This has been a crazy end to second quarter, and a crazy beginning to quarter three! Between the weather and the holidays, this newsletter has been a long time coming. Now that we are firmly in the third quarter, the newsletters should be more regular again. Thanks to everyone for working with us through school closures and one early release! At this time, MSSPA has enough instructional hours in the school year that we will need to make up only one day missed to cold weather and snow.  This will be done at the end of the quarter on March 26 and 27. Those days are listed on the calendar as half days. By making both days full school days, we will provide our students with some valuable last minute study time for finals and make up our missed time.  Let’s hope there won’t be any more missed days!

Our weather has also resulted in a postponement of the quarterly waffle breakfast for our honor roll students. Originally scheduled for this Wednesday, February 5, the breakfast honoring our highest academic achievers will be held instead on Wednesday, February 12.

Hope you didn’t miss it!
Vivaldi’s Gloria was spectacular at the Gethsemane Lutheran Church on the 17th of December. Congratulations to Steve Mollick, Matt McFarlane, and Rachel Mollick as well as our talented singers and instrumentalists for making this a very memorable evening. The concert also featured several MSSPA musical ensembles, including the newly formed guitar ensemble, led by Minnesota Guitar Ensemble member Ben Kunkel.

More music in the news:  several of our singers attended the Concordia Choir Festival in Moorhead, Minnesota in January. Music Instructor Steve Mollick attended as a member of The Singers Choir. He was joined at the festival by six of our finest female singers:  Makaela Mahoney, Lizzie Redding, Kandra Rudelius-Palmer, Ashley Hauser, Hannah Schievelbein, and Zoe Peterson. Many thanks to the parents who made this wonderful experience possible for our vocalists.

Can we talk even more Music? The MSSPA Instrumental Jazz Ensemble was invited to play at the Varsity Club in Minneapolis on January 9th as part of a fundraiser to fight colon cancer. The invitation was an honor for the ensemble, which includes William Beaudoin, Chris Isler, Austin PeKarna, and Mac Wilms.

As We Speak!
As we negotiate a three year lease extension with St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic church, some parents have volunteered to develop a “Capital improvement Fund”. By contributing to this fund, donors may be confident that they are investing in the future of MSSPA. For more information, to donate, or to offer your time and expertise, please contact our spearheading parents,  Jan Dufault and Brenda Tonjes .

Rehearsals are under way for the annual MSSPA musical theatre event, the Drowsy Chaperone, directed by Mr. Rob Thompson. The event, scheduled for March 7th, 8th, 13th, and 14th promises to be an extraordinary performance. Be sure to order tickets ahead of time; the musicals tend to sell out quickly!

An encore performance of The Drowsy Chaperone will be part of SPARK the ARTS, the largest fundraiser for MSSPA. If you haven’t already marked it on your calendar, it will be held on March 15th at the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis. In addition to the encore performance, the evening includes Live and Silent Auctions. Watch your e-mail and post for the formal invitation with information on how to reserve tickets.

Coming up Fast!
Speaking of SPARK the ARTS, the planning committee is seeking auction donations such as:

· gift certificates & tickets
· dinners  ( restaurant or home cooked)
· services such as legal, landscaping, carpentry etc.
· arts lessons or a class
· backstage tours or time with an artist
· vacations, cabin time, and airline tickets
· electronics or equipment
· show and dinner (with a partner restaurant)
· a performance for a private event

If you have a donation or an idea you can contact the committee at spark@msspahs.org

Every year, the homeroom baskets are popular auction items.  Each year, homerooms are assigned a theme for their basket, and students are asked to contribute items.  Your student may be asking you for ideas based on the following themes:

9th grade: Chocolate Lovers and Baker’s/Chef’s Basket

10th grade: Pamper Yourself/Spa Basket and Tea Break/Coffee Aficionado Basket

11th grade: Gardener Basket and Tool Time/Handyman Basket

12th grade: Off to College and Around the Town/Night Out

The third all-school field trip will happen this Friday, February 7th.  The school is attending a professional dance performance by “Contempo Physical Dance” at the Cowles Center.  Each year MSSPA attends three professional venues.  This year we attended an SPCO concert at the Ordway in St. Paul and a performance of “Cinderella” at the Children’s Theatre.  The Cowles Center production completes this year’s cycle.

Winter Dance this Saturday:
The MSSPA Student Government is hosting a very special “Sadie’s Speakeasy Dance” on Saturday, February 8th in the school cafeteria. Tickets are $10 each and will be for sale during lunch in the cafeteria from February 3rd through the 7th. There will be excellent hors-d’oeurves, snazzy live music, games, and treats!

That’s it for this newsletter!  Keep up to date on all of MSSPA’s many activities by following us on our website at www.msspahs.org and stay warm!!

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A reminder to all of our families that we follow the lead of the Hopkins School District on closing schools due to weather conditions. For that reason, I want to share the message copied below and sent by Superintendent Schultz of the Hopkins School District.

If Hopkins schools announce closure on Sunday evening, MSSPA will also close. As usual, we will post the MSSPA closing on Facebook, our website, as well as emailing all families.


** Important weather message from Superintendent Schultz **

Temperatures are forecasted to once again be dangerously cold Monday and Tuesday mornings. As of Friday, Jan. 24, it looks very likely that the National Weather Service will issue wind-chill warnings for both days, prompting Hopkins Public Schools to close for students.

