September 7, 2018 | Vol 12, Iss 4, No 400



Very Labor-Intensive

Today we were supposed to hold Mustang Mania. Sadly we were not able to (it will be rescheduled). This was an unexpected situation. You may not realize it, but over the summer there was a flood in the Student Activity Center and the gym floor was terribly damaged. The damage was so severe that we had to take up the entire gym floor and have it completely replaced. It is coming along, but this is a very labor-intensive project. The floor has been replaced (in the process - left photo) and some waxing has taken place (right). The basketball (and other) markings will be painted next week, then the floor will be protected with a sealer, finally it needs to dry. We are still a few weeks away from a finished product. Our PE classes (and instructors) have been very patient while we hold PE everywhere but in the gym. I do have to say, that maple wood sure looks pretty. 

This was a short week for everyone and we wrapped up the student pictures (look for info below about accessing/ordering them). Keep an eye out for Fine Arts Creativity Week, which starts Monday, they always have some surprises in store for everyone.

Enjoy your weekend and we will see you Monday!


Fine Artist of the Week

Our Fine Artist of the Week is Liam Couch (U11). Liam has joined us for his first production with the one-act play "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)". He is wildly talented and is a born leader. He is a professional despite it being his first time as an actor. We hope he becomes a regular performer on our stage. Come see him in the One-Act play.


Athletic Informational Meetings

The following student meetings will be taking place this coming week if you are interested in either basketball or Swimming:

Varsity Basketball (Boys & Girls)

  • Tuesday, September 11
  • Coach Greg's Room - Upper School - 509
  • 10:10am break time

Swim Team Meeting

  • Wednesday, September 12
  • 12:15pm
  • Coach Josh's Room - PreUpper School - 312
  • Middle, PreUpper, CommArts, Upper Students are invited

Come find out more information - Go Mustangs!


Grandparents Need News, too!

This weekend holds International Grandparents Day. What better gift to give your grandparents than information from your child's school. We have a lot of grandparents that are very involved here at MSA, from bringing special meals to teachers, to reading to the students, and many of them even help fund tuition. What an awesome thing it is to have grandparents! I bet they would just love learning what goes on at their grandchild's school each week. If you send me their names and their email addresses, I will be glad to add them to our distribution list if they aren't already receiving the Weekly News (Aunt Sally and Uncle Joe as well).

--Cheri Harwood


Learning About Me

In Skills Lab, the students created posters that represent how they learn best and the tools they use to be successful in school. Pictured (L-R) Kai Goltze, Noah Velasco, and Isa Stokes, just a few of my students, showing their masterpieces.  #SuccessInSchoolSuccessInLife

--Kris Hawksworth, PreUpper Instructor


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!


PVA Updates

Please join us at the Crabapple Starbucks this Monday (the 10th) morning after carpool! This is a great opportunity to meet other parents discuss your successes and struggles, and share advice and ideas . We look forward to seeing you there!

Also, here are some other dates to remember:

  • The next PVA meeting will be on September 24 at 1:30pm in the Admin building - all are welcome
  • Holiday Market will be held again this year where students can purchase small items (and have them gift wrapped) for everyone on their Nice List. The dates are December 3 -5.
  • The Winter Auction will be held at Naylor Hall in Roswell on Saturday, February 9, 2019.


We had our first Level R Lunch in Lower School this week! Kaylee and Jodi took the students to Dos Margaritas, a Mexican restaurant near MSA for lunch. We were excited to celebrate our Respectful, Responsible, Role models and their fantastic accomplishments of earning Level R. Pictured are Griffin Snell (L4) and Lucas Hennings (L2) who are both Level R's. We are looking forward for our Level L, Max Young (L4), to join us on our next outing together as a group. Congratulations to all of you!

--Kaylee Simmons, Lower School Instructor

MSA Proudly Sponsoring ...

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


What's the Difference

As parents, the tools you use may be a little confusing since you don't need to use them daily. But I want to shed a little light on them so you know what each is for. You hear us talk about RenWeb, the LMS, and MUSTANG. Here are the differences:


RENWEB is the school's database where we keep your student's information – address, phone numbers, grades, report cards, picture, relatives. All the basic demographics about the student and their family, all locked down by a password – you (and your student) access this via ParentsWeb. Each of you have your own personal username and password. (Watch for a name change. RenWeb is owned and becoming FACTS - that will begin at the first of 2019.)


LMS is a generic term that stands for Learning Management System. This is where the student will find their homework, assignments, dates for tests, and resources they need to accomplish any of those things. Whatever information their teachers need to pass on to them.


MUSTANG – This is the name we have given our LMS system. It stands for Multiple-User Scholastic Tool & Networking Groups. It has all the lovely features of an LMS and it is an electronic, password protected place on the internet. Again each person – student, mom, dad, guardian – has their own username and password here as well (the same one you use for RenWeb).


If you ever have any questions about any of those tools, please don't hesitate to call the school. Frequently we can clear up any challenges you might be having easily over the phone.


