Wednesday, November 30, 2011

MPA Newsletter 11/16/2011

Development Information:

Awesome Auction: Our fundraising auction on Bidding for Good begins Thursday.  We've got donations from restaurants, golf courses, home improvement and garden centers, salons and spas!  Make sure you look for the direct link to the auction in a message tomorrow, along with a more complete list of participating merchants.  In the meantime, you can check out how the system works at

Please Pledge Promptly: You should have recently received information in the mail about MPA's Annual Fund.  Please, please, please - consider the level of commitment you'd like to pledge, and SEND IN YOUR PLEDGE FORMS ASAP. Even if you aren't able to send a check right now, please let us know how much you're planning to give so that we can plan our budget accordingly.  We've got some fun prizes to encourage families to send in their pledges:
  • The first CLASSROOM with 100% pledge participation will get a Young Audience program for that class.
  • The first GRADE LEVEL with 100% pledge participation will get a bingo party.
  • When the SCHOOL reaches 100% pledge participation, we will have Jungle Terry do a program for the school!
Order Opportunity: Thinking about buying gift cards for holiday gifts?  You need to place your order by Sunday, November 20th, to insure your cards' delivery in the December 1st Thursday folder.  There is also the option to purchase electronic "cards" that are available instantly, which may be handier for some people than having to wait for physical cards to be delivered.  By popular demand, we will have one more order and delivery in December before the holidays, but that doesn't mean you should procrastinate! Many merchants are offering bonus incentives for gift cards purchased this month, so be sure to check those out.  Visit the MPA BLOG  for detailed information.

Don't-Miss Donations: While we're talking about holiday shopping, please remember that MPA gets a percentage of purchases made online through  Simply go to their site, designate Menlo Park Academy as the cause to support, and shop online through their portal.  It costs you nothing, and a percentage of each purchase is donated to MPA.

Coke Caps: Don't forget that MPA is collecting Coke Rewards points, which we can use to purchase sports equipment and other items for the school.  So please send in your Coke bottle caps and 12-pack carton ends with the printed codes - they can be placed in the Box Tops collection bins at the school.  And many thanks to the parent and student volunteers who have been entering all of the point codes into the system for us!

Student Information:

Practice and Preparation:  Because we care about student safety, Menlo Park Academy will be conducting a lockdown drill before Thanksgiving break.  The drill restricts student movement in the event of an emergency, such as a potential intruder.  Students will be taught the procedures for the drills in their homerooms.  It is important that students behave in a mature manner in order to be prepared in the event of an actual emergency.  We will impress upon the students the importance of this drill and the serious nature with which it will and should be viewed by all involved.  Please have a conversation with your child about the conduct that will be expected.

Early Enrollment: Here's an update from Mrs. Colby, MPA's student records and admissions coordinator:  Did you know that only about half of our current students have sent in re-enrollment forms and fees for the 2012/2013 school year?  Don't wait until open enrollment starts in January - we can't hold a spot for your child unless the form and enrollment fee have been received by the school by December 9th.  

Lego League: On Saturday, December 3rd, MPA will be sending 3 teams of middle school students to compete in the FIRST Lego League robotics competition at Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights. This year's competition theme is food safety. In the morning, each team will make a presentation to the judges on the food safety topic that they researched. They will also make presentations explaining their robot design, and how they worked together as a team. The afternoon will be filled with the excitement of the Robot Games. Each team has three chances to complete as many missions as they can in 2.5 minutes. You are invited to come and cheer the teams on during the Robot Games, which will start around noon and run until 3:00 pm or so. Parents and children who are interested in participating in the competition in the future are especially encouraged to come and experience the FLL event. Contact Carol Scheuer at if you want more information about FLL or the event at Hathaway Brown School.

Yay, Yearbooks!  Yearbooks for the 2010/2011 school year should be arriving at school in mid-December.  MPA will notify the families who pre-ordered the yearbook when they arrive.  Thanks for your patience as we finished this project!

Generous Girls:  Don't forget, MPA Girl Scout Troop 854 is collecting items for Laura's Home Women and Children's Shelter on Puritas in Cleveland. Children can bring in the following items to the marked Christmas boxes at Menlo: Pop tarts, cereal bars, crayons, markers, coloring books, construction paper, fruit snacks, fruit roll ups, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shower gels, kids' soaps, pencils, pens, plain paper, reading books for adults and children, small chip bag snacks, and anything fun for the holidays.  Collections will continue until December 9th.  Many thanks from the Girl Scouts for helping them complete their service project.

Pretty as a Picture:  Wednesday, November 30th will be school picture makeup day.  If your student missed the first photo session or you are unhappy with the results of their pictures, please make sure they attend this one so they will appear in class pictures and the yearbook!  And be sure to wear clothes that meet the usual dress code - don't dress down that day!

Calling all Cans: Please bring in as many CLEAN aluminum cans as you can before December 10th so we can take them in to get recycled. MPA has been doing this as a part of the Great American Can Round-Up sponsored by the Can Manufacturers Institute. We can win prizes for bringing in the most cans and we get money for recycling them.

Celebrating Successes: Has your child achieved something notable outside of school - won a competition, participated in a contest, or given a concert?  We'd love to share your child's triumphs and accomplishments with the world.  Send the information you'd like shared with the MPA community to Gretchen Woods at and she'll make sure it gets in the newsletter or blog.

Volunteer Information:

Helping Hands: This is your last chance to volunteer at the MPA textbook and curriculum sale at the school on Saturday, November 19th, from 9am to 2pm.  We'll need people 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.  This is a great chance for working parents to accumulate a few volunteer hours on a weekend!  Click here to sign up to help.

Can You Clean? We also still need volunteers for the Facilities work day on Saturday, November 19th, from 8am to 3pm.  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.

Bargain Books: The Scholastic Book Fair is looking for volunteers to help with their Warehouse Sale.  For every volunteer hour you donate, you will receive $10 of free books and 50% off any books you wish to purchase.  This event fills up fast so if you are interested, contact them immediately.  If you are willing to donate the books you receive to MPA, please check with your child's teacher for any books they may need for their classrooms.  Visit the MPA Blog for more details on dates/times and how to volunteer.

Calendar Highlights:

Save the Date: December 21st is the last day of school for the year.  Classroom parties will be held that afternoon, and there will even be a sing-a-long at school!
  • Nov. 18 (Friday) - End of trimester
  • Nov. 19 (Saturday) -  Facilities Team work day (8am-3pm); school curriculum and textbook sale (9am-2pm)
  • Nov. 20 (Sunday) - Gift card orders due for December delivery
  • Nov. 21 (Monday) - No school for students; parent-teacher conferences 
  • Nov. 22 (Tuesday) - No school for students; parent-teacher conferences will be scheduled; Lost and Found items donated to charity
  • Nov. 30 (Wednesday) - School picture makeup day
  • Dec. 3 (Saturday) - FIRST Lego League robotics competition at Hathaway Brown School in Shaker Heights
  • Dec. 9 (Friday) - Collection of items for Laura's Home Women and Children's Shelter ends
  • Dec. 21 (Wednesday) - Last day of school before winter break; classroom parties and sing-a-long in the afternoon
  • Jan. 8, 2012 - Open house for prospective families, 1-3pm
  • Feb. 23, 2012 - Save the date! "From the Heart" school concert
  • Feb. 27 - March 2 - Save the date for the MPA Scholastic Book Fair.  This will be during Parent Teacher Conferences so people will have opportunity to purchase books during non-school hours. 
A final thought: Did you know that the time you spend driving to and from MPA for volunteer activities counts toward your required volunteer hours?  Make sure you record them so you get all the credit you deserve!

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