Thursday, September 5, 2013

MPA Weekly Update 8/29/2013

In This Issue
Dates to Remember
Email Updates
Camp Fitch Meeting
Parent Support & Book Club
Kudos "Korner"
Enrollment Openings
Sports Updates
Drop-off & Pick-up
Kindergarten Start Schedule
Thursday Folders Retire
Hot Lunch Update
Got Milk?
Volunteer Survey
Volunteer Training
Dr. Rimm
Mock Trial Meeting
Quick Links
FYI: Dates to Remember
Email Updates 
Camp Fitch Info Meeting
September 9th at 6:30pm 

There will be a meeting for parents of students who will be attending Camp Fitch on September 9th at 6:30pm (right after the school day support/chaperon training session).  If your student is Fitch-bound this year, please plan to attend!
Book Club 
A Parent Support Group
Raising Gifted Children
MPA parent, Dr. Dan Silverberg, will be hosting a parent book discussion group this year.  Meetings will be on the second Thursday of each month from 5:00-6:00, begining in September. 
A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children, Webb, Gore, Amend, DeVries (2007)

Interested parents are encouraged to contact Dr. Silverberg at:

Kudos "Korner"
Celebrating MPA Students

This week we're celebrating the performance of MPA as a whole.  Check out this recent article in the Plain Dealer, which points out that MPA has the second-highest performance index of any charter school in Ohio this year.  Great job, students (and teachers, and parents - it takes more than just a kid with a #2 pencil to get great scores like these!).  Now, who's up for trying to reach #1 this year?

If you have a student who should be recognized in the Kudos "Korner" send your information to:
Enrollment Openings at MPA
Spread the Word 
MPA currently has a few student openings for qualified students in the following grades:
  • First
  • Second
  • Fourth-Eighth
If you should know of anyone who might be interested in attending Menlo, please have them contact Missi Valenti at:

Sports Updates

Boys' Basketball
Tryouts for the Boys' Basketball teams will begin
Wednesday, September 11th at the Westpark YMCA on Lorain Road.  These tryouts will be for both JV (grades 4-6) and Varsity (grades 6-8), and will be held on the following dates: 

  • Wed Sept 11
  • Friday Sept 13
  • Wed Sept 18
  • Friday Sept 20
All tryouts will be held from 3:45 - 5:15pm.  The boys that make the team (s) will be notified by email to the parents and the school on Sept 21st.
The Varsity and JV teams will begin play in the Charter School League on Saturday, October 5th. The season will run through December. The JV boys (and the 5-6 Girls team) will then play in the West Suburban League starting in December and ending in February. Varsity will take off the winter and resume play in late February in the Spring league till April, then playing in the AAU tourneys in May to end the school year.
Girls' Basketball
An informational meeting for the MPA Girls' Basketball program will be held at MPA on Wednesday, October 2nd, at 6pm.  
Parents of girls in grades 4-6 who are interested in learning more about the team are encouraged to attend.
August 29, 2013 Newsletter 
Drop-off/Pick-Up Information
Welcome Back!

Drop-off: Please do not drop your child off prior to 8:00 am unless you are enrolled in Edison Club before care.  There are no staff on duty at that time to monitor children.

Drop-off: Due to safety of students crossing to the modular units the Grapeland St. entrance to the parking lot will be closed off beginning at 8:35.  If you are tardy for school, please enter through the Harvey St. entrance.

Pick-up: If your child does not come out promptly for carline, please pull forward to the Harvey Rd. exit and we will escort your child to the vehicle.  This will keep car line moving efficiently.
Kindergarten Staggered Start
Welcome MPA's Newest Students  
In order to make the transition to elementary school an easy one, MPA institutes a varying start schedule for it's kindergarten students.  This year the schedule is:

Thursday, August 29 - Normal Drop Off/10:45 am Pick Up
Friday, August 30- Normal Drop Off/12:45 pm Pick Up

Class begins at 8:30, parents are reminded that carline begins at 8:00.  You are welcome to bring your child in to school these days, but we remind you that street parking may be your best option.

MPA is thrilled to have our newest families join our community!
Thursday Folders Retire
Forms Go Electronic

In an effort to streamline communication and volunteer energy, we will be ending the Thursday folders this school year.  All necessary forms will be attached to the weekly newsletter.  Periodically a school wide document may need to come home in with students.  If this occurs, you will receive an email notifying you of this.  The weekly newsletter will continue to go out on Thursdays.

