Wednesday, August 29, 2012

MPA Newsletter, 8/29/2012


Don't forget - no school for students on Friday, 8/31/2012 and Monday, 9/3/2012 - enjoy the long Labor Day weekend!

IMMEDIATE INFORMATION

Let's keep the momentum going with the Browns concession fundraiser!  Our goal is to have 16 volunteers signed up for each game-the more volunteers in the booth, the more money we can earn!  Please click here to find a list of all upcoming Browns concession dates along with a sign up page.   If there are games which fit into your schedule, go ahead and sign up today.  By providing an e-mail address, you will receive a reminder before the game.  The next volunteer opportunity is this Thursday, August 30th. 
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We are still looking for volunteers to help out with electives for our lower grades - if we don't line up volunteers soon, we may have to delay the start of the electives for the younger grades this trimester!  Due to space limitations, we will be combining some grades this year, and we will have 2-3 volunteers or teacher aides assigned to each class of approximately 22 students. Grades K & 1 electives are on Thursdays from 2:15-3:00; Grades 2 & 3 are held on Tuesdays from 2:15-3:00.  You can choose any topic that appeals to you - or let us know if you're willing to help but need some guidance on what to teach.  Please let us know if you would like to “lead” a class with assistance, rotate subjects with assistance, or just be an assistant - we've can accommodate whatever level of commitment you'd like to make!  Contact Jenn Ingraham at ji@zoominternet.net to sign up or learn more.
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The days of pulling in to the car line to pick up your kid at 3:55pm are over ... car line has been DONE by 3:30 every day this week!  Many thanks to the volunteers who have reorganized the car line procedure and worked so hard to make it go smoothly!  Make sure you're here and in the car line by 3:15 if you're picking up your child - rumor has it that Mrs. Wilson will be using students for manual labor* if they're stuck waiting in the office after car line is over, and no one wants that to happen, right?  And please let your child know that they need to be ready to move outside when their name is called at the end of the day - if your car gets up to the front of the line and the child has not responded to the call for them to come outside, you'll have to circle around and wait through the line again.
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Speaking of the car line: All cars must enter from Grapeland ONLY during the morning and afternoon car lines. If you must park, please park on the street during those times.  The current car line dismissal parking process will change slightly once we know how many cars we normally need to accommodate. Please just follow the volunteers' directions until a final procedure is implemented. We will send out the procedure and an easy to read map when everything is finalized. 
 
In the meantime, we need at least three volunteers everyday for the afternoon parking lot. We have two dedicated volunteers who have shouldered most of the afternoon car-line burden in the past, but they would like a break to volunteer in other areas.  You can easily get volunteer time by helping direct traffic during the time you would be sitting in the lot anyway. Volunteers could arrive at 2:15-2:30 to start directing the early cars; you could be first in line, get volunteer time and leave right at 3:15.  How perfect would that be?  The time before dismissal is crucial and is when volunteers are most needed, but we also need volunteers to be in the lot from 3:05- 3:35 to complete the line. If you're able to help out with this, please contact Vic Garlauskas at gearheadvg@yahoo.com.
 
