School Council

The purpose of Mill Creek Middle School School Council is to:

  • develop and nurture communication
  • bring parents and the community together with teachers and school administrators to create a better understanding of and mutual respect for each other’s concerns
  • share ideas for school improvement

The MCMS School Council meets four times a year, with the dates posted on the school calendar.  Minutes will be posted for parents to review.

School Council Dates (MCMS Conference Room – 4:10 pm)


School Council Members 2016-2017

Last Name First Name E-mail Represents
Martin Kerry E-mail Principal
Ball Molly E-mail  7th Parent
Blankinship Lisa E-mail  7th Parent
Lukow Will E-mail 6th Parent
Newton Riva E-mail Teacher
Porterfield Ben 6th Parent
Sass Brandee E-mail 8th Parent
Townsend Dana E-mail Teacher

School Council Minutes

Minutes from April 13, 2017
Dr. Kerry Martin (Principal)
Molly Ball (Parent)
Roy Blackwell (Parent)
Lisa Blankinship (Parent)
Will Lukow (Parent)
Riva Newton (Teacher)
Brandee Saas (Parent)
Dana Townsend (Teacher)

1. Camp ’24 Proposal for Rising 6th grade students and parents was sent as an email attachment to all members. Possibly add a CANVAS intro. to Parents.

2. Additional ideas as ways to improve MCMS for the next school year included:

  • I would love to see sessions where a 6th grade, 7th grade, and then the Jr. Knights (8th grade), and possible some representatives from 9th grade (through Jeff B.) have an opportunity to talk with the rising groups. Peer information is looked at differently than that from us
  • Saturday school was not as productive as it was envisioned to be. I think maybe because there were so many students with missing work. We, as teachers, spent countless hours throughout the year preparing materials for students and they either did not show up, or they did and only completed one or two things. Maybe next year it should be students with missing work that are failing as a result, and only ELA/Reading and Math missing work sent for 6th and 7th graders.
  • Stage area behind closed curtain for rotating supervised silent lunch/working lunch.
  • EXP – 1 lab and teacher before school; 1 lab and teacher after school.
  • Wildcat time in the morning attached to homeroom.
  • Canvas overview session for parents of 7th and 8th graders as well. Office Mix????

Minutes from December 8, 2016
Dr. Richard Carnes (Assistant Principal)
Molly Ball (Parent)
Roy Blackwell (Parent)
Lisa Blankinship (Parent)
Will Lukow (Parent)
Riva Newton (Teacher)
Brandee Saas (Parent)
Dana Townsend (Teacher)


  • Farran Cheatwood, 8th grade Social Studies/Reading teacher, gave a Parent Perspective presentation on CANVAS, the new CCSD learning management system she is piloting in the Phase 1 roll-out. Highlights of her presentation included:
    • Blended Learning platform requiring increased technology (Google Chrome friendly.)
    • Parents register in addition to the students (Learning Tools) – tutorial videos available as well as a Help link for specific questions for Canvas.
    • Categories of information: Announcements, Assignments, Grades, Discussions (Blog), Calendar view, and Notifications.
    • Notification options: “How?” and “How Often” options may be chosen.
    • Aspen will still exist as it houses student records, attendance, transcript, etc.
    • Phase 2 roll-out begins 1/3/17. Six additional teachers at MCMS will be bringing the platform to their students.
    • Phase 3 will be in place for all students beginning the first day of the 2017-2018 school year. CCSD personnel working on a “Parent Course” to be delivered in mid August.
      • Council Questions to be researched:
    • Will Canvas be able to calculate GPA in high school?
    • Usage ability of the County’s bandwidth?
  • Riva Newton, 7th grade Reading teacher, gave an overview of the Microsoft Innovative Educator Classroom program she is piloting and gave a narrative explanation of the goals of this concept presented to CCSD by the Microsoft Corporation:
    • Goals of MIEC
    • Capitalize on the investment made training Microsoft Innovative Educators (MIE) by creating a next step focusing on classroom integration.
    • Craft Microsoft Innovative Educator Classroom (MIEC) as a district-wide initiative, keeping with the following major system priorities: prepare students for a diverse and technologically rich society;  utilize technology to improve student achievement.
    • Converge with current strategy and message of:  blended and personalized learning; supporting and promoting teachers.
    • Connect technology implementation to subject standards.
    • Curate model technology integration lessons based on MIE tools to make available to all teachers via a repository in planned Learning Management System.
    • Identify teachers/classrooms using MIE training pervasively as exemplars, modeling technology integration.
    • Construct an avenue for building capacity of technology leaders in our schools.
  • After explaining the program, in conjunction with the Canvas roll-out, Mrs. Newton expressed an appreciation for the Council to assist as a voice in the Community as to the awareness of the future increase in technology requirements of individual students and the need for access to learning devices in and out of the school. The Council was very interested in what the exact plan is to get MCMS closer to a one-on-one status and if there was a particular goal date set. Mrs. Newton explained the need hierarchy being filled beginning at the top with Title I status, then percentage of free & reduced lunch, then usage statistics, then age of current equipment, etc. all affecting the answer to the timing/goal date question. Dr. Carnes concurred by adding that Dr. Martin was the lead cheerleader in facilitating our position on that hierarchy. Council members then initiated a very supportive dialogue started asking what they could do in the interim and whether the PTSA was a resource, a suggestion offered by Mrs. Ball. Council member Blackwell stated he has a connection with a large computer company, as do Mr. Lukow and Mrs. Saas, so they were all interested as well in what role they could play in allocating resources to supplement what the District may not be able to. Mrs. Newton confirmed that our new School Improvement Plan, focusing on ELA content, was another step in the right direction of committing to the need of increased technology access for writing instruction.
  • Dr. Carnes adjourned the meeting stating that as soon as we hear what is the County’s disbursement plan for additional technology to be allocated to MCMS, Dr. Martin will then be able to determine whether any further needs exist, hopefully in time by the next meeting scheduled for 2/16/17 at 4:10 PM in front office conference room. Please let Mrs. Saas know of any agenda items to be added for that meeting.

