Berkeley Lake Elementary

Bear Essentials - November 13, 2015

Another Successful PTA Turkey Trot!

Even though we had days of rainy weather, last Saturday the rain held off for our annual PTA Turkey Trot. We had about 250 people attend the event with 120 runners in the 1.5 mile and about 45 participants in the 4 miles with Rachel Wahl from 1Rep at a Time providing a warm up. Congratulations to our Berkeley Lake winners: Luke Stanley from Ms. Parnell’s 4th grade class in the 1.5 mile race and Rohan Gonsalves from Ms. Fain’s 5th grade class in the 4 mile run. A huge thank you to our PTA chairs, Julia Panousis and Michelle Barnhill who worked on the planning and are responsible for the success of the community event. Also thank you to all our race sponsors, Windsor Reality, Cooper Pediatrics, Wesley Plantation, Sun Trust, PVR Research, Mathnasium, Norcross Christian Academy, Zaxby’s, Hamburger Bobbies, Road ID, Kilpatrick, Rea, and Associates CPA, PMTechnologies, J.Regus, Trader Joe’s, Mt. Carmel Pavement Pounders and Berkeley Chapel, the City of Berkeley Lake, Mayor Lois Salter and Gene Rodgers for their support.

Pancake Breakfast Thank-You's

After the Turkey Trot the K-Kids hosted a pancake breakfast. Ms. Ashadele and Ms. Lehman, our K-Kids sponsors, would like to thank everyone for joining us for the 4th annual fundraiser. Attendance was outstanding! A special thank you goes out to the K-Kids Duluth Kiwanis Club volunteers and sponsors, Mr. Rhodes and Mr. Guggenheim, Duluth High Key Club, Meadow Creek High Key Club, Mrs. Mansfield, Ms. Jones, Ms. Shockley and all of our BLES K-Kid members. The Duluth Kiwanis plan on presenting a check to the school next month for over $500. Thank you to the community business sponsors. The K-Kids are truly learning about service and did a wonderful job serving food, clearing tables and cleaning up after the event.

Announcing the BLES PTA Cookie Dough Sale!!

Beginning Monday, Nov. 16, the PTA will be selling tubs of delicious 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 person ordering! Please visit for more details! The BLES PTA thanks you in advance for your support!

Celebrating Our Teacher of the Year

Tuesday evening I had the honor of celebrating Teacher of the Year (TOTY) recognition with Ms. Worthy and her husband at the GCPS banquet where she was recognized for her excellence in teaching. She has been serving GCPS students for 19 years and at the Lake for a total of 15 outstanding years. Also Mon., I joined Ms. Worthy along with all the other TOTY from Duluth at the Duluth City Hall for a congratulations from City Council and Mayor Nancy Harris. We are so fortunate to have Ms. Worthy represent all our fine teachers from Berkeley Lake.

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Duluth Cluster Redistricting

The Duluth Cluster will be involved in redistricting for the 2016/2017 school year. A cluster committee of parents and staff representatives met Wed. to be a part of the information gathering and discussions about the redistricting process. We will share the information and maps as soon as they are released from the district next week.

BLES Peer Mediators

Thursday, the Berkeley Lake Peer Mediators participated in the 6th Annual Elementary School Peer Leadership Conference along with Ms. Marantz and Ms. Maida. This year’s theme was The IT Factor, sources of innovation and transformation in the schools with keynote speaker, Dr. Eddie Maresh, Principal of Creekland Middle School. Our Peer Mediators attended two sessions that focused on self identifying leadership qualities for effective communication skills without using technology, the "art of conversation" and working cohesively in a group to develop skills to be a transformational leader of tomorrow. It was a great day of learning!

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Family Math Night

Our biggest event this week was last evening’s Family Math Night with a Meaning of Math workshop for parents, Number Talk presentations and grade 3 performing, plus the wonderful plethora of classroom math games hosted by our teachers. Thank you to Ms. Mayorga and all our teachers for the planning and for extending their days, presenting information to parents to support math skills and to Mr. Green for 3rd graders’ performance. Our school was filled with math thinking and learning for all. I would like to express a special thank you to all the parents who came out last evening to participate in the math event. Also, I want to recognize our teacher presenters, Ms. Blum, Ms. Tolar, Ms. Hancharik and Ms. Lehman, for helping us learn.

Georgia Parent Survey

Parents, I appreciate everyone who took time to complete the online Georgia Parent Survey at Math Night. The state of Georgia requests 75% of our parents participate in the Georgia Parent Survey. You may complete the survey using a personal computer, smartphone, or tablet or go to the Berkeley Lake Website and click on the Parent Survey image. If you do not have access to the Internet, please stop by the parent center to use a school computer. I encourage you to participate in this survey because the data will be used as part of the calculation of the School Climate Star Rating for our College and Career Readiness report card. Survey responses are anonymous and will be submitted directly to the Department of Education for analysis. The URL address for the Georgia Parent Survey is: if you want to access it directly.

Principal for a Day

Next Tuesday, Berkeley Lake will participate in the GCPS Principal for the Day Program with Peachtree Corners City Council member, Jeanne Aulbach, joining us for the day. Our agenda begins at 7:00 a.m. engaging with our IT Girls Club, welcoming students, anchoring morning announcements, scheduling calendar events, participating in grade level collaboration, visiting classrooms, lunching with the 5th grade student council and reviewing our Local School Plan of Improvement. Also Dr. Kelli McCain, our assistant superintendent, will be visiting for the day as well.

Cognitive Abilities Test Results

The Score Report for the 1st and 2nd graders who participated in the Sept. Cognitive Abilities Test will be in your child’s Friday Folder, along with an explanation letter, next Fri., Nov. 20. We expect grade 5 Cognitive Abilities and IOWA results at the end of the semester or the first of Jan. Please contact Ms. Barton, our testing coordinator, if you have any questions regarding the information.

Thanksgiving Grocery Give-Away

It is not too late to register for the Thanksgiving Grocery Give-Away. Many of us face economic hardships at various times in our lives. Due to these hardships additional help during the holidays may be necessary. A local church has a program that can help by providing groceries for a Thanksgiving meal. If you would like to participate and receive a free bag of groceries, lunch and some warm clothing items (gloves, hats or blankets), you must be registered for the event. Please contact Ms. Marantz, our school counselor by calling her at 770-582-7522, or call Ms. Orci at 678-291-4232. Respond ASAP!

Nature's Vision Fundraiser Pick-Up

Thank you for supporting the Nature's Vision fund raiser. You may pick-up your orders this Saturday, Nov. 14, from 11:00 - 3:00 in the cafeteria at the school. Thank you to Ms. Bentley and Ms. Frazer for sponsoring the Green Team. The $3,200 raised will be used to enhance educational programs, environmental projects and field trips.

Important Dates

11/16—3-4:00 Chess Club

11/17—7:00 IT Girls Club

11/17—9-11:00 English Class

11/17—3-4:00 Green Team

11/17—5-9:00 PTA Spirit Night-Shane’s

11/18—7:15 Art Club

11/18—2:45-4:45 Strings

11/18—3-4:30 Good News Club

11/19—7:15 Chorus

11/19—7:30 Readers Rally

11/20—7:30 Witzzle Pro

11/20—9-10:00 Kindergarten Feast

11/23-11/27—Thanksgiving Break

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.