We're also looking for a volunteer to take over as the "King of the Cones," organizing the volunteers and implementing the procedures for afternoon car line.  If you would be willing to help with this vital role, please contactJim.Kennedy@MenloParkAcademy.com and let him know you're interested.  
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Did you know ... if your child forgets his or her lunch this year, Mrs. Wilson will contact you, and it will be your responsibility to bring one in for him or her.  We are not planning to stock "replacement lunches" as we have in past years, so please make every effort to make sure your child brings a lunch each day.  And please remind your child that if they bring a water bottle to class that is also their lunchtime drink - they need to bring the bottle to the lunchroom, not leave it in the classroom.
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Speaking of lunches, here's the schedule for lunch and recess for this year:
  • Grades 2-4 - lunch from 11-11:25am  recess from 11:30-11:55am
  • Grades 5-8 - lunch from 11:30-11:55am  recess from 12-12:25pm
  • Grades K-1 - lunch from 12-12:25pm  recess from 12:30-12:55pm
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So, what's up with "dressing down" this year?  In past years, MPA has used a weekly voluntary dress-down day as a fundraiser for charities or to support events run by the student council.  This year, Mrs. B-W will be working with the student council later this fall to decide if and how such a dress-down schedule will be run this year.  In the meantime, there will be no weekly dress-down days ... but students can earn dress-down days for themselves or their class.  For example, students whose parents volunteered at the last two Browns pre-season games earned dress-down days for themselves, and later this fall Mrs. B-W will be challenging the students to improve some behaviors (like fire drill response times) by offering dress-down days to classes or the whole school as a reward.  So keep your eyes on the newsletter for more information in the coming weeks ... and keep your kids' jeans and tutus in the drawer for now.
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Milk mustaches are this year's most popular fashion statement - will your child have one?  Milk order forms (see attachment) are due Wednesday, 9/5/2012, with milk service beginning Monday, 9/10/2012.  It's a steal at just $50 for the whole year, or $25 for half a year.  Payment must be received by 9/5/2012 to participate for this half of the year - no money will be accepted in the lunchroom.  So get your cash or checks (made out to Menlo Park Academy, with "MILK" in the subject line) in soon!
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Attention, parents of fifth graders: the deadline for submitting all of your Camp Fitch forms AND MEDICATIONS is Friday, 9/7/2012.  Make sure you've got all your I's dotted and T's crossed so your students can go and enjoy this educational experience.  Please contact Lynn.Wilson@MenloParkAcademy.com if you have questions about what is required.
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All enrollment forms - including forms that accompany medications your child requires, along with the medication themselves - must be submitted to the school by Monday, 9/10/2012, or your child will not be permitted to attend MPA.  This is a state requirement and deadline, not an internal one, and we have no wiggle room here.
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The MPA Boosters needs YOU! The purpose of the Boosters is to provide support for the educational and recreational needs of the students of Menlo Park Academy. The Boosters also provide various community building opportunities for the students, their families and faculty. For example, the first event the Boosters are planning is an Fall Fest at Patterson's Fruit Farm in Chesterland on Saturday, 10/20/2012. Now is a great time to get in on the ground floor of this great team - make a difference for the school and have a great time doing it! We are looking for candidates to fill the role of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. People interested in running for these positions can send their names to boosters@menloparkacademy.com to be added to the list of candidates. The first Boosters meeting will be on Thursday, September 20th at 6:30pm. Candidates will be voted on and elected at this time.


ONGOING INFORMATION

Assistant Director Jim Kennedy is looking for parents/guardians who would be willing to help coordinate the volunteering within the school. In previous years we have had 2-3 parent volunteers take the lead and offer their support in coordinating the volunteer schedule. Having this is extremely helpful and allows staff members to give their focus to all of the students. If anyone would be interested in this type of position please feel free to contact Mr. Kennedy ANY TIME at 216-539-2081 or by email at jim.kennedy@menloparkacademy.com. It would be greatly appreciated by everyone if a few people could volunteer to take the lead on this.
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If you're new to MPA and would like to volunteer at the school while students are here, you'll need to get a background check completed.  Please contact Caroline Zito if you need more information about what the BCI entails, or where you can get it done: Caroline.Zito@MenloParkAcademy.com or 216-502-4637.

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RECOGNITION

Mr. Thompson never stood a chance of beating him last year ... MPA Second-grader Young Kim and his brother, kindergartener Dae San Kim, received the top prizes in their age divisions at the 2012 US Nationals Rubik's Cube Championships in Las Vegas on Aug. 3-5.  Young averaged 29.84 seconds to win the Under 10 Years Old prize, and Dae San averaged 1 minute, 7 seconds to win both the Under 6 and Under 8 Years Old prizes.  Congratulations to the Kim brothers on their achievements!
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At MPA we value the contributions of all of our volunteers.  However, some volunteers go above and beyond the call of duty, either far exceeding their required number of hours each month, or helping out with jobs that are perceived as "not much fun."  Volunteering at our concession stand at the Browns games is a lot of fun - but it's also a lot of work, and a big investment of time, so we'd like to recognize the parents who volunteer there this season.  These include:
  • Andrew Sayer
  • David VanDuin 
  • Laura Bala 
  • Jessica Tonsing 
  • Shawn Tonsing
  • Kari Basiewicz 
  • Ramona Boggins 
  • Jeff Mingus 
  • Roman Didytch 
  • Tom Hess 
  • Kristina Johns 
  • Chris Harrison
Would you like to see your name on this list in a future e-mail?  Click here to visit the information page and sign-up sheets for all of the upcoming games. 


CALENDAR

Thursday, 8/30/2012  Dr. Sylvia Rimm meets with new-to-MPA grades 4-8 families, 6:30-7:30pm
Friday, 8/31/2012 No school for students
Monday, 9/3/2012 No school for students
Tuesday, 9/4/2012 Mandatory meeting for parents of 5th graders (regarding Camp Fitch), 6-7pm
Friday, 9/7/2012 Deadline for forms and medications for 5th graders attending Camp Fitch
Tuesday, 9/11/2012 Curriculum Night for grades 4-8, 6:30-8pm; Mandatory meeting for parents of 8th graders (regarding DC trip), 6-6:30pm
Wednesday, 9/12/2012 Curriculum Night for grades K-3, 6:30-8pm
Monday, 9/17/2012 -  5th grade visits Camp Fitch
Wednesday, 9/19/2012
Thursday, 9/20/2012 Boosters organizational meeting and election, 6:30pm
Saturday, 10/20/2012           Boosters event - Fall Fest at Patterson Fruit Farm in Chesterland
*not really.
 
