August 31, 2018 | Vol 12, Iss 3, No 399



The Brink of September

Here we are on the brink of September. We are just weeks away from cooler days and sweaters. Hard to believe with the temperatures we've been having. We have had a truly awesome week, everyone had their picture taken, we had a terrific Parent Curriculum Night for Lower and Middle Schools, and today was our first Booster Club Pizza Friday! So many good things to read about this week, just like coffee - good to the last drop, so read to the end.


Last week I shared with you some things that I caught. I'd like to continue that this week! So pictured above is Upper School teacher, Hayley Adams (facing us on the right) with her Algebra/Trigonometry class, I caught them learning math outside! What a great way to get out of the classroom and get a fresh perspective on things.


I will leave you with one of my student interactions this week - today actually:

Middle Student: Hi! Hope you are having a nice day.

Me: I am and we get a three day weekend this time.

MS: Yes, but I will miss school.

Me: Oh! Well that is nice to hear.


I hope you miss school this weekend too! See you TUESDAY!


Featured Teacher

Pictured is one of our newest teachers, Christy Chase (in her classroom with the BFG looking over her shoulder), she is this month's Featured Teacher. Christy is teaching reading in the Middle School. She has lots of experience from other private and public schools locally. She likes to read, travel, garden, and do just about anything outdoors. She recently finished reading Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects. She likes Mexican food and salads. She has four children aged 18-22. She tells me that she likes "the positive attitude of everyone here and the attention given to the students and their learning needs." Here is a fun fact! She used to work as an anchor on CNN in the 1990's!

We are glad you are here and thank you for what you do!


We can Solve Anything!

This week in Algebra I we completed Lesson 3-3 which dealt with "Solving Equations with Variables on Both Sides". By this point, students have become equation-solving professionals as they have learned a 5-step process for isolating the variable. The class was really put to the test when they had to define a variable and write an equation from a word problem. I am so impressed by my Algebra I class, and how they are really challenging themselves with the more difficult problems. We also took our first quiz of the semester on Thursday, and the class had the opportunity to complete review questions for bonus. I was very pleased that each student took advantage of this optional bonus opportunity. Next week we will be moving on to another exciting lesson in Chapter 3. This time the class will be learning about ratio and proportion which contains very functional and useful concepts for everyday life. Keep up the awesome work Algebra I!!

--Josh Hersko, PreUpper Instructor


Fine Artist of the Week

Meet Miles Kirby, Senior – he is a member of MSA Bands' awesome Saxophone section! He actually owns and can play FOUR different kinds of saxophones – soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone! Because of his versatility, hard work, and overall fantastic attitude, Miles is our first Musician of the Week this school year. Congratulations, Miles!



Please note that Mill Springs Academy

will be CLOSED on

Monday, September 3, 2018

as we observe Labor Day.


It's All History!

In Upper School History Department has been busy.  With classes in full swing World History, American History, Economics and World Geography.  


In Greg's Economics class is fully engulfed in learning and understanding the American Economic system and other economic situations. In another few weeks we will start the Stock Market Game of Georgia, we have done well in the past and feel we have a good opportunity to do well this year as well.


Brad's American History Class is working on the American Revolution, Brad's Geography class is covering Europe.


Elke's World History class started the year with an introductory: "Why do we study History?" lesson, where students shared aspects of their personal family history and explained the ways in which they are affecting and impacting the world. They also started looking at Ancient Civilizations using a hands-on simulation exercise. Students explored the factors that contributed to the formation of the first human societies. They attempted to survive individually by securing the necessary food, shelter, and water in a given time. Sadly… not all survived. Picture 1: Scotty Owen, Picture 2 is Galton Schobloher

--Greg Bodeep, Upper School Instructor


Second Grade Loves to Read

Our second graders are working hard in reading class. They have already read two "chapter" books - Buzby and Here Comes the Strikeout. While they are reading and doing comprehension activities in class the kids also like to relax and free read in their spare time. Our reading corner is one of their favorite places to be! Pictured are: Zac Johnson, Zachary Hamil, Noah Mawad, Lucas Hennings, and Jansen Jones.

--Carissa Nelson, Lower School Instructor


Finding Your Location

Students are starting off the year in World Geography by learning about the Five Themes of Geography. This week we finished up learning about the first theme which was "Location". Students learned about the first map that was created, parts of the map, and how to find the absolute location of cities around the world. Students learned that they could use Latitude and Longitude to pinpoint a city's absolute location. In the photo Parker Borden is giving us a smile before finding the absolute location of Mexico City using our class map.

--LaToyia Armstead, Middle School Instructor


Drop In After School!

Did you know that you can drop into PM Programs? We would love to see you after school! Pickup is a 5pm, and the Late Bus is available. Contact PM Program Director Brittany Emge if you have any questions or would like to schedule a date to join us. Monday - Wednesday and KK's Club are $30/day, and KK's Mentors is $10/day.