It is extremely important that we have your correct email contact information so that you receive the weekly updates.  New emails will be added once you completed the Add/Update Email form found here. It can also be access via this link on the MPA Parent Resource page on our website.           
Lunch Lady Land
Hot Lunch Program Sign-Up and Volunteering

The MPA Boosters are expanding hot lunch options for the 2013-2014 school year!  Lunches are now available on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with two new food selections available.  Remember, all hot lunches need to be reserved and paid for in advance.  If you haven't returned your form yet, you can find a copy here.  Forms and payments are due to the school on Friday, September 13.

In order to make this popular program happen, a core group of volunteers is still needed for the Thursday shift.  The hours would be 10:30-12:30. 

If you have already expressed interest in assisting with Hot Lunch via the Volunteer Survey, you will be contacted shortly. If you are interested in assisting with Hot Lunch on Thursday and have not yet completed the Volunteer Survey, please do so here.         
Would you like milk with that?

And while we're on the subject of lunches ... MPA is once again offering the chance to pre-order milk for your student(s).  Imagine, no more leaky, drippy water bottles!  No more cans to recycle!  One less thing to worry about every day!

White and Chocolate milk are both available for pre-order, for either the whole year or from now until the winter break.  All milk MUST BE PRE-PAID, as volunteers will not be accepting any money in the lunchroom.  Forms can be found here, and are due back to school with payment by FRIDAY, AUGUST 30TH.
Volunteers Make MPA Successful
Be a Part of the Action
The MPA community is one dedicated to enriching the lives of children. Each family's commitment to five hours of service a month make that an achievable goal.  As we improve our volunteering process, the first step is to find out interest and skills of volunteers.
The electronic survey that you received this summer is an important part of that process.  All family members intending to volunteer this school year at Menlo Park Academy are encouraged to complete the survey. You will then receive a call within the first month of school to discuss opportunities for you at MPA. 
We are also looking for organized and dedicated individuals to chair a few of our committees:
School Day Support
Academic Enrichment
Quiz Night
Winter Concert
If you are interested in filling one of these important roles, please indicate that on the survey and someone will contact you next week.  Committee Chairs automatically receive their family's total volunteer hour commitment.  
School Day Support/Field Trip Chaperone Training
Learn How Best to Support Students and Keep them Safe  

Parent volunteers make all the difference in our day to day operations.  Here are some of the opportunities this year:

Thursday Hot Lunch (10:30-1:00) * Lunch/Recess Assistance (10:45-1:00) * Field Trip Chaperones * Mobile Library Assistance (Tuesdays) * Electives Assistance * Tutoring Morning Carline * After School Carline * Speakers' Bureau *School Clubs * Structured Recess Facilitators * Room Parents * and MORE

When working with students, understanding school protocols and procedures is important.  This year we will hold MANDATORY parent training sessions to help ensure consistent communication and student safety.

Sessions will last approximately 30 minutes and will be held several times at the start of each trimester. The dates and times for these meetings are:
Monday, September 9 @ 9:00 am and @ 6:00 pm
Monday, November 18 @ 9:00 am and @ 6:00 pm
Monday, March 10 @ 9:00 am and @ 6:00 pm
Friday, March 14 @ 7:30 am

If you are a school day support volunteer, please plan to attend one of these sessions.  To sign up click the dates/links above.
Dr. Sylvia Rimm Returns
Introductory Parent Meetings

Dr. Sylvia Rimm, Dr. Rakow, and Dr. Brewer will be on the MPA campus again this year to facilitate student group sessions on giftedness.  We are excited to be able to offer this service to our families.

Dr. Rimm will hold two informational parent sessions for families. At these sessions she will discuss the unique nature of gifted students and the parenting challenges. Dr. Rimm speaks nationally on this topic as well as others and has practical advice for parents.  New families are highly encouraged to attend.  Sorry, no childcare is available.

Monday, September 9 @ 6:30 
New Kindergarten Families     

Tuesday, September 10 @ 6:30   
New Families and  Interested Returning Families     

Explanation of Services
Hear Ye, Hear Ye ...

An informational meeting about MPA's Mock Trial Team 
for interested students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 and their parents will be held at the school on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at 6:30pm. Last year's inaugural team made MPA proud at the Middle School Mock Trial Showcase Competition in Columbus by earning four individual awards and a team ranking of "Outstanding." 

Any MPA student in grades 6, 7, or 8 is eligible to try out for the team. The team coaches, attorneys and MPA parents Latha Srinivasan and Erin Armstrong, will be providing interested students and parents with information about the showcase competition, team practices, and a general overview of mock trial. Interested parents are welcome to attend with or without their student. Can't attend the meeting but still want to know more about Mock Trial? Contact Coach Latha Srinivasan.
Information can be submitted via email to: for review and inclusion in the weekly update. Submissions are subject to Director approval.

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