Berkeley Lake ES

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, November 22, 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

Our school's website changed this morning. You may need to refresh your view several times when viewing the new site, but we are excited to announce its launch. Check it out at

I am also pleased to tell you new lettering with our school's name was placed on the front entrance of the building this week, so be sure to take a look as you enter our school the next time you visit.

I'd like to invite you to my December Coffee Talk, which will be held on Thursday, December 5th at 9:00 AM. During this informal sit-down session, we can discuss any questions you may have and talk about all the great things that are happening at BLES!

As you may know, BLES has partnered with Corner's Outreach for many years now; they provide a free homework club for our students, as well as other supports. I urge you to support them and invite you to learn more about Corner's Outreach.


$15 goes toward purchasing a compass book that teaches our students character skills based on our social-emotional learning.

$25 goes toward toys we will purchase for our toddlers to play with at our mommy and me program.

$50 goes toward curriculum items used at our Corners Academy locations, like math and word games, that make learning more fun.

$100 goes toward purchasing snacks we give our students when they arrive at Corners Academy. Everyone is more willing to learn once they’ve quieted their growling stomach.

$250 goes toward purchasing special activities we can do with our kids to keep them from being bored of learning. We have themes on different days like pirate day to keep our students laughing while learning.

New Way to Donate! Purchase a Corners Shirt
I wanted to make sure you've seen our new Corners Outreach shirts. We're super excited about these shirts and hope you find one you absolutely love. 50% of your purchase is donated to Corners, and we'll count that toward our $25,000 Giving Tuesday Campaign goal if you buy anytime between now and December 3. We have tons of options! Browse our shirts now:

Also, watch this inspiring video: Jordyne Krumroy from Welcoming America talks about the impact Corners Outreach is making in the community.

I hope your family has a happy Thanksgiving break. We will see the students back here on Monday, December 2nd!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

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A Special Thank You

Berkeley Lake Elementary would like to thank Sylvia and Cliff Bates for donating a wheelchair to our school clinic. We appreciate their generosity. We still are in need of one more wheelchair. Contact Rodrigo Maragni if you have any questions or information.

Thanksgiving Grocery Giveaway Will Take Place this Saturday, November 23, 11:00-1:00

Thank you to everyone who registered for the Thanksgiving Grocery Giveaway. Please remember to attend the event this Saturday. You must have registered for the event to attend.

Corners Church of Christ

3700 Medlock Bridge Road

Norcross GA, 30092

Please contact the church directly for help or questions 770-416-1550

Smencil Sale for PE Department Fundraiser

Smencil sales are back at BLES. The PE Department will be selling the scented pencils for $1.00 each to raise money to purchase new P.E. equipment and to add some pieces to our new playground space!


Tuesday, December 3rd: 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades

Wednesday, December 4th: Kindergarten,1st, and 2nd grades

Thursday, December 5th: 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades

Friday, December 6th: K,1st, and 2nd grades

WHERE? BLES Bear in the front lobby

District Assessments

During the month of December, students in grades 1st - 5th will take Mid Year District Assessments on the computer. All students will be assessed in Reading and Math, and 3rd - 5th graders will also take district tests in Science and Social Studies. Attendance is important during the testing window, so please make sure your child comes to school on time each day. These tests will count 5% towards your child's final grade in each subject area and measure knowledge of the AKS taught up to this point.

Candlelight Lunches

Our Candlelight Lunches will be December 11th -13th. For those of you who are new to BLES, this is a time when family members are invited to come eat lunch with their students. The cafeteria ladies make a feast, and the lunchroom is decorated for the season.

See the lunch schedule below by class:

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Save the Dates - December Music Performances

Our Berkeley Lake Elementary Chorus will perform the National Anthem and five Christmas/Holiday-themed songs at the 7:35 PM December 13th Atlanta Gladiator's Hockey game against South Carolina. Tickets are discounted for this event. See the flyer below for more details on purchasing tickets.

In addition, our chorus will be performing a small set of holiday tunes at the Barnes and Noble at the Forum on Monday, December 9th, around 7:15 or 7:30.

