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Regarding Challenge, Hard Work and Grit
Parents, students, friends and family,

What a week! Clearly, at Middle Park High School, we have experienced a great deal of change, new faces and new ideas about challenge. With that said, I am again, amazed at a community of teachers, parents and students that are doing the difficult work of engaging a challenging and rigorous curriculum. However, this does not come without some fear and loathing. As the adults in these student’s lives, we need to be supportive, consistent and encouraging as they go forth with our new offerings.

Many students have loaded their schedules and others are trying something that they never thought they were capable of. The question for the adults is, “What do we say when it gets overwhelming or difficult for the student?”

My thoughts on this are contained in Caroline Dweck’s work “Mindset”. It is about helping children develop resilience, “grit” in the midst of adversity and challenge. One of the greatest treasures that we can give our children is a context in what to do when the going gets tough.

It’s a simple A, B, and C recipe. A is the adversity, the challenge. B is the belief about adversity. C is the consequence. At times, I have seen students rush to drop a class to save the GPA, to not destroy the scholarship or college opportunity, to get rid of this nagging course that is making them miserable. Often times, students have not talked to their instructor, or engaged their classmates for a study group, and have made no effort other than to relieve themselves of this burden. They go from adversity (A) to consequence (C) without exploring what they believe (B) about meeting the adversity or difficult challenge.

It is the job of the adults to guide and help our children develop a belief system around adverse and difficult tasks. We have many sayings and quotes. Often, family stories of adversity and triumph are lessons that last a lifetime. I’ll be the first to admit I never enjoyed seeing my children suffer through any difficulty. But their pride in their personal success achieved in pushing through their unique challenges has served them very well in their adult years.

We can be amazing parents by supporting our children with a belief system around adversity rather than eliminating the moments of discomfort that comes with the challenges that life brings.

Winston Churchill said, “Success is not forever, failure is rarely fatal, but courage is everything.” You can nurture courage by building your child’s belief around challenge and adversity. Thank you for being the great community that is supporting a great school.
New for 2018/2019 - Concurrent Enrollment
Starting with the 2018-19 academic year, MPHS will be partnering with Colorado Northwestern Community College to offer Concurrent Enrollment courses. In this program governed by State Legislation, students enrolled in these courses can earn college credit as well as high school credit. Students can significantly reduce their college expenses, increase the likelihood that they will complete a college degree or certificate, and earn marketable workforce skills by successfully completing concurrent enrollment courses.

The college tuition is paid through an agreement between EGSD and CNCC, so students do NOT pay tuition for these courses. During the 2018-19 school year, CNCC will be offering College Spanish (Spanish III and IV) and College Algebra (Honors Precalculus) at MPHS.

Julie Hoff, CNCC Director of Concurrent Enrollment, will be visiting MPHS on Wednesday 5/30 to register students during study hall. Please contact Julie with any questions at
Welcome to a New School Year at MPHS!!!
Dear Parents, Guardians and Friends,

Welcome to Middle Park High School and to the 2018-19 school year. Hope you had a great summer. We are excited to have your children in our school. Middle Park High School has an outstanding record and tradition for preparing our graduates for the post-secondary opportunities.

We have a number of staff additions in English, Science, Special Education and PE. Also, we have new Head Football and Volleyball Coaches. Be sure to come to the MPHS Parent-Partners Open House Bar-B-Q on Sept. 5th, 5pm – 7:30pm in front of the high school. This is always a well-attended event where parents can become acquainted with the teachers and staff. Staff will have nametags and be wearing purple “Panther Gear” to be easily identified.

Welcome New Staff at MPHS:

Mary Jane Thornton – Vocal Music/Choir
Riley Flanagan – School Social Worker
Stephanie Miller – Social Worker Intern
TJ Walling – Science
Ryan Ledford –PE, Head Football
Ryan Wilson – Social Studies
Teri Creach - Special Education
Monica McFarlin – Family and Consumer Science (Catering)
Jonathan Waters – English
Vicki Sordyl – Heath/PE, District Director of Health and Wellness
Andrew Kazek – CREW Alternative Program, English
Cindy Rimmer – Assistant Principal
Mike Reigan – Interim Athletic Director

We look forward to seeing your children in school. We are partners with parents when it comes to your child’s education. Please feel free to talk to teachers or contact us with any concerns or needs. We are proud of this school district and its
high performing high school. Have a great school year.

Sincerely yours,

Thom. Schnellinger, Principal
Middle Park High School
New Things: Parking Passes
New Things:  Parking Passes
All students that drive and park on our campus during the school day will be required to have a parking pass. We realize that many students use multiple vehicles. In such cases temporary passes can help here. For safety reasons, we do need to account for all vehicles. If there is a unique circumstance, I have confidence that we can help you. Weekend athletic parking and car pooling after hours is not a concern. This is change, it is different. Thank you for your help and cooperation.
Social Media and Your Teen (printed from 4/17)
Of late, we have been confronted with a number of negative student behaviors, i.e., cyber-bullying, harassments, fatigue, and distracted learning. A common link that exacerbates the problem appears to be unregulated, unfettered use of social media, as in FACEBOOK, SNAPCHAT, INSTAGRAM and general cellphone/computer technology use.

Although these tools can be used for very good reasons, they can also be abused. For the school, I ask the teachers to have a plan and expectation regarding the use of technology, Chromebooks, websites and cellphones. If you don’t, “you get what you get”.

Certainly, in the home, if you do not have a plan, if you have not discussed rules and use of technology with your child, if there is not a time where the technology is turned off, THEN “you get what you get”.

As I speak to students that are harassed on FACEBOOK and a student reveals that they have two thousand “friends”, I am overwhelmed to think of the possibilities of predators “trolling” the child’s site and information. This is really dangerous. Look, teens are trying to figure out their social setting everyday with their peers. Many do this well. However, missteps occur during this time of life. They learn in those moments. Let’s not just hand the children a tool that complicates their world exponentially without talking to them about expectations and limitations regarding its use.

The school addresses cyber safety in the Freshman Seminar. Please visit the attached websites for more information. Review information with your child, discuss limits and expectations regarding technology use. Don’t just leave this for your child to sort out online with a stranger. Being an informed and involved parent is never a bad thing. Visit the sites. Have a conversation with your child.

-Mr. Schnellinger


First Month at MPHS and the Four Essentials
First Month at MPHS and the Four Essentials
It’s been a great month with great kids and staff at Middle Park High School. Classes are well under way and the students are starting to get into a routine. As I ask our students to be focused, I often lean on four essentials to be a “student”.

1) Be present, attend every day, pay attention to the lesson at hand. Attach yourself personally to something in the lesson or assignment.

2) Complete all your assigned schoolwork. It is best to do this on the day it’s assigned. Often, many classes allow for time to do homework. Use that time.

3) Have pride and complete work neatly. Do your best. Quality work always says positive things about your character and work ethic.

4) Get to know your teacher. They are available to help. If you need help ask. If school is getting out of control, talk to a parent, teacher or counselor. Certainly, you can see Mr. Penrose or me. We want you to do well and be successful here at Middle Park High School.

So, parents, that’s it. If you have questions about assignments and helping your child. We are full partners in your student’s education. Please call or e-mail the teacher.

Looking forward to the year,

-Mr. Schnellinger-