Spirit Week: Pajama Day!

Dress up days are a common American high school experience, and SPP is no different! We have a different theme for each day, and on Monday (Oct. 23), we asked students to come dressed in their comfiest pajamas! Here are some highlights:

And the winners for best dressed….

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Service Learning at St. Paul Prep

While freshman, sophomores, and juniors were taking the PSAT and Aspire tests on October 13, 68 seniors and six staff members spent a few hours packing meals at Feed My Starving Children. FMSC has been creating and distributing meals to kids in underserved areas since 1987, and has packed nearly two billion meals in that time.

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SPP has been involved with FMSC for the last few years as part of our Service Learning days, when students have a chance to have a positive impact on their community and the world by volunteering their time.

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This time around, the SPP crew packed 202 boxes of meals, which is enough to feed 120 kids for a year. The 43,632 meals will be distributed to starving kids around the world.

Great job seniors!!

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Advisor’s Angle: The Internet: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

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The Good
The internet provides many opportunities for people to communicate with one another via social networks, online games, phone calls, texting, etc. The aspects to this connectivity are the ability to easily contact friends and family who live in other states or countries, exposure to people and places across the world, and access to international news events as they are happening. Students can easily keep in contact with family and friends back home while living in the U.S.—and probably for free! This is a big change from years past when cell phones and internet did not exist, and phone calls made to other countries were very costly and rare.

The Bad
The internet, social networks, and online games are all ways that keep people engaged with their (sometimes multiple) electronic devices for hours a day, sometimes to a degree that is not healthy for the mind, body, or real life relationships.

Students who have constant contact with friends and family back home tend to be more homesick and not enjoy their time in America simply because they are not allowing themselves the time to build relationships here. If students choose to spend all of their free time on the internet instead of interacting with their Host Families and friends, this will interfere with having a successful exchange experience.

It is acceptable to use the internet, social networks, and online games occasionally as a stress reliever or as a social activity, but it is important to balance free time with other activities that are not dependent upon the internet.

The Ugly
Sometimes people forget that extra-curricular time online is a choice, because they begin to depend on checking or updating statuses, gaming with virtual friends, viewing pornography, etc. as determinants for personal happiness. These online habits become unhealthy (and verge on addiction) when daily life necessities such as: proper hygiene, eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, and exercise are frequently ignored. It can also be deemed unhealthy when students start to neglect and not put time and effort into real life relationships.

If someone begins to suffer physical pain (a sore neck, aching wrists, strained eyes, etc.) from excessive internet use/ gaming, it is safe to say that is not healthy and habits need to change in order to have a happier, healthier exchange experience.

So Much Room For Activities!

We have tons of great clubs and activities lined up this year at St. Paul Prep. Students had the chance to hear pitches from leaders of SPP’s various clubs and activities and the opportunity to sign up to join them at our Activity Fair on September 28.

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While some groups simply had a sign-up sheet, others got a bit more creative, offering ‘incentives’ to join a particular club or activity.

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Dance Club took their incentive to a different level, and it appeared to work great.

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Math Team also had a solid approach.

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Full list of Clubs & Activities at SPP for 2017-18:

Art Club, Math Team, One Act Plays, Table Tennis, School Store, Boys and Girls Basketball, Track and Field, Service Leaning/ WE Day, School of Rock, SPP Night Out, Student Council, Board Games, Dance Club, Korean Club, Ted Talk, Global Challenge, SPP Media, YMCA, Mount Airy Boys and Girls Club, East Side Boys and Girls Club

 

Photo Gallery: Soccer’s 4-2 win Sept. 19

The St. Paul Prep soccer team came away with a 4-2 win over Liberty Classical Academy on Tuesday, September 19, 2017.

Here are photos from the game!

Big Events This Semester

From academics to extracurricular activities to our famous SPP Nights Out, we want to give our students the full American high school experience.

We’ve already held our year-opening camp, played our first fall sports, and ate some chicken at our all-school picnic in the first few weeks of school.

We wanted to give you a breakdown of what’s coming up for the rest of the semester. There will be changes, such as adding more SPP Nights Out, but this will give you a good chance to mark your calendars. You don’t want to miss out!

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September 28, 4:30-6pm | College Fair

Since our goal is to prepare students for university and beyond, we want to provide every opportunity to explore your options for higher education. We’ll have over 20 representatives from schools across the country on hand to give you all the information you need to aid your decision on where to attend university.

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October 7, 7pm | SPP Night Out #1: MN United Soccer Game

Minnesota’s newest professional sports team, MN United, is part of America’s highest pro league, MLS. The game is at TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota’s campus, as MN United’s new stadium is constructed.

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October 11 | PSAT Testing

The PSAT (Preliminary SAT) is much more than just a pre-test for the SAT. Students who perform well on this test are eligible for scholarships from colleges and universities around the U.S. The PSAT tests skills in reading, writing, and math, and takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to complete. Don’t miss out!

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October 27 | Halloween Dance

Break out your best costume and dancin’ shoes! School dances are as American as apple pie, and this one you get to dress in your scariest attire!

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November 22-24 | Thanksgiving Break

Your first big break from classes, Thanksgiving is a time for family and food in America. Fill up on turkey and forget about homework…for awhile, anyways.

