Berkeley Lake Elementary

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, November 1, 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

I am excited to announce that our state College and Career Ready Performance Index (CCRPI) scores have been released, and we made gains in several key areas. We are again one of the top Title I schools in GCPS and #26 out of 84 elementary schools. I will be going over the CCRPI report, along with other school data at our next School Council meeting on November 14th at 4:00-5:30. Anyone who would like to sit in on that meeting is welcome to join in. I will also have this information available at my next Coffee Talk on December 5th at 9:00 AM.

Just a reminder, you have been asked to complete two surveys, one is paper and the other is online. Please complete both, as one is for the state and the other for the district and they are different. The link to the online survey is and this survey can be taken in English or Spanish.

A few mentions related to afternoon routines:

1. The latest time to check out your child at the front desk is 2:15 pm. You will need to show your picture ID. Make sure that if you send another adult to pick the student up, he or she is authorized in our records to do so.

2. If your student is a car rider, please remember that the Car Riders door closes at 3:00 pm. Be sure to arrive prior to that time to pick your student up. Dismissal begins at 2:45, so you should be in the car rider line around that time. Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who attended a parent-teacher conference. We love sharing all that your children are learning and taking the opportunity to partner with you.

Enjoy the weekend. Don't forget Daylight Savings time will change on Nov. 3rd, so remember to set your clocks back an hour.

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

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Unity Week Wrap-Up

Thank you to everyone who helped make last week's Unity Week a success. We hope the dress up days for the week were not only fun for our students, but also reminded them of the importance of the week's lesson - inclusion and kindness. We thought you might enjoy looking at a few pictures from the various dress-up days of that week - see below.

Thank You to the Following Recent Lunchroom Monitor Parent Volunteers:

  • Cathy Valerio
  • Mary Rosario
  • Jeannie Nguy
  • Ninoska Gonzalez
  • Dominique Cook

Congratulations to Our 2019 Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition Grade Level Winners:

Kindergarten: Harmony White, Ms. Lim's class

1st Grade: No entries were submitted

2nd Grade: Bryan White, Ms. Walsh's class

3rd Grade: Nick Canel, Ms. Bell's class

4th Grade: Audrey Boakye, Ms. Lee's class

5th Grade: Lorenzo Johnson, Ms. West's class

Our Berkeley Lake Elementary winning entries will be submitted to participate in the district level Young Georgia Authors Writing Contest. The district level winner from each grade will be announced the week of February 11th. Good luck in the district level competition to all our BLES grade level winners!

See our winners below.

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Make-Up Picture Day

If your child was absent on Picture Day, make-up pictures will be made next Friday, November 8th.

Saturday Intervention Classes

The Fall Session 2 Saturday Intervention Saturday classes have begun. The dates for the rest of this session's classes are shown below. This is for invited students only. Students should arrive at 8:45 AM and class will begin promptly at 9:00 AM.

  • November 2
  • November 9

Personal Safety Lessons Counselors Will Be Presenting to the Students

We all share a common goal for our children to be safe and protected from all things harmful. Related to that goal, school counselors are required to present annual personal safety lessons designed to prevent sexual abuse. The Think First & Stay Safe™ program is a research-based program that teaches specific personal safety education by way of interactive classroom lessons, classroom posters, role playing, and corresponding activities. Think First & Stay Safe™ enables students to take an active and necessary role in protecting themselves from abuse and exploitation. A committee of professional school counselors reviewed the program and selected components that were developmentally appropriate for elementary students and developed lessons around those concepts.

The materials were available for preview during parent teacher conferences, but due to the importance of this program, the materials will be available for preview again by appointment with your child’s school counselor.

School counselors will offer the sexual abuse prevention and safety lessons to all students in kindergarten through fifth grade beginning November 4, 2019.

Laura Marantz, Ed. S.


Counselor for Students in Kindergarten, Second, and Fourth Grades

Sara Penland, M. Ed.


Counselor for Students in the First, Third, and Fifth Grades

Thanksgiving Grocery Giveaway Will Take Place Saturday, November 23, 11:00-1:00

Many of us are facing economic hardships and may need help during holidays. A local church has a program that is a fun family event and provides help for Thanksgiving.

At the event you will receive a grocery bag of food for your family, a delicious sit-down lunch, and warming items like gloves, hats or blankets for the children! You can also have a family portrait taken by a professional photographer! All Free!!!!!!! The whole family is invited and encouraged to attend, but you must register ahead of time for the event.

To Register:

Please complete the form that came home in last week's Friday folder and return to Laura Marantz or Sara Penland. To register in Spanish, call Sandra Orci at 678-291-4232. Spots are limited. Respond ASAP! Transportation assistance may be possible if request is made by November 8.