Closing school is always a last resort, and this decision is made in the interest of student safety. At this point, the forecast is not accurate enough for us to make a decision to close, but we strongly encourage families to prepare for this possibility.

Families can expect to receive a final decision about school closing by Sunday at 6 p. m. or earlier. Please know that we are working on a variety of scenarios to add make up days to the calendar.

We understand that this winter has been very frustrating for families, and we thank you for your patience and understanding as we trudge our way through this unprecedentedly brutal winter.


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December 6, 2013

Ready or not, it’s definitely Winter!!  A quick reminder about an important change to our policy regarding school closures this year: When considering snow days, MSSPA follows the Hopkins School District’s lead.  Because MSSPA students are transported by the Hopkins School District, MSSPA will only be closed if Hopkins closes.  If Hopkins announces no school or a late start or early release due to weather, MSSPA will make the same announcement. I will be posting MSSPA closures on the major TV and radio stations and on the website. We will do everything we can to have the information posted before 6:00 a.m., but it is possible that Hopkins will post before we do (since we have to wait to hear from Hopkins before posting). If you see an announcement that Hopkins schools are closing due to weather, you may be assured that MSSPA is closing as well.

Important news about school busses and early releases.  Similarly, because MSSPA contracts for busing with the Hopkins District, and Hopkins does not have early release days this year, On MSSPA early release days, buses will continue to run at the regular times. This means that students released at 11:45 a.m. must either find a different way home or wait until 2:30 to ride their regular bus home. The school building will be closed at 11:45, but students choosing to wait until 2:30 have access to the Hopkins library, various restaurants, the bowling alley, the movie theatre, and the park, all within walking distance.

Early release days this year are:

October 31 (finals)                                                      March 26 (finals)

November 1 (finals)                                                    March 27 (finals)

December 12 (conferences)                                         May 8  (conferences)

January 22 (finals)                                                       June 4 (conferences)

January 23 (finals)                                                       June 5 (conferences, last day of school)

February 27 (conferences)


PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES ARE COMING DECEMBER 12!!   It is Midterm already!!  Be sure to check the MSSPA Infinite Campus Parent Portal to see how your child is doing academically.  Then sign up for conferences on December 12th. Conferences run from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 12th.  Therefore,

December 12th is an early release day.  School will end at 11:45, though buses will not arrive until 2:30 (see message above). There is no school on December 13th.

To sign up for parent teacher conferences, go to the following links:

Humanities and Foreign Language:


Math and Science:





Senior Cap and Gown orders are also due next Thursday, December 12th.  Students who wish to participate in the MSSPA Graduation Ceremony are required at a minimum to purchase Package A: Cap, Rental Gown, and Memory Tassel. Package A is currently priced at $28.00 plus tax (prices will increase as graduation approaches).

Please go to the following link for more information:


If you need any assistance in placing an order, or need to set up a payment plan, please contact Jon, our Herff Jones representative at info@mygradshop.com, or at(763)536-8588.

Main Street School of Performing Arts (MSSPA)

MSSPA Dance Company & National Honor Society for Dance Arts are holding their 2nd Annual Winter Blood Drive on December 20th from 10:30 am – 4 pm. Students & parents are encouraged to donate to save lives. Students who are 16 years of age or younger need to see Ms. Ciganko for a parent consent form.

Enrollment can be done on line by going to:

Enter the sponsor code (3732) number to reach our drive. You’ll then need to create your own user ID & password or students can see Ms. Ciganko directly to sign up. The goal is 31 donations and if met, involved seniors are eligible to share college scholarship money up to $100+ earned per drive. Total win/win.


First Quarter Honor Roll rosters are attached.  Honor rolls students were treated to a Belgian Waffle Breakfast on November 13th in the Saint Gabriel’s Social Hall – Congratulations are in order!!!

A + Tutoring Club:  The A + Club is a student-run peer tutoring program sponsored by NHS students, who will voluntarily tutor any student

Monday through Thursday, 5th block.   The A+ Tutoring Club meets in Mrs. Schauwitzer’s room, 252, and is open to any and every single MSSPA student, no sign-up or form-filling required.

Students may contact A+ member Taylor Flak if they have questions. No more excuses!!  Help is on the way!!

PERFORMANCES:  The MSSPA Dance concert was held on November 22 and 23 at the Southern Theatre was an enormous success.  Auditions for the Drowsy Chaperone, the MSSPA musical, are underway, and on December 3rd, MSSPA students attended the Children’s Theatre production of Cinderella. If you’ve missed a performance, don’t despair, but don’t miss the combined choir and instrumental winter music performance at Gethsemane Lutheran Church.  It will be outstanding; I’ve had the pleasure of hearing these groups rehearse, and it’s fascinating to hear all the pieces coming together.  Come and bring friends and family; I will see you there!

Toys For Tots! Toys For Tots delivers toys to children in need during the holiday season and you can help them out! Just send a new toy, still in its packaging, and put it in the donation bin right outside the front office. There is no limit on donations so bring in as many items as you can! The Toys for Tots drive starts now and runs until December 12th.

Remember to check www.msspahs.org for details on all of our upcoming events, and thank you for all that you do!!

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An Important Message from
Dr. Barbara Wornson, Executive Director
& Rob Thompson, Director of Outreach and Development:

Main Street. Where Arts & Education Meet.

