Berkeley Lake Elementary

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, October 18, 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

What a busy week it was!

While the students continued to enjoy fall break this past Monday, our teachers were here at school, working hard to prepare for the week and participating in several professional learning meetings.

On Wednesday, we thanked all of our school bus drivers with treats to show them our appreciation for all they do every day during the school year.

We celebrated the cultural diversity in our school on Thursday evening with food and activities during our annual International Night. Our 3rd graders put on the perfect music performance to go right along with the theme and festivities of the night with the help of our music teacher, Mr. Green. (See pictures from International Night below)

Lastly, although the day started out chilly, the weather could not have been more perfect for our Annual Bear Cub Cookout today. The students always enjoy picnicking outside with friends and family.

Thank you to everyone who came out to BLES for one or more of our events this week.

I look forward to seeing you in the building next week, during parent-teacher conferences. Please remember that dismissal will begin at noon on both Wednesday, Oct. 23rd and Thursday, Oct. 24th. The button for you to sign up for a conference with your child's teacher is no longer available on the website, so if you still need to sign up for a time, please contact your child's teacher directly. In addition, if your child will have a different method for transportation after school on one or both of those days, please make sure you complete this transportation form and send it in to the front office ahead of time.

Enjoy the weekend.

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

International Night - Click on a photo below to see it enlarged:

Bear Cub Cookout - Click on a photo below to see it enlarged:

Parents, We Need Your Help in Two Ways:

1. Every year our students, parents, and staff members are required to take the Georgia School Health Survey. So far only 35 of our parents have taken the survey.

The Parent Survey contains 24 questions about our school. You may complete the survey using your own computer, cell phone, or tablet. If you do not have access to a device or internet at home, you are welcome to come take the survey in our Parent Center. We would like as many parents as possible to take the survey because the data will be used as part of the calculation of our School Climate Star Rating. Survey responses are anonymous, self-reported, and will be submitted directly to the Georgia Department of Education for analysis. This survey is also available in Spanish. You can select Spanish or English once you click on it to begin the survey. Thank you in advance for taking the time to do this.

Here is the link to the parent survey:

2. Calling all Berkeley Lake Parents! It's Book Fair time at BLES. This year's theme is "Arctic Adventure" and all proceeds benefit our school. The students look forward to the book fair all year, and we need your help to make it a success. The Book Fair will run from October 17 - October 25. Please sign-up to assist students with book selection and check out. Thank you for volunteering! Book Fair Volunteer Sign-up

Next Week is Unity Week

October is National Bullying Prevention Month! We are celebrating by dedicating a whole week to showing that we stand for kindness, acceptance and inclusion at BLES.

All students may participate in the Unity Week dress-up days, but we are suggesting for $1.00 donation that will go directly to the United Way student campaign. The United Way helps non-profit organizations focus on education, financial stability and health. Students should turn their money into their teacher. Half of all the money we raise in our student campaign will come right back to Berkeley Lake Elementary School.

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What is a School-Family Compact?

A school-family compact is a written agreement that outlines how the school, the student, and the family will work together to ensure your student's success. The compact is available electronically through MyPaymentsPlus to all families who have an active account, on the Title I webpage of our school website, and in the Parent Center (printed copies). Please contact Sandra Orci, Parent Outreach Liaison, or Angela Schoenknecht, Assistant Principal - Title I, if you have any questions.

Click here to view this year's School-Family Compact

Opportunity for you to Preview Safety Lessons Counselors Will Be Presenting to 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. During the months of November and December, our school counselors will offer the sexual abuse prevention and safety lessons to all K-5 students.

Due to the importance of this topic, the school counselors want you to know when and how you may preview the materials and when the counselors will be presenting this information to your child's class. Please contact your child's counselor, Sara Penland (grades 1st, 3rd, and 5th) at 770-582-7523, and Laura Marantz (grades KG, 2nd, and 4th) at 770-582-7522 to schedule a preview or if you have any questions or concerns. The materials will be available for preview during parent teacher conferences on October 23rd from 1:00- 5:00 and October 24th from 1:00-4:30 in the front lobby of the school.

