Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MPA Newsletter 1/25/2012

Congratulations to Julia Bowlerwinner of last week's "I actually read the whole newsletter" gift card drawing.  Keep your eyes open and read the newsletters each week - you never know when we're going to run the drawing again!

Development Information:

A quick request from our room parents:  When you bring in donations for your class's themed basket (to be auctioned off at the From the Heart concert and fundraiser on February 23rd), please make sure you mark your donation with YOUR name and your TEACHER'S name.  We've received a few unlabeled envelopes of cash that ended up in Mrs. Reno's office, and we don't know which class basket to add them to.  Check the information from your room parent to see when donations for your basket are due - all of the due dates are fast approaching.  For information on what other themed baskets are going to be available, check out the MPA blog here.  

Congratulations to Mr. Thompson's classroom, which just achieved 100% participation in the Annual Appeal!  Way to go, first grade families!  Mr. Thompson's students will receive a Young Audience program for their class as a reward for their participation.  Still up for grabs: a bingo party for the first entire grade to reach 100% participation, and a Jungle Terry program for the whole school if we get 100% participation from all families.


Student Information:

Congratulations to our Gifted Coordinator, Sara Marino, who added baby Drake Michael Marino to her family on January 17th.  Mrs. Marino says, "He is a happy, content, alert baby! Everyone is doing great and he is a great addition to our family." Congratulations, and best of luck to the Marino family in the coming weeks!

Mrs. Wilson would like to remind everyone that the preferred item to leave at the front desk when you check in is your ID, NOT your keys.  Collecting IDs allows us to quickly determine exactly who is on school property at any time, which is especially important during things like emergency drills.  We will accept keys if for some reason you must retain your ID (such as going on a field trip with a class outside of school property) or you have forgotten it.  But please use your keys as a last resort, not an everyday choice.

Our thanks go out to Jenn Ingraham, the Academic Enrichment team, and all the volunteers who helped make last week's science fair a rousing success.  We had some really great projects and innovative ideas; here are the ones judged to be the best of the best:

Explorers:
    1st      Kathleen O'Donnell
    2nd     Hector Cummings
    3rd      Sparsh Balabadrapatruni
    HM      Charlie Clausing
    HM      Patrick O'Malley
    HM      Isabel Veloso
 Adventurers:
    1st      Liam Kovach
    2nd     Teresa Szczecinsky
    3rd      Delilah Stack & Sam Ammari
    HM      Emily Carroccio
    HM      Lily Mayle
    HM      Sophia Ross
 Researchers:
    1st      Ojas Nadkarni
    2nd     Alexandra Harrison & Marshall Monnette
    3rd      Grant Gibeault & Sydney Hofstetter
    HM      Nora Kelley
    HM      Nicholas Hiti
    HM      Kehley Coleman
Investigators:
    1st       Aidan Harrington
    2nd      John Antolik
    3rd       Jason Hahn
    HM       Ashley Hofstetter
    HM       Quintin Kovach

Mrs. Wilson would like to thank everyone who donated the 10 blankets and quilts for use in our "sick room."  We should be fully stocked for the rest of the cold and flu season!

Has your student visited Brain Pop recently?  MPA provides all students with a license to access all of the content on BrainPop.com, an online learning site that's popular with kids in all of our grades.  From the web site: "BrainPOP is used in numerous ways in classrooms, at home, and on mobile devices, from introducing a new lesson or topic to illustrating complex subject matter to reviewing before a test. Content is mapped to Common Core, aligned to academic standards, and easily searchable with our online Standards Tool. Uniquely suited for 21st-century learning, all products are fully compatible with interactive whiteboards, learner response systems, projectors, Macs, and PCs. No downloading, installation, or special hardware is required."  To log in under the MPA license, click "Log In" and input username "MPA2011" and password "gifted247".  This login also works for Brain Pop Jr, which is geared toward K-3rd grade students.

Calling all Lego Lovers!  The Lego Olympiad at LCCC will be Friday, April 20th.  If your student hasn't participated before, check out the attached flier for more information on the event.  You can register your student for individual or team competition online here.  All students must complete this registration process through Menlo by MONDAY, JANUARY 30 to be guaranteed a spot.