Every day, Main Street School of Performing Arts (MSSPA) challenges students academically and artistically by encouraging discovery, growth, and accomplishment. Your generous support helps ensure our students enjoy a rich and rigorous academic experience through high school and beyond.  Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day, on November 14, is the ideal chance to show your continued support for MSSPA and all we do.

Your GiveMN contribution helps us produce thought-provoking performances such as this fall’s production of The Laramie Project, supports student-originated works at the popular “No Shame” events, ensures we can make technological advances in our classrooms, offer advanced placement curriculum, bring in nationally recognized guest artist instructors, and so much more. MSSPA’s exceptional educational and academic environment allows each student to thrive.

This year Give the Max Day coincides with our opening night of “The Laramie Project” at the Illusion Theatre. What a great way to show your support for this important production! We hope to raise $25,000 by curtain call at 10:00pm on Thursday, November 14. 

We’re counting on your help. Follow us on Facebook to share in the excitement of the day. And remember to contribute on November 14! As we wrap up the first ten years, we look forward to the next ten ahead. We appreciate your ongoing support, and encourage you to Give to the Max November 14!

A unique MSSPA musical performance:  Main Street School of Performing Arts Jazz Ensemble and A Cappella groups are entertaining at CD One Price Cleaners as part of their Grand Opening Festivities this weekend! CD One Price Cleaners is located at 415 17th Avenue, Hopkins, MN (Southwest Corner of Hwy 7 and 17th Ave. North).  Come Saturday, Nov. 16th between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and register to be one of 100 visitors to win a year’s worth of free dry cleaning!! Warm beverages and treats will be on hand for those who stay and listen, but you need not be present to win.

The MSSPA State of the School Community Meeting was held on Wednesday evening, October 30th.  This meeting was the first of four ‘State of the School’ community meetings open to all stakeholders (parents, friends, authorizer, students, etc.) to be held at the end of each quarter.  The meeting on October 30 focused on reporting state test scores and discussing the possibility of moving to a different facility when our lease with St. Gabriel’s ends on August 31st  of this year.  The building being considered is located at 4660 West 77th Street in Edina and is part of the Pentagon Park building group.  More about this potential move and opportunities for sharing information and comments will come in a separate mailing.  For now, please feel free to contact Dr. Barbara Wornson (bwornson@msspahs.org) or Rob Thompson (rthompson@msspahs.org) with questions, suggestions, and comments.

Blood Drive

The MSSPA Dance Company and National Honor Society for Dance Arts is holding their second annual winter blood drive on December 20th, from 10:30a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Students and parents are encouraged to donate to save lives.  Students who are 16 years of age need to see Ms. Ciganko for a parent consent form. Students, staff, and parents may enroll by seeing Ms. Ciganko at school.  Enrollment may also be done on-line by going to BLOOD DRIVE and creating a user ID and password, and entering the sponsor code 3732. Our goal is 31 donations.  If our goal is met, involved seniors are eligible to share college scholarship money!

First Quarter Honor Roll Breakfast will be held this Wednesday morning, November 13,  at St. Gabriel’s Church in the social hall.  Many congratulations to our honor roll members and many thanks to the MSSPA PTO for providing the delicious Belgian waffles!



Laramie Project

Last week, the cast of The Laramie Project was able to Skype with one of the original cast members of this groundbreaking drama.   This week you’ll be able to see our own Main Street cast perform the play!   The topic of this play was a major news story that brought national attention to hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels. The show opens on Thursday evening, November 14th and continues through Friday the 15th and Saturday the 16th.  The production will be held at the Illusion Theater at 528 Hennepin Avenue in Minneapolis. Showtime is 7:00 p.m.  Come see eight talented actors play EIGHTY-SIX different characters. What an incredible feat!

The MSSPA Fall Dance Concert, Moveable Words, will be held next week on November 22nd and 23rd at the Southern Theatre.  The show starts at 7 pm and features our physically and artistically talented Main Street dancers.  These performances are not to be missed!


Guitar Ensemble started November 11th, and will continue during fifth block on Mondays as long as there is an interest.  The Ensemble is new to MSSPA and is being conducted by Mr. Ben Kunkel, a professional musician and a member of the Minneapolis Guitar Ensemble.  Enjoy playing with your friends while improving your technique! We’re fortunate to have this instructional opportunity to share with our musicians.

Auditions for the winter musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, are December 5th & 6th with rehearsals beginning December 7th. Talk to Mr. Thompson if you’re interested in being part of the show!!

MSSPA offers a variety of Fifth Block activities; here are the offerings for second quarter:

