Minnehaha Academy Blog

French Students Take Home Honors for 2020

Posted by Amy Barnard on Jul 23, 2020


Both Middle and High School French students were honored for their hard work this year. Check out their achievements below!

2020 Upper School French Honors

Minnesota Department of Education Certificate of Achievement at the Intermediate Level (Makes the recipient eligible for up to two semesters of credit at Minnesota State Colleges.)

Avary Lessard
Claire Fortier
Julia Harris
Ava Knight
Josh St. Andrew
Max Yepez
Alexis Jacoby
Ethan Lessard


2020 MS French Exams

Middle School French students have acquitted themselves very well again this year on Le Grand Concours (the National French contest).

Seventh Grade French Honors:
In 7th grade we have 5 students, we had 2 honorable mentions:

Honorable Mention
18th Nationally and 5th in Minnesota
Giselle Geyer

19th Nationally and 6th in Minnesota
Miles Léon Kormann


Eighth Grade French Honors:
8th grade has 11 students.

Honorable Mention
16th Nationally and 14th in Minnesota
Oletha Angélique Collins 

19th Nationally and 17th in Minnesota
Aaron Daniel Melling

18th Nationally and 16th in Minnesota
Owen “Paul” Stanley

20th Nationally and 18th in Minnesota
Evelin Ève Garcia Balmaceda


Bronze Medalists
12th Nationally and 10th in Minnesota
Beckett “Bruno” Pilling


Silver Medalists
8th Nationally and 6th in Minnesota
Tito “Cédric” Sanchez

8th Nationally and 6th in Minnesota
Robert “Xavier” Wilson

7th Nationally and 5th in Minnesota
Kana “Adeline” Try


Gold Medalists
4th Nationally and 2nd in Minnesota
Elaina “Célia” Johnson


Félicitations à tous!

Topics: Awards, Middle School, Upper School, Academics

Senior Danyelle Robinson on Purpose and Voicing her Faith

Posted by Amy Barnard on Jul 21, 2020


This content is from recent Minnehaha graduate Danyelle's baccalaureate speech. Danyelle is second from last, pictured with friends on graduation night.

For the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to figure out what to say for this evening. I began to write about my upbringing, family and friends, the schools I used to attend, including this one, and how all of that has played into my faith. Although, during the last couple of weeks, my mind has been scattered and honestly, my heart hurts. I would be doing a disservice to the black community if I failed to mention the current injustices in our world today.

I was asked to speak about my faith journey; and that was difficult to try and figure out what that meant for me. As I was writing this, I realized that my faith is rooted in my relationship with Christ and the words I say. I believe I was called to speak and to advocate, and to share the love of God with His people. So on account of the health and civil pandemics that have harshly affected the human race in the last four months, I will reflect on my past, while paying attention to my present; and not to mention, my future. 

Trusting in God's Purpose

The year of 2020 has brought a series of unfortunate events, to say the least. No one could have ever predicted the death of basketball star, Kobe Bryant, a global health pandemic that causes significant fatality rates and alters “normal” life, or nationwide protests and riots as a result of not just one incident of police brutality on an innocent black man, but the thousands of others prior.

When bad things happen in my life and in others’ lives, I tend to try to justify why God allows those things to happen. Is it for growth? Did I or someone else do something wrong? Or am I just at the point in my journey where my faith is being tested?

I don’t know, but what I do know is that God always has a purpose. And most of the time we don’t know what that is or looks like. Proverbs 16: 1-4 says, “To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue. All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the Lord. Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans. The Lord works out everything to its proper end—even the wicked for a day of disaster”.

I think we get caught up in the media and the chaos so much that we forget that our God is simultaneously doing a wonderful thing behind the scenes. And we may not always be able to see that or even appreciate it.

Our Role

We, as people, like to assume that we know what’s best for us. That we know what to do when life gets difficult. But that simply just isn’t the case; we weren’t created to go through this alone. We need to look for guidance in times like this. So our job, is to start opening our eyes, start listening and paying attention to what the Lord has to offer.