Volunteer Information:

Our art teacher is looking for someone who can demonstrate the art of henna hand art for a Middle School art class.  If you can demonstrate or can refer us to someone who can, please contact Diane.Padrutt@menloparkacademy.com.

Our From the Heart Concert & Auction will take place February 23rd. We are looking for volunteers to assist the night of the event: selling raffle tickets, overseeing the silent auction, closing out the winners/high bidders. The event opens at 5:00 with the actual concert beginning at 6:30. We will need people there early 3:30ish to assist in set-up etc. Click here to sign up to volunteer for this event. 

MPA's K-4 Math Night will be on Pi Day, Wednesday, March 14, 2012, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.! Activities will include fun and interactive math-related puzzles and games, including Math Jeopardy, and creative ways to calculate pi. We are lucky to have Math Monkey of Cleveland (www.mathmonkeycleveland.com) as a sponsor of some of our activity stations! Thank you so much to all of the parents who have already volunteered for Math Night, but we still are in need of additional volunteers who can manage activity stations during the event and/or clean up afterward. This will be a fun way to help fulfill your volunteer requirement in March! Thanks to many pie-making volunteers, there will be plenty of pie to munch on while we contemplate pi;  however, we could maybe use a couple more pies to round it out. We are also still looking for parents who can donate printed T-shirts for the event, or provide them to MPA at cost. If you can help or need more info, please contact Latha at LMS54321@gmail.com or call her at (216) 233-0162. Thank you!


Calendar Highlights:
  • Jan. 28 (Saturday) - Game #7 at Midpark HS @ 12:30pm
  • Feb. 1 (Wednesday)- Kindergarten field trip to see Jack and the Beanstalk
  • Feb. 3 (Friday) - First Grade field trip to see Skippyjon Jones at LCCC
  • Feb. 6 (Monday) - Fourth Grade field trip to see Freedom River at LCCC
  • Feb. 15 (Wednesday) - Second Grade field trip to see Fish Face at LCCC
  • Feb. 20 (Monday) - Holiday - school closed
  • Feb. 22 (Wednesday) - First Grade field trip to LENSC
  • Feb. 23 (Thursday) - End of second trimester; "From the Heart" school concert and fundraising auction
  • Feb. 24 (Friday) - No school for students
  • Feb. 27 (Monday) - No school for students - Parent conferences scheduled 
  • Feb. 28 (Tuesday) - No school for students - Parent conferences scheduled
  • Feb. 27 - March 2 - MPA Scholastic Book Fair  
  • March 14 (Wednesday) - Math Night from 6:30-8pm
  • March or April (TBD) - Walk-A-Thon fundraiser
  • March 19 (Monday) - Photo make-up, club and candid day
  • March 31 (Saturday) - Quiz Night fundraiser (more info in future newsletter)
  • April 20 (Friday) - Lego Olympiad at LCCC
  • April 27 (Friday) - School-wide Spelling Bee
  • June 3 (Sunday) - Crushers baseball game (more info in future newsletter)
  • Sept. (TBD) - Golf scramble fundraiser (more info in future newsletter)
Did you know?  The school-wide events calendar can now be found at Communication Central on our web site at  https://sites.google.com/site/menloparkacademy/parent-central/school-event-calendar .  Go check it out!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MPA Newsletter 1/18/2012

In this week's message: Stunning victories!  Important forms!  Pie!  (and a hidden chance to win a gift card!)

Development Information:

So, do you ever buy gas?  Shop for groceries?  Eat at a restaurant?  Of course you do!  Wouldn't it be convenient if you could take care of those things and raise money for the school at the same time?  You bet!  That's why the Scrip gift cards are such a great idea.  You order your gift cards through the school, MPA gets a percentage of the purchase price.  Gift card Orders are due by January 25th, for delivery during the first week of February.  You can find more information on the program here.

Another easy way to earn money for the school at no cost to you - check with your employer's HR department to see if they match employee donations to educational institutions.  And don't forget that some companies have programs that match employees' volunteer hours with gifts of money to the program where they volunteer.  Just get the form from your employer, fill it in, and return it to Tanya Reno at the school.  Easy peasy!

