Ravi Kaur

iMPAct Newsletter January 2010

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year to all of our students and families!  We are so grateful to be a part of your lives, and for the opportunity to serve you.  As we prepare for the coming year we pray that the Guru will bless all of our students with academic success and the mental and spiritual discipline that they will need to face the challenges of life with grace and courage.  May all of our extended MPA family have a year of great prosperity and joy.

In honor of the new year we are very excited to present to you our new website, complete with a special login area for parents and students and a blog that will soon be updated several times a week to help everyone stay connected.  We invite you to contribute your own photos, videos and thoughts about MPA.  If you haven’t already received it, your personal login information will be emailed to you shortly!

Students on Winter Break in Rajasthan

From left: Teo (Germany), Gobind (Brazil), Manee (UK), Tarun (UK), Balwant (Mexico) and below, Guru Partap (Netherlands) in Rajasthan for Winter Break

Table of Contents

    News and Notes

    • Anterpreet Kaur, co-Principal, will be arriving on campus on January 5th, 2010 to personally oversee the Academic department. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s academic progress please contact her directly at [email protected] Kirandeep Kaur, the Academic Director is on extended leave for personal reasons.
    • Re-enrollment and Financial Aid applications will be accepted starting January 6th, 2010. We encourage you to begin your application as soon as possible. Financial Aid applications for re-enrolling students will be accepted until April 1st, 2010.
    • Students will return from Rajasthan and Thailand on January 5th and begin classes again January 6th.

    Honoring Our Students

    Student of the Week

    Liana and Bhagwati Kaur

    Liana Hu and Bhagwati Kaur

    We are on the lookout for students who are excelling in both academics and student life. With MPA’s Student of the Week program, teachers and Mukhya Jethadars nominate students and make a decision each week about the most deserving student. Our English teacher, Jagat Joti Singh sais the program is “A great way to to motivate students. Students are more aware of their performance and behavior is better too.”  Bhagwati Kaur, a long time student sais “I think it is inspiring — it even inspired me after I won the award. it shows you you can get recognition even if you are not the best student– you still can get recognized.”

    Students have been selected for consistently high academic scores, active participation in student life, and/or improvements in one or both areas. Each student of the week receives a certificate and a gift such as a yoga CD or book and his/her name is posted in the MPA lobby. Students who were honored:

    Week of Oct. 26: Hari Akal Singh and Bhagwati Kaur

    Week of Nov. 2: Gurusundesh Singh and Tripta Kaur

    Week of Nov. 9: Sat Kartar Singh and Ongkar Singh

    Week of Nov. 15: Sat Prakash Kaur and Har Narayan Singh

    Week of Nov. 23: Siri Krishna Kaur and Siri Parmeshar Singh

    Week of Nov. 30: Maria Christina, Gurudev Singh, and Prabhjot Kaur

    Week of Dec. 7: Narayan Singh, Saibhang Kaur, Hargobind Singh

    Week of Dec.14: Hari Mitar Singh and Maria Betancourt Schwartz

    The Honor Roll

    Honor Students Siri Avtar Singh and Narayan Singh

    Thirty-four students made the MPA honor roll by obtaining all A’s and B’s. Miri Piri salutes the following students for their diligence and academic pursuit:

    • Siri Avtar Singh
    • Tashi Nyima
    • Narayan Singh Khalsa
    • Japji Singh Narang
    • Gururaj Singh Khalsa
    • Guru Partap Singh Khalsa
    • Gurusundesh Singh Khalsa
    • Simran Kaur Narang
    • Guru Dev Singh Khalsa
    • Guru Kartar Kaur Aguillen Garcia
    • Simran Kaur Khalsa
    • Saibhang Kaur Khlasa
    • Parmatma Kaur Aguillén Garcia
    • Dev Amrit Singh Shanley
    • Satpaul Singh Virk
    • Andrea Viviana Garza
    • Guru Karam Singh Khalsa
    • Harisimran Kaur Khalsa
    • Ramneek Kaur Brar
    • Har Narayan Singh Khalsa
    • Hargobind Singh Wester
    • Sat Kartar Singh Burmeister
    • Jaspreet Singh Virk
    • Liana Hu
    • Mirabelle Helena Lemoine
    • Gobind Singh Balberde Khalsa
    • Ad Such Kaur Gendelman
    • Savitri Kaur Beaver
    • Maria Betancourt Schwarz
    • Siri Krishna Kaur Khalsa
    • Hari Mitar Singh Khalsa
    • Guru Amrit Hari Kaur Khalsa
    • Ongkar Singh Teske
    • Sat Kiran Kaur Yanez Davila