I believe that once we do that, we’ll begin to gain clarity on our purpose here in the world and what actions we have to take next to achieve justice and peace. And not just with the current state of crisis, but with everything in general, from now moving forward. 

Clarity on My Own Purpose: My Voice

Growing up, my faith in God was, and still is, steadfast. I was born into a loving, Christian home, with a pastor for a dad. Shoutout to all the PKs (that stands for ‘pastor’s kids’, for anyone confused). My six siblings, our parents, and I, religiously (pun intended), went to church every Sunday. We would also have bible studies and devotions throughout the week, just to make sure we had that daily dose of Jesus’ love.

As I grew up, I began to use that strong faith foundation that was implemented in my childhood and apply it to my craft. I share my faith through my music, poems, story-telling, acting, and speaking. Junior year, I applied to be a Chapel intern, and I also joined Praise Band for Thursday chapels. I always knew that I was called to share my faith and all of the wonderful gifts the Lord has blessed me with. I had such an amazing experience being able to serve my fellow peers and teachers and I am grateful for every second of it.

So far, this year, I have been given the most opportunities to share my voice and speak my mind, mainly about current issues. As mentioned before, we don't always know what God’s purpose is for us in everyday life or in difficult times. But I feel like God gave me my voice for this exact purpose. And hopefully over the years, my words have inspired a few people here and there. 

Faith in Walking Out God's Purpose for Our Lives

Recently, I looked back on the speech I gave to the freshmen my first year here and one bible verse that I had included was, “And let not your behavior be like that of this world, but be changed and made new in mind, so that by experience you may have knowledgeDanyelle Robinson of the good and pleasing and complete purpose of God”. This verse speaks volumes in all aspects of our lives right now. I think this is just a reminder that ultimately we are made new in Christ and the more we have faith in that fact, the more our purpose here on Earth will become clear

All that to say, I am beyond grateful to have been given the opportunities to be a voice for my peers and to express and share my faith with my community and world. Thank you.

Topics: Upper School

Upper and Middle School Latin Exam: An Excellent Showing!

Posted by Amy Barnard on Jul 16, 2020


Every year Minnehaha Academy Latin students test their knowledge on the National Latin Exam. This year both Middle and Upper School students continued the tradition of excellence.

Only about 40% of students who take this test win an award of any kind.  At MA, the percentage of Middle School students who earn an award is 73%! 

Upper School students also held their own, pulling in 23 individual awards. Here’s the breakdown of those honors:


Latin IA Awards:

28 students took the test and 18 students won awards. 

Special Certificate of Achievement:
Máximo Maximus Martín
Finley Valeria Lefebvre
A.J. Alma Carlson
B Alma Sahlstrom
Elizabeth Prima Lee Gonzalez
Gisella Viviana Harder
Kaden Ignatius Wali
Benny Tiro Carlson
Leah Lucretia DiNardo
Mimi Veronica Blomgren

Outstanding Achievement:
Audrey Gaia Osterberg
Jaeda Anastasia Hutchinson
Lucas Lucius Eckman
Sophia Aula Verdoorn
Ben Augustinus Noble
Jeffrey Victor Ratliff
Makai Ioannes Bates*
Henry Horatius Olson*

*Missed only ONE question!


8th Grade Latin Awards:

12 students took the test and we had 8 winners. 

Cum Laude (with praise) Award:
Gavin Petrus Beck

Magna Cum Laude (with great praise) Award:
Savannah Silvia Switzer
Charlotte Catharina Wold
Gabrielle Aemilia Wamre

Silver Medal, Maxima Cum Laude (with greatest praise) Award:
Solomon Rufus O’Bert
Aidan Larius Ghylin
Ben Marcus Stromberg
Hailey Tulllllllia Hill 

Gold Medal, Summa Cum Laude (with highest praise) Award: 
Sienna Fulvia Kath

Gratulationes omnibus!  We are so proud of you all!



