September 14, 2018 | Vol 12, Iss 5, No 401



Parents in PE?


We have had a fabulously busy week! We started out with the PVA sponsored Coffee after Carpool at Starbucks, there was an open house, a public viewing of the movie "The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia" with a very large audience, a fire drill, and then today brought us Mini Day for PU/CA/U. On top of all that we had lots of fun during the Fine Arts Creativity Week! Loads of terrific-ness going on around here!


For those of you in Lower and Middle that don't get to experience Mini Day, parents come and go through their students entire schedule in an abridged manner. Instead of three classes, there are all six. They also get the morning announcements, are exposed to a Levels Meeting, and carry a point sheet. If their student takes art, they walk up the hill to the art rooms, same for PE - up the hill to the gym. All squeezed into a half day - after that we had Chick-fil-A lunch. We have worked our parents so hard we have to feed them to replenish their energy (hopefully it's not that bad). It's a wonderful opportunity to find out what is going on at school and to meet all of the teachers and some parents as well. This event is always well attended (today was no exception) and there were smiles all around, we hope you enjoyed it. There is a great picture of a family in the Coral Lab on Facebook and the pictures above are from Nellie's class in Upper, Josh's class in PreUpper, and James sharing in PE.

Our week has been AWESOME - hope yours was too!


Fine Artist of the Week

Congratulations to our Fine Artist of the Week, Isa Stokes. Isa is new to MSA this year, as a 7th grader in PreUpper, but it didn't stop her from signing up for chorus and also volunteering for Creativity Week. Isa sang the song "Faster Cars" solo in the Upper School Great Room this past Tuesday, as part of the fun of Creativity Week. Upon getting a video of Isa's performance, Isa's mom had this to say: "It is amazing to see how far she has blossomed in such a short time. She really feels at home at MSA. Thank you for encouraging her to go beyond her comfort level and explore new things!" Isa, keep on exploring those new things and we're so glad you feel at home at MSA!

P.S. You have a beautiful voice and everyone really enjoyed your performance. We're so proud of you!


Parent Thank You

Thank you to Jennie Donaldson (Lower School Mom) for providing the Lower School with some much needed playground equipment to use during break time. The kids have had a lot of fun with the jump ropes and foam baseballs. Oh and the Frisbees are a HUGE hit!! We really appreciate it!

Carissa Nelson and the Lower School students


ONE Word

If you could use only ONE word to describe Mill Springs Academy, what ONE word would you use, and why?

Email me your ONE word, AND then tell me WHY that ONE word.

You have until Thursday, September 20 at noon. 

--Cheri Harwood, Director of Communications


Macbeth at Halloween

"Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn and cauldron bubble," chant the three infamous witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Now that fall is approaching, Erin's CommArts 11th grade British Literature class is getting into the Halloween spirit with this creepy classic! Students will be both reading and viewing Macbeth. To close out the unit, students will select segments of the play to act out for the community. Nic Allen (far right) is excited to play the part of Macbeth. When asked about his preparation for the role, Nic enthusiastically replied, "I'm ready to strike fear into the hearts of many!" Pictured Jack Holt, Zach Hale, Miles Robinson, Nic Allen.


The Newest Mustang

Congratulations to Upper School teacher, Troy Blume (pictured) and Ellery, his fiance. They have had a baby girl!

September 11, 2018

6 pounds and 11 ounces

19 1/2 inches in length

Lilia "Lily" Sage Blume

We are very happy for all of you and can't wait to meet little Miss Lily Blume.


Financial Aid for College

Wednesday, September 26, 6:30pm

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.


Publix Free Money Program has Changed!

Throw away your Publix Partner Card! Then sign up on the Publix website for a percentage of eligible purchases to go to MSA. At checkout, you will enter your phone number. It's that easy! We have earned $22,388 to date from this program!


Creativity Week

This week our Fine Arts department hosted Creativity Week. We never know exactly what we will do, but it is always sure to be fun! The schedule included live musical performances and a drum circle for all to join in on during break times, collaborative art pieces created during lunch time, and an interactive reading of William Shakespeare's masterpiece The Empire Striketh Back all through the week. Pictured Left is Maggie Erlacher working on one of the collaborative art pieces being created. On the right are Claire McAllister, Ward Sutlive, and Parker Borden participating in the drum circle at the amphitheater using a few of the large variety of instruments (maracas, horn and cow bell) to join in on the drum circle.


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


Coding Algorithms

In Upper School Coding Class students are working with algorithm design and coding programs in the C# language.  Students must form an algorithm to plan their code for various projects. The most recent algorithm covered writing a program that gives the area of a cone when the user inputs the diameter and height. After they write their algorithms, students code their projects on their computers. They are learning to use Visual Studio for compiling their code in both Console Applications and Windows Forms. This week we wrote an algorithm for finding the volume of a cone when the user inputs the height and diameter. We coded our algorithms in class. Pictured: Miles Robinson, Luke Micham, Cole Reed, Nolan Waits, Robert Papasidero, Quinton Day.

--Jennie Donaldson, Upper School 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):



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


Student Contest - Yes, I said CONTEST!

If you are:

  1. a student AND
  2. reading this:

Email me and tell me what you like most about the MSA Weekly News (you must do this part to be included).


