Berkeley Lake ES

"Bear Essentials" Weekly e-Newsletter, November 20, 2020

Principal's Message

Dear Parents,

As we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I want to take a moment to share some of the things I am grateful for. First of all, I am thankful for a supportive school community and all the positive feedback that I've received from you over the past months. Even when we had an issue to work out, nearly every email I get starts out by thanking us for the hard work we are tackling this year. That means so much and helps keep everyone's stress level a little lower.

I am, of course thankful for my administrative team and the entire BLES faculty and staff. Never have I been more grateful to be surrounded by such a caring and dedicated group of people. They are truly heroes and I am lucky to work with them.

Finally, I am thankful for my health and the very low positive COVID rates at BLES. I encourage each of you to be vigilant about social distancing and other preventive measures. It's going to be extra hard to do during the holiday season but we owe each other the gift of staying healthy and safe.

I hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful Thanksgiving break!

Your Principal and Partner,

Dr. Pendleton

American Education Week

This week was American Education Week, which offered us the opportunity to celebrate public education and honor individuals who are making a difference in ensuring that every child receives a quality education.

Below you will find the link to Mr. Wilbanks' American Education Week message. We encourage you to watch his message.

Here is the web page link.

Make-Up Picture Dates

The make-up dates will be December 16th from 3:15pm-7:15pm for digital students and December 17th for In-Person students. The Digital code to order pictures online is FM345732.

Click the link here to subscribe to picture retakes. See pricing below.

Attendance for In-Person Learning Students

We have learned there is some confusion related to attendance and want to make sure everyone has the correct information. If your family has chosen in-person learning, your student will be marked absent if they do not come to school in-person. If an in-person learner stays home and attends class digitally, they will still be considered absent that day. You may not go back and forth between digital and in-person, so please make sure your in-person student comes to school every day unless they are sick. Different attendance codes will be used for students who are being asked to quarantine from school due to COVID. They will not be considered absent from school during that time.

My Payments Plus

Please remember to log into My Payments Plus and sign off on any required documents. Click here for more information.

Next Week's Specials Rotation Schedule for Digital Learners

The Specials Rotation for Digital Learners for the Week of November 30 - December 4 will be:

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

Please remember that the Special Area teachers are taking grades and they do count. You can see your child's progress in your parent portal under the Grades section.

Making the Choice for Digital or In-Person Learning for Second Semester

The county has extended the deadline until November 29th for you to make your selection in the Parent Portal for whether your child will attend school in-person or digitally for Semester 2. Please note that the decision you make will be for the entire semester.

If you have already made your selection for next semester, use these directions to verify your selection in the web version of the Parent Portal or use these directions to verify your selection in the Parent Vue app.

If you do not have a parent portal account, you need one. Please click here for information or contact our front office to request one.

Online Book Fair Extended

The last day to purchase books from our online Book Fair will be this Sunday, November 22nd. Use this link to place an order until November 22nd.

Thank you all for participating in our Online Book Fair this semester! We appreciate your support for the BLES media program!

Book Check Outs for Digital Learners

Click on the link below to see more details about Digital Student Book Checkout Procedures.

For video instructions on how to put your books on Hold, please visit the BLES Media eClass page:

Thank You and Happy Reading!

Mrs. Norby - BLES Media Specialist

Positive Behavior and Intervention Support Theme for the Week:

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PTO News and Information:

Don't Miss Out! Last Day to register for the virtual Turkey Trot!

Register by today to join the fun. Here's how:

  • Sign up at
  • Race begins Saturday, Nov. 21, at 12 AM. Newly adjusted tracking time! We’ll be tracking time until Friday, Nov. 27, at midnight ET.
  • You can actually run the distance as portrayed on our customized BLES Turkey Trot route, run another route of your choosing or choose from a variety of activities to do anywhere you want (including cleaning house and playing on the playground!). Then log the activity each day of the week and see your team's avatar move across the route according to the miles associated with that activity. Catch a Google Street View of the new virtual locale, then cheer your real fellow racers by clicking "likes" and posting pics and comments!
  • Don’t want to run the race but still want to participate or sponsor a racer or team? Donate at You can also donate to a team via check (made out to BLES PTO) or cash. Label your envelope Turkey Trot and the team/runner you are sponsoring and give it to your teacher. Participants can also donate additional amounts at the time of online registration.