Do you have something you'd like to contribute to the newsletter?  Has your child achieved something noteworthy, does your event need additional volunteers, or is there something you'd like to know about the school?  Feel free to contact the newsletter editor, Gretchen Woods, at avonhokie@yahoo.com, and we'll see if we can get your information out there.

MPA Newsletter, 8/26/2012


It's another fact-filled week here at MPA Newsletter Central, so be sure to read carefully to learn more about girls' basketball, volunteer opportunities, who does what on the administrative team, and a whole lot more!

Focus on the First Week of School:

Don't forget: Our back to school picnic will be held at Lakewood Park TODAY, August 26 from 4:00-6:30.  This year we will have a DJ, crafts, face painting and more.  Hot dogs, lemonade, and ice-cream sandwiches will be provided.  Please bring a dish to share, plates/cutlery, lawn chairs, frisbees, and of course your family!  We're requesting that the different grade levels bring different foods to share:
  • k-1  Desserts
  • 2-3  Chips/Pretzels
  • 4-5  Salads/Side Dish
  • 6-8  Fruit
Special bonus: If you bring your own Pringles can, Mrs. Eby will show you how to make it into a solar hot dog cooker.  

The Back to School Picnic is also the place to pick up the car signs that must be displayed on your car's windshield when picking up children from the car line.  Look for the table at the event, snag your signs, and keep them handy in your car(s).  Please contact the school if you need additional signs to share with other drivers in a carpool, for example.  
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Mrs. B-W would like to extend special thanks to all the volunteers who helped get the school ready for the upcoming year.  Whether you moved furniture, cleaned windowsills and lockers, helped configure computers, registered students, or worked in an ongoing volunteer position, we thank you for all you've done to make the classrooms safe, clean, and orderly.  A extra-big thanks go out to Sandy Howlett, who single-handedly moved much of the furniture in and out of the classrooms to accommodate the carpet cleaning.  Way to go, Mrs. Howlett!  Hope you've got all those hours recorded in the volunteer database :)
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Parking advisory: There will be a funeral held at St. Mel's church on Monday, August 27th.  This should not disrupt carline, but if you are coming into the school to volunteer, you will need to use street parking so as not to disrupt the funeral parking or spaces left available for our kids to use during recess.  Thank you for your understanding and patience on Monday!
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Mrs. B-W and Mr. Kennedy will be monitoring students each day during arrival from 8-8:30am.  This will allow teachers to prepare for the day and give the students a chance to interact with the directors daily.  Because they will be focusing on the students during this time, Mrs. B-W and Mr. Kennedy will not be available to speak with parents during morning arrival.  If you wish to discuss any matters with them, please schedule a time to come in (or contact them by phone or e-mail).
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Monday is the beginning of this year's seemingly endless parade of fruit cups and string cheese and yogurt.  Parents: we know that packing lunches is a hassle, but please keep the following in mind as you're stuffing that lunch bag: ONLY PACK FOODS FOR YOUR CHILD THAT ARE EASY TO OPEN.  Especially during the first few weeks of school while everyone is getting used to the routine, it can be hard for the lunchtime volunteers to get to every child that needs help peeling open a fruit cup or tearing the top off of a Go-Gurt.  And since we do not have a dedicated kitchen with food service, it is also important to pack all the utensils and napkins your child may need - we don't always have extra spoons or forks available.  Your assistance with this will help keep your child full and happy all throughout the school day!
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Parents of incoming Kindergarten students:  We know the first few days of school are tough - for both you and your student.  That's whyseveral parents of last year's Kindergarten students have volunteered to meet with you to give you the skinny on what to expect this year, both academically and emotionally, from parents who have been there themselves.  What sort of work will the kids be doing?  How long did it take the kids to stop being freaked out at lunchtime?  Do you REALLY need to volunteer for the school?  All these questions and more will be covered during our Kindergarten Parent Coffee Hour on Tuesday, August 28th, from 9:45-10:45am at the Dunkin' Donuts at 16204 Lorain Ave.  We'll make sure to be finished in plenty of time for you to pick up your student at school at 11am.  If you have any questions about this event, please contact Gretchen Woods at avonhokie@yahoo.com
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MPA needs your help during the school day to provide a welcoming and safe environment for our students.  Jobs include morning welcoming, lunch/recess help, afternoon car line, and much more.  If you are interested and available, check out our Doodle at http://doodle.com/qq94y34in6evdtfe to schedule a shift.  Please remember that all volunteers working with students need a BCI check - please contact Caroline Zito (Caroline.Zito@MenloParkAcademy.com) if you need guidance on where BCI checks can be completed.
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One immediate need: Help is needed to organize and fill Thursday folders this year.  Volunteers work every Thursday from 9:00am -12:00pm to get much-needed information home.  Contact Heidi Simon at hsimonk@aol.com if you can help weekly, or even just once in a while.
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Calling all Cleveland Browns Fans!  Here is your chance to support the Browns AND Menlo Park Academy.  MPA earns money based on our concession sales for each home game.  Last year we earned over $16,000 for the school!  We know this is a challenging time of year for everyone, but the situation is critical.  Please help, even if you are not yet trained.  You will have support.

