iMPAct Newsletter February 2010

Table of Contents

    A Letter from our Board Chairperson

    Singh Sahib Deva Singh Khalsa

    Dear Parents and Sat Nam to all,

    This school year is more than half way over already, and it seems like it just started a month or two ago.  I am writing to update you on recent events at Miri Piri Academy, as there have been some administrative changes this year.

    I’m thrilled to announce that the SDEI Board has elevated Jugat Guru Singh to the position of Executive Principal of MPA. This means that he is the overall director in charge of all facets of life and academics at MPA.  He has, as expected, taken this on with enthusiasm and has continued to demonstrate his strong leadership.  Jugat Guru Singh has long been the face and voice of MPA, and will continue to be as MPA grows and expands to spread the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan’s teachings, yogic lifestyle, and academics to future generations of children.

    This past summer the SDEI Board announced that Dr. Elizabeth-Anne Tchabo, “Bette Anne”, would be coming to MPA this academic year as Co-Principal of Academics with Jugat Guru Singh as Co-Principal of Lifestyle. Unfortunately, shortly after arriving at MPA in January as planned, Bette Anne needed to return to the U.S. for personal reasons. As a result of this change, Kirandeep Kaur has been promoted from Academic Director to Principal of Academics.  Kirandeep has been at MPA for over 4 years, and the students and teachers have enthusiastically welcomed this change. She is working very hard with the teachers to help prepare the students for the Cambridge exams at the end of this year.

    As the Board of Directors for this amazing school, we feel that we have a very capable and solid staff in place at this time and for going forward into the future. We rely on our leadership team and staff at MPA to continue to guide and challenge our children to expand and grow to their fullest potential as children, as young adults, and ultimately as successful adults, in whichever careers and endeavors they choose.  It is that connection to their inner essence that makes MPA graduates an asset wherever they go.

    I understand the sacrifices you, as parents, make to send your dear children so far away from home to the land of the Gurus and the Golden Temple.  I know firsthand, as most of us either have children at MPA currently, or have children who have attended MPA for many years, how difficult it is to let them go. I also know how difficult it is to keep them home after they experience the wonders of India and especially the unique spiritual lifestyle at MPA.  For me, this is the very reason I am so involved with MPA. When my own children attended MPA they would not let me keep them home for any reason, as they thrived in its unique environment.

    The values and strength my children and countless others have attained and maintained in their young adult lives are “priceless”.  I strongly urge you to continue to support MPA in any way possible, for the “MPA experience” is like no other experience young people could ever have anywhere.  MPA is a school directly designed over many years by Yogi Bhajan to support and enhance the soul to flourish and to create invincible humans who can be leaders, and part of the solution in this time of great change on our planet.  What could be more important than that?


    Deva Singh Khalsa

    Chairman of the SDEI Board

    News and Notes

    • The chaperone flights for the students travel home in May and their return in August have been announced.  If you have not yet booked your child’s flight, please do so as soon as possible.  Itineraries should be sent to Pooja Vohra at [email protected]
    • Enrollment for the 2010-2011 school year is now open.  Please start your application today!  Financial Aid applications are also being accepted until April 1st, 2010.  If you are not yet sure about re-enrollment, we encourage you to apply for Financial Aid just in case.  You can always make up your mind at a later date.
    • We invite you to subscribe to the newsfeed of our official MPA Blog so you can stay in touch with what your children are doing! You are also invited to contribute your own thoughts, videos and pictures of the school.  In order to contribute to the blog you will need to login to MyMPA with the username and password that were sent to you.  If you have not yet received your username and password, please contact Saraswati at [email protected]

    Cambridge Exams are Around the Corner

    A Note from Kirandeep Kaur, Principal of Academics

    We are pleased to announce that we have submitted the Final entries for the Cambridge International Examinations which will be conducted on-site in May/June 2010.  Six students in Grade 10 will appear for the IGCSE examinations in English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Combined Science, and History.  Six students in Grade 12 also opted to appear for the Advanced Secondary (AS) level exams in English Literature, Mathematics,  Applied Information and Communication Technology, Art and Design, and Biology/Physics and two students in Grade 12 will appear for the Advanced (A Level) exams in English Literature and Applied Information and Communication Technology.

