August 2021
Summer Greetings from the Admissions Office
Summer weather brings us all a healthy, much-needed dose of sunshine, carefree days, and lots of time outdoors with family and friends. Here at MPH, our Admissions team is hard at work introducing prospective families to the MPH program and preparing to welcome nearly 90 new students and their families to our community this fall. We are excited to share with you this “highlight reel” of the Discover MPH Admissions e-newsletter, which captures some of the wonderful stories that appeared in our monthly newsletters sent during the 2020-2021 school year. We hope it serves as an example of the creative, inspired work our students and faculty accomplished in the course of an extraordinary school year and conveys the strength and resilience of the MPH community during such an unprecedented time. To those who may still be interested in learning more about MPH, and possibly applying for admission for the 2021-2022 school year, I encourage you to contact us right away. Though we are nearing the end of summer, we would still welcome the opportunity to connect with you and discuss the possibility of your child attending MPH, if not for the upcoming school year, then perhaps for the next. Please reach out to us at to take that first step in exploring MPH. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the stories shared below, and that your family has a happy and safe rest of the summer!

Nicole Cicoria
Director of Admissions
First Day of School | September 9
September 9 is the first day of school for all MPH students

  • For a complete calendar (online and print versions), visit the calendar page on the MPH website
The Miracle of Marigolds!

In early spring, Pre-K students planted seeds they had received in individual kits delivered to them by the Upper School student club called Roots and Shoots. They discussed what would be required in order to grow and take care of their plants. Later, these young ones would engage in a “color-changing flowers” experiment and learn how plants drink water by observing what happens when white carnations are placed in colored water.
 "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten!"

As evidenced by this photo gallery, a lot was happening in Kindergarten as we headed into the month of March! As just one example, the students took turns being the weekly “Star Student” and “Star Scientist.” When it was their designated week, students presented their (Star Student) poster on Monday and their science laboratory report and chosen experiment on Friday. The audience? Their teachers, their classmates, and, via Zoom, their respective families! Kindergarteners also certainly seem to love their numbers, and when the time came, they enjoyed celebrating 100 days of school (counting by twos and tens to make 10 groups of 10 with pom poms, and then gluing them onto their balloons). In addition, these young learners participated in daily calendar math, working on decomposing and composing numbers, using tally marks, place value, and manipulating Base Ten blocks.
Alas, these students also embodied the “kind” in Kindergarten when they demonstrated their care of our planet after learning about reducing waste, recycling, and the concepts of reuse and composting. They later focused on taking care of their school lunches and getting leftover food ready for composting.
Starting Winter Break with a Spectacular Performance!

Just prior to our December vacation, the sweet sounds (and visuals!) of our Lower School Suzuki Strings and Orchestra, the members of which had come together virtually, provided the MPH community with a beautiful send-off. Click the link below to enjoy their rendition of "Wintertime in Russia."
Grade 3 Takes Study of Civil Rights (Literally) to Great Lengths 

During several months in the latter part of the school year, students in Grade 3 became immersed in studies of the Civil Rights Movement. Through reading a variety of books and viewing some videos, they not only learned about pivotal events and adult figures related to the movement, but also about the role children played at the time. Then they completed a biography research project on influential Black people who directly and indirectly affected Black History and the Civil Rights Movement. Finally, they put together a 10-foot timeline of 216 years of Black History.
“Communication and Community” Course Launched! 

We were thrilled to be piloting a new class for Grade 7 in the spring semester titled “Communication and Community: Healthy Approaches to Conflict, Collaboration, and Curiosity.” The course focused on essential life skills for the middle school years and beyond, including initiating and sustaining a conversation, conflict resolution, social media use, mind/brain education, confirmation bias, and leadership. Middle School Division Head Mr. Spear, the primary teacher of the course, invited guest presenters from among our MPH faculty, staff, and administration. Throughout the semester, each guest instructor taught a topic within their specialty, keeping the course fresh and allowing for students to build connections with our school leadership. Students also had the opportunity to practice these skills in a supportive, experiential learning environment.  
The topics covered in Communication and Community (C&C) are an important collection of knowledge and skills for all middle school students as they navigate a time full of developmental transition and challenges. Competency in these skills is vital as students strive to build healthy relationships, work toward academic success, and perhaps most important, live healthy, meaningful lives. 
Art and Mathematics in Cool Collaboration! 