MSSPA Fifth Block Activities Quarter Two 2013-14

Advisor Activity Day
Polly Kuns-Weiss Belly Dancing Mondays
Beth Karges String Ensemble Tuesdays
Ben Kunkel Guitar Ensemble Mondays
Stacy Dennis Visual Arts Club Thursdays
Matt McFarlane Jazz Combo Wed, Thurs, Fri
Jayne Koprowski Homework help Tues, Wed, Thurs
Sarah Omernik GSA group Thursdays
Betsy Maloney Fall Dance Concert Rehearsals Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
Rachel Mollick A cappella singing group Tuesdays
Steve Mollick Treble cappella group Tuesdays
Steve Mollick
Cassy Schauwitzer
Yearbook Wednesdays
Steve Cullison Homework help Wednesdays
Lesley Ernst Homework help, assessments By appointment
Michael Leverentz Math tutoring Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
William Leaf Fall Play rehearsal Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
Denise Lee Math tutoring Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
Nancy Maupin Homework help Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
Lara Ciganko National Honor Dance Society
Honors Dance Company
Tues, Wed
Michelle Erickson Student Government
AP study group
Tues. a.m.
Michelle Erickson European trip prep variable
Alison Miller Tutoring, G/T projects Tues, Thurs
Alison Miller Crafts Time Wednesdays
December 4, 11, 18
Cassy Schauwitzer National Honor Society
Wednesday a.m.
Wednesday p.m.
Kitty Hallin French Club Fridays
Natalie Sasseville Online (Plato) classes help Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri
Rob Thompson
Steve Mollick
Lara Ciganko
Matt McFarlane
Winter Musical Rehearsal
The Drowsy Chaperone
Monday thru Friday
2:40 – 4:30
William Leaf Mainstreet Actors Guild (MAG) Wednesdays a.m.
Tim Popp Running Club Wednesdays
Steve Cullison Song Writing Club Thursdays
Steve Cullison History Day Preparation Tuesdays


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            (These days are reserved for Minnesota teachers to attend the Minnesota Educators Conference in St. Paul.)

MSSPA has four new board members (election results were reported in place of a newsletter last week). Welcome Joan Harris, William Rodgers, Matt McFarlane, and Michelle Erickson!  Please join me in thanking our outgoing board members for their excellent service and inspiring commitment: Rachel Mollick, Linda Schievelbein, Russ Peterson, and Steve Cullison. Look for updated contact information for all board members on the MSSPA website.

Important news about school busses and early releases.  MSSPA busses with the Hopkins school district, and Hopkins does not have early release days this year.  Therefore, On MSSPA early release days, buses will still run at the regular times.  This means that students released at 11:45 a.m. must either find a different way home or wait until 2:30 to ride their regular bus home.  The school building will be closed at 11:45, but students choosing to wait until 2:30 have access to the Hopkins library, various restaurants, the bowling alley, the movie theatre, and the park, all within walking distance.

Early release days this year are:

October 31 (finals)                                                      March 26 (finals)

November 1 (finals)                                                    March 27 (finals)

December 12 (conferences)                                         May 8  (conferences)

January 22 (finals)                                                       June 4 (conferences)

January 23 (finals)                                                       June 5 (conferences, last day of school)

February 27 (conferences)

Building Update:  The board met in special session on October 10th at MSSPA to review recommendations from the facilities committee and to agree on a direction for planning for the 2014-15 school year.  Although it is too early to finalize decisions, the school board has directed our real estate broker and the facilities committee to look more deeply into a facility within seven miles of the current building.   We will of course continue working with the church on extending our lease here.  The board is carefully studying the pro’s and con’s of each site.

If you would like to learn more about our building options, the minutes of the October 10th board meeting will be posted on the website after October 22.  Although there’s not a lot to share at this point, if you have questions, please contact Dr. Wornson, board chair Tim Gagnon, facilities committee chair Rob Thompson or Russ Peterson for more information.

Executive “State of the School Address”
I will be addressing the MSSPA community the evening of October 31st at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.  This meeting will be the first of three Executive Director ‘State of the School’ addresses to all stakeholders (parents, friends, authorizer, students, etc.) to be held at the end of each quarter.  This year the meetings will be held on October 31, January 23, March 27, and June 4th.  My goal is to have more definitive information about our facilities choices to share at the October 31st meeting.  Please mark your calendar to attend!

WE DAY was an all-day event held at the X-cel Energy Center in St. Paul on Tuesday, October 8th!  Many thanks to Mr. Thompson and Ms. Carlson, and Student Government President Kandra Rudelius-Palmer who organized MSSPA’s participation in this global event that spotlighted youth in community and global service.  Over two thirds of our school participated as volunteers at the event!  For more information, visit the MSSPA website to watch videos of the action!


Our second NO SHAME is already upon us!  Please come join us on Friday, October 25th at Hopkins School District’s Eisenhower Auditorium (located at 12th Street and Highway 7) and bring a friend!  Attending a No Shame performance has been shown to be a critical factor in recruiting students, building school community, and increasing an overall healthy attitude about life!

Monday, October 28th is the date of the Fall Choir Concert, to be held at Gethsemane Lutheran Church, located at 715 Minnetonka Mills Road in Hopkins.  The 7:00 concert has the theme Soon Comes the Harvest.  In keeping with this theme, a portion of all free will donations received will be given to the Hopkins Food Shelf.  Please come and enjoy the truly inspirational vocal styling of our choirs!

MSSPA’s Instrumental Ensemble Classes are holding performances on Tuesday, October 29 at 7:00 at Hopkins School District’s Eisenhower Auditorium.   Performances will feature the students’ creative work from the past quarter as well as seasonally themed compositions created by the students. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students, with a percentage of the proceeds to be donated to the ICA food shelf in Minnetonka.

Senior Trip to New York –  Reminder:
Seniors planning on going to NYC have a payment due on October 30th! Don’t forget!!

National Honor Society
The Induction Ceremony for the National Honor Society will be held on Tuesday, October 22nd.

Inductees must be present to become an official member.  This is a lovely ceremony for parents and new inductees. Contact NHS advisor, Ms. Cassy Schauwitzer, with any questions and/or concerns.