A tisket, a tasket, have you donated to your (class's auction fundraiser) basket?  You should have been contacted by your room parent to solicit donations for your class's themed basket.  These baskets will be auctioned off at the From the Heart concert and fundraiser on February 23rd.  They are a fun way to show your class's enthusiasm and raise some money for the school.  Check the information from your room parent to see when donations for your basket are due - all of the due dates are fast approaching.  For information on what other themed baskets are going to be available, check out the MPA blog here.  And if you'd like to make a personal donation of items or services that don't fit with the theme of your class's basket, don't fret!  Fill in the attached form and drop off the item to Tanya Reno at the school, and she'll make sure it's made available at the auction.  Thanks for your generosity!



Student Information:

Important information for parents - there is a form that needs to be signed to acknowledge that your family has read and understood the MPA school handbook.  This form also acts as a blanket permission slip for field trips - teachers will not be sending home permission slips for individual field trips, just the pertinent information about when and where the field trips will be held.  *****Students who do not have a completed handbook acknowledgement on file will not be allowed to go on field trips until the form is completed - and we have field trips starting FRIDAY.*****  (You can tell this is important because I figured out how to use the highlighter function in the e-mail system)  You can find the form online here (it's also attached to this message).

Dust off those skates and mittens - our Community Building Team invites you to join MPA families at Winterhurst Ice Rink for a Family Skating Party! The party will be Sunday, January 22, from 1:30-3:30pm at Winterhurst Arena.  See the attached flyer for more details.  Hope to see you there!

Author Shelley Pearsall will be visiting MPA on January 24th to meet with students throughout the school. She's scheduled to have a writing workshop with our 7th and 8th graders, as well as lead assemblies for both the lower and middle schools.  She'll also be signing copies of her book, which are available for pre-order before the event.  Fill in the attached form and return it to school with payment as soon as possible to reserve copies for your family.

GOOOOOO, WIZARDS! The MPA boys' basketball team won their first game of the year this past Saturday with a 20-11 victory over the Olmsted Falls Bulldogs.  Sixth grader Zach Peacock led the scoring with 13 points, while Jacob Love, Marshall Monnette, and Ojas Nardkarni also contributed points.  Coach Littlejohn described the team defense as "amazing," and said, "The support from the stands is being praised as the best the league has seen in years and the other cities are amazed at how loud and excited the Westpark crowds are at the games. The Olmsted Falls crowd was suprised how loud MPA was at the game. [The league director] told me our support has been the best so far this season in any grade level and the best he has seen in years!"  The team celebrated with a meal at BW3's, thanks to a donation from Sunnyside Audi.  The team has two games this week - one Thursday night at 7:15 at Berea High school, and another this Saturday at 3:30 at Midpark High School.  Stop by and cheer our boys to another victory!

We're nearing the midpoint in the trimester, and we want to make sure that all parents are aware of their students' progress for the term.  Parents of 4th-8th grade students who are currently receiving a grade of "C" or below in any class will receive a printout of their Progress Book page in this week's Thursday Folder.  This copy needs to be signed by parents and returned to the school so that we know you're aware of your child's grades.  Students with grades of B or above in every class will not receive a Progress Book printout - but feel free to access the program on your own to see exactly how your student is doing!

If your child participates in the Boy Scout or Girl Scout troops associated with MPA, they are welcome to wear their troop uniforms to school (in place of standard dress code clothes) on the days of their meetings.

Two health checkup dates are coming up this month: on January 26 and February 2 we will be testing the vision and hearing of all students in odd-numbered grades, and any student new to the school.  On January 30-31, we will be doing state-mandated BMI checks on grades K, 3, and 5.  If you do not want your student to participate in the BMI screening, please fill in the attached form and return it to the office as soon as possible.



Volunteer Information:

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped make our State of the School meeting a success!  Whether you served refreshments, directed cars in the parking lot, added to the presentation, or just listened attentively - your help was appreciated.

Parent volunteer Rachel Didytch would like to thank everyone who assisted with the movie party our student council held for the lower school last week.  Parents and older students helped show more than 100 students a great time on Friday after school!

Our From the Heart Concert & Auction will take place February 23rd. We are looking for volunteers to assist with the night of the event: selling raffle tickets, overseeing the silent auction, closing out the winners/high bidders. The event opens at 5:00 with the actual concert beginning at 6:30. We will need people there early 3:30ish to assist in set-up etc. Click here to sign up to volunteer for this event. 

