Berkeley Lake Elementary

Bear Essentials - December 4, 2015

I hope each of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with your family. We all returned to Berkeley Lake this week ready to learn with excitement and enthusiasm for the last three weeks of the semester.

PTA Candlelight Luncheon

Our annual PTA Candlelight Luncheon days will be Dec. 10 for grades K, 2 & 4 and Dec. 11 for grades 1, 3 & 5. The schedule for these special luncheons will be in your child’s Friday folder and is also posted on the BLES website. If you are willing to volunteer at the Candlelight Luncheon the day you are not attending, please contact Doris Wong. Her email is Also, please contact her if you are willing to help set up the cafeteria on Wed., Dec. 9, at 3:00 in the cafeteria. Thank you for your help with this festive event!

Georgia Parent Survey

The State Dept. of Education invites you to participate in the Georgia Parent Survey for our College and Career Readiness Performance Index score. High parent participation will positively impact our school’s School Climate Star Rating. Please take time to complete this online confidential survey by using your personal computer, smartphones or tablet. For parents that do not have access to the Internet, please consider stopping by the Parent Center or front office to complete the Georgia Parent Survey at school. All parents are encouraged to participate because the data will be used as part of the calculation of the School Climate Star Rating. Survey responses are anonymous and will be submitted directly to the Georgia Department of Education for analysis. Individual data results from the Georgia Parent Survey will not be available to the public and will not be posted online. The URL address for the survey is or you may go directly to the BLES website and click the button in the middle of the screen marked Parent Survey. Thank you in advance for your support.

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Georgia Milestone Assessment System (GMAS) News

Georgia Milestone Assessment System (GMAS) was administered to students in grades 3, 4, and 5 during the spring of 2015. Individual student reports have been posted to the parent portal, as well as parent guides. You can also find the parent guides on the Berkeley Lake Elementary website.

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Local School Council

Thursday morning our Local School Council held its second meeting of the year. Council Chair, Grant Shih facilitated the meeting. The agenda featured the Local School Plan of Improvement/Title I Plan, review of the Georgia Milestones Assessment System (GMAS) results, College and Career Readiness Performance Index and the Duluth Cluster Redistricting. Thank you to our school council members: Grant Shih, Brenda Alder, Lee Jones, Sara Woolley, Charles Weir, Rebecca Rubin, Katrina Grier, Jennifer Maise, Leslie Hale (Barnes & Noble), and faculty members Julie Asztalos and Rosario Madison.

Winter Concert

Last evening was our fifth grade Winter Concert under the direction of Mr. Green. The students entertained us with the annual holiday music program. Joining the evening performance was our BLES strings class with instructor Nirvana Kelly from Crescendo Strings. Celebrating the season with our students’ performances was a joyful event and warmed our hearts. Thank you to Mr. Green and Ms. Kelly and parent volunteer, Mr. McClendon, for giving their time and energy to provide this fine experience to our students and parents.

Smencil Sale by P.E. Department

The annual Smencil sales will be the week of Dec. 7. The Smencil fundraiser provides funds for the PE department’s many programs which benefit our students. The sales will be from 7:45 – 8:15 on Dec. 8 for grades 3 - 5, Dec. 9 for grades K – 2 and Dec. 10 for leftovers. Smencils are only $1! Ms. Birozes and I appreciate your support.

Special Events on Dec. 8th!

We are all looking forward to next week’s annual Barnes and Noble Book Fair on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at the Forum. It is also PTA Family Night at Jason’s Deli. Please come out and join the wonderful entertainment and support the PTA. Ms. Page will be reading stories at 6:00 and 7:30 and the chorus will perform under Mr. Green’s direction at 6:30.

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BLES PTA Cookie Dough Sale

Would you like some delicious cookies? Then be sure to go online for the BLES PTA Cookie Dough Sale. The PTA is selling a variety of tubs of scrumptious cookie dough - just in time for holiday events such as parties, cookie exchanges and gift giving! Online ordering will make it easy and the dough will ship directly to the address of the person ordering! Please visit for more details! The BLES PTA thanks you in advance for your support! You may also place orders at the Candlelight Luncheon.

UPS Discount to BLES Families

If you are shipping packages this holiday season, the UPS store located at 3870 Peachtree Industrial Blvd (in the Publix Shopping Center), which is owned by one of our families, is offering to give 5% of your shipping charge to Berkeley Lake. If you decide to send your packages from there, just remember let the store know you are from Berkeley Lake. Classes with the highest number of parents shipping packages will earn a pizza celebration!

Winter Celebrations

Winter Celebrations are Thur. and Fri, Dec. 17 & 18. Each class is allowed to have a celebration for an hour. Please check your child’s Friday Folder for details. All activities need to be over by 1:30 to allow for a smooth and safe dismissal. The teachers and children appreciate the PTA Room Reps supporting these festive occasions.

New Buzz-in Safety System

As a proactive safety measure, soon when you arrive at Berkeley Lake Elementary you will need to be recognized and buzzed into the school in order to enter the building. Wiring and cameras have been installed for our new Buzz-in Safety System. I will send home more information to let parents know when we will start this procedure as soon as I have the date.

Lost and Found

Our Lost and Found is overflowing with coats, jackets, sweaters and more. Please check the racks in the main hall if your child has missing items We will pack everything up on Dec. 18 for donating. The cold weather is here so students need their gear to stay warm.

Thank You

Thank you to the following people who have volunteered in our lunchroom! You truly make a difference!

Laura Reyes, Iyiola Ashadele, Caroline Hale, Andrew Stephens, Antonia Perez, Sheila Kelly, Emily Shih, Sara Woolley, Rita Bailey, Charles Weir, and Nella Liebenberg.

Have a terrific weekend. I will be baking PTA cookie dough!

Dr. Bearse

Important Dates

12/7—3-4:00 Chess Club

12/8—7:15 IT Girls

12/8—7:30 PTA Exec Bd Mtg

12/8—7:45 Smencil Sale Gr 3-5

12/8—9-11:00 English Class

12/8—3-4:00 Green Team

12/8—5-9:00 PTA Spirit Night-Jason’s Deli

12/8—6-9:00 Barnes & Noble Book Fair

12/9—7:15 Art Club

12/9—7:45 Smencil Sale Gr K-2

12/9—2:45 Strings

12/9—3:00 NO Good News Club

12/10—7:15 Chorus

12/10—7:30 Readers Rally

12/10—7:45 Smencil Sale—All

12/10—Candlelight Luncheons Gr K, 2, 4

12/11—7:30 Witzzle Pro

12/11—7:45 K-Kids

12/11—Candlelight Luncheons Gr 1, 3, 5

12/11—6pm Chorus “Sing for Santa” at Gwinnett Gladiators game

12/14—8:30-1:30 Gr 5 Field Trip

12/14—3-4:00 Chess Club

12/15—9-11:00 English Class

12/15—3-4:00 Green Team

12/16—7:15 Art Club

12/16—NO Good News Club

12/16—2:45-4:45 Strings

12/17—7:15 Chorus

12/17—7:30 Readers Rally

12/18—End Quarter 2

12/18—Last day for AR points

12/18—7:30 Witzzle Pro

12/21—1/5/16—Winter Break

1/6/16—Students Return

1/6/16—Begin Quarter 3

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.