Berkeley Lake Elementary

Bear Essentials - May 13, 2016

There is a lot going on the next one and a half weeks at the Lake! I hope you can join us for the fun as we finish another great year of learning! Before I start with next week’s news, let me share a few events from this week.

5th Graders Visit Duluth Middle

Tuesday morning our fifth graders visited Duluth Middle School for a field trip. I was proud of their behavior as they toured the school and learned about all the wonderful opportunities awaiting them in sixth grade.

Rising KG Information Night

Thursday evening rising kindergarten parents joined us for our Kindergarten Information Night. Thank you to Ms. Marantz, Mr. Carter, Ms. Schoenknecht, Ms. Orci, our kindergarten teachers and our PTA for sharing information about our fabulous school and welcoming our new Bears to the Lake.

Yearbook News

Last Friday, yearbooks were distributed to students who preordered. Extra yearbooks went on sale Monday for $30 (cash only) on a first-come, first-serve basis. The yearbooks will be available for purchase each morning at 7:45 until they run out. Fifth graders will have their yearbook signing Friday, May 20, in the morning with donuts and juice. Thank you to Rose Merrick and Lisa Gordon and the PTA Yearbook Committee for doing such an incredible job on the “Power of One” yearbook. It looks amazing!

All Library Books Need to Be Turned In

Ms. Page asked me to remind you, all Media Center books were due today, May 13. Please return them as soon as possible.

Promotion/Retention Criteria

Last Friday the Georgia Department of Education was granted a waiver from the State Board of Education to not use the Georgia Milestones Assessment (GMAS) as a promotion or retention criteria for students in grade 3 for reading and grade 5 for reading and math. GCPS will not use the GMAS results as a promotion or retention criteria for students in grade 4. Districts had technology problems ranging from connectivity, dropping off line while testing and a limited testing window. Summer School criteria for grades 3 - 5 will be determined by the average of quarterly grades. Students will be invited to Summer School if their average quarterly grades are below 70 percent. Summer School recommendation letters were sent home today. Please contact Ms. Barton, our assessment coordinator, or your child’s teacher for questions.

Planning for Next School Year

We continue to work on developing class lists for next school. Much time and consideration goes into placement of each student. Thank you to those parents who returned Placement Forms for considerations. Teacher names for next school year will be on the students’ final report card the last day of school. Several teachers are not returning next year and some are moving to other grade levels with the downsizing of the staff due to the redistricting. Currently, we are projected to have 915 students attend BLES next year. With lower enrollment, our Title I funding may decrease, but we will not know the final amount of Title money until July. The majority of Title I funds pay for additional teachers, AR Enterprise and planning days.

Gifted Education Program

Parents, please join us for an informational Gifted Education Program meeting on Tuesday, May 17, at 5:30 in our cafeteria. We welcome guest speaker, Julia Osborne, GCPS Director of Gifted and Accelerated Programs, who will present on Theory and Best Practices for gifted education.

Field Day Information

May 18 – 20, next Wednesday—Friday, are our Berkeley Lake Field Days. These are always some of the best times of the year for our students. Please check out the schedule for your child’s field day date and time. You can also check online at the Berkeley Lake website Thank you in advance to the many who help us make this possible by volunteering. If you cannot volunteer, but still want to cheer your child on, please try to come. Be sure to dress your child in sneakers and comfortable appropriate playwear on their Field Day. Please contact Ms. Birozes or our PTA volunteer coordinator Cathy Shumate at Please see the Updated Field Week schedule below:

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Relay for Life

This evening, Gwinnett County will host one of the county’s largest Relay for Life events at the Gwinnett Fair Grounds. This moving and inspiring fundraiser lasts all night. Thank you to our generous staff and parents for all the contributions to Berkeley Lake’s Team to help find a cure for this horrible disease.

Running Club News

Our Running Club had the last session of the year yesterday. Thank you to Ms. Birozes, Ms. Blackburn, Ms. Page and all the parent volunteers that supported our young runners. Tomorrow morning our Running Bears will be racing at Piedmont Park in the Peachtree Jr. at 8:30. Ms. Blackburn, Ms. Page and I will be cheering on the students, so come join us if you can.

BLES Strings Club

Sunday, May 15, at 4:00 the BLES Strings Club will be performing at North Gwinnett High School. Ms. Kelly, our music teacher from Crescendo Strings Academy of Music, parent volunteer, Mr. McLendon, and student volunteer Katie Mettille have been preparing our musicians for weeks. This is one of my proudest moments enjoying their culminating performance. Please join us for this lovely afternoon gratis concert.

Third Annual Brylee Anne’s Bash

June 5 is the Third Annual Brylee Anne’s Bash community event to raise funds for Brylee Anne Bradford, Anne McCabe’s granddaughter. Anne is my administrative assistant and has been at Berkeley Lake for 29 years. Brylee was born with nemaline rod myopathy, requiring continuous medical care, special equipment and frequent hospital visits. The Duluth Community has come together the past two years at Bunten Road Park for a 5K Fun Run, BBQ, silent auction, bake sale and a Duluth High School alumni basketball game. If you would like to participate, sign up on under Brylee’s Bash in the Park-In Blooming Color. Signing up on guarantees you a t-shirt!

5th Grade Promotion Ceremony

Fifth grade parents, check your calendars for our 5th grade Promotion Ceremony on Tuesday, May 24, at 4:15 at Duluth High School. Please know the fifth graders will be practicing that morning and will be available for early check out when we return from practice after 12:00 if this is a concern. Students need to report to Duluth High School by 4:00. Doors open in the theater at 3:15.

Last Day of School

Parents are invited to join us for lunch and celebration on the last day of school, May 25th. Please see the schedule below for each grade level.

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Thank You Cafeteria Volunteers

Volunteers in the cafeteria have been so helpful recently. Thank you to Ms. Heiberg and Mr. Hasan for all of your help!

Summer Learning

Parents, we encourage our students to continue their learning over the summer. Our school has purchased several technology subscriptions that will continue to be active throughout the summer. Education City, Brainpop, Brainpop Jr. and Brainpop Spanish can all be accessed through My eClass and no password should be needed if accessed that way.

Have a wonderful weekend, and we will see you on Monday.

Dr. Bearse

Important Dates

5/15—4-5:00 Strings Concert—NGHS

5/16—3-4:00 Last Chess Club

5/17—Last day for AR quizzes

5/17—9-11:00 English Class

5/17—3-4:00 Green Team

5/17—5:30-6:30 Gifted ed parent meeting

5/18—Kdg Field Day—see schedule above

5/18—Gr 1 Field Day-see schedule above

5/18—2:45-4:45 Last Strings Club

5/19—Gr 2 Field Day-see schedule above

5/19—Gr 3 Field Day-see schedule above

5/20—8:45-9:45 Gr 5 Yearbook Signing

5/20—Gr 4 Field Day-see schedule above

5/20—Gr 5 Field Day-see schedule above

The Lost and Found is Getting Full - please check it before summer starts!

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The 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.

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.

Contact Us

Berkeley Lake Elementary

4300 S. Berkeley Lake Rd.

Duluth, Georgia 30096

P: (770)446-0947

F: (770)582-7514