Berkeley Lake ES

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, December 13, 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

We had a great turnout of parents for last week's school tour and Coffee Talk! Please remember that anyone is welcome to attend these quarterly get-togethers. If you have a neighbor or friend with a rising kindergarten student, please let them know that our next tour and Coffee Talk will be on April 30th.

I so enjoyed reading The Polar Express to our students who came out for holiday fun at Barnes and Noble on Monday night! Thank you to our media specialist, Mrs. Washington, for organizing story time and crafts, and to Mr. Green, our music teacher, for another fun chorus sing-along!

I hope that everyone enjoyed the Candlelight Luncheons this week. Many thanks to Ms. Diane Shockley, our cafeteria manager, and PTO Board member Monique Somervell for all their help in making these days so special!

Have a nice weekend.

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

The Lost and Found is Full! Please check it for missing items the next time you visit the school.

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Attention: Parking for Winter Parties and Car Rider Line

If you are a parent who will be attending your child's winter class party, please be aware that some cars begin lining up in the side lower-lot car rider line as early as 2:00 PM. Although winter parties for those grade levels having them in the afternoons are supposed to end by 2:00, you might still be unable to exit the school in a timely manner if the car rider line has you blocked in. Please keep this in mind if you are here for a later party and park in the front parking lot instead of the side lot.

Morning Drop Offs for Students Who Miss the Car Rider Morning Line

After all the buses have arrived, the gate for the bus lanes will close. Please park your car and walk your child to the lobby of the school, even if he/she is not late. If for some reason, the gate remains open, PLEASE STILL follow the same procedure and park your car. We do this for the safety of our children. Thank you.

Smencil Sale Update, by Renee Birozes, P.E. Teacher

Smencil sales help the P.E. department tremendously with purchasing new updated equipment for the curriculum, as well as for field days. This year the plan is to use most of the profit from our smencil sale to purchase items for the new playground space, so thank you to all the parents and students who made our sale a success. We sold close to two thousand smencils!

Thank you to the PTO moms for their continued support and volunteer help - specifically Monique Somervell, Sarim Gichengo, Ashley Sweeney, Jennifer Maise, and Marion Redfearn for their help with collecting of money and distribution of smencils to the students!

More December Music Performances

Tonight, our Chorus Club will perform the National Anthem and five Christmas/Holiday-themed songs at the 7:35 PM Atlanta Gladiator's Hockey game against South Carolina. All families are welcome, but only the chorus club will be performing in the event.

Our annual 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.

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Hat and Glove Drive Continues

The Hats and Gloves Clothing Drive sponsored by our Student Council will continue next week. Any donations would be greatly appreciated. There is a box inside the front door to drop them off.

K-Kids News

The K-Kids had a great trip to Discovery High School, where they attended the 10th Annual Leadership conference. Our students learned all about staying "Jotivated" from the Keynote speaker, Jovan Paige. Two Peachtree Ridge High School Seniors taught our group about teamwork and the difference between being bossy and a leader. Finally, we found our "Zen" by learning a few more mindful moment strategies from two counselor interns. It was an exciting day, and we thank Mrs. Berry and Ms. Jernigan for helping chaperone our trip.

District Assessments

Students in grades 4th - 5th will continue taking Mid Year District Assessments for Science and Social Studies on Monday and Tuesday of next week. Make Ups for students in grades 1st - 5th will continue through January 10th. 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. Attendance is important during the testing window, so please make sure your child comes to school on time each day. Make Ups for students in grades 1st - 5th will continue through January 10th.

Attendance Counts

This holiday season, the best gift you can give your child is a good education. And the best place to get an education is in school. It’s tempting to extend your vacation by a few days, but remember, those days count as absences. Just a few missed days here and there, even if they’re excused absences, can add up to too much lost learning time. So make sure your child is in school every day, right up until vacation starts. Our teachers will be teaching, and our students will be learning.

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 67 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:

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PTO News

Thank You

Thank you to the PTO volunteers who helped decorate and assist with the Candlelight Luncheon. We couldn’t do these events without you!

If Your Ordered Keepsake Photos

For those of you who ordered keepsake photos, thank you for supporting PTO. This is another fundraiser that helps us support our school by providing things like cultural arts programs and classroom support for our teachers. You’ll receive your photos in a few weeks via backpack mail.

Need Your Desserts for Staff Holiday Lunch

Let‘s show our teachers and staff how much we appreciate them! PTO provides desserts for the teacher/staff holiday luncheon each year. Click here to sign up to bring a sweet treat for the lunch on Wednesday, December 18. Please drop off your dessert by 10 a.m. at the front desk. Make sure to bring disposable bakeware/serving trays as it may be difficult to return original items.

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.

Remember to Buy Your Yearbooks

Yearbooks are purchased and customized by you online.

Go to

Enter our school code 1015217531682993

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.

A Look Ahead...

Monday, December 16

Mid Year District Assessments Grades 4th & 5th, make ups for 1st - 5th

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

3:15pm Student Council Meeting -Houser's Room

Tuesday, December 17

Mid Year District Assessments Grades 4th & 5th, make ups for 1st - 5th

7:00am No I.T. Girls

9:00am Advanced English Class

3:00pm Green Team

Wednesday, December 18

Make Ups for Mid Year District Assessments, Grades 1st - 5th

7:15am Art Club

9:00am Beginner English Class

Thursday, December 19

Make Ups for Mid Year District Assessments, Grades 1st - 5th

Winter Parties PreK, 2nd, 4th, 5th (end by 2:00)

7:00am Chorus Club Semester 1

9:00am Pre-K snow party

9:30am 5th Grade Winter Party

12:00pm 4th Grade Winter Parties

3:00pm Good News Club CANCELLED for today

3:00pm Robotics Club

4:30pm Strings Concert

5:15pm Chorus Club Concert

6:00pm 4th Grade Concert

Friday, December 20

End of 1st Semester

Make Ups for Mid Year District Assessments, Grades 1st - 5th

Semester 1 ends

Winter Parties K , 1st, 3rd

7:30am Witzzle Pro Club meets

11:15am Kindergarten Parties

12:00pm 3rd Grade Parties

1:00pm 1st Grade Parties

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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