturday, November 19th, from 8am to 3pm.  We'll be cleaning, painting, fixing, and organizing - all the little (and big!) jobs that help keep the school building nice for our students.  You can sign up for the work day here.  Please note that we will not have any supervision available that day for younger children and there will be many non-MPA people in and out of the school for the book sale, so please make sure you only bring older, responsible (and helpful!) children along to the work day.

Reservations Required: Volunteer teams are welcome to hold their meetings at the school ... but team leads need to check with Connie Lindemann ahead of time to make sure the schedule is clear.  We have to work our schedule around various other meetings/activities/church functions/etc., but a quick phone call or e-mail will insure you've got a time and place to have your meeting.

You Ought to be in Pictures: We're starting to gather information for the 2011/2012 MPA school yearbook, and we're looking for help!  Ideally we'd like to have one volunteer from each grade (or each classroom, if possible) to collect information, photos, quotes, and other fun stuff for that grade's entry in the yearbook.  You won't be responsible for actually TAKING all the pictures, just tracking down and organizing  photos taken by parents and volunteers throughout the year.  If you're interested in helping out for your grade, contact Kelly Fortune-Somerville at  And no, we haven't forgotten about the 2010/2011 yearbook, which has been completed and will be available soon.

Development Information:

Flower Power: This fundraiser is ending Friday, so go online (link) to order right away!  

Magazines:  Visit the site online here, fundraiser code 1074398

Gift Cards: Thanks to all the parents who participated in the gift card sale for November delivery.  Future orders are due by the 20th of each month, and will go home in the first Thursday folder of the following month. Place your order by Sunday, November 20th, to insure your cards' delivery in the December 1st Thursday folder.  This is a great time to get a jump on holiday gifts!  Visit the MPA blog for detailed information (link).  
Solicitors Wanted1st Annual Holiday On-Line Auction will take place November 17 - December 13, 2011.  This auction will feature donations from local and national businesses, as well as items generously donated by MPA families and friends.  Please use the business donation letter sent home in Thursday folders to ask for a donation from your favorite local businesses - your hairdresser, local store, favorite restaurant, friend who owns a business, etc.  There's also a form which needs to be filled in and accompany each donation (attached, and in your Thursday folder) so that we can keep track of who collected which donations.  The class which has the highest percentage of students who submit donations will receive a hot cocoa party, courtesy of Dr. Bouchard!  The deadline for donations for the auction is Monday, November 7th, but later submissions are welcome and will be used in later fundraising events.  Thank you for your help!

Calendar highlights:
  • Oct. 27 (Thursday) - Browns Concession Stand Volunteer training at 5:45pm at the Grille
  • Oct. 28 (Friday) - Fall Character Festival costume parade at 2pm; classroom parties at end of school day; boys' basketball tryouts 4:30pm at Kamm's Corner YMCA
  • Nov. 1 (Tuesday) - 4th grade field trip to Stocker Arts Center to see We the People
  • Nov. 2 (Wednesday) - 7th/8th grade field trip to the Maltz Museum
  • Nov. 10 (Thursday) - Volunteer team leads to meet with school administrators
  • Nov. 11 (Friday) - 4th grade field trip to Hale Farm
  • Nov. 19 (Saturday) - 9am - 12pm Facilities Team work day at school
  • Nov. 20 (Sunday) - Gift card orders due for December delivery
  • Nov. 21 (Monday) - No school for students; parent-teacher conferences will be scheduled
  • Nov. 22 (Tuesday) - No school for students; parent-teacher conferences will be scheduled
  • Nov. 30 (Wednesday) - school picture makeup day
  • Jan. 8, 2012 - Save the date!  Open house for prospective families, 1-3pm

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