Spanish Greeting and Introductions

The students practiced how to make a basic conversation in Spanish class using the vocabulary words for greetings and introductions. Pictured are Grayson Cloy and Jack Hecker practicing a conversation in Spanish.


There are several ways to say our name, greet people, and say goodbye in Spanish. Most of these expressions have been covered in two separate lessons, one teaching how to introduce yourself, and another about common greetings and farewells. We are focused on how to use Spanish greetings and introductions to be able to hold basic conversations.

--Astrid Cortes, Upper School Instructor


Mini Day at MSA for PU/CA/U

"Come to School with Your Student Day"

Friday, September 14, 8:30am - 1:30pm


This is a wonderful opportunity to visit your student's Community. To experience "MSA Mini Day", you and your child will follow his/her schedule and attend his/her classes. You will meet your student's teachers and see the classrooms, learn everything about each of his/her classes from curriculum to point sheets to grading, see artwork, and meet your student's friends. At the end of the "mini" school day,  join your student for a complimentary lunch from Chick-fil-A served outside on the Lawn.

MSA "Mini Day" Schedule

8:00am - 8:10am - Parents arrive; go to Great Room

8:10 - Advisory

8:30 - Levels

9:30 - 1st Period

9:55 - 2nd Period

10:20 - 3rd Period

10:45 - 4th Period

11:10 - 5th Period

11:35 - 6th Period

12:00pm - Chick-fil A Lunch - students may leave with parents after

Students may leave with their parents after lunch. Any student whose parents are unable to attend will participate in classes as usual. Buses will run the regular morning and afternoon (3:15pm dismissal) schedules.


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):



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


Learning How to Handle Stress in Your Life

Stress is a given in our lives. Whether it's the news out of Washington, work/school problems or just the daily issues of life in today's world, there are plenty of things to stress us out.

The stress of certain big events, such as house purchases, job changes, or the loss of a loved one, has been shown to affect our health and perhaps even our life span. But most sources of stress are much smaller things we can learn to control and even to direct their effects.

Stress has the potential to motivate us and to help us focus. It's a remnant of when our cave-dwelling ancestors had to be always alert and ready to act in order to survive.

Today, it's important to learn to handle the sources of stress in your life in order to keep them under control. A good starting point is to analyze how stress affects you. Does it make you feel irritated, physically tense or prone to headaches?  Or do you feel jumpy, or very talkative, or maybe quiet and listless?  READ MORE   (Source: American Counseling Association 2018)


International Appreciation Day

MSA prides itself in the fact that it has teachers and children from many different cultures and languages in its community. On Friday, September 21st, Upper School is organizing, "International Appreciation Day" to encourage the community to have pride in their own culture, and also to have respect and understanding for people of other cultures. This activity will be happening on a FLEX FRIDAY.


Friday, September 21


Although this is an Upper School activity, I would like to extend the invitation to the whole MSA community, including parents, which might be able to enrich this event by helping provide an unique cultural experience. We would love to collaborate ideas or activities with you, any help will be highly appreciated. Please contact María A. González if you have any questions. 


Learning Literary Genres

Middle School reading classes are learning about literary genres using interactive notebooks. We have just completed our non-fiction/informational books and are finishing up in-class book reports. The students have written about Albert Einstein, Amelia Earhart, reptiles, Egypt, and many other interesting topics. We are also attending library classes each week with Brittany and Kayso in the Library. Our next novel study will be starting next week with "Mr. Lemoncello's Library." Pictured are Marie Jackson, Devin Coetzee, and Sam Copple-Goodman.

--Christy Chase, Middle School Instructor


Attention Parents!

Looking for a way to get involved at Mill Springs Academy, meet friends, and support the students?!?

The MSA Booster Club was formed to raise monies for athletic needs and team events. It is just the opportunity for you!

If you are interested in volunteering or learning more, please contact Taniah Jones at 678-893-7830.


Are YOU Stuck?

If so, GREAT! Wait, what? Great? Yes that is great! If you are not STUCK, then let me help you get STUCK. Come by the Administration building at any time and we will be glad to help you get STUCK. I have lots of stickers (pictured above) in the closet that are just waiting to be STUCK to the window of your car, truck, mini van, bus, whatever you drive. If you don't have a sticker STUCK to the window of your car, come on by and I will be glad to give you one for every car you have. I'd love to see your car in front of me on the road one day! Come get STUCK!

--Cheri Harwood, Director of Communications


Community Cares & Concerns

The Ford Family
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 

 If we would build on a sure foundation in friendship, we must love our friends for their sakes rather than for our own.

 --Charlotte Bronte




Friday, September 7

  • CANCELED - Mustang Mania


Sunday, September 9

  • Rosh Hashanah begins at Sundown


Monday, September 10

  • 8:15ish Coffee after Carpool - Crabapple Starbucks
  • 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


Wednesday, September 12

  • 9:00am Public Open House - Theater
  • 3:30pm Middle School Soccer vs. Cottage School
  • 6:30pm The Big Picture - Theater


Friday, September 14

  • 8:00am Mini Day at MSA in your Great Room


Monday, September 17

  • Chick-fil-A Day
  • 7:00pm Board Meeting




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

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