Level Two

Cum Laude
Victoria Hoekstra
David John

Magna Cum Laude
Simon Poelman
Lincoln Reichenau

Maxima Cum Laude, Silver Medal
Owen Hagedorn
Lars Ramgren
Ellie Novak
Benji Koeckeritz
Owen Hoffner
Geoffrey Shrantz

Summa Cum Laude, Gold Medal
Grace Kassebaum


Level Three 

Cum Laude
Zeke Daniel

Magna Cum Laude
Isaac Kostecky


Level Four 

Magna Cum Laude
Tim Siems
Leah Wasson
Chris Olson
Jordon Bates

Maxima Cum Laude, Silver Medal
Annika Currell
Gabriel King

Summa Cum Laude, Gold Medal
Alexis Stanley (Fourth Gold Medal)


Level 5 

Summa Cum Laude, Gold Medal
Sophie King
Clara Stein
Andrew Karpenko

Amazing job, students! Thank you for your consistent commitment to excellence.

Topics: Awards, Middle School, Upper School, Academics

Senior Evelyn Ramgren on the Challenge of Place

Posted by Amy Barnard on Jul 14, 2020

Evelyn Ramgren by Sarah Swanson yes copy

This content is from recent Minnehaha graduate Evelyn's baccalaureate speech.

When I first received the email asking me to speak I honestly had the gut reaction, “No!” I had no clue what I would say, but then I thought: I have to. It's like that thing you dread doing the most, but once it is done you feel successful, like cleaning or doing homework. But here I am today with a speech written and hopefully some words that impact one person, even if that is just my mom, because sometimes that is what matters the most.

To share a part of my faith journey is hard for me. There are many areas I could touch on, but one that has been a consistent struggle for me is place. The different transitions throughout high school have been greater and more challenging than I initially thought and during this time at my fourth school building of high school (my house) I’ve had some time to reflect on how place has changed and challenged my faith.

The Normal Year

Looking back, freshman year was maybe the most normal high school experience I had and perhaps was the easiest transition as well. Different school building, longer class periods, and taking physics was difficult, but fun. (Mr. Terfa, sorry, but honestly I don’t think I can still name Newton’s Laws).  Even though we came in as new ninth graders, the actual building felt like home. 

I remember on nice days when people would go into the courtyard and just sit during activity period relaxing under a big oak tree or “studying” while talking to friends. But personally my favorite place was the library. I would arrive early every morning and go up the three flights of stairs to a bench right near the big bird book. Sometimes I had homework and other days I would sit there and read a book, loving the sun shining in through the windows. Ms. Morris often would come over and say good morning and check in on me. I just knew I was in a location that was safe and it was a place that made me want me to grow in knowledge and in spirituality. The old Upper School Campus was my place. The library was my place.

"Minnehaha Academy Strange"

The next two years of high school were weird in what I am now categorizing as “Minnehaha Academy strange." Very few people I meet going forward in my life will be able to say they spent two years of Upper School in a business park due to their building getting destroyed in an explosion. Going from a pretty big campus with a gym and a chapel to a place that was pretty much one hallway was quite an adjustment. I struggled with feeling at peace with where I was physically which then affected me inwardly. I felt more anxious and unsure about what my future held after knowing anything can happen, both bad and good.

One place I could calm myself was in choir. I didn’t see it necessarily at the time, but having the opportunity to express my feelings and thoughts was freeing. During the crazy polar vortex of junior year, we were preparing for the Madrigal review and even when school was closed Ms. Lutgen had us gather and sing. I clearly remember how anxious everyone was, but during those moments of singing the feelings of uncertainty, worry, and stress were pushed aside and replaced with laughter, joy and peace. In that moment, I realized that gathering together and supporting one another was my place. Making music was my place.

Walking Through Grief

Senior year arrived and that is where a new MA strange was forming.  It was exciting and hopeful to be in our new building, but I was surprised about the mixed emotions I felt. The first time I walked into the new building I clearly thought “This smells like a new car and there are so many lights." I also was not prepared to have stairs again. Walking up to advisory or English on the third floor was a struggle some days, and I honestly wish we could walk across the roof to move more efficiently. After the first three days of school though, a wave of loss hit me. I hadn’t thought about how much felt wrong being in a brand new building because it also felt right to be back at the Upper School campus. 

