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Menlo Park Academy

2149 W. 53rd St. OH Cleveland, 44102-4409

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School Summary


Grades
K-8

School Type
Charter

Operated By
Menlo Park Academy

Sponsored By
ESC of Lake Erie West

Special Programs
Arts integration, Self-contained gifted & talented

Mission

Menlo Park Academy is a public school that develops the potential of gifted learners through an exemplary program of rewarding experiences that nurtures the whole child. We know that gifted children have special needs.  They learn best in an enriched environment designed to develop their skills while serving their different intellectual, social, and emotional needs.  True learning involves the development of the “whole child,” with the support they need to develop high-level critical and creative thinking skills.

Our curriculum offers more density, complexity, and moves at a faster pace than is available in typical environments. Children are also afforded the opportunity to interact and build friendships with their intellectual peers.

Menlo Park Academy is…
Integrity Driven:
Our goals and decisions are courageous and bold and always transparent, ethical and compassionate.  We are committed to providing a unique and challenging environment for the Gifted Child where they may collaborate and learn with their intellectual peers.

Community Centered:
We believe that a strong, collaborative partnership begins with trust, respect, and commitment.  Our communication within our most valued resource – a school community of parents, students, staff and benefactors – is thoughtful, transparent, and collaborative.

Student Focused:
In everything we do, we strive to ignite sparks of interest and passion as well as excite a self-directed love of learning at an accelerated pace.  Our mission is to offer an exemplary, vibrant, and unique program that will enable our intellectually exceptional children to identify and maximize their talents, while achieving academic, emotional and social success.

Empowered:
We balance challenge and demand with support, encouragement and accountability.  We offer a nurturing learning environment where each student grows in confidence while experimenting, thinking independently and learning to work cooperatively in a global society.  Students and staff are motivated to take initiative and use critical thinking skills to creatively solve problems.

The idea to start this school was first considered in 2007.  A few parents (whose children attended a charter school for gifted children in Lorain) were concerned about the direction the school was taking.  A short year later, the school closed and these parents reached out to others and inspired them to join their mission to create an appropriate and rewarding educational option for their gifted children.  This expanded group worked tirelessly during the summer of 2008 and was successful when their dream was achieved and Menlo Park Academy officially opened on September 23, 2008, with 38 students in grades K-6.  Growing to a sustainable size was an early focus, and the school ended that year with 66 students.  Menlo Park Academy has experienced steady growth since its inception with over 360 students enrolled today.

The story of Menlo Park Academy is one of perseverance and dedication.  We are proud of our many accomplishments since the summer of 2008.  We have purchased a property on West 53rd street and are renovating the building currently standing there for our future home.  We will move into the new Menlo Park for the 2016-1017 school year.

Special Programs

Highlighted Academic Offerings
• Spanish and French classes for grades 5-8. World Cultures classes for grades K-4.
• High School courses for grade 8 in Algebra, Geometry, Language Arts, Biology and Social Studies
• Accelerations by individual subjects or entire grade skipping if child is eligible
• All students receive a Written Education Plan (WEP)
• All accelerated students have a Written Acceleration Plan (WAP)

Student Engagement and Activities
• Edison Club – before and after school care
• Recess assistance – homework and academic help
• Chess Club
• Dance Team
• Pep Squad
• Boys and Girls Basketball
• Track and Field team
• Soap Box Derby
• National Geography Bee participants
• Scripps Spelling Bee participants
• Mock Trial Club
• Student Council

Parent & Community Involvement
• Partners with Dr. Sylvia Rimm and associates to help meet the social and emotional needs of children
• Monthly parent meetings with Dr. Susan Rakow

Student Resources and Services
• Peer mediation
• Individual sessions with Drs. Rimm, Rakow or Brewer to alleviate social and emotional problems
Technology

Menlo Park Academy has 1:1 technology for all students in grades K-8. Students in grades K-2 have iPads and students in grades 3-8 each have a Chromebook. The devices are integrated into lessons as a means to collaborate, research and create. For gifted learners, this affords them the opportunity to research and develop presentations according to the depth of their interest and intellectual abilities. It gives students the opportunity to collaborate with each other and their teachers both during school and at home.

Safety
Menlo Park Academy has cameras on the front door and parking lot. All visitors have to be buzzed in and stop at the office for clearance into the rest of the building.  All external doors are kept locked at all times. The staff is currently receiving ALICE training and will introduce the parents and children to the techniques in the near future.

Other
MPA students go on numerous field trips.  Middle School students go on overnight field trips to Mohican State Park, Camp Fitch, Chicago and Washington DC.  They also visit the Maltz Museum and Dearborn, Michigan.  The lower grades go on an overnight field trip to the Cleveland Zoo (grade 3) as well as visits to the state theater and an apple farm.

Special Education

Menlo Park Academy focuses on gifted education. The school also offers complete special education servicing, including speech and occupational therapy. The school also employs a full-time reading specialist.

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