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

  • Rosselin Rosales
  • Barbara Babroff

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.

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 your student's Friday folder and return to Laura Marantz, or call her at 770-582-7522, or Sara Penland, or call her at 770-582-7523 for registration. 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.

PTO News

Canned Food Drive Continues

Our BLES food pantry is 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. Most needed items are:

Canned meat and fish

Canned fruits and vegetables


Powdered milk

Peanut butter


Pasta and rice

Your donations go directly to the children and families of Berkeley Lake Elementary School.

Next Spirit Night

Save the date! The next PTO spirit night is Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Marlow’s Tavern at 5210 Town Center Blvd, Suite 260, Peachtree Corners. Come by between 5-9 p.m. Make sure to tell them you’re there for BLES and wear your spirit wear!

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

Turkey Trot & K-Kids Pancake Breakfast

Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast will be on Saturday, November 9th. This run through the city of Berkeley Lake is always a lot of fun and benefits our school, so come out and join the runners and/or pancake eaters on that day! The 4-mile run will begin at 7:30 a.m. while the 1.5-mile fun run will begin at 8:15 a.m. with the pancake breakfast to follow immediately after the races. Registration forms are at the school and or register at under BLES Turkey Trot.

Know of businesses that would like to sponsor? Email Also, we need volunteers to help with planning and on the day of the event.

We Need Board Members

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

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.

Duluth Middle School Family Fun Day is Tomorrow!

Our first ever DMS Family Fun Day is scheduled for October 19 from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. This event is designed to bring our entire community together and Berkeley Lake Elementary staff and families are all welcome to attend!

We have great entertainment and games for all ages, a DJ, a Photo booth, Spanish and English language family education sessions led by our experienced teachers, a car wash and the county library with coding games all for the low cost of FREE!!! We will also have several food trucks with yummy treats for purchase.

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Harvest Homecoming Free Event at McDaniel Farm Park in Duluth on Saturday, Oct. 26

12:00 noon - 4:00pm

This is a FREE event that your students are sure to enjoy as they experience a Harvest Homecoming!

Students and their families are invited to take a special trip to the farm! Everyone is sure to have fun playing family-friendly games, with face painting, farm tours, and more!

Come see our furry farm friends, take a hay ride, visit craft vendors, and sample tasty s’mores.

McDaniel Farm Park 3251 McDaniel Farm Road Duluth, GA

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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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A Look Ahead...

Monday, October 21

Book Fair

Unity/Anti-Bullying Week - dress tacky for "Bullying is Wacky"

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, October 22

Book Fair

Unity/Anti-Bullying Week - wear a hat for "Hats off to being bullying-free"

7:00am IT Girls

9:00am Advanced English Class

3:00pm Green Team

3:15pm Drama Club in room 3.124

Wednesday, October 23

Book Fair

Unity/Anti-Bullying Week - Wear Orange to show you stand for Kindness, acceptance, and inclusion

1:00pm Child Lures/Personal Safety Parent Preview

7:15am No Art Club ****

9:00am Beginner English Class

12:00pm Early Release/Parent-Teacher Conferences

5:00pm PTO Spirit Night at Marlow's Tavern-P'tree Corners

Thursday, October 24

Book Fair

Unity/Anti-Bullying Week -wear crazy socks to "Sock it to Bullying"

5:00pm Child Lures/Personal Safety Parent Preview

7:00am Chorus Club Semester 1

12:00pm Early Release/Parent-Teacher Conferences

3:00pm No Robotics Club due to early release

Friday, October 25

Book Fair

Unity/Anti-Bullying Week - wear your favorite sport's team's shirt to "Team Up Against Bullying"

2nd Progress Report Sent Home

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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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