Our School's Website Will Be Changing

Gwinnett County Public Schools has asked that all schools transition their websites over to a common program, and we are in the process of getting our new site ready for you. We will send the new web address out to you once the site is live but wanted to go ahead and let you know of this change that will be taking place in the next month. Our site will continue to have the same information, but the appearance will be somewhat different and the site will be better suited for accessibility for all.

Parents, We REALLY Need Your Help

A paper copy of an RBES survey was sent home with your child recently. This is a Gwinnett County Public Schools survey, and we hope every family will complete the survey and return it to school if you have not already.

The other survey you have been asked to take is the Georgia School Health Survey. This state survey can be taken anywhere online but so far only 48 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:

K-Kids Club

K-Kids have been invited to go to the 10th Annual E.S. Peer Leadership Conference at Discovery High School on Saturday, December 12, 2019 . All K-Kids in good standing received invitation letters on Tuesday. The students will attend on a first-come first-forms turned-in basis, so please ask your K-Kid if they have the form and would like to attend. The cost will be $10 with lunch and transportation provided.

The next K-Kids Meeting will take place on Monday morning, November 4th, in the BLES Media Center. Students should arrive no earlier than 7:45. We will be making signs for the BLES Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast.

PTO News

Thank You For Your Food Donations

Thank you to everyone who donated to the food drive we had during October to replenish the food pantry shelves for our BLES families in need. Next week, we’ll have a tally of items we were able to stock and will announce the classroom donut party winner. We appreciate your support!

Spirit Night

Our November spirit night event will be held at Zaxby’s on Peachtree Industrial Blvd on Tuesday, November 19, from 5-9 p.m.

Our December Spirit Night will be held at Chipotle on December 9th.

Turkey Trot & K-Kids Pancake Breakfast - Saturday, November 9th

There is still time to register for the 4-mile run at 7:30 a.m. or the 1.5-mile fun run at 8:15 a.m. The pancake breakfast immediately follows the races.. Registration forms are at the school and or register at under BLES Turkey Trot.

Charleston Wrap Orders Are On the Way

Mark your calendars for pickup. We are expecting the shipment of orders to arrive this week. Starting Monday, Nov. 4, you can stop by the school any time Monday-Friday from 7:30-4:00 to pick your order up. We will also have pick up available on Saturday, Nov. 9, during the Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast.

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.

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.

As our teachers begin to prepare for the possibility of Digital Learning Days this year, it is important for them to know about devices and internet available to your student at home. A letter will be sent home in Friday folders in the next week or two to gather more information on whether or not internet & devices are available to your student at home. Please complete the questions at the bottom of the letters and return to your child's teacher so we can begin to plan for the possibility of Digital Learning Days in the future.

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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Home Run Derby Event Tomorrow

On behalf of The Salvation Army of Gwinnett County, we would like to invite all local families to our FREE inaugural Home Run Derby event on Saturday, November 2 at the Gwinnett Stripers Coolray Field. This event will feature former Atlanta Braves Mark DeRosa, Nick Green, Mark Wohlers, and Gwinnett County High School talent.

There will be giveaways to the first 2,500 people, bouncy houses, live music, selfies with Santa, face painting, and other amazing entertainment including local sports mascots. There will also be a silent auction with Atlanta Braves players’ signed memorabilia, game used equipment, and sports equipment. Join us for a fun day!

Gates Open: 12:30pm

Event Begins: 2:00pm

Event Website:

Facebook Event:

Thank you so much!

The Salvation Army of Gwinnett County

A Look Ahead...

Saturday, November 2

9:00am Saturday Intervention class (students should arrive at 8:45)

Note: Sometime during this week our school will join all Gwinnett County schools in a state-wide severe weather drill.

Monday, November 4

7:45am K-Kids Mtg (Media Center)

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

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

Tuesday, November 5

High Touch High Tech - Kindergarten

7:00am IT Girls

9:00am Advanced English Class

10:00am Fire Truck Visit for PreK

3:00pm Green Team

3:15pm Drama Club in room 3.124

6:30pm Girl Scouts Sign up- Cafeteria

Wednesday, November 6

High Touch High Tech -Kindergarten

7:15am Art Club

9:00am Beginner English Class

Thursday, November 7

7:00am Chorus Club Semester 1

3:00pm Good News Club (Media Center)

3:00pm Robotics Club

5:30pm Counselors Advisory Council Meeting-Conference Room

Friday, November 8

Make-up Picture Day PL Room

8:45am Spelling Bee

9:30am 2nd Grade to Stone Mountain

Saturday, November 9

7:00am Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast - the 4-mile run will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the 1.5-mile fun run will begin at 8:15 a.m. Pancake breakfast to follow immediately after the races.

9:00am Saturday Intervention Program-Arrive 8:45

Monday, November 11

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

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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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