Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MPA Newsletter 2/8/2012

Congratulations to everyone who was involved in recruiting and enrolling students for next year.  We have one seat available in fourth grade - every other class is completely full!  That's a total of 343 students enrolled - can you believe how much we've grown in the past few years?!? So if you're speaking to friends or family about applying to send their kids to MPA next year, please let them know that we now have a waitlist for pretty much every grade.  

Development Information:

There's still time to participate in the new New Box Tops reward.  For every 50 Box Tops sent in from January 1st through February 13th, each family will earn one raffle ticket for the "From the Heart" concert and auction held on February 23rd!  Sent some in already in January?  No problem!  You've earned credit as long as they were labeled with the student's name, grade, and teacher.  Turned in more then 50?  That's fantastic!  You can earn a raffle ticket for every group of 50!  Please remember, this is for Box Tops for Education ONLY.  Campbell's Labels for Education, Coke Rewards, and Tyson labels do not count for this reward or the classroom competition. The deadline to turn Box Tops in to the collection bins at school for this promotion is absolutely Monday, Feb 13th!  No exceptions can be made due to the time needed to tally and get the raffle tickets to those who earn them.  Thank you for your support!

Speaking of the raffles and auctions at the concert ... want to know what's going to be available to win?  Our donations include a Jason Aldean concert package, ceramics lessons with Mrs. Padrutt, trips to the aquarium - even a Mad Scientist birthday party!  Keep your eyes peeled for more information in the coming weeks. And check your Thursday folder for information on the Kindle Fire raffle tickets, which are available for preorder.

Save the date: Saturday, March 31st, will be the first MPA parent quiz night!  Fun!  Food!  Games!  

Scrip card orders for February are due on Tuesday, February 21st, so get your orders in soon!

Student Information:

Real Conversations of MPA:
Me: "Seriously?  Some MPA parents really think it's okay to bring their child to school 15 minutes late several times a week?"
Mrs. Wilson: "I know!  Don't they realize that they're either making their kids miss important information, or making the teachers repeat themselves - and avoiding repetition is part of why parents send the kids to school here!"
Me: "Jeez.  It's not like we've even had bad weather so the parents could legitimately claim they were stuck in traffic that often."
Mrs. Wilson: "Could you please remind parents in the newsletter that the kids need to show up at school on time?"
Me: "No problem.  I won't even mention that some school districts actually criminally prosecute parents of habitually tardy students." (Whoops)
Mrs. Wilson: "And could you mention that the Lost and Found Box is turning into a Lost and Found Hallway of Doom?"
Me: "When are you getting rid of the items that aren't claimed?  February 28th?"
Mrs. Wilson: "That stuff is out the door at noon on the 28th.  That way parents can check through the bins when they're at school for conferences.  So get the word out!"
Mrs. Fortune-Somerville: "Why don't I take pictures of the items, so parents can see what's there?"
Me: "And I'll put the pictures on the blog!  I love it when a plan comes together!"
***The End***

So, whose kids have gone through a growth spurt and outgrown a bunch of dress code clothes? (raises hand)  One of the parents has volunteered to collect CLEAN uniforms in GOOD CONDITION, then make them available to parents during the enrollment paperwork period this coming summer.  What a generous offer!  If you have dress code clothes you'd like to contribute, they can be placed in the labeled bin in the hallway outside of the school office.  Please send in ONLY dress code clothes, no "dress down" outfits.  Thanks for your participation!

All parents who registered their child for the Lego Olympiad should have received an e-mail confirming your child's information. If you registered your child and did not receive confirmation, please call Maryanne Hiti at 216-481-5695 or e-mail It is very important that parents review this info and e-mail any changes to Maryanne Hiti by MONDAY, FEBRUARY 13 so that we can register with LCCC. Once registration has been submitted to LCCC, no team changes or additions can be accepted.  Thanks for your help!

Nominate your favorite MPA teacher for the Plain Dealer Crystal Apple award!  Deadline for this period is February 17th, and nominations can be made online at - click on the "Crystal Apple Award" link and tell us why an MPA educator deserves this honor. 

It's parent-teacher conference time!  The February conferences are an opportunity to chat with the teachers about the program and your child's progress.  Unless you get an email from a teacher requesting a meeting, the conferences are optional.  Report cards will be given out at the conferences.  If you do not come in for a conference, then the report card will go home in that Thursday's folder.  We're making the parent-teacher conference scheduling process more streamlined by moving it online.  Please refer to the separately sent e-mail on this subject for the links to schedule a 15- or 30-minute time slot to speak with your child's teacher(s).  You can even get an e-mail reminder sent to you if you input your address in the appropriate place on the form!  If you need to reschedule after you complete the online form, contact your teacher or to handle the change for you.

Mathcounts is a national enrichment competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement.  Students have been working on competition problems the past several weeks and are well prepared.  The  28th annual Mathcounts Competition will take place at Cleveland State University on Saturday, February 18th. Congratulations  and best of luck to the following students who will be representing Menlo Park Academy 
Quintin Kovach, John Antolik, Gannon Ingraham, Ojas Nadkarni, Mason Buchanan, Marshall Monnette, Alexander Whitman, Kehley Coleman, Nicholas Hiti, and Nora Kelley.