Mondays: FIRST LEGO League Jr. (1st-6th)

Tuesdays: Games Club (1st-6th)

Wednesdays: Explorers' Club (1st-6th)

Thursdays: KK's Club (1st-8th) and KK's Mentors (9th-12th)



Please note on your school calendar that

Mustang Mania,

which was to be held on September 7, has been


We are in the process of replacing the gym floor and Mustang Mania will be rescheduled when that project is completed.


Bounce-less Ball

"Welcome to Honors Physical Science" explained PU science teacher Martha Muir at the conclusion of their presentations to her Honors class this past Tuesday. The students in the Honors class had been asked to develop a lab for all of the other physical science students to investigate if there is a relationship between the height from which a super, super ball is dropped and the height to which it bounces back and then use this lab as a means of explaining the Scientific Method to PU Assistant Principal Nina. The balls used were obtained from a science supply company and did have a great bounce potential. A great lab was created and used by all of the students and data was gathered, averaged, and plotted on a graph. The Honors students, working in groups of three, presented their work to Nina. Indeed, it appears that there is a direct relationship between those two variables: the higher the ball is dropped the higher it bounces back. At the end of each group's presentation, each group was asked to demonstrate to Nina how they ran their experiment and generated their data. Thud. Drop the ball again. Thud.     FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS  Pictured are Zach Burns and Julian Lopez-Sandoval.


Student Writers in Lower School

Lower School students Owen Burke and Preston Bonham have been writing an exciting, suspenseful book inspired by our library dog, Kayso. Owen wrote and illustrated the story line, and Preston illustrated the front cover. "Super Kayso and the Lost Book" is about a library dog who has to use his super powers to track down a lost library book. In the end, the man is caught and has to pay 300 million dollars in late fees! Our real library dog Kayso gives it 4 paws up (especially because he has "abs" in the story, and he's really fast!). The book was added to our library collection and can be checked out by other students. Thank you for sharing your creativity with us boys!

--Brittany Emge, Librarian


Public Open House

Wednesday, September 12

9:00 - 11:00am

Student Activity Center


Many of you have attended an Open House on campus, and if you have, you know it is a great opportunity for someone to get a good feel for what Mill Springs is all about. If you haven't attended an Open House, it provides potential families with an overview of the school, a wonderful Fine Arts presentation, at least one parent and one student perspective, a tour of the school and an opportunity to speak with the principal. If you know someone that might benefit from attending MSA, PLEASE invite them to an Open House or better yet bring them! Word of mouth is by far the biggest way families find their way to Mill Springs. We know that you sometimes have the chance to be "Mill Springs on the Street" and we truly thank you for sharing MSA!


Keeping it REAL in Algebra 8

This week in Algebra 8 we finished up Lesson 1-3 where students learned about Real Numbers. Specifically, students learned about the different number sets which include: Natural, Whole, Integers, Rational and Irrational Numbers.  Students were able to differentiate between the different sets of numbers as well as when it was appropriate to use each type. Additionally, students learned how to order Rational Numbers from least to greatest and finally they learned about Absolute Value or a number's distance from zero. I was very pleased with how well the class did with this interesting lesson. Following Lesson 1-3, we begin preparing for our first quiz of the semester which covered our first 3 lessons by working on a series of quiz review questions that counted as bonus. On Friday we took the quiz, and grades will be posted to Renweb asap. Next week we will continue moving through Chapter 1 where our next lesson will deal with Scatter Plots (Lesson 1-5). Another great week in Algebra 8!

--Josh Hersko, PreUpper Instructor


Your School Pictures are Ready

The following photo galleries are now completed and ready just click the links below (the password for all of them is "MSA202" it is case sensitive):



Since Upper School photos were just taken today, they will be available some time on Monday, once you CLICK THIS LINK, then look for Upper School (use the password above). But remember, not until Monday.


If you have any questions you can contact Marios OConnell our Photographer from MOCPhoto.


One Good Thing!

Upper School has started something new and exciting this school year!  At the end of each week, every student writes down one good thing that happened in school that week.  All notes are then compiled and displayed in our Commons Area.  Already, we have had such great OGT's: 

  • "I'm starting to lose my text anxiety!
  • "I made a 95 on my first ever Spanish quiz!
  • "I am new, but making friends already.
  • "The teachers have been helpful, especially during Values time.

Who knows...maybe this can start a new trend!  Not only does this demonstrate our Three C's, but it helps build our community and gives everyone something positive to reflect on from the week.  What is your OGT? 

--Tracy Schutz, Upper Instructor

MSA Proudly Sponsoring ...

Please be certain to save your seat by registering for The Big Picture today.


