Berkeley Lake Elementary

Bear Essentials - February 5, 2016

We started the week turning the calendar to February 1! It is hard to imagine that we are half way through the third quarter of the year. Time flies when you are doing something you love. Did you know February is National Black History Month, National Dental Month and National Heart Month?

National School Counselor Week

Also, every February GCPS celebrates National School Counselor Week with a breakfast recognition program. Yesterday, I had the honor of attending the annual event with our outstanding counselors, Ms. Maida and Ms. Marantz, two of the best. School guidance counselors help students in the areas of academic achievement, personal/social development and career development, ensuring today's students become productive, well-adjusted citizens. We praise the tremendous impact that our school’s counselors have in helping students achieve school success as well as plan for careers. Their work is critical to the total development of the children. Please help us thank them for all that they do each and every day for our students, staff and community.

Early Release/Parent Teacher Conferences

February 24 & 25 are early release parent conference days, so I wanted to be sure you marked your calendars. We are using the online system for scheduling parent/teacher conferences for February 24 and 25. Scheduling online will allow you to select times that are convenient, as well as coordinate sibling conference times. The Conference Sign-Up link will be on our website at and the sign up window will open on Friday, February 5 and will close on Wednesday, February 17. After February 17, you will need to contact your child’s teacher for a conference time. Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions about scheduling a conference. Also, you are welcome to come to the parent center or media center to sign up on a computer. The teachers are busy preparing to meet with you and look forward to parents visiting to discuss their children’s progress on these special conference days. Students will be released at noon each day of early release.

Title I Parent Involvement Survey

The Title I Parent Involvement Survey is available on the BLES home page. This survey provides feedback for planning programs and resources for next school year. On the Early Release Conference Days, February 24 and 25, the computer labs will be available for surveys. Your input is valued and appreciated. I hope you will take the time to provide us with your feedback.

Congratulations to our Young GA Authors Writing Competition Winners

Congratulations to our BLES Young GA Authors Writing Competition winners for grades 3 – 5: 3rd grade – Brandon Wong; 4th grade – Rayshaud Webb; and 5th grade – Abby DeKroon. This year BLES participated in the state competition for grades 3 – 5 only. Thank you to all the students who submitted writing, to our Academic Literacy Team judges and to Ms. Shaw for facilitating the competition.

Midterm Grade Reports

Midterm reports are in Friday Folders today. Please remember to visit the Parent Portal frequently for your child’s up-to-date grade reports, attendance data and meal account balances. If you need information on how to access the portal, check with Pam Frey or Tammy Hart in the front office. Also coming home today are the CogAT and IOWA individual student reports for 2nd and 5th graders.

Box Top Collection Contest for March 11th

PTA has announced an upcoming Box Top Collection Contest for March 11th so be sure to save Box Tops so you can participate. Students may enter for the chance to win a gift card with a minimum entry of 20 Box Tops! Look for a Box Top Contest flyer in the Friday folder. Also PTA will be selling spirit wear on Friday mornings prior to the start of school. Contact Jenny Moncada at if you have any questions.

BLES Relay for Life (RFL) Team

I would like to thank you for the ongoing support for our BLES Relay for Life (RFL) Team. Every week parents contribute to our Dancers for a Cure Fri. mornings at car rider drop off. Also the RFL team hosts Coffee for a Cure. Both of these fund raisers accumulated a total of $1868 for the first semester. Thank you to Ms. Doroff, Ms. Bentley and Ms. Stanton.

Fifth Grade Promotion

I know it seems far off, but it's time for us to start planning our Fifth Grade Promotion, Tuesday, May 24, at 4:15 and Celebration Day, Wednesday, May 25, the last day of school. If you are interested in being on this committee, please contact Bernina Jones or Mary Mansfield Mr. Carter is the fifth grade AP working with our PTA volunteers to plan this very special occasion for our fifth grade students. This is such an important event that I wanted to get the information out as early as possible so everyone can make plans to attend.

It's Cold Weather Time

With the cold temperatures, please make sure to check your child before he or she leaves each day. We want all of our students wearing warm coats, hats and gloves as we go out to recess as often as the weather allows. Bundle up so the children stay healthy. Remember, if there is bad weather, you can get all the information you need about school closing from WSB-TV, radio AM 750 or FM 95.5 or www.wsbtv; or the GCPS website <>. If there is ever a time when we are in school and we need to communicate through the autodial messenger, please listen to the phone message prior to phoning the school. All the information you need will be in the message. Thank you.

Duluth Cluster Redistricting News

The GCPS Board approved the Duluth Cluster redistricting several weeks ago. This will bring some changes to our school for the 2016-2017 school year. In August we will be sending 157 students from our current population to Chattahoochee Elementary, just up the road from Pleasant Hill. Parent who have students involved in the redistricting will receive a letter from the district office with information about the changes next week. Final redistricting maps are posted on the GCPS website. With a reduction in enrollment, some teachers will be transferring to other schools in the Duluth Cluster as well. Please contact me if I can answer any questions about the final redistricting.

Have a relaxing weekend.

Dr. Bearse

Important Dates

2/8—3-4:00 Chess Club

2/9—7:00 IT Girls Club

2/9—7:30 PTA Exec Bd Mtg

2/9—9-11:00 English Class

2/9—3-4:00 Green Team

2/10—7:15 Art Club

2/10—Gr 4 Inhouse Field Trip

2/10—2:45-4:45 Strings Club

2/10—3-4:30 Good News Club

2/11—7:15 Chorus

2/11—7:30 Readers Rally

2/11—8-10:00 Local School Council Mtg

2/11—8:30-2:30 Book Fair

2/12—7:30 Witzzle Pro

2/12—9:00-2:30 Book Fair

2/15—Student Holiday

2/16—Gr 2 Inhouse Field Trip

2/16—7:00 IT Girls

2/16—9-2:30 Book Fair

2/16—9-11:00 English Class

2/16—3-4:00 Green Team

2/16—4-6:30 Book Fair Family Night

2/16—5-9:00 PTA Spirit Night—Shane’s

2/17—7:15 Art Club

2/17—9-2:30 Book Fair

2/17—2:45-4:45 Strings Club

2/17—3-4:30 Good News Club

2/18—7:15 Chorus

2/18—7:30 Readers Rally

2/18—9-2:30 Book Fair

2/19—7:30 Witzzle Pro

2/19—9-2:30 Book Fair

2/22—3-4:00 Chess Club

2/23—7:00 IT Girls

2/23—9-11:00 English Class

2/23—3-4:00 Green Team

2/24—Early Release—Noon

2/25—7:30 Readers Rally

2/25—Early Release—Noon

2/26—7:30 Witzzle Pro

2/29—8:30 Kdg Inhouse Field Trip

2/29—3-4:00 Chess Club

3/1—Presidential Primary

3/1—7:00 IT Girls

3/1—8:30 Kdg Inhouse Field Trip

3/1—3-4:00 Green Team

3/1—4:30-6 Witzzle Pro Tournament

3/2—7:15 Art Club

3/2—2:45-4:45 Strings Club

3/2—3:00 Good News Club

3/2—3:15 Student Council

3/3—7:15 Chorus

3/3—7:30 Readers Rally

3/4—7:30 LAST Witzzle Pro

3/4—10-11:00 School Tour

Our 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.

Berkeley Lake's Vision Statement

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.