Don't forget, the student concert is on Thursday, February 23rd at Magnificat High School in Rocky River.  The event will open at 5pm, which gives families plenty of time to view and participate in the silent auctions and raffles in the lobby.  Please drop students off backstage at 6pm.  Teachers will be chaperoning the students before and during their performance, which begins at 6:30pm.  If you have any questions about the concert, please contact Mrs. Leib at
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. Math Monkey of Cleveland ( will be sponsoring some of our activity stations, and Comfort Foods, owned by the grandmother of MPA students Natasha & Nadia Didytch, has generously offered to provide some mini-pies as door prizes! 
Do you have a student who is interested in learning a language over the summer?  Concordia Language Villages ( in Minnesota offers immersive language experiences for kids in grades K-12.  They have summer sleepaway camps, summer day camps, and family camps throughout the year.  Need-based scholarships are available, but the deadline to apply is February 29th. 

Volunteer Information:

We need volunteers to teach electives for our students - please consider bringing your expertise to our school!  Third trimester electives run from Feb. 29-June 1st.  Wednesdays we offer electives for Middle School (varies by grade between 8:50-2:40) and 3rd grade from 9:50-10:50.  Fridays we offer electives for 4th grade (11:20-12:10), 2nd grade (2:20-3:00), 1st grade (1:40-2:20), and Kindergarten (1:00-1:40).  If you need ideas of what to teach, never fear, we are overflowing with wonderful ideas. Just let Jenn Ingraham know!  Please email asap if you can help: Thank you!

Volunteers wanted!  The Book Fair will be open on Monday, February 27th from 7:30am until 7pm, and Tuesday, February 28th from 7:30am until 2pm to accommodate the conference schedule. On Wednesday through Friday we will be open from 8:30am until 4pm to give parents and those in Edison Club time to shop after school.  We will require at least two volunteers to be there at all times, especially when the lower grades are shopping. Volunteers will help run the cash register and assist younger students with their shopping.  Check your Thursday Folder for the sign-up sheet and more scheduling information.   Any and all help is appreciated!

Calling all scientists! We need at least 7-8 more judges for the CONSEF Science Fair on March 3rd at the Woodling Gymnasium at Cleveland State University. If your child is competing in the event, you may not judge in their division but you can judge in another division. To apply to judge this science fair or to learn more, you can go to If you do apply, please be sure to say you are judging for Menlo Park and please let Janeth Eby know by emailing her at Thanks for your support!

Thank you so much to all of the parents who have already volunteered for Math Night on Pi Day, Wednesday, March 14, 2012, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.  We still need a few more volunteers who can manage activity stations during the event and/or clean up afterward. This will be a great 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 use maybe a couple more pies to round it out. If you can help, please contact Latha at or call her at (216) 233-0162. Thank you!

Are you are available from 11:15 to 1:00 on a weekday, either regularly or every once in a while?  Our current lunch and recess volunteers really could use your assistance.  We have made it easy with a sign up for Volunteer Spot which is our online signup system for our volunteers to use.  Click on the link on our volunteer page to sign up today.  The calendar makes it easy to choose one day, two days or once a week to come and help us out.  Reminders are automatically sent to your email inbox the day before you are set to volunteer.  Remember, family and friends can also come to volunteer and that time will go towards your monthly volunteer hours. For those of you who come and help out with lunch and recess and are not using our sign up page, we encourage you to do so.  This helps us greatly to know who is coming to help us out for staffing purposes.  If you need help with getting on or using Volunteer Spot, please let Heather Syracuse know.  She'll even go online and sign you up for the days you are interested in helping out!  Also, we are always in need of people to serve as subs for lunch and recess as well as other activities such as electives - a great way to get in some volunteer hours if you can't commit to a schedule ahead of time.  If you are interested in helping out and being placed on a sub list we could call you/contact you on an as needed basis. Please contact Heather Syracuse for more information:

Did you know that we're using ecologically (and financially) friendly cloth wipes to sanitize the tables in the lunchroom every day?  This saves us money and keeps 8 bajillion wipes out of the landfill ... but it does generate laundry (and MPA doesn't have a washing machine on site).  We really need a volunteer who is willing to pick up the used fabric wipes/towels on Friday after lunchtime, wash them over the weekend, and return them to the school on Monday before lunchtime.  If you're able to do this for us (and get volunteer hours for watching your washer spin!), please contact

We have an immediate need for volunteers to help with the Edison Club after school program on Wednesdays from 4-6.  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 as soon as possible.

Calendar Highlights:
  • Feb. 9 (Thursday) - Basketball game 7:30pm at Midpark HS vs the Strongsville Knicks
  • Feb. 10 (Friday) - First Grade field trip to Severance Hall
  • Feb. 14 (Tuesday) - Fifth Grade field trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • Feb. 15 (Wednesday) - Second Grade field trip to see Fish Face at LCCC
  • Feb. 17 (Friday) - Tenative Date for the Dads vs MPA Basketball Team Scrimage Game during practice
  • Feb. 18 (Saturday) - Basketball game at 2:30pm at Berea High School vs Columbia Ross; Mathcounts competition at CSU
  • 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. 25 (Saturday) - Basketball team dinner
  • 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 3 (Saturday) - CONSEF science and engineering fair
  • March 8 (Thursday) - Fourth and Fifth Grade field trip to Hanna Theatre
  • March 14 (Wednesday) - Math Night from 6:30-8pm
  • March 19 (Monday) - Photo make-up, club and candid day; Strings and Band Concert at MPA
  • March 21-23 (Wednesday-Friday) - Fifth Grade field trip to Camp Fitch
  • March 31 (Saturday) - Quiz Night fundraiser
  • April 20 (Friday) - Lego Olympiad at LCCC
  • April 27 (Friday) - School-wide Spelling Bee
  • June 3 (Sunday) - Crushers baseball game
  • Sept. (TBD) - Golf scramble fundraiser
Did you know: The MPA Boy Scout troop was pictured on the front page of the Jan/Feb issue of the Trail Marker newsletter?  Check out photographic proof on our blog here.

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