    Prior to submission of final entries, we conducted open book examinations for both the Grade 10 and 12 students. The purpose of these examinations was to assess the level of preparedness of the students for the forthcoming examinations. The teachers used the CIE examination papers for 2009 as sample tests and adhered strictly to the prescribed time limits. The teachers were also given the marking scheme (as used by the CIE) to correct the papers. The entire process of examination taking and checking took 6 days and we had the results with us by the 7th day.

    Now that we have a clear assessment of each child’s strengths and weaknesses, we are implementing an intensive study program for the students who have opted for the exams. After the coming Spring Break, students will narrow their focus to study and spiritual life activities exclusively.  They will also take additional classes in Math and Science as needed.

    We are beginning with the Take Home Examinations for grades 10 and 12 after Spring Break. The Take Home Examination process involves the students taking one week of intensive review and examination , one subject at a time. The subject teacher will review, explain and then test the students (using past papers from CIE) on a daily basis for one week. Students will be given HW assignments and questions, which will need to be completed daily (based on the material covered in class). After one week they will move on to the next subject. The grade 10 students will review all subjects once and the grade 12 students will review each subject twice. In the first week of May CIE students will take the Second Semester Examinations, with the rest of the school students. This will serve as the last practice examination for them, as their CIE examinations begin from 11th May.

    It’s not going to be easy and it will be stressful for the teachers and students alike, but it can be done with support from all of us.  Students are being advised to create study groups to support and motivate each other, and I have already sent emails to their parents, who are an important part of supporting and motivating their children to succeed.  We look forward to seeing the results of all of our hard work over the past two years!

    Highlights from the Blog

    Humanology Course 2010

    Published on 13 February 2010 by admin in Blog

    Humanology Course 2010

    by Navjiwan Kaur (Mirabelle Lemoine)
    Wednesday, January 6, 2009, the first day of the humanology course and the first day of my transformation. I had heard all sorts of things about this course, some good and some bad. Yet I was longing to embark on what I heard would be an incredible transformation of myself, and […]

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    Yoga Competition!

    Published on 21 February 2010 by admin in Blog

    Yoga Competition!

    Every year our students compete for top Yogi and house points.  Their daily Kundalini Yoga practice is put to the test with contests in Stretch pose, Archer Pose, Sarbandande Kriya and others.  Students practice for months to increase their skills and focus.

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    Bringing the Vision into Reality

    Saraswati Kaur Khalsa, Director of Marketing and Admissions

    Last summer the Board of Directors and the Administration sat down to clarify and unify our vision for the future of Miri Piri Academy.  While that visioning process continues to evolve, the engine for its manifestation has also begun to take shape.  Over the past year our Board of Directors and Administration has invested it’s time and resources into the creation of a Development Office that will allow our vision to become a reality.  Mahan Atma Kaur Khalsa, whom most of you know as our Senior Girls Mukhia Jethadar, has shifted into the role of Director of Development.  She brings a wealth of experience in high level sales and networking to the table.  An experienced fundraising consultant, Nirmalbir Kaur, also came to India for a short period of time to provide training and help with the planning process.

    Up until now the focus has been on planning, systems implementation and database cleanup.  At the same time relationships were built in communities in the UK and Australia, and our first in-kind donation of computer hardware to upgrade the Computer Lab was received.  Thank you to Anand KY for your generous donation!  Within the next month the Development Office will begin to shift it’s focus outwards, and we are looking forward to involving all of our parents in the critical effort to build a broad base of support for Miri Piri Academy.  A foundation that can secure the growth and development of the Siri Singh Sahib’s vision and mission for the future generations.