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!


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. 

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 to sign up or learn more.

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.

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
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 and let him know you're interested.  

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.

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

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.

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!

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 if you have questions about what is required.

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.

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 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.


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 It would be greatly appreciated by everyone if a few people could volunteer to take the lead on this.

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: or 216-502-4637.



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!

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. 


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, and we'll see if we can get your information out there.

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