December 2018

12/3/2018 8:17 pm

Dear BIA Families,

It is hard to believe we only have 3 weeks left in the first half of the schoolyear!  There was much to celebrate in the month of November, so let's recap, beginning with the opening of the Parent Portal in Infinite Campus.  We hope this has been and will continue to be a useful tool for home/schoolcommunication regarding your child's academic progress and attendance record.  Our Title I program for the Upper School has taken off with Mrs. Robertson providing in-class support for students who qualified for participation. Thank you to Ms. Megan Rice, one of our super 5th grade teachers, for putting together our very first Scripps Spelling Bee competition, and a HUGE congratulations to AMARI JOHNSON, our spelling bee winner!  Amari will continue to the regional  competition to be held in February.  Congratulations to GIANCARLO MARIANO for showing the highest growth in Math for all of our K-3 Freckle users!  The Boosterthon Glow Run was a huge success, and we are thankful to our Parent Council, especially Dana Rogers and Charlotte West, for bringing this fundraiser to BIA.  Our Parent Council also began hosting schooltours, and we have 3 new families scheduled to join us in January!  Kindergarten, 6th and 7th grades all enjoyed field trips which enriched their learning and understanding of the Georgia Performance Standards in Science and Social Studies. Thanks, also, to Lori Cobbs for bringing the idea of creating a BIA Donor Library for our students and to Ms. Quick, our counselor, and our Lower School Student Council representatives for taking on the task of organizing the books.  Students will be able to borrow from the library through an on-line checkout system.  This information will be shared with students once the library is up and running.  A very special thanks to Erin Carrasquillo, another one of our fabulous BIA parents, for coming up over the Thanksgiving break to decorate our school windows for the holidays.  They look beautiful!  Last,but certainly not least, a huge shout out to our Dads on Deck for also giving of their time over the Thanksgiving break to take care of some much needed repairs in the school and for delivering bookshelves for our library.  Our parents, students, faculty and staff continue to amaze me with all they give to make sure BIA is a great school

The lottery for the 2019-20 school year will open on January 14 and run through February 14.  To prepare us for this exciting time, a Letter of Intent to Continue Enrollment at BIA will be sent home with students this Friday.  Please fill one out for each child you  haven enrolled, and send it back to your child's homeroom teacher no later than Dec 21.  There are plans in the works for a "Move Up Day" for our returning 5th graders to visit the Upper School to meet the teachers and spend some time in that environment.  Once plans are finalized, we will share that with information.  We hope that EVERYONE will be back with us for the next school year!

December is filled with a lot of activity and fun-filled events, so let's take a look at what is to come!
  • Dec 4--Operations Committee Meeting @ 7:00 AM; Academic Committee Meeting @ 4:30 PM
  • Dec 6--Lower School Tours Hosted by Parent Council @ 9:30 AM; EARLY DISMISSAL @ 1:30 PM--ALL AFTER SCHOOL CLUBS WILL BE CANCELED; Faculty Project-Based Learning Professional Development from 2:00 PM-4:30 PM
  • Dec 7--Finance Committee Meeting @ 11:00 AM
  • Dec 11--Project Exhibition Night from 5:00 PM -7:00 PM--
  • Dec 12--Cheer Bears Dinner from 6:30 PM -7:30 PM
  • Dec 13--5th Grade Field Trip to the Fox to see The Nutcracker; Parent Council Meeting @ 4:30 PM; Board Meeting @ 7:00 PM
  • Dec 14--Upper School Tours Hosted by Parent Council @ 9:30 AM; Winter Solstice Talent Show @ 6:30 PM; last day to submit Intent to Continue Enrollment Forms
  • Dec 18--Fire Drill @ 2:00 PM
  • Dec 19--2nd Grade Field Trip to Etowah Indian Mounds @ 8:45 AM; Encore Performances of The Stinky Cheese Man Play (from the Winter Solstice Program) for the student body--grades K-3 @ 9:00 AM and grades 4-8 @ 1:30 PM
  • Dec 20--Teacher Appreciation Holiday Meal provided by the Parent Council
  • Dec 21--Pajama Day for the Lower School; Ugly Holiday Sweater Day for the Upper School (please wear uniform bottoms); Holiday Class Parties @ 1:30 PM; Last Day of the First Semester; Report Cards 
As always, we very much appreciate your support as we work together to make BIA an obvious school choice.  Together, we are unstoppable!

Yours in Education and Partnership,
Julie Tolbert
Head of Shcol
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November 2018

12/3/2018 8:16 pm

Dear BIA Families,

Book Parade, Fall Festival and Dads on Deck, oh my!  What an exciting month we had here at BIA, and, as always, we appreciate the support of our parents and school community.  We hope you enjoyed the festivities of  the month of October and are looking forward to an exciting November! 

