October 2022

A Message from the Admissions Office

We are so pleased that you’d like to learn more about MPH, and we are eager to offer you a glimpse of our program and community in this Discover MPH e-newsletter. MPH is unlike any other school in Central New York. As the area’s only independent school, we have the flexibility to think differently about your child’s education, and we use that flexibility (along with the experience of our deeply committed faculty and leadership) to curate a holistic academic and co-curricular program that maximizes opportunities for student engagement and meaningful learning. We hope you will attend an upcoming Admissions Information Session to learn more, and we look forward to hosting prospective students and their families for a parent- or student-led tour in the coming months! In the meantime, enjoy the stories below, which offer just a glimpse our dynamic start to the 2022-2023 school year. 


Nicole Cicoria

Director of Admissions

Save the Date | November 9!

Join us for a Virtual

Admissions Information Session

Please join us November 9, 2022, at 4 p.m. for a Virtual Admissions Information Session.

Please note that Information Session attendees will be invited to join us on campus for a tour either in November or December (dates and times to follow Information Session!).


Head of School Transition Update

Following a national search, the MPH community is pleased to announce — and looks forward to welcoming — our next head of school, Mr. Jim Foley, who will join us in his new role on July 1, 2023.

You can read more about Mr. Foley here. Given this anticipated transition, and to ensure a smooth change in leadership, Mr. Foley and MPH’s current head of school, Dave McCusker, have been communicating regularly, and Mr. Foley will continue to periodically visit the School in person throughout this school year.

We hope you will also take some time to read a Welcome Letter from Dave McCusker, in which he shares his enthusiasm for today’s MPH experience and also highlights some exciting and important initiatives.

Incoming Head of School Jim Foley

Head of School Dave McCusker

Pre-K Sculpts Scraps into Collaborative Art

In their art class, Pre-K students learned what a sculpture was and learned the difference between a 2D object and a 3D object. They also talked about how their scrap pieces of paper could create different lines, including zig-zag lines, curved lines, and other shapes. These youngest of learners then folded, glued, and placed the scraps of paper to make a visually interesting piece of artwork. All the work was then assembled to create a collaborative sculpture. Future plans for these Pre-K artists include their learning more in depth about lines, one of the seven elements of art. 


Kindergarten Is Full of Scientists

Kindergarteners have begun learning the Scientific Method and are coming to understand how it can help them come up with an answer to a question. In their classroom discussion, one student observed that “scientists ask why something works or why something doesn’t work” and another noted that “scientists ask people around town their question.”


The Kindergarteners then tried their hand at working through the Scientific Method themselves, asking the question, “What will happen when you add food coloring and dish soap to milk?” Some of the hypotheses included: 

           *it will turn into a rainbow

           *turn colors

           *mix together and make another color

           *the colors are going to spread out

As a class, the students asked questions, hypothesized, planned, tested, and discussed the results. They are excited for a year filled with learning through the Scientific Method.

Brain Building

in Grade 2

Ms. Solomon and Ms. Berry did a STEAM project early this fall with Grade 2, during which students worked in groups and followed steps to assemble a variety of different structures using Brainflakes building tools.


In September, Middle School students taking Ms. Foster's Forensics elective learned the intricacies of fingerprint details and analysis.

MPH's Middle and Upper School Advisory Program

At MPH, students each have a faculty member who serves as their advisor, and each group of advisees averages 10 students in size. Students are scheduled to check in with their advisors daily; in fact, an advisor typically becomes a student’s “go to” adult on campus, someone who knows the student in a holistic way and who can provide support and guidance, as well as act as a liaison between school and home.

In addition to developing these relationships between (and among) advisors and their advisees, advisory groups engage in a shared and intentional curriculum that honors the ideals of the School’s Mission and Core Values. When Community Time in the daily schedule is dedicated to the Advisory curriculum itself, students are provided a unique opportunity to connect and communicate through meaningful conversation and shared experience while free from some of the perceived pressures (such as deadlines and assessments) they may experience in other areas of school life. Advisors employ and facilitate deliberate, purposeful group discussions and experiences that, among other things, aim to help students build a sense of belonging and develop healthy relationships. The Advisory Program addresses the topics and skills that students need for success and fulfillment in the rest of their learning lives here at MPH and beyond. Students will develop skills and habits that promote their cognitive, social, and emotional health, well-being, and growth. The program also provides opportunities for experiences that reinforce these habits of mind and body, such as service learning and civic engagement. Advisory sessions are interactive, collaborative, and appropriate to the development of the particular advisory group, whether Middle or Upper School, and the goal is for each experience to foster open communication in a space in which all participants agree to honor each other’s perspectives and stories.

Pictured here are students in Ms. Trouyet's Grade 6 Advisory who were getting to know each other at the very beginning of the school year and were having a little fun with props while setting their personal goals for the year.

What Floats Your Boat?

Ms. Henderson's Intro to Design class took to the water in late September as they tested out cardboard boat designs at the Fayetteville YMCA pool. Each team of four was required to get all four members across the pool and back, with the option of having as many as four in the boat at a time or as few as one. Results varied (especially with four in the boat), but the class will return in a few weeks having worked out the kinks in their designs.

Working in Nature

Students in Ms. Bonacorsi's Grade 9 biology class did a little fieldwork in early October to assess the stages of succession present on the MPH nature trail. Students used the Seek app on their phones to help them identify plant life and will later use these data to compare whether the plant communities are consistent throughout the nature trail. 

School Spirit in Full View

at the Pep Rally

Abundant pent-up energy — perhaps stored up from what may have been three years without a pep rally due to outside forces (like a pandemic!) — was released joyously in the gym on a Friday in late September. This much-appreciated pep rally occurred in front of a crowd of students in Grades 3 – 12, with a few younger kids peeking through the gym windows looking forward to the day they, too, will get to scream and dance on the bleachers.


The pep rally was stirring with energy before it even started, with the bass tracks of student-selected music rumbling low in the gym. Teams were introduced, student sections gleefully tried to out-scream each other, and the always effervescent Mr. Brown led the way as emcee. Then the games commenced: Musical chairs, "running into a wall at full speed to pop a balloon," and "eating an Oreo like a dog would" lit the way to dismissal and classes. All of it made for a rousing start to a full slate of Homecoming Weekend activities. 

Syracuse Mets Welcome Nearly 200 MPH Fans

On a lovely mid-September evening, MPH Family Night at the Syracuse Mets happened to coincide with Star Wars Night at the Mets’ home: NBT Bank Stadium. The entire event was a resounding success, with nearly 200 tickets provided to MPH families for an evening of baseball, Star Wars, rolling around in the fantastic outfield play areas, ballpark food — oh, and a win for the home team. 


For the first time in nearly two years, MPH alumni, family members, students, and friends returned to campus for a weekend of festivities and events on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1. The weekend was filled with sports, activities, tours, food, and visitors. It was a wonderful time to welcome everyone home again. Check out more pictures from the weekend here.

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 — view back issues here.
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