Minutes from October 6, 2016


Dr. Kerry Martin (Principal)
Molly Ball (Parent)
Roy Blackwell (Parent)
Lisa Blankinship (Parent)
Will Lukow (Parent)
Riva Newton (Teacher)
Brandee Saas (Parent)
Dana Townsend (Teacher)


  1. Election of Chairperson and Secretary – Brandee Saas and Riva Newton.
  2. Reviewed School Council Bylaws for Mill Creek Middle School (MCMS).
  3. Principal Report of MCMS current enrollment:  440 6th graders, 485 7th graders, 497 8th graders.  River Ridge High School’s enrollment is not yet to capacity so room for growth.
  4. Reviewed MCMS Mission, Vision, and Belief Statements to be published in the School Improvement Plan.  No recommendations for changes were suggested.  Research-based effectiveness strategies published by John Hattie were resourced to guide writing of the three documents.
  5. Instructional Frameworks Presentation by a representative of the Cherokee County School District (CCSD) to Stakeholders of the River Ridge High School Zone will be held on 10/20/16 beginning at 6:00 PM at River Ridge High School.  Improvements at all levels of student achievement are important. Specific analysis of low growth in the top quartile and bottom quartile on the 2016 Georgia Milestones’ assessments in Math, Reading, and Language Arts a concern.  If anyone wants to know how the College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) school score is compiled, please let Brandee Saas know so she can put it on the next Council meeting agenda.
  6. The 11/8/16 Election ballot includes two important bills that pertain to education in Cherokee County and Georgia.  The first is a bill to renew the Cherokee County Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) which includes a 24 room addition to MCMS.  At the state level is the Opportunity School District (OSD) bill which will create a constitutional amendment to address failing schools. IT IS CRITICAL THAT ALL STAKEHOLDERS OF VOTING AGE BE INFORMED AND VOTE!  Fact sheets were reviewed by the Council, and it was communicated that they are available to all voters on the Cherokee County School District website:
  7. The Cherokee County School District, which earned the highest average among metropolitan Atlanta districts, increased its score by 17 points and ranked in the top 3 school districts in Georgia for average SAT scores.
  8. Discussed Qualities for a Principal document.  Council recognized the document was more like a job description and had several repetitive expectations of a highly effective Principal.  Council members were invited by Dr. Martin to send additional thoughts, and then she would compile a comprehensive list of expectations and send back to Council members for approval.
  9. The CCSD Professional Leaning Community (PLC) teacher collaboration model was presented by Dr. Martin.  Teachers meet weekly by grade level and content area to Design, Instruct, Assess, and Reflect on student achievement.
  10. Safety of our school’s students in light of the Aspen communique regarding ET Booth student Instagram post showing a photo of that school’s parking lot was discussed.  Dr. Martin assured there has been no credible account from police authority that students are in any danger while on campus.
  11. Parent and Community involvement in line with the school’s proposed Belief Statement was discussed as it pertains to outreach events such as the Relay for Life kick-off breakfast to be held on 10/21/16 honoring and remembering those victims and caregivers of cancer and the Veteran’s breakfast to be held on 11/11/16 honoring and remembering the veterans of all armed services. Council member Saas offered to create a Sign-Up Genius to ask for help with the Relay for Life breakfast.  Newton will send her a list of the needs by 10/10/16.  Council member Ball reminded us about the The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund which is bringing the traveling The Wall That Heals display to Arnold Mill Elementary School next month. The 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, along with a mobile education center, will be installed outside the school building on Nov. 16, and open to the public at no charge from Nov. 17 to 20.
  12. Council member Blackwell presented the vision of creating a Food Pantry at MCMS.  Council member Lukow presented the idea of RRHS allowing students to attend school sports events free of charge if accompanied by a paying parent/guardian to help fill the arenas. Dr. Martin adjourned the meeting and reminded Council members to let Brandee Saas know of any agenda items for the next meeting scheduled for 12/8/16 at 4:10 PM in front office conference room.