An Opportunity to Make Your Donation Really Count:  An anonymous friend of MSSPA has graciously offered to increase your monetary gift to the school by half up to $5000!  If you donate $1.00 to the school, this donor will donate another 50 cents.  If you donate $10.00, s/he will donate $5.00, and so forth.  When we have raised $5000 in donations, our benefactor will not only match half, but donate another $2500!  Turning $5000 into $10,000!  This is a wonderful way to increase the value of your donations!!  Thank you for supporting the important work being done at MSSPA!

Europe Trip
It’s not too late to sign up for this year’s trip to Europe!  Ms. Michelle Erickson and Ms. Lara Ciganko are planning an amazing trip through Europe this summer.  Go to the MSSPA website to review the necessary documents and to get yourself signed up! If you have any questions, please email Mrs. Erickson at merickson@msspahs.org . Grazie!


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Good Afternoon Main Street Families and Friends!  Next Week is Homecoming Week!! 

We’re finishing a busy week, and things are about to get even busier!  Each day, students are encouraged to display their school spirit by wearing costumes following a specific theme.  Monday is “Dr. Who/Sci-Fi Day”; Tuesday is “Animated Character/Show Day”; Wednesday is “Favorite Band/Entertainer Day”; Thursday is “Superhero/Super-villain Day” and Friday is Main Street Spirit Day.  Friday afternoon from 4:30 – 6:30, you can join your students for a PTO-sponsored picnic and games in the park behind the school.  At 7:00, it’s time to head over to Eisenhower Center for the first No Shame Concert of the 2013-14 School Year.  The week culminates with our MSSPA Homecoming Dance from 7:00 – 11:00 p.m. at the school.  This year’s theme is Stars of the Night, a movie-themed event.

We have a great slate of candidates for the MSSPA Board of Directors! 

Please take a moment to go to the website at www.msspahs.org to view the pictures and biographies of each candidate!

Voting will begin on September 27 at the MSSPA homecoming picnic and No Shame concert.  Each MSSPA community member (teacher, parent, or board member) may cast only one ballot.  You will be voting for two teacher board seats, two parent board seats, and one community board seat.

Voting will continue at the school throughout the week, ending at 8:00 p.m. on October 3, at the end of parent-teacher conferences.  During the week, voters may also cast ballots by checking in with Amanda at the front desk.   Ballots will be locked in the school office safe and tallied the evening of October 3.  Results will be announced on Friday, October 4th. The candidates are:

Teacher candidates (choose two):

  • Steve Cullison (incumbent)
  • Matthew McFarlane
  •  Michelle Erickson
  •  Tyler Flory

Parent candidates (choose two):

  • Russ Peterson (incumbent)
  • Linda Schievelbein (incumbent)
  • Joan Harris
  • Bill Rodgers

Community candidate (uncontested)

  • Jason Davis (incumbent)

Hopefully all parents and students are able to access the parent portal on Infinite Campus to check on attendance, grades, and assignments.  You should know that Infinite Campus Support will be unavailable starting at 2:00 PM CT, TODAY, Friday, September 20 for an all staff in-service.   Live phone support will resume at 6:00 AM CT on Monday, September 23.


What’s up with Europe? Ms. Michelle Erickson and Ms. Lara Ciganko are planning another amazing trip through Europe this summer.  Go to the MSSPA website to review the necessary documents and get yourself signed up. The first six students to Enroll will get a special prize. If you or your students has questions, please email Mrs. Erickson at merickson@msspahs.org . Grazie!

Seniors are already fund-raising for their senior trip to New York City!  Two Halloween related events are forming:  The first is the Fundraiser Valley Scare!!  If you are interested in performing as a walkway monster at Valley Fair during their kid friendly time of Haunt, here’s what you need to do: Go to the bulletin board across from Mrs. Mollick’s door and sign up for the days that you can attend – then get a contract from Mr. Leaf. It’s that easy!  Seniors have the first chance to fill up those slots, after which the opportunities will be opened to underclassmen.

Evil Hill Haunted House.  For those of you in the know – it’s a go! For those of you who don’t know, listen to the announcements next week to learn more about how you can participate in this event.

Have a wonderful weekend – enjoy the beautiful weather!!  We’ll see you next week!


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Good Morning and Happy Friday the Thirteenth!   Main Street was hopping this morning in anticipation of our first all school field trip to the Ordway!  Students and staff arrived dressed up in their finest clothes for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) concert.  I am so proud of all of our students!  They not only looked sharp, but their best concert behavior (for example, no cell phones, quiet between movements, etc.) was on full display.  The concert was a wonderful experience for all of us!

This is your last chance (this year) to volunteer your time and skills by serving on the MSSPA School Board!

The Deadline for submitting your application is Tuesday, September 17th.

How to apply:  If you are interested in serving on the board, please send a brief biography (no more than one page) that describes who you are and includes why you would be a good addition to the board.  Include any skills or interests that may be of particular value to the school (eg. law, art, financial expertise, event planning) and send along a picture.  The bio and picture may be emailed to bwornson@msspahs.org or dropped off at the front office.

Candidate pictures and bios will be posted on the MSSPA website and sent by email to parents and staff.  All applications must be received by 4:00 p.m. September 17th.   Voting will begin at 3:30 on September 27th at MSSPA, and will continue through October 3rd (parent conferences).  Voting will close at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 3, and results will be announced on October 4th.  More information about the school board is attached to this newsletter; thank you for considering taking on this very critical role in the governance of MSSPA!!