That Friday I had a guttural feeling that I could not be in the new part of the building anymore. I decided to go to the chapel before I had to go to soccer practice to be alone. Entering through the dark stage was calming, but it was also the first moment that I began to reflect on my journey to get to that moment, and I broke down. The loss of the old Upper School campus felt strong as did the loss of Mendota Campus, which to be frank, felt unexpected. Yes, I spent the majority of my Upper School career there, so I should have expected more grief, but somehow I had just blocked it from my mind until that moment.

I could have stayed in that room for the rest of the day, but Mr. Freeman walked in looking for Shannon, and instead found a wet faced Evelyn of whom he asked what was wrong and allowed me to stay there without getting a detention (even if he did mention it being a possibility).

Finding My Place

After I left, I attempted to continue on to a normal afternoon, but something new occurred to me: it is okay to feel loss and renewal at the same time. The chapel and the stage are my place. Being reflective helps me find my place.

Coming up with a conclusion to my Upper School career is hard, but two Bible verses come to mind. Our freshman year theme verse was Hebrews 10:23, which reads “ Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” This year’s Bible verse, Isaiah 43:11, says “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” These verses remind me that no matter the wilderness we are in, the truth is that God is making a way that is greater and bigger than any of us can imagine. God knows our place and he can be trusted to keep his promises.

We can hold tightly to a place, knowing place is not always a location. It could be a library, or a stage, or making music with others. It may even be a wilderness. God knows our place.  He will meet us there through people, experiences, and physical locations.

Minnehaha Academy is my place. Class of 2020, Minnehaha Academy is our place. Amen

Topics: Upper School, 3100 Campus

Senior Honors: Class of 2020

Posted by Amy Barnard on Jul 9, 2020


It's been quite the journey for the class of 2020: This group of students passed through three separate buildings (the old Upper School building, Mendota campus, the new 3100 building), saw two shut downs for health safety (norovirus in 2017 and covid-19 this year), watched multiple teams take state championships, and pulled in one award after another for their academic excellence.

"From the explosion to the coronavirus, our class has grown stronger together," says senior Jenna. "Minnehaha seniors have really been through it all. We've learned that things may not go our way or how we expect...but we've learned how to adjust to adversity and how to overcome it. Through it all, the class of 2020 has come out stronger than ever and ready to take on the world."

Here is a run down of the honors and awards handed out at this year’s Senior Honors Night:


Minnehaha Academy Distinguished Graduates
Jack Daenzer ● Annika Johnson ● Andrew Karpenko ● Clara Stein

Minnehaha Academy 4.0 Scholars
Allison Callstrom ● Mia Curtis ● Jack Daenzer ● Annika Johnson ● Andrew Karpenko Tessa Leiner ● Clara Stein ● Brynne Whitman

National Merit Finalists
Jack Daenzer ● Andrew Karpenko ● Clara Stein

National Merit Commended Scholars
Patrick Cullinan ● Samuel Harris ● Annika Johnson 


 Leadership - Citizenship - Scholarship Awards

AAA Academics, Arts and Athletics Award
Jordan Brown ● Andrew Karpenko (also winner at the regional level)

American Legion Citizenship Award
Elaina Drake ● Kaden Johnson

Dennis and Marcia Pearson Award
Arne Christiansen ● Danyelle Robinson

Minnehaha Academy Exemplary Service Award
Trent Chiodo ● McKenzie Thompson

Minnehaha Award
Danyelle Robinson

President’s Award in Arts & Scholarship
Grace Anderson ● Patrick Cullinan

President’s Award in Athletics, Leadership, and Scholarship
Annika Johnson ● Andrew Karpenko

Principal’s Leadership Award
Arne Christiansen ● Mia Curtis

Ruth Berg and John Carlson Servant Leadership Award
Trent LeVahn ● Evelyn Ramgren

Sons of the American Revolution Award
Juliette Kline


Athletic Awards

Athletic Director Josh Thurow called the 2020 class "The greatest athletic class in school history."