At this point, we are willing to offer parents who volunteer at the concession stand on 8/30/2012:
  1. Double volunteer hours
  2. Dress down for the entire 2nd week of school 
  3. An early out (after half-time)
  4. All the food you can eat
  5. Camaraderie
The start times are not set in stone so if you can help but can't come until later, just let us know.  You can contact our team lead, Chris, at 216.375.2117 or cjharrison68@gmail.com Please click the following link to reserve your spot for the fun: THURSDAY 8/30:  http://menlopark.pleasebringit.com/public/Snruw9BvUMY
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Now is the perfect time to begin planning what ELECTIVES you might like to teach to students of any grade level at our school. We are especially looking for people to teach during the first trimester of the year, which runs through November 15, 2012.  If you are interested in learning more and helping out with this important part of our curriculum (and getting some volunteer hours while you get to know the kids at school!), please plan on attending the mandatory meeting Wednesday, 8/29/2012 at 9am or 6:30pm. This meeting will cover classroom behavior, expectations, what to do in case of…, who to contact when not available to teach, how to get reimbursed for supplies, agenda forms, and evaluations.  If you have any questions before the 29th, contact Jenn Ingraham at ji@zoominternet.net.
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Longer-Term Information:

The MPA Boosters needs YOU! The purpose of the Boosters is to provide support for the educational and recreational needs of the students of Menlo Park Academy.  The Boosters also provide various community building opportunities for the students, their families and faculty. For example, the first event the Boosters are planning is an October Fall Fest day at Patterson's Fruit Farm in Chesterland.  Now is a great time to get in on the ground floor of this great team - make a difference for the school and have a great time doing it!  We are looking for candidates to fill the role of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.  People interested in running for these positions can send their names to boosters@menloparkacademy.com to be added to the list of candidates.  The first Boosters meeting will be on Thursday, September 20th at 6:30pm. Candidates will be voted on and elected at this time. 
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Calling all Cleveland Browns Fans!  We also need volunteers to staff our concession stand for ALL of the Browns' home games this year.  Ready to sign up and volunteer?  Upcoming regular game dates are below - visit  https://sites.google.com/site/menloparkacademy/parent-central/cleveland-browns-concession-stand to sign up (all games are 1pm game time pending NFL Flex schedule changes - volunteers begin arriving at 9am)
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One important job of our new Boosters group - they're going to be in charge of the collection of Box Tops 4 Education this year!  As an incentive to get those box tops in early, the Boosters are offering a bakery treat (made by our volunteers!) to any student who sends in at least 25 Box Tops 4 Education by 9/30/2012.  See the attached files for collection forms and a description of the program.  Be sure to label your bag, envelope, or collection page with your child's name, grade, and homeroom teacher.  Stay tuned for the 2012-2013 Homeroom Challenge - it is still in the planning phase!  MPA also collects Labels for Education, Tyson A+ labels, and Coke Rewards (which can be entered by individuals at home then donated to Menlo).  Box Tops for Education and Labels for Education have many non-food products, like office supplies, plastic bags, and even clothing!  Clip and send them in to school and Menlo earns more! 
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Basketball notes:  Coach Littlejohn met with interested families for boys' basketball this weekend.  If you were unable to make the meeting, no worries.  Please contact Coach Littlejohn at mpahoops@yahoo.com and he'll get you all the information you need.

MPA's own Ms. Theiss is excited to coach a girls' basketball team this year!  We have located a league and are getting organized. An informational meeting will be held in early October, so keep your eyes open for upcoming details. If you'd like more information, or would like to help organize the team, contact katie.theiss@menloparkacademy.com.
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With so many changes to the Administration of MPA, it may be hard to know who to call when you have a question about the school.  Here's a rundown of who is most likely able to answer various types of common questions:
  • Mrs. B-W (440-925-6365): K-3 Discipline, Instruction/Enrichment, Gifted Services, Special Education, Edison Club
  • Mr. Kennedy (216-539-2081): 4-8 Discipline, Counseling, Volunteers
  • Lynn Wilson (440-290-5424): Attendance, Early Dismissal, Medical Issues, Forms
  • Nancy Colby (216-586-3746): Enrollment, Transportation
  • Caroline Zito (216-502-4637): Fees, BCI Checks
  • Michael Shamblin (216-539-0422): Technology, Progress Book
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Calendar

