We have certainly been very busy at MELA! When you walk through the hallways you see students learning, working and having fun. I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break and now here I am, wishing you a wonderful Winter break! Time sure does fly when you’re having fun! Here are some updates and tid-bits from MELA: PBIS: We have incorporated MELA pride tickets - tickets that students receive from adults (teachers, paras, bus drivers, etc.) when they are showing exemplary behaviors following the MELA pride - Mindful, Empathy, Leaders, Accountable.
We had our first Pizza with the Principal right before Thanksgiving break - we as a school collected over 500 MELA pride tickets! Since then, we continue to collect more and more - we are getting close to our 1000 ticket mark! The next Pizza drawing will be the Thursday before Winter Break - December 20th.
You should have received your child’s report card. Please make sure to review it to get a better understanding of how your child is doing academically and socially/emotionally. If you have any questions or concerns, please connect with your child’s teacher. The staff at MELA truly believe in the partnership between the school and home - we need to come together to ensure your child’s success. Students are now taking their Winter NWEA assessments in reading and math. Once these are completed, we will look to see how much academic growth the students have made from the fall. We will also use this information to target where students need additional support and where they need additional enrichment.
It’s very exciting to see how the students are growing both academically and emotionally - our students are amazing and learning every day how to be better students and citizens. Thank you for your support and partnership. I want to take this time to wish you a Happy Holidays and Happy New Year! If you are traveling, I wish safe travels and that we will see everybody back safely and happily on January 7th!
– Jodi Markworth
Read the full December update by downloading the PDF:
We are excited to announce an exciting change for our school community for the 17-18 school year. As you know, we are in need of additional space as our school grows to serve additional grade levels and expand our academic program offerings to give your student a world-class educational experience and maximize the effectiveness of our personalized learning model.
This summer, MELA will relocate to the facility of the Church of the Open Door in Maple Grove, located at 9060 Zanzibar Lane. This location is more than double the size of our current facility and will have space for Spanish, fine arts, a computer classroom and a gymnasium. We are in the final stages of a 5-year lease negotiation with the church, so we anticipate making this our home for the foreseeable future.
We are thrilled about the possibilities that are now open to our community thanks to our new space. You can help MELA grow by:
In the coming weeks, we will be setting up a mock classroom at our new facility that parents may visit on Wednesdays. Details will be announced in newsletters and memos as they are finalized.
In the meantime, please feel free to contact Ms. Caroline with any questions or concerns about the upcoming relocation.
Thank you for the privilege of serving your children. We are so grateful for our families’ loyalty and support over the past two years, and look forward to more successes in the coming school year!
We want to share out some exciting news!
As you all know, we have been so incredibly fortunate for our amazing relationship here at Northern Light Church. This relationship has been so positive and this space has allowed us to grow our MELA school and our nationally recognized personalized learning model in Minnesota. The work we are doing at our school is transforming education across the country.
In saying all of that, we have been working closely with Northern Light Church to think about our long term goals and the growth of our school model. Northern Light and MELA have determined that after multiple attempts to build on this current site that it will not be possible to do so in the upcoming school year. In an effort to continue our overall school growth, we began conversations with Northern Light to work with us and allow us the opportunity to begin exploring additional school sites for us to be able to serve more students who need us. They have been very supportive of this process since our relationship has been so strong over the past two years. We are so appreciative of them!
Our Distinctive Schools team, our school management organization, has been working closely with the MELA Board of Directors to begin searching for new space to accommodate our school and our unique model. We are in initial conversations with a site. The site is in Maple Grove and as soon as we know more we will share details and logistics. This site will allow us to grow our full school model to host Kindergarten through 5th Grade with up to 425 students. The school site is located within a church building but the classroom size and the building size are much bigger and almost double the size of our current building. We will be able to continue to serve our current student population with transportation. We have a strong plan in place for retention and recruitment and we will share that with parents in the coming weeks.
We want to ensure transparency with our parents to inform you of this exciting news as we navigate next steps. We will hold a parent meeting on Thursday, April 6th at 6:00pm at MELA to discuss the new location, next steps, and answer any questions or concerns that you may have. In the meantime, if you have any questions please reach out to Mrs. Mitchell at email@example.com
Thank you for all of your support and your continued commitment to MELA. We are so thrilled about this exciting next step for all of us and our MELA school.
Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Executive Director of School Partnerships and Development