Register For Summer Basketball Camp!

basketball campers 2019Children entering grades 4-9 this fall are invited to Summer Basketball Camp at MPA held Monday July 27-Thursday, July 30 from 9-11 AM. On behalf of Boys Varsity Basketball Coach Jacob Schwartz, and our entire program, we are looking forward to a safe and enjoyable camp. This camp is for MPA and non MPA students at all skill levels, so whether your child is looking for a chance to hone their skills after a summer of AAU, or try basketball for the first time in a welcoming environment, MPA’s camp is open to all. Mounds Park Academy’s Summer Basketball Camp costs $75 per camper, via check/cash/Venmo on the first day of camp, and includes a camp t-shirt.

A quick note on safety:欧洲杯哪里投注 From prearrival home screenings, to all participants and coaches wearing masks, to temperature checks on arrival, keeping a safe, healthy, COVID-free camp environment is our number one priority. We will be employing 27 distinct protocols and safeguards.

and contact Nate Bander with any questions.


Virtual Freethinker Fridays

Freethinker Friday with MPA faculty, staff, parents, and studentsPlease join us every Friday on or  for live, casual conversations about topics that matter with a variety of MPA community members.

  • June 19 Freethinker Friday: Middle School Stuff
  • June 25 Freethinker Friday: Setting The Foundation In Lower School
  • July 10 Freethinker Friday: Racial Justice and Inclusion
  • July 17 Freethinker Friday: Thriving, Not Just Surviving Through Virtual Learning
  • July 24 Freethinker Friday: Balancing Academics, Arts & Athletics
  • July 31 Freethinker Friday: Rigor With Purpose
  • August 7 Freethinker Friday: The ROI Of A Private School Education
  • August 14 Freethinker Friday: Design Thinking In A PreK-12 Makerspace
  • August 21 Freethinker Friday: Making Relocation Work

No RSVP is necessary. We look forward to seeing you live!

Tips To Prepare For Fall 2020 From Dr. Nolan

lower school student and parent arriving on campusby Dr. Jules Nolan, Mounds Park Academy school psychologist

欧洲杯哪里投注The oft-cited advice to “put your own mask on before assisting others” is taking on new meaning during COVID-19. How we take care of ourselves influences how smoothly our kids adjust to new habits and routines. They are able to sense our emotional state (co-regulation) and when we are relaxed and confident, they are better able to feel the same way. As we head into fall 2020, we need to be positive with our kids, even if we feel a bit uncertain. The next year and a half will be bumpy, but together we can manage it and develop new talents and skills that will serve us throughout our lives. The Mounds Park Academy team is working hard to make the upcoming school year a safe and positive experience for our entire community.

Given our current reality, we need to prepare differently for the upcoming academic year than we typically do. Here are some tips: Read More

Congratulations To Alumni Award Winner Heather Otto ‘97

heather Otto '97Nate Bander ’09 spoke with 2020 Alumni Award winner Heather Rose Otto ’97 about her Portland, Oregon-based nonprofit, See You at the Summit.

Tell us more about your role as founder of See You at the Summit. How did that idea come about and what was the journey like to establish your organization?

I was working in the field of wilderness therapy and I actually attended an international conference where I heard a Canadian speaker share more about what they were doing to improve the psychosocial health of teenagers undergoing cancer treatment. I realized that there wasn’t anything like this happening in the United States, so over the course of 15 years, I developed and founded See You at the Summit. I went back to school to get my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and spent years researching and presenting to the medical community to get their buy in. Now there are 18 hospitals in the Pacific Northwest hoping to get involved in our organization.

See You at the Summit takes eight kids ages 13-18 who are undergoing or have just completed cancer treatment and brings them on a nine day wilderness trip, followed by 21 days of additional programming. So far, we have done backpacking trips but we are adding white water rafting, snow shoeing and dogsledding trips as well. We bring a team of 20 volunteers including physicians, nurses, child psychologists, porters and program facilitators and we’re able to provide the trips at no cost to the teenagers and their families.

Going on a See You at the Summit trip helps this underserved group develop self-esteem, make friendships, build resilience, tell their story, and just learn how to be teenager, all skills that are much harder to develop from a hospital room. This is so important because teens with cancer experience depression and anxiety at a 30% higher rate and are four times more likely to attempt suicide. Through our trips and programming, we give them the tools to navigate a very challenging part of their lives.