If you have any questions, contact us at

Charleston Wrap® Ends Today!

Share our BLES account with all your family and friends to get everyone shopping – just in time for the holidays!

Here’s how to get started:

1. Click here to register today! Use organization ID number 11515.

2. We have an email invitation tool ready as soon as you register. Send ten unique and valid shopping email invites to your friends and family.

3. Let the shopping begin! With over 2,500 gift ideas, you can check off your holiday gift list and support BLES, too.

PRO TIP: The more email invites you send, the more supporters we’ll get! So, break out your email contact list, share on social media and help spread the word! If you have any questions or issues, customer support is available at 1-866-395-2926.

GCPS District Information:

Help Sessions for Parents - AKS at Home

The parent AKS at Home Help meetings for this Nine Weeks have already taken place, but if you would like to view a recording of the meeting, visit this page on the county website:

GCPS Virtual Substitute Job Fairs

Gwinnett County Public Schools is hiring individuals with two or more years of college to work as part of our substitute team! This involves going out to local schools and providing instruction through an in-person, digital, or hybrid format – you get to choose the assignments that you accept and determine your own schedule! Daily rates range from $98/day to $120/day.

Click here to learn more about our virtual job fair.

2020-2021 GCPS Promotion Criteria for Elementary Students:

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Other Items:

Georgia Grown To Go Drive-thru Farmer’s Market

Gwinnett County is excited to host the return of the Georgia Grown To Go Drive-thru Farmer’s Market at Coolray Field (2500 Buford Drive, Lawrenceville) on Saturday, November 21 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. You can pre-order items online until noon on Friday. The mixed produce boxes will be listed for a reduced rate online and contains a variety of mixed vegetables. Other items available for purchase include oranges and ground beef, hens, pecans and Georgia Grown sampler packs along with Christmas Specialty Items. a limited supply of items will be available for same day purchase on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Berean Christian Church Gwinnett COVID Assistance Program

The Berean Christian Church Gwinnett COVID Assistance Program is available to Gwinnett County residents ONLY. Funds may be used to cover past due rent, utilities, and move-in deposits as a result of impending eviction. We also have a food program for those in need of food every 2 weeks.

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The Empty Stocking Fund Offers Help for the Holidays

Many of us are facing difficult economic times. The Empty Stocking Fund is a resource that may help. This program provides gifts for children under 12 if you are found eligible. The site is in Spanish and English. Please apply soon, as spots fill up.

Gwinnett Stripers Power of Reading Program

Earn a free ticket to a 2021 Gwinnett Stripers Baseball Game!

From now until December 31st this year, any student that reads four books and submits everything online through the link below will be eligible to receive a free ticket to a 2021 Gwinnett Stripers game. These books can be any books that the students are required to read for school or separate from their required reading at school. Once the student has completed the reading they just simply need their parents to fill out the online submission form at this link: and then email the titles and authors of the books to the email listed on the page. Once those requirements are met, the student will be eligible to receive the ticket to a 2021 Stripers game. Plus, the Stripers and Georgia Power will be honoring a Power Reader of the Month on our social media platforms that students could be eligible for as well.

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A Look Ahead...

Saturday, November 21

Thanksgiving Grocery Giveaway-Corners' Church

Extended Book Fair

Sunday, November 22

Last day to place online Book Fair order

Monday, November 23 - Friday November 27

Thanksgiving Break

Monday, November 30

no events

Tuesday, December 1

no events

Wednesday, December 2

Progress reports sent home

12:30pm Play 2 Learn

Thursday, December 3

no events

Saturday, December 5

9:00 AM Saturday School

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