MPA's K-4 Math Night will be on Pi Day, Wednesday, March 14, 2012, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thank you so much to all the parents who have offered to volunteer at Math Night and who have volunteered to make food items for it!  But we still are in need of additional volunteers who can manage activity stations during the event and clean up afterward. We are also looking for parents who can donate T-SHIRTS for K-4 Math Night, or provide them to MPA at cost. If you can help or need more info, please contact Latha at LMS54321@gmail.com. Thank you!

We are looking for leads &/or co-leads for a number of upcoming events. Please see below and let Tanya.Reno@MenloParkAcademy.com know if you are able to assist or lead any of these events.
  •  Walk-a-Thon - We need a chair for this event!  If you are interested, we have all the materials needed to run this event and volunteers will be there to help. The event is scheduled to take place in April, date TBD. We will also need volunteers to assist the day of the event: tracking laps, recording class totals etc.
  • Quiz Night - This event will take place Saturday, March 31st in Strongsville. Willie Littlejohn is already helping lead this event. We are looking for others to assist in the details (decoration, seating, invitations etc.) as well as assisting the night of: setting up, selling raffle tickets, check-in, scoring, etc.
  • If you read this message carefully, you deserve a reward!  Send an e-mail to avonhokie@yahoo.com with the answer to the following question, and people with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for a gift card of your choice from a supply the school has on hand:  Question: What grades will be getting BMI tested at the end of this month?  Drawing will be held January 25th at 10am, so get your entry in before then!
  • Crushers Game - The annual Crushers game will take place on Sunday, June 3rd @ 5:05pm. For those of you new to the school, this is an annual event that takes place at the minor league Avon Lake Crushers stadium. The students gather on the field & sing the National Anthem and we will be auctioning off first pitch at the upcoming From the Heart Concert. MPA sells tickets and keeps a profit from each ticket sale. We are looking for someone to assist in tracking RSVP's, selling 50/50 raffle tickets etc. This is a very easy event and is used more as a community building event.  
  • Golf Scramble - We are just beginning to plan this event, which will take place in September, location & exact date TBD. If you are interested in being on the planning committee for this event, please let Tanya know. We will be planning our first meeting shortly.

Calendar Highlights:
  • Jan. 19 (Thursday) - MPA middle school science fair (open for viewing 12-2:30pm)
  • Jan. 20 (Friday) - Second grade field trip
  • Jan. 21 (Saturday) -  Game #6 at Midpark HS @ 3:00pm, Game starts at 3:30pm
  • Jan. 22 (Sunday) - Family Skating Party at Winterhurst Arena, 1:30-3:30pm
  • Jan. 24 (Tuesday) -  Author Shelley Pearsall will be visiting MPA 
  • Jan. 25 (Wednesday) - Scrip gift card orders due
  • Jan. 28 (Saturday) - Game #7 at Midpark HS @ 12:00pm, Game starts at 12:30pm
  • Feb. 20 (Monday) - Holiday - school closed
  • Feb. 23 (Thursday) - End of second trimester; "From the Heart" school concert and fundraising auction
  • Feb. 24 (Friday) - No school for students
  • Feb. 27 (Monday) - No school for students - Parent conferences scheduled 
  • Feb. 28 (Tuesday) - No school for students - Parent conferences scheduled
  • Feb. 27 - March 2 - MPA Scholastic Book Fair  
  • March 14 (Wednesday) - Math Night from 6:30-8pm
  • March or April (TBD) - Walk-A-Thon fundraiser
  • March 31 (Saturday) - Quiz Night fundraiser (more info in future newsletter)
  • Friday, April 27, 2012 for the School-wide Spelling Bee
  • June 3 (Sunday) - Crushers baseball game (more info in future newsletter)
  • Sept. (TBD) - Golf scramble fundraiser (more info in future newsletter)
Did you know ... more than 63% of families have pledged to the Annual Fund, for a total of more than $58,000?  Remember, we're still looking for Annual Fund pledges of any amount, and you don't have to send in money at this point, just the pledge form.  If you would like to send in money now, remember that MPA can accept checks, credit cards, or donations can be made via PayPal.  Just click here  to make a pledge.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MPA Newsletter 1/11/2012

Development Information:

Time to make the baskets - auction fundraiser baskets, that is!  You should have been contacted by your room parent to solicit donations for your class's themed basket.  These baskets will be auctioned off at the From the Heart concert and fundraiser in February, and they are a fun way to show your class's enthusiasm and raise some money for the school.  For information on what other themed baskets are going to be available, check out the MPA blog here.