Our Grade 6 students actually put their math skills to work in order to create portraits in their visual arts class this spring! In the process, and with the guidance of both Ms. Henderson and Ms. Reeve, students learned about the importance of collaboration and began to see how both subjects exist outside of the confines of the classroom. They learned to draw large-scale charcoal portraits using the Loomis method of drawing, and they relied on a lot of math to get them there: They needed to scale their drawings to ratio, practice with their compasses and protractors to create angles and circles, and use quadrants and points to check the proportions of their drawings. Check out the album for some of their “in process” pieces as well as some of their final work here!
Advanced Programming = Advanced Fun!
Both sections of Mr. Zlomek's Advanced Programming built video games in the Scratch language and programmed controls by which to play them. The students then had an “open arcade” and tested out each other’s games, providing one another feedback to determine where improvements could be made.
 Sing Me a Shanty (in Calculus!)
Ms. Meehan’s AP Calculus AB students were given an optional assignment: They could write a sea shanty (apparently quite trendy on TikTok these days) that covered all the derivative rules they’d learned in the first half of the year and then perform it. Some of the students simply wrote the song (or a short story), and some went on to perform the songs that they composed. Ms. Meehan reports that they did a great job with the rhythm and rhyming! Click here to listen to a group, audio-only shanty; click on any of the images to view some lyrics up close; or select the image at the bottom to see a recorded video.
MPH Community Donates More Than 5,000 Needed Items to “Wipe Out,” “Sock,” and “Can” the Pandemic!
One healthy way our community worked through the challenges of the pandemic was by reaching beyond ourselves to offer a helping hand to others. The Onondaga County Health Department helped keep our community healthy by providing regular, on-campus COVID-19 testing, free of charge, and our MPH4MPH Club members invited our community to “pay it forward” by participating in testing-day drives to collect needed items for our neighbors. As a community we donated more than 5,000 needed items to the Food Bank of Central New York, the Samaritan Center, and the Ronald McDonald House (an organization that was grateful to receive our donations of hand sanitizer, soap, and disinfectant wipes to help “wipe out” the pandemic).
Exercising our core value of kindness benefits the health and well-being of both the giver and the receiver of kindness. Thank you for your kindness!
Wellness Week! 
While our community’s health and well-being has been front of mind for every facet of the School’s program, MPH specifically designated the last week of April “Wellness Week.” During each day’s Advisory period, students (and faculty) participated in a number of activities, many of them taking advantage of the outdoors, to promote self-care and wellness in all forms. From nature walks to tea tasting, yoga, poetry, crafts, dancing, and much, much more, participants had the opportunity to pause, reflect, exhale, and find joy — perhaps in surprising ways or unusual places!
MPH Conversations

Throughout the last year or so, we have invited experts from among the extended members of our MPH community (alumni, trustees, staff, and parents among them) who are well versed in areas of particular relevance to provide their insights about these various topics to any interested listeners/participants (via Zoom). Following each presentation, these “Community Conversations” are then opened up to some Q&A and discussion. One such presenter was an MPH alumna, The Reverend Eboni Marshall Turman, Ph.D. (from the class of 1998), who joined us to discuss how to engage in a dialogue around issues of diversity, equity, inclusion, and race with our children (and ourselves!) — and the importance of doing so now. If you are interested in watching a recording of that conversation, you may view it here.
Raising the Curtain (and Gathering ’Round the Tent!) for… Fiddler on the Roof!  

“…the first show in MPH history where the actual (real-time) sunset is a part of the design!” 

The MPH Performing Arts Department presented an outdoor, drive-in, in-the-round production of Fiddler on the Roof, with the proverbial curtain rising at 7:30 p.m. each evening, Thursday through Sunday, June 3 – 6. With most schools live-streaming their shows this year, this in-person/drive-in format certainly represented an anomaly. Despite the limitations related to the pandemic, performing arts faculty and students alike felt it important to find a new way to safely present a musical. Just as all those engaged in the arts at MPH did throughout this unusual year, those involved in Fiddler… experimented in uncharted waters to develop truly innovative plans that simultaneously upheld the School’s Health and Safety Protocols while prioritizing the critical presence of in-person creative expression and shared experiences.

Click here to read more and learn details about the troupe’s innovative preparations and to discover just how the group made it all come together in the end. Click on the image below to enjoy a less-than-two minute take on the "making of" this production. 
Read More Like This!

If you would like to see complete issues of Snapshot, our weekly e-newsletter to current MPH families — and the publication from which most of the stories above have been excerpted — click here.