Annual Fund 2018-2019

This year's Annual Fund is off to a great start!  Brochures and appeal letters were mailed just last week and we've already received gifts and pledges from many of our families. A huge thanks to everyone who has helped us make this year's campaign kick-off a great success.  


Participating in the Annual Fund is the most is the most important gift one can make to MSA as tuition and fees never cover all of our costs.  The Annual Fund serves as a source of funding to:

  • Keep tuition increases down (annual tuition increases at MSA have remained at or below 3% over the past 5 years; much lower than the national average of 7%)
  • Allow us to attract and maintain valuable staff (through competitive salaries and benefits like 401K, insurance, continuing education)
  • Fund our Scholarship Endowment program (5% of the monies raised each year are set aside to help fund our scholarship endowment program)
  • Broaden our Fine Arts curriculum (giving students full access to programs in art, theater, chorus, and band)
  • Provide funds for various classroom enhancements
  • Cover unanticipated operating expenses (Unscheduled repairs, etc.)


Please help us reach both of our goals by clicking HERE to make your gift or pledge today. And remember...NO GIFT is TOO SMALL. If you have any questions, just contact Development, they will be glad to help you.


Be Social with Us

Would you like to know what's happening here on campus throughout the school year? Join us on the Social Scene. We have a few PINTEREST boards with helpful and/or interesting information for parents, students, and teachers. You can also follow us on TWITTER or like us on FACEBOOK where we spend most of our time. We sometimes post pictures on INSTAGRAM or videos on YOUTUBE. You might find something that doesn't make it to the MSA Weekly News so be sure to follow us on the Social Scene!


PEMDAS .... What?

This week in PreAlgebra we wrapped up Lesson 1-3 which dealt with writing and evaluating math expressions. For most of the class, this was their first experience with variables which is one of the fundamental concepts in Algebra. The class learned how to evaluate an expression by substituting a given value for the variable then using the Order of Operations to simplify. The class utilized one of the most useful acronyms in all of math: P.E.M.D.A.S.  Of course, we take it one step further by using B.P.E.M.D.A.S. when we have expressions with brackets [  ]. PreAlgebra also took their first quiz of the semester, and had an opportunity to work through review questions for bonus. My PreAlgebra class is off to a really great start, and I have an excellent feeling about the progress we will be making this semester. Next week we will start our next lesson on Integers and Absolute Value before we get to Adding and Subtracting Integers where students will learn an AMAZING song to help them remember!  Susan will have to keep her door shut because we sing pretty loud!

--Josh Hersko, PreUpper Instructor


Financial Aid for College

Wednesday, September 26

CommArts Great Room


Are you confused about financial aid for college? We want to help clear things up. We get lots of positive feedback from parents about this workshop every year. We hope you will mark your calendar and make time to come if this is something you have questions about.


All parents are invited - please RSVP here. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Counseling Department.


Do You Have All of Your Forms Turned In?

At this point I have emailed everyone with what forms were missing. Please get them in soon so that I don't have to email you again.  :)  Thank YOU!


Every student needs the following:


Student Athletes need to also include:


The Concussion Awareness form is something new, if you know your student is participating in sports, please go ahead and review it now, then I won't bother you later when I get down to that form.


I know paperwork is a drag, but it is helpful to us. I appreciate you taking the time to make it happen. THANK YOU! If you have any questions, please let me know.

--Cheri Harwood, Communications Director


Community Cares & Concerns

The Smith Family

If there is ever a care or concern you would like to share with the community, please just email me at any time, I will be glad to include either names or situations. For privacy, I will only list names and claim ignorance if anyone asks me for details. Cheri 

 I didn't belong as a kid, and that always bothered me. If only I'd known that one day my differentness would be an asset, then  my early life would have been much easier.

 --Bette Midler



Monday, September 3

  • SCHOOL CLOSED - Labor Day


Tuesday, September 4

  • ThesCon Deposit Due


Wednesday, September 5

  • 3:30pm Middle Soccer vs. Cumberland Academy
  • 4:00pm Varsity Volleyball @Howard School

Thursday, September 6

  • Portrait Make-up/Retakes and Group Photos
  • 4:00pm Varsity Volleyball @Brandon Hall
  • 4:00pm Varsity Soccer vs. Atlanta Area School for the Deaf


Friday, September 7

  • 8:30am Symphonic Band Rehearsal


Sunday, September 9

  • Rosh Hashanah begins at Sundown


Monday, September 10

  • ACT Testing window begins
  • Chick-fil-A Day


Tuesday, September 11

  • 4:00pm Varsity Soccer vs. Cumberland Academy
  • 5:00pm Varsity Volleyball @Fulton Science Academy
  • Rosh Hashanah ends at Sundown




13660 New Providence Road • Alpharetta, GA 30004 • (770) 360-1336

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