August 12, 2022

Building Excellence Successfully Together

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Key News for Explorer Families

What a fantastic first week of school it has been! Seeing the smiles on the faces of the students has warmed our hearts. Teachers have been busy building relationships, sharing and modeling grade level expectations and routines and jumping into the curriculum! Arrival and dismissal has gone well for the first week of school...for those participating in carpool, please review a few reminders below.

This issue of the BEST contains important updates and information for families. We communicate school procedures and reminders via the newsletter as we hope you'll find it a helpful resource for Northwood and FCS news. Our school website is also updated regularly and another good site to visit for information as well.

The PTA is looking forward to seeing families tonight at the Back to School Bash!

With gratitude,

Heather Rucker



August 12 - PTA's Back to School Bash, 6-8 p.m.

August 18 - FCS Board Meeting

September 5 - Labor Day, No School

September 6 - Professional Development Day / Remote Day for Students

Kindergarten Class of 2028

It’s been a successful first week! We’re excited to have all of our Explorers back in the building and extend a special welcome to Northwood’s Kindergarten Class of 2028.


Heather Rucker, Principal

Kristina Alshabazz, 1st Grade Teacher

Toni Bonds, 1st Grade Teacher

Victoria Smith, 1st Grade Teacher

Alex Viola, 2nd Grade Teacher

Mikala Sanders, 2nd Grade Teacher

Kaylen Saunders, 4th Grade Teacher

Elizabeth Waters, 5th Grade

Jill Bowie, IRR – 2nd Grade

Arielle Smither, IRR – 5th Grade

Jonathan Dixon, AU Assistant

Clay Braddock, P.E.

Ashley Greer, Adaptive Art

Allison Gifford, Psychologist

Joy Myrick, Resource Officer

Reading Time

Principal Rucker and Assistant Principal Levine loved seeing so many smiling faces as they read in classrooms this week.

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New This Year: Attendance and Dismissal Emails


If your child is absent from school, please submit an email to your child’s teacher AND within five days of returning to school.

Please include:

  • Child's first and last name
  • The absence date(s)
  • Reason for absence(s) *attach doctor's note if applicable

You can monitor student attendance in your Campus Parent Portal account.

If you would like to request a pre-approved absence, the Absence Request Form is available on our website under Attendance.


While all transportation changes should be submitted in writing and given to the teacher in the morning; we do understand that emergency situations do happen. If you have a same day emergency change, please submit an email to before 12 pm.

Please include:

  • Child’s first and last name
  • The date and the specific change, i.e. bus to car rider
  • The reason for the change

Please copy your child’s homeroom teacher on the email as well.

CheckMate: New Kiosk for Checking Students In and Out

We have upgraded to an online automated attendance kiosk, CheckMate, to make checking your students in and out easier and more efficient. There is a laptop in the front office next to the visitor sign-in computer, where you will sign your child in if they are tardy; and out if you are picking them up early. You will still need your Photo ID and to be on the student’s approved emergency contact list.



  • Please have your child ready to exit the car when you pull up. This will allow the line to move steadily.

  • Please seat your child on the passenger side -parents/guardians should not exit the cars to open car doors.

  • Please do not pass other cars in line.


  • Please reference the map below for the afternoon carpool route.

  • Please have your carpool number in the windshield visible to staff.

  • Please wait until all day care vans have loaded and departed before entering the carpool circle.

  • Please allow enough space for the buses to enter the bus loop if you arrive for carpool before 2:20 p.m.

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Have You Joined Infinite Campus Parent Portal?

The Infinite Campus Parent Portal provides quick and easy access to information for all enrolled students in their household. Find grades, attendance, assignments, schedules, ID numbers, school announcements and more. If you haven't already joined, please do so today as Fulton County Schools is transitioning to managing everything via the portal.

For more information, access the Parent Portal Booklet for Infinite Campus here.

Student Code of Conduct & Discipline Handbook: PLEASE REVIEW & SIGN OFF

Each year Fulton County Schools asks families and students to read and discuss the Student Code of Conduct & Discipline Handbook; and then sign off that you have read it. Please follow the steps below to access the handbook, and then sign off electronically in your Infinite Campus Parent/Student Portal Account.

  • Please read and review the Code of Conduct with your student(s). There are also paper copies available for your convenience in the office.

Student Success Skills

Student Success Skills are Fulton County School's standards for the skills needed to demonstrate mastery of academic and interpersonal skills needed for college, career, and life success. These six skills are taught in all schools, by all teachers, to all students.

Parents, please click the link below for more information; and to set up your Rethink Account which provides access to all the lesson content. Student Success Skills.

FCS TAG Screening & Referral Information 2022-23

Families that would like to review the updated TAG eligibility guidelines please click the attachment. You can also access the Fulton County TAG website here.


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