We are researching the long and short term outcomes of our work as well. We believe that teens who experience a See You at the Summit trip will have better cancer recovery and mental health outcomes. We hope that our research provides the medical professionals who care for teens with better ways to provide social-emotional support as well.

How did your MPA experience prepare you for your life today and your work as the founder of a nonprofit?

I am an MPA lifer and I am so grateful for my time at MPA, it really was a great education. Looking back on it, I especially appreciated the small class sizes because I always felt heard and respected.

In particular, four teachers had a special impact on me. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Thacker was one of them. She actually adopted a puppy from the animal shelter and we cared for it as a class. I also remember my fourth grade teacher Mrs. Zimmerhakl really fondly. She was teaching us about privilege, equity and inclusion in the late 1980s, before most people were incorporating that into the curriculum.

欧洲杯哪里投注From my Upper School days, Mr. Meacock and Mrs. Conway were of course teachers that made a lifelong impact on me. They stand out because their classes were filled with hands-on experiences. They were teaching about life just as much as the subjects they were responsible for. After MPA, I attended North Park University in Chicago where I studied theology.

What’s next?

欧洲杯哪里投注I am continuing to build this program. As I mentioned, there are 18 hospitals in the Pacific Northwest, and more emerging on the East coast, who want to be involved. I am looking to do even more fundraising so that we can support more kids to go on our trips. For anyone looking to get involved, we are always in need of sponsors for our teens. For more information, visit .

MPA Community Members Are Rehabilitating Campus Gardens

working on the outdoor garden areasAfter the completion of the new Martin Lenz Harrison Library at MPA, current MPA parent Michelle Mick had a vision for a beautiful Panther Garden in the adjacent outdoor space. Thanks to the help of Samantha Forgosh Class of ‘22 and Jaeden McFarland Class of ‘19, it is well on its way to achieving this vision. These volunteers and many others are helping to remove sod, prepare the ground, and create beautiful sanctuary gardens with sustainable wildflowers and plants, as well as vegetable and produce gardens which will be used in the MPA kitchen next year.

Jaeden, Samantha, Chef Doug, and MPA parent volunteers Tim and Michelle Mick continue to be hard at work volunteering to rehabilitate several outdoor spaces on MPA’s campus, already having cut and removed all the sod of the 120 by 40 foot-area, rototilled the entire space, and continue to remove the weeds and rake.

At first glance, the soil underneath was unusually sandy and barren. But after Tim rototilled the soil, which means using a tool that breaks up and tills the dirt, plenty of healthy worms and lots of other interesting bugs popped out! They found the area just beyond the library soaked after a night of rain, which Michelle was able to help drain by adding rocks.

欧洲杯哪里投注This week, new mulch will be delivered, and the group will be moving it (while socially distant) from the drop off zone in front of Lower School to the new gardens. We are so grateful to have volunteers in our community making these gardens happen! A special thank you to Jaeden, Samantha, Doug, Tim and Michelle Mick, and all who continue to volunteer!

MPA Students Named NASA Scientists For A Day

gigi and bryan欧洲杯哪里投注Congratulations to rising MPA ninth graders Gigi and Bryan! The two students were named the NASA Scientist For A Day 2019-20 Winners for Grades 7-8 on the topic of Miranda.

“Humans are driven to explore. To question. To wonder. Wishing to further our understanding of the universe beyond Earth. So that someday, the impossible might just become possible,” Gigi and Bryan wrote in their final submission. “Miranda, the fifth largest moon of Uranus. Some would refer to it as the Frankenstein moon. Many speculations have been made about how the moon came to be. But we don’t truly know for sure. With a variety of textures, grooves, craters, and fractures coating its surface, you cannot help but ask, ‘How were those created? Would it be the same on the other side of Miranda? Or would it be different?’ We won’t know unless we look deeper. This unusual discovery is something worth learning more about.” !

Students Continue The Conversation

upper school SCC and RJEC meeting on zoom欧洲杯哪里投注The MPA Upper School Social Consciousness and Racial Justice & Equity Clubs are continuing their conversations throughout the summer.

Students (and faculty) involved in the clubs are partaking in a summer book club, where they we will be reading “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X Kendi. They are also setting club goals for the next few months, and are making individual efforts to research and address topics like, “What are viable non-policing methods for security at school dances? Are mental health professionals an available resource for substance abuse concerns at school functions? Are school resource officers funded by the state?”

SCC and RJEC will also continue to share recommended resources for allies with all of their Upper School peers throughout the summer, such as podcasts, films, articles, and updates on our community actions and initiatives.