 

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December 7 | Art & Talent Show

Start planning your act now! Our talent shows are always a hit with students (and teachers get in on the fun, too!). We also get to show off the work of the talented artists of SPP, as works of art are on sale before and after the talent show.

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December 22-January 8 | Winter Break (Travel Opportunity #1)

While not the end of the semester, Winter Break is the first chance our students have to return to their home countries to visit family and friends (and escape the Minnesota cold!). Make sure to have your visa in order before departure!

Click here to view the full academic calendar, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for any schedule changes.

Niche.com Ranks SPP a Top Private School in Minnesota

Just in time for the start of the school year, Niche.com, a website that ranks public and private schools, has named St. Paul Preparatory School the 15th best private school in the state of Minnesota out of 74 schools.

As a part of their ranking, St. Paul Prep was named the #1 school, public or private, for diversity in Minnesota. We also rated high in the academics and college prep categories.

Over the years, St. Paul Prep has scored and ranked highly by Niche.com. Thanks to all students, teachers, staff, and everyone else for making SPP a truly special place!

Wanna Blog?

Are you a current or soon-to-be St. Paul Preparatory School student? Do you enjoy taking pictures, writing, or making videos? Want to share the awesomeness that is St. Paul Prep with the rest of the world?!

WE WANT YOU!

If you’re looking for a creative, fun way to document your time at SPP, let us know! We’re seeking a new batch of student writers for the SPP Blog for the upcoming semester/year!

Want to know more about this opportunity? Message us on Facebook or Instagram, or send an email to skoob@nacelopendoor.org and let us know you’re interested!

Not sure if it’s for you? Check out some posts (here, here, here, here) by Valeria from Venezuela, who wrote for the SPP Blog last spring.

TwInstagram Cities

Whether in St. Paul or Minneapolis, there are plenty of opportunities around the Twin Cities to snap an iconic photo and rack up the likes!

These spots are sure to get your followers to double-tap!

#1 Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis

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Not many other places can lay claim to a 60-foot waterfall within city limits, but head to Minnehaha Park near the Mississippi River in southeast Minneapolis, and your ‘Gram will earn #waterfullhunter status immediately!

#2 Cathedral of St. Paul

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Serving as the Co-Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St.Paul, the immense Cathedral overlooking downtown St. Paul. It took seven years to build (1907-14). In recent years, Red Bull’s “Crashed Ice” has been held in front of the cathedral.

#3 Stone Arch Bridge, Minneapolis

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Standing as the only fully stone arch bridge across the Mississippi River, this former railroad bridge has become an icon in the Mill City (Minneapolis’ old nickname). Great spot to snag pictures of the Minneapolis skyline and St. Anthony Falls.

#4 Sunken Garden/Conservatory, Como Zoo, St. Paul

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Let your filters run wild! A popular place for weddings, the flowers in the sunken garden change with the seasons, but it’s always a balmy, tropical feeling inside! And, while you’re at it, check out some monkeys over at the zoo!

#5 Minneapolis Sculpture Garden

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Snag one of the most recognizable images from the Twin Cities with a picture of the Cherry & Spoon Bridge in Minneapolis’ newly redesigned Sculpture Garden. It now features a 25-foot blue rooster, as well.

#6 Downtown St. Paul from Indian Mounds Park

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You can get a good ‘gram of downtown St. Paul in a number of places, but one of our favorites is from Indian Mounds Park. Colorful sunsets make for a good background of the “Saintly City”.

#7 Mall of America

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Take pictures shopping! Take pictures building a bear! Take pictures riding an indoor rollercoaster! Take pictures of your food! Endless photo ops here!

#8 St. Paul Saints game

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Crazy promotions? Check. Cheap tickets? Check. Ball Pig? CHECK! Welcome to the joys of a St. Paul Saints baseball game. What is a Ball Pig, you ask? Well, get ready to fill your Insta with fun. Also, the stadium is just a block from St. Paul Prep!

#9 Minneapolis Institute of Art

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Like old art? Like new art? Don’t like art? Go to the Minneapolis Institute of Art and be amazed! (And amaze your followers with pictures of 2,000-year-old pots)

#10 Rice or Mears Park, St. Paul

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Rice Park is good for that “winter wonderland” ‘gram, while Mears Park is a beautiful summer oasis. Both are located in the middle of downtown St. Paul, and are great places for students to escape and snag a few filter-ready pics!

Where are your favorite spots for the best ‘gram in the Twin Cities? Let us know! Follow us on Insta @stpaulprep!

One Clean Field Trip

Why are these students dressed like this?

Nanotechnology.

Last week, SPP Summer School students toured the Nanotechnology Lab at University of Minnesota, which required that everyone wear protective suits. The tour was led by Professor James Marti. He showed them how the lab creates smaller and smaller microchips for our endless array of electronic devices.

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After a brief talk with Dr. Marti, it was time to suit up!

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As Mr. Wiggin put it, “(The suits) are to protect the work, not the students!”

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Since the beginning of July, we’ve had students participating in our Summer School, which is a partnership with Nacel Open Door’s Short Term Program. Many of the students are from groups from France and Taiwan, though we have a few SPP students in the mix as well.

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Want to see what else the Summer School Program has been up to? Read about it here, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram!