Bear Essentials, Jan. 14, 2022

Weekly eNews for Parents and BLES Families

This link will take a visitor to the same newsletter but in Spanish

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

It's been another great week of learning at Berkeley Lake Elementary, but it has not been without its challenges. Due to the sharp increase in COVID cases, we have suffered from a sub shortage, and I am so very grateful to our school staff for pulling together to ensure every child had a caring and qualified teacher this week. Likewise, we continue to have disruptions in our bus service due to a bus driver shortage. We are happy to pass any concerns to the transportation department or you may contact them directly by calling or emailing Ms. Sandra J. Williams at or 678-473-6241.

Thank you to everyone who joined me for Coffee Talk this week. I welcome your questions and feedback at all times and hope you feel comfortable in reaching out. Enjoy the three-day weekend!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

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A Look Ahead...

Monday, January 17

  • Student/Teacher Holiday for Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, January 18

  • 2nd- High Touch High Tech- STEM LAB

Wednesday, January 19

  • 2nd- High Touch High Tech- STEM LAB
  • 12:30pm Play to Learn
  • 3:15pm Green Team

Thursday, January 20

  • No events

Friday, January 21

  • No events

GCPS "Shine Student"

Each day, Gwinnett County Public Schools recognizes a student or teacher as part of the "Shine" campaign and on Tuesday, one of our own students was recognized. Jorge is a 4th grader

and says he is challenged to do his best every day! Click here to meet him and other students featured in the SHINE campaign.

Class Preference for Next School Year

It's time to work on class lists for next year and we want your input! Please complete this form by January 28th:



Clinic is In Need Of

Our Clinic urgently needs:

  • pants (boys-girls-adults) all ages and sizes. (sweatpants, stretch pants, yoga pants, running pants or any pants )
  • groceries bags

Please drop them by the clinic if you have any to donate. Thank you.

Excuse Notes for Absences

Communication between home and school is a key component of your child's success in school. We appreciate phone calls, Dojo's and emails letting us know the morning of your child's absence. That helps us not wonder and worry about why your child is not here, and helps us anticipate when they will return to school.

It is also important to send an excuse note with your child following any absence. We have students returning from being out due to illness without excuse notes. This causes their absence to be coded as unexcused. Students with 10 or more unexcused absences are considered truant. If it is more convenient, you can email the excuse note to the teacher and they will print it for you. A Dojo message cannot be printed as an excuse note.

Please contact our school counselors with any questions.

Laura Marantz

Counselor for K, 2, 4

Lyndsay Murphy

Counselor for 1,3,5

Kids Heart Challenge is Coming!

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Register Early:

Our American Heart Association Kids Heart Challenge event will begin on January 31st! Your student will learn about heart, brain, and vascular health, and meet kids with special hearts!

Our goal is to have all students register online and take the challenge. They’ll even earn a free wristband for registering! Plus, the classrooms with the most students registered in each grade level will earn a mystery surprise!

Here’s how you can help:

Click on the image below showing the three steps to learn more about what the American Heart Association is doing to make an impact in our community.

Lost and Found

Our lost and found is full! If you think your child may be missing a jacket, coat, water bottle, etc., please have them come to the lost and found located in the lunchroom. We will donate all items that have been in the lost and found for more than three weeks on February 18th.

PTO News

  • Spirit Wear- we are searching for a volunteer(s) to chair the Spirit Wear this year. We have local vendors we work with but are looking for someone to coordinate and help arrange the sales. If you would be interested in volunteering for this position, please contact us at

Think First and Stay Safe

The annual personal safety lessons designed to prevent sexual abuse will begin the week of January 10th and continue until counselors are able to deliver these lessons to all classes K-5. A letter will come home the day your child receives their lesson. The Think First & Stay Safe™ program is a research-based program that teaches specific personal safety education by way of interactive classroom lessons, classroom posters, role playing and corresponding activities. Think First & Stay Safe™ enables students to take an active and necessary role in protecting themselves from abuse and exploitation. A committee of professional school counselors reviewed the program and selected components that were developmentally appropriate for elementary students and developed lessons around those concepts.

K Kids:

The next meeting will be January 21, 2022 in Mrs. Ashadele's room. No need to arrive early, since we will start when the bell rings.

Family Engagement Tips

Visit the BLES website and check out each day's Family Engagement tip. There is a tip for every day, Monday - Sunday, and they are offered in both English and Spanish.

Instructional Resource Review Committee Applications Now Available

GCPS invites community members to participate in resource review committee

Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS) is inviting parents and community members to apply for the district’s Instructional Resources Review Committee (IRRC), a group charged with evaluating print and digital instructional resources. Feedback from the IRRC and teacher reviews will be considered in the selection of resources to pilot in the district. This year’s IRRC will convene on Feb. 22 at the J. Alvin Wilbanks Instructional Support Center (ISC) located at 437 Old Peachtree Road, NW, in Suwanee. Instructional resources will be reviewed for courses in the areas of Health (grades K-9), Mathematics (grades K-5 and select High School courses), Career and Technical Education (select courses in grades 6-12), and Social Studies (select elective courses in grades 9-12). Learn more about the IRRC and complete the application online. The deadline to submit completed applications is Jan. 24.

Report Cards for Semester 1

Report Cards for Semester 1 grades will be mailed out by the county office, the week of Jan. 18th. If you don't want to wait to receive a hard copy in the mail, you can log onto the parent portal on January 16th and view a pdf of the report card under the "Documents" area.

School Calendar for Next Year Approved and Released

Click on a blue link below to view the recently approved and released GCPS calendar for the 2022-2023 school year:

AKS at Home for 2nd Semester Begins January 25th!

As part of Gwinnett County Public Schools’ family engagement initiative, the school district seeks to empower parents with tools that allow them to help their children at home. Our AKS at Home project provides math and language arts resources to support families of children in grades K-5 so that they truly are partners in their children’s learning. This support is available for families to access in the format that suits them and their schedule best. They can attend live virtual meetings, view recorded information at a time that best fits their schedule, and gain tips and suggestions on how to best help their children through tip sheets on a wide variety of topics.

We invite our families to sign up for a virtual session to learn more about how they can support their children.

Tip Sheets and Recordings can be accessed by selecting the appropriate grade level. Recordings will be available at the end of each unit series.


  • Language Arts: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Register
  • Math: Tuesday, Jan. 25, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Register

1st Grade

  • Language Arts: Tuesday, Feb. 1, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Register
  • Math: Tuesday, Jan. 25, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Register

2nd Grade

  • Language Arts: Thursday, Feb. 3, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Register
  • Math: Thursday, Jan. 27, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Register

3rd Grade

  • Language Arts: Thursday, Feb. 3, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Register
  • Math: Thursday, Jan. 27, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Register

4th Grade

  • Language Arts: Wednesday, Feb. 2, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Register
  • Math: Wednesday, Jan. 26, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Register

5th Grade

  • Language Arts: Wednesday, Feb. 2, 9:00 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Register
  • Math: Wednesday, Jan. 26, 1:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Register

Positive Interventions and Behavior Support (PBIS)

Our school is a Positive Interventions and Behavior Support (PBIS) school. Each week we will spotlight a particular theme of good behavior and ask that you reinforce this theme with your child when it at home.
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Will Your Child Be Withdrawing as a Student from Our School?

If you child with be withdrawing from our school, please be aware that you must contact the front office to complete the withdrawal. Most districts require certain paperwork from the previous school before you will be able to register your child at the new school. Be sure to bring any library books, Chromebooks and powercords, and other school-owned items when you begin the withdraw process.

Recreational Spring Soccer Sign Up:

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First Ever GCPS Relay for Life Car Show:

Camp Invention Is Coming Summer 2022

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Berkeley Lake Elementary is a Georgia After School Program (GASP) School

Parents, are you tired of waiting in those long car-rider lines? Or, do you need someone to watch your student after school until you can get home from work? If so, the Georgia After School Program may be something you want to consider. The program is offered at our school and follows strict COVID protocols. If you want to learn more about the program, click here.
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T-Mobile Offering Cellular Plan for Gwinnett Families

Please note: For questions regarding the program, please contact

LeanStream support at or 833-943-4463.

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COVID 19 Help

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Gwinnett County Substitute Teacher Incentive Plan

In Gwinnett County Public Schools (GCPS), our people are our greatest resource, including our substitute teachers and the tremendous support they provide to our students, staff members, and schools. GCPS substitutes play a critical role in our students’ education, making a difference in the lives of children every day! Click here to learn more about the GCPS substitute teaching program.

Do You Have a Young Child at Home That is Not Yet in School? If so, Get Involved With Play to Learn.

Play 2 Learn is a program for young children— ages birth to 5— offered at 42 elementary schools in Gwinnett County Public Schools. Children and parents and other adults in the family learn together through engaging lesson plans in a high-quality preschool environment for 90 minutes each week during the school year. Families are empowered to keep the learning going at home so that all children will be ready for Kindergarten! Berkeley Lake Elementary one of the county's Play to Learn Schools, so if you have a young child at home, we encourage you to consider joining the program. See the image below or click here to learn even more about the program.
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We Collect Box Tops (Online)

Box Tops for Education is Online: Box Tops are being collected online only. Here are instructions for how to continue to give to our school with Box Tops.

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.

Do You Have a MyPaymentsPlus Account?

Gwinnett Public Schools uses MyPaymentsPlus as a site for school-related payments and documentation sign off. If you do not yet have an account with this site, you will need to set one up. Click here to learn more.

Did You Know BLES is on Various Social Media Apps?

Follow us on all of our social media accounts by clicking the links below:

Opportunity for Discounted Portable WiFi Hotspot for Families

The Gwinnett County Public Schools Foundation is offering a discount on a portable WiFi hotspot for its families for $50/month. Data is unlimited and there is no contract required. See the image below or click here to learn more.

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!

Our Parent Center

The Berkeley Lake Parent Center is located across from the front office and it's providing services by appointment. For Parent Center support please call Ms. Sandra Orci, Parent Liaison, at 678-291-4232 or email her at

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.

We Thank Our Business Partners

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Contact Us:

Berkeley Lake Elementary

4300 S. Berkeley Lake Rd.

Duluth, Georgia 30096

P: (770)446-0947

F: (770)582-7514