Athena Award
Kate Pryor

Best Senior Athletes
Jalen Suggs ● Mia Curtis

Three Sport Athletes
Trace Chiodo ● Arne Christiansen ● Pearl Fallin ● Taly Gentolizo ● Kylee Kassebaum ● Isaac Laddusaw ● Terry Lockett ● Kate Pryor ● Peter Shaffer ● Bennett Thurow


English Department Award

Fitzgerald Award
Clara Stein


Fine Arts Department Awards

John Phillip Sousa Award
Andrew Karpenko

Louis Armstrong Jazz Award
Adam Coles

National School Choral Award
William Hite ● Juliette Kline

Excellence in Theatre Performance Award
Grace Anderson ● Trent Chiodo

Media Arts Award: Excellence in Filmmaking
Arne Christiansen


French Department Award

Minnesota Department of Education Certificates in French
Trent Chiodo ● Peter Fortier ● Sam Harris ● Kate Hennings ● Brynne Whitmann


Latin Department Award

National Latin Exam: Gold Medals 
Andrew Karpenko ● Clara Stein


Mathematics Awards

Council of Presidential Awardees in Math
Sam Harris ● Annika Johnson ● Michael DiNardo ● Jack Daenzer ● Andrew Karpenko

Newton Award
Patrick Cullinan ● Clara Stein


Senior Science Award
Clara Stein


Congratulations, seniors! We are so proud of your hard work and commitment to excellence. May you continue to find joy and success in the next leg of your journey!

Topics: Awards, Upper School, Academics

A Letter from a Student

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Mar 30, 2020

Untitled design (5)-1We are continually blessed by our students on a daily basis in big and small ways. The letter below was sent by an Upper School student last week and provided encouragement to us all. Especially in times like these, acts of kindness do not go unnoticed. May this be an encouragement to us all to show kindness and grace to those in our lives. It matters.

To the teachers, staff, and faculty of Minnehaha Academy,

I hope this email finds you well in this crazy time in history. I also hope that you and your families are all healthy. For those who I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, my name is Rebecca from the junior class. 

I know this is a very unprecedented time for everyone, which frankly no one has control over. I wanted to write personally, and informally to everyone to try my best to lift some spirits. Not to brag, but many of my hockey teammates have looked up to me for positive energy. Many of us have differing opinions on just about everything in today’s world, which you can add this pandemic to the long list. However, I’m here to find the middle edge of a coin and shed some positivity. 

As educators, you all were given an extreme challenge, one that is very frustrating, stressful, overwhelming, and seemingly impossible. I cannot imagine the stress and pressure that has been put onto you these last three weeks. In saying that I would not trust anyone else in the world to help the students get through this than the current faculty and staff of MA. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of the most passionate teachers I’ve ever had, and have come to know many of you on a more personal level these last three years. The amount of resiliency and determination I have found in this staff alone is overwhelming. 

I understand I am only a seventeen year old girl who hasn’t lived much life yet. As cliche and cheesy as it sounds, I have full faith that everyone can make it out of this. You will need to work harder than ever before to help your students get through this too. But, like I said before, I don’t trust anyone else more than I trust you. It is absolutely going to be hard, but welcome to delayed gratification. I know you have all been through so much so far, but I’m asking you to keep going. Keep planning, keep re-writing those lessons, keep answering emails, keep re-working schedules, keep making selfless sacrifices, keep finding that small thing in life that keeps you going. You have worked so hard already and I just want you to know that there is at least one student who sees that. I am forever grateful for everyone who makes Minnehaha what it is. Lastly, I love you all. I hope this helped a little. 

Something that has helped me through this is a prayer I say everyday: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. 

From Junior,


Topics: Upper School, Caring Community, Online Learning

Transferring from Chinese Immersion to Minnehaha Academy

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Mar 20, 2020

2019-SUMMER-ANNIKA-3 copy

We checked in with senior Annika to ask about her experience transferring from Yinghua Academy (a Chinese immersion school) to Minnehaha Academy. Read on to discover more about the transition.

Q: At what point in your school journey did you transition from Yinghua to MA?
A: I came to Minnehaha my freshman year, after I graduated from Yinghua.