We've had some questions recently about the "everyday support" programs in which MPA participates, including things like Box Tops and Campbells Labels for Education.  Check out the blog here for an update on the coordinator of this program at our school.  And remember - please, Please, PLEASE don't send in empty juice pouches - we do not participate in that program, since the hassle of dealing with the stickiness and bugs was not worth the return MPA received on the program.

Also, please remember that the Scrip gift card orders are due by January 25th, for delivery during the first week of February.

Finally, check the calendar at the end of this message for the dates of upcoming Development activities like Quiz Night and the Crushers game.


Student Information:

The annual State of the School meeting will be held Thursday, January 12th at 6:30 pm in the church hall. Parking in the church lot is limited, so please park on the streets surrounding the school if you are able.  Limited child care will be provided in Mrs. Schroeder's first grade classroom; please use the school door near the gym if you are dropping your kids off there.  Following the main meeting we'll be moving to the school gym for refreshments and a chance for families to meet in smaller groups to talk about some of the important topics for the school, including revising the tardy policy, modifying the volunteer commitment for families, and school testing.  Please plan to stick around and contribute to one or more of these groups!

Mrs. Wilson tells me that the new system for paying on Wednesdays for dress-down days is going well. She especially appreciates that so many people have chosen to pre-pay for the rest of the year - it makes the bookkeeping so much easier on everyone!  If you haven't pre-paid and would like to, the total is $18 for the rest of the year.

Parents, please remember that there is a form that needs to be signed to acknowledge that your family has read and understood the MPA school handbook.  This form also acts as a blanket permission slip for field trips - teachers will not be sending home permission slips for individual field trips, just the pertinent information about when and where the field trips will be held.  Students who do not have a completed handbook acknowledgement on file will not be allowed to go on field trips until the form is completed.  You can find the form online here (it's also attached to this message).

If you've been in to school in recent weeks, you've probably seen that the little sick-room set up in Mrs. Wilson's office has been getting a lot of use.  We're looking for donations of a couple of SMALL, WASHABLE afghans or throws to use so that the sick kids who are waiting for parents to pick them up have something a little more comforting than just the plain old cot that's there now.  If you have any to donate, send them in to the attention of Mrs. Wilson, or contact her at Lynn.Wilson@menloparkacademy.com.

If your child is planning to attend the FREE movie after school for students in K-4th grade on Friday, January 13th, from 3:30-6pm, you must fill out the form here so we know you're aware your child will be staying after school that day. Students who stay without parents' consent will be sent to Edison Club and parents will be charged for their care Fill in the form so your child can watch Mr. Popper's Penguins, munch on popcorn and pretzels, and hang out with their friends!  We'll be meeting in the gym after school, so feel free to bring along a PillowPet or other comfy item to lounge around on.  

Parking information - the MPA science fair will be Jan. 18-19, 2012.  We'll be having TWO car lines for drop-off each day.  The line closest to the school building will be for students who are bringing in science experiments for the fair, and the line farther from the building will be for students who are not carrying the extra stuff that day.  If your student has a particularly delicate/unwieldy/fragile display that you feel you MUST help them carry inside, please do NOT do so during the regular car line times.  If you're planning to park and come inside, you must do it BEFORE 8am or AFTER 8:30am.  This will minimize the confusion in the parking lot and make the drop-off safer for everyone.

MPA is always looking for experiences the students might enjoy while learning more about other peoples and cultures.  Currently, Mrs. Weber is trying to plan a field trip to learn more about Indian and Hindu culture.  She was hoping to visit an Indian restaurant and maybe have someone there talk about the menu and how the foods fit into Indian culture.  If possible, she'd like to include a visit to a Hindu temple as part of the trip.  If any MPA families are familiar with a temple or Indian restaurant that might fit the bill, please contact Jennifer Ingraham at ji@zoominternet.net . Thanks for your suggestions!


