Wednesday, November 9, 2011

MPA Newsletter, 11/9/2011

Paperwork Reminders:
  • Did your family remember to return the 2011/2012 school handbook acknowledgement page, which can be found online here?  
  • Have you sent in your child's re-enrollment forms 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.  Seriously - do you want to explain to your child that they are on the waiting list because you missed the deadline?

Student Information:

Bowled Over: Many thanks to Bridget Ryan and Dawn Watson for organizing the family bowling event last weekend.  What a great way for families to get to know each other and have a little fun!  If anyone who attended the event has photos they'd like to share for possible use on the website or yearbook, please email them to
Locked Down:  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.  This drill is required annually by the state.  Many steps have been taken to accomplish our goal of ensuring student safety.  The Cleveland Police Department has helped plan and will be present at the drill to help assess the procedures.  Any parent volunteers in the building will be asked to participate in the drill.  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.

Stocking Up:  Beginning this week, MPA Girl Scout Troop 854 will be 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 on 1st and 2nd floors 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.

Going Down: Mrs. Wilson is getting swamped by a tsunami of found items.  If your child is missing any hats, gloves, jackets, sweaters, pants (!), or bags, please come and take a look through our extensive collection of orphaned items.  All unclaimed items will be sent to charity on November 22nd.

Meeting Up:  Check this week's Thursday folder for parent-teacher conference assignments.  If you requested a conference but don't receive an assigned time in your folder, please contact the teacher directly to schedule a meeting.

Making Up:  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!

Volunteer Information:

URGENT REQUEST! With the trimester ending next Friday, it's time to send out our many, many thanks to all of the volunteers who have helped enrich our curriculum by leading electives this fall.  We had an amazing variety of topics covered, and the kids all seemed to have fun with them.  Now it's time to plan what electives the kids will be offered this winter - and we need your help!  If you are interested in leading an elective on ANY topic - Shakespeare for Kindergarteners, Lego-mania, Dance Party, whatever - please contact Jen Ingraham at with the following information:  What grade would you like to teach, a short description to explain the elective to the students, what times and days you are available, and the best contact information to reach you.  We need this information ASAP so that we can get the electives scheduled and ready to go for the next trimester.  Thank you for your time and effort on this - we can't wait to see what topics parents suggest this term!

Marking Down: We're still looking for volunteers to work at the MPA book 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 with any of these events.

Cleaning Up: We also need volunteers for the Facilities work day on Saturday, November 19th, from 8am to 3pm.  Jobs we'd like to accomplish include cleaning and repairing some of the tile in the bathrooms, placing the memorial for Michael Sparkman, and many more jobs.  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.

Development Information:

Step Up: Now is your last chance to donate items for the 1st Annual Holiday On-Line Auction, which 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 ask for a donation from your favorite local businesses - your hairdresser, local store, favorite restaurant, friend who owns a business, etc.  Or think of something you can donate yourself - maybe a pizza party or decorate-your-own-cupcake party for a classroom, bringing in a special speaker or event for a classroom, or even something like "I'll paint one room in your house for you"... everyone has skills and ideas they can contribute to the auction!  All donations for the holiday auction must be at school by Friday, November 11th, but later submissions are welcome and will be used in later fundraising events.  The class which has the highest percentage of students who submit donations will receive a hot cocoa party, courtesy of Dr. Bouchard!  Please contact if you need copies of the forms or have any questions.

Count Down: 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.  This will be the last delivery before Christmas, so don't procrastinate!  Go online today to sign up for the program, and to see the list of hundreds of participating merchants.  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.

Calendar highlights:
  • Nov. 11 (Friday) - Holiday Auction donations due at school; 4th grade field trip to Hale Farm
  • Nov. 18 (Friday) - End of trimester
  • Nov. 19 (Saturday) -  Facilities Team work day (8am-3pm) and school book 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. 9 (Friday) Collection of items for Laura's Home Women and Children's Shelter ends
  • 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 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 you can now find back issues of the e-mail newsletters online? Check out the archives on the blog here.

Menlo Park Academy
14440 Triskett Road
Cleveland, OH  44111

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