Summer At MPA

Kids playing outsideWe are thrilled to have students in grades K-6 join us back on campus for summer fun at Panther Camp! While our time together is going to look a little different from previous years, our program goals remain the same: provide our campers with a high-quality, joyful, and engaging program in the context of a safe and healthy environment.

Panther Camp will run June 15-26 and July 6-August 14 from 8 AM-5:30 PM out of the Gallery and Nicholson Theatre spaces. You can register for daily, half-day, and weekly options. During camp students will explore nature, science, art, play, and do so much more.

欧洲杯哪里投注To register for weekly Panther Camps, use the “create an account” or “login” tab and follow registration instructions. See additional information under the “Fees and Policies” link. Camp confirmation and details will be sent out upon registration.

欧洲杯哪里投注Because of COVID-19, here are some of the changes we’ve made for a safe return to campus. Please know these measures are designed to provide the safest environment possible and are subject to change due to the evolving nature of the pandemic. They are based on recommendations by the Minnesota Department of Health and the CDC.

Panther Camp Operations in Response to COVID-19

No-contact drop-off: When entering through the Gallery doors, a staff member will greet campers and run through the symptom checklist with parents, including a temperature check. Once completed and cleared to enter camp, staff will direct campers to their area in the Gallery or Nicholson Center.

Area Assignments: Campers will be assigned to a consistent spot within the program space for indoor learning & activities. Campers will also be given an individually labeled materials bin for their supplies (markers, scissors, glue stick, etc.). Read More

Maintaining Connection Through Virtual Learning

6th Graders with ChickenAs the MPA community transitioned to distance learning, Dr. Jenn Milam, Middle School director, wanted a fun way to keep Middle School students and teachers connected and supported during the rest of the school year. Enter We-Connect Wednesdays!

“Wednesdays will be a time to connect individually with teachers for academic support, to gather in small groups with each other for projects and social time, meet with Dr. Nolan, school psychologist, or Ms. Cooper, school counselor, and offer enrichment and social opportunities for social and personal connection in fun ways,” wrote Dr. Milam in her message introducing the new plan to the students. Read More

Building A Better Future

pairing assembly activities in the libraryby Dr. Bill Hudson, head of school

“Together, we are building a better future. By cultivating critical thinking, creative inquiry, and social responsibility, we inspire and empower our children to improve an ever-changing and sometimes, challenging world. We do that though a rigorous, yet joyful, education delivered by an exceptional faculty dedicated to fostering caring relationships with their students.”

Those were my words in my first Panther Post欧洲杯哪里投注 message of the 2019-20 school year, on August 29. As construction finished on our new Family Commons and Martin Lenz Harrison Library, I seized upon the metaphor of building as a theme for the school year, challenging ourselves to provide the vision, blueprints, tools, and materials our students need to realize our mission, fulfill their potential, and positively impact our world. I could never have imagined just how prophetic the theme would turn out to be.

欧洲杯哪里投注The world is, indeed, ever-changing and challenging and our lived reality this spring and early summer has made that abundantly clear to all of us. The COVID-19 pandemic accentuated the strengths and flaws of ourselves, our institutions, and our society. And yet, our students emerge stronger, with the resiliency, flexibility, and independence that might not have otherwise been cultivated if not for the pandemic. Our exceptional faculty were able to pivot quickly while never losing hold of the caring relationships they have with students. Families have been supportive and understanding as difficult decisions have been made to keep our community safe.

The raw, visceral murder of George Floyd and ensuing unrest and violence has laid bare the fissures of society many gloss over or choose to ignore. Yet through critical thinking, creative inquiry, and honest conversation, our young people hold the promise of change where our generation, and generations before us, have failed. The MPA curriculum, grounded in character education and the humanities, in concert with the sciences, provide the tools and materials necessary to build a better future, to “stir the human spirit, stand for justice, and shake the world.” Indeed, building a better future requires our students to dream big and do right.

Thank you for entrusting your children to MPA—I am grateful for your partnership this school year. We are united in our shared belief that education is fundamentally an act of hope and that by investing in our children, we are indeed building a better future. I am confident that the strength of our community will carry us forward to a new day. Have a wonderful summer and I look forward to coming together in August.

PS: Please know you will hear from me on a regular basis this summer, as I share more information about plans for the fall. Our next communication is scheduled for Tuesday, June 23. Do not hesitate to reach out to your division director as questions arise!