Where else could you send your child to learn Spanish, French, Chinese, Russian, and now Arabic from Kindergarten to Middle School? The answer is simple Baltimore International Academy. This school is a full emergent school. Not only do you have the language at your finger-tips, but you also have the change for your students to learn through the enriched program of IB. An IB program is unique. All IB students learn a second language and the skills to live and work with others internationally essential for life in the 21st century. We encourage a positive attitude to learning by encouraging students to ask challenging questions, to reflect critically, to develop research skills, and to learn how to learn. We encourage community service because we believe that there is more to learning than academic studies alone. Yes, we do expect parents to assist the children in this very rigorous, project-based learning program, but the end results are much more beneficial then any other public school education.
My daughter entered the Spanish immersion program as a kindergartener. We prepared her to expect everyone to be speaking to her in an unfamiliar language and that the teachers would help her adjust with the immersion. That was last year. This year she is in 1st grade and is conversational, complete with a very distinct Spanish accent. She has benefited tremendously at BIA and my investment in sending her there was and is completely worthwhile.
Full language immersion is an excellent idea for the education of your child whether he/she is within the U.S. or in any another country. English classes, however, should be prioritized in light of the standardized testing and realization that the student's 'real life' involves understanding and functioning within an English-speaking environment. Parents need to bolster their student's reading and provide less 'babysitter' items such as extended tv viewing and videogames that do not assist in learning/mastering their first language (English). The scheduling of English classes at the beginning or end of the school day should be avoided if possible due to the numerous conflicts.The student should be responsible for home and classwork. Being in an IB school also requires projects and enhanced learning. Parentseither be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Yes, the school takes a parental role once the student is within their walls, but they are dealing with whatever conditions that are within the child's household and external environment: be it good or bad. Redirecting students to their family hopes works only with parental assistance. They can be ROCK students!!
I love the idea of a language immersion school but they are really falling short. My son is in the Russian immersion program. His first teacher was great until she ran into green card problems&went into hiding. He ended up with a subpar substitute for the rest of the year. His first grade teacher was fine. More problems arose in 2nd grade. We loved his teacher. English classes started that year too. His English teacher in 2nd grade was good. They just didn't seem to be doing anything in music. They started the year with a packet of material to cover. By November, they had only done a couple of pages. I asked what they'd been doing. He said they watched The Spiderwick Chronicles a few times. That teacher was eventually let go&a new music teacher was brought in. She seems to be fine. His English teacher this year, 3rd grade, has serious problems with her own grammar&spelling. She can't correct homework properly due to her poor English. Nothing is being done about it. There is no indication that she will be replaced though she clearly should not be teaching. We requested a conference with her. When she finally called, it was to complain about her job to us. Time for a change.
BIA is a great school. I have a third grader and second grader enrolled currently. They speak Spanish fluently. I also like that the entire family has access to Rosetta Stone in your child's target language. BIA is also an IB school that focuses on different cultures . Be prepared to read with your children every night for 20 minutes and do the Rosetta Stone too. Your kids get a lot out of the school when parents go the extra mile for their children.
BIA is definately a great school. This will be our childs fourth year attending BIA and every year it gets better. The new building last year was a huge plus for the children. The new principle is making the right changes and if you have issues with anything you can talk to him or other staff and it is addressed. In reading a few of the other reviews I think that those parents speak to staff about their complaints. My only complaint is parent involvement and the adults being respectful at events and at drop off and pick up. I think kids would learn not to shove past someone if they hadn't just seen their parent do it. These kids work really hard. They tell you at the beginning it will be a lot of work and the first 2 years they may seem a bit behind in english and that they will catch up and they do! The first 2 years is completely in the target language and then english is added to their day in 2nd grade. I think the teachers and staff work very hard for their students and this school improves every year.