    Implementing Cambridge at MPA

    Ravi Kaur

    Ravi Kaur

    Miri Piri Academy has made great strides this fall towards improving education for all students. Thanks to the good will and efforts of many, students are adjusting to our more rigorous academic expectations and many students are beginning to take greater ownership and responsibility for their own learning.

    When I came to MPA in August to serve as Assistant Principal for four months it was with the intent of organizing a program to personalize instruction and assist with teacher training and the implementation of the Cambridge Accreditation.  We have implemented a variety of strategies to support student learning – including a pull out program for students with English as a Second Language, a focus on the beauty and regard for other languages and cultures, in classroom support for students, tutoring, more hands on instruction, greater use of the internet for lessons, and differentiation of instruction. Also, in the tradition of the Siri Singh Sahib we are connecting the yogic and spiritual life with academic skills and knowledge.

    Students are doing a variety of special projects – sometimes by undertaking independent studies and conducting internet research, sometimes by tutoring others, and sometimes by studying in teams to promote their learning and retention of information. For a small number students who need it, we are modifying exams to reflect adjustments that were made in their curriculum. Also in support of Cambridge we are putting a huge emphasis on preparing for exams. Teachers are giving mini-quizzes, students receive study guides on content to be covered on tests, and we are using innovative practices to help students review content and prepare for exams. Students are taking these exams very seriously.

    Miri Piri is all about balance, however. While other Cambridge schools allocate 3 hours a day for studying, Miri Piri Academy, with its unique yogic focus and mission must consider more than academic excellence. To assist students with their studies this fall we have added additional study time so that students have 5- 7.5 hours set aside for study.  As we move forward with Cambridge we must continue to consider Miri Piri’s traditions of sadhana, seva, gatka, yoga, sports, extra curriculars. and meditation.  With that in mind we are establishing a culture so that youth will apply their yogic knowledge of concentration and focus to learn what is needed for Cambridge exams, even as they continue all the additional MPA studies.

    Currently, for some we are in the process of remediating student deficits and helping students gain a new confidence in their learning, and for many we are helping them improve their writing. We are raising the bar for our academic expectations.  Teachers are implementing a multiple intelligence approach to learning and they provide more opportunities for student choice according to individual student interests. Also to strengthen our teaching, teachers are completing a self-assessment, followed by teacher observations and conferences.  Each teacher has also submitted his/her own goals for self improvement. Together these steps should help us move forward with Cambridge.

    So does this mean that all 10th and 12th grade students will take the Cambridge exams that are scheduled this year? No, some students are choosing other options to increase their likelihood of being admitted to prestigious colleges and universities. Some students are putting their efforts primarily into studying for their SATs.  For some, the results of the mock Cambridge exams we held in December will help guide their next steps and whether they choose to sit for the Cambridge exams in May.

    To all Miri Piri Academy staff, students and parents, thank you for the opportunity to serve you this year. India is a country rich in tradition, sights, and sounds and Miri Piri, located in the remote Punjab, is a school that is holding a unique space for tomorrow’s yogis, leaders, and soldier-saints who will end up in all walks of life. Miri Piri is also a transformational experience. To be here is to feel its vitality and to live in its vibration. It is a honor to have shared a few moments with you in your home.

    Blessings to all,

    Ravi Kaur