Lastly, our Winter Concert Series will be held on Thursday, December 19. Our Strings Club will perform at 4:30, followed by a chorus performance at 5:15. At 6:00 PM, our 4th graders will perform.

Please come out and support Mr. Green, our music teacher, and our BLES students for any or all of these events if you can.

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Science/STEM Fair

Science/STEM Fair flyers were sent home in last week's Friday folders (November 15). If your child is interested in participating this year, please return the bottom portion of the flyer to Ms. Bentley, the Science teacher, by December 2nd. Your child may choose to do a science fair project or a STEM project that addresses one of six problems. More specific information will be posted on Ms. Bentley's eClass page. The deadline is December 5th. Our Berkeley Lake Science Fair/STEM Night will be held on Thursday, January 16th. See the flyer below if you are interested.

Earth Day Artwork Contest

The Green Team is sponsoring a contest to create original artwork for the next Earth Day T-shirt to submit to All mediums and styles are welcome (crayon, pencil, paint, etc.). but entries need to be submitted on a white piece of 8 x 11 paper with the child's name teacher, and grade level on the back. If one of our Berkeley Lake students wins, the Earth Day Shirts company will donate $500 to the Green Team, they will send us 50 free t-shirts, and give the winning student's classroom a pizza party from his or her favorite pizza place! Please see the flyer below or visit Ms. Bentley's eClass page for additional details! Submissions will be accepted until December 5, 2019.

Thank You to the Following Recent Lunchroom Monitor Parent Volunteers:

Ninoska Gonzalez

Pauly Gomez

We Still Need Help With the Online Parent Survey from the State

Parents, please take the Georgia School Health Survey if you have not done so already. This state survey can be taken anywhere online but so far only 63 of our parents have taken the survey. This survey is anonymous and can be taken in English or Spanish. Here is the link to the state survey:

PTO News

Spirit Night

Our December Spirit Night will be held at Chipotle on December 9th.

Charleston Wrap orders are here!

Reminder slips went home this week to those of you that still have Charleston Wrap orders to pick up. Please pick up your orders as soon as possible between the hours of 7:30-4:00 at the school. If there are missing items or problems with an order, please do not call the school. Contact customer service at 866-395-2926. Charleston Wrap is one of our most important fundraising efforts of the year. Thanks for supporting our PTO.

Photographers Needed

The PTO offers customized photos at the Candlelight luncheon for $5 as a fundraiser for the school. We are in need of photographers with their own cameras (like Minolta, Canon, but not cellphones) to work the lunches each day.

We also need people to sit at the table and take the orders.

Click here to sign up.

Thank you!

Remember to Buy Your Yearbooks

Yearbooks are purchased and customized by you online.

Purchase by November 30th to get 5% off.

Go to

Enter our school code 1015217531682993

Stock the Fridge

Mathnasium of Berkeley Lake is going to stock one lucky school's refrigerator. Stock the Fridge is in honor of the upcoming Giving Tuesday on December 3. To enter our school, LIKE Mathnasiaum’s Facebook or Instagram page and type "Berkeley Lake Elementary" in the comment section. Cutoff for entries will be November 27 and must be a Mathnasium in the Duluth, Norcross or and Peachtree Corners areas. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 2nd.

Raise Money for BLES While Doing Your Holiday Shopping on Amazon

Did you know that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to our school? AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Click here to get started and select Berkeley Lake Elementary PTO.

Positive Behavior Focus for this Week:

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Digital Learning Days

The Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) 2019-2020 school calendar includes two make-up days to address school days missed due to inclement weather. In addition to these days, GCPS also has the option of making up days missed due to inclement weather using Digital Learning Days.

A Digital Learning Day is considered a school day, so students will be accountable for completing the teacher assignments from home, just as they would do at school. The assignments will be found on the teacher’s eClass course page under the Digital Learning Day icon and will be checked by the teacher and considered in the grading process.