Q: What concerns do you remember having about this transition? How did it work out?
A: Apart from the general nerves of attending a new school, I was nervous about leaving my close group of friends (we had 25 people in my class) and nervous about maintaining my Chinese. Minnehaha has given me another close and welcoming school environment and has provided me with opportunities to continue learning Chinese.

Q: How was the adjustment to the differing academic style for you? (Different styles and culture around teaching, assignments, etc.)
A: Teachers at Minnehaha are less strict but just as caring as my Chinese teachers at YA. My teachers are my favorite part about Minnehaha. Adjusting was very smooth because Yinghua prepared me well for the rigor of high school. It was also my first time learning math in English but that wasn’t a problem! 

Q: What have you been doing to keep up your Chinese? How has MA supported this journey for you?
A: I finished the course curriculum sophomore year and then continued it on my own and took AP Chinese my junior year. Journalism has also given me the opportunity to keep it up. I’ve written bilingual articles and also created my own bilingual podcast with Mr. Westrem’s help. Now my family is hosting a Chinese exchange student from MA which is helpful because she speaks Chinese with me. It certainly took a bit more initiative to self teach and maintain Chinese on my own but Minnehaha has been helpful throughout the process.

Q: What was your journey of finding new friendships like? Looking back, do you have any advice for other new students who might transition into the community?
A: My process was good, even though I came from a class of 25 it doesn’t feel that much bigger now. I wish I had known to reach out more earlier on and to try and connect with as many people as possible. Minnehaha is small so you can really make connections with almost everyone here and they can make a big difference.

Q: What have you most enjoyed about your time at MA?
A: I enjoy all the opportunities MA offers me. I’m able to be involved in so many areas, hold leadership roles, and contribute in a way that I couldn’t at other schools. Classes are engaging and challenging. I like that at MA I can push myself to become the best student I can be.

Q: What classes have you most enjoyed during your time at MA?
A: I’ve loved the journalism program here. I’ve learned so much practical knowledge and have gotten to do real-world articles and interviews. I’ve also gotten to attend events like the final four and broadway plays through journalism. Right now, I love AP Econ as well, it gives me an interesting perspective from which I can view the world.

Q: Do you plan to keep up with your Chinese in the future or do any post-secondary related work? How?
A: I’m potentially interested in foreign service and global health. Right now global health feels especially relevant and I would love to be a part of that and help in any way I can. No matter what career path I choose I know that I can find a way to utilize my Chinese knowledge just because Chinese people and culture are relevant almost everywhere you go. I really love the culture and want to continue learning about it. 

Q: What advice would you give to Chinese immersion students considering MA?
A: Take every opportunity to learn Chinese in creative new ways here, those have been my personal favorites. Getting to practice Chinese by creating a podcast and conducting interviews has been a new way to push myself and develop valuable and practical language skills.

Send me information about Minnehaha Academy!

Topics: Upper School

Online Discussion: 5 Tips for Creating Constructive Conversations

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Mar 18, 2020

2020-US-Students-Online-MinnehahaAcademy-Minneapolis-Minnesota-3 copyConnecting through the internet has never been more critical than it is right now. We are thankful for this technology that can bring us together when we can't safely be together in person. We can support each other, learn from each other, and create meaningful connections with classmates, colleagues, friends, and family if we approach our conversations in a mindful way.

Upper School Sacred Studies teacher Dr. Crafton has created these guidelines for participating in constructive online conversations.

"Our online conversations can never duplicate face-to-face conversations," said Dr. Crafton. "So much of our communication is embedded in non-verbal elements: context, tone, timing and rhythm, facial and body language cues, and most importantly personal presence. However, with some effort we can create effective replacements. My hope through these guidelines is to move toward that goal."