Volunteer Information:

We have an immediate need for volunteers to help with the Edison Club after school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  The volunteer(s) will control the door buzzer to let parents in for pick-ups, answer the phone, etc.  If you are able to help with this, please contact Connie.Lindemann@menloparkacademy.com as soon as possible.

We're looking for photos of our parent/family volunteers to use on the "Caught Volunteering" bulletin board in the hallway downstairs at school.  If you have any shots you'd like to share from the Browns concession stand, the summer picnic, or any other volunteer activities, please send them to Lynn.Wilson@menloparkacademy.com Thanks, and check out the board next time you're at the school!

Are you doing double the work necessary to report your volunteer hours?  If you sign in on the volunteer sheet at school, you don't need to also log those hours online - we have a volunteer who types that information in for us.  If you accidentally log the same hours both places, it messes up our system and it takes time to straighten out.  So log your hours on paper at the school office, or online here, but not both for the same volunteer work, please!

We're looking for a few good people to help out with the science fair.  On Wednesday, Jan 18th, from 8am-9am we need volunteers to get project boards and materials from students (3rd and 4th graders) at the car line and the buses, take the things to the gym and set on the table with coordinating name. After students are in classrooms, these volunteers will set the boards up. We'll need maybe six volunteers, three for the car line and three at the buses.  From 2:45-3:15 we need volunteers help students get their project materials (not boards or reports) to take home, then take boards and reports upstairs and put in Mrs. Fredmonsky’s and Mr. O’Donnell’s room.  We'll need maybe three or four volunteers to help with this.  Then, on Thursday Jan 19th we need the same number of volunteers to help the students in 5th-8th grades.  We will also need extra volunteers for lunchtime both days, to help supervise the students as they eat lunch in their classrooms (and we don't know whether we'll have inside or outside recess that day).  If you can volunteer during any of these times, please sign up here.

MPA's K-4 Math Night will be on Pi Day, Wednesday, March 14, 2012, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  Activities will include math-related puzzles and games, creative ways to calculate pi, and of course eating pie. Math Monkey will sponsor three activity stations. We are looking for volunteers to help out that evening, including setting up beforehand, managing activity stations during the event, and cleaning up afterward. We are also looking for parents who can donate PIES (get it?!) or T-SHIRTS for K-4 Math Night, or provide them to MPA at cost. If you can help or need more info, please contact Latha at LMS54321@gmail.com. Thank you!

Calendar Highlights:
  • Jan. 12 (Thursday) - State of the School meeting at MPA, 6:30pm
  • Jan. 13 (Friday) - Lower School after-school movie, 3:30-6pm
  • Jan. 16 (Monday) - Holiday - school closed
  • Jan. 18 (Wednesday) - MPA lower school science fair (open for viewing 10am-1pm)
  • Jan. 19 (Thursday) - MPA middle school science fair (open for viewing 12-2:30pm)
  • Jan. 25 (Wednesday) - Scrip gift card orders due
  • Feb. 20 (Monday) - Holiday - school closed
  • Feb. 23 (Thursday) - End of second trimester; "From the Heart" school concert and fundraising auction
  • Feb. 24 (Friday) - No school for students
  • Feb. 27 (Monday) - No school for students - Parent conferences scheduled 
  • Feb. 28 (Tuesday) - No school for students; Parent conferences scheduled
  • Feb. 27 - March 2 - MPA Scholastic Book Fair  
  • March 14 (Wednesday) - Math Night from 6:30-8pm
  • March or April (TBD) - Walk-A-Thon fundraiser
  • March 31 (Saturday) - Quiz Night fundraiser (more info in future newsletter)
  • June 3 (Sunday) - Crushers baseball game (more info in future newsletter)
  • Sept. (TBD) - Golf scramble fundraiser (more info in future newsletter)
Remember, we're still looking for Annual Fund donations of any amount, and you don't have to send in money at this point, just the pledge form.  If you would like to send in money now, remember that MPA can accept checks, or donations can be made via PayPal.  Just click here  to make a pledge.
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Menlo Park Academy
14440 Triskett Road
Cleveland, OH  44111