MSSPA Students Honored for their Academic Achievement:

On Wednesday morning, September 11th, students earning honor roll status were honored by the PTO with a Belgian Waffle Breakfast.  Making honor roll (a cumulative GPA of 3.5) and high honor roll (GPA of 3.69) is a tremendous achievement!  Below are the honor roll and high honor roll; if you know any of these high achieving students, please congratulate them!!

Q4 High Honor Roll
Q4 Honor Roll

On a serious note, we remind all families and students that  MSSPA does not tolerate tobacco, alcohol, other drugs or related products on campus or at any school sanctioned eventIf a student is found to have tobacco related products (including e-cigarettes, lighters, and small cigars); those items will be confiscated, the student will be suspended, and parents and police notified.  If your child has prescription drugs in school, we require the parent or guardian to bring the prescription to our school nurse, Anna Wind.  Because of the spread of prescription drug abuse, students are not allowed to carry prescription drugs on their person during the school day.  They may be kept in the nurse’s office with written parental permission.  MSSPA will conduct at least one random lockdown with drug dogs in an attempt to deter any drugs in the school.  If you have questions about the handbook or the policies or procedures, please don’t hesitate to call me at 952-224-1342 (my direct line).

Picture Retake Day is Monday, September 16thWe will also be shooting the all- school panoramic picture on Monday afternoon.  Order forms are in the office for both the panoramic picture and picture retakes.  Any students who are not happy with the picture on their student ID may do a retake on Monday.

Coming up soon:  Homecoming Week is fast approaching (September 23 – 28)!  Look for information coming home about activities during that week including our Homecoming Picnic on Friday, September 27th followed by our first No Shame Event Friday evening and the Homecoming Dance on Saturday, September 28th.

Finally, in case you missed it, MSSPA made the Sun-Sailor newspaper on Thursday, September 12th!  Pictures and text describe some of the musical offerings during our open house last Friday.

That’s it for this week!   Watch this newsletter for upcoming information about our Block Five Activities, which are forming now!

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Good Graduation Day morning! Even the dreariness of continual drizzle cannot dampen the moods at Main Street School today! Not only is it Graduation Day, it is the last day of school for the underclassmen. We congratulate the students who are leaving us to begin their adult lives, and we wish those who will be returning a bright and beautiful summer!!

Senior Creation showcased our talented seniors on May 29th and 30th. Congratulations to all the seniors who participated in this outstanding final capstone MSSPA performance. This performance is always bittersweet. Watching the growth and maturity the students have developed in their performances is both rewarding and humbling. Knowing they will be leaving us to start lives on their own is as hard to accept as it is exciting. Our teachers at MSSPA have successfully launched another class of students on their way!

MSSPA in the Community: Theatre classes taught by Mr. William Leaf participated in an exchange with our neighbors to the west, Ubah Medical Academy. Mr. Leaf’s classes first visited Ubah to view and critique their final project for English, a production of “Twelve Angry Men.” Ubah then sent two of their classes to MSSPA, one to observe the Improvisation Four class, and the other to see Advanced Improvisation present sketch comedy. We also loaned the school some lighting equipment for their final project. It’s a great beginning to what we hope will be a continuing collaboration between the two schools.

Senior Reception: Tuesday evening, June 4th, MSSPA hosted a reception for seniors and their parents in the social hall at St. Gabriel Church (formerly St. Joe’s). Awards for academic achievement, arts and performance achievement, and scholarships were presented. Congratulations to Valedictorian Samantha Pavich and Salutatorian Will Dziuk! The coveted annual JJ Ramstad Renaissance Scholarship was presented to Will Dziuk, with the runner-up scholarship presented to Lily Lenarz-Hooyman. Congratulations to all of the many seniors who received awards and scholarships. Thanks to our amazing PTO, led by Ripley Peterson, who arranged for a cake and refreshments for this event!

News for the Cafeteria regarding lunch accounts: Please know that balances carry over next year for returning students. Remember that the State of Minnesota requires Free and Reduced forms to be completed every year. The 2013-14 form will be available at Main Street prior to the start of school. Finally, the Main Street Nutrition Department wishes all students and families an enjoyable and safe summer and looks forward to serving you next year with healthy, delicious meals!

News from Student Government: Thank you to President Peter Clark and Vice President Lily Lenarz-Hooyman for sharing information on the activities of student government this year and their plans for next year! Please take a moment to read the attached summary and discover how much the MSSPA-SG does for our school! Coming up this summer! Teachers Michelle Erickson and Rob Thompson will be taking a group of MSSPA students through the British Isles this summer from June 21 – July 2. The theme of this trip is the theatre. Paris and Italy will be the destinations for the summer of 2014. If you are interested, please be in touch with Mrs. Erickson before Friday afternoon, June 7th!

The Raspberry Festival is coming! The annual Hopkins Raspberry Festival Parade is Sunday July 21. The reviewing stand, as always, is set up in front of our school. Come walk in the parade with us or join us on the front lawn to watch. Our PTO will be there providing cool treats and welcoming families to the magic that is MSSPA.

