Berkeley Lake ES

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, April 2, 2021

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

It was a great week at Berkeley Lake Elementary and I know that everyone, adults and students, are very excited about Spring Break. We saw a little bit of an uptick in COVID cases this week and stomach flu and regular flu are also on the rise. This means we all need to stay vigilant for the rest of the school year and wash our hands, wear our masks, and get vaccinated when possible. Help keep us all safe by taking these precautions over the break.

Take care and happy spring break!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

Spring Travel

If you are planning on traveling with your in-person student over the next few months, please make sure you understand GCPS's travel guidelines prior to leaving town.

Click here to view GCPS's travel guidelines.

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A Look Ahead...

Saturday, April 3

No events

Sunday, April 4

Easter Sunday

Monday, April 5 - Friday, April 9

Spring Break

Monday, April 12

No events

Tuesday, April 13

No events

Wednesday, April 14

12:30pm Play 2 Learn

Thursday, April 15

No events

Saturday, April 17

9:00am Saturday School

***Specials Rotation Schedule for Digital Learning Students for week of April 12-16:

  • K-2nd: Have Art and Music
  • 3rd-5th: Have Science and P.E.

PTO News

Thank you!

We are tabulating the funds raised via MyPayments Plus from March 1- March 31 for Teacher Appreciation Week activities. We’ll give you an update after spring break. We are grateful for those who reached out with ideas, catering contacts, etc. and for your support for our teachers and staff.

We are still in need of a couple positions for the 2021-2022 PTO Executive Board

We presented our proposed slate of officers at our March membership meeting. We will begin online voting following spring break. This allows time for a May transition meeting prior to the former board members departing. Position descriptions and more information about the PTO are available for your review. Please consider putting your valuable skills to work serving with the board next year. Contact us at with any questions.

School News:

Showcase Your Talent!

Supply Reminder for All In-Person Art Students

Parents of BLES Artists! At the beginning of the school year, students and parents were informed that they would need to bring some basic supplies to Art Special each week. Due to Covid restrictions, students cannot share supplies. Mrs. VanBuskirk has asked that all in-person students come to class with the following:

  1. Pencil with eraser
  2. Something to color with (K-1st grade work best with crayons and 2nd-5th grades are recommended to have markers or colored pencils (many really like to have both to have options).
  3. A bag for items 1 & 2 above to be stored in

It has been a real struggle lately with students not bringing supplies and having to borrow a set from the art room. When this happens, there are a huge number of supplies that must be sanitized along with the rest of the classroom. All of this cleaning is making it difficult to be ready for the next class. Please make sure that your student has these supplies and if not, please get them over the Spring Break!!! Thank you for your help and support to assure that your student is successful in the Art Room this year.

Lori VanBuskirk

Art Specialist

Did You Know April is National Poetry Month?

In celebration, we are excited to announce a poetry contest for all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students. They just need to write an original poem on any subject, no more than 20 lines, and turn into your teacher or the Media Center by Friday, April 16th. Your poetry will be submitted to a national contest and may be selected to be published! Many great prizes such as a cash, Amazon gift cards, and electronics will be awarded, just for entering the contest!

Students can pick up important information about the contest and an entry form in the folder outside the Media Center, near Ms. West's 5th grade classroom, or click here to see the information online.

We Won the Book Return Challenge So Our Students Will Get to Pick Out a Free Book from the GCPS Book Mobile!!!

Do you remember when we participated in the Book Return Challenge at the beginning of the semester? We want to thank everyone who participated! Our school won a prize for participating in the challenge!

All BLES students (in-person and digital) will get to take home one book from the GCPS Book Mobile!

The GCPS Book Mobile will visit BLES on April 21st, 2021 from 9 am - 1 pm.

  • Teachers will receive a schedule for in-person students to choose a book to take home.
  • Digital students are welcome to come to school from 9 am - 1 pm on April 21st to take home one book per student. The BLES student must be in-person to receive a book.

The Book Mobile will be parked in front of BLES in the bus lane, so the bus lane will be closed to the public during this time.

Families of digital students who will be picking up lunch or Book Mobile books on April 21st should park in the front parking lot.

Masks are required when participating in the Book Mobile event.

Send any questions about the GCPS Book Mobile event to our BLES Media Specialist, Mrs. Norby at

We're excited to get books into all our students' hands!

Mrs. Norby and Mrs. Bingham

Save the Date (for Parents of 5th Graders)

If you are a parent of a 5th graders, you are invited to join us Tuesday, April 27th from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. for a parent workshop hosted by our two school counselors. The workshop is titled "How to Parent a Rising 6th Grader" and our counselors will discuss tips and tricks for your child's upcoming transition to middle school. This presentation will be held via Zoom. A link will be sent out through Class Dojo closer to the event.

S.T.E.A.M. Opportunity for Rising 6th Graders!

Duluth Middle School is excited to offer a new, innovative experience for 6th graders interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM)! You can now choose to participate in our STEAM Experience by clicking on the link below. The classes will be on the students' schedules and will take place during the school day. If you have already signed up for Fine Arts classes, you can ALSO sign up for the STEAM experience. We can't wait to see you!

5th Grade Information Page on Our Website

International Night

If you have not had the chance to check out the International Night virtual museum on the BLES website, we hope you will take the time to do so.

We also would like to thank the students below for sharing pictures of their culture.

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Sign Up Today to Receive School System News Online

Sign up to receive Gwinnett County Public Schools e-newsletter... a quick, easy way to learn more about Georgia's largest school system. In this newsletter, you'll find stories on teaching and learning, school leadership and governance, and the partnerships that make Gwinnett County Public Schools successful. Click here to sign up for GCPS eNews or check out online registration on the GCPS home page at

AKS at Home for the Last Two Months of School

Parents, if you were unable to attend the final session of AKS at Home for this school year, it's not too late to get the information shared during the live recorded meetings. Visit this county AKS at Home page to get all of the information you might have missed.

Parents of 3rd, 4th, and 5th Graders

The Georgia Milestones End of Grade Test (GMAS) is coming up for our 3rd - 5th grade students in late April and May. Click here to view a calendar of test dates, read testing tips, view some helpful links, visit a practice site, and see the Milestones Question of the Day.

Looking for a fun summer activity for your kids?

Come join the Berkeley Hills Barracudas Swim team. Registration is now open. Get a spot before they fill up. Click here for the link.

Camp Invention at Berkeley Lake

Berkeley Lake Elementary School's camp registration is open. Click the purple button below to register your child now.

Food Finder

Visit the FoodFinder website or download the app to find places nearby where you can get free food and meal assistance.

Please ensure families are aware of this free, online resource provided by the Gwinnett County Public Library (GCPL) to support their children’s academic success.
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2020-2021 GCPS Promotion Criteria for Elementary Students:

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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.

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!

We Collect Box Tops (Online)

Box Tops for Education is Online: Starting this year, Box Tops are being collected online only. Here are instructions for how to continue to give to our school using the new Box Tops process.

We Are On Twitter

Follow our school on Twitter @BerkeleyLakeES

Our Parent Center

The Berkeley Lake Parent Center is located across from the front office and it's providing services by appointment. For Parent Center support please call Ms. Sandra Orci, Parent Liaison, at 678-291-4232 or email her at

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.

We Thank Our Business Partners

  • Barnes & Noble
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Mathnasium
  • Publix

Contact Us:

Berkeley Lake Elementary

4300 S. Berkeley Lake Rd.

Duluth, Georgia 30096

P: (770)446-0947

F: (770)582-7514