Minutes from December 12, 2015

Meeting called to order at 4:00pm

  • Teacher Wendy Malsby in attendance to offer an update on the “Cat Cash” Lounge.
  • Jr. Knights Leadership students are decorating the Lounge. It has a café style feel to it.
  • The Lounge is an 8th grade privilege. Initially being offered during lunch on Fridays only. In the future a second day may be added depending on the success of lounge as well as demand for it.
  • Students must sign up in advance and use “cat cash” to access Lounge privileges.
  • Mill Creek is looking for donations of inexpensive- age appropriate board games, puzzles and playing cards to stock The Lounge.

Eighth Grade Dance

  • Theme is “To the Moon and Back”
  • Date is May 6, 2016
  • Parent volunteering is encouraged for the success of the dance
  • Jr. Knights Leadership students have expressed an interest in helping with the dance

CCSD Legislative Program

  • Principal Kerry Martin discussed and disseminated information concerning the CCSD Legislative Program. Information is available on Cherokee County School District Website

MCMS Georgia Milestones Results- 6th, 7th and 8th Grades

  • Principal Kerry Martin explained achievement levels for scoring of the Milestones
  • Level 1- Beginning Learner
  • Level 2-Developing Learner
  • Level 3- Proficient Learner
  • Level 4-Distinguished Learner
  • In an effort to increase scores MCMS teachers/administrators will be assigned to all departments of the Georgia Milestones: Science, Math, English/LA and Social Studies. MCMS teachers will work on a strategy for students that will increase student’s depth of knowledge enabling them to answer questions at scoring levels 3 and 4
  • A student scoring a level 1 in any academic area will be a candidate for retest under the Retention/Promotion Policy for grades 3, 5 and 8.

Meeting Adjourned at 4:35

Upcoming Meeting – February11, 2016 at 4:00

Minutes from October 8, 2015

  • Approval of agenda for meeting – Carolyn Kenney 1st motion to approve and Donna High 2nd motion to approve
  • Election of school council chairperson – Brandee Sass
  • Election of school council secretary – Jennifer Murray
  • Reviewed and discuss revision of the Leadership Qualities of a Principal
  • Strategic waiver system-schools in county choose one of the following options:

1. Remain status quo
2. Become a charter school
3. Strategic waiver system

CCSD chose the strategic waiver option as it allows for flexibility to ask to waivers concerning class size, teacher certification and zone improvements.

Mill Creek current enrollment- 1,436 students. 3rd largest in our district with only E.T. Booth and Creekland MS having larger populations than Mill Creek

  • Discussed positive behavior incentives-ideas for cat cash reward exchange:

1. Lunch Lounge supervised by teachers
2. Picnic area
3. Areas created for social time

  • Change in future start and end times for school day- Elementary 7:45-2:15, Middle 9:00-4:00, High School 8:15-3:15
  • Discussed reducing amount of students on buses- Middle school students will ride bus only with other middle school students. High school students will ride on buses with other high school students only. There will be no second loaders.
  • Inclement weather protocol- High school students to be released from school first, middle school students second and finally elementary students
  • Announcement of dates for Color Run- November 20, 2015 from 1:00-3:00. All grades will attend full amount of time. If you are a participant you will be on the field from 1-3. Fun Friday is on 11/13