We will kick off the month of November by opening the Infinite Campus Parent Portal on Monday, November 5.  Information about how to access the portal was sent home with your child(ren) on Friday.  With this being a new grading platform for BIA, there may be a few kinks that still need to be worked out, so if you have any questions, please contact your child(ren)'s teacher.

We are very excited to be participating in the Scripps National Spelling Bee for the first time in BIA history!  Homeroom teachers in grades 4-8 will be conducting class spelling bees the week of November 5 to determine representatives for the  school spelling bee to be held on November 16.  Parents are invited to attend and may contact Megan Rice at with any questions. The winner of the school spelling bee will continue to the district level competition.

Sunny Dai and Flyin' Ryan with the Boosterthon Team have done a great job motivating students to participate in the fundraiser.  The Boosterthon Glow Run daily incentive events will continue through November 7 and end with the Glow Run taking place on Thursday, November 8.  Please see below for the time that your child(ren)'s grade is scheduled to run.  Your support of this is greatly appreciated!

Our Parent Council will begin hosting school tours (see dates and times below) in preparation for student recruitment ahead of the lottery which is scheduled to open on January 15.  Please encourage prospective families to sign up for a tour to learn more about the tenets of our charter and how BIA offers a 21st century curriculum.  Look for more information from Parent Council about how to sign up.

Alexis Conley, one of our awesome parents, along with Coach K, are putting together a Winter Solstice Talent and Arts Showcase to highlight the wonderful gifts and talents of our BIA students.  They will be conducting auditions for all ages on November 16, during school hours, and any interested students should see his/her homeroom teacher for an audition form and permission slip.  The showcase is scheduled for December 14 at BIA with the time to be determined.  If you have any questions, please contact Alexis at or Coach K at

Below are dates for upcoming BIA events.  Please make note of them on your calendar.
  • Nov 5--Infinite Campus Parent Portal opens @ 9:00 AM; teachers in grades 4-8 will participate in Exact Path professional development @ 3:30 PM
  • Nov 6--Academic Committee meeting @ 4:30 PM at BIA; Election Day--remember to vote!
  • Nov 8--Boosterthon Glow Run grade level run times:  8:15-9:00--K and 1; 9:05-9:50--2 and 3; 9:55 - 10:40--4 and 5; 10:45-11:30--6 and 7A; 11:35-12:20--7B and 8; EARLY DISMISSAL @ 1:30; teachers in grades 2-8 will participate in Go Math professional development @ 2:00; Parent Council Meeting @ 4:00 PM at BIA; Board Meeting @ 7:00 PM at BIA
  • Nov 16--School Spelling Bee @ 8:00 AM; Parent Council Tours for Prospective Lower and Upper School Families  @ 9:30 AM (Parent Council will provide info on how to sign up)
  • Nov 19-23--Thanksgiving Break
  • Nov 28--6th and 7th grades field trip to Elachee Nature Center @ 8:15 AM
  • Nov 30--Parent Council Tours for Prospective Lower School Families @ 9:30 AM (Parent Council will provide info on how to sign up)
As always, your support of the work done by our administration, faculty and staff on behalf of you and your children is valued more than you know.  Together, we can accomplish great things!

Yours in Education and Partnership,
Julie Tolbert
Head of School

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September 2018

12/3/2018 8:15 pm


Dear BIA Parents/Guardians:


August flew by in a flurry of activity, and we have started to settle into a routine.  We have our Safety Patrols at the ready helping with carpool and directing students to the cafeteria when they enter the school in the mornings and helping them into cars in the afternoon.  For the safety of our students and out of courtesy for the businesses around us, please adhere to the morning carpool procedures by staying in the carpool line and dropping your child off in front of the building.  In the afternoon, please wait to announce your arrival when you see the sign at the parking lot entrance, and, again, stay in the carpool line and pick your child up at the front of the building. Safety first!


Our teachers are doing some amazing things in their classrooms to keep our students engaged in their learning.  In just these first few weeks we had the mayor of Norcross speak to our 3rd graders as they learned about Civics, 5th grade teachers and parent volunteers provide students with a simulation of what it was like to enter the United States through Ellis Island as an immigrant, and 1st grade teachers and parent volunteers create a reading campout in their classrooms.  Our teachers are not just showing their dedication to our students here at school, but they are also attending students’ extracurricular activities to show how much they care. BIA is the place to be!


We attempted to administer MAP testing last week, but the NWEA site (host of MAP testing) experienced a nationwide crash that lasted a couple of days.  We want to make sure our students’ assessment environment is conducive to producing the best results possible. So, students who did complete the Reading MAP test will be afforded the opportunity to retake due to the number of issues and interruptions related to the site crash.