Staggering Back to School:  This year we will once again be easing the Kindergarten students into the school year by offering them a different schedule for the first few days of school.  More information is being sent directly to parents of Kindergarten students, but here's a quick breakdown for all the rest of us:
  • School begins on Monday, August 27th for grades 1-8 only - K students get the day off.  
  • Tuesday, August 28th, K students will attend a partial day from 8:30am-11am, with one parent or other special person staying for part of the time to help them adjust to the classroom.  K students will need to be picked up before lunch that day, but should bring a snack to eat in class.
  • Wednesday, August 29th, K students will have a slightly longer day, arriving for a regular drop-off between 8am and 8:30am (no parents or guardians in the classroom, please!), and staying through lunch and recess.  Please pack both a snack and a lunch for them on Wednesday.  They'll need to be picked up at school at approximately 1pm.  
  • Thursday, August 30th, the Ks will be ready for their first full day of school!  Please pack two snacks (one for morning, one for afternoon) and a lunch for Ks on that day.
  • Friday, August 31st and Monday, September 3rd - no school for grades K-8 (teacher in-service and Labor Day)
  • Tuesday, September 4th - Regular schedule for all students K-8.

                            



Sunday, August 26

Back to School Picnic, Lakewood Park

4:00-6:30



Monday, August 27



First Day of School for grades 1-8



Monday, August 27

Dr. Sylvia Rimm, New Kindergarten Families

6:30-7:30


Tuesday, August 28

First Day of School for Kindergarten (partial day)
K parent coffee hour, 9:45-10:45 at Dunkin Donuts on Lorain Road
Dr. Sylvia Rimm, New 1-3 Grade Families

6:30-7:30


Wednesday, August 29

Kindergarten has partial day
Elective Volunteer Training (Mandatory)

9:00-10:00 or 6:30-7:30


Thursday, August 30

Kindergarten has full day
Dr. Sylvia Rimm, New 4-8 Families

6:30-7:30

Friday, August 31
Monday, September 3



NO SCHOOL



Tuesday, September 4

5th Grade Camp Fitch Meeting (Mandatory)

6:00-7:00



Tuesday, September 11
8th Grade DC Trip Meeting (Mandatory)    
6:00-6:30

Upper School (4-8) Curriculum Night

6:30-8:00

Wednesday, September 12

 Lower School (k-3) Curriculum Night

6:30-8:00
Thursday, September 20 Boosters organizational meeting, 6:30pm


MPA in the Community:
MPA teacher Mrs. Padrutt says, "I would love to add a blurb in the next newsletter about my upcoming gallery show.  It's called Pathways, and I'm collaborating with another local artist named Julie Cikra.  Pathways is an mixed media, autobiographical examination of the routes and pathways we travel. The exhibition reveals the exploration of the backroads and paths less traveled in order to reach goals and to grow.  Lots of my pottery, paintings, and mixed media pieces will be displayed and sold.  There is an opening reception September 7th, but the show will be on display all month.  The gallery is located at BAYarts, 28795 Lake Rd. Bay Village, OH 44140."



Wednesday, August 15, 2012

MPA Newsletter, 8/15/2012


Hold on to your hats, folks, this is a whopping big message ...
In this edition: homeroom assignments, counseling, Edison Club, and volunteer opportunities galore!  And don't forget, the first day of school for grades 1-8 is Monday, August 27th.

School Information:

Supply Central: Save your child's back muscles for toting books later this year - drop off their school supplies on Wednesday, August 22.  The classrooms will be open and teachers will be available to meet their students from 1-2pm and again from 5:30-6:30pm.  It's a great way for kids to get a look at their new seat assignments, connect with old friends for a few minutes ... and avoid having to lug three boxes of tissues and 5 million pencils on the bus on the first day of school.  Those elusive black folders (required on many grades' school supply lists but strangely difficult to find in local stores) will be available for purchase at that time, so if you haven't found any yet, don't despair!  We've got your black covered!

Turn On, Tune In, Drop OffWednesday, August 22 is also the best time for parents to drop off any medications (Epi-Pens, inhalers, etc.) students may require during the school day.  Come in from 1-2pm or from 5:30-6:30pm and meet with Lynn Wilson in the office with all your medication forms, action plans, and medications.  The medication administration form is attached to this message, and must be signed by the child's doctor and accompany medications in their original packaging.  Avoid the hassle of bringing medications on the first day of school, and get it done early!  Questions?  Don't hesitate to contact Mrs. Wilson at Lynn.Wilson@MenloParkAcademy.com.