This school is a fantastic concept, but is very poorly executed. The administration puts on a show and dance for parents. It's very gimmicky. If you want your child to learn how to sing and dance in Chinese and do not mind them being academically behind, then this is a fantastic option for you! They have several combined classes because they can't keep students as they reach the upper grades. My child was once in a class of 25, which has now dwindled down to 6 students. I will be transferring my children this fall. I tried to stay because I love the concept, but I can not waste anymore of my children's time. Educating them has fallen on me after school because they are not learning what they need to know during school. There are MUCH better options out there! They hire teachers with very little teaching experience, simply because they speak one of the target languages. I understand that it may be difficult to find quality teachers who speak Mandarin, Russian, French, and Spanish and have experience in immersion teaching, but this should have been thought of at the onset of the school's creation. I speak English, but would make a terrible teacher.
As of this school year 2012-2013 BIA has experienced a great amount of change, from school buildings, principals, to schedule. Unfortunately, these changes have affected the way the school runs, picking up of the children is a potential fire hazard. There are double doors heavy to open, were children and parents are coming in and out off with no organization. As a formal teacher and a stay at home mom I spent a lot of time at the school volunteering therefore I am able to observe teaching and behavior methods used by my child's teacher. The behavior in my child's classroom is unbelievable! During SEVERAL of my visits it has taken the teacher an average of 20min to start her morning plan due students disrupting the class. It has taken office personnel another 10 minutes to come and get these students out of the classroom because they are dealing with other students from other classrooms. Where I come from charter schools are held to a higher standards with behavior and classroom management . BIA is no different from an inner city public school.
I love my school. My children have been coming here since its inception. The new principle is great and is very firm with our children. He demands order and they listen. The only program to which I have not been privy is the French Immersion. I have kids in all other languages and I dont have one complaint. My only suggestion for new comers is that you prepare to teach English at home. English is not introduced until 2nd grade which may put your child behind in reading if you dont pick up the slack. Also, read with them nightly; Dr. Suess books help alot. What they miss in English is made up by the knowledge they gain as a potential interpreter or Language analyst. the possibilities are endless. My girls recognize chinese on movies and can tell me what they are saying. On the last snow day (when it didnt snow at all) I used google to communicate with my babies and to translate their responses. It just makes you feel good as a parent that you are setting them up to be something great. CHinese/Russian programs are by far the best I think. Good luck with your decision
Thank you for making sure our children are safe! The video cameras, security guard, and the intercom at the front door prove that BIA is dedicated to a safe and quality education for all students.
This first quarter at BIA has been amazing for my kindergartener who is excited every day about going to BIA. She adores her teacher, has made new friends, and is constantly reciting her new Spanish dialogue at home daily. I see the Principal daily wearing school crossing guard gear, helping the student and parent walkers make their way safely onto the grounds of the school. The combination of learning academics through foreign language is top rate. Learning a second language at this age helps to ensure and enhance our student's success and marketability in the future. I knew this was the right school for my daughter. And she LOVES it! I have an older child who is self taught Chinese and Mandarin, who now teaches Chinese to younger students during the summer months, with excitement! The motivation to learn came from home. At its core, your child's success in all areas, even academically, is dependent upon how you prepare and motivate him or her at home. That's where it starts. BIA does an excellent job with the daytime portion of that duty and responsibility. Five starts for BIA!!!!!!!
I love this school. I am a teacher at another Batimore City school and BIA is great. I recommend it to all of the parents I know. Of course nothing is perfect. They have their issues, but we have a new school building, a new principal and there is the feeling of new life and great things to come. The school is an IB World Primary Years school, 4 different languages and dedicated teachers. As parents, we must make our presence known, do our part at home and the teachers will do the rest. Join the PTO, get involved parents! The new principal seems to have a vision and a focus for high expectations and he will accept nothing less from the parents. I have a feeling, with his enthusiasm and dedication, our new principal is going to take us places. BIA, the BEST school in Baltimore City!
