By Marie Norkett ’23

When I was making the choice to come to Morgan Park Academy for high school, I had a few worries.

Luckily none of them came true!

In order to make the transition even smoother for anyone who is considering MPA, I debunked six myths that I was initially worried about.

Myth: The school is too small.

Reality: Small schools are loving. Being part of a small community adds levels of closeness and attachment. When you know everyone, it’s hard to feel like an outsider. When schools are big, you start to feel like a number; at MPA you feel like you belong.

Myth: I won’t make any friends if I’m new.

Reality: With our small numbers and small class sizes, everyone is your friend. The students here are much friendlier. We have more opportunities to get to know each other and stay connected through small class sizes and project-based learning. Unique characteristics are embraced and expressed through the play, art classes, and many clubs and activities we have. Whereas in a larger school, these talents and unique characteristics may be hidden in fear.

Myth: There is no school spirit because there is no football team.

Reality: We don’t need a football team because we have many sports to cheer for. Boys soccer, girls soccer, boys tennis, girls tennis, cross country, baseball, girls basketball, boys basketball, and girls volleyball — we have so many sports for a small school! After restrictions were lifted, we were able to bring on the school spirit with soccer homecoming games and basketball “pack the place” nights to continue on with our MPA enthusiasm.

Myth: The campus is so big that I won’t get to class on time.

Reality: When I first started, this was one of my biggest concerns. I promise 3 minutes is plenty of time. Along with free periods and most of your classes being nearby, getting to class is a breeze. The gym is the farthest building, and usually you’ll have a little extra time to get back from over there. MPA is also a beautiful campus, and the scenic walks give you a chance to refresh your mind between classes.

Myth: There aren’t enough people to do fun things.

Reality: We have so many activities! Our incredible Student Council and other groups plan things from movie nights, fall fest, haunted houses, winter fest, donuts and coffee on Friday mornings, catering days for lunch, and fun competitions between grade levels and the houses in our House System. Go Blake!

Myth: The school is so academically driven that I am going to fall behind.

Reality: With all of the extra help and wonderful teachers, it is extremely difficult to fall behind. Being a part of small classes gives the teacher the ability to tailor the class to the students and their capabilities. Teachers can create extraordinary curriculums, and offer project-based learning rather than test-based learning.

Teachers are able to get to know you and fully understand how you learn. You can also ask for help during your teacher’s free periods either about a test or a homework question. The teachers are here to help you and support you through any subject or a difficult topic!

MPA has been an amazing place for the past three years – I would even call it my home now. Transitions are hard, but I know you can fit right in!


Marie is a junior at Morgan Park Academy.