Basketball Bonanza: Just in case you missed the school's announcement, the MPA Basketball camp has been rescheduled as follows: 
  • Wed 8/22/2012 11:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Thu 8/23/2012 11:30 AM-4:30 PM
  • Fri 8/24/2012 9:30 AM-3:30 PM
The camp will still be held at the Olmsted Falls Community Center. There are still three spots available, so contact Coach Willie atmpahoops@yahoo.com for more information or to register.

Once You Pop: Our back to school picnic will be held at Lakewood Park on Sunday, August 26 from 4:00-6:30.  This year we will have a DJ, crafts, face painting and more.  Hot dogs, lemonade, and ice-cream sandwiches will be provided.  Please bring a dish to share, plates/cuttlery, lawn chairs, frisbees, and of course your family!  In order to make sure we don't end up with 40 different kinds of coleslaw and no chips, we're requesting that the different grade levels bring different foods to share:
  • k-1  Desserts
  • 2-3  Chips/Pretzels
  • 4-5  Salads/Side Dish
  • 6-8  Fruit
Special bonus: Thanks to Mrs. Eby's over-the-summer education, if you bring your own Pringles can, Mrs. Eby will show you how to make it into a solar hot dog cooker.  Let's hope for sun that day!  We can't wait to see what other surprises she'll cook up for us this year!

Driving Details:  The Back to School Picnic is also the place to pick up the car signs that must be displayed on your car's windshield when picking up children from the car line.  Look for the table at the event, snag your signs, and keep them handy in your car(s).  (Editor's note: I've found it's easy to use a large rubber band to keep the sign in place on my passenger seat visor ... just flip the visor down when you enter the car line, and you're ready to go.)  Please contact the school if you need additional signs to share with other drivers in a carpool, for example.  Car line procedures will remain the same this year as they were last year - more info on that in a future message for new families.  All students who are being met at the "walker" door must be picked up before the door is closed at 3:20pm each day.  Any students not met by that time will be available for pick up from the car line in the main parking lot.


Staggering Back to School:  This year we will once again be easing the Kindergarten students into the school year by offering them a different schedule for the first few days of school.  More information is being sent directly to parents of Kindergarten students, but here's a quick breakdown for all the rest of us:
  • School begins on Monday, August 27th for grades 1-8 only - K students get the day off.  
  • Tuesday, August 28th, K students will attend a partial day from 8:30am-11am, with one parent or other special person staying for part of the time to help them adjust to the classroom.  K students will need to be picked up before lunch that day, but should bring a snack to eat in class.
  • Wednesday, August 29th, K students will have a slightly longer day, arriving for a regular drop-off between 8am and 8:30am (no parents or guardians in the classroom, please!), and staying through lunch and recess.  Please pack both a snack and a lunch for them on Wednesday.  They'll need to be picked up at school at approximately 1pm.  
  • Thursday, August 30th, the Ks will be ready for their first full day of school!  Please pack two snacks (one for morning, one for afternoon) and a lunch for Ks on that day.
  • Friday, August 31st and Monday, September 3rd - no school for grades K-8 (teacher in-service and Labor Day)
  • Tuesday, September 4th - Regular schedule for all students K-8.

Student Counsel : Dr. Sylvia Rimm and Dr. Susan Rakow will be working with MPA this year to provide support for students on topics related to growing up gifted.  Dr. Rimm speaks and publishes internationally on family and school approaches to guiding children toward achievement, parenting, and the lives of teenagers.  Susan Rakow is a tenured Clinical  Associate Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Foundations at Cleveland State University; she is committed to helping schools and teachers to attain the twin goals of excellence and equity by meeting the needs of all of their students, including those with gifts and talents.  Dr. Rimm and Dr. Rakow will be on campus one day a week throughout the school year.  In addition, they are offering evening sessions for new-to-MPA families to discuss ways to help your child adjust to the unique atmosphere that Menlo provides.  Sessions will be held from 6:30-7:30pm at MPA on the following days:
  • Monday, August 27th - New Kindergarten Families
  • Tuesday, August 28th - New to MPA Grade 1-3 Families
  • Thursday, August 30th - New to MPA Grade 4-8 Families
Both parents and/or gaurdians are encouraged to attend the appropriate session based on grade level.  Light refreshments will be served.

Something Gifted This Way Comes: This year our 5-8 grade students will start the day off in an advisory period.  Advisory is a structured 30 minutes in small groups where students can develop a nurturing relationship with an adult in the building. Community building is a key component, but students will focus on issues such as organization, giftedness, community service, and more.  Organization will be a major advisory focus during the first trimester as staff help to build skills necessary for a successful educational experience.  Students will be asked to visit their lockers four times daily (before advisory, before/after lunch, and end of day).  Limiting transitions will increase student time on task.  Teachers will help to ensure that students know what they need for the day during the advisory period.  Use of planner will also be key in this process.  Students are expected to have their planner with them in all classes.  Parents are encouraged to check student planners daily for teacher communication and homework information.  Be on the lookout for monthly updates on Advisory topics throughout the year.