Online Discussion Guidelines

  1. Speak your ideas online as you would in the classroom. Imagine that you are having a conversation in person with your classmates and your teacher when you write. 
  2. Respect your classmates and teacher. The same rules we have when face to face apply online; and please remember that it is easier to fall into bad habits online than it is when face to face. Here are some ways you can show respect:
    • Actively engage with your teacher and classmates by considering what others are saying and by contributing your own ideas.
    • Discuss rather than argue or debate; respond to ideas, don’t attack people.
    • Make sure that you understand what others are saying before deciding whether you agree or disagree.
    • Be honest and genuine in what you say; earnestly seek after truth.
    • Assume the best of others.
    • Snarky or derogatory comments are not allowed; be careful about using humor – it is much harder to interpret humor appropriately online than it is in person.
    • Observe confidentiality; you are encouraged to talk about ideas outside of the context of the class, but not about people who are in the class.
  3. Write in full sentences or phrases using good spelling and grammar; don’t use the shorthand typical of texting. And DON’T WRITE IN ALL CAPS – it’s annoying and sends the wrong message.
  4. Add to the communal conversation; simply posting “I agree” or “good idea” is not enough. Say why you agree or disagree.  And don’t simply repeat what someone else has said.
  5. Be brief and on point — remember that the other members of the class will be reading and responding to you, too.

Topics: Middle School, Upper School, Online Learning

Top 8 Tips for Online Learning

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Mar 17, 2020

2020-US-Students-Online-MinnehahaAcademy-Minneapolis-Minnesota-4 copyAs teachers and students plan for online learning, we wanted to share these top eight tips that will help set students up for success during online learning (or distance learning).

  1. Attend class: This may seem like a basic tip, but the best way to get the most out of online learning is to treat it just as you would a school day. Show up to class on time and ready to learn.
  2. Complete assignments: Assignments given during online learning are just as important to complete as assignments given during a more typical class experience. By completing your assignments on time and with care, you'll keep up with your studies and be ready to hit the ground running when you are back in the classroom.
  3. Create a workspace: Set up a special spot for you to complete your classwork and join online class discussions. Having a set spot for your learning will ensure you have the tools you need to do your work. Think about what you'll need for your class (pencils, art supplies, paper, books, digital device, headphones, etc). 
  4. Set a schedule: Your teacher will most likely provide a daily schedule for you during the school day. Keeping a schedule will help you stay on track with your work, will remind you to take breaks, and will help you create a rhythm to your day. It's also rewarding to look back at your daily schedule and see all of the amazing things you've accomplished!
  5. Reduce distractions: Working from home can be quite distracting. When you set up your workspace, find a quiet space to sit. Remember to shut off the TV, music, and eliminate social media distractions- just as you would if you were in a classroom. 
  6. Think about how you learn best: When do you do your best work? Is it in the morning or afternoon? Plan on doing work that requires creative energy and thought at those times.  Also, consider how you learn. Do you learn best through listening, reading, or doing? Work with your teacher to determine ways you can learn the material using your preferred learning method. 
  7. Participate: Just because you aren't sitting next to your classmates and teachers doesn't mean you shouldn't join in on the learning. Chime in on class discussions and set up times to chat with classmates to work on group assignments.
  8. Take Breaks: Remember to step away from your desk to stretch, take a walk around the block, play a game, or spend time with your family. It's important to take breaks that will leave you feeling refreshed. It can be easy to sit in front of a screen all day, but remember that you'll do best by stepping outside for fresh air or a conversation with family.

We've also included this Online Etiquette Guide for online learning created by our Middle School science teacher Emily Firkus with her students.

Google Meet Etiquette white background


Topics: Middle School, Upper School, Lower School, Academics, Online Learning

Visiting Minnehaha's Upper School [Photos]

Posted by Rebekah Peterson on Feb 5, 2020

"What's it like at the Upper School?" 

This is one of the big things on the minds of eighth graders as spring comes into view. 

Last week, these students had the opportunity to find out for themselves what Upper School is like! Eighth graders spent the morning visiting classes such as physics, English, world history, and phy ed, participating in activities and meeting teachers. They learned about what ninth grade courses had in store for them and the fun things they would learn.

After a snack break, students learned about electives such as fine arts and world languages. 

We can't wait to welcome these students to the Upper School halls next fall!

See the entire photo gallery.

Send me information about Minnehaha Academy!

Topics: Middle School, Upper School

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