Berkeley Lake Elementary School

Bear Essentials Weekly Newsletter - September 4, 2015

Dear Berkeley Lake Elementary Parents,

This week we turned the calendar to Sept. 1! It is hard to imagine that we will begin our fifth fabulous week of school. August sure was exciting for all of us to return to school and parents visiting with their children’s teachers during Curriculum Nights. Thank you to everyone for your support. I know our teachers are ready for a much deserved long weekend and I hope you and your children have a restful holiday too. There is no school Mon., Sept. 7, so we will welcome everyone back Tues., Sept 8.

Tues. morning was GCPS Week #4 enrollment count with next week being our final calculation for our teacher allotment. The county will adjust the number of teachers by the number of students attending school after the Tues., Sept. 8 count. Our projected forecast for the 2015 – 2016 school year was 1102. Currently we have 1058 students so we are under target.

During the last two weeks our teachers have been engaged in grade level staff development. The learning included a presentation from the county math coach building on math strategies through guided math and providing math resources; reviewed end of the year math and literacy data; and eClass course pages implementation with the new design of the teacher landing page for My eClass. All of our learning is directly connected to our Local School Plan of Improvement focusing on improving mathematics, literacy and building on technology resources.

Please note the Room Rep Meeting has been rescheduled to Tues., Sept. 22 at 6:30. It is important to attend whether or not you have been a Room Rep before to learn about the year's activities. There is still time to sign up if you are interested! Please email if you have any questions.

PTA will sponsor the first Family Spirit Night at Zaxby’s on Peachtree Industrial, Sept. 15. What a fun evening to dine with classmates and friends in our neighborhood restaurant. PTA earns a donation for our school by having families eat at Zaxby’s. This is an easy way for the school to make a little extra money to support programs. PTA membership reached 300 this week which is a terrific launch to start the school year but we need all our parents to join. If you have not joined the PTA, please consider a $7 membership by sending the $7 with your child to their teacher. I would like to take this time to say thank you to our PTA Board for the excellent Student/Parent Handbook and the work that went in to creating this calendar. Lisa Gordon, PTA Co-President, spent the summer typing and compiling the information. Board members distributed the handbooks last Friday, so that you should have received one in your youngest child’s Friday folder. Please get involved with our school through our PTA. It truly makes a huge difference in our school.

Duluth Middle School and Berkeley Lake are partnering for an informational meeting regarding the Homework Club located at 2880 Simpson Circle, Suite 107. Parents are invited to attend on Sept. 8 at 6:30pm. We hope to see you there.

Friday, Sept. 11, is Grandparent’s Day at BLES! Please invite grandparents to come to school during your child’s regular lunch time to dine with us. Extra tables will be available. Our cafeteria offers a Peanut Free table for our students with peanut allergies. This is a precaution because of the high number of students we have with severe allergies. We continue to need volunteers to monitor the cafeteria daily. If you are able to help for one, two or three hours this school year, please sign up with your child’s teacher or Cathy Mettille at the front desk. Much appreciation goes to the following recent parent volunteers for their time helping in the cafeteria: Maribel Duran, Jennifer Kramer, Jenny Llewellyn, Rabiaa Chanet, Erny Linardi, Darcy Austin and Maria Alvarez.

Congratulations are in order for Kathy Bentley for her years of dedication of weeding and grooming our school gardens. Berkeley Lake gardens are now recognized as Certified Wildlife Habitats by the National Wildlife Federation. The next time you are visiting school, be sure to appreciate the large beautiful garden that our children enjoy when they walk to PE or go outside for recess.

Are you registered to vote? Stop in the BLES front office if you need assistance with voter registration. BLES is an official voting site. Election Day is Tues., Nov. 3. The Gwinnett County Board of Education has called for a referendum on continuing the one-cent Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for education (E-SPLOST) for another five years. The question will be on the county’s Nov. 3, 2015, ballot. For additional information, please visit the school district’s web site at

Duluth Cluster Schools will hold a cluster Local School Council (LSC) meeting Sept. 15 @ 9:00a.m. at Duluth Middle School for all the schools. Parents elected to our LSC this week will represent our school. Thank you to the following parents and community members for serving this school year on the LSC: Grant Shih, Brenda Alder, Lee Jones, Sara Woolley, Rebecca Rubin, Katrina Grier, Jennifer Maise, Charles Weir and Leslie Hale from Barnes & Noble.

Enjoy the long weekend.

Dr. Bearse

Important Dates

9/7—Labor Day Holiday

9/8—Hat Trick for Reading Begins!

9/8—7:30am PTA Exec Bd Mtg

9/8—3-4:00 Green Team

9/8—6:30pm DMS/BLES Homework Club Mtg

9/9—Individual Picture Day

9/9—7:15-8:15 Art Club

9/9—2:45-4:45 Strings Club

9/10—5:30pm Title I Annual Parent Mtg

9/11—Midterms Go Home

9/11—Grandparents Day Lunch

9/11—Spirit Wear Day!

9/14—9:30 Title I Annual Parent Mtg

9/14—3-4:00 Chess Club

9/15—9:00am Local School Council-DMS

9/15—3-4:00 Green Team

9/15—5-9:00pm PTA Spirit Night-Zaxby’s

9/16—7:15am Art Club

9/16—8:30-11:30 CogAT Gr 1, 2, 5

9/16—2:45-4:45 Strings Club

9/17—8:30-11:30 CogAT Gr 1,2 , 5

9/17—6pm Title I Parent Workshop

9/18—Spirit Wear Day!

9/18—7:45 K-Kids Mtg

9/18—8:30-11:30 CogAT Gr 1, 2, 5

9/21—3-4:00 Chess Club

9/22—3-4:00 Green Team

9/22—6:30pm PTA Room Rep Mtg

9/23—Early Release 12:00 noon

9/23—Parent Conferences

9/24—Early Release 12:00 noon

9/24—Parent Conferences

9/23-9/24—Personal Safety Parent Preview available during conferences

9/25—Spirit Wear Day!

9/25—6-7:00 Duluth Cluster Fine Arts Night @ Duluth HS football game

9/26—Duluth Fall Festival Parade

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 will be available Mon. from 11:30-3:30, and Tues., from 9:30-3:30 and Wed., from 7:30-11:30, and Fri. from 9:30-3:30..

Please call 678-291-4233 for Parent Center support or Ms. Sandra Orci 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.