MSSPA Summer Hours: We have only a skeleton crew in the school during the summer (I’m included in the skeleton.) Building hours this summer will be from 8:00 a. m. – 12:00 p. m. on Mondays through Thursdays. The building will be closed for two weeks from June 14 through July 5th. Other summer dates of importance for returning students:

Placement workshops: Tuesday, July 29th and Tuesday, August 27th at 10:00 a. m. Schedule pick-up and picture taking: August 8th
Junior and senior appointments with Ms. Carlson: August 12-15
Underclassmen appointments with Ms. Carlson: August 19-21.
New student orientation: August 30th
First Day of School: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

This will be the last weekly newsletter of the school year. Look for monthly updates over the summer, and watch our website for new developments. I’ll be in and out during the summer, so don’t hesitate to contact me with questions!


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Good Friday Afternoon! And what a beautiful day!! I hope we will all be able to enjoy a wonderful Memorial Day Week-end!

It’s finally time for the long awaited Dance Concert!! “Common Grounds” will open this Friday and Saturday at the Lab Theatre. This is a lovely way to welcome the Memorial Day weekend, and our dancers would love your support. Both classical and modern works will be performed creating a very unique and exciting evening. Jesse Case – Allan, 2012 MSSPA graduate and currently a dance major at the University of Minnesota, will be guest performing in two very different works. Come this Friday and Saturday, May 24th and 25th at the Lab Theatre in downtown Minneapolis. Tickets are $5.00 for students and $10 at the door. Always a good idea to buy your tickets ahead of time by going to the MSSPA website at www.msspahs.org.

The Music Concert ‘Patchwork’ on Monday was a grand success!!! The concert, originally set to be outdoors, was moved into St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church due to rain. The evening began with our accomplished string ensemble, and progressed through a variety of vocal music, ending with the jazz instrumental ensembles and the steel drum ensemble in the downstairs social hall. Once in the social hall, the MSSPA PTO treated us to root beer floats while we listened to our incredibly talented musicians. A wonderful evening: congratulations to Choral Directors Rachel and Steve Mollick and to Instrumental Director Matthew McFarlane.

MSSPA in the Community: Mr. William Leaf’s theatre classes have formed a relationship with Ubah High School Medical Academy, and is assisting them in mounting a play. The theatre class visited Ubah Academy last week, and Ubah students will be joining us on Wednesday, May 29th to observe an MSSPA sketch comedy and improve class. A big welcome to our close neighbors; we hope this is the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial collaboration!

An Important Notice from Rhonda Bengston, in Food Service: As of May 8th, students were no longer able to carry a negative balance in their lunch accounts. Please make sure your student has the funds to carry him/her through the remaining school year. If your student has a negative balance, please send a check or cash to cover the negative balance. For those of you returning, your balance will carry through to next Fall. For those of you graduating, please consider donating your balance to MSSPA or you can request a refund. If you have any questions regarding school lunch, breakfast, student balances, or would like to donate your students remaining balance, please contact Rhonda at 952-224-1347 or email ms_kitchen@msspahs.org To request a refund, please call Janet Lovelock at 952-988-5303.

Thank you for your donations of books! Today Christi Michaels-Flaherty (mother of junior Mariah Flaherty) donated three bags of books to our school! If you have gently used books appropriate for teens (fiction or non-fiction) please consider donating them to the MSSPA library! Teacher Jayne Koprowski, in addition to her many other duties, also manages the free library, and is always looking for interesting materials!

Don’t miss out on buying a Yearbook! This year’s yearbook is an especially beautiful keepsake, and you don’t want to miss out by not having one. Bring a check to the office for $50, and secure your piece of history!

Summer Metro Transit Bus Pass Students returning to MSSPA in 2013-14 are eligible to purchase a summer metro transit bus pass. The passes are good for unlimited rides from June 16th to August 25th and the price is $87.50 each. Students interested in a pass should sign up in the office by Friday, May 31st.

Please note that Senior Creation Performances will be on May 29th and 30th, not on May 28th and 29th as posted in the school calendar. Students are busy perfecting their pieces and preparing their props; this will be another not-to-be-missed MSSPA performance! The event will be held at the Lab Theatre in downtown Minneapolis at 7:00 pm.

Main Street Arts Guild Board elections: New MAG board members were elected into office on May 23rd for the 2013 – 2014 year. was The new Artistic Director is Kali Jennings, the Business Manager is Aurora Sandelands and The Production Manager is Neco Pacheaco. Congratulations to all three: we look forward to more outstanding MAG productions and events next school year!!

Thank you to everyone who makes MSSPA such an outstanding community. We will be looking for you at our upcoming concerts and hope to see you at Graduation on June 6th at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Look for more graduation news in our next newsletter.

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Good Monday Morning! This newsletter is a bit late due to accreditation activities, our final No Shame performance of the year, and a wonderful Prom – let me explain!

A BEAUTIFUL PROM: Prom was held on the Centennial Showboat on Saturday Evening, May 18th. Many thanks to the parents who volunteered their time to decorate the boat, most notably Jenny Heggum (mother of senior Samantha “Sammi” Heggum). Our own special education director, Lesley Ernst, who also happens to be a professional photographer, took formal pictures at no cost to the attendees. You can see the results by following this link: https://picasaweb.google.com/114274118882823895072/MSSPAProm2013? authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sR gCL371qnIvquRSA&feat=directlink

Thank you, Lesley, for making a fun event even more memorable! Also, a very special thanks to GaVae Carlson, Director of Student Affairs, and sponsor of the prom committee, who worked tirelessly to handle all the many details that went into a wonderful evening.