You will get into a drawing for a $10.00 Arcade Game Card for Andretti's. I have FIVE (5) to give away. The DEADLINE is Wednesday, September 19 at midnight.


Winners will be announced in next week's MSA Weekly News.


PARENTS don't cheat, they have to find this on their own.


Math Games

In order to keep math skills sharp, the Middle School math students engage in a variety of review activities. One of their favorite ways to review is math games day. The 6th grade math students enjoyed playing a game of store to practice money and change counting skills. Pictured L - Wes Guined, Noah King, and Ben Gault. R - Holly Stormont, Zoe Caines, Katie McCullers, and Marie Jackson.


Probe Fair is Coming to Town!

Probe is an annual program of college fairs and guidance counselor workshops that are held throughout the state of Georgia. The program is managed by the Georgia Education Articulation Committee (GEAC), whose sole mission is to disseminate information and stimulate interest in post-secondary education for students in Georgia. Hundreds of colleges from across the nation attend Probe each year to reach thousands of Georgia high school juniors and seniors.  Please check out the Probe Fall 2018 College Tour attachment to find a location and date convenient for you if you would like to interact with a variety of colleges.  There are tons of locations across Georgia, including close to Mill Springs at Milton High School!


You can also visit HERE to look at dates and locations to register.


Telephone Numbers

If you are calling the school for something, most things can be solved by speaking with your principal, or another representative within YOUR School. If you have that individual's extension number you can get to them directly without going through another person. HOWEVER if you are driving in your car when you are calling ... well, we have rules about that now and we want you to be safe. Sooo... save your principal's direct dial number in your phone and it will be easier (thank you to the mom who pointed this out to me). This time the list below has both extensions AND direct dial numbers to make this easier for you. If there are other direct dial numbers you would like - i.e. a coach or teacher -  you can look any of them up on the school's directory ( Thank you, your help is greatly appreciated, here is a list of certain extensions/direct dial numbers:


Lower - Laurie Jones - x1101 - 678-893-7786
Middle - Will Turner - x1200 - 678-893-7841
PreUpper - Susan Sanders - x1301 - 678-893-7843
PreUpper - Nina King - x1302 - 678-893-7791
CommArts - Chelsea Michelson - x1400 - 678-893-7827
CommArts - Taniah Jones - x1523 - 678-893-7830
Upper - Cynthia Traylor - x1530 - 678-893-7812
Upper - Jaime Gutierrez - x1525 - 678-893-7810
Upper - Lisa Imsand - x1550 - 678-893-7820
Counseling - Susan Day - x1730 - 678-893-7847
Bookkeeping - Patsy Beckwith - x1708 - 678-893-7774


Using our Chromebooks

This week the third graders in Lower School used their new Chromebooks in science class to look up information about the class geckos. Preston Bonham learned that these reptiles were given their names because of the ridges around their eyes that look like eyelashes. Owen Burke (pictured right) shared with the class about how geckos mostly eat live insects. Neil Mukana learned that no two Eyelash geckos look alike, and they can range from light to dark colors. Their teacher, Jodi, discovered that stinging ants are their biggest threat in the wild. It's been a lot of fun observing and learning about our class pets!


Do you Take Pictures?

If you are prone to take pictures of your Mustang at any of the events, on or off campus, whether you take pictures with your cellphone or a camera, I would love to have them to share on our different social media outlets. When you attend any of the athletics or other activities, please keep me in mind and forward your pictures to It's so helpful to have other feet on the street. Thank you in advance, I really appreciate it.

--Cheri Harwood, Director of Communications


Plotting and Graphing

This week in Pre-Algebra we delved deeply into our Saxon Math program. We went over number lines and absolute value. In addition, we continued to remediate math focus skills such as graphing on a coordinate plane, word problems, etc. The students had a great time plotting points on the coordinate plane that created pictures such as Homer Simpson, Snoopy, dinosaurs, and more! Pictured are Brooke Steele and Ellie Banks. The class has MAP testing next week, so please wish us luck!

--Nina King, PreUpper Asst. Principal and Instructor


Dyslexia Dash Team

Saturday, October 20 at 8:30am

5K Run (timed or untimed) and 100-Yard Kids Dash


Register NOW for IDA-GA's annual Dyslexia Dash! It will be a fun morning for all, AND every registration means money going towards training teachers and educating parents and professionals about dyslexia. 


"The impact IDA-GA funding has had on reaching public school readers through teacher training is not something I can properly put into words. After 5 years of partnership, I can only estimate that the number of readers directly impacted ... is well into the thousands." - Jennifer Rhett, Executive Director, Reading is Essential for All People (REAP)


Just click on the link below and look for the "Group or Teams" called Mill Springs Academy Mustangs!


Join the MSA Team by registering today.


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 you don't like the road you're walking, start paving another one.

 --Dolly Parton



Monday, September 17

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


Wednesday, September 19

  • 3:30pm Middle School Soccer @Cottage School
  • 4:00pm Varsity Soccer vs. Atlanta Area School for the Deaf


Thursday, September 20

  • 4:00pm Varsity Soccer vs. Howard School


Friday, September 21

  • Flex Friday
  • International Appreciation Day - Upper


Monday, September 24

  • Chick-fil-A Day
  • 1:30pm PVA Meeting - Admin bldg


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

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