Berkeley Lake Elementary

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, November 8, 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

I am excited to announce our Spelling Bee Winner Aaron Nguy and Runner-Up Joseph Ngo! Aaron will go on to compete at the Gwinnett County Spelling Bee.

It's not too late to make plans to attend our annual Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast! If you like to walk, run, or eat pancakes with your neighbors and friends, this is the event for you! More details below under the PTO section.

Our next School Council meeting will be held on next Thursday, November 14 at 4:00. Everyone is welcome to attend and hear about our school priorities and progress on improvement plans.

Enjoy the weekend.

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

Many Thanks!

Alessandra Ferrara-Miller, founder of the non-profit All For Lunch, Inc., visited our school last week and presented Cafeteria Manager Diane Shockley a check for $550 to pay off school lunch charges for our students. We appreciate this generous and unexpected donation!
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Another Special Thank You

Our school would like to thank James Hartman from Aquatic Innovations for the wonderful job he did repairing and cleaning our front pond. (678-558-3830)

2 Different Surveys We Need Parent Input On

A paper copy of an RBES survey was sent home with your child several weeks ago. This is a Gwinnett County Public Schools survey, and we hope every family will complete the survey and return it to school if you have not already. The deadline to return this survey is November 16th.

The other survey you have been asked to take is the Georgia School Health Survey. This state survey can be taken anywhere online but so far only 52 of our parents have taken the survey. This survey is anonymous and can be taken in English or Spanish. Here is the link to the state survey:

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 last week's Friday folder and return to Laura Marantz or Sara Penland. To register in Spanish, call Sandra Orci at 678-291-4232. Spots are limited. Respond ASAP!

Thank You to the Following Recent Lunchroom Monitor Parent Volunteers:

  • Ninoska Gonzalez
  • Elizabeth Cisneros
  • Denisa Hidanovic
  • Yusbery Gamboa
  • Barbara Babroff

Saturday Intervention Class

The last Saturday Intervention class will be tomorrow, November 9. This is for invited students only. Students should arrive at 8:45 AM and class will begin promptly at 9:00 AM.

Attendance Counts - November


  • Starting in kindergarten, too many absences can cause children to fall behind in school.
  • Missing 10 percent (or about 18 days) can make it harder to learn to read.
  • Students can still fall behind if they miss just a day or two days every few weeks.
  • Being late to school may lead to poor attendance.
  • Absences can affect the whole classroom if the teacher has to slow down learning to help children catch up.

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school—and themselves. Start building this habit in preschool so they learn right away that going to school on time, every day is important. Good attendance will help children do well in high school, college, and at work.

Students who are checked out frequently miss valuable instructional time.

PTO News

Turkey Trot & K-Kids Pancake Breakfast - Saturday, November 9th

The Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast is tomorrow. If you haven't registered already then you can still sign up in the morning! For those of you who pre-registered, you can pick up your race packet tonight (Friday evening) at the school from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. We are looking forward to a great race!

Thank You to the Following Sponsors.

o Windsor Realty

o Dairy Queen

o Cheeseburger Bobby's

o Mathnasium

o All Kids First

o Dunkin Donuts

o LivinLove Inspections Inc

o Designables Inc

o Sprouts

Thank you for your support

Stock the Fridge

Mathnasium of Berkeley Lake is going to stock one lucky school's refrigerator. Stock the Fridge is in honor of the upcoming Giving Tuesday on December 3. To enter our school, LIKE Mathnasiaum’s Facebook or Instagram page and type "Berkeley Lake Elementary" in the comment section. Cutoff for entries is November 27 and must be a Mathnasium in the Duluth, Norcross or and Peachtree Corners areas. The winner will be announced on Monday, December 2nd.

Thank You For Your Food Donations

We collected over 300 food items to stock our BLES food pantry. Classes that had students bring in items for the pantry were entered into a drawing to win a doughnut party. The class winners are:

K - 2: Ms. Smith's (1st grade)

3 - 5: Ms. Sobh's (4th grade)

Spirit Night

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

Our December Spirit Night will be held at Chipotle on December 9th.

Charleston Wrap Orders Are Here

Please pick up your orders as soon as possible between the hours of 7:30-4:00 at the school. We will also have pickup available during the Turkey Trot and pancake breakfast this weekend. If there are missing items or problems with an order, please do not call the school. Contact customer service at 866-395-2926. Charleston Wrap is one of our most important fundraising efforts of the year. Thanks for supporting our PTO.

Raise Money for BLES While Doing Your Holiday Shopping on Amazon

Did you know that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to our school? AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know. Same products, same prices, same service. Click here to get started and select Berkeley Lake Elementary PTO.

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.

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...

Saturday, November 9

7:00am Turkey Trot and Pancake Breakfast - the 4-mile run will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the 1.5-mile fun run will begin at 8:15 a.m. Pancake breakfast to follow immediately after the races.

9:00am Saturday Intervention Program-Arrive 8:45

Monday, November 11

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

Tuesday, November 12

7:00am IT Girls

7:30am PTO Board Meeting

9:00am Advanced English Class

3:00pm Green Team

3:15pm Drama Club in room 3.124

Wednesday, November 13

7:15am Art Club

9:00am Beginner English Class

Thursday, November 14

7:00am Chorus Club Semester 1

3:00pm Good News Club (Media Center)

3:00pm Robotics Club

4:00pm BLES School Council Meeting

Friday, November 15

No events

Monday, November 18

7:45am K-Kids Mtg (Media Center)

2:45pm Orchestra Club

3:00pm Chess club - Media Center

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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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