As a parent of 4 children in 3 languages from 5th grade spanish to kindergarten chinese, I am highly impressed and dream about the future opportunities available to my children through this program. There are some set backs because in order for your child to remain successful in English it requires work/input/actual determination from the parent but if you are in any way like the dedicated, involved, focused parents of BIA, it will be ABSOLUTELY no problem to overcome. They offer FREE rosetta stone software, that I myself work on almost everyday. Your child will almost be guaranteed a scholarship with language skills like this. My children talk to everyone. She speaks chinese to her piano teacher (who is Asian), my son speaks to strangers (in my presense) when he hears them speak Russian, and my other daughter on several occasions has helped an hispanic in the store with a language barrier. The skills are invaluable but you have to be patient. In addition, as in any school, you have to make the teachers know your presence and see that you care about your child's success. Dont leave it up to them whether your child learns successfully or not. It is always up to you.
Very unorgainized. do not communicate with parent. Spend more time fuzzing with the children. Never see the results of this program through the child.
My daughter loves her school! She is in the Kindergarten Russian Immersion Class and her teacher Ms. Kozyaykina is excellent! I would definitely recommend this school to others. The school is in the process of moving to the Mother Mary Lange school in Frankford where they will have the much needed space for their host of activities. I love that the kids are in a diverse teaching environment and also the host of activities that they attend outside of the classroom to complement the teaching. As a parent, i'm excited to see her having fun, learning and in the process i am learning as well. MMe Loukunia is currently the acting principal and is doing an excellent job! I think that the parents can assist some more with activities and the protocol for dealing with problematic children needs to be revised...but other than that i am pleased.
The mission? Great! My child read, writes and speaks Chinese remarkably. The school is diverse which was important to me because I attended up in a tremendously diverse school which allowed me to learn about different ethnicity and cultures - this school does exactly that. The reason why I gave it three stars is because the school fails to communicate important information about students to the parents. My child was was touched inappropriately by another student. The student was removed from the school and I was informed of this by a parent that happened to be in the classroom that day. The principal is very hard to pen down long enough to voice your concerns. The child was let back into the school three months later and again I was not informed nor had any say in the matter. The office staff could be more professional. The school secretary insults the parents, intimidates the children and lies about school protocol in order to make your visit difficult. She has threatened to 'beat' my child, call the police when I was late picking up my child and told me it was my child's fault when the school released him and he ended up at another school. You have to stay on top of them!
I have have had a great experience with my daughter's teachers in both K and 1st grade Chinese. They have been responsive to my concerns and questions regarding educational progress, curriculum and behaviors of certain students in the class. My child has had various opportunities that have expanded her world educationally, socially and culturally, ranging from performing for the President of China to competing in the Chines Bridge competition. There are issues with disorganization at times, but overall, I am happy with the education that my child is receiving at BIA.
This school is Not organized they lost my picture money. They did not discipline the bullies. Priciple never follows up with complaints.
As a parent of three studens attending in two different grades...I am thrilled about the fact that Baltimore International Academy MET AYP for 2011 in Mathematics AND Reading. Just to contextualize this: Mount Royal did not meet AYP, Roland Park did not meet AYP, Baltimore Montessori did not meet AYP. In a year where all the schools came under intense scrutiny during test administration, I think we can be proud of our children's accomplishments. Click the link below to see: http://mdreportcard.org/AYPIntro.aspx?AypPV=14:0:30:0335:3:00000000 We are so appreciative of the hardworking staff at our school :-)
This school provides a rare opportunity for its students. It is not a traditional program, however, if parents and students understand and embrace the unique aspects of language immersion, the benifits are unmatched. Time and commitment is required to master the target language skills. I have not found my child, who is in kindergarten, lacking in english skills or any other subject. I believe he will have a great advantage and am pleased with the exposure he receives. Teachers demand discipline and order in class. These kids have performed for the President, visited an embassy and more. This is just kindergarten. I am excited about what is to come. Parents are actively involved. I hope that a new space is forthcoming.
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