Happy Friday to all MPES families!

Even though it is two days away from Halloween, the staff and faculty do a nice job of engaging the students in academic tasks. For example, students are given time to independently read texts from the classroom library and the LMC. We know that not everyone celebrates these types of days, so limiting holiday activities is also a more inclusive practice.

Classroom library check out system


Magazines, newspapers, and comics in the LMC

Of course, the classrooms do enjoy a few treats on this day.

Halloween treats

Next are some general updates from the school.

Veterans Day (November 11)

Due to the continued challenge with the pandemic, the elementary students and staff will be recognizing our community veterans in alternative ways. For example, Kindergarten and 5th grade classes will celebrate our heroes along High St. as veterans make their way from the High School program to their next program at Library Park. Students will also be writing thank you letters and creating multimedia communications. Thank you for understanding.

Parent-Teacher Conferences (November 17)

Soon you will be receiving a request to meet with your child’s teacher to discuss how they are doing so far this school year. The plan right now is to offer a Zoom meeting by default. An in-person option may also be available upon request. Again, we are looking to limit our in-person contact.


A temporary city ordinance has been approved for visitors to park along Cothern St., across from the front of the school entrance, for a brief period of time. This allows visitors to quickly drop something off in the office. Note that the school side of Cothern St. is for emergency vehicles only. You may be ticketed if you park there.

Moving Toward Independence

If you noticed the picture of the classroom library check out system, it is one example of how we are consistently thinking about how to support our students as they move toward independence.

As educators, we know first hand how limited our time is with our students. Teachers get less than half a calendar year to teach the curriculum.

As parents, we don’t always have that same perspective. Subsequently we might not realize that our kids are ready for that next step toward “a bright future in a big world“.

Here are a few ways to foster independence:

  • When kids have questions about their learning, sometimes respond with a follow up question vs. helping them find the answer.
  • If you drop your student off in the parking lot, expect them to exit and walk toward the building by themselves.
  • Allow them to make decisions and co-lead home activities such as preparing a meal.

I am also a parent, and I will catch myself doing too much for my own kids. And yet giving them this space to try things out on their own says to them, “I believe in you.” Confident and competent individuals are the result.



Matt has served for over 20 years in public education. He started as a 5th and 6th grade teacher in a country school outside of Wisconsin Rapids, WI. After seven years of teaching, Matt served as an assistant principal, athletic director, and building principal all in Wisconsin Rapids. As an elementary principal with the Mineral Point Unified School District, he enjoys working with students, staff, and families in a collective pursuit of continuous learning.