Berkeley Lake Elementary

Bear Essentials - October 14, 2016

Short weeks always seem to fly by! I hope your family enjoyed the three-day weekend last week.

Positive Behavior in our School

Last Monday our staff participated in professional learning, developed 2nd Quarter plans and attended a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) presentation. As I mentioned earlier in the year PBIS is a state program developed by our staff to fit our goals and expectations. You may have noticed the newly posted BLES behavior expectation posters throughout the school. Each area of the school has a visual reminder of these behaviors for the cafeteria, hallways, restrooms, and playground and buses so that all students, staff and parents understand PBIS expectations.

PTA News Items

Tuesday morning started the week with the PTA Executive Board meeting. The PTA is really busy sponsoring many terrific programs. They just finished receiving student entries for the Reflections fine arts competition. News of our school winners will be coming soon. Thank you to PTA volunteer, Jennifer Kramer, for organizing an amazing Helping Hands food drive and to all of the children, parents and staff who donated items. Our food pantry is restocked. We are so appreciative of the great supply and variety of the food. The PTA Charleston Wrap fall fund raiser arrived this week and parents are reminded to pick up orders Saturday, October 15, from 1:00 to 3:00 at the front entrance of the school, if you were not able to pick your order up at the Bear Cub Cookout. Thank you to all who participated in the fall fund raiser. A special appreciation goes to Emily Shih, PTA co-president, for all her organization to make the fund raiser a big success.

Other upcoming PTA events include:

  • PTA Box Tops for Education incentive for turning in the highest number of counted Box Tops in a bag with the teacher’s name by October 21. The student with the highest number of Box Tops turned in wins a gift card.
  • This is the 10th year for Tanner Family Portraits partnership with the PTA. For a $25 donation to the BLES PTA, your family and friends - pets included - can arrange a 10-minute sitting appointment and receive an 11"x14" portrait. You may also purchase other portrait packages but the $25 donation goes straight to our school. Last year we raised $1,000 for our students. Watch for a Family Portrait Form coming home soon to schedule an appointment and attach the payment to reserve a photo sitting. Return the form to Cathy Mettille at the front desk. The last day to make appointments will be October 28. Portraits will be taken November 2-3. Pick up day is November 16.
  • PTA Turkey Trot and K-Kids Pancake Breakfast, Sat., Nov. 12. Last week there was an error on the date. Turkey Trot forms are in today’s Friday folders or can be picked up at the front desk or visit the BLES PTA website. We still need sponsors. You may contact Julia at for information. The race will begin at 8:30, but need people to be at the school by 8:00.

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Accelerated Reader (AR) Celebrations

First quarter ended and of course that means it is time for first quarter Accelerated Reader (AR) celebrations. The deadline for taking AR quizzes was Oct. 14. AR ceremonies are Monday, October 24, for 2nd grade at 9:00 and 3rd grade at 9:30 and Tuesday, October 25, for 4th grade at 9:00 and 5th grade at 9:30. Please join us in the cafeteria to cheer on the children and their reading accomplishments. Ms. Page will recognize our top readers and share points earned.

National School Bus Safety Week

We will recognize Bus Drivers during National School Bus Safety Week, October 17 - 21. The Duluth Cluster schools will each take a day to show appreciation to our bus drivers. Please take a minute to say thank you or write a special note to your own bus driver. Driving a bus while keeping 60 children behind you safe is a hard job yet twice each day our drivers manage to do it all.

United Way Campaign

The United Way Campaign student drive started this week and will continue until October 21. Students are asked to drop off coins in the United Way bucket at Berkeley Bear as they arrive at school in the mornings. Thank you to all who have contributed to the United Way.

Unity Day

Unity Day was started by the PACER National Bullying Prevention Center. It is a time we can all stand together to show that we care about the issue of bullying and people who are bullied. Bullying can impact education, physical and mental health, and safety. At Berkeley Lake Elementary School we stand united against bullying and want all students to be safe and secure. Show your true colors when it comes to bullying and wear orange on Wednesday, October 19 to show that we are united against bullying! Visit for more information. You can also go to for fun and educational actives to learn more about Unity Day.

Red Ribbon Week

In looking ahead we will be celebrating Red Ribbon Week October 24 - 28. The purpose of Red Ribbon Week is to present a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a DRUG FREE AMERICA. This is the largest drug prevention program in the country reaching millions of young people during Red Ribbon Week. All students are invited to participate in signing a pledge. This is a school wide initiative that is free! Here is the schedule for the week : Mon., 10/24 : “Pledge To Be Drug Free”-sign class pledge cards; Tues., 10/25 : “Wear Red Day!”-wear anything you have that’s RED; Wed., 10/26 : “Sock it to Drugs!”-wear your craziest socks; Thurs., 10/27 : “Say No To Drugs!”-receive a Red Ribbon Week pencil; Fri., 10/28 : “Stay in the Game!”-wear your favorite sports team shirt.

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Berkeley Lake Website

Gwinnett County Public Schools is redirecting all of its local schools' websites to go directly to the GCPS landing page. In order to get to Berkeley Lake's website, you will need to click on the blue hyperlink labeled "Visit School website" at the top of the screen. We are not sure when this change will occur, but we wanted to let you know ahead of time.

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Progress Reports

Progress Reports are in your child’s Friday Folder. Please be sure to review the report and return the signed report card envelope to your child’s teacher. Remember that grades will reset after the end of the first semester and report cards will come home in January.

Cafeteria Monitoring

I would like to thank all of the volunteers that have given their time to help monitor the cafeteria so far this year. Thank you to : Imelda Rubio, Ruth Norris, Sheila Kelly, Julie Allen, Lenka Taylor, Graciela Oviedo, Chantriece Marrow, Sandra Sanchez, Antonio Perez, Cathy Valerio, Vanessa Gordon, Tara Kalson, Cliff Gaines, Marcus Thomas, Kristen Blood.

Fine Arts Night Tonight

Hope you can join the chorus this evening at the Duluth High School football pregame Fine Arts Night. All of the schools in the cluster will walk on the field at 6:45 to sing the National Anthem.

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In Closing

Have a restful weekend.

Thank you,

Dr. Bearse

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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