Is Your Child Going Clubbing?  Edison Club, MPA's before- and after-school care program for the working families of MPA, is designed to be more than just babysitting for the children.  It includes time for homework, snacks, play, and even some outside enrichment resources.   A parent meeting for all families who have registered for Edison Club will be held on Tuesday, August 22nd after supply drop off.  Two sessions will be held in the multi-purpose room at 2:30 and 7:00 to go over new policies and procedures and to complete the necessary emergency forms.  If you have registered a child in Edison Club, please plan to attend.  If you are unable to attend this meeting, please contact Katie Gerba.  If you have not already registered, you will need to do so by completing the attached form and mail it to Katie Gerba at 1116 Richmar Drive, Westlake, OH 44145. Please do not send these forms through school.  If you indicated Edison Club on your transportation form during school registration, you MUST still complete an Edison Club registration form. To clarify, you are not registered for Edison Club until you have completed the attached Edison Club registration from. You can email any questions to edisonclub@menloparkacademy.com.  In the meantime, please be aware of the following changes to Edison Club policies:
  • Edison Club is no longer able to take responsibility for any child who is not registered. If a child is not registered he/she will be sent to the office to await pick up.
  • Students who participate in scouts and other after-school clubs will NOT need to register for Edison Club to stay afterschool on their meeting days.    Children must report to the adult in charge of their club immediately after school.  It is the responsibility of parents to arrange pickup at the end time for clubs/meetings. 
Hopeful Hoopsters: After the triumphant 2011-2012 seasons, the MPA boys' basketball program is looking for additional recruits!  Boys in grades 4-8 (and their parents) who are interested in joining the basketball team can meet with Coach Willie Littlejohn on Saturday, August 25, from 11am-12pm at MPA.  At the meeting he'll be discussing his coaching philosophy, training, possible fees, tryouts, and the upcoming season.  If you have any questions or are unable to attend this informational meeting, contact Coach Willie at 216-287-8786 mpahoops@yahoo.com for more information.

Don't feel left out, ladies!  We are exploring options for additional athletic teams and want to gauge interest in a girls’ volleyball league for students in grades 4-8.  If you would be interested in assisting with the research and organization of a team for MPA, please let Mrs. B-W know.  In the meantime, Spirit Volleyball in Avon is having open gym this summer on Monday & Wednesday evenings from 6-8pm.  Cost is just $3.00 per session.  It’s a great opportunity to see if your daughter likes playing.  

Covering the Curricula:  MPA parents, your voice has been heard!  This year we'll be having TWO Curriculum Nights, allowing parents with children attending multiple grades to focus on each child's education individually.  The upper school (grades 4-8) Curriculum Night will be Tuesday, September 11, from 6:30-8pm.  Grades K-3 will meet the following evening, Wednesday, September 12, from 6:30-8pm to discuss their curricula.  Please note that these meetings are primarily intended for PARENTS - so please try to arrange for babysitting, especially for younger siblings and students.  Feel free to contact Mrs. B-W if you have any questions about what to expect during these important meetings.

Parent Planning: Parents of 5th grade students who will be participating in this year's Camp Fitch trip must attend a mandatory information meeting on Tuesday, September 4th, from 6-7pm at MPA.  This trip is fast approaching, and we've got a lot of information to cover, so please make every effort to attend.

Parent Pre-Planning: Parents of 8th grade students who will be participating in the DC trip this year must attend a mandatory information meeting on Tuesday, September 11, from 6-6:30pm at MPA.  We'll talk about scheduling, and fundraising, and what to expect from the trip - you don't want to miss it (and since it's just before the Upper School Curriculum Night, you don't really have an excuse to miss it, anyway!).


Volunteer Information 

Are you a grill master, a party-planning maven, or an amateur artist?  Can you tape up signs, unload boxes, or mix lemonade?  If so, please consider volunteering at the MPA back to school picnic!  We need people to set up the MPA supplies and signs, work the grills, paint faces with Mrs. B-W, and help at the craft table.  If you can help with any of these jobs, please plan to arrive at 3pm on Sunday, August 26th, at Lakewood Park.

The MPA STEM (Science, Technology, Math and Engineering) Enrichment Team is seeking volunteers in all areas, including Grades K-4 Math Night, Grades 5-8 Career Night, website development, electives, and new initiatives. You don't have to have expertise in math or science, just a desire to help advance our goal of enriching STEM education at MPA. Please contact Grant Henson at granthens@gmail.com to express interest. The team will meet during the first week of classes at a time convenient to as many participants as possible. 