As our teachers begin to prepare for the possibility of Digital Learning Days this year, it is important for them to know about devices and internet available to your student at home. A letter will be sent home in Friday folders in the next week or two to gather more information on whether or not internet & devices are available to your student at home. Please complete the questions at the bottom of the letters and return to your child's teacher so we can begin to plan for the possibility of Digital Learning Days in the future.

Gwinnett Parks and Recreation Events

Native American Festival - see flyer below.
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A Look Ahead...

Monday, November 25 - Friday, November 29

Thanksgiving Break

Monday, December 2

Mid Year District Assessments begin for students in grades 1st - 5th

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

Tuesday, December 3

Mid Year District Assessments for students in grades 1st - 5th

3rd Gr Cultural Arts-DeSoto Adventures

7:00am IT Girls

9:00am Advanced English Class

3:00pm Green Team

3:15pm Drama Club in room 3.124

Wednesday, December 4

Mid Year District Assessments for students in grades 1st - 5th

7:15am Art Club

9:00am Beginner English Class

Thursday, December 5

Mid Year District Assessments for students in grades 1st - 5th

7:00am Chorus Club Semester 1

8:30am School Tour

9:00am Coffee with Dr. Pendleton

3:00pm Good News Club (Media Center)

3:00pm Robotics Club

Friday, December 6

Mid Year District Assessments for students in grades 1st - 5th

7:30am Witzzle Pro Club meets

Saturday, December 7

8:30am Peer Leader Conference

Spring Milestones Schedule Released - 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Students

If your child is in the 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade, he/she will be taking the Georgia Milestones Assessment in the spring. Attendance is very critical during the testing window, so please note the dates below and try not to schedule any appointments or vacations during this time frame. You may also click here for a printable version of the testing schedule.
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Do You Have a Parent Portal Account?

You may have heard about Gwinnett's Parent Portal. The Parent Portal is a website that will allow you to log in and see your child's information, such as attendance, grades, standardized test scores, etc.

If you need to register with the portal, please print and complete this registration form and turn it in to the main office. Along with the completed form, you are required to show a photo I.D. for verification.

We Have a School Store

Berkeley Lake is proud to have our school store open daily before school starts! It is run by highly qualified 5th grade students. Each morning the school store volunteers are in charge of setting up the store, selling items, closing the store, and counting and depositing the money collected. They do all of this before 8:15 in the morning! Our store features school supplies and snacks. All profits go to our Care Team, which helps families in economic need, and the BLES School Counseling Department.

Berkeley Lake Recycles

Berkeley Lake recycles aluminum cans and old clothes and shoes (in any condition) in the two bins in the upper parking lot. The Green Team receives 10¢ per pound of donations, which helps pay the fee for the weekly paper and cardboard pick-up. The aluminum cans are recycled at Progressive Recycling on Simpson Circle. Please support our Green Team by recycling these items here at Berkeley Lake. Thank you!

Remember to Save Those Box Tops!

One easy way to support your school is through the PTO Box Tops for Education collection. Send in Box Tops from products you purchase. To help with counting, you can download this Box Tops Collection Sheet.

Make sure to put your Box Tops on the sheet or in a bag with your name and teacher on it. Drop it into the wooden box in the main hallway near the water fountain. Doing this automatically enters you into a contest.

Each month, we’ll hold a random drawing of all students who submit Box Tops. Winners will be announced on the morning announcements at the end of each month. The prize? A coupon for a free ice cream or an item from the student store. This fundraiser has helped us earn hundreds of dollars for our school!

We Are On Twitter

Follow our school on Twitter @BerkeleyLakeES

Our Parent Center

The Berkeley Lake Parent Center is open each day from 7:30-3:30. The Parent Center is located across from the front office. For Parent Center support please call Ms. Sandra Orci, Parent Liaison, at 678-291-4232.

Our Mission

To provide learning experiences in a secure and stimulating environment where every child can develop to his/her fullest potential academically, socially, and emotionally.

Our Vision

BLES 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.

Contact Us:

Berkeley Lake Elementary

4300 S. Berkeley Lake Rd.

Duluth, Georgia 30096

P: (770)446-0947

F: (770)582-7514

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