You should have received information on Friday from your child’s teacher regarding club offerings for fall semester.  If you did not receive the information or have questions, please contact your child’s teacher directly. Clubs will begin meeting the week of September 10.


Please make sure your child adheres to the BIA dress code.  If you are not sure what the dress code is, please click on this link:  For more details, you can consult the student handbook.  Hoodies are not permitted.


Below is a listing of upcoming important dates for your to mark on your calendar.

  • Sept 4:  8:00AM--Math MAP test Upper School;   12:30PM--Math MAP test grades 2 -3

  • Sept 5:  8:00AM--Math MAP test grades 4-5;  12:30PM--Math MAP test grades K-1

  • Sept 6:  8:00AM--Fire Drill (yes, before MAP testing--we HAVE to do it); 8:30--Reading MAP  test Upper School; 12:30PM--Reading MAP test grades 2- 3

  • Sept 7:  8:00AM--Reading MAP test grades 4-5;  12:30PM--Reading MAP test grades K-1

  • Sept 10:  9:00AM--Soft Lockdown Drill

  • Sept 11:  8:00AM--ELA MAP test Upper School;  12:30PM--ELA MAP test grades 2-3

  • Sept 12:  8:00AM--ELA MAP test grades 4-5; (ELA MAP is  not administered to grades K-1)

  • Sept 13:  Early Dismissal @ 1:30PM; 7:00PM--Board Meeting; 2:00-3:30--Teacher Professional Development

  • Sept 14:  11:00AM-2:00PM--7th Grade Field Trip to Japanese Comic Theater at GSU

  • Sept 19:  6:00PM--Hispanic Heritage Night (look for  more info from Parent Council); ESOL Parent Night (please contact Jackie Schaedel with any

  • Sept 24-28:  Fall Scholastic Book Fair (look for more info from Parent Council)

  • Sept 25:  K-2 School Pictures

  • Sept 26:  3-5 School Pictures

  • Sept 27:  6-8 School Pictures

  • Sept 28:  10:00AM-2:30PM--4th Grade Field Trip to Cobb County Youth Museum


We are looking forward to a great September as we all work together to do what is best for kids!


Yours in Partnership and Education,

Julie Tolbert

Head of School



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October 2018

12/3/2018 8:15 pm

Dear BIA Family:

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend Parent/Teacher Conferences on October 4.  We firmly believe that open communication between school and home is a cornerstone for ensuring our students' success.  Your time is valuable, so we do appreciate you making time in your schedule to learn about your child's educational experience and progress here at BIA.

Your administration, faculty and staff have been working hard to streamline our grading processes and implement best practices in teaching to ensure a top-notch education at BIA.  In the two short months since school began, we have participated in professional development in the following:  Project-based learning, Freckle, Exact Path, Go Math, Google Classroom, Class Dojo, Infinite Campus Grade Book, Response to Intervention, Culturally Responsive Education, Data Analysis, and many other learning opportunities related to specialized departments such as Special Education, English Language Learners and the Early Intervention Program.  We will continue to engage in enhancing our teaching and learning practices for the betterment of our students.

I am thrilled to announce that both of our coding labs have been outfitted with new tables, Mac Minis, keyboards and monitors, all of which were funded by our CSP Grant.  Chad Mote has been brought on board as Grant Manager and is already tapping into grant funds to order resources for both labs to support our charter and grant goals of providing coding and STEM education to all of our students.  This is very exciting!

In order to meet the needs of all of our students and be in compliance with State and Federal requirements for specialized groups of students, we will be implementing a change in class schedules effective October 15.  This information was shared during Parent/Teacher Conferences, so if you were unable to attend, please contact your child's teacher if you have any questions.

Teachers have completed professional development in the use of Infinite Campus Grade Book and will be afforded the month of October to become proficient with its processes.  The parent portal is slated to be opened in November.  As we move closer to November, look for information from your child's teacher about how to access the portal.

Please continue to collect and send in box tops.  Every dime for each box top counts, and they really do add up!  Box Top collection ends on November 1.

Below are dates for upcoming events at BIA.  Please make a note of them on your calendar!
  • October 11:  Parent Council Meeting @ BIA @ 4:00; School Board Meeting @ BIA @ 7:00
  • October 16:  Project Exhibition Night from 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
  • October 18:  EARLY DISMISSAL
  • October 27:  Fall Festival (sponsored by Parent Council--be on the lookout for information from them)
  • October 29:  Boosterthon Fundraiser Kickoff (sponsored by Parent Council--be on the lookout for information from them)
  • October 31: Book Parade @1:00 followed by Fall Harvest/Halloween class parties
Thanks for your continued support as we work together to do what is best for kids!

Yours in Education and Partnership,
Julie Tolbert
Head of School
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