Electives are a fun way to share your knowledge of practically ANYTHING with the students at MPA.  We've had parents teach everything from time management skills and stress reduction techniques, to computer programming and Shakespeare for Kindergarteners!  We're particularly interested in finding someone to teach a personal finance class, a first aid class, an arts and crafts class, etc.  This year, electives for the upper school (grades 4-8) will be on Fridays, from 1:15-2pm and 2-2:45pm.  The schedule for grades K-3 is still being finalized - we'll share it when it's available.  Electives will start during the second week of school.  If you hope to teach an elective at any time during the coming school year, you'll need to attend the mandatory meeting on Wednesday, August 29th, at either 9am or 6:30pm.  We'll go over classroom behavior, some agenda outlines you can use, and how to submit for materials reimbursement.  If you have any questions before the 29th, contact Jenn Ingraham atji@zoominternet.net.

Parents of last year's Kindergarten class:  Remember how confusing and odd the first day of school was last year - for you, not your child?  And remember how we had the coffee hour so you could talk with the previous year's Kindergarten parents to get the scoop on what to expect during the year?  How would you like to help out with that this year, acting as a mentor for the incoming Kindergarten families?  If you'd be willing to hang out at the Dunkin' Donuts and talk with the new Kindergarten students' parents while the students "go solo" at school for a few hours on their first day, please contact Gretchen Woods at avonhokie@yahoo.com

Calling all Cleveland Browns Fans!  Here is your chance to support the Browns AND Menlo Park Academy.  MPA earns money based on our concession sales for each home game.  Last year we earned over $16,000 for the school!  Training for the Cleveland Browns Concession Stand Fundraiser is currently underway.  Never attended a training session?  No problem. See available training dates below or visit  www.menloparkacademy.com and click on the volunteer corner link to sign up.   Attended a training session in the past?  You will just need to attend a refresher course this year.  Additionally, we are looking for 2-3 people interested in Leader training.  Returning volunteers should bring their Stadium ID to the training session if they still have it.   If you have any questions, contact the event chair, Chris Harrison, at cjharrison68@gmail.com.  

Thursday, August 16, 2012 - Training for Returning Concession Volunteers (have worked in the stand before)
Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - Training for New Concession Volunteers (never worked in the stand before)

The MPA Boosters needs YOU! The purpose of the Boosters is to provide support for the educational and recreational needs of the students of Menlo Park Academy.  The Boosters also provide various community building opportunities for the students, their families and faculty. We are looking for candidates to fill the role of President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer.Keep your eyes & ears open, more information will be coming and will be discussed at the Back to School picnicWe will be having our first meeting on Thursday, September 20th at 6:30pm. Candidates will be voted on and elected at this time. 
Student Information

Congratulations to MPA student Wayan C., who was recently selected to join the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra's bass section for the 2012-2013 season.  Wayan is one of only 3 eighth graders to win a chair in the 97-member orchestra.  Way to go, Wayan!

Calendar
                            
         
Wednesday, August 22
Supply and Medication Drop Off
1:00-2:00 and 5:30-6:30

Wednesday, August 22
Edison Club Meeting (participating families)
2:30-3:00 and 7:00-7:30

Saturday, August 25
Boys Basketball Orientation Meeting
11:00-12:00

Sunday, August 26
Back to School Picnic, Lakewood Park
4:00-6:30

Monday, August 27

First Day of School for grades 1-8

Monday, August 27
Dr. Sylvia Rimm, New Kindergarten Families
6:30-7:30

Tuesday, August 28
First Day of School for Kindergarten (partial day)
Dr. Sylvia Rimm, New 1-3 Grade Families
6:30-7:30

Wednesday, August 29
Kindergarten has partial day
Elective Volunteer Training (Mandatory)
9:00-10:00 or 6:30-7:30

Thursday, August 30
Kindergarten has full day
Dr. Sylvia Rimm, New 4-8 Families
6:30-7:30
Friday, August 31
Monday, September 3

NO SCHOOL

Tuesday, September 4
5th Grade Camp Fitch Meeting (Mandatory)
6:00-7:00

Tuesday, September 11
8th Grade DC Trip Meeting (Mandatory)    
6:00-6:30
Upper School (4-8) Curriculum Night
6:30-8:00
Wednesday, September 12
 Lower School (k-3) Curriculum Night
6:30-8:00
Thursday, September 20 Boosters organizational meeting, 6:30pm


P.S. - No, I didn't forget to include it, I just like to make you suffer in suspense ... Homeroom placements will be sent by e-mail around 3pm this Friday, August 17.