Berkeley Lake Elementary

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, October 4, 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

There is no school Thursday, Friday, or the following Monday, due to Fall Break. I hope you have a lovely break and safe travels if you are going out of town.

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

BLES Representing at the Duluth Fall Festival Parade:

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District Assessments

Students in grades 1st - 5th will begin taking Interim District Assessments on Monday, Oct. 7th through Friday, Oct. 18th, with make up testing running until October 29th. (Not all grade levels will test on the same day, which is why the testing dates seem extended.) These tests are given by the county every nine weeks to help teachers determine what AKS have been met and to help with instructional planning. District Assessments are taken online, with 1st and 2nd grades having Reading and Math and grades 3rd - 5th having Reading, Math, Science, and Social Studies. District Assessments at the 9 week mark are entered in the grade books and count 5% of the final grade for that subject. Please encourage your student to do his/her best on the DA and make sure he/she is at school those days, if at all possible.

International Night is Coming

Berkeley Lake Elementary School is filled with International culture. Help us celebrate our broad range of ethnic backgrounds on Thursday, October 17th, from 6:15 to 7:45pm

If you have something you'd like to share, please contact: Mrs Oviedo at 678-582-7526 or Mrs. Orci at 678-291-4232

3rd Grade Concert

3rd Grade concert, "Our Colorful World!" will be performed on Thursday, October 17 to kick off BLES International Night. Students should meet in their home classrooms between 5:00 and 5:30 pm. We will begin walking to the gym at 5:35. Students may wear a costume (colors or dress representing a country), or may wear a bright colored shirt. The concert will begin at 5:45 pm in the gym. If you have any questions about the 3rd grade music performance, please email our music teacher, Matt Green at

Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition-

We are excited to announce Young GA Author Writing Competition begins today! All KG through 5th grade BLES students are encouraged to participate! Unlike many writing competitions, Young GA Authors does not provide a prompt for which the writers need to respond. Writers are encouraged to choose their own genre in which to write. For example, a student may choose to write a short story, poetry, expository writing, essay, personal narrative, or any other original writing.

Entry forms, as well as other very important information about the contest can be found in the folder outside Mrs. Asztalos and Mrs. Shaw’s room or on the BLES website.

The entries MUST be the student’s original work- no revisions or edits by anyone other than the author!

All entries must be turned in WITH a completed entry form to Mrs. Shaw no later than Friday, October 18th. Grade Level Winners will be announced the week of October 28th. The district winners of this writing competition will also be entered in the Young Georgia Authors Writing Competition in the spring.

Please click here to view the official guidelines and entry form.

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.

Thank You to the Following Parents for Volunteering in the Lunchroom this Week:

Alexandra Ehrlich

Kendra Knott

Oyidu Agbaje

K-Kids Club News

The next K-Kids meeting will take place on Monday, October 21, 2019. During this meeting, the K-Kids will be making videos.

Congratulations again to the following K-Kids officers for this year:

President - Angel Chen

Vice President - Luka M

Secretary - Sophia Chan

Treasurer - Effie Speaks

Sgt. At Arms - Keon Clealand

Positive Behavior Focus for this Week:

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PTO News

Happening Now:

  • Thanks to everyone who volunteered for Field Days. The PTO would like to especially thank our Field Day committee chair, Cathy Shumate, for all the work she does behind the scenes.
  • The PTO is in need of executive board members. Recently, we’ve had parents move on to other schools. This leaves us with a need of a secretary, two vice presidents and a junior treasurer. If you have questions about any of our roles, take a look at the bylaws on our site. We’d love to talk with you. Contact us at

Upcoming Events:

  • Helping Hands Needed: Do you know that we have a food pantry at our school to assist our students in need? It’s extremely low on food items and we need our community’s help. We’re hosting a Helping Hands canned food drive Oct. 15 - Oct. 31. Students can bring in pantry donations to their classrooms. The classes that donate at least 10 items will be entered into a drawing for a doughnut party. As you go grocery shopping during the fall break, please grab something for our food pantry. The donations go directly to the children and families of Berkeley Lake Elementary School. Items we need the most are as follows:

Canned meat and fish

Canned fruits and vegetables


Powdered milk

Peanut butter


Pasta and rice

  • The next PTO spirit night will be Tuesday, Oct. 23*, at Marlow’s Tavern on Peachtree Parkway. *This is a new date. The previously scheduled Black Walnut Café event had to be cancelled due to its store closing. Marlow's is located at 5210 Town Center Blvd Suite 260, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. Come by anytime between 5:00 - 9:00 PM for dinner and be sure to tell them you are there to support BLES. Wear your school spirit wear too.

  • Gobble! Gobble! Gobble! The annual Turkey Trot & K-Kids Pancake Breakfast is almost here! Save the date for Saturday, Nov. 9, for the 4-mile run that wraps around the very scenic Berkeley Lake or the 1.5-mile fun run/walk that goes through the Berkeley Walk neighborhood. Registration forms came home in last week’s backpack mail. Sign up early to get the best price. Know of businesses that would like to sponsor? Email Also, we’d love to have volunteers to help with planning and on the day of the event.

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.

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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Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center (GEHC) Event


Friday, October 18th


All Ages

This is an event that your students are sure to enjoy as they experience the wonders of nocturnal animals! We will have live presentations, tram rides, night treks into the GEHC forest, games, and more!

Admission will be $5/person for Gwinnett County residents

See the flyer below

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A Look Ahead...

Monday, October 7

1st Semester Interims K-5

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

Tuesday, October 8

1st Semester Interims K-5

Individual Picture Day

7:00am IT Girls

9:00am Advanced English Class

3:00pm Green Team

3:15pm Drama Club in room 3.124

6:00pm PTO Board Meeting-Beach

Wednesday, October 9

1st Semester Interims K-5

7:15am Art Club

9:00am Beginner English Class

3:00pm Soccer Club

Thursday, October 10

Fall Break- Student /Teacher Holiday, No school

Friday, October 11

Fall Break- Student /Teacher Holiday, No school

Monday, October 14

Fall Break- Student Holiday, Teacher Workday. No school

Tuesday, October 15

1st Semester Interims K-5

9:00am Advanced English Class

3:00pm Green Team

3:15pm Drama Club in room 3.1

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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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