An Important Notice from Rhonda Bengston, in Food Service: As of May 8th, students were no longer able to carry a negative balance in their lunch accounts. Please make sure your student has the funds to carry him/her through the remaining school year. If your student has a negative balance, please send a check or cash to cover the negative balance. For those of you returning, your balance will carry through to next Fall. For those of you graduating, please consider donating your balance to MSSPA or request a refund. If you have any questions regarding school lunch, breakfast, student balances, or would like to donate your students remaining balance, please contact Rhonda at 952-224-1347 or email ms_kitchen@msspahs.org To request a refund, please call Janet Lovelock at 952-988-5303.

MSSPA IS ACCREDITED! Every five years, high schools undergo a stringent review of their program, curriculum, governance, and leadership. The evaluation is done by an independent evaluator, the North Central AdvanceEd group. This lengthy process includes a comprehensive written report and a site visit by independent observers. This year the site visit was held on May 14th and 15th; the results were very positive. During the two day exhaustive site visit, the team interviewed four school board members (Thank you to Russ Peterson (father of Kyra and Eliza), Tim Gagnon (father of Troy) ; Sarah Omernik, and Rob Thompson) ; three parents (Many thanks to Tiger Beaudoin, father of William; Rose Jenkins (grandmother of Chris and Ryan Isler), and Linda Schievelbein (mother of Hannah) ; three school administrators, twelve teachers, five support staff, 23 students and one community member (thanks to Jason Davis, board treasurer). They reviewed collected student work, staff policies and procedures, board and staff meeting minutes, course syllabi, and maintenance and crisis drill information.

The Results: Although we won’t have the full report until June, the team listed four “powerful practices” they felt were strengths of our school:

  1. “The governing body operates responsibly and functions effectively by being involved in school improvement and committing to excellence through rigorous board trainings.”
  2. “Leadership engages stakeholders effectively in decision-making; in fact, representatives from all facets of the school community report being consulted and involved in making choices for the school at large.”
  3. “Each student seems to be well known by at least one adult who supports and advocates for that learner. There are opportunities for sharing, healing, and expressing that build resilience, character, and understanding.”
  4. “Evidence is ample for the continuous support of students’ physical, social, and emotional needs.”

The site team found three opportunities for improvement, all of which dovetail with our recently finalized Strategic Plan. These opportunities were:

  1. “Create, communicate, and consistently apply a comprehensive grading and reporting system that is based on clearly define criteria that reflects student mastery of content knowledge and skills”
  2. “Implement a technology infrastructure plan that supports the school’s teaching, learning, and operational needs”
  3. “Develop and implement a professional development plan that focuses on the evaluation, interpretation, and use of data across all curriculua.”

These three opportunities are identical to the goals the staff have set for the coming school year. If you would like to talk more about the accreditation process, feel free to give me a call or send an email. Keep in mind that we won’t have the final report from AdvancEd until sometime in late June.

A SPRING REMINDER: please remind your students to dress appropriately as the weather gets warmer. Shorts considered too short and tops that don’t cover the midriff will result in a complimentary pair of excruciatingly unfashionable sweatpants and/or over-shirt.

We Had To Cancel the Yard Sale and Support the Streets this year!! This has simply been an extreme year for weather! Thank you to all who brought in items to sell; we are storing them for next year’s sale. While sad about the loss of the Support the Street concert on the lawn, the Final No Shame of 2012-13 was great fun! Each act was introduced by an MSSPA staff or faculty member (who knew they could be so witty?). The acts ranged from heart-wrenching to absolutely hysterical.

Correction! In the last newsletter, I mentioned the gardening equipment given by an anonymous donor. It turns out the anonymous donor was Ms. Kehret’s homeroom students, who not only pitched in to buy the gardening tools, but also spent their homeroom time planting the front garden (along with parents Linda Unsworth and Russ Peterson)! Thank you Ms. Kehret’s homeroom!!

The MSSPA Recital on Thursday, May 16 at 7:00 pm at St Paul’s Lutheran Church featuring MSSPA voice students who have taken private lessons at MSSPA with Dr. Dale Kruse as well as classical offerings from string and guitar students, who have been working with strings teacher Beth Karges, was a wonderful success. We are so lucky to have Dr. Kruse and Ms. Karges working with us to provide individual and group lessons. Certainly we will be continuing our private lesson program next year! For those who may be interested, we will have more details for you in the Fall!

Monday May 20, this evening, is the Combined Choral/Instrumental Concert to be held at 7:00 pm at St. Gabriel’s Church (next door to the school). The concert will feature MSSPA choirs, string ensemble, steel drum ensemble, and jazz combos. Tickets for this concert are $5 for students and $10 for Adults. (All MSSPA students with ID get in free!) Don’t miss this end of the year musical fete!

Coming this week!! The MSSPA Spring Dance Concert: The spring dance concert will be held this year at the Lab Theatre in Minneapolis on May 24th and 25th. This promises to be an outstanding evening of dance, starting at 7:00 pm with admission of $5.00 for students and $10 for adults. Don’t miss it!

NOTICE OF CHANGE: Please note that Senior Creation Performances will be on May 29th and 30th, not on May 28th and 29th as posted in the school calendar.

Thank you to everyone who makes MSSPA such an outstanding community. We hope to see you at the upcoming concerts – and of course at Graduation on June 6th at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Look for more graduation news in our next newsletter.

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