Berkeley Lake Elementary

Bear Essentials - January 15, 2015

Spelling Bee Winners

We had another busy week of learning at the Lake! Before I share about this week, I would like to go back to last Friday morning’s Spelling Bee competition. What a contest! We had many rounds of spelling with 4th and 5th graders. Congratulations to Eric Xu from Ms. Lehman’s class who is our Berkeley Lake Spelling Bee champion! Hats off to our alternate Ben Barnhill from Ms. Baines/Sheppard’s class. Eric will represent our school at the county Bee on Saturday, Jan. 30, 8:30am, at Central Gwinnett High School. We are proud of all our classroom winners who participated in the school-wide Bee. They all did a great job.

Our Buzz-In System was activated this last week.

The new system, requires visitors to be “buzzed” into the school, and enhances the safety and security of students and staff by establishing greater door control at the primary entrance to the school. All our doors are locked each day after car riders and buses arrive so visitors will need to press the “bell” button to gain entry to the school.

Accelerated Reader Celebrations

This Monday and Tuesday, Ms. Page held our quarterly AR pep rallies. If you were one of the many parents that attended, you know our students are doing an awesome job with earning points and reaching their reading goals. Our second through fifth graders have already earned over 25,432 points this school year and are on fire about reading! Congratulations to our cap, star and paw pin earners who are not only getting impressive rewards but also strengthening their reading skills.

PTA Happenings

Tuesday morning, our PTA Executive Board met. They wanted me to remind you of the PTA events that are coming up. Mark your calendar for PTA Science Night, Jan. 28, and PTA Bingo Night, March 4. Also PTA Membership cards will be sent home with your child in the next week. Contact our fabulous Co-Presidents if you have any questions: Lisa Gordan at or Emily Shih at

PTA Science Night is Coming Up

Speaking of the PTA Science Night Thursday evening, Jan. 28, from 6:00 to 8:00, remember that there will be a parent workshop at 5:30 in the science room. The Science Night has always been one of my favorite evenings with the students and parents. PTA Chairpersons, Julie Frick and Margo Williams, are coordinating the evening with Ms. Bentley and Mr. Carter. There will be many exhibitions on such topics as astronomy, telescopes, robotics, weather, rocks, chemistry, live animals and more. Make sure you come and join us! In more Science news, remember that Science Fair projects are due Jan. 22 to Ms. Bentley.

Report Cards

As you probably know, report cards went home today. The Georgia Milestone Assessment Spring 2015 Individual Student Reports were in the report card envelops for the 4th and 5th grade students who participated. You may go to the BLES website for a Parent Interpretation Guide, located on the home page. Please make time to review your child’s achievement with him or her. If they are doing their best, make sure they know you are proud of their work and efforts put forth. If they are struggling, work together on a plan to improve. Remember Berkeley Lake has a Parent Center full of resources that is open daily. If you need ideas on how to specifically help your child, please contact your child’s teacher.

Last Night's Parent Workshop

Thank you to the counselors, Laura Marantz and Danielle Maida, and the testing coordinator, Sophia Barton, for an informative parent workshop on testing last night. Ms. Marantz and Ms. Maida reviewed strategies on test preparation. Ms. Barton shared information about state testing expectations and the Georgia Milestones Assessment System. Please continue to check our school’s website for information about testing as well the Georgia Department of Education website. If you have additional questions about testing preparation or the assessments, please contact Ms. Barton (testing coordinator), Ms. Marantz (K, 2nd, and 4th grades), or Ms. Maida (1st, 3rd, and 5th grades).

Cluster Redistricting Information

Parents and community members participated in a public meeting Jan. 7, concerning the Duluth Cluster Redistricting. The recommendations were reviewed Jan. 8 and updated proposed redistricting maps were sent out to the schools. This updated map is posted in our front hall, as well as on the GCPS website. There will be another public meeting and comments on Jan. 21 and the BOE will then vote on the redistricting.

A Look Ahead...

There will be no school next Monday due to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Enjoy your day off.

Next Friday is the 100th Day of school. That is always a day focused on the notion of 100 and a fun day at elementary schools.

Inclement Weather Possibilities

I am ever mindful that this time of the year we could be missing school due to snow or poor weather. Remember, if there is bad weather, you can get all the information you need about school closing from WSB-TV and the GCPS website.

Enjoy the long weekend. We will see the children Tuesday, Jan. 19.

Thank you,

Dr. Bearse

Important Dates

1/18—MLK, Jr. Holiday

1/19—NO IT Girls

1/19—9-11:00 English Class

1/19—3-4:00 Green Team

1/19—5-9:00 PTA Spirit Night—Zaxby’s

1/20—7:15 Art Club

1/20—2:45-4:45 Strings Club

1/20—3-4:30 Good News Club

1/20—7:00 Duluth Cluster Foundation Mtg—DHS

1/21—NO Chorus

1/21—7:30 Readers Rally

1/22—100th Day of School!

1/22—7:30 Witzzle Pro

1/25—3-4:00 Chess Club

1/26—7:00 IT Girls Club

1/26—9-11:00 English Class

1/26—3-4:00 Green Team

1/27—7:15 Art Club

1/27—2:45-4:45 Strings

1/27—3-4:30 Good News Club

1/28—NO Chorus

1/28—7:30 Readers Rally

1/28—5:30 Title I Parent Workshop

1/28—6-7:30 Science / STEM Night

1/29—7:30 Witzzle Pro

Our Parent Center

The Berkeley Lake Parent Center is open each day from 7:30-3:30. The Parent Center is located in room 1.122 in the Media Center. Ms. Angela Schoenknecht, the Parent Instructional Coordinator (PIC), is available by appointment. Please call 678-291-4233 for Parent Center support or Ms. Sandra Orci (Parent Liaison) at 678-291-4232.

Berkeley Lake's Vision Statement

Our Vision : Berkeley Lake Elementary School is a positive, safe, nurturing environment that fosters respect among all students, teachers, parents, and community members while forwarding world-class achievement that successfully maximizes each student’s individual potential through engaging instruction.